WAWK: Paladin Artifacts Edition

Paladin_crest

SPOILER ALERT

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Paladins have had fairly concrete history within Warcraft ever since the Warcraft II days where the first paladins were created by Alonsus Faol in order to combat against the Orcish Horde that decimated the southern human settlements in the First War. The first paladins of the Silver Hand were Uther the Lightbringer, Saidan Dathrohan, Tirion Fordring, Turalyon and Gavinrad the Dire, though worship of the Holy Light has since been discovered to be practiced by other races.

The dwarves followed the humans’ lead with the Order of the Silver Hand, the Blood Elves founded the Blood Knights order, originally siphoning holy power from a naaru, though now the Sunwell is purified they can use the powers from there. Draenei also have a link to the naaru spanning over 25,000 years, and their vindicators have been using the Light since. Finally, the newest sect of paladins come in the form of tauren Sunwalkers, where Aponi Brightmane discusses with Tahu Sagewind how spiritually they’ve only worshipped Mu’sha, the eye of the Earthmother representing the moon. They agreed that both An’she and Mu’sha are both sacred, so this new belief allowed tauren to draw powers from the Light in the form of both priests and paladins, like how druids are able to draw powers from the moon.

Their artifacts, The Silver Hand, Truthguard and Ashbringer, are heavily lore-focused around human and vrykul however, so while it would have been nice to see weapons with links to the other races at least they’re getting some fairly notable weapons to begin with! The Blood Knights and especially Sunwalkers are fairly new orders so are unlikely to have any special artifacts associated with them, though I’m sure the draenei vindicators likely had an artifact lost on another world that they could have used in the fight against the Legion!

Introductory Quests

Lord Maxwell Tyrosus, local badass among those at Light’s Hope Chapel urges you to talk with him once you reach Dalaran. He tells you that although the loss at the Broken Shore was devastating, that there are others with the conviction to save our home, Azeroth. Meeting with Travard of Tyr’s Guard and Orik Trueheart and telling them to meet you at Krasus’ Landing.

Once there, you meet with Tyrosus, Aponi Brightmane (the first Tauren Paladin), Vindicator Boros (one of the Draenei Triumvirate) and Lady Liadrin (leader of the Blood Knights) and you hop straight into choosing your artifact weapon! No messing around with Paladins, here!

PalaHo

Holy – The Silver Hand

The Silver Hand is a famous symbol among paladins: their first organisation was the Order of the Silver Hand. It has always been a mystery among players as to why they called themselves this, and had associations with with the great titan watcher Tyr, though in Legion we now know that a secret order of paladins have been watching over Tyr’s tomb for hundreds of years. How these paladins have remained secret for so long is beyond me, though with Alonsus Faol’s interaction with Tyr’s Fall, it wouldn’t surprise me that the Paladin Order’s name had something to do with him.

However, this secret paladin order is under attack by the Twilight’s Hammer and they are appealing for help from paladins across Azeroth to aid them in their charge. Tyrosus asks that you speak with Travard, the leader of this order, to find out how to reclaim it from evil. We’re sent to find Sparks of Tyr, artifacts used by Tyr himself to store moments of history, and to do that we have to find Travard’s brother, Galford.

Galford is missing in Northrend however, but Travard mentions that a dragon called Lanigosa at Wyrmrest knew of Galford, so she is the best option we have to find him and the Spark. We find out that Galford heard of the tale between Tyr and Galakrond, and eagerly set out to find more at Galakrond’s Rest.

Flying to Galakrond’s Rest we find an abandoned campfire, and clicking on it causes a void wrath to attack you. Interesting to see the void having a part in this! A taunka spirit tells you that Galford’s mind was flooded with memories stored within the Spark, and learned more of the fight between Galakrond and Tyr, so we go down to the skeleton’s maw to find a broken sword.

Clicking on it spawns another void wrath to spawn, and the spirit returns to talk of Loken’s betrayal and how Jotun, Tyr’s friend, held off Loken’s pursuit as Tyr fled south. Flying north to find another clue, we find a broken statue and carelessly dropped note at the tip of Galakrond’s tail. The note appears to have been written by Galford, saying that he saw Jotun in the Spark, and wishes to meet with him, whereas using the statue causes the spirit to tell us that Galford rushed south to meet with Jotun to meet his doom, as it would appear the Spark did not tell him of Jotun’s curse.

