Rise of Azshara Preview: Heart of Azeroth Updates

Rise of Azshara Content Preview Live Stream

Patch 8.2 - Water Strider Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A small clarification to our plans with Mount Equipment–
Hitting level 100 on one character will unlock this system. Once unlocked, the system will be available to all characters, and the equipment pieces themselves will require level 20. If your goal is to have waterwalking while leveling, you can just enable the waterwalking Mount Equipment (there will be one available via Anglers reputation that will be bind-on-account), and it’ll work exactly as before, with the benefit of making all of that character’s mounts walk on water

Taliesin and Evitel Patch 8.2 Information
The popular Youtubers Taliesin and Evitel got to visit Blizzard headquarters to play Rise of Azshara and have a lot of new information not seen in the livestream!


  • Heart of Azeroth
    • The Heart of Azeroth UI shown in the live stream is unfinished and will have a lot more as BfA progresses.
    • In between the major and minor abilities are smaller traits to unlock similar to the Legion artifact.
    • There are unique essences for each type of content, such as one for reputation grinds, raiding, dungeons, etc.
    • You get a new rank for each of these as you progress in the content relevant to it. Example - Rank 1 for honored, Rank 2 for revered, etc for reputation essence.
    • Each essence has a major and minor effect. If you place an essence into the major slot, it will get both benefits. In a minor slot, it will only get the minor benefit.
    • The visual effect for max rank will be impressive.
    • All essences will work in PvP according to Holinka.
    • Some of the essence effects affect a spec/class specific spell.
    • Blizzard expects people to have about 6 different essences unlocked by the end of the first week.
    • Essences work exactly like talents, meaning they can be freely swapped in a rested zone or with a tome.
    • There are new raid and dungeon specific Azerite Traits, dungeon ones being from Mechagon.
    • By the end of 8.3 you will probably have 4 minor essence slots and possibly 2 major.
  • Mechagon
    • Mechagon is bigger than the Timeless Isle, but not as vertical. Nazjatar is HUGE.
    • Mechagon and Nazjatar will be fully open on day 1, while the dungeon and raid will launch either the second or third week.
    • The Mecha-wheel mount special has the wheel spin around while you do a backflip with fire effects.
    • The Mecha-wheel is the reward for completing the meta achievement for Mechagon.
    • Mechagon is a grinding island, with the potential to be an endless grind if you want.
    • The Prince of Mechagon is the leader of the resistance you do quests for on the island.
    • Constructions pop up all over the island that you need to donate resources to build up.
    • Almost all mobs on the island drop relevant resources for the constructions.
    • Mechagon is a big "collect stuff for rewards" island.
    • Mechagon is not timegated, but it is impossible to complete it in one day.
    • Mechagon has the most secrets per square inch than any other place in the game.
    • The gameplay affecting systems like customizing your trinket will not take too long. Collecting all the rewards, however, will take some time.
    • Resources are not just used for building, but for progressing in the island's secrets.
    • War Mode is enabled in Mechagon, but the central hub is neutral and you will be attacked by guards if you initiate combat with the opposite faction. The turrets are not PvP enabled, but it seems like Ion wanted them to be now that Taliesin mentioned it.
    • The trinket has slots like gem slots, and you collect schematics and recipes to build punch cards, or the cards themselves to slot into the trinket.
    • They start by just giving stat boosts, but eventually will also give you effects as you find better ones.
    • There will be the return of "actual" rares that don't pop up often.
    • You can paint and customize your mechano-cat mount by earning resources.
  • Operation: Mechagon Dungeon
    • The Mechagon dungeon starts outside and eventually you move into the heart of the city.
    • There is a stealth portion of the dungeon where you have to stand on vents to keep hidden.
    • The loot in Mechagon will be similar item level compared to Karazhan/Emerald Nightmare, however, there will be unique schematics for punch cards in the dungeon that mythic raiders will want.
    • Some of the punch cards for the trinket interact with the Azerite traits from Mechagon.
  • Nazjatar
    • Nazjatar is the big story focused island.
    • The Nazjatar zone is not really time gated, but the story will progress over weeks.
  • Flying
    • Pathfinder Part II will take as long as it did in Legion, involving rep from both Nazjatar and Mechagon.
  • Mount Equipment
    • The Mount Equipment that prevents being dazed is created by blacksmiths.
    • These equipment slots are like gems. They last until you replace them with another one.
    • If you have the Water Strider mount, you receive the water walking mount equipment for free in the mail on patch day.
    • Furthermore, if you already have the strider you can buy the water walking mount equipment for a substantially reduced price from the vendor who sold you the mount.
    • The Water Strider will no longer be able to walk on water without the equipment slot.
    • The Sky Golem will still be able to harvest herbs, but it will not benefit from mount equipment.
    • Natural abilities like tanks not getting dazed or Death Knights water walking will stack with equipment.
    • More mount equipment items will be added in the future.
    • Lvl 100 is the current requirement to equip mount equipment, but it will likely be changed. (confirmed that you need to have a level 100 character and then the equipment can be used from level 20 on all other toons, with the equipment being BoA.)
  • Azshara's Eternal Palace
    • The underwater boss is the second boss in Azshara's Eternal Palace. There is no mechanic that requires 3D mechanic knowledge. The boss has platforms that you fight on and you basically swim through a gauntlet to get to him on other platforms.
    • Swim speed is actually the same as run speed without a mount.
    • Breath is not an issue in the fight.
    • Druids will have a speed advantage in the fight during platform transitions with aquatic form.
    • We will know who the final boss of Battle for Azeroth is after the events of this raid.
    • Taliesin will reveal who they think the final boss of the expansion is in their weekly video.
    • Lady Priscilla Ashvane is a boss in Azshara's Eternal Palace and her model is a sea giant.
    • At one point in the fight, Ashvane comes out of this form, but her new form is a secret.
  • Miscellaneous
    • They both felt that the developers really do feel like making the best game possible for players and care about player feedback.


