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WoW Wednesday: What’s New in Season 3?

Azshara has risen from the depths and with her comes Season 3 for Battle for Azeroth! As she begins to play the end of her long-prepared game, heroes race both towards and away from the terror she threatens to unleash. With the official beginning of Season 3, this week we’ll be diving into everything that’s new with its release.

Azshara’s Eternal Palace

First and foremost is the release of Battle for Azeroth’s third major raid tier, Azshara’s Eternal Palace. With the collapse of the Well of Eternity ten thousand years ago, Queen Azshara made a terrible bargain to save herself and her people. She would serve the Old Gods and N’zoth and build him an army of her people, if he yet made her a Queen over all. Through millennia of conquest and glory, the Naga have built an empire that stretches across the seas of Azeroth. Using the Tidestone of Golganeth, she has cordially invited both the Alliance and the Horde into Zin’azshari, the very seat of her power, to witness an ascension to godhood.


Unlike the previous raid, The Battle for Dazar’alor, Azshara’s Eternal Palace follows a more traditional approach to its boss progression. Most of the encounters in its three wings must be defeated one after the other, aside from the second and third bosses. The Blackwater Behemoth and the Radiance of Azshara are both interchangeable in order but are radically different challenges for raid teams.

While cosmetic rewards abound in the Palace, certainly more in this tier than ever before, the main focus will be on collecting the Raid’s unique essence. Defeating one of the three Azshara-related encounters will reward you with a set number of Aqueous Reliquaries, which can be combined to create the raid’s Heart of Azeroth Essence. These three encounters are the Radiance of Azshara, the Queen’s Court, and Queen Azshara herself. Like previous rare raid items, the amount rewarded depends on the difficulty you engage, with Mythic rewarding the most.

Looking for Raid Wing 1 and Mythic Difficulty will open the week after your region’s particular launch of Season 3. Players will not be able to teleport to the raid’s entrance without completing their faction’s respective reputation-gated storyline achievements in Nazjatar.

Step Into the Arena!

Battle for Azeroth Season 3 brings a new and glamorous title to the mix, “Notorious Gladiator.” With the rollover into the next season of Rated PvP, both personal and matchmaking ratings will normalize and return to zero. This means a fresh start for all players seeking to carve their name into the halls of conquerors.

Returning to Season 3 is the graduated Elite Gladiator System, rewarding players who advance their rating with progressive unlockables for your Elite Notorious Gladiator sets, as well as the seasonal tabard, enchantment, and cloak. Those looking to claim the Gladiator Title and the Notorious Gladiator’s Proto-Drake must also win an additional 50 games in the Elite bracket (2400+). Those looking to claim the “Notorious Gladiator” title must place in the top 0.1% of rankings in their region, as well as claim 150 victories in 3v3 Arenas during Season 3. The returning Gladiator’s Dreadflame enchantment appearance will still be attainable for those who hit 2100 rating in Season 3.

Returning to Season 3 are temporary seasonal “Elite Class” titles. These titles will be awarded to players who reach the Elite bracket. Several PvP exclusive Essences will now begin to appear in Conquest Chests at week’s end, including Conflict and Strife. Others such as Blood of the Enemy can be unlocked through several PvP encounters. Like their PvE counterparts, these Essences have various ranks and may require improving your personal rating to unlock higher tiers.

At this time, Gladiator PvP sets from Seasons 1 and 2 will be unavailable to purchase until a later date.

Marvelous Mythic+

With the start of a new seasons comes a plethora of adjustments for the Dungeon Delvers of Azeroth. Unlike Season 2, there is not a baseline adjustment in enemy difficulty for Normal and Heroic dungeons. However Key difficulty is scaling far more aggressively in Season 3 to compensate, from an 8% increase in health and damage to 10% exponentially. While lower keystones won’t be affected much until approximately +4, those pushing higher end keys such as +10 will be facing a 114% increase in Season 3 compared to and 85% increase in Season 2.

With Azshara’s emergence from the depths, a new Mythic affix has been introduced as the Seasonal Affix: Beguiling. Added to every keystone that is level 10 or higher, Beguiling adds additional enemies throughout your Mythic+ dungeon. Azshara’s Emissaries have joined your dungeons in an effort to rally its leaders to her cause and will join to combat you. Different packs of mobs receive additional group-wide buffs from these emissaries, though the types and placements will change from week to week. There are three types of emissaries and a dungeon may have multiples of any type.

The Enchanted Emissary buffs their groups with a passive aura that redirects 150% of damage dealt back at the target. Players will want to prey on its passive ability Enchanted, which forces it back after being attacked, in order to damage its nearby allies. 20 seconds after being in combat, the Emissary will retreat to the Eternal Palace, removing it from the dungeon permanently once its energy is drained. Its energy will only drain when actively being engaged in combat.

The Emissary of the Tides supports its allies with Queen’s Decree: Unstoppable. This buff makes all nearby mobs immune to crowd control, aside from the Emissary. Unlike its counterparts, this mob will reset its health to full if the group wipes before defeating it.

Void-Touched Emissaries are the deadliest in the instance and cannot be snuck up on. Possessing a passive True Sight ability, the Emissary will only cast a 9-second ability in combat. The Queen’s Decree: Hide will deal shadow damage equal to 50% of maximum health to enemies in a line of sight within a 60-yard radius. This ability will debuff you with stacks of the same name, increasing ALL shadow damage dealt to you by 50%.

Players banking up their Titan Residuum for the Ethereal Traders will be pleased to note that Titan Residuum does not reset between seasons, meaning you can continue to save it for upcoming gear in Season 3. The amount players gain through looting their weekly chest and scrapping higher levels of Azerite Gear has also increased.

Releasing with Azshara’s Eternal Palace is Operation: Mechagon, a new 8 boss dungeon reserved only for Mythic difficulty. Similar to Karazhan’s remaster in Legion this difficulty will have unique rewards and reward elevated iLvl loot.

Upgrading Gear Tables!

Alongside the opening of Azshara’s Eternal Palace, players will find new loot with increased item levels in their weekly activities. Baseline rewards in Normal, Heroic, Mythic and Mythic+ dungeons have been increased by 30 item levels, putting them on par with The Battle for Dazar’alor and Crucible of Storms raid rewards.

Gladiator PvP gear now begins at item level 400 in both the Conquest Chest and regular rewards from Rated Player vs. Player activities. Like last season, players will be able to choose from at least four different rewards in their weekly Conquest Bar. On weeks when the gear rewarded is neither a piece of Azerite gear, trinket or weapon, players will be able to choose between two different item slots of gear.

Emissary rewards for World Quests have likewise been increased and several items may re-roll or update their stats with the start of the Season.

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About Phil DeMerchant

A young pundit of the Industry, Phil first fell in love with gaming through World of Warcraft and the 3D platformers of the Playstation Era. Honing his expertise over years of reporting, he now focuses on investigative work on appraising and evaluating industry practices.