If you’d have told me back in September that we’d see World of Warcraft Patch 7.1 before Christmas, I would have laughed at you. However, Activision Blizzard not only got the memo from Warlords over more content and less downtime, they’ve turned the entire patch mentality on its head with 7.1, which is live in the US as I type this and will be deployed in the EU today. Assuming you’re able to avoid the spoilers now burning across the Internet like a fell-tinged wildfire? I’m here to offer you a heads up on the highlights of Legion’s first proper patch. It’s not just raid and instanced content either, there’s something for everybody, so let’s cut the chatter and get straight down to business.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Karazhan and a process many of you may never have heard of before: Attunement.
The 5 Man You Need to Work For
One does not simply walk into Karazhan on 5 man Mythic difficulty. As it was back in the days of the original instance, there is what many will consider a difficult, unwieldy and possibly unacceptable process to get there, which will ask you to complete the following Mythic difficulty dungeons:
- Halls of Valor
- Black Rook Hold
- Vault of the Wardens
- Violet Hold
I’m only running at Heroic level right now, so unfortunately can’t tell you how hard (or otherwise) this will be to complete, and I also assume you will need to complete the entire instance to get the credit. Once you’ve gathered the items you need, the lone tower in Deadwind Pass is yours to explore with new versions of the Opera Event and encounters with bosses that will be familiar to those of you used to farming this classic instance for transmog gear and pets. However, there are some notable bosses missing, and one at least hidden initially from access, which happens to be the one who drops a mount. One assumes that Nightbane isn’t rep-related any more, but as to how you find him and what else is in store inside the updated version of the Instance? Time will tell, and you’ll know soon enough if anything new appears to play with.
There’s already more than the usual amount of muttering on my feed over Mythic as an option for this dungeon; that players will have difficulty in finding groups at the right level to complete it. I know that if I want to do this, I’ll need to do a lot of work on gear, enchants and gems, and possibly find some friends to help out. None of those are Activision Blizzard’s issues to address and I’m the one responsible for making it all happen. Although I grant you that it’s a lot of effort to get these 5 mans completed. If it matters enough, I’ll do the work, and in my own time. After all, this content isn’t going anywhere. In that regard Attunement is a great way to show people exactly what is expected of them going forward. I suspect it won’t be the last time we see this method used to prepare players in the future either. A lot has changed between Warlords and here, after all.
The Mini Raid you never realized you Wanted.
The honking huge Nighthold spoilers you might be seeing across the Internet have nothing to do with this patch’s raid. That’s 7.2 and you’ll be wanting the Trial of Valor instead, which is a three boss affair that doesn’t drop tier and is primarily concerned with providing alternative things to stick in your Artifact weapon. I’m assuming that it won’t be a really tough ask for the hardcore folks either, but whether it will be cleared in hours, days or weeks is really of secondary importance as it doesn’t seem to be considered as anything other than ‘filler’ content. Whatever your thoughts on this, it is clearly being aimed at providing players with additional choices for their maxed out weaponry. There’s also transmog gear too, and I’m rather hoping I can get a version of this in LFR and then wait for everything else to get farmed at Legacy level.
I’m sure that’s not the point of this ‘interim’ raid, as I’m reminded of the Ruby Sanctum in Wrath that was deceptively easy but ended up as an utter pig and remains suitably problematic to farm solo, or at least it did (I should probably go back and test that with my new gear.) You’ll be waiting a while to see it, however, as the Trial of Valor will open on November 8th in the US and the 9th for the EU (post Blizzcon). Mythic and LFR should follow shortly afterwards, as is the normal order for such things. For those who care about the details, you’ll get from iLevel 840+ up to iLevel 885+ items depending on your chosen difficulty.
The New Stuff in the Old World
So, here’s a thing. You remember Alcaz Island? It’s off the coast of Theramore and famously a key destination for players taking part in the ‘Scepter of the Shifting Sands’ quest line back in Vanilla, which ended up awarding you the item that could open AQ40. Well, in Shock News the entire area’s gotten a facelift, presumably to test to see if people will go there and if updating old content has any merit moving forward. This place is of particular interest to Hunters too, who will want to make a trip to tame some rather lovely mechanical spiders. The thing is, unless you’re a Gnome or a Goblin you’ll also require a special item from an Engineer to do this. The pattern for which is only available from a Destiny-themed NPC in Dalaran and only purchasable with a rare currency drop from Emissary chests. Hey, nobody said this would be either easy or cheap, right?
This is becoming a theme of this Expansion: you want the good stuff, you gotta work for it. You also have to be insanely well informed (I only found out about the item needed by accident), so before you wander off and try to tame one as a Dwarf? Do what Illidan says and prepare yourself (no hang on that’s the Paladin in the Trial of the Crusader…). I’m hoping at some point to get the pattern myself, or I’ll end up simply caving (as is often the case) and purchasing said item for a king’s ransom on the Auction House. Like everything else it will go on the ‘To Do’ list.
The Added Extras and World Quests.
My favorite place in game, Suramar, has been given a significant update with nine weeks worth of story themed content upcomin, which makes me keen to go and start getting up to date and not be sitting here typing out a Guide. There’s also a mount to be had here, as well as in other places too; there’s some cute Dinosaur-type things that have popped up across the Broken Isles that players can adopt and then end up with new World Quests to boot. On that score, Helya and the Helarjar have a bunch of new stuff for you to do, and mercifully there’s a new Kirin Tor ‘Daily’ involving barrels, which cannot be any worse than the other ones I’m rubbish at.
Then there’s all the class changes, which I’m still pouring over, and don’t seem to affect my particular Hunter spec a great deal. As I’ve still not started playing anyone else this Expansion because you know, TOO MUCH TO DO, I’ll not worry about those for a while. There’s then the usual quality of life changes, which mercifully for all you gatherers include a vendor who’ll buy your Blood of Sargeras and sell you Legion raw materials. This was something I know that many people were pushing for pre-expansion launch and should keep many of you happy and allow lots of crafting/selling of said items for enormous AH profit, which you’ll probably need to afford all the new Vanity pets that are now dropping from Wrath instances. Yup, I gotta go to Ulduar again…
There’s much more, of course, and to try and comprehensively cover everything in one post is always a thankless task. Most people will undoubtedly just carry on as normal: I’m now to the stage where the Mobile app’s become effectively useless as all my followers are maxed and I don’t need anything other than cash missions. That means of course all my Resources can be funneled into upgrading my Class hall and Emissary quests will soon get me to a stage where I’m exalted with everyone. Once that happens? Then maybe I can start thinking about that Mythic attunement….
I think I’ve heard more complaints in the last week than there’s been at any point thus far, and pretty much every one is rooted in the understanding that people are behind and cannot catch up with what’s being given to them. Considering the number of people who complained in Warlords there was nothing to do? This is what happens when you ask for something: the designers have bought the goods, and yet it is still not enough. For all of you good people who are perfectly aware that the sky remains in it’s proper place and there is no need to panic?
Go fill your boots, good people of Azeroth. Enjoy the new 5 man and the Instances and all the yummy World content. If this goes the way I think it will, you’ll be getting the Nighthold sometime in early January. In fact, with the end boss kill trailer now freely available for all to see? I’d expect advertising for 7.2 to start playing out at Blizzcon. You heard it here first: not only are the developers ready for 2017, there’s already a boatload of new content prepped and ready. You’d better get started.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Column, Karazhan, Legion, Patch 7.1, Update, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday