Okay so we know what you’re thinking, it’ hasn’t been long since patch 8.2 was released and we’re already moving on to 8.2.5? Well yes, that’s correct. Patch 8.2 has some great content we’re still playing through and making large amounts of World of Warcraft gold in it, but we can’t help but feel excited about the upcoming patch after reviewing what we know so far. Blizzard hasn’t announced an official release date for patch 8.2.5, but judging by previous patch releases, it will likely be around late September or early October. That gives us plenty of time to prepare for any new features, and there are some interesting ones!

Model Updates for Goblin and Worgen Races

The models for the Golbin and Worgan races haven’t been updated since they were released in the Cataclysm expansion, but that is set to change with the release of patch 8.2.5. All of the other playable races received model updates in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, but Worgans and Goblins were still considered too new when the expansion was released back in 2014. Along with the model updates, these two Cataclysm races will also be getting Heritage Armor. Blizzard has remained tight-lipped about what this armor will look like and how it will be earned, but we’re excited to find out.

Recruit-A-Friend (RAF) is Back

The RAF program went on hiatus on June 11, just a few weeks before the launch of patch 8.2 on June 25. The RAF Program was introduced in 2008 and has undergone several changes over its lifetime. The idea behind the program is that players can earn rewards such as free game time, epic mounts, or exclusive pets when they introduce a new player to the game and that player continues their subscription. In the current game, seasoned players can no longer send RAF invitations due to the hiatus, but if a player sent an invitation before the hiatus came into effect on June 11, they may still be able to qualify for the rewards.

Not a lot is known about how the new RAF program will function, but we know it will be released with the launch of 8.2.5. We also know that two new mounts will be associated with the program. The first is called Explorer’s Dunetrekker and is a two-passenger ground mount in the form of a camel. No information has been released about the second mount. In terms of other player rewards or how the program will function, we are still in the dark. In a Blizzard blue post, a moderator stated: “the plan is to overhaul the whole program and make it more compelling”. We will have to wait and see what that means.

Replay, Scaling, and Party Sync

From patch 8.2.5 players in groups will be able to Party Sync, and thereby phase all group members to the same place in a quest chain, making party leveling much smoother. The user interface will allow the party to see who is in the group, the quest progression, and who is ready to complete the quest. There will also be a new replay feature that will allow higher level players to re-do old quests when in a group with friends even if they have already completed it. Another interesting element to this is that the rewards from these quests will be scaled to your level so you have the opportunity to gain valuable items by completing old quests. This is a good incentive to get players leveling with their lower-level friends in a way we haven’t seen in a long time.

Players will also be able to join lower level dungeons with their friends instead of being forced out by level restrictions. This relaxation in level restrictions makes the game much more flexible for players, who can now level with anyone regardless of their level. The scaling will work similarly to how scaling works in Timewalking, whereby the higher level player will be scaled down to the appropriate level for the dungeon. This mechanism does differ from Timewalking because the higher level player’s abilities will also be removed if they are too high level for that dungeon.

The Firelands Raid Will be Added to Timewalking

The Firelands raid instance which was added in the Cataclysm expansion will be the next instance to take part in a Timewalking event. Timewalking is when legacy dungeons are tuned so that higher level players can experience them as though they were current content. Your level and gear will be temporarily brought down to the level cap of the dungeon. Firelands was a popular raid back in Cataclysm so it’s a good choice for Timewalking.

The Bee Mount Is Coming!

The much-anticipated bee mount that Blizzard gave a little sneak preview of at the last Blizz-con will finally be up for grabs. By looking at the model you can see players are so excited to get this mount. The artwork manages to look cool, menacing, and innocent all at the same time so this mount is sure to make an impression throughout Azeroth. Not much is known about the Bee mount, but it doesn’t appear to be a dungeon or raid loot drop. It’s thought that the mount will be gained through reputation level, either by completing quests for a particular faction or by nurturing a small bee over time that will eventually become big enough to ride.

What We Think of 8.2.5

Although .5, or “half patches” are generally not as large in terms of additional content, this patch does have some interesting additions that will change the way we play the game. It seems that with this patch Blizzard is focusing on bringing players together by introducing new ways to play with friends and foster a greater sense of community. With WoW Classic released at the end of the month and players already looking to buy WoW classic gold, maybe Blizzard felt motivated to bring that much-loved sense of community from Classic to Battle for Azeroth.