With the launch of World of Warcraft: Legion Blizzard introduced more frequent but also smaller content updates, and with the game's newest patch they continue down that path. Set to release on January 10, patch 7.1.5 isn't a very large one, but it is still a patch that brings some very needed and fresh content to the well-aged MMO.
And for a relatively small patch, there actually is quite a lot of content in the update. First and foremost, a new raid called the Nighthold is opening, which allows players to develop their characters further and Blizzard to progress the story of #WoW a bit more. Besides that, tons of rather large changes to balance are happening, a bunch of new holiday events are introduced and the Brawler's Guild is returning to Azeroth.
Let's get to the details.
Ready To Rumble
We haven't seen the Brawler's Guild since it disappeared in Legion's prepatch, but the new update brings it back to World of Warcraft. This is the place you go to when you feel like releasing your inner Jean-Claude Van Damme and just smack someone up.
Located in either Orgrimmar or Stormwind, the Brawler's Guild enables you to test your solo skills against 28 increasingly difficult NPCs in a duel to the brink of death. As something new, there is also seven group bosses which you will have to defeat with the players currently in the area.
It's a ton of fun and a great way to get a break from the drudgery of mythic+ farming or herb gathering. And on top of that it can yield some interesting rewards, including gold, pets, an epic ring and the game's only basilisk mount.
A Holiday Trip To Old Areas
Another feature coming up in the patch is the implementation of more in-game holiday events. We're not talking about major and long-lasting events but more like small, cozy happenings. Based on their various locations, it seems to be an attempt from Blizzard to get more people out into the old world areas, as well as some one-off fun for players who've rather seen it all by this point.
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The first micro-holiday event coming up is gonna take place in Silithus on January 21 to 23. It's named Call of the Scarab and is kind of an ode to the opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj in vanilla WoW patch 1.9, which happened for the first time on January 23 2006. The event stays in the spirit of the old patch and involves quests to kill mobs, gather items and soloing the old Ahn'Qiraj raids.
Other micro-holidays include the Hatching of Hippogryphs, March of the Tadpoles (baby murlock day) and Spring Balloon Festival. For an extensive overview, follow this link.
Back Into The Mists Of Pandaria
It's been more than four years since the release of WoW's expansion Mists of Pandaria and Blizzard has deemed it's time to revisit the continents old dungeons, as six of the expansions 5-man instances are getting their own weekend in the regular timewalking rotation.
Go back to the Temple of the Jade Serpent, Stormstout Brewery or Mogu'shan Palace for fun and (outdated) loot, and start earning the badges needed to purchase the new, timewalking mount; the last Heavenly Cloud Serpent, called Yu'lei, Daughter of Jade.
Off With Gul'dan's Head
With the new patch comes a new raid as well, and the stakes seem to be quite high this time. Gul'dan, the no good orc warlock who's been escaping death and sabotaging the future peace of Azeroth time and time again, is the final boss, and maybe, just maybe, players get to kill him off for good this time. And showcase his head in Stormwind next to Deathwing's.
The new raid is called the Nighthold, and is located in Suramar city. Players have been progressing the storyline of the area since the launch of Legion and with the Nighthold it's finally time to conclude the tale of the magic-addicted, demon-worshipping Nightborne and our rebel friends from the Nightfallen.
Besides Gul'dan, the raid will feature bosses such as Grand Magistrix Elisande, ruler of Suramar, Krosus, who players faced in the assault on the Broken Isles during the event leading up to Legion, and Tichondrius; the dreadlord responsible for turning Arthus "to the dark side" in Warcraft 3. He's Burning Legion to the bone and generally a really nasty fellow.
All in all there's set up for quite an interesting raid at least from a lore perspective.
Balance To All Things
The most exciting part about a game update isn't always the new stuff that's being implemented, but rather how the developers change and evolve the existing content. This is especially true in competitive games like World of Warcraft, where a small change can spell doom for an entire class, profession or item.
Patch 7.1.5 is no exception to this and actually brings a lot of balance changes to Legion. Firstly the update brings an overhaul to the balance of the myriad legendary items which were introduced in the expansions, and seeing how much impact these tend to have on certain classes and builds, this is a big deal.
Secondly, the update revamps how secondary stats such as critical strike and mastery rating from items contribute to characters. This was done to make the stats more competitive to each other and allow more options for item upgrades, since a lot of classes were really dependent on just one or two specific stats before the patch.
Lastly the patch brings a large number of changes to each class' skills, abilities and talents. What those are, you can read in more detail in the patch notes, but generally the changes were, of course, made to bring more fairness, fun and diversity into each class and build's gameplay.
Even More Updates In The Notes
There's also a ton of smaller, more uncategorizable changes coming to World of Warcraft: Legion, which are definitely worth checking out. Like the newly implemented catch-up mechanic for Artifact Knowledge or the updates to professions.
For the definitive overview of all the details regarding the patch, check out Blizzard's released notes.
[Video credit in order of appearance: Mmo Champion, Wowhead & Blizzard Entertainment]