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BlizzCon 2016: Legion What’s Next liveblog

If you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what’s happening next in Legion, your wait is nearly over! BlizzCon’s Legion panel is just about to start and you’ll find all the news right here.

Here are the highlights, but you can go through the whole rundown below!

  • Patch 7.1.5 is coming soon (it will be on the PTR right after BlizzCon) with:
    • Mists of Pandaria Timewalking
    • An updated Brawlers Guild with dozens of new bosses, raid-sized rumbles, and new rewards.
    • Micro-holidays like Ahn’Qiraj Remembrance Day and Boat Day (which Watcher described as “Azeroth Spring Break”).
    • Updated Blade’s Edge Arena
    • Class updates, including adding abilities back, like traps for all Hunters (though Survival Hunters will always be the trap experts).
    • Improved secondary stats so they feel valuable to all classes and specs — i.e. a big ilevel upgrade shouldn’t be a downgrade because it has Mastery instead of Crit.
  • Patch 7.2 with:
    • Tomb of Sargeras raid with 9 bosses, including the Fallen Avatar of Sargeras and Kil’jaeden.
    • A return to the Broken Shore, with new class order quests, new Armies of the Legionfall faction, and the ability to build a foothold on the Broken Shore, customizing it to unlock different types of gameplay.
    • Legion invasions in the Broken Isles.
    • Cathedral of Eternal Night 4-boss dungeon.
    • Flying with Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part 2, and new class-specific flying mounts.
    • PVP Brawls.
    • New Artifact traits to work towards, with new levels of Artifact Knowledge to help you get there.
    • New Relics that modify two traits at once.
    • A new artifact appearance you can earn by completing a solo challenge.
    • Buffs to original Legion dungeons — both increased difficulty and increased ilevel of drops — to keep them relevant.
  • And after that… we’re going back to Argus!

Please be aware, depending on the pace of the panel, the liveblog will not include verbatim quotes unless otherwise noted. While we will strive for accuracy in the information presented, nothing should be cited as a direct quote from the developers.

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2:46: We’re kicking off! Hozzikostas is on stage. Today is all about Legion and what’s coming next to Azeroth. I want to start by talking a little about our patch philosophy.

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  • Delivering a steady stream of content for all of the players. It means a lot of content that’s paced out appropriately, making sure there’s something to look forward to just around the corner but also making it so you don’t feel left behind. Balancing that.
  • Create a sense of a living world where you don’t necessarily know exactly what’s going to happen when you log in each day. World quests, holidays, events, things changing to make this a dynamic, evolving world.
  • Varied patch structure. Not every patch will be a big patch like 6.2. Patch 6.2.3 also added content, even though it was a small patch. We also want to do medium sized patches like 7.1. It’s not a huge patch, not a giant raid tier, but it’s not a 6.1 or a 6.2.3. There’s something for everyone to engage with and move forward with.

It’s all about content and getting it into your hands in the right ways.

2:51: Patch 7.1.5. It’s Legion’s first “small” patch. A “small” patch like this means system updates, rewards, evergreen content, with the priority on getting this new content into players’ hands instead of holding it until we have a big patch. To some extent in a game like this, quantity is quality. Say there are four things we want to put into this patch and three of them are in great shape but one needs some work — in a smaller patch like this we’ll get the three things in your hands ASAP.

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2:53: Patch 7.1.5: Mists of Pandaria Timewalking! All six of the original Mists dungeons. We’ll probably keep Timewalking as current expansion minus two — no one wants to go back to Warlords just yet.

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2:54: We wanted to do something more ambitious here which is why it shut down for a while. There will be dozens of new encounters as well as old favorites. There will also be “rumbles,” which are chaotic raid battles that will pull all players that are currently waiting for their turn into the brawl — everyone shares in the rewards if you win.

2:55: One of the cool things about brawls is that it’s a solo experience.. but it turned into a cool group experience where people would group up to buff one another, offer tips, etc. New currency: Brawler’s Gold will let you buy things that encourage this kind of behavior.

2:56: And of course new rewards. And in the brawler’s guild this means shirts. Lots and lots of shirts. And also a basilisk mount. Because why not.

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2:58: Showing a video of the new brawls. One of them is Pac-Man, complete with ghosts! “The brawler’s guild is complete chaos. 100% not canon and that’s part of the fun.

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2:59: 7.1.5 will also introduce micro-holidays. What’s a micro-holiday? It’s a holiday… but smaller. These small events may only last a day or two. Like Ahn’Qiraj Remembrance Day when the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj were opened for the very first time in the world. On January 22 Alliance and Horde will rally in Silithus to gather supplies and perform objectives, and whichever faction gets the most will have their flag flying over Silithus for the whole year.

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3:01: Volunteer Guard Day: showing appreciation for the unappreciated guards of the city. Salute a guard and you’ll take on their appearance, trade places with them, go on patrol around the city to keep it safe.

3:02: In Feralas, witness the hippogryphs hatching and get a Pepe-style baby hippogryph to accompany you.

3:03: Sometimes it can be really rough being a citizen of Azeroth. This is basically Azeroth Spring Break. Boat Day.

3:04: Blade’s Edge Arena getting updated. Just putting a fresh coat of paint on an old favorite.

