Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of days, you have no doubt heard about patch 6.2.3, the latest patch in Warlords of Draenor. However, as indicated by the number and lack of name of the patch, this newest update will not be a ‘major content patch’. You can view the full patch notes here.
The patch itself seems to be a smaller one, but after reading it I was struck with the notion that this supposedly small patch actually had a ton of content. Patch 6.2.3 could arguable be bigger than Patch 6.1 in fact. In order to explain this, we will need to look at a much bigger question.
What counts as Content?
Most WoW players would define content as stuff to do in the game. Questing, Dungeons, Battlegrounds, and especially Raids would all be considered content. Content is further divided down by old content and new content. Old content typically refers to quests, dungeons, and raids from a previous expansion, but it can also refer to ‘outdated’ and older content in the current expansion (Normal Dungeons and Highmaul would be examples from Warlords). New content is raids, battlegrounds, zones and whatever else is part of the current expansion and currently being played through by the majority of WoW players. A patch with content is usually one that introduces a new raid/battleground/dungeon/etc to the game and it typically is written with two numbers as opposed to three (Patch 6.2 versus Patch 6.2.3).
With all this in mind, one would think that deciding what is a content patch and what is not would be relatively easy. However, this has turned out not to be the case. Patch 6.1, the first major content patch in Warlords of Draenor was surprisingly light on content for a major patch. The only new things that the Patch brought were a continuation to the legendary quest, the Garrison Jukebox, some more pet battle stuff, new blood elf models, Garrison bosses, and Twitter Integration. No new raids or dungeons or battlegrounds to speak of. No new questlines (other than a short addition to the legendary), no new max level hubs, nothing. In comparison, Patch 5.1 Landfall brought us the new quest hub in Krasarang Wilds with a host of dailies, story, and rewards, Brawlers Guild, a slew of Pet Battle changes, the continuation of the Legendary Questline, and four new Scenarios.
In reality, Patch 6.1 was incredibly light on content. Compared to all the other major patches in recent history, 6.1 was more of a hotfix than a content patch. However, that would mean that Warlords only would have one real content patch, 6.2. Every single other expansion has had at least three major content patches; having just one in Warlords almost makes Warlords an expansion-lite instead of a complete story.
When you look at the original content that patch 6.2.3 brings us, it’s almost as light as 6.1. A new PvP Season, a new set of Timewalker dungeons (I would consider this new content because of the upgraded rewards), and a mount. Interestingly though, Patch 6.2.3 brings both dungeons and PvP content, two of the kings of content.
However, there are two changes that patch 6.2.3 brings that I would argue make it a HUGE content patch.
Item Upgrades and Valor are back!
Item upgrades are back! Players will be able to earn and spend Valor to upgrade items from Hellfire Citadel, items created from Baleful tokens in Tanaan Jungle, and all Draenor dungeon drops. All the items you’ve already earned are eligible for upgrades retroactively.
Characters can earn Valor in a number of ways.
- Completing the first random Heroic Dungeon of the day
- Completing Mythic Dungeons
- Completing weekly Bonus Event quests
- Completing a Raid Finder wing for Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry, or Hellfire Citadel for the first time each week.
Mythic Dungeon Loot Improvements
Mythic Dungeons now have a chance to award items ranging from item level 685 to 725 in 5-item-level increments, with a progressively lower chance as item level increases.
Mythic Dungeon bosses now also have a chance to drop a new Heirloom Trinket that will scale up to level 110.
Neither change is adding new things to do in the game. But what they are doing, is creating a new incentive to run old content.
Valor points allow players to increase the power of their gear, making it very appealing as another path for gearing up. The sources of valor points are Heroic Dungeons (first per day), Mythic Dungeons, weekly Bonus Event quests, and LFR wings (first per week). Many of these sources are considered outdated and are less often run. But now that there is an incentive to run these things, people will begin running Dungeons and LFR in floods. Content that was once old will again be current because it once again will have a worthwhile reward. This also will have the added bonus of getting knowledgeable and geared players into LFR, which will improve the speed of those runs.
The second half of this was the increased rewards to Mythic Dungeons. Again, this will get more players who might not be completing Mythic Dungeons anymore back into them. Previously older content is made relevant once more.
In addition to all this, there is also the highly controversial moose mount. Love it or hate it, the moose also acts as a way of keeping content relevant for longer. The highly desired mount is available for a limited amount of time from a limited source (Mythic and Heroic Archimonde). Basically, it is another version of the wolf from Mists of Pandaria Garrosh. The moose will keep players raiding Hellfire Citadel up until the day that the mount becomes unavailable because of it’s desirability. While the moose is just a couple of pixels, it will have the effect of keeping Hellfire Citadel relevant for months and months.
Patch 6.2.3 isn’t bring much in the way of new content, however it is making a huge amount of older content relevant again. And when you consider all of that content as part of the patch, Patch 6.2.3 starts looking like a major content patch. I honestly believe that Patch 6.2.3 should really be 6.3. True, it is missing the massive amount of class tuning that major patches usually have, but it also has more content than previous ‘major content patches’ in this expansion. And in the grand schemes of Warcraft, Warlords could certainly use another major patch to bring it up to par with previous expansions.
Now we just need it to hit live realms!