4FanSites Patch 8.2 Information
German fansite 4FanSites also has some new information form their time at Blizzard for the 8.2 announcements.


  • Blizzcon will happen this year.
  • Housing is a big topic at Blizzard. The developers are still thinking about how to implement it so that it does not feel so clumsy.
  • Blizzard wants to change warforged and titanforged items, but they don't have a solution in place for it. Without this system, some players would have their maximum gear after only a few weeks and thus have nothing left to aim for gear wise.
  • The team has discussed having only 1 reroll per week, but have it be an 100% chance to get an item.
  • There will be new pets to fight as well as a new Pet Battle Dungeon.


Method Patch 8.2 Information
Method also went to Blizzard and have some information from their visit.


  • The new resource gathering system at various points around the island provides small goals to work towards by yourself or with friends.
  • The new Heart of Azeroth traits are mostly shared between everyone, with a few spec specific traits.
  • The system is similar to glyphs, with one Major and two Minor slots. You start with just the one Major slot, then level up the Heart of Azeroth to unlock the Minor slots.
  • You fill the slots with essences, which can be found from world quests, reputations, PvP, raids, or various other sources.
  • Essences have ranks, with the top rank being a cosmetic effect.
  • Essences have a Major and Minor power. You get both powers when an essence is in a Major slot.
  • Essences are unique, so you can't stack 3 of the same essence.
  • Essences can be respeced at no cost in a rested area.
  • Mount equipment items work similar to gems, they can be swapped but the old one will be consumed in the process.
  • Stormwall Blockade to Jaina had too much of an increase in difficulty, but this was due to the bosses before Jaina being too easy rather than Jaina being too hard.
  • Crucible of Storms starts at middle of Battle of Dazar'alor difficulty, with the last boss being similar to Jaina in difficulty


Forbes Developer Interview
Forbes released another article with a bit of information prior to the live stream today.


