Patch 8.3 Visions of N’Zoth: My Thoughts
A Patch 8.3 announcement just a little over 3 weeks before Blizzcon?
This makes me feel like whatever they are going to be announcing at Blizzcon for World of Warcraft, is going to be big.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but when we’re at a Blizzcon when we expect an expansion announcement (every 2 years), we get the hype speech, the big announcement and an amazing launch cinematic…right?
Then the free broadcast finishes, the Virtual Ticket kicks in and we settle down to watch the ‘What’s Next for World of Warcraft Panel’ and squee collectively about all the cool new things that are coming for the rest of our current expansion and a taster of what’s next. Unless they explicitly tell us when Beta is starting – speculation intensifies at this point.
So the fact that we’re getting this now?
My spidey senses are pinging around my brain like a crazy pinball machine – hitting various synapses and lighting them up momentarily before being booted to the next area.
If you haven’t already watched it – here is the video in its entirety with my notes below. It’s a long post folks – get a coffee and settle in!
0:00 – 1:30 Classic stuff
1:31 – 2:00 Recap on 8.2.5 and the Saurfang vs Sylvanas cinematic
2:01 – 2:42 Patch 8.3 coverage begins – we finally know for sure that N’Zoth is who we’re facing off with.
2:43 …so it’s “Visions of N’Zoth” – I immediately got stuck on the word Visions. His visions? Ours? So they’re not real? Just visions? Is it a possible future the way we’ve played in Mechagon ? Is it set in our time?
Ion goes on to explain that it’s the world as N’Zoth would have it – a shadowed place that is piercing through the veil into our reality. In laymen’s terms, it’s like another dimension is breaking through into ours.
Hazelnuttygames absolutely nailed it in her reaction stream when she said, “This is WoW…Stranger Things” – and omg, she’s totally right. It’s WoW’s version of the UPSIDE-DOWN.
Patch 8.3 World of Warcraft Stranger Things
2:52 Ion says that for the first time we’re going to see an Old God unleashed in their full form. Not just an eye or a weakened in prison or a mouth (or whatever) as we’ve had before – but fully unleashed.
I should mention at this point that the vocal minority of the WoW community then reacted to the appearance of N’Zoth’s model via WoWhead and proclaimed that he was far too small because the vocal minority are clearly the experts and Blizzard is clearly so very wrong about their OWN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. (/endsarcasm).
The Old god unleashed
3:15 As soon as Ion says that N’Zoth is ‘free to roam Azeroth’ – I already know what’s coming – and that we’re going to see existing world content change at times – to be under his influence and at other times not.
3:23 We hear about Nyalotha and how it IS the domain of the Black Empire.
I’m a bit taken aback as I soon realise that this is the raid instance for Patch 8.3 and that it’s not an entire zone on its own.
Taliesin talks about his desire for *more* than this – as he felt the entire idea of Nyalotha was worthy of exploration as a physical zone, not just as a raid zone. I’m inclined to agree – but I have a feeling that timing of this announcement and it’s proximity to Blizzcon means that we won’t have to wait long to find out if we get to explore the Black Empire as our next expansion – or if this is just it and we’re headed somewhere else completely.
4:02 I find myself pausing scrubbing backwards and listening several times to Ions words – here they are verbatim:
“…because this has been a Battle for Azeroth between the Alliance and the Horde, but it’s also always been a Battle for the safety of Azeroth, for the future of Azeroth that our heroes have been waging all along and this now is coming to its conclusion.”
I’m trying to interpret his words in the simplest way possible but I find myself with several possible explanations.
The battle (war between factions) is over.
The battle for the safety of Azeroth is coming to its conclusion.
Does this mean that we are no longer a threat to each other ?
Will they remove factions? No, surely not. Will they become a cosmetic choice? Surely not.
Will they release the racial restrictions between factions? Cynical me wonders if this might be a cash shop thing “be a horde mechagnome! Just 20 million gold or one of your kidneys!”
What if we don’t win?
What if an event of this *cough* eh-hem CATACLYSMIC *cough* significance heralds in a new Azeroth? Surely WoW 2.0 is not actually on the table?
Am I overthinking this?
One could argue that retail WoW is already WoW 2.0 …or at least 8.3 at this point if you compare it in style and nature to Classic – live WoW is beautiful, glorious even in its own style and I don’t think a full reboot is even necessary.
Why have several major WoW employees told prominent members of the community words to the effect of, “If you are ever going to be at a Blizzcon, then make sure it’s 2019, it’s going to be huge.”
I’m not sure my hype-o-meter is going to survive the next 20 days and 21 hours until Blizzcon at this rate. I need answers!!
Patch 8.3 Titan Facilities are under assault
4:20 Ion goes on to say that Titan Facilities are the key to containing the threat of NZoth which is why they’re under assault by his minions.
He specifically mentions Uldum and the Veil of Eternal Blossoms. Two of my absolute favourite zones!
Uldum! One of my favourite zones – I’m excited to be spending more time there (compared to how I already do farming Volatiles for that sweet selling mount the Sandstone Drake)
When he moves on to talking about another titan facility “Mogushan Vaults” I can’t help but wonder…hang on, that was in Kun-Lai Summit…wasn’t it? But oh well – if it means we get a restored Vale of the Eternal Blossoms count me in!
Patch 8.3 Restores the Vale of Eternal Blossoms
Vale: I’m very happy that the Veil of Eternal Blossoms is being restored to its former beauty. It was my favourite zone in MoP -and when we woke up to a smoking ruin on the day Patch 5.4 hit – it’s the first time in a game that I was emotionally motivated to hunt down the NPC responsible (Garrosh Hellscream).
