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You're reaping what you've sown

November 2, 2018
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Under the vengeance tides and sinking like a stone
Greetings folks!
As things proceed to shape up on the PTR we find ourselves hooked to the newest twists and turns of the plot, even though we still don't have all the details. Still' let's begin on our review:

Where to next?
In case you're not aware where exactly are we planning to crash next, then you might be surprised: it is Zuldazar, the golden city. On the one hand, it was somewhat obvious the moment Bwonsamdi has uttered "The kingdom is ours" to Rastakhan (2:01 mark), but on the other, he is listed as an Alliance-exclusive boss, meaning that he is still loyal to the Horde, even though his new datamined model looks quite corrupted...

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No, we're not going to fight the old dirty bastard (at least not the Horde) personally just yet, in fact, we're having a full-on faction conflict on our hands, with the premise of Alliance seizing the opportunity to destabilize the Horde and defeat their zandalari allies. Currently, there is a plethora of bosses (12 in total), but we know for sure from the September QnA with Ion that this raid is going to play out very differently to how previous ones did (like Siege of Orgrimmar for example). How? Well, first of all, both factions get different routes, which on its own promises to make the next progress race interesting. However, some of the encounters appear to be a complete re-hash of one another (like the initial three bosses), so it's not like the whole experience would be entirely different for both factions, but it is exactly after the initial bosses where things get actually interesting.

Second, both factions WILL have the ability to experience each-others unique encounters (a feature that announced from the very beginning) as sort of a "flashback" where you're being told about the events transpiring either at approximately the same time as yours. That would allow Horde to battle Alliance-only bosses (Treasure Guardian, Loa Council, and King Rastakhan) and for the Alliance to fight Horde exclusives (High Tinker Mekkatorque, Sea Priest Blockade, and Jaina Proudmoore). This means that in fact there are 2 end bosses! Sure, this is more or less pure speculation, as things might change, but looking at the current roster and how the journey for either faction end with a major faction boss (2 factions bosses for Horde) it seems like a logical conclusion.

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Third, faction-exclusive encounters will be different this time. Sure, players are not new to "faction-changing" dungeons and raids at this point, as we've all probably visited Caverns of Time at some point at least once and know how this feature usually works. In case you don't - upon entering any of the CoT dungeons, your character would be given an illusion which would make him look like a member of an Alliance race (as all major transpiring events are related to their history) which is purely cosmetic. However this time, and this is something that has been confirmed by streamers as well, you're getting a temporary complete racial change along with your abilities! This is going to be very interesting: if we take progress races, then it's been obvious for a while how dominant Horde is thanks to their racial abilities (as well as the supposed de-facto skill of the playerbase). But even if Horde would remain dominant for six primary bosses, everything might turn upside-down as the last three "flashback" ones would completely screw-up any racial setup they might have going on! Additionally, it appears that the racial change is entirely random and gets switched each time a player would re-enter the flashback, which spices things up even more!



This all sounds very much interesting, but if were playing close attention, then you surely have noticed that our good friend Bwonsamdi is never mentioned, which is indeed puzzling.  It is clear that he is going to be present in some manner, but for the most part he's going to establish himself in Mythic+ with an upcoming new affix: Reaping.

Here's the description datamined by guys at Wowhead: Reaping - Non-boss enemies are empowered by Bwonsamdi and periodically seek vengeance from beyond the grave.
Which is comparable to the current description of Infected: Some non-boss enemies have been infested with a Spawn of G'huun.
What does it do? Well, here's some spell effects that seem to be related to it.

Aura of Reaping - Grants nearby allies Aura of Reaping, reflecting 75% of damage dealt back at the target.

Reaping - Reflects 75% of damage dealt back at the target.

Reaping - Inflicts Shadow damage equal to 75% of the damage dealt to the target.

Yikes... we don't think that we need to give any clarification on how exactly this is bad, do we? No, don't get this wrong, we believe this is a cool idea, but dealing with this might become very, very troublesome especially for cleave-heavy classes like Death Knights and Demon Hunters. Yes, looking at those effects it is apparent that just like Infected - the mob who actually got this aura doesn't benefit from them, which makes it somewhat easier, but the funny thing is... that you don't know when the effect is going to be triggered. It is pure speculation at this point, but this looks like something similar to re-animation some dungeon mobs or mechanical pets have. Will it be a single one from the pack? Will they be somehow marked beforehand? Should we grateful for upcoming nerfs to AoE bursts? We can't wait to find out. In the meantime, Sylvanas is up to no good...

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Yup. Forsaken Blood Elves. This isn't even thin ice Banshee Queen! 

That would be it for today's news update! If you've got any thoughts or ideas you would like to share - don't hesitate to do so in the comment section below!
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