Stan

New Artifact Heart of Azeroth Explained

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In this article, we're diving deeper into how the new Heart of Azeroth legendary neck piece will work and which elements of the current Artifact weapon system will transition over to the new expansion.

Artifact Weapons

  • We have been using our Artifacts throughout Legion, but the entire system will not be transitioned over to the new expansion in its current state. Instead, Blizzard decided to incorporate some elements of Artifacts into the new legendary neck piece called Heart of Azeroth; a new focal point of character progress in Battle for Azeroth.

Lore & Speculations

Based on the most recent leaks, we've learned that Azeroth is wounded.  During the Game Play Systems & Deep Dive Panel we found out that Magni believes to have found a way to heal Azeroth. Why would we trust someone who has been made pawn? An interesting theory crossed my mind thanks to a question of our community member @Yridaa

Quote

"When your planet is on the verge of being destroyed, you don't fight with the only ones willing to help you save it."

I instantly thought about Il'gynoth's quote and suddenly had a lot of questions:

  • Why is there all of a sudden an all-out war between the Alliance and the Horde when the last titan is wounded?
  • Why aren't both factions working together to heal the wound?

We're either missing an important event that starts off the conflict or maybe Magni isn't really working with us. Blizzard confirmed that we're going to see Queen Azshara later on in the expansion, but we didn't get any more details. If I recall correctly, Kil'jaeden's model was shown off at last year's BlizzCon and he isn't Legion's last boss. Blizzard surely has more in store for us in terms of storytelling and I believe the entire Alliance & Horde conflict isn't really the main focus even if it's described as such. Anyway, Magni is giving us this new legendary neck piece called the Heart of Azeroth and we will be using Azerite to infuse it with power (level it up).

Azerite (Artifact Power)

  • Life essence of Azeroth that's used to level up the Heart of Azeroth neck piece and empower armor and traits.
  • The resource will work just like Artifact Power. You get it from raids, dungeons, islands and warfronts.

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Heart of Azeroth

  • All players will have access to the neck piece.
  • The goal is to collect Azerite to level up the Heart of Azeroth, empower your armor and unlock traits. This is very similar to the current Artifact level gating for the Netherlight Crucible. You need a certain rank to unlock relic slots. In a similar fashion, you will need to reach a certain level on your Heart of Azeroth to gain access to traits and make your gear more powerful.

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Azerite Armor

  • We don't know yet if all gear slots will have different traits, but leveling up the neck piece allows you to unlock traits on gear. Blizzard calls this Azerite Armor.
  • Trait layout will be the same on Azerite Armor, but powers vary based on its item level (difficulty).

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Heart of Azeroth Traits (Artifact Traits)

  • In the panel demo, the Heart of Azeroth traits had the same icons as Artifact traits do, but that could be coincidential.
  • Blizzard wants to make the traits more personal, giving you the option to express yourself as a character and player.
    • Shaman Example:
      • Choice between a trait that increases the % of damage reduction, while Astral ShiftAstral Shift is active and a trait that increases Movement Speed while in Ghost WolfGhost Wolf.
      • If you tend to stay in fire a lot, you probably want to go for the Astral ShiftAstral Shift trait.

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Let us know your thoughts about the new system!

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10 minutes ago, Stan said:

Blizzard wants to make the traits more personal, giving you the option to express yourself as a character and player.

  • Shaman Example:
    • Choice between a trait that increases the % of damage reduction, while Astral ShiftAstral Shift is active and a trait that increases Movement Speed while in Ghost WolfGhost Wolf.
    • If you tend to stay in fire a lot, you probably want to go for the Astral ShiftAstral Shift trait.

Well, this isn't gonna work. If a raid mechanic has a raid-wide damage effect (Such as Krosus bridge slam), you'd always pick the % damage reduction.

 

And if you need the movement speed to soak something, then you were already positioned poorly.

 

This means that we're back to the old talent system. At least now we have brackets for the classes. One bracket covers movement, and another covers defense etc.

 

So with the new system you pick between things like movement and defense again. It's like Blizzard never learns. You better come with some good arguments to refute my points because I got a backlog of dev talks and "evolution" of the talent trees to back me up on my points.

 

And if you argue movement is good in some cases, I can tell you that blizzard always strives to make all mechanics possible with just the 100% movement speeds, and in the worst case (Hi Kil'Jaeden!) you have classes with innate movement abilities so that you don't have to sacrifice defense for movement at all.

 

I never had any problems at all with base movement speeds in even the most crucial movement encounters in the game (Like tanking Imperator)

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Interesting. I hope will be more customizable than tha actual system and should be nice to change layout for raiding and mythic plus.

