Blizzard Entertainment recently announced big plans to revamp the classic raid, Onyxia, as part of World of Warcraft‘s fifth anniversary patch, 3.2.2, coming out in November 2009.

Originally part of the initial public release of the game, Onyxia has been brooding in her lair, facing teams of 40 able-bodied players of level 60. Once the Burning Crusade expansion was released in January 2007, players began leaving Onyxia alone for want of better loot from the new, higher level dungeons and raids included in that expansion and its subsequent patches. Once players reached level 70 or even level 80, the Onyxia encounter became so easy that smaller teams of 10 or 20 were able to kill her without much effort (with some even able to solo the black dragon). Technologia, the official unofficial guild of TechRepublic, also attempted her shortly after the release of Wrath of the Lich King and were easily successful with approximately eight or 10 players.

This new release, revamping the Onyxia encounter for level 80 players and altering the raid structure to meet the “modern” 10-man and 25-man sizes now used in World of Warcraft, will surely spell more trouble from the Black Dragonflight and their leader, Deathwing. Odds are this new version of the Onyxia encounter (dubbed Onyxia 2.0) will be somehow linked to the Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight, which is the base of operations for the Wyrmrest Accord, a faction of mostly Red Dragonkin up until now fighting mostly the Blue flight.

With the upgrade to the dungeon for level 80 players, the loot that Onyxia drops is also being updated. While retaining the same look and feel as the original gear, the statistics and improvements (or “buffs”) are getting a major increase. In addition to these weapons and armor, Blizzard is adding a new, probably rare, mount that is modeled after Onyxia and will give players a 310% increase over run speed (as compared to the 280% increase of normal epic flying mounts).

Players who sign on during the fifth anniversary event will receive a special Onyxia Brood Whelpling companion pet that will probably arrive in your mailbox similar to the Baby Blizzard Bear from the fourth anniversary event.

Have you raided classic Onyxia? If so (or even if not), are you looking forward to this upgrade? Please post your comments below.