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. Tinytalon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethas View Post
    I thought they learned their lesson with housing aka catering to korean audience. We don't need housing in MMO. Work on bringing social aspect back to the game instead!
    And that, my friend, is your opinion. I, for one, have been waiting for player housing for so many damn years, it'd be awesome if it finally happened. And I know a shit ton of other people who feel the same. Just because you don't want it, doesn't mean it's a shit idea.
  1. Stormwolf64's Avatar
    Here we go again with Blizzard wanting to reinvent the wheel. Let's see in what way they'll fuck it up now. I'm guessing this will mostly just limit what we already have been used to, in that case they can stuff the change back up their ass.
  1. gutnbrg's Avatar
    I dont like this mount change, right now i can just ride whatever mount i want and when i run into water, swap to my strider and then swap back when i hit land...thats easy enough.
  1. Shambulanced's Avatar
    They both felt that the developers really do feel like making the best game possible for players and care about player feedback.
    No way, Taliesen and Evitel said that?! I MIGHT HAVE A HEART ATTACK AND DIE FROM THAT SURPRISE


    The team has discussed having only 1 reroll per week, but have it be an 100% chance to get an item.
    And then it will feel even worse when you get the same ring for the 5th time.
  1. Mazzic518's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambulanced View Post
    No way, Taliesen and Evitel said that?! I MIGHT HAVE A HEART ATTACK AND DIE FROM THAT SURPRISE




    And then it will feel even worse when you get the same ring for the 5th time.
    I used to watch them until the went 1000% fanboi.
  1. Etoo's Avatar
    Miscellaneous
    They both felt that the developers really do feel like making the best game possible for players and care about player feedback.


    Citation needed.
  1. Kamilynne's Avatar
    Did they not learn anything about underwater fighting/movement in Vashjir back in Cata? People hated that zone with a passion. Now we gotta do a raid with it?
  1. dranlord's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamilynne View Post
    Did they not learn anything about underwater fighting/movement in Vashjir back in Cata? People hated that zone with a passion. Now we gotta do a raid with it?
    did you read it? is just to move from 1 plataform to another during transition, normal speed.
  1. Walkerbo's Avatar
    For me Legion was a great expansion in comparison to WoD, and it was, however it did not reach the level of any prior expansion up to and including MoP.
    I also never envisioned a future expansion could ever be worse than WoD, however BfA proved me wrong.

    I think that most of these changes will help address the major issues with BfA; It is a real shame that all of the major issues that are being implemented were raised many times and in great detail during beta that seemed to be dismissed without any real consideration.
    I feel that the devs saw the success of Legion as evidence that their version was so perfect that they didn't really give any weight to the player base.
    Their hubris insulated them from player feedback to their own detriment.

    I am glad the glyph system is returning even though it has been drastically pruned from what it used to be.
    Most made cosmetic changes to ability animations and spell effects as well as some that buffed abilities and added abilities.
    • The first iteration destroyed a glyph when it was replaced, (just as gems work and the proposed essences will work).
    • The second iteration made the glyph permanent once learnt and allowed glyphs to be switched with out destroying the swapped glyph.
    The glyph UI was almost identical to the new essences UI, rather than the current small change icon in the bottom right of the spell in your spell book.
    For me the first iteration was better as it provided a great income for those who chose the inscription profession, and the visual UI was the right way for it to be implemented.

    All in all it the glyph system gave players more customisation options in terms of flavour and play style, and I did truly miss it when they were scrapped; (I also feel that the reforging system provided similar player customisation and it too should be brought back).

    The mount abilities system has been raised many times over the years with one of the most complete and fully fleshed out suggestion thread was a system that could really be implemented.
    It was also linked to the wow forums and reddit threads with great feedback and suggestions in all of those venues.

    Over all some good steps forward but not yet enough entice me back, especially if the devs continue to delay fight, devalue professions and continue on with level scaling mobs.
  1. Darkynhalvos's Avatar
    Here's my question:

    Why does PF pt 2, yet again, require rep from factions that have nothing to do with KT/Zandalar in order to fly in those zones?

    IMO rep required from the factions on Mechagon/Nazjatar should only be required for flight in those zones.

    Their war against flight is getting to be more and more bullshit.
  1. CorsairCarl's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Caerule View Post
    •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.
    This is the most exciting bit for me. Player housing would be very interesting. But I have my fingers crossed for something like a Guild Hall. (Or Guild Skyship)
    Same for me! It would keep me in game, I would even PVP and do Mythic raiding for furniture!
  1. GreenJesus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rogueMatthias View Post
    lol player housing?

    Great we'll get to just hang out all day in your garrison.. i mean house.

    Screw player houses, they should do guild air ships instead which can fly about and have a hearth back to it. Your guild could fly it around the world super slowly, and leave it parked near to raids for easy guild access. (until pesky horde come and you have to battle them out of the sky).
    This Just shows you haven't played any MMO besides WoW.
  1. Smeller's Avatar
    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.
    Racials. As long as Horde has the best raid racials there won't be any balancing. Why would you switch off of a Troll with an OP racial to be a gnome with some bad racial?
  1. matheney2k's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by beanman12345 View Post
    I think i'd rather have the anti daze effect than the water walking anyways
    But you can manually never be dazed if you just learn to strafe correctly when aggrod by mobs so that equipment slot is all but useless to me.

    Water walking all day
  1. Sorthek's Avatar
    So are they saying you *have* to PvP to be on Mechagon?
  1. s0ul's Avatar
    Whoa this sounds terrible. Good thing Classic is coming soon. The retail Devs are so disconnected from their playerbase that it's sad.
  1. jk1895's Avatar
    I don't get it. Are these idiots removing the water walking ability or not?
  1. Loveliest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jk1895 View Post
    I don't get it. Are these idiots removing the water walking ability or not?
    From what I understand, you can now add water walking to the mounts you want by using an item you have to buy. The mounts that already have water walking (strider) will already have the item slotted, so they will be able to water walk without further modification.
  1. vian's Avatar
    "The Nazjatar zone is not really time gated, but the story will progress over weeks."

    So it's time gated....
  1. dreaderus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Loveliest View Post
    From what I understand, you can now add water walking to the mounts you want by using an item you have to buy. The mounts that already have water walking (strider) will already have the item slotted, so they will be able to water walk without further modification.

    This is what blizzard updated:
    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


    Pretty sure that this is an account wide equipment slot and there is only one. so you cannot "pick and choose" which mounts have which item, its one or the other therefore you can slot the water walking to all your mounts, but if u ever wanted the other perks u would have to give up the water walking perk and then add it back later.

    Some will cry that they are getting screwed out of water walking by having to choose but there are now options that never existed before so you can either continue to use your water walking, enjoy the new swap system, or complain about it.

    For me it seems like a net gain, i can't stand having to use the water walking all the time in the world just for that purpose, but on other other hand i think id prefer if it was mount specific even if all of them were mostly set to water walking. if they create some interesting mount abilities id prefer not to have to constantly switch this account wide perk.

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