World of Warcraft launches patch 8.3, Visions of N’Zoth, today

    
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Ah, good, backstory.

Who’s feeling downright crazy today? It’s the day for crazy in World of Warcraft with the launch of patch 8.3, Visions of N’Zoth, concluding the Battle for Azeroth story (or sequence of events, anyhow) with a fight against the eponymous Old God. That includes taking on the new variable-sized scaling Horrific Visions, tasking players with a romp through a corrupted version of either Stormwind or Orgrimmar whilst fighting off the steady demolition of your own sanity. Success means upgrades for your new Legendary cloak as well as gear and other rewards; failure means… well, not getting all that.

Players will also be able to challenge the new raid at variable difficulties n the near future, taking the fight directly to N’Zoth. Or you can opt out of the whole thing and just enjoy running around as a Mechagnome or a Vulpera, if that’s more your speed, since those allied races are now available for play once you fulfill the unlock requirements. So try not to drive yourself crazy waiting for the patch maintenance to wrap up; you’ll have plenty of chances to go nutso in the near future.

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Vincent Clark

The fact that I can’t just log in as a new player (after subbing and buying this expac) and have immediately access to the Vulpera race makes no sense to me.

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Dawn

This has been one of my beefs since day 1. I resubbed and purchased this expac so I could check out the new humans for their druid look. Nope, couldn’t have it. And even if I had bothered to grind the rep needed to unlock it I still couldn’t have it within the first month of launch. Total BS.

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znushu

The reason why they’re locking certain races behind a Reputation and Quest Wall is to entice new/ returning players to play through the content needed to unlock said race. Thus giving them temporarily more subscriptions and active user counts without needing to put much effort into it, aka money.

Why do you think nearly every single one of those races which are locked behind such things are just reskins of existing races? Mechagnomes are just Gnomes, Highmountain Tauren are just Tauren, and so on. If you want them to stop doing it then you will have to speak with your wallet and not just complain about it as the company responsible for the product of Warcraft stopped caring about user feedback long ago.

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Random MMO fan

Something interesting that I noticed that is directly related. Sodapoppin and Asmongold, both of whom were extremely popular WoW streamers (or streamers in general, they are both mentioned many times by some gaming blogs and both have Wikipedia articles about themselves which only very few streamers able to achieve), have both quit streaming WoW in December after getting burned out of WoW Classic, and neither of them have returned to play this patch on Retail. Of course there are plenty of other WoW streamers left as well but I noticed that the amount of their viewers has not increased by significant number, in fact WoW is still below games like Escape from Tarkov (hardcore PvP survival game which is still in early beta stage) and some other games. Yes this is just a content patch and not a full expansion but it just shows that the general interest in this game or this type of games keeps decreasing even among the fanatics of this game (Asmongold dislikes any other kind of MMORPG and he disliked just about every other game he played).

P.S: Just raw numbers – right now Escape from Tarkov, a hardcore PvP survival game which is still in early beta, has 76k viewers on Twitch. WoW has 24k viewers combined for all versions. I know some people dismiss Twitch statistics as something irrelevant but in my experience this is a very good indicator of general amount of popularity of any game between active players including people who do not stream.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Elf Butts.

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Utakata

Gnome Pigtails!

Alyn
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Alyn

Draenor hooves!

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Koshelkin

I’ve been thinking about returning to WoW recently but the announcement of the revamped leveling experience made me hesitate. I could use the time to unlock the allied races I’m planning to go for, though, so I have them available and ready for the expansion launch… hmm.

Andy McAdams
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Andy McAdams

I really want to play a Vulpera — dunno why, they just look really cool and I love the lore surrounding them. Really awesome race.

However, I don’t want to play enough to re-up my sub. Ultimately, the game still doesn’t care about me as a non-raider, the larger community is cold at the best of times, and I don’t really want to play through the same leveling content for the 25234523636th time because Blizzard can’t be bothered to give non-raiders anything reasonable to do.

And I’m still not sure how I’m ready to give Blizz anymore money because of Blitzchung.

