Hello Internet, Tally Essen here and welcome to another episode of the Weekly Reset - Taliesin and Nevre Tell's wondrous wisdom show. It was a week where it all kind of kicked off, really, didn't it? There was a release date for patch 10.0.7 next week, and a reveal of patch 10.1, The Embers of Malfarian, which set the internet ablaze for a couple of days as we picked over every last detail of presentations, cinematics, and interviews.
Then, the 10.1 PTR arrived right at the end of the week, which meant a whole weekend of playtesting, data mining, controversy, and also just really, really cool stuff. I'm not going to do yet another video on patch 10.1 today because everyone, including us, has been doing plenty of that on this very channel.
We have our initial reaction to the 10.1 announcements, a deep dive cinematic analysis of Secrets of the Reach, and those Primeval Visage forms, which I'm just going to say it - they're sexy, is what they are. And you might judge me for being more excited about the nasty, depraved dungeon gang than the twink ship is Magic Megafriendship gang, but I am, you're just gonna have to live with that. We've even got a rundown of all the new tier sets on our second channel, Taliesin and Never Tell TV.
What do you mean, you don't watch Taliesin and Never Tell TV? But in this episode, of course, we're going to be looking at fun PTR stuff, like the dungeon journal, with the very exciting final two encounters in particular, giving some very strong hints about how this raid will end and what it will set up.
And of course, we're going to take a look at the fun new gear, transmogs, mounts, and models that have been datamined, because of course we will. What do you think we even are? Yes, even that very spoilery one, which is like "10.1 Dragon Isles underground, please rename this file before you put it in the data level", spoilery for a future patch. But the real reason I want to make this video is because I want to look at a datamined quest which hints at a new third playable spec for Evokers, and that's not clickbait.
Okay, when I say hints at, I mean as in the text in the quest explicitly says that's what it's for. And you know, I wouldn't mind taking a look at the new power progression system that will be at the core of a lot of 10.1 gearing, which was the subject of one of the most exhaustive and comprehensive blue posts we've ever seen, which, and this might surprise you, the community has some very strong feelings about. Very excited to talk about all of that.
But I should let you know, Nevre Tell won't be in this episode today because she's a mother who has mother things to do, and that's just the way it is right now. But I know everyone hates it when it's just me, so I have got a special guest to help me today. Ladies and gentlemen of the internet, please welcome everyone's favorite primal incarnate, Firac! "I will devour their hearts." Yeah, nice one, Firac. I know you meant to say "deliver" for the news at a charming and cheeky way, and I think you'll do just... "Rak'kil everyone! Destroy everything!" Oh man, that Firac, such a weird psychopath.
Zaralette Cavern has a slightly familiar feeling in terms of aesthetic and design to some of the environments that we've already spent a lot of time in throughout the first patch of Dragonfly. Already, there's Jaradin and lava, just like Obsidian Hold - Avarice is literally the secret underground bit of Obsidian Hold, after all.
There are lots of rocks and Elementals, which, as you know, Vault of the Incarnates had its fair share of rocks and Elementals. I think it's definitely a valid concern to worry that Embers of Natharian might be repeating one of the big mistakes of Shadowlands - the 9.1 patch being a retread of one of the opening max-level zones. If 9.1 was more rocks and lava and, well, basically more of the same, then it would be a problem. However, having spent a bit of time flying around doing World quests and stuff this weekend, I do genuinely think it feels different enough to work, for a couple of important reasons.
The first is just being underground, which genuinely feels very unique. There is a thrill to swooping through the cave from outside and arriving in this huge, echoey, cavernous space. The fact that it's so interconnected to the Dragon Isles helps as well; it doesn't have that sense of weird isolation that a lot of last expansion zones did.
The fact that not all of the content is in the cavern too, like the Firac assaults which are currently just our beautiful stingy boy flying through the aisles dropping a mini-boss for everyone to fight, which is fine, it is what it is. The best thing about it is actually Firac arriving because he flies across the entire continent map with a bunch of void dragons at his side, being more than a little bit reminiscent of Deathwing in Cata. It's genuinely a bit spectacular and scary, and then he drops off his little dude and he's off again, and suddenly it's not very scary at all but it's got potential.
