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What's Coming in World of Warcraft Patch 8.2: Rise of Azshara

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Now that Patch 8.1.5 is live, it's time to find out what's coming in Rise of Azshara.

We should see the initial Patch 8.2 hit PTR fairly soon. Here's an overview of everything that's coming in Patch 8.2.

Table of Contents 

Intro 

Following the raid on the Zandalari capital of Dazar'alor, both the Alliance and the Horde are reeling and licking their wounds, as they set sail for the Great Blue Beyond and what they is a crack in the ocean, a chasm surrounded by waterfalls.

Nazjatar [Return to Top]

The 8.2 zone is the capital city of the naga race. We'll face Queen Azshara and her forces in combat here and below is a map of the new zone.

2019-03-20 16_24_50-BlizzCon 2018.png

The Horde will make friends with former Naga slaves, sea giants, crabs, and some sort of goblin creatures. The Alliance will befriend a deep sea tribe (depicted on the right).

2019-03-20 16_29_07-BlizzCon 2018.png

Nazjatar focuses on replayable content. They have a whole team working on sandbox systems and updated world quests across Nazjatar to help the world feel more alive. A whole new set of world quests awaits in the new zone, unlike anything we've ever seen. Public events will periodically pop up similar to Legion assaults. We should be seeing new stuff even after months of playing in Nazjatar. Timeless Isle shrines that spawned mini-events should also make a comeback here.

Here are some screenshots of early Nazjatar concept art from BlizzCon.

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Azshara's Eternal Palace Raid [Return to Top]

The headlining raid of Patch 8.2 will include 8 bosses. We will be investigating a Naga Hatchery and there may even be an underwater boss. The picture below shows off the bioluminescent Naga architecture of the raid entrance.

2019-03-20 17_19_51-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 17_25_10-BlizzCon 2018.png

Mechagon & Mechagon Megadungeon [Return to Top]

Mechagon is an ancient gnome city, and a secondary smaller zone coming in 8.2. Both factions are going to make friends with junker gnomes. We're going to learn a lot about their culture. We will find out that here is a gorgeous society inside yet another vault that we'll have to break our way into.

Inside there, the higher caste gnomes live. Those, that have given themselves over to King Mechagon and his vision to turn everybody into robotic components. In this society, the more robot parts you have, the higher up you go in society. Our junker gnome friends have decided that just wasn't for them, so we're going to help them break back into the city. The entrance to Mechagon is located in Boralus.

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Here is a shot of the city with King Mechagon's lightning shrouded palace in the background.

2019-03-20 20_19_04-BlizzCon 2018.png

We're going to meet a lot of new robot enemies that are on the side of King Mechagon and taking the fight to King Mechagon himself, in a new dungeon.

2019-03-20 20_19_09-BlizzCon 2018.png

The Megadungeon will feature 8 bosses and it will be Mythic only for a while. It will have two wings later on, similar to how Karazhan was handled back in Legion.

Here are some early shots of Mechagon.

2019-03-20 20_34_48-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_01-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_11-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_16-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_22-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_24-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_34-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 20_35_36-BlizzCon 2018.png

Mechagon Arena [Return to Top]

For all those who like PvP, Blizzard's adding a new arena in this area.

2019-03-20 20_58_22-BlizzCon 2018.png

Battle for Azeroth Season 3 [Return to Top]

We're going to see a Nazjatar-themed Affix similar to Infested & Reaping, an item level increase, and a new PvP Season. New mounts for Season 3 are Vicious Basilisks, and a new Gladiator proto-drake.

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Flying [Return to Top]

Flying will be added to the game along with new cool mounts that include bees and mechanical parrots.

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Heritage Armor [Return to Top]

The Tauren and the Gnomes are going to receive Heritage Armor in Rise of Azshara. Tauren will go on a spiritual journey with the spiritwalkers to find out why things are restless in Thunder Bluff. 

2019-03-20 20_42_20-BlizzCon 2018.png

If you're a gnomish engineer, you will receive goggles that you can put on your forehead.

2019-03-20 20_46_21-BlizzCon 2018.png

Heroic Warfronts [Return to Top]

According to the Vanion Interview, the goal of Heroic Warfronts is to bring the Normal raid experience that a group of friends can complete together. They're intended for 10+ players. They're not going to be challenging for Mythic raid groups, however. There are no plans to introduce new Warfronts in Patch 8.2.

Island Expeditions 

Two new Islands are planned, Crestfall and Snowblossom Village. Crestfall will be the first one to have some lore and will come wth elements of the Warcraft II map (dragon skeletons). Snowblossom Village is a small Pandaren town in the hills, where they've been fighting the vermin. 

