The lights are on
We've known for a while now that the next content patch for World of Warcraft, patch 4.3, will be the final major update for the Cataclysm expansion, finally adding the Deathwing raid battle that the whole expansion has been building up to. Now Blizzard has provided us a bunch of screenshots from the update along with some surprising info about the ends of time and space that this patch will take players to.
In addition to the Deathwing raid, patch 4.3 -- now officially named "Dragon Soul" -- will introduce three new five-player dungeons. Like with Wrath of the Lich King's dungeons that built up to Icecrown Citadel, these five-player adventures will help set the scene for the expansion's final encounter. Unlike last time, though, these dungeons will take place in wildly different locations and time periods thanks to the Caverns of Time.
In addition to a trip to the Well of Eternity in Azeroth's past, players will also embark on a shocking journey to the planet's future, where they'll witness a vision of what's going to happen if Deathwing isn't stopped (see the screen above if you didn't already guess how dire things are looking).
Curiously, the final battle will begin at Wyrmrest Temple, a location from the last expansion. The Dragon Aspects -- or the four of them who aren't crazy, at least -- will gather together to help you fight against their rogue brethren. Throughout the raid, players will be able to call upon the powers of the Dragon Aspects to help, but they can only be used a limited number of times, so you'll need to choose wisely.
Also of importance is that this patch will introduce the new raid finder feature, which will match up players looking for partners to experience the Deathwing battle. Blizzard confirmed to Game Informer that using the raid finder will create a unique, lower-difficulty version of the raid, which will also have less attractive loot drops. However, it will give virtually every player the opportunity to see and play through this raid content, even if they don't have a top-ranking guild or generally prefer lone-wolfing through the game. Blizzard told us that it's still unclear if the raid finder will support older raids when it launches, since the developer will need to manually tweak difficulty settings on each raid individually.
Blizzard is expecting patch 4.3 to be available on World of Warcraft's public testing servers within the next few weeks, which means it will likely go live shortly after that. In the mean time, check out the screenshots below for a first taste at your final showdown with Deathwing.