Next week is a big deal for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth with the forthcoming release of patch 8.1.5. Generally, “half patches”, those smaller updates that arrive between major content patches, aren’t a big deal, but 8.1.5 is a bit different. It brings a number of new features to the game and finally sees the release of the Kul Tiran Humans and Zandalari Troll Allied Races, something players have been looking forward to since the expansion’s announcement.
Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting big and small additions coming to WoW when 8.1.5 launches on March 12th.
Zandalari Trolls & Kul Tiran Human Allied Races
The centerpiece of the patch is, of course, the arrival of both the Kul Tirans for Alliance and the Zandalari for the Horde. This was a much-touted component of the Battle for Azeroth expansion and one that many hoped would be present when BfA launched. However, given the nature of the way Allied Races unlock, this was never going to be a launch feature, though many players didn’t expect it to be quite this far out.
That said, players have had lots of time over the intervening six months since BfA’s launch to get the unlock requirements in order so most regular players should be able to get started right away. If you want to check on the requirements, head here.
Crucible of Storms Raid
When Crucible of Storms arrives on April 16th, World of Warcraft players will have another opportunity to participate in a “mini raid”. These small-scale raids usually feature three or fewer bosses. Crucible of Storms is similar in scope to the Trial of Valor mini-raid that was released in Legion. Until Trial, however, that was released as part of a major patch (7.1), Crucible is coming in a “half patch”, something sort of unusual.
I believe that Crucible is coming at this point due to its importance lore-wise for the upcoming 8.2 patch that will introduce the Naga-themed Naz’jatar zone and to bring a more Old Godsish feel to the game. After all, it’s no secret that that’s what’s coming next.
Crucible of Storms is a two boss mini-raid featuring the Restless Cabal and Uu’nat. Gear will scale upward from 375 to 425 depending on difficulty. Lorewise, the raid is focused on House Stormsong that allied itself with Queen Azshara and the Naga. According to Wowhead:
“In a vision, we see that the tidesages are sacrificing the souls inside the Shrine of the Storm using forbidden magic. Reaching the Shrine of the Storm is a difficult task, and once we're there, we face off against Azshj'thul the Drowned, a Faceless One spawned from the remains of a poor tortured shipbuilder. Later in the zone, we push back against attacks on the coast and face off against the Pride of Azshara.” Players will hear a number of “whispers” from the Old God of the Sea himself, N’Zoth, surely a harbinger of events yet to come.
The Return of the Brawler’s Guild
One of the more popular solo activities that players can engage in is the Brawler’s Guild. In expansions past, players have faced off in arena-style combat with a variety of extremely challenging bosses across a number of tiers of difficulty. Successful combatants can earn pets and toys and other cosmetic type rewards for participation. Brawler’s Guild has never been lore heavy, but that is changing a bit in 8.1.5.
The updated Brawler’s Guild will feature five new bosses to defeat and will send players off to investigate a Murder Mystery. Those who do so and who reach Rank 8 in this iteration of the Brawler’s Guild will earn Bruce, the crocolisk mount (and one of the older BG bosses) and a matching transmog set. Huzzah!
Tools of the Trade Crafting Quests
Since the removal of the profession buffs in Warlords of Draenor, players have complained that professions have lost everything that makes them interesting. During BlizzCon, the team has announced special items that are to spice crafting professions up - if you are strictly a gatherer, well… SOL.
After finishing a quest line, you will get special profession items and bonuses. Engineers will be able to summon some special gadgets with their Ub3r-Spanner. Leatherworkers will be able to summon a special mount in Zandalar and Kul Tiras. Tailors will find extra cloth on the mobs out in the world and resurrect in Zandalar and Kul Tiras.
Check out what is the bonus for your profession!
PvP Battleground Updates & the Return of Wintergrasp
Both Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin will be getting a paint job in 8.1.5. While the gameplay elements won’t change, the overall aesthetic will be updated with new modernized visuals.
Also coming in the update is the return of Wintergrasp, an iconic large-scale battleground from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Wintergrasp will join Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest in the Epic Battlegrounds queue. It will be reworked for level 120 gameplay.
Other Notable Inclusions
There are, of course, a lot of other things coming in 8.1.5. These are some of the smaller, but cool, things players will find. For a full list of things coming in the patch, swing over to WoWhead’s 8.1.5 Guide to learn more about the stuff below and all the rest!
- Updates to Holiday Events (Children Week, Darkmoon Faire, etc.)
- Two Sides to One Coin achievement for finishing both sides’ War Campaigns
- Hati returns to Hunters after a special questline
- Portal room & removal of the old portals
- BoA gear tokens from Island Expeditions
- WoD Timewalking
- 50 Character per Realm increase (the 50 character per account limit stays)
- MoP Raiding with the Leashes battle pet achievement
- Heirloom upgrade to 120
Players will also find new war campaign quests, new world quests, and updated rewards for completing content.
What You WON’T Find in 8.1.5
Of course, there are a lot of things that one won’t find in this update, but there are certainly things that people WISH were coming...but aren’t. Here are the notable things you won’t find in 8.1.5.
- No flying
- No new PvP season
- No new warfront
- No Azshara battle -- that’s coming in 8.2
- No Mechagon
So there you have it, a list of some of the biggest things you will...and won't...see in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth patch 8.1.5. What are you most looking forward to seeing?