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New Foes [Return to Top]

New enemies include Old God themed jellyfish and various Naga warriors.

2019-03-20 17_11_55-BlizzCon 2018.png

New Rewards 

We're going to see Naga themed armor sets in the Eternal Palace raid and various rewards, including a crab mount that walks sideways, and a Baby Naga pet wielding a tiny fork!

2019-03-20 17_13_33-BlizzCon 2018.png2019-03-20 17_17_41-BlizzCon 2018.png

The Story Continues... [Return to Top]

In a Taliesin & Evitel interview with Jeremy Feasel, it was revealed that Blizzard's moving away from gating the story. On a shot from BlizzCon, we also see Sylvanas wielding Xal'atath, which is quite interesting, because the Priest Artifact is returning as part of the Crucible of Storms raid intro.

2019-03-20 20_39_06-BlizzCon 2018.png

Quote

"The main storyline of BfA is Sylvanas' rise to power, how she's using it and how people react to that. It's the key to how we get to Nazjatar and what happens there."

Jeremy Feasel

We're going to continue helping Magni heal Azeroth. It's not great, but it's going to get better.

2019-03-20 20_41_02-BlizzCon 2018.png

System Updates [Return to Top]

Azerite Armor & Heart of Azeroth Improvements 

Game Director Ion Hazzikostas unveiled during the Live Q&A on December 14 that Azerite Armor will have all traits unlocked immediately in Rise of Azshara. They're shifting Artifact Power to Heart of Azeroth Heart of Azeroth, allowing you to unlock permanent powers, similar to Legion Artifacts. The neckpiece will offer a new avenue of progression that complements Azerite Armor. Azerite pieces are still going to have five rings.

Bodyguard System Returning 

Legion's bodyguard system is returning in Rise of Azshara. The initial plan was to make it work with Advanced AI, currently used in Island Expeditions & the Comp Stomp PvP Brawl. We'll have to wait until Patch 8.2 is available on PTR to find out more.

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Gonna say what I've done ever since Blizzcon: Junker Gnomes are gonna be the next allied race for the Alliance. Likely in 8.2.5, along with a Horde equivalent which will most likely be the Vulpera. I cannot believe it to be Gilblins, as they don't have what is needed for an actual race, such as male and female models, proper animations, etc. whereas the Vulpera have it all ready, rendered, and just needs the flip of a switch.

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6 hours ago, Lampanelli said:

Gonna say what I've done ever since Blizzcon: Junker Gnomes are gonna be the next allied race for the Alliance. Likely in 8.2.5, along with a Horde equivalent which will most likely be the Vulpera. I cannot believe it to be Gilblins, as they don't have what is needed for an actual race, such as male and female models, proper animations, etc. whereas the Vulpera have it all ready, rendered, and just needs the flip of a switch.

Allied races thus far are just alternate versions of existing races.  To me, that says Vulpera wouldn't be added as an Allied Race, but rather just a new playable race.  Junker Gnomes definitely make sense (or specifically, Mechagnomes, as we saw in this post), but I can't see Vulpera being added as an Allied Race.  The only thing that maybe leans toward that (to me) is that they seem to have pretty similar movement to Goblins, so they could potentially use their skeleton?  Even so, that'd be the furthest an Allied Race has gone from their "parent race" for lack of a better term, by a long shot.  Interesting thoughts though. 

Another thing to remember is what Ion said - while Allied Races would be initially introduced in pairs, they might be added one at a time later, since they are more for lore purposes rather than equality.  That could mean that Junker/Mechagnomes get introduced, with a Horde counterpart set to come out further down the road.

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3 hours ago, Worldcrusher said:

Allied races thus far are just alternate versions of existing races.  To me, that says Vulpera wouldn't be added as an Allied Race, but rather just a new playable race.  Junker Gnomes definitely make sense (or specifically, Mechagnomes, as we saw in this post), but I can't see Vulpera being added as an Allied Race.  The only thing that maybe leans toward that (to me) is that they seem to have pretty similar movement to Goblins, so they could potentially use their skeleton?  Even so, that'd be the furthest an Allied Race has gone from their "parent race" for lack of a better term, by a long shot.  Interesting thoughts though. 

Another thing to remember is what Ion said - while Allied Races would be initially introduced in pairs, they might be added one at a time later, since they are more for lore purposes rather than equality.  That could mean that Junker/Mechagnomes get introduced, with a Horde counterpart set to come out further down the road.

The Vulpera have similar movements because they are actually based off the Goblin skeletons, and reuses most of their animations. As such, they would count as an alternative Goblin model as well.

