WoW Wednesday: What’s New in Season 2?

The Tides of Vengeance have risen again for Azeroth, and the Alliance has begun its movements upon Dazar’alor, capitol of the Zandalari Empire. The arenas have been emptied and its champions awarded with the spoils of war. Season 2 for Battle for Azeroth has officially begun! This week we’ll be diving into everything that’s new with the release of Season 2.

 

The Battle for Dazar’alor

“Talanji… Forgive me…”

First and foremost is the release of Battle for Azeroth’s second major raid tier, The Battle for Dazar’alor. Drawing the Horde forces away from the seat of the Zandalari Empire, the Alliance mounts a daring offensive to assassinate King Rastakhan and sever any potential political hopes the Horde might have. The Battle for Dazar’alor will feature nine separate bosses in a linear fashion, with each faction assuming the other’s role in the story as things progress. When the Alliance moves to besiege the temple proper, Horde players will temporarily become Alliance races and vice-versa for later segments. The boss breakdown will look something like this:

1st – 3rd Bosses will be flavored over the enemy faction, but each version will have identical abilities.

Besieging the Temple; The Alliance moves to attack King Rastakhan’s seat of power. Horde players will temporarily become Alliance races for three bosses culminating in a fight with King Rastakhan.

Pursuing the Alliance; The Horde returns to Dazar’alor with a vengeance and seeks to kill the Alliance invaders. Alliance players will temporarily become Horde races for three bosses, culminating in a fight with Lady Jaina Proudmoore, who is the last boss of the raid.

During the ‘Neutral Wing’ players will play as their own characters but the second and third wings are story-type encounters written for one faction. Both factions will have nine bosses to defeat in a linear order, just with the added bonus of you get to see what you’d look like with that faction change…

Looking for Raid Wing 1 and Mythic Difficulty will open the week after your region’s particular launch of Season 2.

 

Step Into The Arena!

“More bones for the arena!”

Battle for Azeroth Season 2 brings a new and darker title to the mix, “Sinister Gladiator.” With the rollover into the next season of Rated PvP both personal and matchmaking ratings will normalize and return to zero. This means a fresh-start for all players seeking to carve their name in the halls of conquerors. Returning to Season 2 is the graduated Elite Gladiator system, rewarding players who advance their rating with progressive unlockables for your Elite Sinister Gladiator set and the seasonal Tabard and Cloak. Those looking to claim the Gladiator Title and the Sinister Gladiator’s Proto-Drake must also win an additional 50 games in the Elite bracket (2400+). Those looking to claim the “Sinister Gladiator” title must place in the top 0.1% of rankings, as well as claim 150 victories in Season 2. The Gladiator’s Dreadflame enchantment appearance will still be attainable for those who hit 2100 rating in Season 2.

New to Season 2 are temporary “Elite Class” titles. These seasonal titles will be awarded to players who reach the Elite bracket. Players who earn a Conquest Chest each week will now also find a Quartermaster’s Coin among their winnings, ten of which can be turned in for a piece of Gladiator level equipment.

Returning to the Rated PvP circuit are Vicious Saddles. Used as a currency for those wishing to purchase one of the Vicious Racial Mounts, the saddles were mysteriously absent in Season 1. For Season 2 players can obtain their Saddles after claiming their first mount, the Vicious Black Warsaber and Vicious Black Bonesteed for the Alliance and Horde respectively. Players will earn an additional saddle each time their bar caps out for wins over 1400 rating.

At this time Gladiator PvP sets from Season 1 will be unavailable to purchase until a later date.

 

Mythic+ Madness!

Seasons don’t fear the reaper.

With the start of the new season comes a new host of adjustments for Dungeon Delvers in Azeroth. To follow the curve of player gearing, Heroic and Mythic dungeon difficulty has increased by 30% across the board, with Mythic+ Keystone levels decreasing by three (Mythic 5 Keystones in Season One are now Mythic 2).

