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Legion Preview: Leveling, Dungeons and Demon Hunters

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Blizzard has posted three blog posts previewing the Legion leveling experience, two dungeons and Demon Hunters.

The questing and leveling experience in Legion is very polished and we advise you to enjoy your first round around the Broken Isles as much as you can. For the first time, you will be able to choose in which zone you want to start your journey to 110.

Bear in mind that Order Hall and profession quests will send you to specific zones, while it is good to get Friendly with the factions of each zone since this will be helpful to unlock World Quests at max level. You can also read our summary of the Artifacts and Class Order Halls Q&A here.

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World of Warcraft: Legion introduces a whole new kind of questing and leveling experience, and you’ll want to prepare to make some choices out there.

In previous World of Warcraft expansions through Warlords of Draenor, zones were designed specifically for characters who were with in a certain level range. In Mists of Pandaria, Kun-Lai Summit was meant for those who’d reached level 87. Warlords of Draenor’s Nagrand was intended for characters who were level 98 or higher. In Legion, the questing zones you’ll discover among the Broken Isles work a bit differently. . . .

A Whole New World

Early on in your journey to the Broken Isles, you’ll be able to freely choose among a number of zones that adapt to your character’s level: Azsuna, Highmountain, Stormheim, and Val’sharah. Whether you’re level 101 or 108, the quests, enemies, and drops in each of those four zones dynamically scale to your level, giving you the freedom to explore this mysterious new domain as you see fit. Each of these zones has a very different feel, with distinct factions to meet, fantastic stories to uncover, and experiences that you won’t soon forget.

To get started in these zones, you’ll first need to travel to your Class Order Hall and open up the mission table’s scouting map. Select one of the four leveling zones and accept the related quest to go to Dalaran—then travel to Dalaran, and you’ll be sent to your chosen zone.

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The Circle of Life

Beyond the experience to be earned and stories to take part in, each dynamic zone has its own unique rewards and treasures. For example, Azsuna is the only place to acquire the Mystical Frosh Hat toy and the Court Scribe battle pet. Only in Highmountain can you get your Rocfeather Skyhorn Kite toy or a Baby Elderhorn pet.

These zones are also good places for you to earn Artifact Power to improve your Artifact—and increase your own chances of defeating the Burning Legion. To maximize the Artifact Power you gain, you may find that it’s best to complete a zone. As you level up, you may also find it valuable to reach at least Friendly reputation with each faction that you come across, since doing so unlocks World Quests to participate in later.

Ultimately, the path you take through the Broken Isles is up to you—and more than ever, your destiny is in your own hands.

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Azsuna
 

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Highmountain
 

 

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Stormheim
 

 

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Val’sharah

 

To learn more about Artifacts and Order Halls, both of which play key roles in questing in the Broken Isles, check out the Legion Q&A with Craig Amai from July 7.

There is also a preview blog for two out of the 10 dungeons of Legion: Vault of the Wardens and Assault on Violet Hold. The former prison of the Illidari is now ran by some of its most villainous inmates, with the traitor Cordana Felsong being the final boss. The second dungeon is good old Violet Hold with some new bosses!

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Many challenges await the heroes of Azeroth in Legion, and among the most dangerous are the dungeons found in and around the Broken Isles. In this preview, we take a look at two of the expansion’s new dungeons: Vault of the Wardens and Assault on Violet Hold.

Vault of the Wardens

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Minimum Level: 110
Location: Aszuna
Bosses: 5

This secret Warden facility was carved into the mountainside deep in Azsuna, and sealed with magical wards both to keep intruders out and to ensure that the terrors locked within could never escape. Many of the most dangerous foes the Wardens have encountered were locked away within the Vault, but in the aftermath of Cordana’s betrayal and the Legion’s attack, those creatures now roam the halls freely.

Developer Insights: This dungeon was one of the very first concepts we locked down early in the development of Legion. From the moment we’d settled on Demon Hunters emerging from stasis in the midst of a Legion attack on their ancient prison, we knew we wanted to let players revisit that location in its aftermath.

