Legion: Thoughts on Artifacts and the Hunter class hall [Updated]

One of the things I’m most excited about in Legion is the focus on class identity. The fact that every spec gets some lore surrounding their artifact weapon is pretty cool to me. I don’t expect them to be ground-breaking quest lines (since they have to do 36 of them), but the very fact that each spec gets a little something unique means a lot. It puts a lot more weight behind your choice of spec, and sort of commits you to that choice. I think fewer people will be inclined to switch to “flavor of the month” specs if they’ve identified themselves as another spec already.

However, it does put a little more responsibility on Blizzard’s end to make sure classes with more than 1 DPS spec are relatively balanced. I think it’s important that every time a new patch or hotfix drops you don’t feel forced to abandon your artifact journey because of numbers.


Even though I’m playing Marksmanship right now because of raiding, I still identify myself as a Beast Mastery Hunter. Barring any wild changes or ridiculous imbalance, I definitely see myself going that route in Legion.

I do have to wonder, if the artifact system was in place for Warlords, would I still be playing Beast Mastery? It’s not like its damage is terrible, it’s just that Marksmanship does really well in HFC fights. If I was already invested in the BM artifact, maybe I would have just stayed BM?

The BM gun - Best quality available for now

One of the BM guns – Best quality available for now

I guess it all depends on how easy it is to catch up with your secondary spec artifact. Part of me wants there to be no catch up, so that your spec choice is truly a meaningful choice (speaking from a Hunter perspective, I understand healers/tanks are in a different situation). The other part of me wants artifact points and artifact relics to 100% share between all of your specs simply because I do not trust Blizzard to keep the specs balanced (sorry, Blizzard). I suspect the reality will be somewhere in the middle, even though I’d prefer it to be one of those two extremes.

As for the Hunter artifacts themselves, I like the choices: bow for Marksmanship, gun for Beast Mastery, and giant polearm/spear for Survival. I know some of you are upset that MM doesn’t have the gun, or BM doesn’t have the bow, but it’s hard to please everyone. If you gave people a choice between the artifacts regardless of spec, it would also take away from the fantasy and lore behind the weapon. The good news is, if you’re a BM hunter who hates guns you can still transmog your artifact.


I like the idea of two separate forms of progression on the artifacts — artifact points and relics.

  • Artifact Points are what you earn simply for doing stuff in game: Questing, dungeons, raids, PvP, etc. These points are used to unlock traits, which is essentially a mini talent tree for your weapon. These traits add bonuses to your spec’s abilities. You pick the order these traits unlock, but eventually you can unlock all of them.
  • Relics are things you slot into your weapon which increase its power, as if you were getting a weapon upgrade. DPS, stats, etc. They also hinted at relics being able to modify traits on the weapon.

Weapons won’t drop in Legion, but any time they otherwise would have, it’ll just drop a relic instead. At least that’s what it sounds like.

The Artifact Points system sounds like it’s going to be the new reward for leveling up, rather than adding more talent tiers or class abilities. Sort of like the Draenor perk system. I could be wrong and they’ll add another talent tier, but I am skeptical. I think the final trait of your weapon could fill this need.

The Hunter Class Hall — Where will it be?

Update: The location of the Hunter class hall was revealed in a recent Gamescom interview. Here was their response when asked:

Ion Hazzikostas: I believe it is in the peaks of the zone High Mountain. It’s because they have a hunters lodge up there.

My original speculation on the location of the class hall follows (hey, at least I was right about what Legion zone it would be in!)

Class Order Halls will be the place you customize your artifact weapon and presumably complete the quests for it. There will also be a few other things there, like your Champions (evolution of garrison followers), but it is not a true garrison replacement.

The big question is, where’s the Hunter hall going to be? We’ve already heard about a couple of other classes which can give us some hints: Paladins are at Light’s Hope Chapel and Shaman are at the Maelstrom. So where would a Hunter one be?

Here’s a few of my best picks:


Grizzly Hills

Grizzly Hills seems like the perfect spot to set up a Hunter’s lodge.  Is it feasible they’d set up a class hall in old content like this? Well, some of the examples they gave are outside of the Broken Isles, so it’s certainly possible.