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Wonder what will happen to the Artifact weapon active spells like the Maw and Talonclaw, I'm guessing that there will be a new level cap and we'll get 'new' spells and abilities that pretty much cover those bases. Looking at the preview here though, it looks like this system will undergo a lot of refinement before launch. 

It's easy to forget the start of Legion including the map quest lines showed Gilneas attacking the Forsaken fleet as well as that climax in Stormheim, as well as the hints from the other Windrunner sisters in Argus over the sensitive subject of Sylvanas. It's been a year since we saw those events, and it'll be a few months before we see the next expansion playing out the continuation of the consequences and fallout surrounding the wound on Azeroth and the defeat of the Burning Legion, but the Horde and Alliance do love picking up old squabbles and I think it's a nice metaphor that the crack in the world reflects the old ones endured and inflicted by both factions such as Theramore and the humiliating Siege of Orgrimmar being reopened once more. 

Edited by Plergoth

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14 minutes ago, Plergoth said:

Wonder what will happen to the Artifact weapon active spells like the Maw and Talonclaw, I'm guessing that there will be a new level cap and we'll get 'new' spells and abilities that pretty much cover those bases. Looking at the preview here though, it looks like this system will undergo a lot of refinement before launch. 

Yes, the level cap has been announced (Thus confirmed) to be increased to 120, as well as a stat squish. People playing on the computers on blizzcon have shown they have 11-17K health at level 110.

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What's interesting to me is the abilities they chose to put on the armor. For example we have what looks like Stormstrike vs Lightning Bolt vs Earth Shock. Just looking at it doesn't make sense, since Stormstrike is Enhancement only and Earth Shock is Elemental only.

Same with the row below it, Flame Shock vs Lava Burst vs Lava Lash. To me this means 2 things:

1. Class specializations might start sharing more of their spells with other specs, for example Elemental might be getting Stormstrike and Lava Lash, Enhancement might be getting the Shock spells and Lava Burst. What that means exactly I don't know, maybe specializations are getting reworked in some way.

2. We stick with the same system we have in Legion, but the armor allows you to choose the Elemental option if you're Elemental, or the Enhancement option if you're Enhancement. This would be helpful when you don't want to farm an item set for each spec.

I want number 1 to happen, but I have no conclusive evidence.

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On 11/5/2017 at 12:02 AM, Maruken said:

1. Class specializations might start sharing more of their spells with other specs, for example Elemental might be getting Stormstrike and Lava Lash, Enhancement might be getting the Shock spells and Lava Burst. What that means exactly I don't know, maybe specializations are getting reworked in some way.

Could be them going back on some pruning. I think I saw Druid with a few extra spells on someone's screenshots.

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On 4/11/2017 at 9:02 PM, Maruken said:

What's interesting to me is the abilities they chose to put on the armor. For example we have what looks like Stormstrike vs Lightning Bolt vs Earth Shock. Just looking at it doesn't make sense, since Stormstrike is Enhancement only and Earth Shock is Elemental only.

Same with the row below it, Flame Shock vs Lava Burst vs Lava Lash. To me this means 2 things:

1. Class specializations might start sharing more of their spells with other specs, for example Elemental might be getting Stormstrike and Lava Lash, Enhancement might be getting the Shock spells and Lava Burst. What that means exactly I don't know, maybe specializations are getting reworked in some way.

2. We stick with the same system we have in Legion, but the armor allows you to choose the Elemental option if you're Elemental, or the Enhancement option if you're Enhancement. This would be helpful when you don't want to farm an item set for each spec.

I want number 1 to happen, but I have no conclusive evidence.

This is goin to have a lot of change till the time it goes live, so, my guess you are going to have to chose between x traits in each circle, all trait should be for you spec.
If you want to play a diferent spect, (a) you are going to need to find a new piece of armor for your spec or (b) when you change your spec, the options are going to change, and you may choose a new one (or maybe the "position" selected is fixed, so you need to live with that choice. 

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That's an interesting system, but I can't stop thinking about that we return to classicals and anonymous purples weapons. it's such a shame... In Legion we don't have to wait that the RNG will be nice with us to have good weapons, return back will penalize players in particular the dps, precisely the cac dpswho depends very much about it. I was swearing that Blizzard can find us a legendary quest at the turn of the level 120 for create our owns weapons with customisable skin and name,(with upgade system like obliterium) but they've announced that there will be no legendaries in BfA :(

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2 hours ago, Lumnius said:

 they've announced that there will be no legendaries in BfA :(

tbh, after hunting legendaries for this entire expansion, I think I'm ok with not seeing any orange for while.

