Battle for Azeroth pre-patch pre-view.
Battle for Azeroth pre patch has finally hit Beta servers on June 15th, so now we have an accurate list of changes that are going to happen when it goes LIVE some 2 weeks from now. Without further adieu – let us introduce you with a complete list of features which Are coming really really soon.
1) Upright orcs.
It is happening. Horde has hired chiropractors and their services will be available right away at any local barbershop! Sounds goofy? Think again! If you were paying attention – you probably have noticed that barbershops are not only capable of fixing a bald spot in an instant, but in case with Demon Hunters they are also capable of producing mind-bogglingly quick body modifications. Like shaping and removal of horns, piercings and tattoo adjustment. The fact that are now also capable of fixing someone’s spleen doesn’t look particularly impressive.
What’s good though – you can edit your posture just as easily as a haircut, meaning that it would be available right away for any existing orc! As a side note - this little feature allows for a potentially hilarious joke. Here’s the thing: you make a straight orc as soon as you are able, you enter like this in your guild raid group, on the following day you switch your posture back to hunchback and complain “that your shoulders hurt from carrying all those scrubs the evening before”.
Sadly, orcs are the only race that has received this treatment so far. Players have discovered an interesting variation of Forsaken animations, but unlike upright orcs - these Forsaken were not playable on Alpha / Beta, but players have noted that new Forsaken NPCs (members of the Deathguard in particular) appear to be standing upright. So... who knows? We think that would've been cool. And let's not forget trolls. Sure, Zandalari with their distinct body build (mostly true for males, as females don't differ that much from what we have now) bring certain flavor, but in the end, it makes us actually raise the question: why straight posture was made available exclusively for orcs?
2) Enforced Personal Loot.
Yes, it is almost here, so brace yourselves. We have previously explained how this is going to be a very negative change in the coming expansion. But, there’s also some good news: Blizzard are finally implementing “Legacy Loot Mode” for old content. In case you have not heard about that thing (it was first mentioned in late February) – this loot mode will activate and replace Personal Loot (current system for all dungeons / raid content) when you enter a dungeon / raid alone. Of course, it applies only to trivial difficulty content for your character (10 or more lvls below your character’s level). This forces item drops from mobs / bosses to behave as if you’re not soloing it, but instead as if you’re running with a full group, dramatically increasing the number of items dropped. Essentially they're going to roll back their changes. Why put a 10 level limitation on content? Good question. It does make sense that when we do solo farming - we would want any advantage we can get, as it might not be a good idea going into, say, Firelands as soon as you've hit 86.
Anyway, this means that Blizzard have acknowledged how negatively their recent change (Personal Loot reduced the number of drops from old content to a single item per boss) has affected gameplay, making lives of people who do transmog runs regularly quite miserable and annoying. This gives us some hope that they would be watching player feedback very closely in the following month and note their reaction towards the new system. Taking into account that Mythic progress would still be a thing then – it gives Blizzard ample opportunity to explore this decision on a massive scale, and possibly polish / scrap this idea.
3) Stat squish / Item Level Changes
There isn’t much to be said about this. One thing is certain: both stat squish and ilvl reduction are wanted adjustments to the game. In case you haven't noticed: numbers have gotten quite insane this expansion. Sure, seeing those 6 or 7 digit crits might make you feel cool, but then you see mobs with the big "G" in their name. Suddenly those huge numbers become too unwieldy for any beneficial use and comparing them on a scale of DPS becomes even more gut-wrenching. We have experienced stat squish before, during the launch of Warlords of Draenor, and it felt good. An ilvl squish is something new, but technically just another system of measure which would benefit from being squished. Smaller numbers are easier to perceive and operate. Resulting values fit somewhere between WoTLK and Cataclysm with tanks sitting around 58k HP upon reaching 120 and Heal / DPS around 45k HP.
We recommend consulting this article to find out which ilvl you’re going to end up as.
4) War Mode becomes active.
A drastic change to game servers and many other aspects. We have partially covered it in one of our previous articles but forgot to note one crucial thing: from that point on there would be no segregation on PvP and PvE servers. World PvP would be a conscious choice on the part of players, but it would not just allow you to gank and camp other people / make it possible for you to be ganked and camped (ah, the good old days of being repeatedly assaulted during questing in Tarren Mill), but would unlock additional PvE opportunities such as World Quests and Warfronts (unavailable until full release), but it would be possible to try out the new talent system and its effects.
You have 2 weeks to come to terms with the fact that your most vital item would lose all its functions and become just a plain boring... piece of gear. Say goodbye to your precious traits and artifact abilities. Some of those have been turned into talents, others re-imagined and interwoven into existing abilities and talents, others are gone forever. Relics shall continue to influence their ilvl and it would be possible to replace them and increase ilvl, but this would provide only flat stat boost.
However, the Legendary Fishing Rod endures! It has been recently confirmed that not only it would keep its power, but it would be possible to lvl in BfA! If you didn’t bother getting one yourself and currently feel that there’s no point – it seems you’re wrong and you’ll have your opportunity for a fresh start!
6) Professions shall receive a massive overhaul.
Professions are going to receive a massive overhaul in Battle for Azeroth. First and foremost: method of progression would change dramatically. Now all profession feature segments related to a specific expansion. Each section has its own progress bar, which fills up when you make relevant items. This isn't the same as Legion with its catch-up mechanics, this one would allow to craft or gather relevant items as soon as you learn it. There is a distinct difference after Legion, as new segments appear to be named after one of the factions: "Kul'Tiran" or "Zandalari".
Now they would start off looking like this.
And it would continue to fill up as you progress.
Ironically - cooking appears to have received the least amount of changes. Followed by Archeology, which looked like it wasn't even touched. The system appears to remain a WIP even now, if recent changes on Beta are any indication of an ongoing work. Two things appear to be gone: ranks appear to be gone for good. As well as quests. But there's plenty of new stuff, and not just items, but something like this:
Another thing: First Aid is going to be merged with tailoring, due to similarities between the two. All achievements currently available in the game would become Feats of Strength.
7) Massive visual updates.
You're probably aware of a vast number of visual upgrades to different spell effects across the board. Warlock and his chaos bolts are among fan favorites. But it doesn't end there. Updated maps should be there as well. Uther's tomb has received a massive visual upgrade. Critters of all sorts received an upgrade, the landscape has also changed. Burning of Teldrassil and Battle for Lordaeron were not available for testing at the time, but it would be safe to assume that they would be unlocked over time, in a manner how Legion pre-patch events were unfolding.
It's hard not to get excited about this! Yes, a lot of things are going away forever, so hopefully, you've got your plans sorted out! But, in case you're still struggling with your Ahead of the Curve: Argus and want to get that Spellwing while it is still a 100% drop - don't hesitate to ask, we are more than happy to help!