Inside we need a shooting range, a stable, and a bar (like the header image).

sholazarSholazar Basin

Home to some of our most coveted pets. I can see there being some kind of Hunter camp in a place like this. Also, Nesingwary.

stranglethornStranglethorn Vale

Another zone where I’d feel home in some kind of Hunter camp. Who says it has to be an actual hall?

lochmodanLoch Modan

Unlikely since it’s an Alliance zone, but it’s still one of my favorites. Hunters could have some kind of retreat in up in the mountains like the one above.


Perhaps a more likely scenario is that our class order hall will be located in the Broken Isles. If that’s the case, I can definitely see Highmountain fitting the bill.

It’s got moose. Come on.

(They better be tameable.)

One more thing I hope they do with class order halls is take the opportunity to give every class in the game its own class mount. It could be done through a quest line at your hall, and the hunter one should probably be a sweet looking bear (assuming they finally update bear models). Better yet, let us ride one of our pets.

What would you like to see out of the Hunter class hall?



42 thoughts on “Legion: Thoughts on Artifacts and the Hunter class hall [Updated]”

  1. i would definitely love to be able to ride one of my pets as a long time bm hunter, they’re already big enough (most of my pets are my size if not bigger as a blood elf). class mounts would be wonderful, next to the ones we have already. i also hope our hunter hall will be in highmountain or grizzly hills, since farstrider retreat probably won’t make it ;p

    as for what i want out of the hall, essentially what you put forth in the post! i’m very curious to see what champions we will get to recruit, i’m definitely hoping nesingwary shows up, as well as rexxar. those meese better be tamable!

  2. I’d really like to see a camp in STV. I’ve loved it since vanilla. I think its more likely to see something like Grizzly Hills or Highmount though. MM Hunter is my first love, I’ll be switching back from BM for that bow.

  3. I am also a little concerned with how much the order hall will crash for hunters given our popularity versus monks or rogues. I assume a lot of our artifact quests will start from there. The launch of WoD caused a big mess in my guild where a lot of folks ended up server transferring temporarily off our server. So unlike other expansions I did a lot more solo leveling.

  4. Bendak’s dwarf is showing just a teensy bit here. ;P There definitely needs to be some elven flavor, and troll flair! I mean, everything but gnomes can be hunters, so I could see a lot of options for hunter aesthetic.

  5. As someone who loves BM, I’m really unhappy about being forced to use a gun. In fact it’s one of my main issues with the whole system. I mean sure, I could mog over it, but that kind of defeats the point. If my blood elf wants the beautiful bow, I’ll be forced to spec and do content in MM, which I don’t enjoy.

    1. Would you rather be forced to melee? Or think of MM, no pet? Those changes combine to be a horrible design decision.

      At least you will still have a choice to xmog out of the cosmetic that you don’t like. If your marks or SV and still want to play ranged with a pet, you know… play a hunter, your forced to play BM.

      1. as long as the weapon is not considered legendary. I am still wearing my legendary panda cape (because it’s the best I have ATM) and can’t xmog over it because ‘it’s legendary’. Bleh. It’s annoying!

        1. It’s an artifact, not a legendary and they have already stated you can transmog them to other looks but not other weapons to look like them, including one artifact to another.

    2. I’m in the reverse circumstance. In 10 years of play, I’ve never used a bow for more than a few minutes. I’d like to have a new graphic gun, but I’m a Marksman — always have been. I’d love it if we could transmog one artifact look onto another artifact. (I suspect the BM gun will benefit pets, which will make it sub-par as a Marksman choice.)

  6. I understand the Artifact system for a lot of classes and specs since it helps differentiate between them.

    However, in the case of MM/BM or Bows vs Guns I really don’t see a reason. A Bow is not more Marksmanship like than a Gun nor is a gun more beastmastery than bow. I’d love it if we get a quest at the start of Legion which when handing in the quest allows us to select the weapon-type we want.

    For my Dwarf I’ll always prefer a gun but I can imagine that elves would prefer a bow.

    I know this probably will not happen since probably only hunters have such a strong preference for which type of weapon they wield.

    I’m not convinced that lore-wise it makes sense for hunters to band together. Hunters typically should be alone in the wild together with their pets. The only hunter organization in WoW is the WHU 😉

    As for the location of the Hunter Hall. I hope it won’t be on the Lost Isles but somewhere in Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms so it will still be useful after the expansion as a quick way to get to a capital city. Of course a Giant Airship shaped like a gun would also be cool.