We fly south to the Path of the Titans to find Galford’s broken body, before Lanigosa flies down to meet us. We tell her that Galford held the Spark, and now Jotun had killed him and taken it for himself. We get buffed by the blue and quickly defeat Jotun and receive the Spark before flying back to Dalaran.

Returning to Dalaran and speaking with Travard, he mentions he has another one of Tyr’s Sparks. Now that too many know of the tomb’s location, it must be closed forever – though first, we have a Hand to reclaim! Travard tells us to go to Dalaran’s Crater in Alterac, so when you go through the portal don’t forget to bubble! Then fly on over to Tyr’s Fall in western Tirisfal Glades.

The Twilight camp is abandoned (cleared by another class’s artifact experience) though Travard says that we must collapse the tomb and reclaim the Silver Hand before whatever evil inside stirs too much. You take a small team of NPC paladins with you to clear the tomb, and you find it’s full of masterless faceless ones! After a few quick battles, you fight against a mini-boss called G’norz the Crazed, before going into the crypt itself.

Once again, you fight through a few shadowy packs of faceless aberrations, before finally getting to the final resting place of the C’Thraxxi Zakajz and Watcher Tyr and finding the same celestial chains that hold Yogg-Saron all shattered in the tomb. Where the Old God general should be however, is a Horrific Aberration, a creature of the void. I expected this to be the final stage, but after a slightly disappointing fight, Travard says he has the Spark and has to finish the ritual to retrieve the hammer.

Going back up to the entrance of the tomb and you’re followed by more creatures of the void as well as Mordoth the Hunter. This fight was actually fairly challenging to heal as someone who’s not played Holy since WotLK, though after a certain amount of time, the ritual completes and the tomb becomes incredibly unstable. Mordoth threatens that he will see you once again, though I don’t know if that’s an empty threat or we will eventually see the void ascendant again. With Chronicle v1, I’m more interested than ever with anything to do with the Old Gods and Void!

Nevertheless, just before you escape you can take the Silver Hand, and then Travard instructs you to flee to Dalaran, where you can rendezvous with Tyrosus and begin to set up your class order hall!

PalaProt

Protection – Truthguard

Protection Paladins get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to famous Paladin weapons – though it makes sense as many paladins in lore barely if ever walked around with sword and board. As with many unknown artifacts however, Truthguard appears to have heavy links to the Broken Isles in that it was the protective weapon of a vrykul champion that helped defend the titanic watcher Tyr against Loken and his faceless servants. The shield itself was created to expose Loken’s lies and turn many vrykul to Tyr’s cause, though when the latter fell, the champion migrated to Stormheim where the shield was eventually entombed within the Path of Kings.

As the Holy artifact started you with speaking with Travard, the Protection line asks that you speak with the other Paladin you rallied to Krasus’ Landing: Orik Trueheart. With the help of the tauren Sunwalkers, Tyrosus believes that we can find the ancient shield. Trueheart explains what the shield is, and Tahu Sagewind explains that he has the ability to commune with the long departed champion. We just have to find the final resting place of a vrykul named Gorvold at Shield Hill in the Howling Fjord, in order to find clues as to where to find Truthguard.

After a short trip to Howling Fjord, you find Trueheart and Sagewind waiting for you there. Trueheart tells you to speak with Sagewind to begin the ritual, though suggests that you can read the saga for yourself to understand what’s going on and to fill in some details about the Shield Seeker, Gorvold. In short, the vrykul learned of the powerful ancient artifact and scoured Northrend for it, though eventually he learned that the next clue would bring him south.

He found stunted vrykul (known to us as humans) worshipping and avoiding the site of Tyr’s Fall. From the ruins he found that the trail did not end there, and Tyr’s champion moved on. No one knows where, but Gorvold followed this trail with reckless abandon, eventually falling in battle and taking his secrets to his grave.

Sagewind explains that he needs more time to prepare for the ritual, and you have to go find the correct grave where Gorvold eternally sleeps. Once you do (hint: it’s the one at the back) Sagewind communes with the vrykul and finds out that he went to Stormheim and found the shrine to Tyr’s champion but was denied entry multiple times. In his disgrace, he returned to Northrend and sought to wash his failure in the blood of others.

When you return to Dalaran, you find out that one of the warrior’s artifact scenarios involves that very tomb, but never entered the shrine itself. You then journey to Shield’s Rest with Cato and Trueheart to find the tomb guarded by a storm dragon and its rider. Avoiding void zones on the ground and using the spears that spawn on them on the pair makes it a short fight, and you are granted entry to the tomb.