But the main reason that the cavern works as a new zone and doesn't feel like more of the same in the way that Corthia did, though, is one particular new aesthetic: the Shadow Flame. The Shadow Flame is everywhere in the caverns and Aberus as well. That pink but also orange but also black glow is found on everything from mobs to bosses to armor and weapons to structures. Blizzard is going hard on this color scheme, and you know how much I love a laser-focused, consistent aesthetic style on the internet.
And the Shadow Flame being everywhere in Ember's content makes it feel very distinctive from what has come in the expansion so far. The new Black Dragon-style sets and weapons are nice in other colors, but it's the Shadow Flame version that really does it.
You know, hey, you like Fire Elementals, you like Shadow Elementals, they're fine, but it's the Shadow Flame Elementals that get all the dick around these parts. I don't want to come across as easily pleased here, but honestly, when it comes to just how cool Shadow Flame stuff looks, I am apparently very easily pleased.
From a story point of view, Shadow Flame has always been a thing in WoW, particularly connected to Nefarian and Black Dragon stuff. But Embers, I think, is really going to delve into how the Earth Warden developed it. And it doesn't take too much imagination to suppose that it might have something to do with his Old God connections because there is void stuff everywhere in the caverns, especially in the raid.
The incredible appearance seems to be a Highland Drake customization, just like Razigath did with her look in Fall of Incarnates. I'm down with anything Shadow Flame right now. You put purpley orange glowy on a hammer, and I'm gonna want it. But a dragon? Yeah, Natharian's play armor set also appears to be a drop for players if the data is to be believed.
All of this is stuff that we're going to be putting in links to specific Wowhead articles in the description below, so you can go and see them all for yourself in your own time. There are also very interesting new class-specific weapons in the data that must be new Mage Tower Awards, right? Surely, most of them seem to be based on the original Mage Tower weapons and include this prop Warrior Shield. Off, no offseriously, that's so nice.
Oh, and also the new dragon-riding transmog that's been datamined, which for some reason Wowhead has modeled on a human male, which is a bit silly because we all know it's made specifically for dwarf females.
Embers of Malfarion leans very heavily on Void stuff, if not explicitly Old God stuff yet, through Natharines' development of Shadow Flame and potentially setting up some very interesting things to come. And one of those things appears to be, and this is a RedBot spoiler bot for a minute, okay, because I am certain we are not meant to have seen this, a glaive icon called Emerald Dream outdoor.
For context, all of the 10.1 specific Zone gear in Embers is labeled Black Dragon outdoor, so it certainly feels like this might be another little slip up from Blizz that has, in fact, given away the location of a future patch, in the same way that the underground file did for 10.1.
Doubly convincing because of just how expected an Emerald Dream patch would be. We made a video back in the Dragonfly Alpha called "We Will Go to the Emerald Dream in Patch 10.3," so Blizz, if you are on the fence about it being a 10.2 or 10.3 thing, I just think it would be really good in 10.3 for no particular reason. You should probably go and watch that video again because it definitely looks like it is coming.
Let's go back to Shadow Flame for a little bit because I also found in the data this week a very exciting questline, which is avoker-only and sees players help Abyssian free and eventually fight the dragon Adamantia.
Adamantia is someone that we will learn about in books and messages found around the Forbidden Reach in 10.0.7 because yeah, don't forget that patch hasn't even come out yet. The dragonflight content train is moving so fast that the back is literally catching up with the front. So, I guess bluebot spoiler here, but Adamantia is the dragon who appears to be the most responsible for creating the Drac fear on Nalferion's orders, essentially their mother.
She is the first one who realized that they had free will and who, again on Malfarian's orders, extracted the Black Dragon Flight Essence from them, which is why they don't have any Black Dragonfly-themed spells. She apparently exists in the subconscious of many Drakthia, like a kind of half-remembered dream.