    1. You’re right, I think this issue is something unique to hunters since we’re so used to freely transmogging between bows and guns. A ret pally expects a sword, a shaman expects a mace, etc…. for hunters the choice is a little more personal.

      But since we’re the exception here I’m not sure they’ll do anything.

      1. Maybe at some point one of the Artifact ‘powers’ will be to make it look like the opposite ranged option. They already use the power thing to mog it into different looks, it doesn’t sound like a terrible long shot to add just a wee bit more.
        And yes, we are the exception. But a) we’re still like 14% of the playerbase b) Blizzard has put time in for just a single class before.
        So I shall continue to hope. I play a nelf. So I ‘NEED’ a bow. I love my pets. So I get a gun (ok, or a spear). I think they recognise that this will always be an issue. Probably rooted in the fact that it’s a choice rooted into a certain type of fantasy. I prefer the classical bows over the mecha/steampunk guns. I prefer dragons over tanks. I like my saber mounts more than I like my choppers.
        And the gun/bow is the closest most personal variation of that choice. So I will mog away my gun as a BM hunter…but it will be with some regret as it already feels like I am missing out on some of the cool cosmetic versions they build for the artifacts.

  7. I’ll be playing survival on an old Troll Hunter (bringing her up to speed as we speak) and though I like the idea of her with a spear, I probably wont use any of the Eagle Spear designs. The Horde Honor Polearm on the other hand, fits the Amani Mail pretty well. Thank god for mogging!

    As for the Class Hall: How about Quel’Lithien in the Eastern Plaguelands? Nobody needs the Wretched there anyway.

  8. I would like to see a class being able to transmog each one of their artifacts into one of the other specs artifacts, if that makes sense. I love my bows and even as a BM I just can’t see myself wearing a gun. Would love to transmog the gun into this awesome artifact bow 🙂

  9. I love your ideas about the location of a Class Hall (and yes, Iron Forge works for me).
    My ideal Class Hall, assuming instanced, would include the chance to step out into that zone’s location. I would love to say to a fellow hunter, “Meet me at the class hall, we’ll set up your macro and go out and test on a dummy.”
    I’d like a Daily Leader Board on some target dummy for highest dps of the day in a Class Hall.
    I’d like to see areas where my pet won’t path in my Class Hall.
    I’d like to see a statue to Big Red Kitty.
    I’d like built-in charts or a library for … say … pet buffs. Simcrafting. Raid logs (is that what they are called?).
    I’d want a port to the Proving Grounds, a greatly improved Proving Grounds that let you work on your rotation and test your talents.
    A Class Hall should have some class, along with a decent bar it could have a chapel. Lots of sunshine.

  10. I’d really like for Gnomes to finally be able to be hunters. It makes no sense to me that every race can be a hunter except the ones that make the guns. I’m sure some gnome got tired of the daily grind in Tinkertown, made himself a gun, befriended a badger, and took off into the wilderness. Let’s make that happen! 🙂

    1. I’ve never understood the WoW logic of how a gnome can be a warrior wearing heavy plate (given their diminutive bodies and lore-wise physical weakness.) I’d concede to DK’s because they are supernatural and empowered. Yet sensibly tauren are too big to be rogues. I’d personally like it better if they could be hunters and not warriors. Just makes more sense.

  11. Speaking as a broken-hearted SV hunter, one who refuses to become what is essentially a warrior with a pet, I will probably end up as Beast Mastery in Legion. But I have always been a bow hunter, so I guess my only option is to transmog out of the artifact gun.

    Still, Blizz has not shown any compunctions about treating hunters as a special class when it comes time to experiment on them, so it would be nice if they threw us a bone in the form of a positive experiment by letting BM hunters choose bow or gun. I say let BM choose, because in my opinion it is the only real hunter spec Blizz has left us. Without a pet, without high mobility, and without ranged physical damage, you are no longer a hunter.

