Patch 10.1 Preview - Embers of Neltharion
Blizzard shared a preview of Patch 10.1 yesterday and we've recapped the information below!

  • Zaralek Caverns is the new zone of the patch, located underneath the Dragon Isles.
  • A new race of mole people called the Niffin live here, and are the new renown reputation faction for the patch.
  • Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible is the new raid. It has 9 bosses.
  • Cross-faction guilds will be available at launch.
  • Season 2 Mythic Plus dungeons are Freehold, The Underrot, Vortex Pinnacle, Neltharion's Lair, Brackenhide Hollow, Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr, Halls of Infusion, and Neltharus.
  • Seasonal affixes are being retired in Mythic Plus. There is no longer an additional affix at keystone level 10.
  • Item upgrading is being revamped to be more streamlined between all upgrade methods.
  • World content, such as Fyrakk Assaults, will be added to keep the original Dragon Isles zones relevant.
  • Tier gear is getting improved to be more deterministic and less reliant on luck to obtain.

Patch Timing
  • Patch 10.0.7 releases on March 21 in North America and March 22 in Europe.
  • Patch 10.1 goes on the PTR later this week.

New Zone - Zaralek Caverns
  • This zone was planned from the beginning, it is where the story has been taking us the entire time.
  • You can fly into the caverns from Thaldraszus, Azure Span and Ohn'ahran Plains and there won't be a loading screen.
  • The zone feels very grand and was designed with Dragonriding in mind.
  • Players will be able to use Dragonriding in Zaralek Cavern right away.
  • The impact of the Primalist aspects will be felt in the story.
  • Zaralek has three different biomes:
    • Sulfur pools and dangerous vapors from the caustic chemicals are the dumping ground for failed experiments in Neltharion's lab.
    • The Crystalline Caverns have stalagmites and stalactites made of rock and crystal.
    • The volcanic regions have lava flows, bubbling pools, and twisted spires of hardened lava. The Djaradin live here.
  • The cavern is slightly larger than Zereth Mortis.
  • The Niffen are a new friendly race of mole people that follow their nose, as they have bad eyesight. Players will get a new renown track with them, as well as cave diving, exploration, and snail races.
  • The Drogbar are back.
  • The Djaradin Elders aren't friendly.
  • Zaralek Cavern will have new campaign chapters.

New Raid: Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible
  • The raid will have 9 bosses.
  • We will be exploring Neltharion's secrets and follow Sarkareth as he tries to claim the power that he feels is rightfully his.
  • The Black Dragonflight leaders must grapple with the legacy of Deathwing and the horrific place where he became mad.
  • The raid will include an elementium dragon, hydras, and other enemies soon to be revealed.
  • The raid will launch Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulty simultaneously, as feedback on this release schedule has been positive.

Mythic+ Dungeons
  • The team tries to theme the new Mythic+ dungeons around events in the story and what adds gameplay variety.
  • The four remaining Dragonflight dungeons will enter the rotation: Brackenhide Hollow, Halls of Infusion, Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr, and Neltharus.
  • Four dungeons from previous expansions will also enter the rotation: Freehold, The Underrot, Vortex Pinnacle, and Neltharion's Lair.
  • Freehold is a dungeon that is mentioned in every thread talking about potential dungeons for Season 2, so they had to add it.
  • The team looks at the pool of dungeons as a whole, and what kind of damage profiles are needed, utility used, and so on. They selected Underrot to round out the pool, as it has lots of fun core gameplay mechanics.

Season 2 Affixes
  • Affixes are still being iterated on, but the team will have more to share soon.
  • There will no longer be a Level 10 seasonal affix.
  • There will be no replacement for Thundering, and it has been retired.
  • The team is also taking a closer look at the Level 7 affixes. How much of that is making your healer's life harder versus how much is allowing players to try and outplay the mechanic.
  • Seasonal affixes were created back in Battle for Azeroth when you were playing the same dungeons for many seasons. These affixes tried to solve the problem of dungeons feeling solved, with a specific known route and approach.
  • The variety problem doesn't need to be solved anymore.
  • Taking a close look at Brackenhide Hollow, may even remove specific dungeon mechanics from other Mythic 0 dungeons.

Item Power Balance
  • If there is an item that stands out from the rest, it often becomes a goal for players.
  • The team tries to be very careful with tuning items after launch.
  • The team has a whole new pool of Mythic+ dungeons coming, with new trinkets and other items.
  • Items give you something to work towards. What is the new thing I want to chase? That's more exciting than farming the puzzle box again each season.

