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Posts with tag artifact

Breakfast Topic: Is it time to implement artifacts?

Artifact definition
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More and more people are gearing up in epic equipment these days, either through Zandalari heroics or normal and heroic-level raiding. This leads to a lot of purple items of wide range of different ilevels, particularly toward the end of an expansion set. While this is great for those of us who are catching up to current content (or gearing up an alt), couldn't there be more of an incentive for hardcore raiders?

Back in vanilla, it was really something to see someone decked out in the highest level of gear. The color category of a player's items alone was enough to determine their in-game accomplishment. I absolutely think it's a good thing that a larger group of people get to see content and gear up quickly, but shouldn't there be a new level of reward for those who work the hardest on progression?

Well, as longtime WoW players may remember, there already is. There has always been a level of gear above epics that has never been implemented in game: artifacts. Originally planned as a step above legendary items, red-quality artifact items could perhaps instead replace heroic raiding-quality epic items as a status symbol for those at the cutting edge of content.

At a point in time when blue gear is considered temporary and purple is again becoming the norm, could it be time to implement a rarer category of reward? Do you think it would be beneficial to World of Warcraft for the best possible items to be of a different grade? Would this be enough to bring hardcore players back to the game? Or would it greatly devalue traditional epics?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

The legends of non-Legendary items

Blizzard has a torrid history with the Legendary items in World of Warcraft. The first such item to raise a stink was probably Ashbringer, the sword of Highlord Mograine of the Scarlet Crusade. Though stats have been found in the game (and a Corrupted version is available), the item itself isn't obtainable by players at all (though it still may be in the future). And reader Scott recently brought another one of these not-quite-Legendary items to my attention: the Skull of Gul'dan. This is probably one of the most powerful items in all of Azeroth-- it's been used to close and open the Dark Portal, it's responsible for tearing apart Felwood, and it turned Illidan from just an emo elf into a superpowerful demonic badass. And yet, it's no more than a rare trinket in the game.

Shouldn't an item with that much legend behind it be called Legendary? Illidan's twin blades are labeled legendary, but they're hardly the stuff of modern legend-- Illidan took them from a doom guard commander 10,000 years ago, and they've done nothing but sit in his whirling hands since then (heck, they couldn't even take down Arthas). I agree with Scott-- there's no reason those blades should be Legendary when the skull isn't. Sure, the skull might not be as powerful as it used to be, but it's still got a load of legend behind it.

And the Legendary debate isn't over yet, because there is one more big item looming on the horizon: when we head to Northrend, we'll all, Horde and Alliance alike, be looking to find the item that kicked off this Arthas trouble in the first place: Frostmourne. Will that be wieldable by players, or labeled Legendary? If Blizzard's previous experience with Legendary items is any indication, the answer may not be what you expect.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding

Ashbringer quest in Utgarde Keep

Our friend Boubouille over at MMO Champion has gotten a nice tip on Ashbringer appearing in Northrend (warning: I don't think this is a huge spoiler, as it probably happens within your first hour or so of Wrath of the Lich King, but if you don't want to know anything about what happens to Ashbringer, skip this post).

So apparently inside the Utgarde Catacombs (which is probably the lower section of Utgarde Keep-- I played the upper section), there is a cleric of the Silver Hand, the group led by Tirion Fordring that fought against the Scourge in Naxx, as well as other places. The cleric sends you on a timed quest inside the dungeon, to retrive a "Sacred Artifact." After you retrieve it, he sends you with his dying breath to someone back in town, who then tells you that the Artifact you just held in your hands is related to the Ashbringer, thanks you for grabbing it, and takes it away (as, Boubouille says, "the ret paladin of your party keeps crying"), promising to give it to Fordring in his fight against Arthas. How is it related to Ashbringer? Well, it could be the blade itself, except that the Corrupted Ashbringer was last seen in player hands, not at the bottom of a dungeon. Most likely, it's a mirror, or a copy, of the artifact seen in Old Hillsbrad-- a new holy artifact, meant to create a new, uncorrupted Ashbringer.

So that's kind of cool. It definitely shows how Blizzard is going to make good on their promise of involving us in the lore right away when you enter Northrend-- at BlizzCon, they said a few times that most players worried they would never see Illidan, so the idea with WotLK is to bring the lore to you (we're supposed to meet Arthas early on in this way as well). I like the way this is done-- even though you don't get to wield it, you're still able to interact with it. Should be very exciting to see how Blizzard incorporates other parts of the lore in this way.

Just so we don't take down MMO Champion's site with hotlinks, I've mirrored the three quest images after the jump.

Update: MMO Champion got it from Cydel, who also has video.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Quests, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

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