Lets see what they actually release with Shadowlands and maybe then I’ll be inspired to play. Until then, there are plenty of other games out there to occupy my time.

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Joey

Non-raiders basically have LFR and boring easy mode grindy world content through world quests.

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Jeremy Barnes

everything else aside, they’re distaste for non-raiders is a big issue. They’ve even said that the amount of resources that is given to raiding is ridiculously disproportionate to amount of player who experience that content, but still…raiding is the central focus of the game and their design philosophy for other content seems to be ‘grind, grind, so you can raid’.

You guys that don’t raid (ie most of you), you don’t mind if your content is just grind for raiding, right?

They seem to slowly, begrudgingly through players dragging them kicking and screaming admitting that Mythic Plus is something people experience more (and enjoy?), but they still can’t seem to let go of the “grind, grind to raid” philosophy.

My experience with a lot of the raiders has been is that they logon once or twice a week to raid and don’t do a whole lot else unless they have to…like they don’t even farm mats anymore. They buy tokens to buy mats.

It seems utterly insane to me to keep investing the massive amount of resources they do into raiding.

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Joey

I wish WoW would abandon those big raids and put more focus on creating 5 to 10 man dungeons. Kara in TBC and the heroics then were some of the best times for me playing WoW.

Even BRD one of the best dungeons in WoW imo is usually praised by the bulk of the people that play and played WoW.

M+ on the other hand is toxic content imo. Remove the timer and just make hard dungeons and I would love it. I loath that stupid timer so much.

I get why people like it. Speed running content is all the rage among the Zoomer generation.

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Jeremy Barnes

I loathe timers, but I have to admit that some of my friends do a lot of Mythic+ and seem to enjoy it. I have a hard time taking issue with Mythic+ because while I’d prefer adjustments like removing the timer there does seem to be a large part of the playerbase who enjoys it. Since my big issue isn’t that they create some content that I don’t enjoy, it’s that they spend a lot of resources on content that people don’t get to experience.

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Joey

People only like M+ because it gives them access to heroic level gear without the hassle of raiding. With titanforging too, they can get Mythic level gear as well.

M+ is popular because it over rewards the player for the effort required. M+ is way more lucrative verses raiding.

The fact that tier sets got sacrificed for M+ really grinds my gears too.

M+ only exists because Blizzard has been pushing e-sports onto all their IPs. I love how it is blowing up in their faces too.

Their e-sport viewership for WoW has been abysmal. Who thought watching people speed run the same dungeons for 2+ years would be exciting e-sport content is beyond me.

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Jeremy Barnes

I have to say that my experience with M+ has been different. The guys I’ve been playing MMOs with for ~20 years now have been doing Mythic+ all expansion and enjoying it. I dip in and out, but they’ve been going strong the whole xpac.

They raid to get better gear to do mythic+. Gear upgrades are certainly a strong part of people doing content, but I think mythic+ is a preferred way of obtain gear to other methods.

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Ben Stone

Titanforging is gone. You get access to mythic quality gear (aside from a few end of raid pieces with higher levels) through M15+ runs now. You can also get this quality gear from doing the solo / scalable vision scenario with all 5 masks active.

It’s easier than ever to get mythic.quality gear without top tier raiding.

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Richard de Leon III

agreed. i was so excited with mythic until i realized they had timers. people who rushed 5 man dungeons are one of the things that pushed me away from group play.

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jealouspirate

To each their own, but WoW has literally never had more to do for non-raiders than it does now. I haven’t raided in years and still have a ton to do. 8.3 also brings in a number of new solo-friendly options.