  • Upgrade and bring crafted items with you, as well as new recipes. You'll earn the ability to upgrade old items, no auto upgrade.

Item Upgrades
  • New item upgrade revamp coming in 10.1.
  • Dragonflight had upgradable items, and it felt nice to have some progression.
  • The team found there are a lot of different item upgrade systems, all working in slightly different ways. Lots of complexity and stuff for players to wrap their heads around.
  • New currencies will be introduced in Patch 10.1, including Shadowflame Crests.
  • The new currency will be on the PTR fairly early, as it's a big change and the team wants plenty of feedback.
  • Heirloom armor will scale to Level 70.

Cross-Faction Guilds
  • Cross faction guilds are coming with Patch 10.1 at launch, and will be on the PTR later this week.
  • This change is aligned with the current cross-faction philosophy and the team will keep in mind how factions are a large part of the game with these changes.
  • Factions have a huge weight in the story and this will never go away in World of Warcraft.

  • Dragonriding has had lots of positive feedback. The team is looking at improving upon it with new glyphs, races, and talents.
  • There's a new cloud serpent-inspired drake coming, as well as new glyphs to learn and new races to tame.
  • Groundskimming - New trait that allows you to recharge your Vigor while you are flying close to the ground.
  • There are challenges to making all mounts function as dragonriding mounts, such as animations, but they are exploring it.

Revival Catalyst
  • The Revival Catalyst will still be there, but the team has had lots of conversations about player expectations and their set bonuses.
  • Set bonuses used to be aspirational, something that would take a while to achieve. Now they feel necessary.
  • The team is looking to add more determinism and bad luck protection in earning set bonuses, with a blog coming in the next week or so about this topic.

World Content
  • The Dragon Isles will have some new content:
    • Fyrakk Assaults, similar to primalist invasions currently available, with new rewards including armor, weapons, achievements, and more.
    • New Blue Dragonflight story content that covers why the Blue Dragonflight did not return to the Dragon Isles in numbers.
    • The next chapter of the Tyr reforged quests.
  • The team still wants you to still have reasons to visit the launch zones.
  • Public events will be updated and new ones added. For example, Fyrakk bathes in molten lava and becomes more powerful, then assaults existing Dragonflight zones.
  • Some content will unlock on a weekly basis to work with the context of the raid.
  • The new World Boss is a duo of Djaradin elders who are not pleased with the invasion of their homeland.

  • The team still wants each faction to have a separate identity while also opening up cooperation. Horde and Alliance have worked together many times.
  • Even in Warcraft 3, the two factions cooperated to work together against the threat of the Legion.
  • In the aftermath of Battle for Azeroth, we see some of the factions coming together
  • The team still does conditional quest text to have unique experiences for each faction.

  • There are no significant character customizations coming in Patch 10.1.
  • Demon Hunters getting a glyph to throw their own weapon with Throw Glaive.
  • Adding glyphs that modify spell visuals is tough, as if visuals change too much it could become unrecognizable for other people, especially in PvP.

Armor Sets
  • One color of the new tier set art was previewed. The Priest set appeared to have some small wings, and the Druid set having lots of horns and spikes.
  • The outdoor sets for armor, weapons, and mounts are Black Dragonflight themed. They look like something that might have come from Blackwing Lair. Players can get different color variants from different activities.

Story Beats
  • With Patch 10.0.7's release on March 21, the story continues as the Incarnates return to the Forbidden Reach, in search of an ancient secret.
  • We'll help our Dracthyr friends, who have returned to search for survivors, and learn more about their destiny.
  • This journey will take us deep beneath the Dragon Isles, following the Incarnate Fyrakk. He is finding allies and power in Zaralek Cavern.
  • We'll get a peek into how Neltharion became Deathwing.
  • The Dracthyr commander Sarkareth will lead the Sundered Flame in search of their birthright and control over Neltharion's secret facility.
  • Emberthal is looking for purpose for her people, Ebyssian will help her.
  • Adventure with Kalecgos to delve into past of Blue Dragonflight and its future.
  • The next chapter of the Tyr reforged storyline will be available.
  • The team will dive back into Green Dragonflight and Bronze Dragonflight in future patches.
  • We will revisit Thrall and his place in Orc society / the Horde in the future, but he is involved in the Orc heritage armor quest.

