Overwatch Retribution Trailer, Overwatch Digital Comic - Retribution
Patch 7.3.5 Hotfixes - April 3rd
Battle for Azeroth Alpha - Vol'dun Now Open for Testing
The latest build for the Battle for Azeroth Alpha has opened the Horde zone of Vol'dun for testing. This is the desert zone that largely involves the conflict between the Vulpera and the Sethrak.
Battle for Azeroth Heart of Azeroth Preview
In Battle for Azeroth, our Artifact Weapons will be retired and a new Artifact system will come in the form of the Heart of Azeroth, an artifact quality neck piece that builds on and evolves Legion's Artifact Power and Netherlight Crucible systems. The line in the sand has been drawn, and the Horde and Alliance are at each other's throats. Because of this, they fail to notice the world around them is dying. Magni Bronzebeard, speaker for Azeroth's slumbering titan, gives player characters a gift from Azeroth herself in the form of this artifact neck piece.
- The Heart of Azeroth will be a neck slot artifact that is used for all of Battle for Azeroth.
- The Heart of Azeroth requires Azerite to empower it. Gaining enough Azerite eventually levels up the artifact and unlocks four tiers of traits on your head, shoulders, and chest items.
- Each tier has options that either empower spells/abilities, grants temporary buffs, or survivability traits. You can choose a single option from each tier as you unlock them.
- Empowering your Heart of Azeroth will also come with visual upgrades and item level increases.
- As it stands in the Alpha, the traits offered are class specific and not spec specific. To clarify, the choice of options give you one option from each of your specs along with one option that grants a temporary secondary stat increase upon killing an enemy. It is unknown if this is just because it's the initial testing or if this is Blizzard's intention.
- The initial testing chest piece is a level 110 chest piece and so the talent options seem a bit lackluster. Blizzard has stated that higher item level gear will have better options and so it can be assumed that once you reach max level and receive higher item level gear, the options will have much more impact, but we will have to wait and see.
- Currently, the trait selection on the Alpha is final and locked once you make a selection. It is unknown if this is a design decision or just temporary.
In Depth Look
Let's break this system down a bit further. In the Blizzcon In Depth panel for the system, a UI was shown that has changed a bit on Alpha. The Alpha UI does say that it is temporary, however, and so we currently are not sure what the final UI will look like. The Heart of Azeroth is directly connected to your head, shoulders, and chest item slots. Each of these items have four tiers that you can progressively unlock when your Heart of Azeroth receives enough Azerite.
- The outer tier is the first to unlock and presents a choice between 4 traits to empower your character.
- Gaining more Azerite will eventually unlock the middle band and present you with 3 set of traits to choose from. On the Alpha, these options are temporary stat increases based on different triggers.
- Next, the inner band can be unlocked to present you with another 2 choices. In Alpha testing, this was a choice between two different survivability options such as a shield or heal on hit.
- Finally, the innermost ability will be unlocked. On the Alpha, this is currently just a 5 item level increase to the gear in the item slot.
The team wants to make sure that this system improves upon our current artifact progression system and lessens the amount of RNG involved. Here are some ways that this new system address these concerns:
- The Heart of Azeroth is utilized between all of your character's different specializations and so each spec does not need to be leveled up individually. However, as stated above, the choices presented on the empowered item slots are class specific and not spec specific and are locked when chosen. If this stays the case, players would most likely need to have separate pieces of the same item slot for each spec, but no additional Azerite will be needed between specs.
- Head, shoulder, and chest items cannot Warforge or Titanforge.
- The abilities that each piece of gear contains is the same for all pieces of the same name. Higher item level pieces will have a better selection of traits, but they can all be seen in the Dungeon Loot Journal and are chosen by the design team when creating the item. There is no RNG involved.
- Abilities on each band will be paired with other abilities of the same type. For instance, one band will give you an option between different utility traits while another will ask you to choose one from a group of offensive traits.
- You do not lose any Azerite when upgrading an item.
Azerite is the lifeblood of the planet. Because of this, both factions are very interested in acquiring as much of it as possible. Much like Artifact Power, Azerite is gained by doing a multitude of different activities within the game.
- Island Expeditions
Azerite to Item Level
The Heart of Azeroth starts at Azerite Power level 1, and this power level increases as you earn Azerite. As your power level goes up, so does the item level. For reference, item level 265 is equivalent to item level 985 today.
- Azerite Level 1 - Item Level 265
- Azerite Level 10 - Item Level 274
- Azerite Level 20 - Item Level 284
- Azerite Level 30 - Item Level 294
- Azerite Level 40 - Item Level 304
- Azerite Level 50 - Item Level 314
- Azerite Level 60 - Item Level 324
- Azerite Level 70 - Item Level 334
- Azerite Level 80 - Item Level 344
- Azerite Level 90 - Item Level 354
- Azerite Level 100 - Item Level 364
- Azerite Level 150 - Item Level 414
- Azerite Level 200 - Item Level 464
- Azerite Level 250 - Item Level 514
- Azerite Level 300 - Item Level 564
The Spring AWC Finals Champions are Crowned
The winners of the AWC Finals were announced recently.
Announcing the Blizzard Entertainment Student Art Contest Winners!
Blizzard recently announced the winners of the Seventh Annual Blizzard Student Art Contest!