Legion: What’s Next?
With 7.1 fresh off the shelf, it’s been hard to think what news Blizzard could possibly give us about the Legion expansion, and yet they keep on giving. The panel was opened with an announcement on a new design philosophy regarding patches. Rather than breaking up an expansion into separate stand-alone patches as has happened with previous expansions, they will now be delivering variable-sized patches. This can mean small patches like 6.2.3, larger updates like 6.2 or anything in between, like 7.1.
Along with this philosophy comes the ability to release content when they want. If a feature for a patch isn’t quite ready for release, rather than hold up the rest of the patch content until it is ready, they can release the parts that are ready for use, and release the unfinished feature at a later date. This allows for a steady stream of content throughout an expansion.
Closely following this news, we were told we can start expecting patch 7.1.5, first of the smaller patches for this expansion. The time frame is soon’. Not Soon™ however, with the announcement that the PTR will be going up for 7.1.5 closely after Blizzcon.
So what can we expect from 7.1.5? Well more Timewalking for a start. Pandarian Timewalking, specifically. Ion Hazzikostas stated that this would likely be as far as timewalking goes for this expansion, as bringing in dungeons from the previous expansion felt too soon for timewalking.
The Brawler’s Guild will be reopening for business as well. The length of its closure has been the direct result of several changes that have been made. New bosses have been added to the guild, as well as a new form of challenge: Rumbles. These will be group challenges against a raid boss, rather than the normal solo experience we are used to with the Brawler’s Guild. There will also be Brawler’s Gold, which can be used to unlock group items for a period of time to help your fellow brawlers out.
Micro Holidays will be introduced as well. As opposed to the normal holidays which can last a week or more, micro holidays are special days where you can do random stuff like helping a guard out, or chilling on a boat. These are intended to make the world feel more alive.
Blade’s Edge Arena is getting a makeover, including the trial of an announcer. If the announcer feature works out well it may be used in more battlegrounds.
Class Updates: The first major updates to classes will be happening, including better balancing of secondary stats, specs and classes regaining utility, and more.
Blizzard aren’t finishing there though. Directly after the announcement of 7.1.5 Ion Hazzikostas launched into an explanation of their plans for patch 7.2. This is going to be a big patch, and will be including a new raid, as well as a continuation of the Class Order Hall campaign.
In patch 7.2 the Order Halls will march on the Broken Shore. We will work to take ground and establish a foothold on the Shore, where we will get to choose how best to use the ancient elven buildings, upgrading them into a Nether Disruptor, Command Center or Mage Tower.
While we establish a foothold, however, the Legion is going to retaliate. Invasions, similar to the ones we experienced in the pre-expansion event, will happen periodically throughout the Broken Isles. When this happens all world quests in the besieged zone will deactivate, and we will be tasked with clearing out the invaders. This time, however, after we kill a commander, we get to take the fight to the Legion, in a three-person scenario that has us taking out the Legion ships in the skies above us.
Of course this all seems impossible without flying, which will also be available in Patch 7.2 to all toons on an account after the completion of Pathfinder: Part Two. Equally we can’t have flying without class specific mounts, also to be available in 7.2.
The Order Halls are going to have far more success at the Broken Shore compared to the Alliance and Horde, and as such all of our hard work will find us at the doors of a new raid, Tomb of Sargeras. What was once the Temple of Elune is now corrupted, and it will be our task to fight our way through the tomb, and seal the portal that is allowing the Legion entry into Azeroth.
This is not the only task that needs to be accomplished, however. A new dungeon, Cathedral of Eternal Night, will have us ascend the upper reaches of the spire with the Aegis of Aggramar.
It’s been a while since PvP has had any new battlegrounds. Instead, with patch 7.2 Brawls will be introduced. Styled on the other Blizzard games’ brawl modes, these no-holds-barred battles will feature shifting rule sets, new takes on old battlegrounds, and a return of the anniversary PvP battleground, Southshore vs Tarren Mill.
Attacking the Tomb of Sargeras will take everything we have and then some, so to reflect this, our artifact weapons will gain new traits, including a new Golden Ability. All old traits will gain the ability to put a fourth point into each of their ranks, and new relics will allow you to modify two artifact traits, rather than the normal one. Alongside this, further ranks in Artifact Knowledge will allow greater ability to catch up for alts, and new skins will be available for unlocking on all of the weapons.
In order to keep the old dungeons relevant, their difficulty will be bumped up. As well as the difficulties increasing, the three mythic only dungeons, Arcway, Court of Stars and Karazhan will become queable heroic dungeons, with Karazhan being split into two wings.
There is no given time frame for when Blizzard are hoping to have 7.2 released. However, the content for the patch will be going onto the PTR as soon as 7.1.5 is taken down.
While they aren’t saying anything more, a patch 7.2.5 was mentioned, as well as the possibility of going to Argus to take the fight to the Legion.