First you face the Assault
In order to get yourself started with Horrific Visions, first you have to face the Black Empire by Assaulting it head-on. In patch 8.3, the forces of N’Zoth invade two zones on Azeroth — either Uldum or the Vale of Eternal Blossoms will be under attack. Horrific Visions are unlocked after completing the entirety of the Visions of N’zoth questline from Wrathion up to the raid quest, Ny’alotha, the Waking City: The Corruptor’s End. Then, once you’ve done that, you’ll want to run the Assaults to get Coalescing Visions, a necessary currency not only to upgrade your legendary cloak but also to buy the Vessel of Horrific Visions.
The Vessel is the way into the Horrific Vision (think of it kind of like a Mythic + key) and it costs 10,000 Coalescing Visions per Vessel. There’s about 30,000 possible Coalescing Visions you can earn per week, with 10,000 from a Major Assault and 5,000 from the smaller Minor Assaults, plus the Mini-Visions that grant 2,000 for the first one every week and another 1,000 for the daily quest. Combined with Daily Quests which offer 50 Visions, up to 6 per day — for 300 daily, or 2100 a week — you can earn enough to run two or three Horrific Visions per week.
Even if you’re not down for all the time investment needed to earn around 30,000, you could by simply doing the Major and Minor Invasions offered during the week earn 15,000, which would mean that in four weeks you’d earn enough Coalescing Visions to run 6 Horrific Visions. If you do the Mini Visions and other daily quests, you can run twelve or so Horrific Visions a month.
Progressing in Horrific Visions
Now, at first, you’re not going to get that far in the Visions. They’re designed that way — deleterious effects and the sanity drain of N’Zoth being, you know, an actual Old God will make it so you have to retreat before you get to the end. This means that you’ll be spending your Coalescing Visions more and more on further attempts. But there are ways around this. As you progress further in the Vision, you’ll be buffing your Legendary Cloak, which will therefore protect you more from the Sanity effect and allow you to progress further.
So the more Visions you do, the more you can do in a Vision. Also, as you enter and leave the Visions, you’ll be collecting fragments of the corruption of N’Zoth, the — Corrupted Mementos — and bringing them to MOTHER and Magni Bronzebeard, who will use them and the research the Titans did in Uldir on the Old Gods to bolster your defenses against the corruption. This will allow you to resist the Sanity drain longer and progress further. You can earn between 100 and 6000 Corrupted Mementos depending on how many objectives you complete, so as you get better you’ll earn more and be able to spend more Mementos on Titan Research to increase your time to complete more objectives.
Objectives / Gameplay
Your goal in Horrific Visions is to complete certain objectives while inside the vision. There are a total of 5 objectives per vision that you should aim to complete. There is a “Main Objective” of the vision, and then there are 4 “Bonus Objectives”.
It’s important to know that your Sanity is your time limit and that you won’t be able to complete all objectives until you have some upgrades that provide you resistance against Sanity draining effects or provide opportunities to restore sanity.
It’s suggested you only try to do objectives suited for your cloak level and those areas will provide you with what you need to upgrade your cloak. Objectives that may be too challenging for your cloak level have red warning text when you mouse over them on the map.
Main Objective – Tainted Areas
The “main objective” is the objective located in the first area (also known as the “Tainted Area”), and is the objective players on their first visits will aim to complete every time. This is the objective seen in the objective/scenario tracker. This also appears as a SKULL on the map and minimap.
Completing this objective will END the Horrific Vision immediately, regardless of how many other objectives you have completed and how much remaining Sanity you have.Completing this objective successfully will yield Tier 1 cloak upgrades (Flesh of Stone) and any rewards tied to Thrall’s (Orgrimmar) or Alleria’s (Stormwind) Corrupted Chest.
Bonus Objectives – Corrupted and Lost Areas
Players are free to venture out beyond the starting area and into the other sections of the city. There are 4 additional sections to the city, each with an objective. However, each of these areas has a higher passive Sanity drain, more deadly enemies with higher health, and Madnesses that are more relevant.
