In August, World of Warcraft players will finally explore the new Broken Isles area, take up arms as Demon Hunters, and wield powerful Artifact weapons like the Ashbringer. Until then, the World of Warcraft live servers remain mostly untouched as the team prepares the expansion. Select players are currently able to test the upcoming expansion on the alpha servers where new information on Legion and the patch leading up to its release are being revealed.
A new Legion alpha build is now available for testers with a focus on bug fixing and class iterations. Notably, almost all of the Artifact weapon traits are live in the alpha with some tuning occurring to many class weapons. As a Blizzard Entertainment game designer noted on the official forums, Vengeance Demon Hunters, Holy Paladins, Retribution Paladins, and Protection Warriors have all seen talent revisions. Many specific Artifact weapon traits for various classes are also being tweaked. For instance, the duration of Outlaw Rogues’ Curse of the Dreadblades was reviewed.
Of course, the more interesting side of the latest alpha build comes from fan websites dedicated to data-mining the client. Two sections of the latest build that are particularly interesting are the addition of pre-expansion events and the first look at how players will unlock flying in Legion. When the pre-expansion patch releases ahead of Legion, players will start to hear whispers while in Stormwind and Orgrimmar. A buff will appear in the buff bar indicating that the player is now part of the Dark Whispers event. However, since this event can make you hostile toward members of your own faction, the buff can be right-clicked and removed if the player does not wish to participate in the event according to MMO-Champion.
Continuing with the offer the whispers propose results in new abilities on the player’s hotbar and nine stacks of Frail Mind. These abilities let players tell each other about the Dark Whispers with the Turn Ally ability which will result in briefly making the player using the ability hostile. Other abilities are given to quickly vanish, create panic, or take on the appearance of an NPC so that the player can escape. Using Turn Ally will remove a stack of Frail Mind, and once all stacks are removed, a different ability will let that player turn into a Dreadlord for one minute.
The latest World of Warcraft alpha build for Legion also includes the introduction of what players will have to accomplish to be able to fly again. The new Pathfinder achievement does not outright grant flying yet, but it is seemingly required as the first portion of what players will need to do. As it is detailed on WoWhead, Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part One unlocks increased mount speed in the Broken Isles. Players will need to fully explore the islands on foot, complete all the Loremaster quests, finish 100 world quests, wrap up the class order campaign, and raise six factions to Revered to earn this Pathfinder achievement.
What is missing from the Pathfinder achievement is the reward of flight in Legion content. Of course, that achievement is only part one, so many believe the ability to fly again will be rewarded in a subsequent achievement. A Blizzard Entertainment game developer chimed in on the Pathfinder achievement on the official forums.
“I can’t give a detailed estimate of exactly when the next step will unlock. We have a solid patch plan in the works, but we need to remain flexible to adapt to player needs once the expansion launches, and there’s no way to even hint at a date without it sounding like a promise. That said, I can say that Part One should represent a significant majority of the total effort required to ultimately unlock flight.”
As the Inquisitr reported, Legion will release on August 30. Players should expect the pre-expansion patch before its release, of course, but no date is currently set for the event. Several of the features in Legion are likely to go live when the pre-expansion patch releases. For example, pre-purchasers of the World of Warcraft expansion will probably be able to play the Demon Hunter hero class as part of the expansion’s early access to it.
[Image via Blizzard]