New Adventures in Raiding
The release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm means new content for every type of player, including raiders. Several new raids were included with the release of the expansion, and many more are planned.
Key changes to raiding with the expansion also took place. These changes include shared loot across 10-man and 25-man versions of the raid, with raid bosses dropping more loot in 25-man versions. Lockouts are now shared between these two raid sizes, so that a player will only be able to attend one version of a raid each week. However, lockouts are also flexible in that a player is only saved to individual bosses, so that they may complete their raids with a different group if necessary each week.
Currently, there are four raids available: Baradin Hold, Throne of the Four Winds, The Bastion of Twilight, and Blackrock Mountain: Blackwing Descent.
With the introduction of Tol Barad - the new world PvP zone similar to Wintergrasp - also comes Baradin Hold. Like the Vault of Archavon, this is a “light” raid zone designed to award both PvP gear and Tier 11 PvE gear. Only players who belong to the faction that currently holds the keep will be able to access the raid and the bosses inside.
- PvP loot: Vicious Cloaks, Necklaces, Rings, Boots, Belts, Gloves, Trinkets
- PvE loot: Tier 11 Gloves, Legs
- More to be released at a future date.
Throne of the Four Winds
The Throne of the Four Winds is a “short” raid, perhaps equivalent to the Obsidian Sanctum offered in Wrath of the Lich King. Located in the Skywall in Uldum, the raid pits players against two boss encounters: a Djinn Council and Al’Akir, the elemental lord of air that has allied with Deathwing. The Conclave of Wind is unique in that all the loot that they offer comes with random enchantments.
- Conclave of Wind
The Bastion of Twilight
The Bastion of Twilight is the first entry-level raid instance in Cataclysm, and is located inside Grim Batol in the Twilight Highlands. This raid features four boss encounters, plus a fifth heroic-only encounter. The final boss is Cho’gall, leader of the Twilight Hammer, who plays a major part in the Cataclysm storyline.
- Valiona and Theralion
- Halfus Wyrmbreaker
- Twilight Ascendant Council
- Sinestra (heroic-only)
Blackrock Mountain: Blackwing Descent
A continuation of the story told at first by Blackwing Lair in the original World of Warcraft, Blackwing Descent features six boss encounters, with the final boss being a resurrected Nefarian, son of Deathwing. The final encounter also features a cameo appearance by Onyxia. It is located inside Blackrock Mountain.
- Omintron Defense System