WoW Battle for Azeroth Stirs the Tides of Vengeance in Patch 8.1

WoW Battle for Azeroth Stirs the Tides of Vengeance in Patch 8.1

World of Warcraft offers its next major content update.

Way back in October of last year, when World of Warcraft players knew a new expansion was coming but were still flailing around game data to figure out what it would be about, a faked image named the expansion as World of Warcraft: Tides of Vengeance. For one day, there was speculation about a naval-themed expansion with Queen Azshara, the naga, and the Old God N'zoth. Until it was shown as a fake.

Watch WoW Developer Live Stream w/ Ion Hazzikostas from Warcraft on

I bring this up because today Blizzard Entertainment revealed Patch 8.1, entitled Tides of Vengeance. I don't know whether the title was always planned or a clever joke by Blizzard, but regardless, 8.1 is here to fix a number of problems players have been having with Battle for Azeroth. So let's dive into everything they revealed.

First up, Tides of Vengeance will continue the Battle for Azeroth storyline with quests focused on former Horde member Saurfang, deposed Night Elf leader Tyrande, and former Horde Warchief Vol'jin. The first two characters have seen significant shifts already in Battle for Azeroth, while Vol'jin died back in Legion and exists only as a spirit.

Blizzard is also bringing back the excellent Legion invasion system with Battle for Azeroth's Incursions. These Incursions will see the opposite faction attacking Horde and Alliance zone directly. Like Invasions, Incursions can be used to level your alternate characters, something that's been a pain point with the new Allied Races.

Speaking of Allied Races, the Zandalari Trolls and Kul Tiran Humans are right around the corner. You have to become Exalted with the Zandalari Empire or Proudmoore Admirality to unlock them, but beyond that, the full quest chain is expected to go live after the next raid.

Next raid? Yeah, Blizzard also announced not one, but two upcoming raids. The first will be the tentatively-named Siege of Zuldazar, which will feature a total of nine bosses focused around the Zandalari capital city. Carrying forward the differing leveling experience of Battle for Azeroth, Zuldazar will have two different raiding experiences whether you're Horde or Alliance. The Alliance will land at the southern docks of the city and fight their way up the central pyramid to the final encounter with Zandalari King Rastakhan. The Horde will begin at the northern side of the city, meet Rastakhan at the midpoint of the raid, and then work their way down to the docks to fend off the Alliance. Each faction will have three unique bosses, though the opposing faction can fight them once they've completed their version of the raid.

The second raid is much smaller in scope. The Crucible of Storms lies underneath Stormsong Valley, continuing that region's story of Old God corruption. Crucible is coming after Zuldazar and will have only two bosses. Blizzard also promised further world story content prior to the raid, letting Horde and Alliance players know what they're accomplishing in the game's plot.

The new Warfront system is getting beefed up too. In a recent Reddit AMA, Battle for Azeroth director Ion Hazzikostas promised that Warfronts would overlap to handle the problem of the long cycle between factions. The next Warfront will be The Battle for Darkshore, just outside the smoldering husk of Teldrassil. This Warfront will be focused on the Night Elves versus the Forsaken, and the Alliance gets the first crack at it.

Another area Hazzikostas previously pointed at for further improvements and augmentation were the Island Expeditions. There will be two new maps added to the rotation, Jorundall and Havenswood. Jorundall is Vykrul-themed, while Havenswood is a Gilnean island with the adjoining "gloomy" feeling. New events coming are coming too, like Azerite Extractions that give you a slow draw of Azerite, but need to be protected. The developer also promised that Island Expedition spawns will be changed to cluster enemies closer together, rather then spreading them out across the entire map.

Finally, Patch 8.1 will have a number of smaller quality-of-life improvements. There will be Heritage Armor added for the Blood Elves and Dwarves, marking the first versions of the race-specific armor sets for older WoW races. If you're a max-level character and Exalted with your own city, the questline for the armor will automatically unlock. More will be coming in the future. The Champions of Azeroth reputation is now account-wide, and the Exalted Reputations meta-achievement will also become account-wide. Blizzard will also be removing a number of older reputation-locks standing in the way of faction transmogs armor.

Patch 8.1, Tides of Vengeance, is coming to the Public Test Realms very soon. The live launch will follow the testing period, coming later in the year.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

Read this next

Free WoW Classic Character Moves Are Coming to Help the Overcrowded Realm Problem

Blizzard's quest to get more people playing instead of waiting continues.

WoW Classic Realms Are Still Seeing Lengthy Queues After Hotfixes

It might still be hours before you get into the realm of your choice.

Blizzard Files Lawsuit Over 'Blatant Warcraft Knock-Off' On Mobile

The suit also points to games that allegedly infringe on Pokemon and other franchises.

WoW Classic Players Are Struggling to Get Their Old Names Set

They're rekindling an old flame: the login queue.

Another Blizzard Co-Founder Is Leaving After Almost 30 Years With The Company

Only one of the original co-founders is left now.

WoW's Rise of Azshara Patch Points Toward a Potentially Brighter Future

Patch 8.2 experiments with different types of questing zones, in the hopes of finding the future of WoW.

More Articles

What's Your Favorite Dreamcast Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | With the Dreamcast turning 20 this week, let's talk about our favorite Dreamcast games.

A PSA for the USG Community: Why We're Wiping Our Comments Archive

A note from the editor on why we're scrubbing the comments.

What's Your Favorite SNES Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | With Nintendo Switch Online boosting its library, tell us about your favorite SNES game.

What Game Are You Playing Over the Long Labor Day Weekend?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | It's a three-day weekend for most people out there, and a lot of games came out this week.

More on Mac

John Wick Hex Turns Gun-Fu Into a Strategy Game Next Month

Write down the launch date, then hide all your pencils.

Football Manager 2020 Switches to Recycled Paper Cases out of Concern for Plastic Pollution

Sega and Sports Interactive are estimating plastic savings totalling 20 metric tons.

Apple Arcade Stealthily Announces Octopath Traveler Devs' Successor, New ChuChu Rocket

And it somehow barely appeared during the actual keynote.

The Sims 4 Cheat Codes: Money, Vampire, Items and More

The Sims 4 is a ton of fun as is, but can be made even better by using Cheats. Here’s a full list of The Sims 4 Cheats.

More MMO Games

Zombies May Be Appearing in Red Dead Online, If It's Not a Glitch

Undead nightmare part two, or just another quirky bug?

Raids, Loot, and Balance: Ubisoft Massive on The Division 2's Challenges Six Months Later

Ubisoft Massive is beginning to firm up the ongoing foundation of The Division 2.

Anthem Transitions to Seasonal Updates as Future Looks Murky

A new update from BioWare makes Anthem's future seem up in the air.

Borderlands 3's Endgame Fights for Position Against Destiny 2 and The Division 2

Gearbox is not letting Borderlands 3 get lost in the MMO shuffle.