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      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Holy Shield Blessed Hammer Consecrated Hammer 30 First Avenger Bastion of Light Crusader's Judgment 45 Fist of Justice Repentance Blinding Light 60 Blessing of Spellwarding Cavalier Retribution Aura 75 Hand of the Protector Knight Templar Final Stand 90 Judgment of Light Consecrated Ground Aegis of Light 100 Righteous Protector Seraphim Last Defender Retribution
      New Talents
      Wake of Ashes (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Greater Judgment Righteous Verdict *new* Execution Sentence 30 The Fires of Justice Blade of Wrath Hammer of Wrath *new* 45 Fist of Justice Repentance Blinding Light 60 Divine Vengeance *new* Consecration Wake of Ashes *new* 75 Cavalier Unbreakable Spirit Eye for an Eye 90 Judgment of Light Justicar's Vengeance Word of Glory 100 Divine Purpose Crusade Inquisition *new* Priest [Return to Top]
      Power Word: Fortitude is back Discipline
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Castigation Twist of Fate Schism 30 Perseverance Body and Soul Masochism 45 Power Word: Solace Shield Discipline Mindbender 60 Psychic Voice Shining Force Dominant Mind 75 Sanctuary Clarity of Will Shadow Covenant 90 Purge the Wicked Divine Star Halo 100 Power Infusion Grace Evangelism Holy
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Enlightenment Trail of Light Enduring Renewal 30 Angelic Feather Perseverance Body and Mind 45 Light of the Naaru Guardian Angel Afterlife 60 Psychic Voice *new* Shining Force Censure 75 Surge of Light Binding Heal Circle of Healing 90 Benediction Divine Star Halo 100 Cosmic Ripple *new* Apotheosis Holy Word: Salvation *new* Shadow
      Leap of Faith is available at level 63 New Talents
      Dark Void (level 45) Last Word (level 60) Void Torrent (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Fortress of the Mind Shadowy Insight Shadow Word: Void 30 Mania Body and Soul San'layn 45 Dark Void *new* Misery Twist of Fate 60 Last Word *new* Mind Bomb Psychic Horror 75 Auspicious Spirits Shadow Word: Death Shadow Crash 90 Lingering Insanity Mindbender Power Infusion 100 Legacy of the Void Void Torrent *new* Surrender to Madness Rogue [Return to Top]
      Assassination
      New Talents
      Master Assassin (level 30) Poison Bomb (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Master Poisoner Elaborate Planning Dispatch 30 Nightstalker Subterfuge Master Assassin *new* 45 Vigor Anticipation Deeper Stratagem 60 Leeching Poison Elusiveness Cheat Death 75 Internal Bleeding Iron Wire Prey on the Weak 90 Venom Rush Toxic Blade Exsanguinate 100 Poison Bomb *new* Crimson Tempest Marked for Death Outlaw
      Grappling Hook is now an ability that does not have a level requirement listed. New Talents
      Retractable Hook (level 30) Blinding Powder (level 75) Loaded Dice (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Swordmaster Quick Draw Ghostly Strike 30 Acrobatic Strikes Retractable Hook *new* Hit and Run 45 Vigor Anticipation Deeper Stratagem 60 Iron Stomach Elusiveness Cheat Death 75 Dirty Tricks Blinding Powder *new* Prey on the Weak 90 Alacrity Cannonball Barrage Killing Spree 100 Loaded Dice *new* Slice and Dice Marked for Death Subtlety
      New Talents
      Shot in the Dark (level 75) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Weaponmaster Find Weakness Gloomblade 30 Nightstalker Subterfuge Shadow Focus 45 Vigor Anticipation Deeper Stratagem 60 Soothing Darkness Elusiveness Cheat Death 75 Shot in the Dark *new* Strike from the Shadows Prey on the Weak 90 Dark Shadow Alacrity Enveloping Shadows 100 Master of Shadows Death from Above Marked for Death Shaman [Return to Top]
      Tremor Totem is baseline at level 58 Capacitor Totem is baseline at level 44 Elemental
      Fulmination - passive available at level 13 New Abilities
      Epicenter - passive available at level 13 Fulmination - passive available at level 13 New Talents
      Molten Fury (level 15) Volcanic Rage (level 30) Spirit Wolf (level 45) Seismic Armor (level 75) High Voltage (level 90) Electric Discharge (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Earthen Rage Molten Fury *new* Totem Mastery 30 Spirit Wolf *new* Earth Shield Static Charge *new* 45 Echo of the Elements *new* Elemental Blast *new* Icefury *new* 60 Aftershock Storm Elemental Liquid Magma Totem 75 Nature's Guardian Seismic Armor *new* Ancestral Guidance 90 High Voltage *new* Primal Elementalist Master of the Elements 100 Elemental Attunement *new* Stormkeeper Ascendance Enhancement
