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 55 Comments
  1. Skildar's Avatar
    I'm having some major Maldraxxus vibes on some of these shots
  1. DechCJC's Avatar
    Was hoping the next zone would be underground, looks awesome!
  1. Jester Joe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Amerissis View Post
    Has it? Maybe I missed something, but I can’t remember anything hinting to an underground zone. What story has been taking us there?
    When you beat Raz, they specifically mention how one of the primals mastery of earth will make them very hard to pin down, along with references to the black dragonflight having a lot underground.

    Along with some other things like the caves that can't be blown open. I'm probably missing some but the aspects straight up saying that the primalists will hide in the earth is probably what Blizzard is referring to
  1. Alithia's Avatar
    Will honor be reset in S2 or can I save 15k?
  1. KOUNTERPARTS's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwolf64 View Post
    Ohh the story continues does it? Really? I'm gatekept by god damned reputation and i'm done with grinding rep. I log on, quest, dungeon, raid whatever once or twice and i hibernate until next content. If i'm gatekept the whole expansion i guess i won't continue until next expansion or ever. Unlock the damn content blizzard, fuck sake.
    Yet another example of whiners whining they have to do the very minimum — you know, playing the game — in order to do something. By your own admission you do the exact thing every one else does and they have access to this story you supposedly can’t access yourself.

    This complaint is as absurd as it is exaggerated.
  1. Stormwolf64's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by KOUNTERPARTS View Post
    Yet another example of whiners whining they have to do the very minimum — you know, playing the game — in order to do something. By your own admission you do the exact thing every one else does and they have access to this story you supposedly can’t access yourself.

    This complaint is as absurd as it is exaggerated.
    Aren't you whining yourself?
  1. tromage2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alithia View Post
    Will honor be reset in S2 or can I save 15k?
    Ofc it resets, the point of seasons is that people start at about the same level again for the next season.
  1. Lilithvia's Avatar
    datamining was right again.
  1. Aboostani's Avatar
    Wait, only 9 bosses? I was expecting at least 11 because the lack of a dungeon.
  1. Mustardisbad's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaelia View Post
    Good for you, but the jab at my post is absolutely unnecessary.
    Chill chill, just having some fun haha!
  1. KOUNTERPARTS's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwolf64 View Post
    Aren't you whining yourself?

    Commenting on, and rightfully identifying, your ridiculous take? Not even close.
  1. Stormwolf64's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by KOUNTERPARTS View Post
    Commenting on, and rightfully identifying, your ridiculous take? Not even close.
    No, i'd say you're a simple whiner yourself
  1. Alanar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SinR View Post
    every fucking time a new race is shown off THEY come out.
    I am still waiting on races we already know, last thing I want is awkward mole race lol.
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by chiddie View Post
    One of the many reasons I quit, story gatekept on rep is plain retarded.
    man you woulda HATED vanilla wow.
    and tbc
    and wotlk
    and cata
    and mop
    and wod
    and legion
    and bfa
    and shadowlands
    and I guess dragonflight.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Aboostani View Post
    Wait, only 9 bosses? I was expecting at least 11 because the lack of a dungeon.
    dungeon comes out in a small patch afterwards.
  1. Grimbold21's Avatar
    Freehold is good, Underrot is not. I'm also not a fan of Neltharion's Lair, but I guess it was a thematic choice. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out with Vortex Pinnacle.

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