In addition to a change in WoW Classic‘s staggered content releases, today’s Developer Content Update Preview with lead World of Warcraft developer Ion Hazzikostas provided our first look at WoW retail’s next major content patch: Visions of N’Zoth.
Visions of N’Zoth is an absolutely massive update, so let’s break down everything that was announced today:
Assaults/Visions of N’Zoth
Visions of N’Zoth will be adding a ton of new content to the game, including assaults by the Old God himself on areas such as Orgrimmar and Stormwind City, but it will even reach beyond that. For the first time ever, players will be able to access Ny’alotha, the realm of the Old Gods. Ny’alotha is basically an alternate reality, existing in the same space as the reality we know. N’Zoth is peeling back the “thin veil” that separates the two realms, and unleashing horrible nightmares to our world in the form of Assaults, a new feature that sounds similar to Legion invasions and BFA faction assaults where N’Zoth attempts to corrupt a zone, and it’s up to the player to stop him.
Mists of Pandaria fans rejoice, as the Vale of Eternal Blossoms is restored to the beautiful state it was in before the Siege on Orgrimmar raid all those years ago. That is, until N’Zoth gets his hands on it. The Vale will be a target of one of these Assaults (along with Uldum), but when it’s not under assault, the Vale will remain fully restored.
By completed Assaults, players will earn their way into “Horrific Visions,” which are 1-5 player content centered around Orgimmar and Stormwind City, showing what will happen to our world if we don’t repel N’Zoth. This was effectively described as the spiritual successor to Legion‘s Mage Tower, serving as a difficult, single player (if you so wish) piece of content that players can progress through alone.
Part of these Visions will be Wrathion, who once again will help players craft Legendary cloaks — the first orange-quality gear in Battle For Azeroth seen thus far. In addition, players will be able to fill out a new talent tree using currency earned from these events, and also gain a new rank of Essences for their Hearts of Azeroth.
New Raid: Ny’alotha, the Waking City
Of course, no content patch would be complete without a new raid, and patch 8.3 is no exception: Ny’alotha, the Waking City will be open to players once the patch drops. Ny’alotha is a 12-boss raid that culminates in the Old God himself.
With all the attacks on Titan Forges this game, Ion mentioned that it may change the way Titanforging works. Titanforging is one of the most maligned features in WoW today, making it effectively impossible to truly reach best-in-slot status unless you are insanely lucky. Not many details were offered as of yet, but Ion said they are looking into a new system that provides “something a bit different, something a bit more twisted and corrupt, but ideally works to preserve the value of item level.”
Allied Races/Heritage Armor
New allied races will also join the Alliance and Horde in patch 8.3: Vulpera for the Horde, and Mechagnomes for the Alliance.
Vulpera have been rumored to be allied races pretty much since Battle For Azeroth was released last year, and now it’s finally official. Horde players who are exalted with the Voldunai faction will have access to a new questline to unlock the vulpine race.
Over on the Alliance side, Mechagnomes of Mechagon will be joining the cause as a result of the Alliance’s help in overthrowing their villainous regime. Players will be able to choose between having a mechanical arm or leg when creating their characters.
Heritage armor for Goblin and Worgen is also coming — naturally, Worgen will be able to don a top hat, and Goblins have armor with explosives always at their disposal.
Auction House Overhaul
Another update that’s been talked about for a long time, and is sorely needed, is a complete overhaul of the Auction House system. Ion mentioned that this was not simply a UI facelift, but a complete overhaul of the back-end, increasing efficiency and speed, and even completely doing away with single stacks of goods that “literally nobody likes.”
“We want to tailor the Auction House functionality to the way most people use it most frequently,” he said. They have re-thought how buying commodity goods such as ore and cloth. There is “effectively a separate commodities market,” that does away with the traditional stacks of the seller’s choosing. Players choose how much of a particular good they want, and behind the scenes, they can basically purchase portions of a stack that a seller put up for sale.
Players will also have the ability to favorite items and “create a shopping list”. This should allow quick stops to the AH to re-up on weekly potions, for instance, to be a lot more efficient and pleasant.
These changes will also all but eliminate undercutting, and should really change how buyers and sellers alike use the Auction House.
In addition to these updates and new features, the following will be coming in 8.3:
- Heroic Darkshore Warfront
- New PVP season
- New Mythic Keystone affix, “Corrupted”. Black Empire obelisks will now be present in mythic dungeons, pulling players into an alternate reality to face off against N’Zoth’s minions. “This will enable some interesting skips that don’t involve the use of Shroud of Concealment or Invisibility,” Ion said. This seems like one of the most involved affixes yet, and should pretty significantly change dungeon strategies.
All this is hitting the PTR today, so be sure to check it out.