Each Artifact is a symbol of the might of the Hunter that wields it. Names have power—learn those of these mythic weapons well, for they will be your constant companions against the deadliest foe you’ve faced yet.
Hello everybody and welcome to second part of my WoW Legion Preview & Impressions series. In these, I will be talking about my personal impressions on some of the upcoming expansion’s features, namely the ones I am looking forward to the most. These include Hunter related stuff, zones and lore and other miscellaneous features and systems. Yesterday I made a summary of the recently announced Hunter class changes and today I’m moving to something closely related, Hunter artifacts.
One of the things that I’m most excited for in Legion is the focus on class identity. While the mechanical class changes being announced this week do help a lot to achieve this goal, the fact that each artifact and thus each spec will get some lore surrounding their respective fantasy takes it to an even higher level.
The one thing that worries me about this whole artifact business, to be honest, is numbers. With all this class differentiation in both fantasy and playstyle, I just hope Blizzard will assume responsibility to make sure that at least most specs are balanced in a relative way. Many players (including me, probably) will be pretty bummed if they feel obligated to abandon progress on their artifact in favor of better performance in max level content. Leveling an artifact weapon will not be easy, or at least I do not expect it to; and I will also be quite disappointed if it all turns out to be relatively easy and/or quick.
But with no further rambling, let’s take a look at the hunter artifact weapons.
Beast Mastery: Titanstrike
Beast Master Hunters are uniquely bonded with the beasts they hunt, blurring the lines between predator and prey. To offset the dangers they face in the wild, they wield the rifle Titanstrike, a techno-magical engineering marvel, perfect for staying on target.
The choice for BM hunters is the gun Titanstrike, which has a pretty cool lore if you ask me. It was designed by the Keeper Mimiron, for Keeper Thorim, two titanic watchers and iconic bosses from my favorite raid ever, Ulduar. I am thus assuming that BM hunters will be going back to such place while on their quest to acquire and improve their artifact, which is pretty rad!
I’m gonna be honest here although; while I do see and understand that this is part of Blizzard’s genuine attempt to get back to the very core of Beast Mastery’s fantasy, I have never been a fan of guns and I don’t even keep any in the void storage aside from my Widebarrel Flintlock, which is the big and only exception. Besides, a Blood Elf with a gun doesn’t even make sense to me in terms of lore. Perhaps for these reasons, I find the design of Titanstrike a little underwhelming and therefore, if I decide to play BM in Legion, I will most probably mog this the moment I acquire it. I know there are people who are really excited for this weapon and I’m happy for you guys, I really am- it’s just that I simply don’t feel the same.
Survival: Talonclaw, Spear of the Wild Gods
Survival Hunters are masters of enduring in the wild, using traps and snares to bleed their enemies. With the Ancient-touched Talonclaw, Spear of the Wild Gods in hand, they can finish their foes with one final thrust.
We knew melee hunter was coming back when the above image of Talonclaw, at the time named Eagle Spear, was first shown at Gamescom. Survival hunters will be dropping their ranged weapons in favor of this polearm, which looks pretty neat if you ask me. Talonclaw was crafted by the tauren from Highmountain many thousands of years ago and is considered to be a weapon of defenders of Azeroth and its wildlife.
And what happens when 7.0 hits the servers and you don’t own any polearm with current item level? Don’t worry, Blizzard’s got you covered.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I am feeling pretty curious and excited about the new Survival hunter and will surely give it a try when the proper time comes. But the artifact I really can’t wait to have in my hands is, obviously, the elven bow for MM hunters.
Marksmanship: Thas’dora, Legacy of the Windrunners
Marksmanship Hunters are at their best killing from afar. Having a trustworthy weapon in hand is vital, and no finer bow exists than Thas’dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners.
Before Thas’dorah was showed for the first time, I must confess I was expecting a new version of Thori’dal for this spec. After all, according to the Legendary’s description, it used to belong to Sylvanas herself until she fell in combat during the Scourge invasion of Quel’thalas. The Ranger General of the Farstriders, Halduron Brightwing, is the current wielder of this weapon and if, on the one hand, I’d rather see him keep it for another while, paladins and shamans will SOMEHOW be getting Ashbringer and Doomhammer from far more important characters, which still sounds too farfetched to me (there, I said it).
There may be, however, a strong reason for Blizz’s choice of Thas’dorah over Tho’ridal. According to Wowhead‘s summary of the Darkmoon Faire panels, which very sadly weren’t a part of the Virtual Ticket, the side story behind this artifact will basically revolve around Alleria and the recent events in her life!
As if the design of Thas’dorah wasn’t already enough for me to take my pick (there even appears to be a crossbow skin for it!), all the elven lore surrounding this artifact was what really sold this for me. And Alleria’s background has been such a mystery, after all- who isn’t dying to know what really happened to her and Turalyon after all these years?
Tonight’s final thoughts? If the hunter class changes made me feel torn about which spec I should play, artifacts make the choice even harder. I am in love with the concept of Beast Mastery’s new mechanics but I am not a fan of guns at all. On the other hand, Thas’dorah is a dream of a weapon for a blood elf, but it’s going to be utterly difficult for me to play without my pets for most of the time. Survival and Talonclaw stand in the middle as something I definitely want to try, but with the uncertainty about whether or not it feels comfortable for me to play.
But well, I’ve still got about nine months to decide. 🙂