Navi's Legion Commentary Series - Part 2: Legion Artifact Weapons

Frost DK
Artifact Weapons is something new in the expansion, and a lot of people are excited about them. How they work is that each class and each spec has its own weapon and you work on your weapon and improve its power (and its appearance) progressively through the levelling and end game play.

Ret Pallies
The last two expansions have had a "legendary for everyone" idea - the cloak in Pandaria, and the ring in Warlords of Draenor. Those legendaries were tailored for each role - healer, caster DPS, melee DPS, tank.  This has taken that idea and tailored it to make each of these artifacts (which are REALLY just legendaries version 2) just that little bit more special, so as a druid there are 4 artifact weapons I can collect for each of my different specs.

There are some great things about this.

One, is the lore and the story behind the weapons.  Each of the weapons has a special place in the history of the class, and giving that to people and allowing them to learn the lore behind each weapon will give a bigger sense of pride in their class.  Class halls are similar in that respect too, encouraging people to take pride in their class and come together in a different way (as opposed to just horde vs alliance).
Survival Hunter
Secondly, is apparently no other weapons will drop in dungeons or raids.  When Legion was first announced and the Artifact weapons described, my guildies were wondering what the point of other weapons dropping in raids was, since we will all have our artifact weapons. The thought that no other weapons will drop in raids is great because we won't have everyone fighting for just the one weapon and then waiting months for it to drop - we will all have one and work on it at our own pace.  I think that was like cloaks dropping in Pandaria - what was the point of that since everyone had their legendary cloak and so cloaks became pointless loot. I'm glad they took the weapons out of the loot tables, less useless loot to worry about.

Mistweaver Monks
Thirdly, they do look cool.  There are a lot of looks that are associated with the weapon and you can customize it to whatever former look it had to match your outfit. I think that the designers went to a lot of effort to make these weapons look amazing and the corresponding transmogs that will go with these weapons (in terms of armour) will be interesting to see.

Then, there are drawbacks.

Last night we were discussing what the artifact weapons mean whilst you are levelling. Levelling as a tank or a healer is a slow way to go.  However, with an artifact weapon, and it levelling and unlocking as I go along, does this mean that I have to be levelling the whole time as resto?  If that's true, then it's going to be the BIGGEST drag trying to level with me because I do bugger all damage as resto and it will take ages to complete quests.

OH god, I'm doing 2k DPS....
The only person who has to worry about that is HK, since he's been my levelling buddy since BC release. I think most of the guild feels very sorry for him because levelling with me is a monumental test of patience as most of the levelling the conversation goes like this:

Me: Hey I haven't finished this quest yet, I still have one more to go.
HK: How can you not have finished? Didn't you pick up X item just now?
Me: What item?

Me: Why are we killing these things?
HK: Umm... it's part of the quest?
Me: What quest?
HK: ... the one we went back to hand in 5 minutes ago?  Didn't you hand it in?
Me: Oh, I didn't know we went back there to hand in something...

Me: I'm sleepy, can we stop questing now?
HK: We've only been levelling for 10 minutes...

Before you ask why I don't level in dungeons... it's because there are achievements associated with levelling through zones, and I don't want to have to go back there when I'm max level to finish the zones so might as well do it whilst I'm levelling, right?

Fire Mage
Well, I got sidetracked a little there.  But levelling in a lousy spec is going to be crappy for your artifact weapon because I don't want to be saddled with a boomkin artifact weapon when I will predominantly be playing resto.  Will it be possible to have more than one artifact weapon in my bag? Will they both be unlocked at the same rate?  It seems unlikely that it will work that way.

Enhance Shamans

Secondly, another drawback is that you can't transmog these items to look like something else. What am I going to do with the zillion weapons I have in my Void storage now?  I guess you can't transmog legendaries so you shouldn't be able to do it to artifact weapons. The problem with that is that everyone will start looking the same as there are only a fixed number of looks that the weapon will have, compared the the hundreds of looks we have now with transmog. I realise that this is necessary so that we retain a sense of pride and uniqueness with our artifact weapon, but I will miss the looks of some of our old weapons that we have had in the past and miss being able to use them.

Overall, I'm excited about being able to work on an artifact weapon. I'm hoping that there is some solo content as well as group content to do so that I can work on it in my own time, yet also be part of a group and interacting with others which you should be doing when you're playing in an MMO.  I wonder if people will resent having to do group activities for the weapon - there was a lot of moaning and groaning about the PvP side of the Pandaria legendary cloak, which has altered in the Warlords of Draenor ring because it's just about picking up things from the raids which can be done in LFR.

One thing though - if there are special abilities or buffs that are unlocked with the weapon that surely is going to suck for the people with 2 specs who are constantly being asked to use them - like DPS/heals (I'm thinking Yuuda, Rag, Crooked, Sars).  Rag has already asked if he can go Ret has main spec because he really wants to play with Ashbringer. Do you think this will mean people are locked to a certain spec more?  I guess we'll see it when we go live.


  1. Re. Transmogrifying Artifact weapons -- it's the other way 'round. You CAN Transmogrify your Artifact weapon to look like something else (last week I started my Frost DK farming Malygos for Hailstorm to go over her Artifact blades). You can't transmogrify another weapon to look like an Artifact.

    1. Ohhhh well that's alright then! I fel much beget about it now!

    2. Ugh i mean feel much better


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