After Warlords of Draenor failed to live up to expectations, Blizzard pledged to correct their mistakes in Legion. One issue that killed subscriber numbers (and frankly, the fun) in the previous release was the huge gap between content patches that left players burned out and desperate for more. It seems that Blizzard has made good on their promise so far this expansion with the unexpected release of the Trial of Valor raid just a couple of months after release. The highly anticipated Nighthold raid is following quickly in its footsteps, too, with a release date of January 17th for Normal and Heroic modes. Mythic Nighthold and the first wing of the Raid Finder difficulty will follow a week later on the 24th. The World of Warcraft site gave a detailed preview of what we can expect:
“The largest structure in the Broken Isles and among the grandest in all of Azeroth, the Nighthold stands as a testament to the achievements of the nightborne civilization. Centered around the Nightwell, the fount of arcane power that has sustained Suramar for centuries, these grounds were built as a haven from the worries of the world. But as a felstorm churns above the former temple of Elune across the bay, and Gul’dan himself now resides within the palace’s walls, those worries now begin—not end—here.”
Nighthold features 10 bosses in 4 different wings. The developers emphasize that while Gul’Dan is the final boss and legendary demon adversaries lie in wait within Nighthold, the aesthetic and design of the raid is designed around the ancient elven civilization.
“Just as our artists and designers approached the creation of the city of Suramar with the aim of evoking the feel and bustle of a living city under occupation, the dungeon team wanted to make sure the Nighthold really felt like the grand palace of Suramar. From botanical gardens to guest quarters, from an observatory to chambers enclosing the power source of nightborne civilization, we tried to build a grand royal court and then consider how the Legion’s presence would affect and transform that foundation. Many of our raid zones are dark and oppressive places, by necessity—the domain of Xavius cannot be bright and cheery—but the Nighthold offers a raid environment that is both beautiful and deadly.”
Nighthold is also exciting for many fans because it’s the first raid this expansion that contains powerful “tier” armor with set bonuses that often massively improve the functionality of a spec. With 10 bosses and tier armor to collect, it’s clear that the raid is intended to last players a good amount of time. With few guilds even having cleared Trial of Valor on Mythic difficulty, there’s a lot of content available for raiders. Only time will tell if Blizzard will continue to release timely patches and keep their fan base engaged, or if they’ll repeat the mistakes they made in Warlords of Draenor and leave players thirsty for more.