    1. As an old school SV hunter I loved wrecking people with melee. I would love for it to be a 50/50 split between melee and ranged attacks but I’m picking it will be more like 70/30. You will still have ranged abilities, you just will not auto attack. I would actually like it if you didn’t melee auto swing either and instead had to weave strikes, with your pet making the white dmg. I also think they could mesh in most of the SV play type into the other two specs options so you can still ‘do’ what you like about SV.

      In a unrelated reply about the Class Hall location, I like the idea of some pvp between the opposite factions of other classes. This would mean two pure dps classes having there Halls in the same location. Hunters and Warriors feel like a great combination to me, with Nesingwary and Gurubashi Arena in STV being likely destinations.

  12. I’ve always viewed Winterspring as my home, but I’m not sure I’d want every Hunter on Emerald Dream rolling through there on a daily basis. I’ve got a nice cabin in the mountains and plenty of game to hunt. Drop a hunter lodge in the middle of all that and the place will be overhunted and gentrified in the space of a month. So yeah, I can see Grizzly Hills as a good choice.

  13. As an elven hunter on both sides of the conflict, spec’d in BM on both as well, I really want that bow. Especially on my Horde Belf. C’mon, Sylvannas’ bow and I can’t have it??? I’ll be switching to MM I guess. It’s a shame because I do like the idea of each spec and its weapon lore. Maybe the idea of presenting all three weapons and offering the choice is the way to go. Blizz could even make it a one-shot deal. Your choice is non-reversible.
    As for Hunter Hall, I like all the choices (except IF) and I have a couple of my own. Looking at neutral territories, or close to neutral, I can remember all the fun of the contested area between Tarren Mill and Southshore. That might be a good spot. Another great spot would be in Un’goro, near the portal to Sholazar Basin. Or another scenario would be for Blizz to create some area, not too big, that had a nice variety of critters running around in a jungle setting. Portal in and out, maybe a short trail run and there it is…almost like the Black Prince’s inn at Tavern In The Mists.
    Just my thoughts on the subject. Bottom line is that whatever Blizz chooses, I’ll REALLY be looking forward to this expansion. Already have my two slots waiting for my DH’s.

  14. What really bugs me is that Blizz drops this bombshell info on us and then goes into silence mode. There is so much unclear concerning artifacts in pvp, stats and pets in pvp and the new Survival Hunter in general and we get nothing from them. As they say in my country: Put some butter by the fishes, Blizz!

  15. Not sure either will matter to me. I love SV and hate BM. So I have been trying MM with LW and it seems weird having no pet. I also have never liked the slow and clunky MM play-style.

    Sad, Hunter has always been my first love, my main… but the SV change to melee coupled with MM losing the pet may cause me to hang up the bows and guns for good.

    So as far as Hunter artifacts and class halls.. Demon Hunter Glaives and Black Temple sound pretty cool about now!

  16. Where will the Hunter Hall be….Hrmm. Feralas sounds like an option as well. We could have a loch modan like retreat against some of the mountains there or reclaim feathermoon island. And if you get to suggest Ironforge, then I shall go suggest Ghostlands; Windrunner village. Mostly as that is about the only place I really connect with hunters, but it is just as likely as Ironforge or Loch Modan due to being a bit too tied to a faction.

    There probably will have to be some sort of catch up mechanism on the artifacts, especially if the power increase of it is as significant as they make it sound, due to the healers and tanks. While doing the basic pve stuff as a tank is not a big deal (my dk happily smashes things in Tanaan in blood spec), doing so as a healer will be a bit less smooth. Levelling to 110 as a druid or priest as a dps to then have to regrind everything for a half decent healer artifact might create a shortage of healers for the lvl 110 content in the beginning.
    And making it harder for people to pick up a secondary role will not do much to improve the already rather long wait times for a dps in queue content (timewalking content: 20 minutes as a dps. 0 seconds as a tank (ok, 30 seconds as a tank if some dps fell asleep and fails to click the accept button when he/she finally gets in) LFR: 90-120 minutes as a dps; 10-15 as a tank).

    And as a final afterthought: Could I get a triple spec? Though I am unsure how much I will hate/love the survival melee implementation, I will most likely want all 3 artifacts without locking me down in a melee spec + whichever of the other 2 specs is the better raiding choice.

  17. I’m bricking it, that MM will be sub par in terms of DPS. I have never, nor will ever play BM.

    In the event of MM being crap, reckon I’m done. I won’t play melee, I’m long enough in the
    saddle to remember the attitudes towards melee hunters back in vanilla.

