World of Warcraft has been going strong for over a decade, but current subscription numbers put the king of MMOs at a 9-year low. To spark interest and continue the legendary MMORPG, Blizzard announced the sixth expansion for the game, Legion. While there's no release date for the new expansion, Blizzard has confirmed that the beta will begin before the end of the year.
As with almost every expansion for a massively multiplayer online RPG, Legion will increase the level cap from 100 to 110. Players who pre-order the expansion will be able to boost one character up to level 100 as a way to skip straight to endgame content and not have to waste time leveling up a character. This is helpful because a new class will be added in Legion.
The Demon Hunter class offers characters who share a striking resemblance to Illidan Stormrage, who was featured in the cinematic trailer for the expansion. In addition to the new class, players will have access to the Broken Isles continent. The Broken Isles is a long forgotten land that lies with the heart of Azeroth. It was once home to a Night Elf civilization, but now only a graveyard-like environment remains.
For those willing to brave the new land and take their characters up to level 110, new Artifact Weapons will await them. There are 36 different Artifact Weapons available, one for each class specialization. While they're powerful in their own right, players will be able to customize the look and attributes of the weapon to make it all their own. Not only will you have stats that vary with each player, but with the ability to customize the look of each weapon Blizzard avoids the issues of players looking very similar at level cap.
A good number of new dungeons will be added for Legion. Blizzard stated that the company feels dungeons have been given a bit of disservice in recent times, so expect quite a few dungeons in Legion to help make up for that. In addition, two raids have been confirmed for the new expansion. The first is the seven-boss Emerald Nightmare, while the second is a 10-boss raid called the Suramar Palace.
Changes are also coming to the player vs. player battles in World of Warcraft. The developers at Blizzard feel that gear is too important in PvP battles where player skill should reign supreme. To help counteract this, a new honor system will be implemented. As you rank your character up you will earn skills that are exclusive to PvP similar to the prestige system in the Call of Duty franchise.
There's still a lot of information we don't yet know about the upcoming expansion. Players were somewhat unhappy with the last expansion, Warlords of Draenor, showcased by the fact that the player base grew to over 10 million, then quickly dropped just above 5 million. It seems as though Blizzard is aware of the issues players had with Warlords of Draenor and has sought to correct those mistakes with Legion.
We'll have more on World of Warcraft: Legion in the coming weeks and months leading up to the beta and eventual retail release. In the meantime, check out the biggest announcements of Gamescom, including big announces for another big Blizzard property, Heroes of the Storm.