We shared our impressions of the Warcraft 25th anniversary event in Irvine, Orange County yesterday and mentioned the WoW Classic release and closed beta dates, Warcraft III: Reforged and Classic features as well, as the 25th anniversary collector's edition, so if you're curious to read about information regarding any of that you can find that article here. If you want to learn more about the upcoming content update for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, however, you're in the right place.
Blizzard Entertainment announced patch 8.2 - Rise of Azshara - a while ago now, and while we didn't get a lot of fresh, new information at the event, there's still plenty to talk about as we close in on the release of the content update.
Rise of Azshara is a massive, almost expansion-sized content update headed for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and among other things, we'll get to fall down into a new area completely submerged as well as on the dry ocean floor surrounded by walls of water, explore the land of Mechagon, and finally fly over the vast continent.
Rise of Azshara lets us familiarise ourselves more with the ruler of the Naga, Queen Azshara. Once the ruler of the civilisation of the Night Elves, she was held in high regard by her neighbouring elven races until her alliance with the Burning Legion - an alliance that led to the downfall of the Kaldorei and the continent of Azeroth. In Rise of Ashara, however, she plays a big role in the Battle for Azeroth storyline, as a ruler of the ocean and the main boss of the raid called Azshara's Eternal Palace. The patch brings not one but two new massive areas - Azjatar and Mechagon - and they're both vastly different from previously added locations. First up is Azjatar, a semi-submerged area in the middle of the ocean where both Alliance and Horde followers are taken to investigate by orders of banshee queen Sylvanas and Jaina Proudmoore. After dropping down a gap in the water mass, players will get to explore the bottom of the sea while fending off Azshara's Naga forces. Nazjatar will have waterfalls, ocean floor flora and fauna, and even underwater bosses to tackle, and while the entirety of the area isn't submerged, the "new" mechanic brings a new, interesting feel to the game as a whole. The raid Azshara's Eternal Palace will bring eight new bosses, new collectible gear, and more.
The second zone coming with the update is the Mechagnome civilization of Mechagon, which is larger in size than Mists of Pandaria's Timeless Isle. Mechagon hides behind the Rusted Vault of Tiragarde Sound that has previously been impossible to open. Within lies the capital of King Mechagon's kingdom, and players will be able to take part in exploration, take on the new dungeon Operation: Mechagon, build their own fancy mech, customise a robot pet, and more. The map offers the visuals of a barren wasteland with a mechanical twist, so if Nazjatar's organic look doesn't appeal to you, Mechagon might.
With the new content update, the player will get to check out the two new zones, the new raid, new mechanics, new mount equipment (you'll now be able to put floatation shoes on your mount for it to be able to walk on water), fly over the Battle for Azeroth areas, enjoy the new 40v40 Epic Battleground 'Ashran', equip essences, check out new cosmetics and trinkets, and much more. At the end of the presentation, however, perhaps the most interesting part was the new cinematic trailer that was shown for the 'Safe Haven' chapter that's coming up. Here we could see Saurfang meeting up with a hiding Thrall, trying to lure the now-reluctant old Horde ruler to fight for the faction once more.