For a start, Blizzard more or less confirmed the rumors that World of Warcraft’s Legion expansion will be out by next September — “summer 2016” is the official word. As for beta, you can expect that to begin in the coming weeks, far sooner than anticipated. Prepurchasing the expansion (the cheapest edition is $49.99) will allow players to boost a character to 100 right now as well as access the Demon Hunter class early.
The panel discussed the 40-man Broken Shore scenario, which asks Horde and Alliance to work together, discussed the mechanics of Demon Hunter skill acquisition, and ran down some of the major zones and story.
Perhaps most interesting was the systems section of the Legion panel, where Ion Hazzikostas broke down WoW’s new world scaling mechanic, which is intended to allow players to play through the new zones in any order with friends of varying levels. The game is also getting a new system of world quest and objectives that change frequently.
Dungeons are set to make a big comeback, as well. Dungeons are “at the heart of the experience in Legion,” Hazzikostas said.
Check out some of the pics we snapped along with the game’s intro cinematic and the official press release too.
IRVINE, Calif.—November 6, 2015—The Burning Legion’s assault on Azeroth begins next summer†—but for heroes around the world, hunting preparations start now. Today at BlizzCon® 2015, Blizzard Entertainment announced that World of Warcraft®: Legion™, the sixth expansion to its acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, is now available for pre-purchase at www.wowlegion.com.
Players who pre-purchase World of Warcraft: Legion digitally can immediately boost one character of their choosing to level 100. In addition, those who pre-purchase will get early access to the brand-new hero class coming with Legion, the Demon Hunter, prior to the expansion’s release.†
During today’s BlizzCon opening ceremony, Blizzard also unveiled the intro cinematic for the expansion, setting the stage for the demonic Burning Legion’s devastating return. As the Horde and the Alliance battle against hopeless odds, heroes of both factions must seek salvation among the Broken Isles—ancient center of a doomed night elf civilization. There, they’ll take up mighty Artifact weapons and make a forbidden pact with the dread Demon Hunters of the Illidari—a final, desperate bid to save their world from falling under the Great Burning Shadow.
“World of Warcraft: Legion is one of the most intense chapters in the Warcraft saga yet, filled with features and content that will push new and veteran heroes to their limits,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Whether players want to boost a new character or get a head start on mastering a Demon Hunter, they’ll be primed and ready to battle the Burning Legion when the expansion launches next summer.”
Prepare for Battle
World of Warcraft: Legion will be available in a Standard Edition (physical and digital versions available; SRP $49.99), which players can pre-purchase digitally now at www.wowlegion.com. Players also have the option to upgrade their pre-purchase to the Digital Deluxe Edition (SRP $69.99), which contains the following in-game bonuses for World of Warcraft and other Blizzard games (available upon or before the expansion’s launch):
· World of Warcraft – Illidari Felstalker Mount and Nibbles Pet—Stalk the invading demonic forces atop one of the Burning Legion’s own twisted hounds of war, and summon a delightfully demented companion to keep you warm by the fel fire—both available immediately upon pre-purchase.
· Heroes of the Storm™ – Felstalker Mount—Charge down the lanes of the Nexus and wreak havoc on the opposing team astride this fierce fanged terror.
· StarCraft® II – Fel Protoss Portraits—Take back Aiur in infernal style with psionic-infused StarCraft II portraits of Illidan and Gul’dan.
· Diablo® III – Wings of the Betrayer—Equip your hero with Illidan’s wings and strike terror into the hearts of Sanctuary’s demons.
Players who pre-purchase either the digital Standard Edition or Digital Deluxe Edition of Legion through www.wowlegion.com will be able to immediately† boost one character to level 100, allowing them to experience the latest World of Warcraft content alongside their friends††. Players who wish to prepare multiple characters for battle against the Burning Legion also now have the option to purchase additional level-100 character boosts directly through the game at $60 each. Further details on character boosts, including information on the gear, skills, and Garrison upgrades boosted level-100 characters will receive, can be found at www.worldofwarcraft.com.
Pre-purchasing Legion will also grant early access to the Demon Hunter prior to the expansion’s release.† This dexterous and deadly new hero class turns the twisted power of the Burning Legion against them; drawing on fel forces to fuel their attacks, Demon Hunters pursue their prey with uncanny agility, unleash pent-up fury in the form of devastating attacks, and metamorphose into terrifying demonic forms. As a hero class, Demon Hunters begin their journey at a higher level than other World of Warcraft classes. During the pre-launch early-access period, players will be able to complete the Demon Hunter’s unique starting experience and achieve level 100—leaving them fully prepared to join their allies on the Broken Isles the moment the expansion launches. Further details on the Demon Hunter upcoming early-access period, including the timing and duration, will be announced at a later date.
World of Warcraft: Legion will also be available in a retail-only Collector’s Edition (SRP $89.99), which includes the digital bonuses from the Digital Deluxe Edition along with a full-color hardcover art book, a behind-the-scenes two-disc Blu-ray/DVD set, a CD soundtrack, and a Legion mouse pad. Supplies are limited; players should check with their local retailer for pre-order details and availability.
World of Warcraft: Legion Features
World of Warcraft: Legion is filled with features and content that will transform Azeroth’s heroes into Legion-slaying avatars of vengeance, including:
· New Hero Class: Demon Hunter—Unleash the demon within as an all-new melee hero class gifted with preternatural mobility—and the ability to metamorphose into hellish new forms.
· New Feature: Artifact Weapons—Smite the Legion with class-specific weapons of lore. Unlock awesome abilities and traits, and customize your weapon to suit your needs.
· New Continent: The Broken Isles—Discover the fate of a lost night elf civilization, confront twisted fragments of the Emerald Nightmare, and hunt agents of the Legion in all-new zones.
· Boost to Level 100—Come fully prepared to battle the Legion with a level-100 character boost, and fight alongside your friends in this epic new chapter of World of Warcraft—available immediately upon pre-purchase†.
· New Feature: Order Hall—Unite fellow NPC members of your class’s order to carry out missions at your command.
· New PvP Honor System—Fight for fame, glory, and a range of new PvP-specific powers as you face the opposing faction in Arenas and Battlegrounds.