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WoWJan 14, 2020 9:00 am CT

Patch 8.3: Everything you need to know to be ready for patch day

Patch 8.3 is coming out today! Here’s everything you need to know about the changes and new features coming in the patch to get you up to speed for release day.

New Allied Races and Death Knights

One of the more anticipated updates has been the inclusion of two new Allied Races — Mechagnomes and Vulpera. We can’t help but love more cosmetic options. The two races should be relatively easy to unlock if you’ve been playing at any point during this expansion. To unlock the Vulpera, Horde players just need to complete the Vol’dun Loremaster achievement Secrets in the Sands as well as attain exalted reputation with the Voldunai. This is something most Horde players would have already. From then you just complete the the quest chain to recruit the Vulpera when you log in on Tuesday.

Unlocking Mechagnomes is a little more involved, but if you had been playing in patch 8.2 and unlocked flying, you’re likely already there. If not, it can be a bit of a grind. You need to complete the Mechagon meta achievement (The Mechagonian Threat / The Mechagonian Threat). You’ll be doing this anyway when trying to grind Rustbolt reputation, which you’ll need to be at exalted. Once you reach exalted — and also complete the meta achievement by completing the quest inside Operation: Mechagon — you can start the quest chain to recruit your newest robotic friends on Alliance.

Not only do we get two new Allied Races, but Death Knights will be playable for every Allied Race as well as finally for Pandaren. Originally, the new Death Knight options were supposed to be a feature coming in Shadowlands, since, you know, it’s going to deal with the whole life and death and afterlife thing. However, if you have pre-ordered Shadowlands, you’ll get access to all the additional Death Knight races in patch 8.3 when it comes out next week. It’s similar to how the original Allied Races were added in patch 7.3.5 for anyone who pre-ordered Legion. They’ve also been fiddling with eye glows as the PTR has progressed, so all Death Knights will benefit from new cosmetic eye graphics.

N’Zoth assaults our world

The events at the end of Azshara’s Eternal Palace bring N’Zoth out in the open and patch 8.3 reflects the havoc he can wreak unrestrained. Instead of a new zone for the last major content patch, à la Tanaan or Argus, N’Zoth is hitting hard at the areas he perceives as threats — Titan facilities. The open world content in patch 8.3 will feature Titan Assaults in Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The zones will temporarily change during these assaults with all kinds of enemies, objectives, and quests. Complete the assault by filling the progress bar to spawn the enemy leader. There are three World Bosses that appear in the corrupted zones that drop 445 ilvl loot. Speaking of Vale of Eternal Blossoms, it’s finally restored to the beauty it was before we mucked everything up with an Old God — at least when it’s not being assaulted by the latest Old God to cross our paths.

We also get new content in the form of a progressive scenario. Horrific Visions show us what could happen if Stormwind and Orgrimmar were to succumb to N’Zoth’s influence. They can be completed solo or with up to four friends, so you can do them no matter what type of content you prefer to play. Here’s what you need to know to succeed in Horrific Vision runs.

There is an introduction questline that you’ll want to complete when you log into the patch — it takes about 1.5-2 hours and will run you through everything you’ll need to know about the patch’s major systems. Once you do that, you can run Horrific Visions every week to upgrade your new legendary cloak, get the new Essences, and earn rewards. Everything is done through the Corrupted Mementos currency that you earn inside the scenario, and you’ll be able to explore further into Horrific Visions by upgrading your Titanic Research Archive.

A legendary cloak

Wrathion’s been busy for, uh, several expansions, but he reappears in patch 8.3 to make us another legendary cloak. Ashjra’kamas, Shroud of Resolve will be integral to making our way through the Horrific Visions scenario. Ion hinted that the cloak would be used to defeat N’Zoth, but they may have changed their minds. That might be a good thing, however. Balancing raid encounters is always tricky, and trying to factor in players’ cloaks just complicates things.

