World of Warcraft: Hour of Twilight Update Now Live

Tuesday Blizzard announced that Hour of Twilight, the third update for World of Warcraft's Cataclysm expansion pack, has finally gone live. The mega-patch (v4.3) provides players with a "ton" of new content including Dragon Soul, an epic 10- and 25-person raid encounter, and three new 5-person dungeons.

"World of Warcraft Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight has arrived, and with it, Deathwing’s reign of terror will finally come to an end," the company reports. "Featuring a new raid, unexplored dungeons, a legendary rogue quest line, the latest raid tier armor sets, major story developments, the Transmogrification and Void Storage features, and much more, Hour of Twilight has something for everyone."

The entire list of additions, changes and fixes can be found here -- it's too long and detailed to be pasted on this page. Still, here's a brief list:

  •  - Raid Finder: Players can quickly and easily form a raid for a specifically tuned version of the Dragon Soul raid; works much like the Dungeon Finder feature
  •  - Dragon Soul: The most epic 10- and 25-person raid encounter Blizzard has ever designed
  •  - Transmogrification: Customize the appearance of your weapons and armor
  •  - Three new 5-person dungeons: Continue the storyline of Thrall and Deathwing as players embark on all-new adventures in End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight
  •  - Void Storage: Players of all levels can now open up 80 slots of long-term storage space
  •  - Fangs of the Father: Legendary rogue quest line
  •  - The all-new Darkmoon Faire: Darkmoon Faire has been completely redesigned and offers all-new games and rewards for players to experience

"In patch 4.3, Thrall and the noble Aspects will call upon the Horde and the Alliance to help them retrieve the artifact--no longer in existence--from the distant past," reads the update's description. "Those brave enough to face the challenge will embark on a perilous journey from Azeroth's apocalyptic End Time to the Dragon Soul's point of origin during the catastrophic War of the Ancients. If the heroes succeed, an even more harrowing battle awaits them in the present."

During the last earnings call, Blizzard said that player numbers dropped from 11.1 million to 10.3 million in the third quarter of 2011. To combat the falling numbers, the company plans to make bigger efforts to keep the subscriber base high by offering larger updates -- as seen with the release of Hour of Twilight -- between expansion packs. The company also just launched its latest ad campaign featuring kung fu legend Chuck Norris (probably to reflect the Pandarian race in the next expansion pack).

And while the World of Warcraft numbers continue to drop, a worthy adversary looms in the mist, ready to strike next month: EA's Star Wars: The Old Republic. But Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick doesn't seem too worried, and even indirectly claims that the rival publisher won't turn a profit thanks to license holder George Lucas.

"Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars," Kotick told Reuters, dismissing speculation that The Old Republic will steal WoW subscribers. "We’ve been in business with Lucas for a long time, and the economics will always accrue to the benefit of Lucas, so I don’t really understand how the economics work for Electronic Arts."

Previously EA said that the upcoming MMOG will become profitable if it reaches 500,000 subscribers. "If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it's a small number," Kotick added.

  • soccerdocks
    This looks so much better than that Kung Fu Panda Expansion coming out soon.
  • Just think in 2 years your going to get to say "Panda'd" whenever a developer decides to torpedo their own game with a laughably bad idea based on marketing strategy.

    And WoW has sucked since Greg Street became in charge and decided that good class balance is not an achievable goal, but making the mage class he plays god mode was.
  • juncture
    A content patch on an mmo is worthy of its own article on Tom's? Did Blizzard bribe Kevin? You don't hear of patches in other games unless it seriously screws up something...
  • opmopadop
    I just stopped playing Skyrim for a moment to read the news... Im guessing Tom got a kickback to announce this update, still not re-activating my account tho... Anyway, back to Skyrim.
  • Chapman7
    Twilight sucks.
  • nebun
    milk that cow...wait, you left a drop....god help us all
  • wildkitten
    STM, I disagree with you on Ghostcrawler. His tenure began at the same time as did Bobby Kotick's as CEO over the merged Activision Blizzard. I don't think anyone with common sense can deny that Kotick's influence can be clearly seen as Blizzard today is a much different company then it was pre-merger.

    It's also not GC's fault that so much time has been spent on PvP. I know this will anger PvP fans, but even Rob Pardo in his 2008 interview with Warcry admitted introducing high level PvP (arenas and such) was the single biggest mistake they made to the game. Not because the competive PvP is a bad idea, but because the game was not designed for it. And because the game was not designed for it, Pardo admitted it has been a headache that has taken up much more of their time than they ever dreamed it would.

    I don't think it's any coincidence that the two expansions that have fully had arenas, Wrath and Cataclysm (arenas were introduced in BC after almost all the work on the content patches was done) have both had at least half, and in Cataclysm's case, more than half of the content discussed during the betas, fully cut out of the expansion. It's nothing but a non stop cycle of nerfs and buffs patch after patch. And it's also obvious that since Kotick took over, that the microtransactions have taken over full force.

    It also seems as if the Looking For Raid has some mixed reviews. There are already pugs after one day who are on Deathwing for it. Will these Farmville style players keep their subs up for an entire year after they downed the last boss of the expansion? Doubtful. And non LFR players have noticed that normal mode raids are alsmost as insanely easy as the mechanics are the same, they mobs and bosses just do a bit more damage. Even a lot of those players who refer to themselves as casual are actually complaining how easy it is. Blizzard should never have tried to make a Farmville type easy game out of WoW. It's something that is suppose to be a different type of gamer entirely. And in their rush to try to please everyone, they have pleased no one.

    People are also complaining about the Void Storage and the ridiculous gold sink it is and how you can't even put items in that a person would think should go in, like a number of the tabards and costumes. Why couldn't Blizz simply institute tabs on personal banks like they did with guild banks? If they wanted it to be a gold sink, make the tabs need to be purchased like the tabs for the guild banks but let it act like regular storage once bought.

    And of course there is the ridiculous attempt at costuming with Transmogrification. Sorry, but this has to be more of a slap in the face to all the players who asked for costumer slots for years than a genuine attempt to fill the need. For one thing, holiday costumes can not even be used, so they are still essentially nothing more than bank filler. I just don't understand the need to make it a gold sink either or the need to go to an NPC to get the look one desires. Is it really so hard for Blizzard to do what other games have done for years much better and much easier?

    I also don't believe MoP will have a positive impact on sub numbers. While I don't think pandas or pokemon will be as negative as some think, though I do think they will be a net negative, I think the more damning aspect of MoP is the fact that they are dropping the Warcraft story completely from the game. My personal opinion is that will only accelerate the decline, not stop it. The reason WoW broke EQ's subscription records on the first day was because of the Warcraft story. Since they have stopped showing it, subs have stagnated then declined. And there are still a LOT of lore firgures true Warcraft fans want to see.
  • de5_Roy
    nice timing by blizzard while the new twilight movie is out. LOL
  • jellico
    I used to love WoW. I played it since it came out. But Kung Fu Pandas... seriously?! No thanks. Account cancelled and SWTOR pre-ordered. I beta tested that game and it friggin rocks! It'll be out in 20 days. I predict another big drop in WoW's subscription numbers when it does.
  • the only succes of wow is it was a first (alrightish) MMORPG, and that is why they keep sales. if i find someone who never played wow or any other MMO. and give them a choice, i can garantee you he wont look at wow.

    But like an RPG game fan myself, i hate starting over, i like to get a hero max asap(who doesnt) and thats why an mmorpg keep its people for long. so being first was the success, not the actual game itself. and warcraft 3 is still one of the top games today...