World of Warcraft (WoW) recently revealed its first major patch for the Dragonflight expansion, Embers of Neltharion. The new content includes an expansive underground zone called Zaralek Cavern.
This update continues the expansion story as players discover the secret Neltharion laboratory — also known previously as Deathwing — and venture through the subterranean lair beneath the Dragon Isles.
With exciting encounters with deadly monsters, charming creatures and ancient secrets, the zone is divided into three major biomes. Despite the large size of the new area, players do not need to worry about a cramped space.
“It doesn’t feel tight or claustrophobic in the way some people think it might when they say underground,” lead quest designer Maria Hamilton said.
Production director Patrick Dawson said players would explore the depths of Neltharion’s ancient laboratory in this patch and witness the horrors it created.
“I think the story of Neltharion is pretty well-known,” said Dawson.
“But the moment of his corruption and conversion into Deathwing is something that hasn’t really been explored as much as we’re exploring now. So this is a great opportunity for us to tell some story through a raid setting for Embers of Neltharion.”
Patrick Dawson, production director
Players will accompany Wrathion, Sabellian and Ebyssian to discover Neltharion’s final secrets before their rivals, Fyrakk and the Primalists and Scalecommander Sarkareth and the Sundered Flame.
Players can access the patch 10.1 Embers of Neltharion on the Public Testing Realm (PTR) on March 11.
Features in patch 10.1 Embers of Neltharion
The new zone Zaralek Cavern is one of the most anticipated additions. The mysterious underground cavern brings players new quests, denizens to befriend, exploration opportunities and dragon-riding updates.
The 10.1 patch also introduces a new raid — Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible. Aberrus is a secret laboratory hidden in Zaralek Cavern where Neltharion created the Dracthyr and eventually gave in to the whispers of the Old Gods.
In the Aberrus raid, players will fight nine bosses to stop the incarnates and Scalecommander Sarkareth’s forces, who are determined to claim Dracthyr’s legacy. Similar to Season 1, the raid will have three different difficulty levels — normal, heroic and mythic — released simultaneously.
The upcoming patch brings a new Mythic+ dungeon rotation to the game. The remaining Dragonflight dungeons — Brackenhide Hollow, Halls of Infusion, Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr, and Neltharus — will be added to the rotation.
Four dungeons from past expansions — Freehold and The Underrot from Battle for Azeroth, Neltharion’s Lair from Legion and Vortex Pinnacle from Cataclysm — will also be included, offering players fresh challenges.
In addition, a new race called the Niffen, who are mole-like humanoids, are native to Zaralek Cavern. Almost totally blind, they use their strong sense of smell to move around the cavern. Additionally, the Niffen are being introduced as a new Renown faction in World of Warcraft, offering players new activities and rewards.
The game developers are currently working on seasonal affixes, which will be available for testing later during the PTR cycle. Meanwhile, the main build of the game will receive the 10.0.7 update on March 22.