  • Crucible of Storms begins to set the stage for what is going on beneath the waves
  • Pathfinder Part 2 allows players to fly in Nazjatar, Mechagon, Kul Tiras, and Zandalar
  • The world is more intimidating when you can't just fly over everything. You also get a better sense of place when exploring from the ground.
  • There may be restrictions on flying if you have recently been in War Mode combat, or some other restrictions that aren't overly punishing.
  • War Mode has been successful. In the past you may have quested next to someone of the opposite faction and not fought, but now both people have opted in to War Mode and fights are more common.
  • Tortollan quests had a few more quests added to the pool so that you have a choice and can avoid a heavily camped quest if you don't want to fight.
  • War Mode participation has increased over the last couple months.
  • The team doesn't have a solution to the raid faction imbalance right now, but there may be something to learn from with the War Mode incentives. Any incentives would need to be balanced to avoid encouraging massive faction migration.
  • It's a question of, how can we build a healthier high-end Mythic Plus scene, or a healthier high-end raid scene on the Alliance side, among the Alliance population. Horde and Alliance populations are actually well balanced across the world, there is just less of a raiding community on the Alliance side.
  • War Mode offers bonus rewards for the outnumbered faction proportional to how outnumbered you are, which is because they face a greater challenge. An Alliance Mythic Plus group and a Horde Mythic Plus group are doing the exact same dungeon with the exact same difficulty once they're in it, so giving one more rewards than the other doesn't make sense.
  • It's very unlikely we'll see a mercenary system for PvE, as the divide is such a core part of the story and game. It also does more to help queue times, as it switches a player from one side of the queue to another. Mercenary mode doesn't let you make social connections, so it wouldn't help the long term health of the PvE community on a faction.
  • The Heart of Azeroth, Islands, and Island Expedition rewards were some of the challenging new systems. The team made the short term changes that they could make with Tides of Vengeance.
  • From just a few weeks in, the team has been planning to shift the Heart of Azeroth to a more Legion artifact style. This gives a longer-term progression system that offers a lot more choice, a lot more customization, goals to work towards, and choose from.
  • The team heard the frustration at the lack of agency and progression with the Heart of Azeroth.
  • The team wants to lessen the negative feeling of bad RNG when it comes to Mythic Plus rewards, but they are sufficiently rewarding already, so they can't make the system more generous.
  • Your helm, shoulders and chest will still be Azerite gear, they will have their rings. But the level requirements will not continue to increase, so you'll have access to all of them.
  • There aren't any plans to set the new NPC AI loose into the world, as people expect mobs to behave a certain way and the team wants to be careful about changing that.
  • We could see the AI in other battlegrounds in the future, such as a Warsong brawl.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 8.2 Rise of Azshara - Information Roundup from Content Creators started by Stoy View original post
Comments 120 Comments
  1. dhru2's Avatar
    "Horde and Alliance populations are actually well balanced across the world, there is just less of a raiding community on the Alliance side." Sure kido, sure... How about these devs install this game one day?
  1. Ophenia's Avatar
    "Blizzcon will happen this year."
    That's breaking news indeed, who could have guessed.
  1. Sorotia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikehuntz View Post
    Remove Waterstrider water walking ability but Sky Golem keeps it's ability. You don't make sense Blizz gg
    Like comparing apples and oranges....they're very very different.

    One is unique and one any mount will be able to do...
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chickat View Post
    Because if they allow you to walk and not be dazed no one would ever not use the strider. The whole point is to let you use whatever mount you want.
    Understand that now, just seemed a little silly at the time though..
  1. Kendros's Avatar
    Great now they focusing on Heart of Azeroth. Fuck classes and balance right.
  1. Toby451's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jodmos View Post
    There will be the return of "actual" rares that don't pop up often.

    In other words content where you have to sit in one place for days if you want to see it thereby increasing time spent in game without actually doing anything.


    This is exactly why people feel like Blizzard doesn't listen to feedback. Players A dont like current system and accuse blizzard of not listening to feedback. Then Blizzard changes said thing based on feedback. The changes then piss off players B and then they now accuse Blizzard of not listening to feedback.