You find out that Yrgrim, mentioned in the saga in Howling Fjord, was the champion after all, and a runestone explains that he journeyed to Stormheim in order to find someone worthy to pass on his armaments. Passing through the windy corridor and dispatching the windshapers, you find the next runestone explaining that Yrgrim constructed an arena to test any potential successors of his weapons. All failed, so he created the shrine with powerful wards that would burn those who tried to open it with cleansing flame. Only those strong of will and pure of heart would be able to hold back the flames.

Luckily we’re a paladin. We’re good at that will and heart stuff. But to be safe, we have to bubble through the flames anyway because Cato refuses to heal you through it.

Entering the shrine you find Yrgrim, resolute and patient. You find that he never succumbed to the curse of flesh, and you prepare for his trial. All it involves is a fight with him and Runeshaper Griselda, making sure to stun or otherwise CC any special ability, and interrupting what you can. Use AoE to clear the ice, and it won’t take long to defeat Tyr’s champion. Collect Truthguard, and make your way back to Dalaran to create your class hall!

PalaRet

Retribution – Ashbringer

As one of the more famous weapons in WoW, Retribution Paladins definitely get the big stick when it comes to awesome weapons. Although its incarnation began in WoW itself instead of the RTS, it’s definitely one that players have been wanting to wield since legendaries were first introduced into the game.

You can see the beginnings of Ashbringer in the Escape from Durnholde dungeon if you decide to go sightseeing in Southshore, where a dark crystal was infused with Light to such an extent that any undead that came near it turned to ash. King Magni Bronzebeard harnessed this crystal’s energies and forged a sword to use the crystal as a weapon against the unliving to enact vengeance for his brother Muradin, who he thought was killed by the Scourge.

The weapon passed many hands, beginning with Highlord Alexandros Mograine before his son Renault betrayed and killed him with the blade. From then, the Ashbringer was corrupted and stayed in the now death knight Alexandros Mograine’s hands until Darion, his youngest son, killed him in Naxxramas. To release his father’s soul from the blade, Darion plunged the sword into his own heart, freeing his father but turning himself into a death knight. Eventually, the Lich King turned his focus on Light’s Hope Chapel and sent Darion and a number of death knights on a suicide mission to bring Tirion Fordring out.

The plan succeeded, but what the Lich King didn’t anticipate was Darion betraying him and relinquishing Ashbringer to Fordring, once again purifying the blade for the use of the Light. The blade would only leave Tirion’s hands briefly in Howling Fjord when he traveled on his crusade against the Lich King, but it was only his death in the battle of the Broken Shore that the blade became lost, and it’s up to us to find it!

It’s not as simple as returning to the site where Tirion fell however, so we must travel to Uther’s tomb in the Plaguelands to get answers for finding the blade. After flying to the tomb you find that after the death of Fordring, the dead around Uther’s tomb have become restless. While Tyrosus prepares the ceremony to commune with the Lightbringer, you have to exorcise spirits and purify graveyards around the tomb.

When you are done, Tyrosus is ready for the ceremony. You find out that Tirion still lives! Barely, but he still lives on the Broken Shore. After getting reinforcements from Light’s Hope Chapel, you fly to the Broken Shore to reclaim Tirion and the Ashbringer. On the shores as you land, you lead the paladins into an epic starting battle that leads to almost all of them falling, other than yourself and Tyrosus.

While he signals for hippogryph riders to take the fallen back to Light’s Hope, you forge on  through the felfire to kill Jailer Zerus. You find Zerus after a few more demons and he’s attempting to break Fordring’s spirit and turn him to the Legion’s side. Quickly dispatching him, Tyrosus returns again to try and take Tirion out of his fel prison, and you venture on into a small cave known as the Lost Temple to try and retrieve Ashbringer.

After killing a few more demons, Balnazzar taunts you to claim the Ashbringer, and when you do Balnazzar appears and attempts to turn you into an ally of the Legion. He forces you to kneel, but then Tirion’s voice whispers in your mind an echo of the Lich King fight “Give me the strength… to shatter these bonds…” and you are able to release yourself from Balnazzar’s control. After a short fight, Tyrosus comes in to explain that Fordring called for you by name.