But don’t fear that Wrathion’s only purpose is to provide us with fancy back cover. He also sells some interesting things, purchasable with currency obtained from Horrific Visions. You’ll be able to buy a Wicked Swarmer mount, gem slots for some of your gear, and even a transmoggable backpack.

Season 4 and the final raid tier

Season 4 of Battle for Azeroth will be coming in patch 8.3, which includes the new Mythic+ season and affix, as well as the final raid tier to conclude the expansion’s story and lead us into Shadowlands. The new raid — Ny’alotha, the Waking City — will take us to N’Zoth’s stronghold and up against the Old God himself. It opens up two weeks after the patch goes live and it will include 12 bosses with a single raid skip.

For Mythic+, Season 4 will bring a new affixAwakened. As usual with a new season, the dungeons and loot are scaled up. Dungeons have been scaled up by 52.6%, which means keys will be about 4.5 levels harder. Operation: Mechagon will be added to the Mythic+ lineup as two dungeons, much like Karazhan was split in Legion. On the bright side, we also get some changes to Mythic+ rewards and the weekly cache. Loot will also be scaled up. The cap for gear seems to be from completing a +15, awarding 465 ilvl gear in the dungeon chest and 475 gear (Mythic raid level) in the weekly cache. Corruption will be guaranteed on all cache rewards except trinkets, though you may or may not want to cleanse them. It appears cloaks won’t drop, as not to compete with the legendary cloak we’ll have.

Gear affixes and more Heart of Azeroth levels

Titanforging is going away and being replaced by a new gear mechanic: Corruption. It will basically add a randomized buff to your gear, while including a proportionate amount of Corruption, depending on how good your affix is. It will be a balancing act between equipping Corrupted pieces for their buffs and avoiding stacking too much Corruption, which causes very bad things will happen. Upgrading your legendary cloak and wearing any of the new Essences will help mitigate that Corruption influence, allowing you to wear more Corrupted gear and benefit from the positive effects. However, you can also choose to just cleanse gear and not worry about any of that.

Our Heart of Azeroth is also getting updated, by adding new neck levels up to level 85 and an additional Minor Slot for Essences. We also get seven brand new Essences.

Alts get a little help

We get new catch-up gear via Bind-on-Account tokens to help out our alts. The gear from these tokens will be 410 ilvl, except for Azerite Armor which will be 415. The Timewalking weekly event quest will reward a Heroic-level cache, up from Normal-level cache reward that we have been getting all expansion. This should greatly help out alts since completing five Timewalking dungeons is simple. Need more help gearing your alts in 8.3? We have a few gearing tips.

Essences have been the major bottleneck to alt playability and, while we’re not getting an account-wide system players have been asking for, some are at least a little easier to acquire. Requirements for the reputation Essences from Nazjatar and Mechagon have been lowered. Rank 4 of Memory of Lucid Dreams will be account-wide, due to a change that makes progress on several achievements account-wide.

Mounts, Pets, Heritage Armor, and more

Praise be, we finally get Heritage Armor for Worgen and Goblins. You won’t need to level up a new Worgen or Goblin for these, unless you don’t have one already. Just make sure you’re at max level and exalted with your race’s faction to start the questline.

There is a new vendor for Island Expeditions who will sell Salvage Crates that will include random loot from the different factions. If you’ve been angling for a certain transmog item, mount, or pet, these are a way to farm for another drop chance. There are a whole host of new mounts coming with the patch, including our favorite alpacas. Obviously we also get new pets to accompany the mounts, but also pet battle changes.

And finally, while it seems minor in the whole scheme of things for everything coming in this patch, we get one more awaited change — a revamped Auction House UI. This has been requested for years and it is much needed. The revamp will make it easier to buy from the Auction House, set up shopping lists, and hopefully get rid of the individual item stacks that have plagued the Auction House for years.

Now we just have to hope patch day maintenance won’t be too bad.

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