Blizzard’s late-night release of a Patch 5.2 Thunder King teaser has got us thinking…
What do we know about patch 5.2 so far?
Well, the email from Blizzard‘s Senior Community Rep Zarhym, which included the picture, gave a few clues. The image captures the new raid, clearly, looking down from above onto Thunder Isle. The shot is taken from outside the new raid. From the image, we can get a few clues. Devs have repeatedly implied that this raid is along the lines of Ulduar, and this image seems to fit in with that impression. There appear to be gated areas and courtyards leading to an inner enclosed area, hopefully without the vehicle fights!
When’s it coming?
In a recent interview, Ghostcrawler mentioned that the next patch was planned 4 months after the release of patch 5.1, so around 6 months after the release of Mists of Pandaria. Blizzard certainly seem to be keeping to their word with the faster content releases, so far. The PTR is slated for “early January”, and Zarhym adds toward the end of his email message that “We’re seriously going to hit the ground running in January, so brace yourselves.”
This leads us to think that the PTR is going to open pretty early in January, rather than the usual “soon (TM)” timescale WoW players have become used to. Is it too soon? Certainly, many players will say so. Completion of the current three tiers is relatively low in normal, let alone in heroic, and with the sheer quantity of content being pushed out, there is a risk that players will be overwhelmed. However, Blizzard can’t win – they put out content too slowly, and people complain, they put out content faster and people worry about being overwhelmed.
Who’s this Thunder King anyway? (SPOILERS)
The Thunder King is Lei Shen, the first ruler of the Mogu, who united them as one, following the example of the Mantid. He’s responsible for the creation of the Serpent’s Spine, the great wall running across Pandaria, and either built or commissioned the Mogu’shan vaults. As Xin the Weaponmaster was killed by the invaders, the Thunder King has, it seems, once again awoken.
It was during his reign that the Divine Bell was crafted by the Korune Spellweavers, a powerful weapon that “could shake the world and call to the heavens. Taken to war, the bell’s cacophonous tones stirred the hearts of Lei Shen’s warriors. It fueled their hatred and anger, lending them strength on the field of battle. The bell’s screaming voice struck fear and doubt into the hearts of the Emperor’s enemies, sending them fleeing in his path. Awed by its power, the Thunder King described the instrument as “the voice of the gods,” and named it Shenqing, the Divine Bell”
The Divine Bell was taken to a crypt, hidden away for the Thunder King’s return. But the Night Elves found it and concealed it, eventually leading to its discovery by Garrosh’s Horde, leading to its shattering in a battle between Garrosh and the Prince of Stormwind, Anduin Wrynn. Maybe the shattering of the bell awoke the Thunder King from his slumber…