It’s Patch Day heroes of Azeroth! With the release of World of Warcraft’s newest Patch, Tides of Vengeance, this week we’ll be giving you the crash course of what’s now available across the isles of Kul Tiras and Zandalar!
For those of you worried about Raid and Rated PvP progression, fret not! Battle for Azeroth Season 2 won’t be released until the newest raid, Battle for Dazar’alor unlocks in the US on January 22nd. This means that until later in the new year all ratings, gear, Mythic Keystone and Raid content will remain unchanged. After the Normal and Heroic release of BFDZ gearcaps on World Quests, Mythic+ and Titanforging will increase, as well as the new introductions of the Rated Battleground season and the Mythic+ Seasonal Affix.
The newest and largest addition will, of course, be the new Battle for Darkshore Warfront. The Horde will begin in control of the zone while the Alliance prepares for their attack on the Forsaken fortifications. Arathi and Darkshore will now cycle independently during their Warfront cycles, meaning that if one is not up, the other may be up for players to participate. Warfront turn-ins will be limited to 3 daily quests for each warfront per day (meaning 6 total with both Arathi and Darkshore in play). Warfronts will now have a new additional currency, Service Medals. This can be turned in to a new factional vendor for mounts, toys, and pets.
With the addition of the Warfront are more quests added to your faction’s War Campaign. Launching in a staggered method similar to the Suramar Rebellion questline, new quests will unlock weekly up to the release of the Battle for Dazar’alor. These will still require set tiers of reputation with either the 7th Legion or Honorbound (depending on your faction), though past quests will now award additional reputation to help make this easier.
The Horde also has a new questline involving the on-the-run Varok Saurfang, as he dodges Alliance Forces and escapes Horde Assassins. It will be up to you to either follow your Warchief’s commands or protect the Highlord and begin your own little rebellion…
Island Expeditions have seen several new additions to their roster, including new weekly quests which reward additional Elite follower missions, multiple new events, and invasions, as well as additional AI teams for the two newest allied races. Havenswood and Jorundall have also been added to the weekly island rotation, the former a Drust-like terror and the later the frosty home of a Vrykul tribe. A new Seafarer’s Dubloon vendor has been added to each port in Dazar’alor and Boralus, allowing players to spend their hard-earned currency on toys, mounts and more. Island Rewards have now also been updated across the board, and are now rewarded based on what type of island you’ve explored instead of the types of rares a team kills on an island. While this means you may potentially have more chances per week to earn the rewards you want, it may be quite some time until your particular island make an appearance in the rotation.
New to Battle for Azeroth are coastal Incursions. Inspired by and drawing heavily from the Demonic Assaults from the Legion expansion, the Horde and Alliance forces are finally making their move. Finally hitting landfall on enemy shores, players who have a level 110 character, unlocked World Quests and have participated in their War Campaign will unlock Incursions for their entire account. These will cycle between both Kul Tiras and Zandalar and will appear on the world map while in action. Max level characters will be awarded reputation, Service Medals, and epic quality gear while leveling characters will not only receive experience but an additional 1-hour buff that boosts experience gains!
New for Dwarven and Blood Elf players is the introduction of their own racial Heritage Armor! These are unlocked through several rather involved quests, uncovering the pivotal history of each race and assembling relics of the past. While there does not appear to be any restrictions on the PTR, players report that you must simply have a character at level 120 (which may have been race changed) of that specific race in order to unlock the questline.
For those with an itch to catch them all, a new Pet Battle Dungeon has been released with Patch 8.1; Gnomeregan! Similar in structure to the previous pet dungeons in the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns, Gnomeregan features two different difficulties with its own sets of rewards; players completing the normal version will receive an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone to max out one of their pets, while those participating in the Challenge Version can receive a new pet. Players who complete Challenge mode each week can earn Pristine Gizmos which can be traded in for rare pets or various pet supplies.
For Mythic+ players a new currency has been introduced: Titan Residuum. When opening your weekly chest, scrapping or disenchanting any epic Azerite Armor players can collect this new currency. Thaumaturge Vashreen is back in business alongside his brethren, and will now gladly exchange your Residuu for Azerite Armor. These pieces are randomly selected from a specific bracket, but players can spend more to buy specific pieces of item level 385 Azerite Armor. This new currency will be carried over after the launch of Season 2.
For players worried about what people think about them, factions have now been updated to be account wide! Unlocking one faction’s exalted rewards will now carry out across all characters for your account but will not reward progress for them; while now ALL your characters can upgrade their Heart of Azeroth through the of Azeroth questline, you still need to grind reputation on ONE character for specific Reputation Achievements.
As such, new Paragon rewards have been introduced to the Battle for Azeroth factions dotting Kul Tiras and Zandalar. Similar to Legion players will now be able to receive additional bonus chests from factions after gaining another 10’000 reputation past exalted. Thankfully, however, the rewards therein are limited to toys, currency, armor, and other collectibles. This time there is no Valarjar Stormwing to haunt your nightmares.
The Tides of Vengeance have come to the shores of Azeroth. What are you doing this week to fight in the war?