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3:05: Class updates. This is our first chance to really dig into the class changes in Legion — up to this point we’ve mostly focused on fixing bugs, but now we have a chance to look more into the substance. We would like to improve talent diversity so there aren’t any talents you should never take. Sometimes this will be number tuning, other times it will rework the talent entirely. It’s an ongoing effort but you’ll see some of it here.

3:06: Secondary stats. When you find a piece of gear that’s 20 item levels above what you have now, that should be exciting! But if there’s an imbalance to the stats that’s of value to you you may not want it. Going to work on secondary stats to make them feel more valuable.

3:07: Improving “feel” to make rotations smoother, etc.

3:08: Now that we’ve pruned abilities, looking at growing again to expand, returning utility. It was a mistake to remove traps from non-Survival Hunters. There were places where we elevated spec identity to the sacrifice of class identity. Shroud of Concealment coming back to Rogues.

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3:10: When is this going to be in your hands? Soon! No, actually, really soon. As soon as BlizzCon is over we’re going to work on getting patch 7.1.5 on the PTR.

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3:11: So what comes after 7.1.5? Patch 7.2! We’re going to the Tomb of Sargeras. We will return to the site of our greatest failure where the Alliance and Horde faltered and broke, where we lost our leaders in the shadow of the Legion’s stronghold. But we’ve spent the intervening months leveling up, building class orders, collecting artifacts. We’ll continue the class order campaigns and we’ll have a new Armies of Legionfall faction where the class leaders decide they need to work together to fight to the Tomb of Sargeras.

3:12: New world quests. We’re incredibly happy with how the world quest system has played out and we’re going to do more of it. Looking to do all new things, like class focused world quests.

3:13: We’ll have to start by creating a foothold in this new land. We’ll restore and build up elven ruins to serve as a staging grounds to press the assault. Players will have agency in choosing what to build to unlock new content, new rewards. You’ll unlock new types of content in a way you, the player, control rather than Blizzard dictating it.

3:15: What’s happening while this is going on? The Legion isn’t taking it sitting down and are striking against the zones of the Broken Isles, similarly to the pre-expansion invasions. We need to help defend our new-found allies. All world quests in the zone will be disabled while these invasions and the sky will turn dark. These will be like world quests and will count for your emissary. Very similar to what you saw in August. But once you fight the assault on the ground you will join a three-player scenario and take the fight up to those Legion ships.

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3:17: Flying? Flying! Patch 7.2 brings Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part 2. It’s going to change the way we play the game and it’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. So what’s cooler than that? Doing it on your own custom class mount. These await you at the end of your class order campaign. All are flying mounts.

3:22: Tomb of Sargeras: 9 raid bosses.

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3:23: The raid has four main sections. Enter into a dark cathedral area, the grand glory of Elune fallen to the Legion’s corruption. It’s where the Legion’s presence is most strongly felt initially. But our objective is far below. We’ll venture into underground caverns where minions of Queen Azshara await us.

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3:25: We’ll be fighting the fallen avatar of Sargeras, once containing the soul of the dark titan himself. And Kil’jaeden is our ultimate foe at the end of Tomb of Sargeras.

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3:26: It’s the return of patch dungeons! New dungeon: Cathedral of Eternal Night. A 4-boss dungeon in which you ascend the Tomb of Sargeras, with Heroic, Mythic, and Mythic+ difficulties.

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3:28: PVP! Brawls inspired by brawls in other Blizzard games. Something that varies gameplay and adds variety. Just plain fun. Lets us try out new match types and the most successful brawls could become permanent parts of the PVP landscape.

  • Southshore vs. Tarren Mill coming back.
  • Instant-cap Warsong Gulch. 15v15 Arenas. “Is it balanced? We can promise it won’t be.”
  • Gravity lapse, where basic rules like gravity don’t necessarily apply.
  • Winter Arathi Basin, which is Arathi Basin but with a blizzard that reduces visibility and the water is all frozen over.
  • Eye of the Storm but with everyone on ram mounts!

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3:33: Introducing more Artifact traits to work towards. You’ll also be able to add an extra point into all of your 3-point traits. New Artifact Knowledge levels that make these less insane grinds.

3:34: As time goes on we think about alt-friendliness and main switching. In 7.1.5 we’ll be introducing new catch-up mechanisms. That way you can just play, spend your resources and go.

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3:35: Also in patch 7.2: new relics that modify two traits. We’ll also have a continuation of the Artifact questline and a new appearance for each weapon. We’ll adding a solo-focused appearance, inspired by the old-school weapon questlines like Priests and Benediction — it’s a single-player challenge. A couple of the new weapon appearences are flails. Hazzikostas: “Weapon physics, it’s a thing.”

3:40: When we move on and Nighthold and 7.2 are out, how are classic dungeons relevant? When 7.2 comes out, we’ll increase Heroic and Mythic difficulty and ilevel rewards of older dungeons, keeping them relevant.

3:41: Breaking Karazhan into upper and lower sections with a Heroic mode. New Mythic+ affixes.

3:43: After patch 7.1.5 goes up, we’ll look to get 7.2 on the PTR. Keeping the content train rolling. There will be a 7.2.5 after that.

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3:43: But where else is there to go? If you’ve been listening to Illidan and learning about the nature of the Legion, you know they’re likely to be back. We may win a brief respite, but they’ll just come back for more. If we want to truly win peace for Azeroth we’re going to have to look beyond Azeroth itself to the skies… we’re going to need to go to Argus.

That was a great panel, but it’s over. We’ll see you at the next panel!

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