With the defeat of G’huun, and the rise of Bwonsamdi, a new Mythic affix has been introduced as the Seasonal Affix: Reaping. Added to every Keystone that is level 10 or higher, Reaping affects non-boss enemies throughout your Mythic+ Dungeon. Whenever the group completes 20% of the Enemy Forces Bar (20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%), Bwonsamdi will ressurect every enemy defeated in that 20% span. They will then traverse the dungeon to assault your party. While they do not possess True Sight or stealth detection, they have a gigantic player aggro radius. These enemies have set abilities between dungeons (depending on what type of mob they were in life), posses 50% of their original health, do not aggro other monsters in your dungeon, and are not affected by other Mythic+ affixes (like Bursting). If players run out the timer on their Mythic+ dungeon they may barter with Bwonsamdi to, “Serve him in life and in death,” and receive a 20% buff to health and damage until the completion of the dungeon.

Players banking up their Titan Residuum for the Ethereal Traders will be pleased to note that Titan Residuum does not reset between seasons, meaning you can continue to save it for upcoming gear in Season 2. The amount players gain through looting their weekly chest and scrapping higher levels of Azerite Gear has also increased.

 

Upgrading Gear Tables!

“Show her no mercy. She will show you none.”

Along with the the Battle for Dazar’alor, players will find new loot with increased item levels in their weekly activities. Baseline rewards in Normal, Heroic,Mythic and Mythic+ dungeons have been increased by 30 item levels, bringing them on par with Uldir raid rewards.

Gladiator PvP gear will now begin at item level 375 in both the Conquest Chest and regular rewards from Rated Player vs. Player activities. When the Chest rewards fall under Azerite Gear pieces, players will now have 4 pieces of gear to choose from. On weeks when the gear rewarded is neither a piece of Azerite gear, trinket or weapon players will be able to choose between two different item slots of gear (e.g. Legs and Wrists week 1, hands and rings week 2, etc.).

Item rewards in the Battle for Darkshore Warfront have been increased by 15 item levels. Consequently the new requirement to enter the Battle for Darkshore is iLvl 335, and enemy difficulty has been increased by 15%. Emissary rewards for World Quests have likewise been increased and items may reroll their stats or update with the start of the Season.

Starting January 22nd for the US and January 23rd for EU servers, Azerite Knowledge will begin scaling once again for your Heart of Azeroth. This means levels for your necklace will get easier to obtain each week.

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WoW Wednesday: Get Ready for The Battle of Dazar’alor!

With the Holidays behind us there’s only one big thing on the minds of adventurers in the World of Warcraft. Looming on the horizon comes the big additions for Patch 8.1 Tides of Vengeance; The Battle of Dazar’alor raid and the change-over to Battle for Azeroth Season 2. A whole host of changes have already made landfall with the releases of Tides back in December but end-game content will drastically change with the opening of Dazar’alor. This week we’ll be giving you the checklist to make sure you’re ready for January 22nd, when Season 2 of Battle for Azeroth begins.

Time Is Running Out!

Rated PvP Players will see their ratings returned to zero on the launch of Season 2.

With the change over to Season 2 a ton of content will become unavailable to players who haven’t participated in Season 1. While most Hall of Fames have closed worldwide, there is still plenty of time to claim your hard-earned Feats of Strength in Uldir! Both Ahead of the Curve and Cutting Edge for G’huun, the Raid’s final boss and the Old God of Undeath will become unavailable with the start of Season 2. Keystone Conqueror and Keystone Master for Season 1 will also become unavailable with the rollover, awarded for completing every Mythic +10 and +15 within the time limit respectively.

As always, a change of Seasons means that rewards for Player vs. Player gameplay will also be retired. Both the Seasonal Ranking Feats of Strength such as Challenger: Battle for Azeroth and onward will no longer be available, including various seasonal rewards. Players will no longer be able to grind for their faction’s Vicious War Mount, obtain the Dread Gladiator Mount, fight for their Seasonal Titles and the Elite Gladiator set for your armor specialization will no longer be obtainable (however recolors through the Warfront Caches will still be available). Ratings will also be returned to zero on your region’s respective weekly reset, meaning that any further progression for Rated Titles will be unobtainable.