Once you get outside, you find Fordring on his last breaths, telling you to become the Ashbringer and to stop the Legion before his last light fades. It’s time for you to return to Light’s Hope and to create your order hall underneath the Chapel.

Legion Initial Thoughts

Legion Logo

Yesterday, Blizzard made their announcement of the new expansion at Gamescom. Spoiler alert, it’s the above image. With the quality of Warlords, I’m a little dubious to see how Legion will turn out, but let’s take a look at everything they’ve announced, and fingers crossed the team they pulled from Titan was put onto this expansion rather than WoD because there’s A LOT of features announced:

Illidan Returns

The first thing we’re met with is the resurrection of Illidan, by Gul’dan. Why does Gul’dan want to resurrect Illidan? At the end of Hellfire Citadel Archimonde pushes Gul’dan through the nether portal to Azeroth mentioning a pact – likely to be the legion’s domination over Azeroth, with the potential resurrection of Sargeras in its wake.

However this Gul’dan is still the alternate universe Gul’dan, he doesn’t know much about Azeroth so he’ll enlist what help he can to find the Tomb of Sargeras. How he finds Illidan is a question to be answered elsewhere (perhaps Archimonde shot Gul’dan straight to the Vault of the Wardens, who knows) but at the end of the day, he does know exactly where the Broken Isles are, where the Tomb of Sargeras resides. The only other people to know this location are Aegwynn, Medivh and Maiev, and I doubt they’ll be helping Gul’dan any time soon…

We saw at the end of the presentation this image nestled in the background, which looks like it means that Illidan is going to betray the Legion AGAIN. Probably realised that the skull he’s been talking to for a few years prior to BT is inside that living Orc’s head, and he wants to become even more demonified than before.

Redemption, killable or runs off to make his own destiny, only time will tell!

New Continent

The Broken Isles

For our first dosage of retcon we have what were sunken islands that were only raised from the sea bed a few decades ago by the main universe’s Gul’dan in Warcraft II. On here we have Vrykul, Nightborn Elves, Mountain Tauren and many other races that have allegedly lived and flourished on these islands for millenia. This was my first alarm bell that rang off for Legion being fan-service instead of following on logically from the lore. I even mentioned to friends and guildies that it would make sense for a South Seas expansion that involved the Tomb of Sargeras, but if Blizzard are making it seem like these islands have been here since the Sundering they’ve got some serious explaining to do! It is a graveyard of what it was, but to say that these guys have been here for 10k years is pushing it a bit.

Before the expansion even launches, our 7.0 event will be to go to the Broken Shore and fight against the Legion invasion at the Tomb of Sargeras. Something happens that severs any kind of cohesion or willingness to work together that the Horde and Alliance may have gained from the events of Siege of Orgrimmar, Warlords of Draenor or the time leading up to the battle at the Broken Shore.

media-artwork-8

For the islands themselves however, we’ve got gorgeous scenery coming our way in a mashup of Northrend’s Grizzly Hills/Howling Fjord style mixed with northern Kalimdor’s elven territories. Being a Druid, seeing Val’Sharah teased first was pretty awesome as it’s where Malfurion first learned Druidism under Cenarius. Unfortunately this zone has never actually been mentioned ever before, so we don’t know much more than that for the time being other than it being full of Druid-related lore as well as fighting against Xavius and the Emerald Nightmare. Cenarius will appear here, as well as an appearance from Ysera. We’ll also be able to sink our teeth into Black Rook Hold here that HAS been mentioned previously in lore.

Stormheim is another exciting premise, with more lore and story on Vrykul, Val’kyr and even Kvaldir that chose to not follow the Lich King. We get to see the Halls of Valor (references to Valhalla) and Helheim (references to… Helheim) with the heaven and hell of this Vrykul culture. We’ll be racing against the God-King who is under the influence of the Legion to find one of the Pillars of Creation. Azsuna (Aszuna? The Priestess was called Aszune, unless it’s a reference for Azshara?) was teased next as the reference to the graveyard and bare bones of the ancient night elf culture 10,000 years ago. Here we will find ghosts of these elves as well as a dying breed of blue dragonflight – the second reference to dragons in this new continent. Finally, another Pillar of Creation is found in this zone, racing against Azshara to collect it, though it looks like we’ll be going head to head with Tidemistress Athissa instead of Azshara herself for this relic! Seems we have SOME content left for the future of WoW.

media-artwork-7

Next up we have Highmountain, home to the Highmountain Tauren and a new race called the Drogbar who have previously lived in peace with one another, allegedly surviving for 10,000 years underwater until Gul’dan raised the islands to the surface – unless Highmountain was still high enough for its peaks to be above the water. However when the legion arrived, the Drogbar leader Dargrul the Underking stole the Hammer of Khaz’goroth from the Tauren and intends to take control of Highmountain. Nesingwary is going to make his return here too for some big game hunting. We also have the Lair of the Earthwarder, Neltharion. Whether this has a clutch of uncorrupted black dragonflight that Wrathion couldn’t detect, or if there’s another storyline there is something to consider, but this is the third reference to dragonflight that we see in the Broken Isles.

