Blizzard is getting prepared to launch v8.1 “Tides of Vengeance” into World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. While players will find a lot of content in the first part of 8.1, many may also be expecting the usual raids, dungeons, higher iLevel loot and more, they may be disappointed to find that many of the “big ticket” items from 8.1 won’t actually be launching on December 11th.
Let’s take a look at five things that we won’t be seeing when Tides of Vengeance finally arrives.
Raids & Mythic+ Affix “Reaping”
During BlizzCon 2019 during the World of Warcraft What’s Next panel, developers said that the next raid, Battle for Dazar’alor will not be part of the December 8.1 content release. The delay in its release was said to be to allow guilds and groups to continue to iterate through the current raid, Uldir. This means that there will be no iLevel increase throughout Battle for Azeroth until the Dazar’alor raid is open.
Battle for Azeroth also introduced a new Mythic+ mechanic, namely the new seasonal affix. The season 1 affix, Infested, is currently active and places a G’huun’s parasite inside a certain number of non-boss enemies. The Season 2 affix will be themed after Bwonsamdi and called “Reaping”. Its effects cause all defeated enemies to rise from the dead and swarm the adventuring party at every 20% completed of the dungeon.
PvP Season 2
Ordinarily, when an x.1, x.2 etc. patch is released with new raid content, the next season of PvP arrives alongside. However, earlier this week, Blizzard developers announced that Season 2 will not start until January 2019, though a more specific date for its commencement is as yet unknown.
“As we’re now three weeks from the beginning the Tides of Vengeance content update, we wanted to make it know that the current PvP season will not be ending at that time.”
This is an interesting and somewhat controversial choice as it means that significant class changes coming on December 11th in the first part of 8.1 will then become part of the current season. Players seem concerned that “many large and untested changes are going to be live which opens the door to last-minute rating gains with new traits/ abilities/ changes/gear scaling that may not accurately reflect the gameplay and ability of the individuals using these new mechanics,” one poster wrote.
New Allied Races
The Zandalari Trolls and the humans of Kul Tiras will be joining their respective factions at some point after the Dazar’Alor raid. While players have been waiting for the chance to unlock them for a long time, especially with the Zandalari that was advertised before the Mag’har Orcs for the Horde, Blizzard feels that the story implications are more important than gameplay in this particular case.
With Dazar’Alor being the final push for the new friends of the Alliance and the Horde to claim their places in the factions, players will have to wait until 8.1.5 to get their hands on those newcomers.
Fifth Azerite Gear Ring
Azerite Gear has been viewed as one of the weakest components of Battle for Azeroth with many players feeling that the “bonuses” provided are underwhelming. To help mitigate player opinions on the efficacy of Azerite gear, Blizzard announced that items earned post-8.1 would feature a fifth ring of traits that developers feel will have a large impact for players based on spec-specific traits. Yes...this also means collecting per-spec gear sets.
However, when 8.1 launches on December 11th, there will not yet be an opportunity for players to earn or find higher iLevel gear. That will not arrive in-game until January when the Battle for Dazar’alor raid opens. In addition, the fifth ring will only be present on gear found after that time and will not be retroactive.
The inability to fly in the last several expansions is always a hot topic and one that generates a lot of virtual ink on the official forums, Reddit and other places. It will doubtless come as no surprise that flying will not be coming to Battle for Azeroth in Tides of Vengeance. However, it is likely that “Pathfinder Part 2” elements will be included in 8.1, though at this point, we do not know which ones will be showing up or when.
Previous to BfA, the Pathfinder achievement has been broken down into two parts that require a number of sub-achievements to be completed along the way. This usually includes earning “exalted” status with the expansion races, traveling to all designated points on the expansion map and so forth.
In fairness, there are a large number of new things coming on December 11th including the new warfront on Darkshore, improvements to island expeditions, new vendors, class changes and much more. However, the list of things not included is long and requires at least a 3-part release schedule that you can check out over at WoWhead.