 

RRRRREADY FOR RAIDING?!

Right now is the best time to get your character ready for the release of Dazar’alor! While Looking For Raid difficulty will launch one week later, it’s believed that the item-level requirement to enter will be approximately 350, making that the low-bar goal to prepare your character for its launch. Normal and Heroic raiders will be looking to score at least 15 item levels higher due to increased difficulty scaling.

While many players are already far ahead, it’s also recommended your Heart of Azeroth should be around level 35, making most pieces of Uldir gear unlockable.

If you find your main or alts are a little lacking on the gearfront, consider jumping into the Warfronts! Winning in the fields of battle will guarantee a piece of item level 340 gear. Two additional pieces of 370 gear will also be available throughout your warfront cycle, one from the quest to win the particular warfront and the second from quests available once the warfront has closed. Mythic+ dungeons can also be a quick way of obtaining item level 350 gear and can serve to supplement your gains.

The Horde War Table, planning for the Assault on Stromgarde.

For those looking to power-level your Heart of Azeroth start by hitting all of your daily Warfront contributions. These daily quests not only offer a substantial amount of reputation but 500 Azerite as well, meaning you can easily cross one full level PER DAY of turn ins. The weekly Island Expedition and daily World Quest faction rewards can result in 1000 Azerite, a titanic amount for anyone, even in the late level twenty range of their Hearts.

For anyone leaping right into Dazar’alor on launch day, make sure your guild is well equipped with supplies. As always flasks, war-scrolls, runes and more can be vital to your raid’s success. Ensure your cooks have their feasts well and ready! For scribes entering Dazar’alor, a new Vantus Rune has the chance to drop from an unknown boss in the raid. Ensure you come equipped with enough parchment and inks in case your recipe drops that week.

 

Alternate Options

If your main characters are already set for Season 2, consider chipping away on some of your more vital grinds. Reputation is a huge one to consider for those looking to fill out their profession recipes, as every new faction on Zuldalar and Kul Tiras has several vital recipes for your professions. The Honourbond, 7th Legion, Proudmoore Admiralty and Zandalari Empire are also reputations you should consider exalting, as they are tied into current or upcoming Allied Races.

Vindicator Jaelaana, the 7th Legion’s representative for Alliance players in Kul Tiras.

If you find that you are twiddling your thumbs waiting for new content, consider changing up your gameplay until Season 2’s release. For PvE players consider taking up some battlegrounds and work on grinding honor. Rewards for honor levels include unique mounts, toys, titles and more! Likewise PvPers can work on grinding away at several Mythic+ Dungeons for unique mounts and transmog pieces.

If the end-game doesn’t appeal to you, consider taking up a new character to tour throughout Azeroth! While you may not remember it, there’s quite a bit of the world most players don’t get to see due to the curve of leveling. With the new implementations in experience point reductions, leveling is now far more painless than it was at the launch of Battle for Azeroth.

 

Tour The Old World!

For the Player who only wants to focus on one character, look at exploring the wider world of Azeroth! Every player still has quests left uncompleted, storylines left unfinished, and secrets left undiscovered in the wide world of Azeroth. Consider working on several of the game’s more difficult Feats of Strength, which we’ve covered previously here on MMOGames.

Several players may also not be aware of the Glory of… meta-achievements tied to particular raid tiers. Since Wrath of the Lich King many players can now complete difficult challenges or manipulate boss mechanics to increase the difficulty of the encounter and earn achievements. Most of these are collected under the Glory of… series. All of these meta-achievements reward unique items, which are often mounts and titles.

Are you ready for the Battle of Dazar’alor? What are you doing to prepare for Season 2 of Battle for Azeroth? Let us know!

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