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WoWNov 10, 2017 4:00 pm CT

Don’t expect major class changes in Battle for Azeroth

classes in legion

World of Warcraft’s expansions have become known for their wide, sweeping changes, and systems overhauls every time a new one comes out. Legion was no exception, and perhaps contained the most extreme overhauls as the WoW devs hammered out each class and spec according to class fantasy. Battle for Azeroth, on the other hand, won’t see nearly the amount of changes.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, of all places, Ion Hazzikostas talked about the challenges of creating content for many different types of players and what happens when new expansions come out. He noted that the first several expansions were only tangentially related to each other and often followed a similar plotline of “Oh no we saved the world but a new big bad is here!” In Mists of Pandaria we started seeing overarching themes and stories that carried through from one expansion to another, such as Garrosh’s escape at the end of Mists of Pandaria, leading to the Iron Horde in Warlords of Draenor, which brought us a new Gul’dan to jump-start Legion. Likewise, the game systems have followed a similar path. Overhaul came about each expansion due to problems they were trying to fix. As they’ve found more systems that work and that players enjoy, it’s become less of a complete do-over and more iteration and building on top of good foundations.

Legion saw the extreme class changes to conform to a class fantasy and the devs feel a lot of the changes have worked out for the better. We won’t be getting another drastic overhaul in Battle for Azeroth, but what we will receive is more of that building and iteration. Class abilities that feel integral to the core components of each class will be carried over when our Artifact weapons go away. They’re constantly reworking visuals and animations to make them feel more epic, like the earlier caster animation updates and melee animations before that. Some classes will receive more work than others, depending on feedback about what worked in Legion, but we won’t see a repeat of anything as drastic as the Survival Hunters’ change from ranged to melee.

The classes felt very similar to their current state in the hands-on demos we reviewed at BlizzCon, despite the stat and item level squish. Wowhead also covered the class changes from the demos in detail. These are by no means final, given that beta hasn’t even started, but it can give you of how the next expansion will be.

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