Invasions – Incursions – Assaults – Potato – Potahto
On hearing the word ‘Assaults’ I’m instantly wondering how similar these would be to Legion invasions from the Broken Shore and Incursions that we’ve had in Battle for Azeroth. Taliesin, Hazelnutty and Preach have all expressed similar concerns.
However I find my mind drifting back a little further to when we first saw this concept go live – during the pre Legion launch i.e. patch 7.0 when we had Burning Legion invasions in Westfall…and…some horde zone I never went to? (yikes, I’ve forgotten which). I did some digging…it turns out there were 6 zones affected – hah, clearly I saw no reason to venture further than next door to my capital city.
This content feels very pre-patchy. Except we’re getting a raid. They’ve clearly gone off-piste with their release schedule.
Are they cutting Battle for Azeroth short?
Is this all just a ruse to make us wonder and then blow our minds at Blizzcon?
7:20 Ion announces a new feature, “Horrific Visions”…which are something we earn our way into by completing assaults…oh.my.god…more…currencies to grind. (I tell you, I have horrific visions of having to grind more currencies…)
He goes on to describe them and likens them to the challenge of the mage tower – but with one key difference. It’s 1-5 player content. That is a HUGE difference for me. I’m not a huge fan of a solo challenge (even though I did do the mage tower on my main) – but as a group? I’m all over that. That sounds like WAY more fun.
They take place in Stormwind and Orgrimmar…
8:30 Wrathion…yup, that asshole that had us spend countless hours in MoP raids to add knick knacks to his personal curio collection in exchange for a legendary cloak…is WAIT WHAT…?
Ok. I confess. I loved the legendary questline in MoP. I did it 4 times. So I’m not complaining, but my god I can smell the smoke from the official forums already…
The stuff we bring back from Horrific Visions is going to be given to Magni and M.O.T.H.E.R. for analysis to unlock another *cough* GRIND *cough* talent tree – to help us improve against the visions.
Do we really need another talent tree?
These purpose of these Horrific Visions is clearly to;
- keep us busy while they’re beta-ing the sh*t out of whatever the next expansion is and
- keep third party websites in business due to us having to throw money at them to find out which talents, sorry “upgrades” we should be selecting.
My personal opinion is that there better be some sweet loot or cosmetic rewards to make this worthwhile…
11:53 Heart of Azeroth update…further essence slots. *insert sound of dying trumpet*… my HoA is about to ding level 70 and I am SO READY to WALLOW in all that gold that I’m going to be getting instead of AP from missions and quests…god I hope Patch 8.3 doesn’t go live till January. I’m not sure I’m ready for more AP farming.
12:18 HOLD THE PHONE …
“Will the assault on titanforges, alter the nature of titanforging?”
ION. YOU TEASE.
This makes it sound like we’re getting valor points (or some new name for a new grind) to be in better control of this ourselves. The absolute best case scenario I can imagine here – is that by participating in end-game content whether that be raiding, horrific visions or whatever, that your gear TITAN FORGES ITSELF. Please, please PLEASE let that be how this works. (It won’t be, but YOU CAN’T KILL HOPE).
Patch 8.3 Brings us 2 new allied races!
12:58 New Allied Races!
NOW JUST YOU WAIT A MINUTE BLIZZARD. What in the actual f*ck do you think you are doing breaking your own rules?
“An allied race is a race that is a variation on an existing race” – some dev at blizzcon on some panel at some point.
SO HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE HORDE GETTING THIS?
The only fair equivalent for the alliance at this point should have been Sethrak. They way they’re designed, the unique way that they move? They’re amazing! I’m gutted that they’re not going to get the time to become fully fledged allies… (BUT YOU CAN’T KILL HOPE!)
I honestly do not care that the Vulpera are built on the Goblin rig – they have absolutely ZERO connection to the goblins in lore.
Alliance get mechagnomes? I mean they’re nice and all – but if this was fair and unbiased the horde equivalent would have been Gilblins.
14:15 COMPLETE AUCTION HOUSE OVERHAUL!! At long last!!
Also this just in…footage of Tradeskillmaster HQ shortly after the announcement …
16:15 The ability to create shopping lists for yourself! This has been a long time coming – and usually taken care of by addons.
16:55 A heroic version of the Darkshore warfront. I will do this if gear is an upgrade. Nice to have for boosting alts gear levels. Will not grind. Am burnt out on warfronts ☹ Will say this though – it’s been a fun thing to do with a group of guildies on random weekend evenings !
Patch 8.3 New Mythic Plus Affix
17:05 A new Mythic+ affix! This one actually sounds amazing! It’s going to be good across the board from MDI players to people working their way up!
Skips by way of the void! This will change the way the dungeons play, depending on our gear and skill level. We’d be more inclined to deal with the mini-bosses that spawn early on in the season and more likely to skip them and then just zerg everything down on the final boss in extremely risky moves. CANNOT WAIT!!
The basic premise is – interact with one of the Obelisks – enter a voidy rift, whilst there choose to either engage with one of NZoth’s lieutenants – or pull him to the place where you want to exit the vision – and when you’ve dispatched him – you will re-emerge from the voidy rift where you pulled him to. This promises to be super interesting!
That – in a nutshell (hah – if your’e still reading, thank you) is all that was brought up during this update delivered via YouTube.
How do you feel about the new mythic plus affix? The allied races? Let me know in the comments below.
Countdown timer to Blizzcon now active!
Countdown to Blizzcon 2019!