1) The new Horrific Visions feature of 8.3 is a solo-able repeatable scenario with all sorts of options and variability that progresses your character
2) The new invasions/assaults are solo content
3) Some of the main features of BfA are for non-raiders, including Island Expeditions, Warfronts, invasions, etc
4) Mythic+ is a robust system for 5-man content
5) Not sure if you played 8.2, but there are 2 huge open world zones full of solo content with lots to do and collect
6) Pet collection/battles, including a new solo friendly pet dungeon in 8.3
7) Literal years of “legacy” content to solo and collect. Gear, pets, mounts, achievements, you name it.
8) PvP (arenas, battlegrounds, warmode, etc)

Not to mention gear catch-up mechanics have never been more frequent or better than they are now. I haven’t raided at all in BfA yet my gear is pretty current. I totally understand not liking WoW, that’s fine, but I just don’t understand how you can say the game doesn’t care about non-raiders. It has oodles of content for non-raiders. What else are you looking for, exactly?

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Joey

Response to your post in order

1. Recycled content using old zones as the back drop for this “new” content.

2. Again, recycled zones and mostly just mindless content that requires zero interaction with other players.

3. The main features you mentioned have been mostly panned by the majority of the player base. Labeled as boring and anti-social content.

4. M+ = god seriously one of the worst systems ever put into an MMO. It is a breeding ground for toxicity and was a lame attempt to try to make WoW pve into an e-sport. Also, it lets Blizzard be completely lazy by the way of adding new dungeons. M+ is nothing but dungeons recycled each patch.

5. I will give you the addition of the land masses, but in all honesty, there were pretty boring and mostly full of old art assets. They were also full of boring and shallow easy mode world quests with the addition of some of the most boring rep grinds in all of WoW. (subjective of course)

6. Mount/Pet collection is boring content. There already 400+ mounts in the game already, I really wouldn’t classify collecting digital goods as content.

7. Again, more content that has been played to death already.

8. PVP has been an utter mess in BFA and the participation for rated BGs and Arena is at it’s lowest it has ever been.

Personally, I think WoW stinks at creating content for the solo player. If you want to look to game that gets it right despite it’s horrible combat, would probably be ESO. They continually pump out pretty decent DLCs that are chalk full of story content. WoW on the other hand is nothing more than boring grinds, the content, the story(lately) is all pretty boring.

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Koshelkin

I mean, he’s not forcing you to like it.

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jealouspirate

Right… so basically now you’re saying “yeah, there’s lots of content, I just don’t like it”. That’s fine. I really don’t care if you like it or not. The point is there is objectively quite a lot of available content to do in the game outside of raiding.

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Joey

Your saying there is a lot of content when the reality is, it is a lot of recycled content and rehashed systems.

I love arguing with WoW apologists too. Their idea of fun MMO content just intrigues me.

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Oleg Chebeneev

People like you, who hate WoW and demand that everyone else hated it, are intriguing too.

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Jeremy Barnes

The complaint isn’t that there is no content, it’s that the bulk of resources are spent on raiding which the developers themselves have said is experience by relatively few people.

It doesn’t make sense to spend like 70% of your resources on content for ~10% of your players

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Joey

The complaint isn’t that there is no content, it’s that the bulk of resources are spent on raiding which the developers themselves have said is experience by relatively few people.

WoW apologists don’t see this issue at all. They think mount and pet collection and the boring world content that WoW puts out is exciting content for the casual MMO player.

Don’t be fooled, 90% of their dev time once the expansion launches is being put into those new raids. They justify it too because of the existence of LFR.

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Richard de Leon III

Personally i think more mmos should reuse old zones when brining in new events. It gives players a reason to populate the world rather than leave abandoned zones because the content is irrelevant.

off-topic: I actually like ESOs combat much more than most mmos. Tab targeting combat is getting long in the tooth hehe.

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Christmas Dog

I picked up woodworking as a hobby. Unfortunately I had to drop it because after sawing one piece of wood, I figured that sawing a second piece would be recycled content, which means it is boring and bad and… uh… yeah, something negative. Also, anyone who thinks otherwise is a woodworking apologist. Sorry.

The developers of woodworking really need to step it up. It’s so repetitive and it’s been done to death.

Bereman
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Bereman

Such a bad faith analogy.

No one is complaining about having to do something a few times. It’s when you get the same repetitive content, that wasn’t that fun to begin with, and are stuck with it for months that the issue arises.