      New Talents
      Totem Mastery (level 15) Spirit Wolf (level 45) Elemental Spirits (level 75) Windfury Totem (level 75) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Landslide Hot Hand Totem Mastery *new* 30 Ancestral Guidance Feral Lunge Wind Rush Totem 45 Spirit Wolf *new* Earth Shield Static Charge *new* 60 Ancestral Swiftness Hailstorm Lightning Shield 75 Elemental Spirits *new* Overcharge Windfury Totem *new* 90 Crashing Storm Fury of Air Sundering 100 Boulderfist Earthen Spike Ascendance Restoration
      New Talents
      Spirit Wolf (level 45) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Undulation Unleash Life Torrent 30 Gust of Wind Graceful Spirit Wind Rush Totem 45 Spirit Wolf *new* Earthgrab Totem Static Charge *new* 60 Crashing Waves Earth Shield Deluge 75 Ancestral Protection Totem Earthen Wall Totem Ancestral Vigor 90 Bottomless Depths Cloudburst Totem Echo of the Elements 100 High Tide Wellspring Ascendance Warlock [Return to Top]
      Shadowfury - is available at level 60 Affliction
      New Talents
      Deathbolt (level 15) Shadow Embrace (level 15) Empowered Healthstone (level 75) Darkfury (level 75 talent) Creeping Death (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Shadow Embrace *new* Haunt Deathbolt *new* 30 Writhe in Agony Absolute Corruption Death's Embrace 45 Demon Skin Burning Rush Dark Pact 60 Sow the Seeds Phantom Singularity Soul Harvest 75 Darkfury *new* Mortal Coil Demonic Circle 90 Nightfall N/A Grimoire of Sacrifice 100 Soul Conduit Creeping Death *new* Siphon Life Demonology
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Demonic Calling Fel Strike *new* Doom *new* 30 Riders *new* Power Siphon *new* Summon Vilefiend *new* 45 Demon Skin Burning Rush Dark Pact 60 Raging Imps *new* Demonic Strength *new* Biliescourge Bombers *new* 75 Darkfury *new* Mortal Coil Demonic Circle 90 Grimoire of Synergy Demonic Consumption *new* Grimoire of Service 100 Inner Demons *new* Soul Conduit  Nether Portal *new* Destruction
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Eradication Flashover *new* Soul Fire 30 Reverse Entropy *new* Internal Combustion Shadowburn 45 Demon Skin Burning Rush Dark Pact 60 Fire and Brimstone Cataclysm Hellfire 75 Darkfury *new* Mortal Coil Demonic Circle 90 Roaring Blaze Grimoire of Supremacy Grimoire of Sacrifice 100 Soul Conduit Channel Demonfire Dark Soul *new* Warrior [Return to Top]
      Battle Shout returns at level 42 Arms
      New Abilities
      Sweeping Strikes - available at level 22 New Mastery
      Mastery: Deep Wounds (Deep Wounds) New Talents
      Skullsplitter (level 15) War Machine (level 15) Unbridled Wrath (level 75) Warbreaker (level 75) Deadly Calm (level 90) Mortal Combo (level 90) Dreadnaught (level 100) Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 War Machine *new* Sudden Death Skullsplitter *new* 30 Double Time Impending Victory *new* Storm Bolt 45 Trauma Rend Avatar 60 Second Wind Bounding Stride Defensive Stance 75 Coming Soon Warbreaker *new* Cleave 90 Mortal Combo *new* Fervor of Battle Deadly Calm *new* 100 Anger Management Dreadnaught *new* Ravager Fury
      Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 War Machine Endless Rage Fresh Meat 30 Double Time Impending Victory *new Storm Bolt 45 Wrecking Ball Outburst Avatar 60 Furious Charge Bounding Stride Warpaint 75 Carnage Massacre Frothing Berserker 90 Frenzy Inner Rage Bloodbath 100 Reckless Abandon Dragon Roar Bladestorm Protection
      New Abilities
      Ignore Pain - available at level 40 Level Talent 1 Talent 2 Talent 3 15 Shockwave Storm Bolt Warbringer 30 Safeguard Inspiring Presence Impending Victory 45 Renewed Fury Best Served Cold Avatar 60 Warlord's Challenge Bounding Stride Crackling Thunder 75 Indomitable Devastator Never Surrender 90 Into the Fray Booming Voice Vengeance 100 Anger Management Heavy Repercussions Ravager
    • By Starym

       
      And there we have it, the very first Mythic +28 dungeon has been completed in time! This time around it's the Naowhxoxo, Imbanane, Fragnance, Frankstér and Gingì team that's made a new record, getting to +28 in Lower Karazhan! It was Bursting, Quaking and Fortified week in case you were wondering and they finished exactly 2 minutes and 59 seconds before the timer expired.
      Huge congrats to the team!
      Here's the clip of the moment of victory and the full video below it:



      And here are the main stats, courtesy of raider.io. Click on the image for even more:

      Source.