  • This patch continues the UI upgrade journey that started with Dragonflight's release.
  • There's lots of stuff in the UI that the team wants to take a look at and refresh.
  • Lots of the UI changes should be in the PTR build this week.
  • Things like group management, quest tracking, how quests are displayed in the game, lots of edit mode improvements, and personal resource bars will get updates.


New Environments

New Creatures

Concept Art

This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 10.1 Preview - Embers of Neltharion started by chaud View original post
Comments 58 Comments
  1. ExtremelyCrusty's Avatar
    Some good ideas here
  1. RobertMugabe's Avatar
    Fucking awesome
  1. Alanar's Avatar
    I just dont know.. is it cool?
  1. Shinchi Migi's Avatar
    Wait for the complainers and why they don't like it, O PvP this and that, and all other things under the sun.

    /Grabs popcorn and Pepsi and waits for the whiners to appear.
  1. Zorachus's Avatar
    This looks really good
  1. saixilein's Avatar
    Sounds nice so far.

    But the new Zone looking kinda empty/not much detailed, in comparison to the dragon islands. Maybe just bad spots. I mean they dont looking bad or something, just like a zone they've created in mop/wod timeline.
  1. SinR's Avatar

  1. Chilela's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Agall View Post
    And yet they still haven't posted PVP s1 title cutoffs...
    Probably too early to tell on that, given that 10.1 likely won't release till well into April or May.

    OT: Looking like a pretty good set of changes on paper. Removing the seasonal M+ Affix should make balancing dungeons a bit easier. My only immediate issue is the new environments looking fairly rehashed, e.g. the Crystal area being Deepholm-y, and the Sulfur area having pretty hard Maldraxxus vibes, but that's kinda splitting hairs. Only so many types of environments that can be created before there's overlap.
  1. Phaelia's Avatar
    I have to be honest, in Cata I hated going to Deepholm. WoW doesn’t tend to do underground zones very well in my opinion, so I’m going into this with a lot of apprehension.
  1. Donald Hellscream's Avatar
    Kinda bummed that they are retiring seasonal affixes, but if they improve on existing affixes then I suppose its fine.
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    The new caverns has a lot of Deepholm vibes
  1. Adoxe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaelia View Post
    I have to be honest, in Cata I hated going to Deepholm. WoW doesn’t tend to do underground zones very well in my opinion, so I’m going into this with a lot of apprehension.
    To be fair, Deepholm wasn't really designed in the same way. It was designed as an outdoor zone, it was underground only in the sense of being the Earth plane. Not to mention it was incredibly big and open and even with the 280% flying it still felt slow going from one side to the other. This new zone on the other hand, is actually located underground beneath the current zones, is about as big as Zereth Mortis, and has dragonriding from the start.
  1. Mustardisbad's Avatar
    I have to be honest, in Cata I loved going to Deepholm. Wow did great with that underground zone in my opinion, so i'm going into this with alot of excitement!
  1. Subrias's Avatar
    Vortex pinacle? Wasn't that cata? There were no m+ in cata. They said they wouldn't add pre m+ dungeons.. interesting.
  1. noctim2's Avatar
    Looks very promising. I think Dragonflight delivers solid content.
  1. Phaelia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardisbad View Post
    I have to be honest, in Cata I loved going to Deepholm. Wow did great with that underground zone in my opinion, so i'm going into this with alot of excitement!
    Good for you, but the jab at my post is absolutely unnecessary.
  1. Subrias's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardisbad View Post
    I have to be honest, in Cata I loved going to Deepholm. Wow did great with that underground zone in my opinion, so i'm going into this with alot of excitement!
    I see what you did there.
  1. h8ryan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Subrias View Post
    Vortex pinacle? Wasn't that cata? There were no m+ in cata. They said they wouldn't add pre m+ dungeons.. interesting.
    already excited for the walk back on wipes
  1. Alanar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SinR View Post

    God I hope not lmao
  1. Relapses's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Subrias View Post
    Vortex pinacle? Wasn't that cata? There were no m+ in cata. They said they wouldn't add pre m+ dungeons.. interesting.
    There wasn't M+ in MoP/WoD either. We had CModes for these expansions which were timed events. It's a bit odd they're going all the way back to Cata which was pre-CMode but I'm sure they'll explain how their developers were messing around and incidentally found the dungeon to be a "great fit" for the rotation or something.

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