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Christmas Dog

You mean like when I say I’m tired of working with oak, so I get told to use maple instead?

Bereman
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Bereman

No one is complaining about having to do something a few times. It’s when you get the same repetitive content, that wasn’t that fun to begin with, and are stuck with it for months that the issue arises.

Since you apparently missed it the first time. I’ve typed exactly what I mean. Don’t be obtuse.

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Jeremy Barnes

No one likes Islands or warfronts.

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Khrome

WoW objectively never had more content than it does right now, but somehow, something feels like it’s missing. I can’t really put my finger on it, but the game kind of feels hollow in many ways.

I think one of the reasons the overemphasis on systems: Systems over everything. Everything has been designed first and foremost to be modular on a low, systematic level, in a manner which makes it endlessly repeatable and expandable by way of changing numbers around.

Story quests which had a fun mechanic later on start feeling hollow when that exact same scenario turns into a repeatable world quest you do every couple of days.

The world is also massive on one side, with 15+ years of content to explore, but none of it really feels relevant to the game as it now. The old content is far too easy, especially with old mechanics (and even quests) having been stripped out and players generally overlevelling it within hours, so there’s not even any challenge left. It feels like a chore, rather than an adventure, so most people only bother doing it if they need specific mogs or achievements, treating it as a checklist over anything else.

There’s also the issue of exponential power escalation *at almost every single patch*. Content which was brought in in 8.0 has been made completely irrelevant and “worthless” in 8.1, 8.1 was made irrelevant on 8.2, and so on. For the most part, you pack your bags and move on, never to even think about ‘old content’ ever again as the shiny new is not just more ‘exciting’, but also the only thing ‘worthwhile’. Uldir is a tremendously good raid, but even LFR is empty now, just to name an example. It’s mythic difficulty is treated with contempt as “an easy mog run” currently. I wish Blizzard stopped exponentially increasing item levels like they do currently, and make items more interesting in general, rather than hyper-focusing and hyper-balancing them *on top of* allowing them to titanforge (which is one of *the* worst things ever introduced to WoW).

All of the above makes the game *feel* absolutely tiny and hollow. Nothing feels like it matters, since next week there will be yet another, end-of-the-world threat you have to face, next week all your current items will be rendered worthless, next week that beautiful new world you’ve been exploring will be all but empty and irrelevant.

That said, i recognize that the way the game works now does still appeal to many, but it has stopped feeling like an RPG, let alone a ‘world’, a long time ago.

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Utakata

Interestingly enough…this maybe the first patch I don’t feel like jumping into any endgame content. Rather working on leveling my alts instead…as I don’t really want to run through that gearing treadmill again either. >.<

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Joey

I don’t know why there is so much hype surrounding this patch? The only bright spot is the new raid really. The rest is just a bunch of recycled content with a ton of grinding tacked on.

Oh and the new races which look boring too.

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jay

There’s hype surrounding it because those that are actually still playing have been stuck in a content drought for almost twice as long as those in legion. So at this point anything remotely new is huge for them.

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Joey

Phew I got scared for a second that this was going to be an attack post. :P There are quite a few WoW apologists that post here on MoP.

That said, I think WoW needs put out to pasture. You can tell they are milking the fans at this point. BFA is probably the most boring expansion in story, systems and overall content for me. I feel like blizz is just phoning things in at this point.

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Jeremy Barnes

I agree with you, but I will say that BFA has some really cool zones. While, I’m annoyed by almost everything else…Drustvar and Nazmir stand out to me as really interesting.

Of course, they pale in comparison to something like the zones in FFXIV’s latest expansion.

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Joey

The art for the new zones is awesome imo. The art team always does a fantastic job.

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Jokerchyld

Please stop claiming your opinion as a fact. Just because you don’t like WoW doesn’t mean its a bad game for the rest of the world. It still brings in a sizeable profit for Activision to contrary to your subjective belief the actual fact is the game will be around as long as people continue to enjoy the content given.