Finally we have Suramar teased for us, where we have another alleged old tribe of elves that have somehow managed to not only survive, but flourish despite being underwater for so long, and ALSO have no reference to existing in the Warcraft III campaign mission where we visited Suramar. These Nightborn, sitting in front of their Nightwell are pawns of the Burning Legion and are also owners of the final Pillar of Creation, so I imagine we’ll be seeing the end of this flourishing civilisation within the first tier. Afrasiabi also mentions right at the end of his presentation that this is the zone where we will finally see Alleria and Turalyon. Because it makes sense that these two heroes lost on Outland somehow turn up back in main universe Azeroth. All will hopefully be explained.

Dalaran was cited as the neutral hub, and before you get confused why Jaina would allow the Horde back in – apparently she has a strop and walks off while Khadgar becomes the leader of the Kirin Tor in her stead! Because he is still Captain Neutral, he allows the Horde back in to save Blizzard some art rework for the city and says it’s because it’s necessary to succeed.

Artifact Weapons

Artifacts

Deciding that loot drama in raids for weapons was too much, Blizzard have decided to fix this problem by giving all 36 specs in the game their own unique weapon that defines their role. Some specs get weapons of old, others get new ones from the new continent. The first thing players will do upon reaching level 100 and entering Legion content will be to get this new artifact weapon.

Retribution Paladins will go to the Broken Shore on the new continent in the aftermath of the Tomb of Sargeras event to seek out where the Ashbringer sword fell so that you can wield it. Protection Warriors go to the tomb of an ancient Vrykul king to go on a quest to find his sword and shield (made from the scales of Neltharion, interesting to see that these Vrykul were either already Iron Vrykul and obviously friends with the Earthwarder, or were already afflicted by the Curse of Flesh to become standard squishy skin Vrykul BEFORE Neltharion turned into Deathwing). Frost DKs go to the base of Icecrown to retrieve the shard of Frostmourne, and reforge the weapon into a pair of runeblades (goodbye 2h Frost).

The weapon levels up as you do, and you gain Artifact Power as you adventure. You can then spend it to unlock certain traits such as for Ashbringer to mimic Holy Power spenders 2 seconds later, or for Frost DKs to be able to use Raise Ally on themselves when they die. Some are multi-point talents whereas others are new abilities or utilities that affect existing spells. It’s almost like a return of Path of the Titans system in its conception in Lich King, allied up with the talent trees of pre-Cata. Yay, nostalgia rejoices and we keep the better talent system!

Artifact_Icebreaker_TF_00_PNG

However, a large problem with having these artifacts right from day 1 would be that every single person of your spec will be wielding the same weapon, even if it’s customised to do things differently or has more power because you killed a certain boss or whatever. It’s almost like as if the entire game became Druids with how variable they can look to each other. Fear not, however, Blizzard have already thought of that and are coming out with 5 models for each weapon! Unlockable in different ways such as (I believe) doing PvP, killing raid bosses, doing a certain questline, completing the weapon talent tree or simply reaching level 110 or other completion steps you can upgrade the base model to new ones! These models also have different skin-tints so that your Ashbringer still looks unique to others, and again these skin variations are unlocked by doing things ingame.

Continuing the Ashbringer hypetrain, the different variants of Ashbringer do look pretty unique with how it could look like with devout fire, a new version of the corrupted Ashbringer as well as one shattered that’s held together by lightning. No idea how that last one works out lore-wise, we’ll see. Mistweaver Monks get Sheilun, Staff of the Mists by returning to Pandaria to seek out the staff of the Emperor Shaohao, with variations of their staff to look sha-like or how a follower of Yu’lon or Chi-Ji might design their staff.