    I hate being melodramatic about it, but I’m still sore about losing arcane shot and then SV in
    WoD being run down into a joke of a spec.

  18. I won’t be going to any huntard hall anyways, especially if it will be anything like trade. Too many epeens showing. It also looks like I will be stuck with only BM as a spec as I refuse to go MM or SV now as melee, which in turn means I will be stuck with the gun. My main has always been SV since just before BC came out but had to switch to BM for this current expansion. Sorry, no hunter should be melee, period. Way too many melee classes now and with demon hunters coming in, just another one to get in the way. Shades of Wrath where you stack everything up and aoe dps/heal.

    1. No you cannot. At least that is going to be my guess due to the whole optional unlockable skin thing.

      But that does sound like a rather neat solution and one I would like to see Blizzard implement after they buckle under the assault of all night elves stuck with guns and dwarves stuck with bows. I’m perfectly fine if it requires me to grind a bit to get the other artifact weapons so that I can be able to turn my gun into a bow.

        1. You can transmog a non-artifact appearance onto your artifact, but you cannot transmog artifact appearances onto anything else, including other artifacts. This is really only an issue for hunters when you think about it, so not sure if they’d bother making an exception just for us.

          1. They’ve always been against using legendaries for transmog, so I doubt artifacts will suddenly be treated any differently. Still, we’re a big prominent class and they’ve done extra work for us in the past. Like Gara, or the fel wolf. Or the special taming challenges.

            And they do know of our issue with guns vs bows, seeing (much to the dismay of other classes at that time) we where the first to mog different weapon types in 4.2.something in 2011.

            But then again, I won’t let it sway me from bm…but that’s probably cause I like a pet more then I like a bow. Both for gameplay and emotional reasons….I love my furry/scaly/stony/etc-y companions.

            So yeah, the optimistic mind might hope for it to happen in some form, perhaps in some later patch.

  19. I doubt it’s anything more complex than a yes/no flag in the code to allow something to be tmog’d. There’s no good reason not to allow it other than they are choosing not to. Given the immersive nature of a hunter choosing their weapon it’s short sighted of Bliz to prevent us from choosing which way we want to go for the ranged specs. Yet … that’s never stopped them before.

  20. ‘The Hunter’s Class hall will be in the peaks of High Mountain.’ Chilton in MMOGames interview. So there we go.

  21. My question is whether we will be able to get the Artifact Quest, offered early on, on each of our specs? It can’t be class only and have us locked out of dual speccing.
    Even things like the legendary rings offer alternate choices as you move up the chain (my healer also has a dps ring).
    How painful that path will be is the key to the expansion with artifacts.
    if we can turn in a relic or gain a relic from doing a raid boss, for example, can I “at the same time” mirror the reward on my bow as well as my gun?

  22. Really looking forward to this expansion! I mean I usually am, but the focus on specific classes is a great idea and the iconic weapons, plus I’m a huge Burning Legion fan boy… anything fel green or demon based lore is interesting to me (even if I don’t like Warlocks!), so it’s all right where I like it!

    I hope Highmountain is similar to Grizzy Hills, that would make the lodge pretty amazing. I think it was an Alliance spot in Grizzy Hils, where you had quests and it was on the edge of the cliff overlooking something… then the lodge that was deep Northeast with the deer running around… really goods spots!

    The whole iconic weapons things is brilliant. It feels since the start we were always such small cogs… sure I get how it works and it was pretty neat, and it made when something iconic dropped like the Skull of Gul’dan or that corrupted ashbringer pretty amazing to own. Even Gorehound I think was somewhere… and of course all the replicas and stuff like Shadowmourn…. but to actually have the fragments of Frostmourn or wield the actually Ashbringer or Doomhammer… come on… that some pretty epic stuff!

    I love this game but since I’ve played since Orcs and Humans, lore is also extremely important to me, as well as any flavor so seeing this stuff make it in game and obtainable with story/quests behind it thrills me!

  23. I’m down for fighting side by side with my pet as a SV hunter. I plan on mogging the pole arm into a staff and going with a “forest protector/druid ally” flavor for my NE hunter.

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