Are the Earthy Dragonflight the most tanky of all the elements? That's why you make tanks out of Earth because they're the best tanks. Everyone knows that. Or it could be another range spec. Some people have even speculated a support spec like a bard-type thing, which I sincerely doubt. But whatever it is, it's unreasonable to think that there is a third focus spec on the way, which would be unprecedented.
Frankly, just to be like 'yeah, have a brand new extra spec for this class halfway through an expansion,' which they didn't even mention as a 10.1 feature when they announced the patch, that would be ludicrous and completely unbelievable if it didn't literally say the words 'new specialization.' I don't know what to tell you fam, I think it might be a new spec.
The only thing I can possibly think of that might fit that isn't a new spec is like an Avoca version of the Mist screen fire quest for warlocks, which was much more involved than this and awarded them the green fire effects on their spells. It's awesome, it's iconic, it's basically mandatory if you want to be taken seriously as a warlock these days.
And it's feasible that this could be similar, a questline that unlocks black dragonfly or even better, Shadow flame effects for their existing two specs. Now that I could believe, that seems like the kind of thing Blizzard would do.
But the text does say 'new specialization,' so how can I say anything apart from 'yeah, it's a new spec?' I'd probably guess at the tank spec, cool Earth and Shadow flame theme spells. It would be totally badass and I would be here for it with bells on. And I don't want to clickbait, okay? I don't want to get too excited. But I mean, it literally says 'new specialization,' so what do you think? Let us know in the comments below what this could be that isn't a new spec, okay? Because it can't be a new spec, right? But it says 'new spec,' so help me out here. What am I missing? Why is this not a new spec? Because it can't be a new spec. I mean, what do you think, Firacy?
The other big deal I wanted to talk about today is the new Power progression system based around a currency called Shadow flame crests, which we are going to call the Shadow flame Crest upgrade system for the rest of this video. Seems sensible.
Blizzard put out a comprehensive blue post explaining every minute detail of this planned Valor replacing system, and as such, it is a huge wall of text, which is obviously quite intimidating to open the page and see, right? Potentially very overwhelming, especially when it is explaining a conceptual system not yet in place on the PTR.
But luckily, the WoW content creator community was on hand to explain everything in a more simple and user-friendly way to keep player confusion at a minimum. And you know who we're especially thankful for? The genuinely good work put in by Bell and Soul and others on the forums, who were standoffish at first and naturally resistant to what looked like such a big change. But who quickly realized that, in fact, Shadow flame crests aren't just very straightforward, but in many ways are what a lot of people have been asking for for a while now, and sang the praises of Blizzard for outlining so carefully every aspect of the new system. Obviously, holy fish, actually too long, didn't read fish system that no one wants.
I have put together videos and explanations on this already, with graphics and spreadsheets and all sorts. But this is my video, so I will now tell you what it is in under 45 seconds. Okay, every level of Season Two gear that drops in 10.1, so that's from raid dungeons, world quests, everything except crafted in PvP, will be upgradable to a maximum of eight levels, which is 24 item levels or Mythic raid level, whichever comes first.
To upgrade each level, you are going to need lots of Flight Stones, which drop from everything all the time, and one Shadowflame Crest, which drops from the usual various activities. Which of the four different types of Shadowflame Crest you will need will depend on how high the item level that you are upgrading to is, with higher level crests dropping from higher level content. If in doubt, take your gear to any upgrade vendor, and they will tell you exactly how much it can be upgraded and exactly what it'll cost. The end was that 45 seconds.
I don't even know, was it complicated though? No, I don't really think so. Like most of these types of systems, it's probably going to work better as a bad like protection or catch-up than anything else. But I mean, I think it sounds pretty straightforward and essentially quite passive, which is a good thing. And anyway, it is not really implemented on the PTR yet, so if it's okay, I'm gonna hold off any kind of Deep dive until it is.
My initial feedback, though, honestly, I don't even care about item level. I will happily pay you 10 Shadowflame Crests to put cool Shadowflame effects on my gear, though, Blizz. That's something to think about. Oh, good episode. That's okay. Fairac, you ready for the sofa bit? The sofa is on fire. I have to forward its heart. Okay, there's no sofa bit this week.