Artifact_Ashbringer_TF_08_PNG

Fire Mages get to follow in the footsteps of Kael’thas Sunstrider by wielding his legendary blade Felo’melorn, lost at his defeat against Arthas at the foot of Icecrown Citadel. If they get an offhand to go with it, or if the weapon is powerful enough for the weapon to take a 2h slot remains to be seen, but the fel, molten and titanic versions do look pretty awesome with interesting connotations. Survival Hunters got a shock to their system when they found out that their unique weapon wasn’t a bow, gun or even crossbow: it was a spear! Blizzard are massively changing Hunter specs and included in that was Survival becoming a melee spec that utilizes a pet! For their artifact weapon, Survival gets to explore the lore of the new Tauren tribe and acquire The Eagle Spear with different beasts adorning its head.

Icebringer and Soulreaper are the weapons to be used by Frost Death Knights, with their variations looking pretty similar, but very death-knighty nonetheless with different places to put skulls, or to change the size of them. Kinda wish that you’d be able to have two different variations at once, but that’s neither been confirmed nor denied. I’d imagine that the game would only allow the same for whatever code they put in for the artifacts, but who knows? Enhancement Shamans got excited by seeing the Doomhammer becoming their artifact, though I don’t know if it’s because we might see the demise of Thrall in order to get it, because it almost signaled the return of 2h Enhancement (spoiler, it doesn’t), or because it’s such a badass weapon anyway. These variations were the most interesting for me to see, with lightning, fel, molten and crystal being the different variations available to Doomhammer, and for the offhand we were told that we’d get a “negative energy” lookalike for that second slot.

artifact-windrunner-3

Feral Druids got a rather long joke talked about with how they never see their weapons, but the Fangs of the First Nightsaber was teased to completely change the cat form for the Druids (with Guardian having a similar effect on their artifact too). Ferals were also teased with new HD versions of their cat form too for those levelling from 6-100 without the Fangs in the previous slide. Other artifacts included the Maw of the Damned for Blood Death Knights, Ebonchill, Greatstaff of Alodi for Frost Mages and Thas’Dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners for Marksmanship Hunters.

With 36 specs, 5 different models and each of those models having 4 different colour variations… That’s 720 new weapon skins coming at launch – we might still get a new skin for the second tier of raiding or the second season of pvp. That’s a ton more artwork that seems to be a proper evolution of the class accessories that were teased for Warlords. Unless even those are still to come…?

Because a friend was talking about them too, I would totally dig the Challenge Mode rewards to be an armor set that you could customise so that you could match them with your artifact, unless the CM reward was in fact one of the reskins tints for the PvE versions of artifacts.

Class Order Halls

Class Orders

Halfhill Farm mkIII, Garrisons 2.0, whatever you want to call it, this sounds awesome and I have absolutely no idea why it’s being implemented. It doesn’t exactly fit the lore to include it now, but it’s something that probably should have happened years ago. These class orders are groups of the same class, both Horde and Alliance, coming together in a certain location to work out where to go next. You’ve assembled these people together because Varian and Vol’jin won’t or can’t and it’s the best bet that Azeroth has to fight against the Legion.

So there are a base of operations for your class that is thematic to where your class would go: Shamans would be in a conclave overlooking the Maelstrom; Paladins create a templar sanctum underneath Light’s Hope Chapel; Warlocks have an enclave on a Legion portal world; Mages get a section within Dalaran; Death Knights have brought Acherus over to the Broken Isles.

Panel036

I imagine Monks will use the Peak of Serenity and Druids are in the barrow dens of Moonglade, but I have no idea what multi-faction, class-specific areas could be created for Hunters, Priests, Rogues, Warriors or Demon Hunters. Priests especially with many races worshiping different deities: Pandaren with the Celestials, the Forsaken with the Forgotten Shadow, Trolls and Loa, Tauren with An’she, Night Elves with Elune and the everyone else devout to the Light – judging by Earth’s history they’re going to wipe each other out in their own class order hall!

These won’t have AH or banks in them, they’re purely there for the mission table (and possible class-specific quests?) and to upgrade your artifact. The mission table this time around is slightly different, in that instead of recruiting anyone you can find to fuel your army against the Iron Horde, we are now recruiting champions of our classes to join our cause against the Legion. It seems with Ghostcrawler’s absence Paladins are coming to the forefront even more with another example of a champion being someone like Lady Liadrin.

