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[Summary] World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel

Today at 3:30 PM Pacific, Ion Hazzikostas and other designers of the World of Warcraft Team shared the upcoming features coming to World of Warcraft.

The panel started out with Ion talking about providing players with a steady stream of content coming in future patches.  The so-called “Dot 5” patches will continue to provide content updates throughout the expansion without needing to release large patches less frequently.  The focus going forward will be on systems and rewards.

We were shown some updates to the exterior of Darkshore, new Island Expeditions, and new features coming to Warfronts.  In 8.1.5, there will be a new Raid released in early 2019 named Dazar’Alor.  In the new raid, the Alliance and Horde will have different experiences, different bosses, and varied storylines.  We were shown a preview of Heritage Armor that will be made available to non-Allied Races.

There will be Azerite Armor improvements, Emissary rewards improvements, and also some reputation updates.  In 8.1.5, things will be more alt-friendly.  Achievements and rewards that require a certain reputation will be shared account-wide.  Once one character on an account reaches the requirements, the rewards and unlocks will be available to all characters on an account.

There will be two new Allied Races: Kul’Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls.  For the first time, Horde Paladins will be able to be created!  For Kul’Tiran Humans, a new mount!  A horse!

Next, we were shown a new attraction coming to Darkmoon Faire once 8.1.5 has landed.  A roller coaster!  This new attraction will be available the first time Darkmoon Faire comes to town after 8.1.5 has been released.  There are also updates to some classic holidays like Wanderer’s Festival, Diving, and a micro-holiday involving Shirts!  Also, coming in 8.1.5 are new questlines for Kul’Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls involving Children’s Week.

Gone are the days of fruitlessly looking for that portal taking you to wherever you need to go.  In 8.1.5, both Orgrimmar and Stormwind will feature portal rooms that can be expanded upon instead of plopping a random portal in some odd corner of a room.

Crafters will get some new crafting questlines that reward Tools of the Trade.  What are Tools of the Trade?  Well, they are *ahem* Tools of the Trade.  They will be items that can be used to further enhance the crafting experience.

Brawler’s Guild will be returning in 8.1.5, and will include a new questline.  During the questline, you will be charged with solving a Murder Mystery.  There are some cool rewards as well!  How about mounts that would be your favorite Brawler’s Guild bosses?  Now featuring, Bruce the Mount!

Battleground will be remastered, starting with Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin.  We were then shown a video of what looked like a group of players fighting against players from the opposite team.  However, it was a video of a group of players fighting against advanced AI bots in Arathi Basin.  Using the same technology as is used in Island Expeditions, players can choose to fight against these AI bots instead of a full-blown PvP match.

New for 8.2.5, new character models for both Goblin and Worgen, finally!

Following the Dazar’Alor raid, a lot has been lost.  In this moment of weakness, the Naga stage their attack.  They drag people underwater and mount a relentless battle.  However, something strange is going on deep under the sea.  The Horde and Alliance take their few remaining ships and sail for the great blue beyond.  What they find is amazing.  They find a crack in the sea, which leads to a wonderful land filled with waterfalls and ruins, all indicating this land is very, very old.  We’re going to Nazjatar!

In Patch 8.2, we’ll take the fight to Queen Azshara herself in Rise of Azshara.  The Alliance and Horde will meet new friends as they quest through Nazjatar.  There will be new story quests, new systems, and new rewards.  Yes, there will be a new mount too!  Naga themed weapons and mounts, as well as a crab that actually walks sideways!

A new raid will be released with Rise of Azshara: Azshara’s Eternal Palace.  It will contain 8 bosses, a visit to a Naga hatchery, a possible underwater boss, and of course, Queen Azshara.  Along with the new raid are new replayable zones, much like Suramar.

A Gnome has been trying to figure out some very old and rusted technology.  What’s behind that door?  That door actually leads to a vault, and in Patch 8.2, the door will be opened.  Inside, you will find an odd radio signal, and a new Gnome and Goblin adventure.  We’re going to Mechagon, and it’s definitely not a happy place.

As we explore Mechagon, we’ll meet the Mechagnomes: mechanical beings in various states of disrepair.  Further inside, we’ll see another vault which houses a secret society of robot enemies.  This all leads to a new “Megadungeon”.

Think of Karazhan.  It’s a large dungeon, but not quite a raid.  It will contain 8 bosses with King Mechagon as the final boss.  It will be Mythic only, but just for now.

As we continue our quest through Battle for Azeroth, we’ll be able to follow the stories of Sylvanas, Saurfang, Jaina, and Anduin.  We’ll also be checking back with our favorite Dwarf, Magni, to see how the healing of world is coming along.  Spoiler alert!  It’s not.

New Island Expeditions and Warfronts will take us to Crestfall and Snowblossom from Mists of Pandaria.  New Warfront features include Heroic Warfronts where 10+ players from your guild or random friends can join together for greater rewards and a greater difficulty curve.

Wrapping up the panel, we’re shown a new PvP Arena: Mechagon Arena.  Flying will be returning with 8.2, along with a new BfA Season.  There will be new mounts to have fun with when flying has been unlocked, including a bee, a new Gryphon, and a mecha-parrot.

So when is all of this coming?  After Patch 8.1.5.


Today has been a very fun, but exhausting day.  Be sure to join us again tomorrow when we cover the World of Warcraft Q&A session at 3:30 PM Pacific Time tomorrow.

Until then, be sure to follow us on Twitter @WoWDailyBlog.

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