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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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