Everything Old is New Again
Though I am loathe to link them, wowdb has a pretty decent Artifact Calculator up. This is our first glimpse at the progression of our new main weapons in Legion, as well as some spells and abilities associated with specific specs.
Without chewing too long on any particular weapon, I do notice one big thing, which is this.
Old-school WoW players that enjoyed the pre-Cata talent trees (such as, me!) will probably like the look and feel of this new feature.
If you go over there and click around a little bit, you’ll see what I mean. All
talents Artifact traits are constructed in a very familiar way: start out here, which enables you go go here or here, possibly after you select this many of this talent artifact trait. They usually (as far as I can tell) offer two specific paths to follow, so you can emphasize in what area you like, or homogenize as pleases you.
Let’s look at the Frost Mage artifact, Ebonchill, as an example. You’ll see that two fairly distinct paths are offered – one heavier on defensive, one heavier on offensive, with some common traits and crossover paths between them. This is a very familiar mechanism to us old-schoolers.
And I kinda like it.
Given, these are all very early beta / late alpha stuff, i.e. datamined stuff and some speculation, which the underwriters of WoWDB excel at (the speculation that is). So take with a grain of salt. But the overarching way that the Artifact traits will be implemented and/or controlled.
It implies that there are realistic choices to be made, and that those choices will be dictated by your toon’s chosen lifestyle. For example, I can see a Questing toon go for the higher defensive path and later emphasizing offensive / DPS. \
I’m also assuming that there will be a respec / reset feature at some point available.
What’s interesting is that we’re losing a lot of “choices” in our glyphs – Major glyphs are going away, for example – while gaining many choices here. It’s apparent to me that character modification is moving into an area that is more blatantly relevant to the player, without providing the endless mini-game that was the WotLK talent trees.
I personally liked that mini-game, in that it gave me a lot of flexibility. But Blizz’s contention was that for most specs, there was one, and only one, true build for maximum raiding performance, so they normalized those non-choices out and left behind only “real” choices in the three-lane talent … trees we have today. Mind you, I’m not sure I agree with the terminology they use, as I continue to see cookie-cutter specs take over raiding and PvP as applies to the user, with the only real “choices” being between talents that nobody cares about anyway.
Normalizing to irrelevancy is not, IMO, a good thing, which is why I’m both excited to see the new Artifact designs, and apprehensive about the ultimate outcome.
It will be interesting to see where this is going, but for the time being it looks like it will take a predictable path, different from Vanilla in only the form which it takes. By the first week of beta, there will be just a few optimized configurations that render the maximum effect for each spec.
One last thing.
Datamining has revealed a Fishing Pole Artifact. Ain’t that a hoot.