The time has come World of Warcraft players, the Battle for Azeroth expansion is less than a month away and with that comes the 8.0 pre-patch that will become available later today at approximately 6pm EST. As with all other WoW expansions and their initial patch, there are a lot of changes coming to the game and below are the key ones to keep an eye out for.
- Artifact Weapons – Yes, the trusty weapon you have been infusing with artifact power for the last two years will now see all of its power diminished with the additional traits gained over that time falling by the wayside. Some of those traits are being melded into existing class abilities or will be unlocked through Azerite traits gained through the leveling of each classes unique Azerite necklace. What you can still strive for is the different visuals that you can unlock over the course of the Legion expansion. All of the visual unlocks for all three available artifact weapons of each class, with a few exceptions, will now be available for transmogrification. Blizzard is also removing some restrictions on artifact weapon transmog when it comes to weapon type. In the case of Warriors or Death Knights, you will be able to transmog two handed weapons on a single handed one and vice versa.
- Stat Squish – As happened previously with WoW’s sixth expansion Warlords of Draenor, Battle for Azeroth will feature another stat squish, meaning that the excessive and exponentially growing damage and attribute numbers will be decreased to a more manageable level. We all rolled our eyes when we saw that we had to redeem over 100 billion artifact power in order to get the highest levels for our artifact weapons and thankfully we will not have to witness the same ridiculousness with the Azerite necklace. No more striving for one million DPS, but rather in the tens of thousands, a much more manageable number.
- Profession Changes – There are some dramatic changes coming to how your professions can be developed over the course of each character’s existence. Starting in Patch 8.0, players will no longer have to progress and grow their professions through unlocking harder and harder recipes. Rather, all recipes will be available in an updated profession window and separated into specific folders depending on the type of recipe you are looking for. This design change is similar to the class change made for Mists of Pandaria where the requirement to visit your class trainer in a capital city was removed. Sadly, all of those profession trainers will become obsolete now. R.I.P. The second big change for professions comes with the removal of First Aid as a secondary profession and the merge of those recipes into two separate primary professions. All bandages will now be made by Tailors, and all anti-venom will now be made by alchemists. Both moves seem to make these aspects of the game more accessible, but it seems the quality of strategy and depth for character choices is being sacrificed as a result, what do you think?
- Open World PVP – All PvP type servers are being removed from the game to be replaced by normal server types in an effort to introduce and promote War Mode. War Mode is a toggle on your talent page allowing you to turn on or off PvP functionality while out completing quests and adventures in Azeroth and beyond. In order to toggle the mode on or off you do need to be in either Stormwind or Orgrimmar before heading our into the world. When turned on, War Mode will activate your PvP talent tree and allow you to have those extra battleground perks while fighting player enemies in open territory. Ultimately, this gives complete choice to the player, if you like to have the extra threat and challenge of player vs player combat, War Mode will be for you, but if you prefer to be left alone to your own devices you can enjoy that experience too. Gone are the days of camping outside Horde or Alliance starting zones waiting to troll new players.
- Exclusive Pre-Expansion Story Quest Trees – One story campaign will become available for horde and alliance players, with different quest trees leading up to the overarching narrative we will be experiencing in Battle for Azeroth. Tensions between factions will only grow exponentially as you progress through these quests, but do keep in mind that they will only be available to experience BEFORE Battle for Azeroth launches on August 14th worldwide. The story is called the Burning of Teldrassil and will take place on Darkshore within Kalimdor. Only the first part of this pre-expansion story will be available today with the second part coming in the next week or two before Battle for Azeroth launches.
These are the major changes coming in Patch 8.0.1 in World of Warcraft, the pre-patch for Battle for Azeroth. Be sure to stay tune to theyoungfolks.com as we get closer to launch to find out all of your Battle for Azeroth news and announcements as well as my reactions to the changes ahead!