In the new World of Warcraft Dev Insights video published today, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas spends several minutes speaking to one of the largest community concerns since Warlords of Draenor: Class pruning. While there have been good changes in terms of removing redundant abilities, there has been an overall dissatisfaction with how far those cuts went. “After a lot of reflection & ongoing discussion, ultimately I would like to say that we agree with that.”
The World of Warcraft team has announced that the v8.2 “Rise of Azshara” update will be arriving on June 25th. The announcement came with a new video to showcase all of the new features coming with RoA including two new exploration zones, a new raid tier, a “mega” dungeon, improvements to the Heart of Azeroth and Azerite gear systems and much more.
From June 19th to June 21st, all North American and Oceania World of Warcraft players with an active account are invited to take part in the next Classic stress test. Players will be able to download the client beginning Tuesday, June 18th. All races and classes will be available for character creation and a level 15 cap will be in place. Open world and instanced content will be available for the duration.
The latest World of Warcraft PTR build has an odd new aura seemingly directed at “twink” characters that speedrun island expeditions in parties designed to boost low-level, undergeared characters. If one player in a party has experience disabled, the rest of the party will see a 95% reduction in XP gains. Warcraft Secrets later clarified that the aura is seems to be directed at Demon Hunters that have been in wide use in both the Freehold Dungeon & Island Expeditions.
It seems that Blizzard is taking more seriously the notion of a World of Warcraft level squish than had been previously thought. A new survey is making the rounds asking players how they would feel if the company decided to “squish”, or reduce, WoW levels from where it currently stands at 120. Each expansion has added more levels to the cap and developers feel that this is not healthy for the game. Ion Hazzikostas recently alluded to a forthcoming squish with the next expansion.
The World of Warcraft Classic team is ready to put Alterac Valley through its paces. On Friday, June 14th, a new Classic Beta realm will be opened specifically for Alterac Valley. Players will need to log into the Field of Strife realm to take part and will be able to create a level 58 character for the purpose of testing. All other realms will be turned off while the test is underway.
The World of Warcraft Classic team has announced that closed beta is coming down for maintenance to add new zones and to increase the level cap to 40. Players will be able to check out Arathi Highlands, Desolace, and Stranglethorn Vale among others. In addition, CBT characters will be able to respec using silver instead of the usual gold cost. This is a specific reduction in cost for beta testing ONLY.
When v8.2 Rise of Azshara launches in World of Warcraft, it will come with a new vendor that will sell account-bound gear for “Prismatic Manapearls” earned through gameplay. The items purchased can then be sent to alts to help them gear up and, most interestingly, the gear itself can be upgraded at the same vendor up to near Heroic-raid level gear after seven improvements are purchased.
With the first World of Warcraft Classic stress test in the bag, developers have already announced the second, seemingly unplanned, event for Wednesday, May 29th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Pacific / 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Eastern. Anyone who participated in the May 22nd event is invited back for the one on the 29th.
When v8.2 rolls into World of Warcraft, it will come with new heritage armor quests for both the Alliance Gnomes and the Horde Tauren races. The official site has been updated with a preview of both armors. The quests for racial heritage armors generally do not have prerequisites other than to be exalted with that particular capital city. However, devs have a bit of a surprise in store: Tauren players will have to complete the War Campaign quest, Stay of Execution, in order to begin the quest.