Take a look at World of Warcraft: Legion‘s two launch raids in our continuing recap of this year’s BlizzCon. The two raids, Emerald Nightmare and Grand Palace of Suramar, will feature 7 and 10 bosses respectively and explore the new and returning threats in Legion: Lord Xavius, Gul’dan and the Nightborne.
Launching a couple weeks after Legion begins similar to Highmaul in Warlords of Draenor, Emerald Nightmare will be the first in-depth journey players have into the Emerald Dream. The raid has 7 bosses and culminates with a fight against Xavius.
Quick recap: the Emerald Dream has been a popular fan theory for either an entire expansion or a major content patch for years. In essence, it’s a parallel dimension that mimics Azeroth as a sort of “blue print.”
Some lore originally said that the dimension only echoed the original Azeroth–pre-Sundering, when the world was one landmass around the Well of Eternity, if I’ve got my lore right. The new raid seems to echo the current Azeroth, not the old one, which may be a bit of a retcon. And, in fact, Emerald Dream zones were once planned for World of Warcraft:
Video of old Emerald Dream zones that never made it into game–not reflective of Legion content. Video credit: Hayven Games.
The Emerald Nightmare raid is based in Val’sharah. Players reach the raid by climbing the world tree Shaladrassil, at the top of which they pass into the world of the Dream. For more on Val’sharah and Shaladrassil, see our zone preview.
The Emerald Dream has been heavily twisted by Xavius. Once a mortal servant of the Legion during the War of the Ancients, he was twisted into a horrific Satyr by Sargeras, himself, after his failure in orchestrating the Legion’s invasion. While in the waking world Xavius appears as a Satyr, within the Dream he appears as he chooses to–a terrifying monster.
The Pestilence Wyrm, the first dragon raid boss in several tiers, will be the first boss of the raid. Once a Green Dragon curled around the base of Shaladrassil as its protector, the corruption of the Dream has twisted it into a being of death and decay.
Finally, as a bit of a incredibly interesting spoiler, players will also face off against a Nightmare corrupted Cenarius. The demigod Cenarius was the millennia-old being responsible for training Malfurion as the first Druid, and he also featured heavily into Legion resistance in the War of the Ancients. Unfortunately, his close connection to the Dream made him incredibly susceptible to the Nightmare. It is unknown whether we kill him.
Throughout the raid, we will see bits of our Azeroth, such as Thunderbluff and other ruins and buildings, echoed in the scenery.
Grand Palace of Suramar
Grand Palace of Suramar will feature 10 bosses. It’s unclear when this raid will be available–unless I missed it somewhere, it will either launch alongside Emerald Nightmare a couple weeks after Legion‘s launch or a bit after.
Grand Palace seems to be less far along than Emerald Nightmare, as no in-game footage was shown of the raid yet–the city of Suramar is still under heavy development.
Hazzikostas stressed that this raid is not another dark demon raid like Hellfire Citadel, but instead an entirely new type of environment.
With features like an astronomer’s observatory, botanical gardens, guest quarters, and other functional spaces, Suramar City represents the height of Azerothian and Night Elven society over 10,000 years ago, although with a dark twist. The Nightborne, evolved from their contact with the darkened arcane well known as the Nightwell, have betrayed their kind and turned their city over to Gul’dan and the Legion.
Suramar City, home of the Nightborne Elves, serves as the base of Gul’dan’s continuing operations in Azeroth and is ruled over by the Grand Magistrix, one of the bosses of the raid. Gul’dan will be the raid’s final fight.
The Grand Magistrix is one of the most powerful mages in existence, empowered by the Nightwell and the relic of Aman’thul. She apparently has strong powers over time magic.
Players will also face a Dreadlord Ambassador, and one of the most powerful ones in the Legion, at that. Its mission is to ensure that Gul’dan doesn’t fail the Legion again, and that the Legion’s new, uneasy Nightborne allies don’t run for the hills.
For more on Suramar City and the Suramar zone, see our zone preview.