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Random MMO fan

No idea why it is hyped. I guess just because it’s “something new”… Even Copied Factory raid in the recent FFXIV patch was more exciting to me, not because “it’s a new raid” (something which is utterly boring to me in EVERY MMORPG game) but because this was a piece of story, lore, and music based on a totally different game (Nier: Automata) which I also liked very much.

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rosieposie

There is hype??? All I have seen is some mild curiosity, but mostly anemic yawning.

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jealouspirate

I haven’t seen a ton of hype, really. That being said, the patch is a lot better than you’re suggesting. There isn’t any recycled content at all. Some locations are being revisited, but all of the content there in new. There are new quests, new story, new cutscenes, new systems to play with, new gear, new powers, new mounts, new pets, new solo and group repeatable content, heritage armor for 4 races, redesigned battleground, new class/race combinations, and so on. That’s just off the top of my head.

As far as the races being boring, that is obviously subjective. I see tons of hype for Vulpera. And yes, you have to do (some) grinding to get things. This is an MMO – a lot of people like that kind of thing. It’s certainly not WoW’s biggest or best patch, but it is fairly substantial.

(This is not an “attack post”, by the way.)

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Joey

Sorry but the only new content really is the raid. If you think adding some new quests to old zones and adding a new affix for M+ dungeons is “new content” then I don’t know what to say.

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jealouspirate

No, sorry, you’re just wrong. There are entirely new from scratch game modes that take place in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, for example. Just because something takes place in an existing zone doesn’t mean it isn’t new. You can play soccer and rugby on the same patch of grass.

Obviously I won’t get to you since you have already posted you think WoW should actually be shut down, but you’re being deliberately disingenuous with your characterization of the patch. That’s all I say.

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Joey

Sorry but I don’t see it that way. It is recycled areas of the game being presented as scenario with some new gimmicks attached. I’d hardly call that new content lol.

Your attempts to try to make 8.3 sound better than it is, is just history repeating itself. I know what modern WoW is now and there is no amount of smooth talk that is going to make me see it any differently.

They have been trying to put lipstick on this pig for the last 3 expansions, but I think the player base is starting to wise up to the fact that this game just doesn’t have the resources and the talent it once had.

Add to that the fact that the current team, which is largely made up of ex-Diablo 3 developers, really doesn’t have clue what makes for a fun MMO.

But hey, to each their own right?

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jealouspirate

Legion is largely regarded within the WoW community as one of the best expansions in the game’s history.

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Joey

Yeah, you mean the ones left playing lol. Most of WoW buddies said Legion was one of the worst expansions. They all agreed with me that is when the game started introducing the Diablo style systems to the game.

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Jokerchyld

Please don’t feed the trolls.

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Jokerchyld

You would agree that if something was NOT there prior that it would be new right? Therefore the content in the old zones is new. You not liking that as new content doesn’t mean its not new. Your logic makes it hard to take you seriously.

And before you label me with your hyperbolic generalized group I dont like BFA and stopped playing. I will try 8.3 but really feels a bit too linear to keep me interested long term.

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Richard de Leon III

One thing i dont like about the patch, i have to bring each toon through the intro questline in order to kill the new world bosses, otherwise they dont appear. ill be spending the first week just getting my 12 120s through the intro. Then maybe i can start on my foxy toon

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Joey

More pointless grinding.

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Richard de Leon III

rpgs are all about the grind, have yet found one that doesnt have any sort of grind yet still is in operation or have a meaningful population online.

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Joey

You mean online RPGs right? Because there are plenty of amazing RPGs out there that don’t have pointless grinding. HAve you played Divinity Original Sin? I feel bad for people that their only exposure to RPGs is modern themepark MMOs.

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Richard de Leon III

A grind is a grind, regardless if its pointless. Otherwise it becomes a point and click cinematic adventure. And Ive been playing rpgs since the 80s dnd.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

my 12 120s

Found your problem.

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Richard de Leon III

the xp bonus from the anniversary event made it easy hehe