    This playerbase is ridiculous. I am ashamed to be a part of it.
  1. Powerogue's Avatar
    So we're basically getting the Timeless Isle and Suramar, design-wise? Sounds frickin' awesome, sign me up.
  1. crusadernero's Avatar
    This looks awesome! Cant wait for this patch
  1. Aedrielle's Avatar
    Sounds like that patch might save this otherwise trash heap of an expansion. I'm looking forward to trying it out. ^^
  1. gutnbrg's Avatar
    so am i reading this right? I have to buy water walking for any mount i want to walk on water now?
  1. Waynhim's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dhru2 View Post
    "Horde and Alliance populations are actually well balanced across the world, there is just less of a raiding community on the Alliance side." Sure kido, sure... How about these devs install this game one day?
    Please post the data since you seem to have access to it.

    Sure, the most dedicated players seem to play horde, but the game is catering more and more to casual gameplay, and it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that alliance actually have more players then horde, but less visible players. (I've played both sides this expansion btw).
  1. diarx's Avatar
    So guessing mount equipment is a set up for a rep grind/pathfinder style requirement to unlock water walking for each xpac?

    Item will most likely say something along the lines of "allows water walking in Azeroth and BFA zones"
  1. THEORACLE64's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dhru2 View Post
    "Horde and Alliance populations are actually well balanced across the world, there is just less of a raiding community on the Alliance side." Sure kido, sure... How about these devs install this game one day?
    You mean, let’s not listen to the devs that have real-time data over a biased opinion? Lel.
  1. krl's Avatar
    Overall very good feelings about this patch.
  1. Odinfrost's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kendros View Post
    Great now they focusing on Heart of Azeroth. Fuck classes and balance right.
    Ah, yes! Let us talk about stuff that will obviously happen instead of all the new stuff that will appear! Cause clearly, when people want info on new big content patches, what they want to know is that Shaman's Lightning Bolt is getting a 5% buff! It's not like the PTR will come soon and show more specifics such as class changes/balance OH WAIT!

    Also if Fire Mage doesn't get better I will flip tables all day!
  1. Sencha's Avatar
    Hope you like grinding Essence through world quests every day because you liked it in Legion...
  1. det's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by beanman12345 View Post
    I think i'd rather have the anti daze effect than the water walking anyways
    Wonder how easy / fast it is to change.

    I do level a few toons in tanks specc...so daze is no worry. But no waterwalking and waterwalking mounts not working without the slot? (as somebody above quoted) - that sucks in quite a few areas atm.

    Ofc my DK and shaman will have that by default, so...hm...bit of fiddling required.
  1. Qnubi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Odinfrost View Post
    Ah, yes! Let us talk about stuff that will obviously happen instead of all the new stuff that will appear! Cause clearly, when people want info on new big content patches, what they want to know is that Shaman's Lightning Bolt is getting a 5% buff! It's not like the PTR will come soon and show more specifics such as class changes/balance OH WAIT!

    Also if Fire Mage doesn't get better I will flip tables all day!
    I know it's stupid and I agree with you. But because of people like him the Devs need to continually make sure to communicate things like this. And let it be just a quick note at the end like: And obviously we will continue to balance classes for 8.2.
  1. Sykol's Avatar
    "You said you didn't like flying being gated, so now water walking is too. Thanks for your feedback!"
  1. det's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophenia View Post
    "Blizzcon will happen this year."
    That's breaking news indeed, who could have guessed.
    People that posted threads how there will be no Blizzcon 2019 because WoW will shut down and there is nothing to announce?

    I am not shitting you, that was LITERALLY a topic here last year.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Toby451 View Post

    This playerbase is ridiculous. I am ashamed to be a part of it.
    It is more the "forumbase" and really there is nothing surprisingly or wrong about millions of people having so many different opinions. And with so many things in the game, even people who disagree on X will agree on Y.

    But for everything people agree with, it needs to be torches and pitchforks and the sky is falling over every last bit. (that said, I have no idea why they needed to change the mount system)

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