In this dungeon, players enter a ruined version of the once-pristine Vault, where the inmates are running the prison, so to speak. Once we decided on some of the monstrosities that would be unleashed as bosses, we went back to the Demon Hunter starting experience and gave enemies like Ash’golm and Glazer cameos, to create a greater sense 

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The Vault of the Wardens is broken up into three floors, where the dungeon’s five bosses dwell:
The Warden’s Court

Tirathon Saltheril – Once ally to the Master, Tirathon made a bargain with the Legion in exchange for more power. Embittered after years of imprisonment, Tirathon is eager to dole out pain and suffering to whomever crosses his path. If that happens to be one of his former captors, then so much the better.

Vault of the Wardens

Inquisitor Tormentorum – Of all the foul creatures that serve the Legion, the hooded inquisitors are perhaps the most mysterious, and the most menacing. Tormentorum arrived in the aftermath of the initial assault upon the Vault. As he drifts through its halls, his gaze piercing the shadows in search of some vital secret, and even other demons give him a wide berth.

Glazer – Like many demons of this type, Glazer can focus his gaze into a potent weapon against his enemies. The Wardens discovered that the creature's magical emissions could be reflected back to their source to debilitating effect. They used this knowledge to ensnare the demon and crafted a special prison of mirrors to contain its power—until now.

Ash'golm  Ash'golm was one of Ragnaros' lieutenants who burned a violent scar across the forests of Kalimdor before the Wardens finally managed to bind him. Unable to fully destroy Ash'golm, the Wardens locked him in a prison of ice. Unfortunately, the recent incursion by the Legion has weakened the countermeasures that kept Ash'golm frozen all these years. . . .

Vault of the Betrayer

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A Warden within the Vault of the Wardens

Cordana Felsong – Traitor. Betrayer. Outcast. Cordana was among the vanguard that pursued Garrosh into the Dark Portal, fighting by Khadgar's side and working to thwart the influence of the Shadow Council. But Gul'dan's dark sorcery wormed its way into her heart, turning her into the warlock's ultimate pawn. Once a paragon of duty, she will now forever be known as the instrument of the Wardens' undoing.

Assault on Violet Hold

Location: Dalaran
Minimum Level: 105
Bosses: 8 (must defeat 3 different bosses each run)

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IIn the aftermath of the Northrend campaign and the Blue Dragonflight’s attack on this Dalaran prison, the Violet Hold was repaired and its cells were repurposed to house some of the most dangerous servants of the Lich King. Now, as Dalaran floats above the Broken Isles as the flagship of the war against the Legion, a shadowy threat once again seeks to strike at the Kirin Tor from within.

Located within the floating city of Dalaran—recently relocated to the Broken Isles—the Violet Hold now houses some new prisoners who are looking for a little payback on the Kirin Tor.

 

Developer Insights: With Dalaran moving to the Broken Isles, that meant that the Violet Hold was coming along with it. While the space is used for a couple of Artifact and Class Order quest lines, its classic function has always been as a dungeon. We used this as an opportunity to modernize some of the mechanics from the old dungeon, such as checkpointing and progress tracking, revisited some of our favorite creature types that players haven’t seen in quite some time.

Since Dalaran’s last function was as a major staging ground for the Northrend campaign, it follows that its cells might now house all manner of Scourge monstrosities. In Legion, the dungeon serves as a throwback to Icecrown Citadel’s greatest hits, with close relatives of some familiar foes like Blood Queen Lana’thel, Festergut and Rotface, and Sindragosa making an appearance as the Legion unleashes them upon adventuring parties. Oh, and a gnome.

While there are eight possible bosses to fight in the Violet Hold, you’ll encounter a different set of three each time you venture into the dungeon. 

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Millificent Manastorm – An engineering genius of undeniable prowess, Millifecent Manastorm seems to be the complete opposite of her husband Millhouse. Smart and resourceful, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Blood-Princess Thal’ena – Blood-Princess Thal’ena is the daughter of the powerful San’layn Queen Lana’thel. She has been locked inside the Violet Hold since the Northrend campaign, suffering the gnawing pain of her eternal hunger. Now that her cell has been opened, she intends to feed on the world.

