Patch 10.96 will be coming out the door today at approximately 12 PM (Noon) US Central Time. This will be the launch of the Beta for the Hard Mode Raids. The official launch of the Hard Mode Raids will be on July 16th at 12 PM (Noon) US Central Time.
You can enter the Hard Mode Beta through the Guild City door inside of Highsteppe, this means to enter the Normal Mode Raids, you can still queue up via the social tab, or enter through the door in the cave near the Obnobi camp in the Flooded Rainforest. As with the Normal mode Beta, you will receive no loot drops. There is a thread for feedback for the Beta here :
Note: When leaving the Hard Mode Raid Beta via the portal into Highsteppe you will end up outside of Highsteppe and need to use “Return to Graveyard” to be placed back inside town. This is a side effect of not saving any of the progress from the Beta.
Changes from Normal to Hard mode include increased difficulty on the bosses, along with a few new mechanics ensuring that raid parties entering the instance are in for a fight that has very small room for errors, and should give challenging game play options for the most veteran of players.
We have also put in a patch for the Shaman totems that should stop them from force re-spawning when they are being held or in air while being thrown.
There will be a blog post coming next week outlining our plans and timeline for the future content we have begun working on and are excited to share it with the community.