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WoWApr 4, 2018 1:30 pm CT

Get a first look at Heart of Azeroth in the Battle for Azeroth alpha

Yesterday, CM Lore posted to the forums that Blizzard is beginning testing on Azerite armor, part of the Heart of Azeroth system replacing Artifacts and Legion Legendaries in Battle for Azeroth. Now, the folks at Wowhead have already a look at that piece of Azerite armor as well as the traits and placeholder UI being. As is always the case, this is an alpha build, so it’s still being tested and is subject to change or redesign — but it’s worth looking at where the system is going.

Remember, this is only one piece of Azerite gear. There will eventually be three such pieces for characters in the live game.

If you remember the Netherlight Crucible system, the Azerite armor piece has a few things in common with it. One of the big changes is that the first tier of abilities has one common ability for all classes — Champion of Azeroth. This ability allows players a limited self heal after killing “Enemies of Azeroth,” which could mean anything at the proper experience level, or it might mean a specific kind of enemy. There’s no way to know yet. The remaining level 1 traits are class specific — most classes get three, though Demon Hunters get two and Druids get four, indicating that these are connected to your specialization in some way. Revel in Pain from the Demon Hunter traits sure feels like a Vengeance DH ability to me. Similarly the level four traits seem to break down into DPS traits, healing traits, and tanking traits.

Then there are more general traits. There are just two traits at level seven: Vampiric Speed, which heals you and increases speed for 40 seconds when a target dies, and Resounding Protection, an absorb shield. The top tier trait is Azerite Empowered, which simply simply boosts the ilevel of this specific piece of Azerite armor by 5. It’s sor of an inversion of how the Netherlight Crucible worked, but it puts that ilevel bump last instead of first. Still, it’s not a foreign system if you remember how that worked.

Of course, this is still alpha and Blizzard will certainly change the UI — and for all we know half of these traits will be gone before this goes live. But for now it’s up and being tested. We’ll know more once the full system rolls out, but it looks interesting so far. I’m definitely curious to see how the pieces interlock and if each slot of Azerite armor has the same traits to choose from or wholly different ones, making it more or less complex to determine which ones you should take. Since the traits are currently linked to talent spec, right now it feels like you’d just take whichever one corresponded to your spec, but different slots with different priorities might change that up.

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