2 Bonus Objectives are “Medium” tier difficulty located in the “Corrupted Area” of the Vision.
2 Bonus Objectives are “Hard” tier difficulty located in the “Lost Area” of the Vision.
Group Sanity – Both your party and raid frames will show how much Sanity your fellow group members are currently at. Raid frames use a simple bar at the bottom of the player’s frame instead of the full graphic. If your friends die or reach 0 Sanity, their Sanity bar will glow after which they can be revived by using a Sanity Restoration Orb near them or donating half your Sanity to a downed member.
Your Sanity – This shows your current and maximum Sanity capacities. If this bar depletes to 0, you die.
Sanity Restoration Orbs – If unlocked, this extra action button appears for all members in the vision. Pressing this button will summon a Sanity Restoration Orb that will fully restore the Sanity and Health of all nearby players over 10 seconds and provide immunity to all Madness effects for its duration. Only 3 of these may be used throughout the Horrific Visions, the remaining amount of uses available is shown on the button as well.
Sanity Damage – Sanity Damage is when you lose Sanity to being hit by certain abilities and mechanics. Sanity Damage taken is shown on-screen near your character when it occurs with the amount of Sanity lost.
Active Madnesses – These are the current Madness effects that you are subject to related to the area you are located in. These effects are always active until you move to a new area which will often bring a new set of Madness effects. You can mouse-over this to find out details as to what exactly they do.
Main Objective Tracker – This will show the main objective of the Horrific Vision. Completing this objective will END the Horrific Vision. Here you will also see the total amount of Corrupted Mementos you have earned so far. These are awarded in full to the player after you leave the Horrific Vision.
Bonus Objective Tracker – When you are near a new area of the city, that area’s objective will appear as a Bonus Objective. Bonus Objectives are additional objectives the player can complete to earn extra rewards at the end of the Vision. There are a total of 4 Bonus Objectives in a Horrific Vision.
How to face the madness
So, how do you go about actually doing this content? Well, for starters, you and everyone doing the Horrific Vision with you, if anyone is has to have a Vessel of Horrific Visions in your inventory. You will go to the Heart chamber in Silithus, where the portal into the Vision is sort of hanging out next to MOTHER. There’s no specific iLevel requirement for this content. While going in with less powerful gear will likely mean you won’t get as far, there’s nothing specifically stopping you from doing it as soon as you finish the patch 8.3 introductory questline and get enough Coalescing Visions to buy a Vessel.
What do you get for your time? Well, if you defeat the main objective boss for the Vision, you’ll get ilevel 420 gear. As you progress, defeating more objectives and unlocking higher difficulty levels, you’ll start to see ilevel 445 gear, with the most challenging level of difficulty in a Horrific Vision allowing you to earn ilevel 470 gear, on par with Mythic + 15 and just below Mythic raid difficulty. You won’t be swimming in this gear right away — you’ll need to start completing all of the objectives in a Vision before you see that 445 gear, and it’s one piece per finished Vision, because you have to beat the main objective boss to get an item.
The items come from the various patch 8.3 ‘pre-raid’ sets. Clothies will get pieces from the Vile Manipulator set, the leather set is the Insatiable Maw, mail wearers can look forward to the Nefarious Tormentor set, and plate classes will get pieces of the Malignant Leviathan gear. One thing to keep in mind when running Horrific Visions is that there are built in gear diminishing returns set up, so if you do a run and complete four out of five objectives and then do another run that same week and again complete four out of five, you won’t get the same level gear — it’ll be slightly worse, to encourage you to do better than you did last time for better rewards.
So there you have it. Farm Assaults and other content to earn Coalesced Visions to buy Vessels of Horrific Visions and use those to run the Vision, alone or in a group of up to five players. The Vision will scale for your group — there’s no minimum ilevel but trust us, you’re going to get wrecked unless you’re around 400 or so to start — and don’t expect to clear the whole deal your first time through. Find the easiest objective, get some Corrupted Mementos, and get out before you die from losing Sanity for your first few Visions. This is content you’ll need to ramp up to full clears.