The missions this time around are different too! Instead of just being a facebook game where you send followers off, reap the rewards half an hour later and then send them off again, you can send your champions to different zones, and they can discover new things that you can go out and investigate. It looks like they’re learning from their garrisons mistake in Warlords by sending people out – but it really depends on if the rewards are worth it for us, otherwise we’ll just sit in Dalaran all day complaining at how terrible Legion is compared to previous expansions.

Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons and Raids

Blizzard realised they dun goof’d when it came to dungeons in Warlords. They realised that they should be more than just a short experience you have for a few weeks at cap and then move onto raiding. So this time they’re giving dungeons more replayability, more varied challenges, and more reason to do them throughout the entire expansion. Starting off with 9 dungeons (and none of them updating old ones… Unless Violet Hold isn’t a new wing and we get rid of the old one for this) we’re onto a good start from what Warlords offered us.

We got glimpses of Halls of Valor, a levelup dungeon in the clouds above Stormheim with heavy influence on Valhalla; Black Rook Hold, a max level dungeon in Val’Sharah – a night elven military fortress where Lord Kur’talos Ravencrest once resided; and Vault of the Wardens, the prison where Illidan and other demon hunters were held, alongside other terrifying monsters.

Other 5mans included the Eye of Azshara in Azsuna, featuring naga; Darkheart Thicket at the base of the World Tree to save Malfurion who has once again napped and got himself stuck in the Nightmare; Neltharion’s Lair where we venture into the capital of rocky people and recover the Pillar of Creation wielded by their chieftain; Helheim, the polar opposite of Halls of Valor in a dungeon similar to Grimrail Depot where we board the ghost ship of the damned and sail to Helheim fighting off Kvaldir as we go; Suramar City holds the Nightborne and we find out their plan and ties with the Burning Legion; and finally Violet Hold has some deep secrets within it that weren’t uncovered the first time we were there – however with the Tomb of Sargeras nearby, certain horrors are now awakened.

Xavius-still

The first raid tier of Legion will offer us 17 bosses spread across two raids – 7 in the Emerald Nightmare and 10 in Suramar Palace. Seems about average to kickstart the expansion off with. There wasn’t an awful lot of information given about the Emerald Nightmare, but mainly just explaining what it is and why Blizzard are providing fan-service for it. Most of the story was covered in the Stormrage novel, and the Nightmare was fought back so hard it could never be an expansion in itself, so resolving it as a raid is likely the best option here. Not to forget that a certain Old God responsible for the Nightmare has yet to even be spoken of as a topic this expansion – and Xavius certainly looks more like something that an Old God would create rather than his old masters, the Burning Legion…

Suramar Palace is where we will find the Grand Magistrix, who has the final Pillar of Creation and has corrupted it to create the Nightwell, and Gul’dan himself. Blizzard’s stated that Gul’dan can’t run away this time, so it seems his final hour ends here. It’s a shame really, I do like the idea of the puppet master always being one step ahead of us, and you always know Gul’dan is going to be pure evil and pursue a greater power every time. I kinda wanted to see his demise at the Tomb of Sargeras for the whole timey-wimey flatty circle-y stuff instead of having another orc as the final tier boss, but I guess he’ll be the last we see for a while (hopefully).

Demon Hunters

Demon Hunters

The latest class to hit the roster is the long-awaited Demon Hunter, the second hero class to be introduced to WoW. Illidan sent his best, most elite Demon Hunters on a suicide mission to the demonic prison world of Marduun. This was a world that Sargeras created to hold demons that he vanquished as a good titan, then later shattered to create the Burning Legion. In the Demon Hunter starting experience we’ll go through this world back when Illidan sent us on this mission, then jump to present day where we’ve been captured and kept prisoner in the Vault of the Wardens to break out and learn what it means to be a Demon Hunter – and the sacrifices it entails…

One of the sacrifices being two specs, it seems! Demon Hunters roll out the gate with just two specialisations to choose from: Havoc (melee DPS) and Vengeance (tank). Blizzard will be de-homogenizing the classes in Legion (as explained in the Icy-Veins interview) and as a result, they felt that Demon Hunters didn’t really suit two different tanking styles or two different melee DPS styles, and ranged/healer was out of the option for the WoW Demon Hunter (Diablo may disagree). So we’re left with two distinct styles of combat for them, making dual spec that much easier for the class.

Personally, if it’s a new tank I’ll be trying it out regardless, but the basics certainly seem interesting for the class.


For the TL:DR