Patch 8.3: Visions of N’Zoth introduces Ny’alotha, brings on Old God assaults, and… restores the Vale of Eternal Blossoms?!
Surprise! An 18-minute developer update — basically a mini-BlizzCon — from Game Director Ion Hazzikostas has revealed what’s coming up in World of Warcraft patch 8.3. You can watch the full update here, or scroll down to see a point-by-point breakdown of everything we know about patch 8.3 so far.
So let’s break down the major talking points, shall we?
New Raid: Ny’alotha, the Waking City
If you assumed Sylvanas would be the final boss of Battle for Azeroth, I have some bad news for you: Barring a mini-raid and a hypothetical patch 8.3.5, N’Zoth is the final boss of Battle for Azeroth. He’ll be coming alongside a 12-boss raid through Ny’alotha.
Interestingly, Ion says we’ll need all of our might and everything we’ve learned in order to “emerge triumphant and save Azeroth” — no mention of actually killing N’Zoth, though. I might be reading into things there, but we don’t have the best track record of killing end-of-raid bosses this expansion.
Assaults will take us to Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms
Remember assaults? They’re back! Channeling what is now becoming an expansion tradition, N’Zoth and his minions are going to start assaulting Titan facilities. Ion mentioned this would only happen in two locations — Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms — but it sounds like the scale of the assaults will be across the whole zone.
New Feature: Horrific Visions
“By completing assaults, you’ll be able to earn your way into the deepest recesses of N’Zoth’s mind and the reality that’s seeking to manifest itself across Azeroth.”
Horrific Visions are 1-to-5 player content centered around Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Ion “guarantees” you will not make it very far into these Horrific Visions the first time you attempt one. The way he describes these, they sound incredibly similar to the Deaths of Chromie scenario from Legion. The more you do them, the more you’ll learn about how to do them before succumbing to madness. And, presumably, you’ll also earn power-ups and bonuses that make each successive attempt easier (again, just like in the Deaths of Chromie scenario). It’s also worth noting that Ion points out we can do these entirely solo, comparing that particular approach to the challenges offered by the Mage Tower.
The return of Wrathion, legendary-cloak Tailor extraordinaire
About. Freaking. Time.
Wrathion may have missed his big moment with the return of the Burning Legion, but his reappearance in patch 8.2.5 was just the beginning. He’s coming back in full force in patch 8.3 and it looks like he’s going to do what he does best: Make us legendary cloaks!
…Okay, yeah, of all the things I expected Wrathion to have been up to all this time, I have to admit that “coming up with new ways to make cloaks” was not one of them. But here we are, and here he is, and apparently we’re going to need these cloaks to properly fight N’Zoth. Initially, it will provide a shield against N’Zoth’s sanity-draining attacks, allowing us to delve further into the aforementioned Horrific Visions. It sounds like it will also be something we want on our side during the N’Zoth fight proper.
Beyond improving his tailoring skills, Matt has some thoughts on what Wrathion’s up to.
New Allied Races: Vulpera for the Horde and Mechagnomes for the Alliance
Okay, look, if you didn’t see this coming, I’m sorry to say, but you were missing the writing on the wall. Regardless, Vulpera have been a long-desired addition to the Horde and have been on everyone’s central Bingo square since we first saw them as a new race in Battle for Azeroth. Mechagnomes, on the other hand… well, I’m not really an Alliance player, so I’m not sure how Alliance players are feeling about them right now. But they’ve also seemed like a fairly obvious candidate, especially if players are correct in thinking Tinkerers are going to be a new class in the next expansion.
Heritage Armor for Goblins and Worgen
A lot of players were disappointed to find out that patch 8.2.5 would be introducing new models for Goblins and Worgen but would not be adding in their respective Heritage Armor quest chains. Not surprisingly, the Heritage Armor quest chains have officially been announced as part of patch 8.3. And even though, again, neither of these races is one I play on my main… I gotta say that Worgen top hat is something to be envious of.
It wouldn’t be a new Battle for Azeroth patch without new Heart of Azeroth rewards, would it? We’ll be getting new Essence slots as well as more Essences to put in those slots. At the moment, it’s unclear what these Essences will do, but the screenshot from the video appeared to have 4 Minor Essence slots in total, as well as 6 of the “increases Stamina” nodes in between those slots. However, it’s unconfirmed as to whether or not those nodes will increase Stamina or some other stat.
Another change we’ll be getting is one to Titanforging. As a way of tying this change to the lore, Ion mentioned this is a result Titan facilities being assaulted by Old God forces. The team isn’t quite sure how this will be implemented, but it’s something to keep an eye on as the PTR unfolds.
Auction House overhaul
This one is a bit of an out-of-left-field surprise that’s no less a very, very welcome one. Apparently, this is something that’s been in the works for over a year, since around the launch of the expansion. The goal is to make it a smoother overall experience and also one that is tailored to how most players use the Auction House.
The first big change is that stackable items can be purchased in portions. If you see a stack of 200 Flasks but only need 3 for your raid night, you can buy those 3 and the stack will then become a stack of 197 for whomever wishes to buy flasks from that same seller. The second is that you can favorite items and create a shopping list. This is great if you can never remember the specific name of the gem or enchant you need or what type of food actually gives you Haste instead of Crit.
All in all, it sounds like the experience will be much smoother for all involved, and hopefully create a less frustrating Auction House experience for casual and hardcore Auction House goers alike.
Season 4 Mythic+ Affix
And finally, what would be a new major patch without new PVP and PVE Seasons? In that latter category, Old God corruption is seeping into dungeons. This takes the form of Black Empire obelisks. If you interact with one, you’re pulled into an alternate world where one of N’Zoth’s powerful lieutenants stands guard. If you defeat the mini-boss, you’ll be teleported out of the alternate reality exactly where you stand — you won’t go back to where you entered. This will create some interesting dynamics where players can skip portions of the dungeon without Cloak of Shadows or Invisibility Potions.
Of course, skipping that trash doesn’t come with consequence. Namely — and presumably only if you’re below 100% on the amount of trash cleared — the enemies you skipped will all come after you during the last boss fight. Sounds like a good ol’ time!
Patch 8.3 is available on the PTR for today, if not already by the time this post is completed. Be sure to keep an eye on this site for more updates — and lots of up-close looks at the new content! — as they become available.
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