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What’s Next: That Fresh Battleground Smell

by - 2 years ago

What’s Next takes a quick look at upcoming World of Warcraft content and changes. With 8.1: Tides of Vengeance now live, we look forward to 8.1.5.

I think one of the attributes that continues to shine for WoW is Blizzard’s ability to gather a lot of great artists, even if other areas of the game aren’t always the best. We’ve seen this time and again with character model updates, clutter updates, general atmospherics, geography, and many other improvements over the years to both old content and how they approach new content.

I’m very excited about these updated battlegrounds.

Why Now?

When it was announced years ago that the team would remaster Blade’s Edge Arena, I was almost head-over-heels. Arenas were rarely my thing, but settling in for a long night of RBGs with the squad took me back some years. Updating arenas seemed like a gateway to other pvp instances, and it turns out that was true.

Given, perhaps part of the reason we’re seeing Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin remastered for 8.1.5 is exactly because the combined art assets from this expansion and the last two fit nicely within their fantasy. I think of all of the new Horde and Alliance remastered structures we saw for Garrisons and now for Warfronts. For Warsong Gulch, we also have remastered Night Elf assets from Val’sharah and the Darkshore Warfront. This was likely the case with Blade’s Edge Arena, as we had tons of primordial Ogre and Orc assets from Warlords of Draenor.

Arathi Basin continues to be my favorite battleground setup. As a clothie for life, flags rarely work for me, although I don’t mind accompanying our FC in, say, Eye of the Storm (please be next). Warsong Gulch, well, I’ll leave that for my manic warrior friend.

Below, we have the notes and work-in-progress screenshots of visually updated WSG and AV. Keep in mind these were likely taken long before BlizzCon 2018, and we will likely see more changes as they are revealed.

Battleground Visual Updates

Two battlegrounds, Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch, will receive a complete visual overhaul in 8.1.5. It isn’t yet known if the model updates will affect the brawl versions of either, including Winter Arathi Basin.

  • The team’s goal was to maintain the balance and spirit of the original versions of both battlegrounds.
  • Painstaking effort is being made to preserve original object placement and playable space.
  • All current shots seen below are works in progress and the live ones will look even better.

Don’t miss the rest of our patch 8.1.5 coverage! | Read more from What’s Next.


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Seth Harkins

PC gamer and lover of (most) things Blizzard. In his off time, he writes bad fan fiction, tends to his growing number of house plants, and enjoys a love-hate relationship with two cats.

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