Patch 4.2 for World of Warcraft has only been out a month and Blizzard is already talking about the next major content update. Word is that Patch 4.3 will add a raid finder, new five-player dungeons, and give players a chance to slay the mad dragon Deathwing.
Lead WoW designer Tom Chilton said at GamesCom 2011 (via Kotaku) that 4.3 will offer up a lot of new content for players to tackle. There are three five-man dungeons included in the patch. Also, they'll add a raid instance that ends with a fight against Deathwing.
Blizzard will also be implementing big new features with 4.3. Players will be able to transmogrify their armor using new Ethereal vendors throughout the world. Transmogrification lets you take the best-looking armor you have and combine it with the armor with the best stats to create a single set. The hope is that it will make characters more visually distinct from each other. Also, it should encourage players to return to old raids or dungeons to collect attractive armor they may have never gotten.
Obviously collecting all this old armor might put a strain on your bank. With that in mind, Blizzard is adding "Void Storage." This little pocket dimension will let you store 100 to 150 items. One disadvantage, though, is that anything stored in this manner will lose its enchantments and gems. Maybe this is how they'll let players transfer gear between characters on different servers?
Perhaps the most interesting new feature, though, is a Raid Finder. The Raid Finder functions like the Dungeon Finder. You enter a queue and then get grouped up with other players looking to do a raid.
The Raid Finder sounds like a real crap-shoot. Raids of 10-25 people tend to require a lot more coordination and skill than the five-man dungeons. Will a group of players thrown together at random really be able to tackle end-game content? Presumably there will be some filter to prevent people with really poor gear from joining the queue but even then, this feature could result in some very bad raids.
Chilton said that 4.3 will actually be the last major patch before the next WoW expansion. No mention of when 4.3 or this next expansion - Mists of Pandaria? - will arrive, though.