The release date for the World of Warcraft 10.1 update has been announced, a little over six months after the Dragonflight expansion first arrived in Blizzard’s long-running MMO. Officially known as Embers of Neltharion, the first major Dragonflight patch will usher in the start of Season 2 and cycle in new (old?) Mythic+ dungeons and a new raid, as well as a new zone to explore.
WoW 10.1: Embers of Neltharion will also introduce cross-faction guilds, more Renown levels, and new dragonriding talents and mounts. There’s a lot to get through, so if you’re ready to learn more, here’s what we know about the WoW 10.1 update.
When is the WoW 10.1 release date?
The release date for the World of Warcraft 10.1: Embers of Neltharion update has been confirmed for May 2, 2023, or May 3 if you’re on EU servers. Season 2 will start with the following week’s reset on May 9—May 10 for EU.
The update has been available for testing on the PTR (Public Test Realm) since March 9, and as most patches historically have spent a couple of months there before arriving on live servers, it had been assumed that the release window would land sometime in May 2023.
New zone: Zaralek Cavern
This new zone is located somewhere beneath the Obsidian Citadel, but you’ll be able to access it from Azure Span, Ohn’ahran Plains, and Thaldraszus too. Even though it’s completely underground, the area is large enough to allow dragonriding – in fact, that’s the most fun way to get there.
There will be new enemies to defeat and treasures to acquire, as well as the inhabitants, the Niffen and the Drogbar, to meet. The Zaralek Cavern is also the home of the new raid that arrives with the WoW 10.1 update.
Cross-faction guilds will welcome all
World of Warcraft might have been built on the conflict between Horde and Alliance, but many of the expansions’ storylines have seen both sides come together and put aside their differences for the greater good.
Blizzard had already started to blur the lines of the faction divide last year, allowing players from both factions to team up for certain types of group content. Now it’s being taken a step further with guilds becoming cross-faction.
Additions to dragonriding in 10.1
Dragonriding was one of the big new systems to arrive with Dragonflight, and it allows you to unlock abilities via a talent tree whenever you collect Dragon Glyphs. In the 10.1 update, a new dragonriding talent is being added: Ground Skimming lets you fly near the ground and regain vigor at the same time. Vigor is vital for keeping your mount in the air while dragonriding, so any new means to acquire the resource is a welcome addition.
You’ll also be able to pick up a new dragonriding mount, the Winding Slitherdrake, though it’s not currently clear how this will be unlocked.
New raid: Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible
The new raid arriving with the second season of Dragonflight is Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible, and it’s located in the Zaralek Cavern, the new underground zone. All raid difficulties will unlock on the same weekly reset, instead of being staggered as they have been in past expansions.
While there aren’t many details yet, here are the names of the nine raid bosses found in Aberrus, the Shadowed Crucible:
- Experimentation of the Dracthyr
- Zaqali Invasion
- Scalecommander Sarkareth
The most notable of these bosses is, of course, Neltharion, who went on to become Deathwing. The Crucible is meant to be the place where the former leader of the black dragonflight gave in to the voices of the Old Gods and went mad, so it’s not so surprising to see him appear as a boss here.
Dragonflight Season 2 Mythic+ dungeons
New dungeons will be added to the Mythic+ pool for Season 2. As with Season 1, there will be eight dungeons in total: four current Dragonflight dungeons and four dungeons from previous expansions.
Here are the Dragonflight Season 2 Mythic+ dungeons:
- Brackenhide Hollow
- Halls of Infusion
- Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr
- Freehold (Battle for Azeroth)
- The Underrot (Battle for Azeroth)
- Neltharion’s Lair (Legion)
- Vortex Pinnacle (Cataclysm)
New seasonal affixes are also expected to arrive with the new season, though there are no details on these yet.