WoW news

This Week in WoW – March 17, 2020

Patch 8.3 Hotfixes – March 16, 2020

This Week in World of Warcraft

Hearthstone Expansion – Ashes of Outland and new Demon Hunter Class
Blizzard announced the new Ashes of Outland Hearthstone expansion today, adding a new Demon Hunter class! You can see the full list of new cards here.

Obtaining Rank 3 Essences on Alts

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As we announced last Thursday, with scheduled weekly maintenance in each region, a new system will allow players who have Rank 3 Azerite essences on at least one character to more directly acquire those Essences on other characters. This will use a new currency called Echoes of Ny’alotha. Here are more details about the system.

If a Rank 3 Essence has been earned by another character on your account, MOTHER will offer that Rank 3 Essence for 500 Echoes of Ny’alotha. Any player who is eligible to purchase at least one Essence from MOTHER will now receive Echoes of Ny’alotha from a wide range of activities in current content. These are the values we’re planning per activity:

  • Black Empire Assault – 125 Echoes of Ny’alotha
  • Aqir/Amathet/Mantid/Mogu Assault – 75 Echoes of Ny’alotha
  • Horrific Visions – 50 Echoes of Ny’alotha, plus 25 per additional objective completed (i.e. 150 Echoes for a full clear)
  • Emissary Quest – 50 Echoes of Ny’alotha
  • Heroic Darkshore Warfront – 75 Echoes of Ny’alotha
  • Normal/Heroic/Mythic Ny’alotha raid bosses – 15-25 Echoes of Ny’alotha each, once per week per boss
  • Ny’alotha Raid Finder wings – 25 Echoes of Ny’alotha
  • Random Battleground wins – 15-25 Echoes of Ny’alotha
  • Rated Arena wins – 10-25 Echoes of Ny’alotha baseline, scaling up with PvP rank
  • Rated Battleground wins – 35 Echoes of Ny’alotha baseline, scaling up with PvP rank
  • Weekly PvP Cache – 175 to 300 Echoes of Ny’alotha, based on PvP rank
  • Mythic Keystone dungeon end-of-run chest – 3 Echoes of Ny’alotha per Keystone Level (i.e. 30 Echoes of Ny’alotha for a Mythic 10)
  • Weekly Mythic Keystone Cache – 20 Echoes of Ny’alotha per highest Keystone Level

The general goal here is that doing Assaults and associated Horrific Visions should provide enough to get at least one Rank 3 Essence of your choice per week. Doing other content you like (PvP, dungeons, or raids) will increase that significantly, depending on the level of content you’re doing. Of course, Essences can still be earned normally via their associated activities, so if you want to get your Essence of the Focusing Iris directly via Mythic Keystone dungeons and then buy others from MOTHER, that’s now an option. Within a couple of weeks of hitting max-level on your alt, you should be able to obtain your preferred Essences by playing the game as you usually would.

Please note: Echoes of Ny’alotha may appear to replace Azerite in the Emissary and PvP reward panes, however, it does not. Echoes of Ny’alotha are always additive with existing rewards. We believe that it is more important to release this update with a reward display issue than hold the change for a fix. We expect to fix the display issue in the next week or two.

We’ve seen discussion in the community wondering about the motivation for this change, especially considering that we previously signaled that we didn’t plan to make Essences account-wide. We’ve increasingly moved towards making cosmetics (mounts, pets, transmog, titles, etc.) and access to content (World Quest unlocks, dungeon attunements, etc.) account-wide, but we’ve tried to keep power (character levels, items, expansion-specific systems like artifacts or garrisons, etc.) character-specific.

We take this approach for two main reasons. First, a core part of the experience of playing an alt has always been gaining power as you see the game from a different vantage point, and setting your sights on a goal, whether that’s just reaching max level, or achieving a certain PvP rank, or raiding at a specific difficulty. Thus, every reward that’s account-wide becomes one fewer goal to strive for on alts. Second, while many players enjoy playing multiple characters, and while having alts offers a number of advantages, we’re wary of making it feel as though focusing on a single main character is objectively the wrong way to play the game. If more power rewards are multiplied across all characters on an account, not having multiple max-level alts would be inefficient.

That philosophy led us to initially decide against having Essences be an account-wide unlock, though it was the topic of significant and repeated internal discussion among the development team. The activities that reward Essences are all things that we believe are important to do at least once so that you become familiar with zones and stories, or to engage in aspects of the game that you may not have had a reason to try. If you are just returning to Battle for Azeroth or experiencing it for the first time, the goal of acquiring all of your Essences will lead you through many aspects of Warcraft’s endgame.