Festerface – Professor Putricide had many experiments seized when Icecrown Citadel fell. At best guess, Festerface appears to be a failed prototype that predated the construction of the professor’s two most notorious creations: Rotface and Festergut.

Anub’esset – Anub’esset, one of the few remaining ancient Nerubian crypt lords, was captured by the Kirin Tor durning the invasion of Icecrown Citadel and imprisoned in the Violet Hold. Set free during the Legion’s invasion, his thoughts turn only to revenge against the living.

Mindflayer Kaahrj – This eldritch creature was captured in the depths of Ulduar, ensnared as it lapsed into a catatonic state after the defeat of Yogg-Saron. Since Dalaran arrived at the Broken Isles, the monstrosity has mysteriously awakened, and only the powerful wards of the Violet Hold keep its powers in check.

Shivermaw – Rumored to be one of Sindragosa’s own brood, this fearsome frost wyrm was captured from the Frostwing Halls of Icecrown Citadel, where the forces of the Lich King labored to create these winged abominations.

Sael’orn – The origins of these arachnid demons are not fully understood. Scholars who have studied the Legion speculate that they are the remnants of a forgotten race on a world long ago conquered by the armies of Sargeras. Sael’orn is a particularly vicious specimen, and has been tasked with leading the infiltration of Dalaran.

Fel Lord Betrug – This ruthless Legion commander stands ready to lead an invasion of Dalaran from within its walls.

(source)

Lastly, if you are curious about the new Hero class, there is a brand new blog post and developer video update on Demon Hunters. If you need some more convincing, the Illidan animated short is all you need to get you hyped!

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Early access to the new Demon Hunter class will be available starting August 10 to those who have pre-purchased the Legion expansion and have at least one level 70 character on their realm. To help you prepare for your new role as one of the Illidari, we’ve sent scouts into Mardum to learn more about this powerful hero.

To begin your training, Game Designers Eric Maloof and Graham Berger team up to take you through the features of the Demon Hunter in this class preview video.

As one of the Illidari’s newest recruits, you’ll begin your journey at level 98 on the shattered, demon-infested world of Mardum. As you make your way through this dangerous land, you’ll begin to learn the Demon Hunter’s skills, gain an understanding of their history, and start to become proficient in harnessing the power comes with your chosen path. Be warned—not every Illidari has made it through this trial. Ask yourself this question: What are you willing to sacrifice to save Azeroth from the Burning Legion?

Before you make your character, you’ll need to know a little bit more about the requirements for unlocking this hero class. In order to create a Demon Hunter, you’ll need to have at least one level 70 character on your realm. You’ll also have the option to choose between two races: Night Elf or Blood Elf. To take part in the early access period for the Demon Hunter, you’ll also want to  purchase the Legion expansion. Everyone who purchases the expansion after it launches on August 30 will also gain access to the class.

Here are just some of the potent abilities you’ll have at your disposal when you embrace the ways of the Illidari:

Spectral Sight: Demon Hunters’ blindness belies their true powers of perception. They rely on magically augmented sight to detect enemies—even those that hide behind obstacles.

Metamorphosis: Demon Hunters transform into hellish forms, enhancing their formidable powers. Damage-focused Illidari gain incredible swiftness and damage allowing them to finish their prey, while those who prize defense become nigh invincible in their demonic forms.

Demon Hunters also possess supernatural mobility: They can double-jump, vault in and out of combat, and even glide with their wings unfurled to unexpectedly descend upon their prey and surprise enemies from above.

Learn even more about the Demon Hunter by watching the Developer Q&A Part 1 and Part 2 with Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft.

You are now a little more prepared to be the hero Azeroth needs against the Burning Legion. Good luck on the battlefield—even with such power at your disposal, you’re going to need it.

(source)

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so I am very excited about the dynamic leveling system.  The ability to choose which zone you want to go to next is great.  It should allievate bottlenecking which is great especially in the begining of an expac. 

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