The trolls are at it again. Not content with getting a Hearthstone expansion, they're muscling in on World Of Warcraft's latest update. Patch 8.1 - Tides Of Vengeance - features a troll-filled new raid, the Battle Of Dazar'alor, as its centrepiece, with plenty more. A new Warfront, new Island Expeditions and an assortment of new missions have popped up on the War Table, assuming you've got the latest expansion. There's a good bit more for everyone else though, including an estimated, hefty 25% reduction in the time it takes to level up to 110. The update trailer lies below.
Update: While they're the focus of the trailer below, the new raid, Season 2 for PvP and Mythic Keystone Dungeons won't be unlocked until January 22nd.
While much of the new content in this update is Battle For Azeroth-only, the broad changes made to game balance detailed in the patch notes are all positive. The reduced time to level up should help newer players catch up, or those just playing with a non-expansion subscription. War Mode in PvP can now scale up to an extra 30% rewards and experience when your faction is outnumbered, making it not quite so painful for those playing against the odds. The class balance changes seem a bit more divisive, although I'm rusty enough on my WoW to make deciphering the finer points an exercise in arcane madness.
For those players who'd rather focus on the cute and fuzzy side of things instead of getting trolled in raids, there's also a new Pet Dungeon over in Gnomeregan in both normal and challenge versions, for those who are dedicated enough to have caught 'em all. While obviously not nearly as dramatic as the new raid, it's nice to see the sillier, more tangential stuff getting some love. For the most part it seems like a nice update, although there's the usual grumbling down in the comments below the patch notes, and some seem disappointed there's not more to this update. I must admit that my MMO of choice these days is Final Fantasy XIV, and one raid does seem a bit small compared to FFXIV's quarterly updates. Still, more is more.
On a technical note, the game client now uses DirectX 12 by default, and anyone with a system capable of using DX12 will be automatically switched over. Blizzard reckon this should be a nice performance boost for those with less beefy machines. Or more beefy machines, for that matter - Nvidia reckon that if you're running a monstrously powerful RTX 2080 Ti, you might see some big framerate increases, although if you're playing World Of Warcraft, I'd imagine you'd barely notice them.
The Tides Of Vengeance update is live for World Of Warcraft now and you can read the full patch notes here, although much is only accessible for those with the Battle For Azeroth expansion.