More recently, as we continued to revisit the subject, especially in light of ongoing Shadowlands design, we came to see subsequent playthroughs of the same content for the same player differently. While we still firmly believe that each character should have a progression arc of power gains, the player behind those characters understandably may not want to repeat the exact same arc multiple times when they feel they have exhausted the variety or rewards an activity might hold. So if you’ve thoroughly worked with Nazjatar followers to earn your Rank 3 Memory of Lucid Dreams, or delved into Battlegrounds and Island Expeditions enough to earn Rank 3 Blood of the Enemy, we understand why you might not want to feel required to repeat that experience. This is the same philosophy that’s informing our plans for leveling in Shadowlands, where alts can pick and choose their path through level-up content once you’ve completed the linear narrative experience once on a character.

Thank you again for your patience as we’ve worked through these questions, and for all of your feedback! You’ve helped guide us to these improvements to the system. This is the sort of conversation that we revisit every time we consider how upcoming systems will interact with multiple characters. We hope to get it right more quickly next time.

Grand Empress Shek’zara World Boss
Grand Empress Shek’zara is up in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms!

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

Grand Empress Shek’zara
With the awakening of N’Zoth, Shek’zara, empress of the mantid, pledged her swarm to the old god’s will. In service of her dark master, she unleashed her forces upon the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to claim Pandaria in N’Zoth’s name.

  • Overview – Grand Empress Shek’zara uses her powerful voice and Zara’thik Swarmguard to overwhelm enemies.
  • Song of the Empress – Shek’zara chants the Song of the Empress, emitting sound waves that travel outwards from her.
    Players that come into contact with Song of the Empress are Silenced and suffer 4 Nature damage every 0.5 sec for 3 sec.
  • Force and Verve – Shek’zara shouts, inflicting 33 Nature damage every 1 sec for 6 sec.
    Players standing in a Sound Barrier take 70% reduced damage from Force and Verve.
    • Sound Barrier – Reduces damage dealt by Force and Verve by 70%.
  • Summon Swarmguard – Shek’zara summons her Zara’thik Swarmguard to aid her in battle.
    • Zara’thik Swarmguard
      • Bladestorm – Charges to a player’s location and spins a blade around the caster, inflicting 33 Physical damage to all nearby enemies every 1 sec.
    • Zara’thik Ambershaper
      • Amber Bolt Volley – Fires bolts of hardened amber at all nearby enemies, inflicting 25 Nature damage.

Level Type Slot Name Model Viewer
445 Finger Finger Loop of Abhorrent Celerity
445 Cloth Head Maniacal Speaker’s Cover
 Modelviewer

445 Leather Head Guise of the Voracious Prowler
 Modelviewer

445 Mail Legs Greaves of Shattered Thoughts
 Modelviewer

445 Plate Legs Chitinous Conqueror’s Legplates
 Modelviewer

N’Zoth Assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms

Assault: The Black Empire

Assault: Mogu

To learn more about the N’Zoth Assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms, click the banner below for an in depth guide.

Island Expeditions for the Week of March 17, 2020
The Island Expeditions for the week are:

  • Skittering Hollow with Troggs
  • Verdant Wilds with Keepers of the Grove
  • Dread Chain with Mogu

The Salvage Crates available for purchase this week are:

Click the banner below to learn more about Island Expedition Rewards and Loot Tables.

Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking
Wrath of the Lich King Timewalking is back this week. Don’t forget to check out the Ulduar timewalking raid!

Un’Goro Madness Micro Holiday
Un’Goro Madness allows players to defeat group bosses in Un’Goro Crater to obtain temporary buffs from Dino Mojo. Open your map to see the locations of the bosses that are currently up.

  • Adaptation – Become strong, like a dinosaur.
    • Sharp Claws – Damage increased by 3%
    • Bony Carapace – Damage taken decreased by ?%
    • Lightning Speed – Movement speed increased by 3%
    • Massive – Size increased by 4%
  • The buffs listed above stack up to 20 times. Afterwards, you gain stacks of:
    • Awesome – Awesomeness increased by 10%
  • This buff persists through death and lasts for 3 days.

PvP Brawl: Packed House

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We’ve put more PvP in your PvP! In Packed House, there’s nowhere to hide as you face not 2, not 3, not 5, but 15 adversaries in this 15 vs. 15 Arena battle.

Call to Arms: Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Mechagon and Drustvar
This week’s Call to Arms is Call to Arms: Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Call to Arms: Mechagon and Call to Arms: Drustvar.

Head to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Mechagon and Drustvar with warmode enabled to kill players of the opposing faction. This will reward you with Quartermaster’s Note, Aspirant’s Equipment Cache, Honor, Conquest and Reputation with either The Honorbound or 7th Legion.