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wow Legion Alpha Returns!

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The Legion Alpha servers have officially returned after the holiday break. Make sure to check out the new build, which includes new mounts, specialisations, dungeons, quests and even the Shamans!

 

Specialisations

 

In the latest build, one of the larger updates, a huge number of new specialisations have opened up. To add to the current list available, the new ones are:

  • Vengeance Demon Hunter
  • Guardian Druid
  • Restoration Druid
  • Marksmanship Hunter
  • Discipline Priest
  • Elemental Shaman
  • Enhancement Shaman

You read it right, the Shamans have finally appeared on the Alpha! 

 

New Zone and Dungeon

 

We're also going to see a new questing zone unlocked: Val'sharah. If you're interested in the lore behind this zone, make sure to check out our post detailing the story, as well as an album of screenshots. New quests also means the new level cap has increased to level 106.

 

Contained within the new zone is another 5-man dungeon that has been made available: Darkheart Thicket. You can check out a video of the dungeon by @Sco, the Guild Master of Method, below.

 

 

The dungeon follows the players as they attempt to free Malfurion Stormrage from the Emerald Nightmare. The adventurers must cut their way into the heart of the Thicket, where they will face the Shade of Xavius.

 

Xavius was the councilor to Queen Azshara during the War of the Ancients. He convinced her that Sargeras was actually a god that must be summoned by the Highborne, the mages of the elves. Xavius was successful in summoning huge numbers of demons, including high ranking commanders such as Hakkar the Houndmaster, Mannoroth and Archimonde.

 

Malfurion eventually interrupted Xavius' spell by venturing into the Emerald Dream, where he destroyed Xavius completely. Sargeras was unhappy with his minion and punished him for his failures. He tortured the elf's spirit, but eventually realised that Xavius could still be of use to him.

 

Sargeras returned Xavius to life, but not as he once was. He gave him a new body, with hooves and horns, claws and a tail. He made him a satyr. Sargeras tasked Xavius with two things: turn as many Highborne into satyrs and bring Malfurion to Sargeras.

 

Xavius conducted these tasks with glee, promising the elven mages unlimited power and a seat at the side of Sargeras. The second task proved more difficult, however, since Malfurion was not alone. With the aid of Shandris Feathermoon, a follower of Tyrande, they killed Xavius. Shandris pierced Xavius with an arrow, allowing Malfurion to turn Xavius into a tree. The tree sucked the energy from the body of the satyr, feeding off of his life. Malfurion sent the tree to the bottom of the sea.

 

This wasn't the end for Xavius; through the presumed intervention of the Old Gods, he survived the Shattering and ended up returning 10,000 years later in the Emerald Nighmare. In his new form, he corrupted the Emerald Dream by manipulating Fandral Staghelm into planting a branch of his tree into Teldrassil, the new World Tree. 

 

It is in this new form of the Nightmare Lord that we see Xavius in Darkheart Thicket.

 

New Mounts

 

The new build has also seen a number of new models popping up in the client. Make sure to check out the videos below from PyPGamers Network, with 3D models of the new mounts:

 

 

 

 

 

UI Changes 

 

As noted by @Elvinelol in this image, it looks like the default frames of the Blizzard UI are now going to track DoTs for us. They might just be able to replace most add-ons at this rate!

 

Challenge Mode Keystone Affixes 

 

The Legion Challenge modes are going to be using Keystones to unlock different difficulties, similar to the keystones of Diablo III rifts. It looks like there are going to be extra buffs and debuffs to keep them challenging at higher levels of play:

  • Decay - All players suffer 5000 damage every 3 sec while the challenge is active.
  • Skittish - Threat generated on all enemies decays very rapidly.
  • Attenuated - Player damage dealt to all enemies is reduced the farther the attacker is from a target, up to a maximum of 50%.
  • Necrotic - All enemies' melee attacks apply a stacking disease that inflicts damage over time and reduces healing received.
  • Teeming - Additional non-boss enemies are present throughout the dungeon.
  • Raging - When any non-boss enemy reaches 30% health remaining, it enrages, dealing 100% increased damage until defeated.
  • Bolstering - When any non-boss enemy dies, its death cry empowers nearby allies, increasing their maximum health and damage by 20%.
  • Tyrannical - Boss enemies have 50% more health and inflict up to 30% increased damage.

 

Blue Posts and Tweets Concerning Alpha

 

Blizzard Icon Celestalon's Alpha Build Notes

+ Show

Hey all,

 

There’s a new Alpha build today, which includes a number of new additions and changes. We’d like to provide some additional context and info, and also focus discussion on the topics that will provide the most useful feedback at the moment.
 
Tank and Healer Abilities and Cooldowns - Tanks and Healers will notice significant changes to the tuning on many of their defensive abilities. These may appear to be “nerfs” at first glance, but are actually part of a widespread adjustment to improve overall tank (and tank healer) gameplay, that includes reducing the strength/frequency of defensive cooldowns, and adjusting creature tuning to compensate. We’ve made a separate thread to give full context about these changes here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20420493025
 
New Logging Feature - The Advanced Combat Log now includes additional data that will be of use to developers and users of data analysis sites and tools. We’ve made a separate thread to provide the data structure for the new COMBATANT_INFO log event here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20419432775
 
New Specializations Unlocked – There are 7 new specializations ready for testing! Several additional specializations have been unlocked for testing. We’d love any and all feedback about their gameplay, artifact quest lines, abilities, etc.
  • Vengeance Demon Hunter – NOTE: Vengeance abilities, talents, and artifact traits are still preliminary and are being heavily iterated on.
  • Guardian Druid
  • Restoration Druid
  • Marksmanship Hunter
  • Discipline Priest
  • Enhancement Shaman
  • Elemental Shaman
Honorable Medallion – This build includes our solution for the “CC break trinket” for low level classes. Upon entering a battleground or arena for the first time, players will learn the “Honorable Medallion” (temp name) spell. This spell removes all movement impairing effects and all effects which cause loss of control of your character while in PvP combat and has a 3 minute cooldown. Players can learn this spell at any level and it resides in the General section of your spell book. The first row of PvP talents then modifies the Honorable Medallion. This will provide the “CC break trinket” mechanic for all levels of PvP player. Feedback on this solution would be appreciated!
 
Talent Design Status - We’ve reached a ‘first draft’ level of design for talents for all specializations. There are some that we still have outstanding plans to revise or replace, but the vast majority are ready for feedback. Tuning has not been done, so you’ll have to imagine that numbers are adjusted such that talents are balanced, but we’d love to hear feedback about what talents you like or dislike. Especially useful is feedback on particular talent rows, and whether they feel like interesting choices or not (again, assuming numbers will be balanced).
 
Artifact Trait Design Status - More artifacts are available, and you’ll be able to unlock further traits on existing artifacts. At this time, feedback is welcome on artifact traits, but we still have much work to do on them, and have many revisions planned. Expect significant change to many of the artifact traits in the future.
 
Thanks, and we look forward to your feedback!
 
 
Our first tweet is a reply to a question concerning the raid level relics in Legion. The user wanted to know whether or not we can choose which trait on our artifacts is improved with the raid level relics.
 
 
Our second tweet is in response to concerns that tank changes in Legion are simply going to make the game more passive, rather than adding exciting gameplay. 
 
 
Our last tweet is looking at the new wardrobe system in Legion, where Tabards will finally be removed from our bags and added into Transmog!
 
 
If you managed to get an invite to the Alpha, make sure that you follow the instructions set out by Blizzard in their post. It seems the majority of players aren't receiving invites via e-mail, but rather through their Battle.net client. Make sure to check and enjoy the Alpha if you're in!

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