World of Warcraft: Hour of Twilight (2011)

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Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: PC

© Copyright Blizzard Entertainment

© Copyright Blizzard Entertainment

Hour of Twilight, otherwise known as patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft, brings new content for avid fans of the franchise, continuing the captivating non-storyline that started in Cataclysm. Those familiar with the latter expansion may recall that Deathwing, true to his name or at least half of it, has been busy bringing death and destruction to Azeroth, all the while avoiding actual contact with players, save for a few short encounters. Allowing us to at last begin our epic struggle against the villain, Blizzard has added three new dungeons. Unfortunately, they aren’t very challenging, and I suspect veterans of the aging MMORPG will tire of them fast.

Credit where credit is due: the artwork for these new dungeons looks pretty good, and the rousing lore we’ve been waiting for is finally here. The first dungeon, called the “End Time”, reveals the fate of Azeroth should no one stop Deathwing from doing absolutely nothing. To prevent the inexplicable destruction of your world, you must fix a temporal anomaly and travel to the past, which is to say the next dungeon: the “Well of Eternity”. You see, the Dragon Soul, a powerful artifact that holds the key to defeating Deathwing, was hidden there ten thousand years ago. The final dungeon, the titular “Hour of Twilight”, requires you to bring the Dragon Soul to the Aspects so they can turn it into a weapon.

Hour of Twilight (the patch, not the dungeon) also features a new raid, confusingly named “Dragon Soul”, in which players finally get to dispatch Deathwing, bringing peace back to Azeroth until the next expansion. I always look forward to new raid encounters, especially those that might get us out of the monochrome Firelands introduced in patch 4.2. This latest one provides us with diverse locations and a genuine sense of progression. My only concern is that Thrall controls the Dragon Soul (the weapon, not the raid). This positions him as the true hero of the tale. After having got my thunder stolen by so many non-playable characters, I’m starting to wonder whether I’ll ever score a major kill without the game holding my hand.

No time to join a guild and contribute to a raid on a weekly basis? No problem: through the new raid finder, you can team up with twenty-four other players and participate in a neutered version of “Dragon Soul” (the raid, not the weapon) with lower quality loot. Well, there is one problem. Remember the five-person dungeon finder, which inevitably partnered you with a bunch of jerks, noobs with too little gear, or people who simply couldn’t play their class? Take the resulting heartache and multiply it by five to get an idea what kind of fiasco awaits you with the raid finder.

© Copyright Blizzard Entertainment

© Copyright Blizzard Entertainment

You may be better off killing time on Darkmoon Island, a cute distraction from the original World of Warcraft. Initially a monthly fair, the side attraction would allow players to eat weird foods, partake in random activities for cheap prizes, and get shot out of a canon. Hour of Twilight revamps the whole thing, adding cooler prizes and quests that you get to repeat daily because nothing says “fun” like turning a game into a chore. You’d figure Blizzard would’ve learnt after the disastrous Molten Front from patch 4.2. By Blizzard’s own account, people got tired of its daily quests after just a month (I’d argue a week).

Mind you, it’s not all bad. Hour of Twilight sees the addition of one long-awaited feature: transmogrification, which allows you to customise your current armour to look like any other you own. The change is purely cosmetic, but it lets players bring more individuality to their alter egos. Just in time too, since the hunter armour from “Dragon Soul” (the raid, not the weapon) makes my character look like a goat.

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