If you then think that it would be too much work or something similar, keep in mind that the Kul'Tiran's got a brand new skeleton to work with, which makes them technically the furthest removed from any of the other races. Clearly Blizz is not against adding in some extra leg work to make a fitting allied race, and having fur texture is a good deal less effort than creating something from scratch.

As for the Ion quote, I do agree that one could never know there, however I think that is mostly put as a save for them, in case they need to release a pair and can't get the second one out quickly enough. They have had quite a lot of backlash lately, with people taking their quotes and use it against them, so this gives them something to fall back on in the worst case scenario.

Besides, I doubt that they will add fuel to the BFA fire by showing a bias towards one faction by giving them something new and shiny, whilst the others are told to just wait until they feel like they have the time. They might well do, but it would be a rather stupid PR move. Though perhaps they may do so when it comes to the Forsaken and Worgen equivalents, as so far, we only know there are Alliance-based undeads, but haven't seen anything resembling a counter to the Worgen model. I will concede that in that situation, it might get delayed whilst they try to shoehorn in something, though when it comes to 8.2.5, I will remain convinced that Mechagnomes will come with a Horde equivalent, and the Giblins just doesn't have enough made for them to make sense. Hence, Vulpera.

Plus, Gilblins are lame, and the laziest reskin I have yet seen in the game.

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I am curious on season 3's fourth Dungeon affix.  The Reaping affix currently in season 2 I find enjoyable and I hope that season 3 will not be in any way or form similar to season 1's affix.  I do like the Heritage armor for the Tauren and I am curious on what will be the unlock requirements for flying and if we are going to have a map similar to Argus that will be a nonf-flying zone.

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10 hours ago, Worldcrusher said:

Allied races thus far are just alternate versions of existing races.  To me, that says Vulpera wouldn't be added as an Allied Race, but rather just a new playable race.  Junker Gnomes definitely make sense (or specifically, Mechagnomes, as we saw in this post), but I can't see Vulpera being added as an Allied Race.  The only thing that maybe leans toward that (to me) is that they seem to have pretty similar movement to Goblins, so they could potentially use their skeleton?  Even so, that'd be the furthest an Allied Race has gone from their "parent race" for lack of a better term, by a long shot.  Interesting thoughts though. 

Another thing to remember is what Ion said - while Allied Races would be initially introduced in pairs, they might be added one at a time later, since they are more for lore purposes rather than equality.  That could mean that Junker/Mechagnomes get introduced, with a Horde counterpart set to come out further down the road.

I guarantee Blizz will always release Allied races in 2's. One for alliance and one for horde. The community backlash alone would be enough to force this.

Also - Allied races being based on other models in the game isnt a requirement. Kul TIrans were created from the ground up, so that really opens the door for what is possible.

While we will never know for sure what an allied race is until its announced, i think vulpera and snake men are possible options. It fits in nicely with the lore, but also the HoA power up and cloak animations were datamined for both models. The only races that have these are playable races. Could totally be something the dev team was playing around with, but it shows they were considering it.

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52 minutes ago, Ragingwolf said:

I am curious on season 3's fourth Dungeon affix.  The Reaping affix currently in season 2 I find enjoyable and I hope that season 3 will not be in any way or form similar to season 1's affix.  I do like the Heritage armor for the Tauren and I am curious on what will be the unlock requirements for flying and if we are going to have a map similar to Argus that will be a nonf-flying zone.

More then likely they will add nazjatar , it could be like Argus and pathfinder pt2 will only be in “zandalar and kul taras “ zones but it’s to early in the expansion to assume it will be these zones since this could be the version of our broken isles and flying be able 

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20 hours ago, Stan said:

The Horde will make friends with former Naga slaves, sea giants, crabs, and some sort of goblin creatures. The Alliance will befriend a deep sea tribe (depicted on the right).

Yes!  

20 hours ago, Stan said:

They have a whole team working on sandbox systems and updated world quests across Nazjatar to help the world feel more alive. 

...another win.  Sandbox is the wave of the future and it'll help the game stay relevant if they can do it right, IMO.
 

20 hours ago, Stan said:

Mechagon is an ancient gnome city, and a secondary smaller zone coming in 8.2. 

and I have no idea what theyre going to do with this lore-wise or anything, but im excited AF for it.  Ive always felt like the gnomes have been like a 2nd hand race in WoW.  Mekkatorque's fight was the first big thing I can remember since Retaking Gnomeregan and Millhouse Manastorm lol.

 

20 hours ago, Stan said:

a crab mount that walks sideways, and a Baby Naga pet wielding a tiny fork!

bahahahaha!

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I am really looking forward to 8.2  As Flying is a long time coming and I am also interested to know what we will have to do for Part 2 of Pathfinder, and my guess is it will be similar to what we had to do in Legion Pathfinder Part 2

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