- Releases Dec 11th
- Raid comes out after the holidays
- Raid - The Battle for Dazar’alor. 9-boss raid, Alliance attacks Horde capital. Includes Alliance bosses and Horde bosses. When you attack your same faction, it's like a point-of-view switch, and your raid appears as the other faction.
- Warfront - Battle for Darkshore. Night Elves are angry. Malfurion actually does something useful.
- Incursions - Basically Legion invasions, only this time the opposite faction attacks one of your zones.
- Azerite armor changes - new traits, a new (fifth) ring of traits, mythic dungeons have a currency and a vendor
- Some reputation changes - Paragon rewards, some reps will apply account-wide.
I like that the raid comes out in January. That seems like a good spacing to me. The two faction perspective is an interesting experiment, and I'm excited to see how it pans out.
I also like the pacing of the faction war. 8.0 was establishing bases and outposts. 8.1 heats things up with Incursions and the raid. Raising the stakes at an appropriate point in the story.
- Allied Races - Kul Tirans and Zandalari
- Warlords of Draenor Timewalking
- More updates to holidays
- PvE variant of Arathi Basin
- Visual revamp for Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin
- Portal rooms for Storwind and Orgrimmar, consolidating expansion transport
I approve of breaking up the patch into smaller pieces. Hopefully this makes things easier and smoother for the development team.
Of these, I think the PvE version of Arathi Basin will be the most interesting. Key question: Will the AI fight on the road or not? And which answer is actually the correct behavior for a realistic AI?
- Nazjatar - new zone, focus on naga and Queen Azshara
- Azshara's Palace - 8 boss raid
- Mechagon - megadungeon (like Karazhan)
- Horde/Alliance story continues
- Heroic warfronts
- Flying is unlocked
As I really disliked Vash'jir, it's good to see that Nazjatar is on land. Karazhan was pretty popular, so Mechagon should be good. Otherwise, this patch is fairly far out, so there's not a lot of detail yet.
I believe there's also a small 2-boss raid raid coming between patch 8.1 and 8.2. And there are profession improvements, including a questline for every profession, but I'm not sure which patch it is in.
All in all, the next year of WoW looks good. Steady content and progress. I do hope Blizzard throws a curveball in somewhere, maybe in the story. I would like Saurfang to challenge Sylvanas, but then have Sylvanas defeat or kill him fairly in the Mak'gora. That would put an interesting gloss on the Horde story, making Sylvanas the "rightful" leader by all traditions.