According to Blizzard, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm players are in for a treat once a couple Cataclysm patches hit. Blizzard lead game designer Tom Chilton says that's when we can expect to first see Deathwing.
“It’s either going to be in patch 4.2 or 4.3. It definitely won’t be in 4.1," Chilton said on this week's edition of G4's Feedback.
Blizzard's idea is to make Deathwing's appearance the climax of Cataclysm's plot.
"We want the Deathwing to be kind of the capstone of the expansion, the last major event to really happen, so that everything feels like it builds up to it," Chilton said.
For those not totally steeped in Warcraft lore, Deathwing (full-name: Deathwing the Destroyer) is one of five Dragon Aspects and leader of the black dragonflight. Most in Azeroth think he's dead, but he's been quietly regaining his strength in Deepholm and plotting a bloody return. In other words: Total badass dragon.
Blizzard goes on to say that it has learned a thing or two about game pacing from previous expansion packs as well, and Cataclysm will definitely reflect those lessons.
"We felt like we did that kind of wrong with Burning Crusade when we tried to get the Illidian [Stormrage] encounter into the shipping version of Burning Crusade," WoW lead world designer Alex Afrasiabi explains. "And when we saw that that wasn’t going to be able to happen, we were like, 'Ok. But he’ll be in the first content patch right after,' and then after we did him we were like, 'Well. Where do we go from here?'"
“We need time for a story too," Afrasiabi continues. "And that’s a thing we’ve gotten better as well is building a story, and having players play through that story, and our patch cycle really helps us out with that. So if you look at [Wrath of the Lich King] as sort of our first experiment with that almost in terms of how all those cutscenes build up into the final showdown with the Lich King. Something very similar will happen with Deathwing, and it should be pretty damn cool."
So expect something damn cool in the future, WoW-heads. Anyone want to take any bets on how long it will actually be until Deathwing roams the land to terrorize Orcs, Humans and Goblins alike?