Since its launch in 2004, Blizzard’s MMORPG powerhouse, World of Warcraft, has been going strong, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet. Announced recently was the specifics for their next expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion. With the announcement came the following features overview video, outlining the major changes and additions.
Like those that came before it, this expansion will increase the level cap by ten, making 110 the new maximum, and introduce a brand new continent, The Broken Isles. And for the first time since Wrath of the Lich King, a new Hero Class will make its debut, emerging specifically from this expansions mythos: the demon hunter. Fans of the Warcraft universe will recognize the new class’s striking resemblance to the major villain from The Burning Crusade expansion, Illidan Stormrage, whose powers they utilize.
Illidan is back, as teased by the cinematic trailer released during Gamescom very recently, and he brings the Burning Legion’s demons with him, occupying new content reminiscent of the 2o07 The Burning Crusade expansion. This is very much like the most recent expansion, Warlords of Draenor, that sent players to a different version of the Outlands, the continent introduced in The Burning Crusade.
Using the powers he took and adapted from the Burning Legion, Illidan Stormrage became classified as a demon hunter, and that is where the newest hero class comes in. Demon hunters are analogous to Wrath of the Lich King‘s death knight hero class in many ways. They will start at a level far higher than 1, as the death knights did, beginning at level 55, and they come directly from the relevant lore, related to the Burning Legion, as did the death knights and their defection from Arthas’ control. Unique about the new class, however, is that it will only have two specializations, versus the three that every other class has. These specializations, havoc and vengeance, which will allow them to fill the roles of damage-dealer and tank, respectively. And regardless of specialization, all demon hunters will have the ability to take on a more menacing demon-like form, increasing their potency in whichever position they fill.
Artifact weapons are also being added and expanded upon in big ways. There will be a different artifact weapon for every specialization in the game, and each artifact will be further customizable and able to be improved in various ways. Besides the standard enchant and transmogrification, each artifact will have its own talent tree that can be filled out with use, and each will come with a handful of forms, ensuring that, for example, every paladin on the server isn’t running around with identical weapons.
With an almost complete redesign, the player versus player (PvP) system will come to resemble the well-known Call of Duty online multiplayer system. Players will rank up in PvP by participating and excelling, and will eventually reach a ceiling where they must “prestige” and their rank will reset. This will also bring variety to the individuals that players are matched against as they participate in more and more PvP. As players gain prestige, they will gain access to new items and equipment, and points to be spent in a new and special PvP-only talent tree, which features bonuses and abilities that will only work on other players.
There’s tons more to look forward to that haven’t even been covered yet, like the new class covenants where players can build a rapport with the new hub sites specific to each class, such as the paladin covenant beneath Light’s Hope Chapel. The only unfortunate news is that the release date is set for sometime in 2016, but it looks like one to get excited about.