One of the major problems that Blizzard Entertainment has had in the past two expansions is a lack of regular content releases. The gap between the last patch of Warlords of Draenor and Legion pre-patch was 13 months: that's a long time to go without something new to do in an MMO. Today during Blizzcon 2016, Blizzard outlined the upcoming patches for World of Warcraft.
Patch 7.1.5 - Small, But Meaningful
The first update is Patch 7.1.5, the first of many smaller patches intended to make sure that's always a new influx of content. Blizzard devs said they're going to be focusing on these small updates in-between major patches and patches are now designed to be broken into smaller pieces so Blizzard can ship if one feature doesn't work.
Patch 7.1.5 will add all six of the Mists of Pandaria dungeons to the Timewalking feature. Blizzard said that this release cadence for Timewalking dungeons will probably hold; no one wants to run Warlords dungeons right now. The Brawler's Guild will return with new bosses, including the new Rumble battles, which turn the arena into raid-style encounters that everyone can share in. There will be a new currency earned through brawls.
The patch will also feature a number of small additions. There will be micro-holidays, brief events that provide holiday-like perks, but on a shorter timescale. Ahn'Qiraj Remembrance Day is on January 22, remembering the day the gates to Ahn'Qiraj were opened. Blizzard also outlined Volunteer Guard Day, where players can patrol their cities, and Boat Day, a Spring Break-style event for Azeroth.
Finally, Patch 7.1.5 will have general balance changes. Talents will be redesigned to make them more useful and those talents that all players take will be made a part of their spec. Blizzard will also be taking a look a secondary stats to make them more useful. Major changes are on the table too, like Hunter traps. Blizzard has decided that keeping them as a Survival-only mechanic takes away from the class, so they may return for Beast Mastery and Marksmanship. Patch 7.1.5 is coming soon and will be going on the Public Test Realm right after Blizzcon.
Patch 7.2 - Tomb of Sargeras
This is the next major patch, moving Legion's overall storyline forward. 7.2 will continue the Order Hall campaign and add new World Quests. Players will return to the Broken Shore, where Legion first kicked off and all 12 class Order Halls will forge a new faction: the Armies of Legionfall. Players will need to build a beachhead base on the Broken Shores and improve that base over time. Blizzard explained that this should work like the Isle of Quel'danas, where players joined the Shattered Sun Offensive as a prelude to the Sunwell Plateau raid.
Outside of the Broken Shore, Blizzard will be bringing the Legion Invasions from pre-patch back as Legion Assaults. The skies will darken in certain zones and the Legion will attack. These Assaults will clear local world quests while they're active, becoming the defacto World quests for their zones. Once players finish off the ground assault, they'll be able to join three-player scenarios to take down the Legion ships.
Blizzard confirmed that Flying will return to Legion in Patch 7.2 and will be unlocked account-wide for once. The second part of the Pathfinder achievement will be added, letting players earn flying through outdoor exploration. Players will be able to earn epic class-specific mounts!
When it comes to dungeon and raid content, there's a new dungeon, the Cathedral of Eternal Night. The Cathedral will feature 4 bosses dungeon and all four difficulty levels, ascending in the same area as the Tomb of Sargeras. Current Mythic-only dungeons will gain Heroic modes for more casual players and Heroic and Mythic+ dungeons are being retuned. Karazhan will be broken into Upper and Lower fragments and be queueable in random Heroics.
After the upcoming Nighthold raid, patch 7.2 will have the Tomb of Sargeras, as the patch name suggests. The Tomb itself was once the Temple of Elune, but now stands corrupted. Players will descend into the Tomb, facing nine bosses along the way. The Tomb will culminate in Fallen Avatar of Sargeras and Kil'jaeden himself.
Artifact weapons will be getting more improvements, with new traits and the ability to buy new upgrades for existing traits. Blizzard will also be adding a sixth appearance for Artifact weapons, which will denote mastery of your chosen spec.
For PVP, patch 7.2 will add Brawls, inspired loosely by previous Brawl modes in Hearthstone and Overwatch. These will be week-long events that allow Blizzard dev to experiment with PVP a bit. There's Packed House, a 15v15 arena, Southshore vs. Tarren Mill, and a version of Arathi Basin trapped in wintery weather with low visibility.
Patch 7.2 will go on the Public Test Realm after Patch 7.1.5 launches on live servers.