Two more weeks until the Nighthold opens, then only one more until the race starts and Blizzard have given us a nice preview of the bosses and zone. Considering the somewhat uneven nature of the first two raids, there are a lot of hopes and expectations aimed at Nigthold, wanting it to finish off the first tier of Legion in style and with some properly difficult bosses and a race that last more than a single reset. For now it seems those hopes will be realized, but one thing at least is guaranteed: the race for Gul'dan will be the most tense we've had in quite a while.
The journey through Suramar has been fraught with intrigue and danger as the heroes of Azeroth have fought to help reclaim this shining city. It’s time to take the next step and face the challenges within the Nighthold.
Minimum Level: 110
The largest structure in the Broken Isles and among the grandest in all of Azeroth, the Nighthold stands as a testament to the achievements of the nightborne civilization. Centered around the Nightwell, the fount of arcane power that has sustained Suramar for centuries, these grounds were built as a haven from the worries of the world. But as a felstorm churns above the former temple of Elune across the bay, and Gul’dan himself now resides within the palace’s walls, those worries now begin—not end—here.
Developer Insights: Even though Gul’dan awaits atop the main spire of the Nighthold, and even though mighty Legion adversaries like Tichondrius and Krosus lurk within the walls of the compound, the Nighthold is not a traditional demonic raid. It stands as a testament to perhaps the greatest civilization Azeroth has ever seen: the pinnacle of elven magic and sophistication.
Just as our artists and designers approached the creation of the city of Suramar with the aim of evoking the feel and bustle of a living city under occupation, the dungeon team wanted to make sure the Nighthold really felt like the grand palace of Suramar. From botanical gardens to guest quarters, from an observatory to chambers enclosing the power source of nightborne civilization, we tried to build a grand royal court and then consider how the Legion’s presence would affect and transform that foundation. Many of our raid zones are dark and oppressive places, by necessity—the domain of Xavius cannot be bright and cheery—but the Nighthold offers a raid environment that is both beautiful and deadly.
- Wednesday, January 18: Nighthold Normal and Heroic difficulties open.
- Wednesday, January 25: Nighthold Mythic difficulty and Raid Finder Wing 1 (Arcing Aqueducts) open.
- Wednesday, February 8: Nighthold Raid Finder Wing 2 (Royal Athenaeum) opens.
- Wednesday, February 22: Nighthold Raid Finder Wing 3 (Nightspire) opens.
- Wednesday, March 8: Nighthold Raid Finder Wing 4 (Betrayer’s Rise) opens.
Skorpyron: Deep within the foundations of the Nighthold, beneath the sea, lie long-forgotten vaults that give access to the Nightwell itself. This monstrous armored scorpid has made its home in one of these vaults. Infused with the power of the Nightwell and surrounded by a teeming brood, Skorpyron presents a serious complication to an otherwise promising back entry to the Nighthold.
Chronomatic Anomaly: As the power to fuel an entire civilization courses from the earth, the cavern at the base of the Nightwell has become a maelstrom of raw energy. Born from this chaotic flux, the Chronomatic Anomaly is an embodiment of the power of the Eye of Aman’thul. As it lashes out with energy attacks, the bursts of energy warp the very flow of time.
Trilliax: Trilliax, once proud servant to the nightborne aristocracy, has been discarded and left to slowly deteriorate. While an unwavering will to carry out its tasks remains, the passage of time has splintered this construct’s personality matrix. It now unpredictably switches from one mode to the next, ranging from doting caretaker to homicidal sterilizer, craving recognition and validation from a master that no longer exists.
Spellblade Aluriel: Aluriel always had an affinity for magic. She rose through the ranks of the Nightguard effortlessly, having a natural talent with the sword. But no matter how strong she became, she wanted more. She studied with the mages at the University of Suramar, spending her days in combat training and her evenings in the artificery. She forged her weapons and armor in the Nightwell, weaving magic spells into the precious metals. She is the first Spellblade, adept in the schools of Fire, Frost, and Arcane.
Krosus: This colossal doom lord, one of the largest and mightiest creatures in the armies of the Legion, was defeated at the Broken Shore through the combined might of the greatest heroes of the Horde and the Alliance. Having recovered from his wounds, Krosus emerges from the bay between the Nighthold and the Tomb of Sargeras to crush anyone who would oppose the Legion.
High Botanist Tel’arn: From his youth, the nightborne Tel’arn was fascinated by plant life: the resilience and adaptability of weeds, the ability of simple grass to harness the power of the sun, the way a tree may be divided into two, or two branches grafted into one. Aided by the energies of the Nightwell, he has transformed himself to the point that he is scarcely recognizable as a nightborne elf. He now considers himself something far, far greater.
Tichondrius: The dreadlord Tichondrius, once leader of the nathrezim, was slain by the newly awakened power of none other than Illidan Stormrage. Reconstituted in the Twisting Nether, Tichondrius returns to watch over Gul’dan on behalf of the Legion, ensuring that the orc warlock does not once again fail his masters.
Star Augur Etraeus: The nightborne astromancer Etraeus has devoted long years of research to scouring the skies of Azeroth, seeking answers to the great mysteries of the universe. His scrying has shown him worlds beyond our ken, and the power of the Nightwell allows him to draw upon the essence of those worlds to amplify his own powers.
Grand Magistrix Elisande: Elisande once distinguished herself by resisting the Legion. She and her highborne followers broke away from Queen Azshara and the dark path she was taking, harnessing the power of the Eye of Aman’Thul to create the Nightwell, protecting Suramar from the Sundering. But over ten thousand years later, the Legion’s arrival offered her no such recourse. She has cast her lot with the demons, hoping to once again use the power of the Nightwell—this time in a very different sense—to save her people.
The Font of Night
Gul’dan: The chain of events set in motion when Garrosh escaped to Draenor has continued, unbroken for all its twists and turns, leading to this very moment. Thwarted in Draenor, Gul’dan now stands on the precipice of achieving ultimate victory on behalf of his Legion masters. Standing atop the Nighthold, as the vortex of fel energy swirls in the skies overhead, the outcast orc warlock awaits his destiny.