Patch 4.3 and beyond
- The new 5 man dungeons will help to introduce the Deathwing Raid.
- The current plan with the Deathwing raid is to have it all available immediately upon release.
- The Deathwing raid will be smaller than Ulduar with many phases or encounters with Deathwing.
- Patch 4.4 will bring a world event before the next expansion.
- The next expansion should be released with a "meaningful difference" in the release timeline compared to previous expansions.
Making the raid completely available upon release means we will not have a gated progression like we did with ICC. This will make many people happy and sad. I know people don't like to see the content defeated so quickly, but doing so will not make us be in the instance for what seemed like forever as was the case with ICC.
Saying right out that 4.4 will be the event before the next expansion doesn't directly say that there won't be a bridge raid. It just means there won't be a conclusion raid. So what is the difference? Well Sunwell was a conclusion raid, and Ruby Sanctum was a bridge raid. I foresee a world event maybe not to the extreme as say the plague infestation, but the elemental unrest combined with a raid is something I think is definitely possible.
I see "meaningful difference" as a way of saying it will mean we will see it probably during the end of Summer or early Fall 2012. They want to release the expansions quicker and I think this is the way to do it. I also think we will get more hints of this at Blizzcon when we will actually see how close they may be to the Alpha of Mists of Pandaria.
So those are my thoughts on the random points brought up at Gamescon. Have another idea, be sure to let me know if you think I am full of crap.