Despite the recent investor news that subscription numbers for World of Warcraft are down to 5.6mil (though still the number one subscription-based MMO) it is unlikely it will remain so low for long with the much anticipated reveal of the latest expansion for the title – Legion. Yes, Warcraft is returning to the story of the Burning Legion.
In this dire new chapter of the Warcraft saga, the demonic Burning Legion has returned, seeking to call forth their fallen leader—the dark titan Sargeras, Ravager of Worlds. As destruction rains across Azeroth, its heroes must seek salvation among the ruins of the Broken Isles, doomed center of ancient night elf civilization and birthplace of myths dating back to the world’s creation. In the face of hopeless odds, they must learn to master mighty Artifacts—legendary weapons that hold the potential to bring down the corrupted armies of the Legion—and strike an infernal pact with the dread Demon Hunters of the Illidari . . . accursed followers of the infamous Illidan the Betrayer.
Blizzard took to the stage at Gamescom to share a trio of trailers – a prequel, a story teaser and a feature reveal trailer – that are now available on the expansion’s official site. The story teaser reveals that Gul’dan has discovered Illidan and released him from his crystal prison in the Broken Isles.
A host of new and updated features are coming so let’s take a little time to peek into some of them in further detail.
New Continent – The Broken Isles
The expansion takes players to the Broken Isles – a series of zones in the heart of Azeroth that was once home to a Night Elf civilization that has since fallen. Here they will have to thwart the biggest demonic invasion that the world has known, as the Burning Legion seeks to call the Titan Sargeras forth.
Players will need to seek out the Pillars of Creation, relics of the Titans who formed Azeroth, with which they will be able to seal the gateway at the Tomb of Sargeras. These relics are scattered across the Isles, and will bring players to places like Val’sharah to face Xavius the Nightmare Lord, and Azsuna which was home to a great Night Elf city.
New Class – Demon Hunter
A new Hero Class has been announced, in the form of an Illidari Demon Hunter which sporting a Havoc (DPS) or Vengeance (Tank) specialization. The class is highly mobile and introduces double jumping, gliding and double dash abilities to Warcraft. Mechanics involve the building and spending of Demonic Rage and shapeshifting into hellish forms that magnify their DPS or tank nature.
For the physical appearance of the Demon Hunter, players will be able to select horn styles, horn type, tattoos (which are exposed frequently by class specific gear) and eye wear.
New Item Type – Artifact Weapons
In preparation to repel the Burning Legion, every player will need to seek out their ultimate Artifact Weapon. There are 36 such weapons, one for each class specialization and each player will need to complete a quest line to acquire one.
Once acquired, the weapon will grow in power with its owner, and can be personalized with perks and abilities via it’s own skill tree. The appearance of the weapon can also be altered, based on certain achievements, that will help match the artifact to the hero wielding it.
Class Order Halls Introduced
With the Alliance and Horde at each other’s throats, the only hope for the player to beat back the Burning Legion is to found (or rediscover/reform in cases like the Silver Hand) their Class Order. With the artifact weapon in hand, the player is looked to as a leader as they set up an Order Hall.
The halls are a public location, thematically appropriate but access is limited to only a singular class. This is a base of operations for the entire class and here you will amass your followers – an evolution of the Draenor system where you are forming your “Knights of the Round Table” this time, rather than amassing a whole army.
… And There’s More
Aside from the above big features that are planned we will see the level cap raised to 110, new dungeons and raids in the Shattered Isles, and a complete revamp of the Honor system. The Honor system will be transforming into a talent tree that modifies abilities in PvP, rather than the current gear unlocks. There will also be unique cosmetic items available if you trade in your max level honor for Prestige Ranks – such as Prestige portrait badges, unique mounts and Artifact weapon appearances.
More detail will no doubt be forthcoming over the next few months, and the Warcraft team will be hosting a Q&A on Twitch on Sunday. The beta for Legion will begin later this year.
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