On This Day – Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight Launched Ten Years Ago on November 29, 2011

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On This Day - Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight Launched Ten Years Ago on November 29, 2011



On this day, November 29, 2011, Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight launched. This was the last major patch for Cataclysm. Ragnaros had been defeated (again), and the denizens of Azeroth were holding their collective breaths, wondering if this moment would be the one in which Deathwing would pass through the skies above and burn them to a crisp in return for an achievement, Stood in the Fire. And then, 10 years ago today, we got Patch 4.3 and with it Transmogrification! Let’s check out a few things about Patch 4.3.

In the wake of the Cataclysm, Azeroth’s champions rose up to thwart the forces of the maddened black Dragon Aspect, Deathwing. Thus far the world’s defenders have shattered the power base of the Twilight’s Hammer cult and defeated the raging elemental lords Al’Akir and Ragnaros. Yet despite these victories, as long as Deathwing is free to pursue his twisted goals, Azeroth will remain under threat.

No one is more aware of this fact than the great Dragon Aspects Alexstrasza, Nozdormu, Ysera, and Kalecgos. Together with the wise shaman Thrall, they have devised a plan to vanquish Deathwing with a weapon of his own design: the infamous Dragon Soul. — Patch Notes: Patch 4.3

New Raid: Dragon Soul

Dragon Soul was the final raid of Cataclysm. Despite 8 bosses, some very imaginative and interesting encounters, huge lore implications, and the Rogue Legendary quest for Fangs of the Father, Dragon Soul remains notorious for two very different reasons:

  1. it was the raid that introduced Raid Finder and LFR mode
  2. the 10 months that we spent in Dragon Soul was one of the longest content droughts in WoW history, and spurred the current intended release paradigm of a patch every few months and a new raid every other patch (COVID and recent woes notwithstanding)

Dragon Soul’s 8 bosses included:

New Dungeons

Hour of Twilight introduced 3 new dungeons, a time-travel triple header that gave us glimpses of Azeroth’s past, a possible dark future, and the present time introduction to Dragon Soul.

End Time

  • This new 5-player Heroic dungeon begins the quest to save all with a look at the desolate future of Azeroth, should its defenders fail to stop Deathwing.

Well of Eternity

  • In this new 5-player Heroic dungeon, adventurers travel back 10,000 years in a brazen attempt to retrieve the Dragon Soul.

Hour of Twilight

  • This new 5-player Heroic dungeon sets the final stage by bringing players face-to-face with the Twilight’s Hammer in present-day Dragonblight, where Thrall and the Dragon Soul must be safely escorted to Wyrmrest Temple so that the assault on Deathwing can commence.

Patch Notes: Patch 4.3

It may be worth noting that of the 4 ally bosses that we fought in End Time, both Jaina and Sylvanas have become actual raid bosses. Could we one day take on Baine and Tyrande as well, making the future more set than we might think?

New Legendary Item: Fangs of the Father

The most deadly and experienced rogues will play a central role in the fate of the world the rogue’s way: by manipulating key events from the shadows. Players will travel across continents to accomplish crucial missions of reconnaissance, burglary, infiltration and, of course, assassination. Rogues who succeed will receive a paired set of daggers that will become increasingly lethal as their bearer progresses along the legendary quest. At the height of their strength, they will be imbued with the vile essence of the Old Gods, as well as the maddened fury of the Black Dragonflight — bestowing great power upon their bearer. These powers include a stacking increase to Agility which builds until dark wings unfurl from the rogue’s back, removing the combo point cost and increasing damage of finishing moves for a short time. In addition, the wings which can be spread on command (with no combat benefit) to slow a rapid descent, allowing the rogue to slowly fall to the ground… or enact a little death from above! — Patch Notes: Patch 4.3

The questline for the Legendary Fangs of the Father teamed rogues up with Wrathion and spanned Azeroth, culminating in a battle at Ravenholdt. The collection phase required that rogues run Dragon Soul repeatedly, and since this required Normal or Heroic mode (not LFR) and predated groupfinder, it required a fair amount of guild coordination and competition between rogues for those raid slots. But those daggers were worth it.

Darkmoon Island

The itinerate Darkmoon Faire expanded into a permanent location, Darkmoon Island. This private island didn’t mean we’d get permanent access, however. Silas Darkmoon may have noped his carnival out of Azeroth proper in the wake of Deathwing’s destruction, but the opportunity to build a real midway with better games didn’t lessen his business sense; to this day, visitors can still only visit the island one week per month, and its location is still a closely guarded secret.

New Features

Raid Finder

This new grouping feature allows players to quickly and easily form a pick-up raid for a specially tuned version of the current tier of endgame content: the Dragon Soul raid. — Patch Notes: Patch 4.3

Love it or hate it, this is where LFR started and it has now existed for more than half of World of Warcraft’s life.

Transmogrification

This new feature allows players to customize their gear like never before: copying the appearance of one magical item onto another. — Patch Notes: Patch 4.3

Part of the answer to the eternal plea of players for more and better customization options, transmog remains one of World of Warcraft’s most popular systems.

Void Storage

In addition to the bank, players will now have access to a new “deep storage” system, allowing characters to free bag space by setting aside coveted gear. — Patch Notes: Patch 4.3

Void storage was a response to another of players’ pleas, this one for bigger bags and more storage. While it still exists to this day, it remains a less than perfect solution to the problem of all of the stuff players have collected over the years.

Patch 4.3.0: Hour of Twilight may be one of the longest hours in history, but at the end of it all we got Mists of Pandaria. Worth the wait.





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