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Joined: 13 Jun 2011
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re: This Is My Artifact


Hello Panda's and welcome to our final week before Legion. Now that most have done the entrance stuff or seen the videos, I'm a bit sad as I look at our website header and see Varian, one of my favorite heroes, and a great leader of the alliance. Maybe we need to change our header now. Maybe we will leave it. Just think, years from now, people won't even know who he is. RIP Varian. Moving on.

So I have had some questions come through that surrounded how artifacts work and are upgraded. There is a lot of information out there, so I'm going to take the same approach that I did with world quests: what I wish I knew when I started. Elricck has done me a fantastic favor on getting this article rolling for you, and I hope that my additions ease the process of understanding how your artifact works.

Artifacts are the new weapons that you will be given almost immediately in the quest lines in Legion. You will receive a quest that will ask you which spec you want to do, and you will set out to obtain your artifact. Think of it as the Marine creed, "This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine....." That is your artifact. You might think but how will my item level go up if the weapon is always the same?! At first I thought the weapon scaled, and to an extent, it sort of works that way. Your artifact has four different categories that are going to increase: 1. Item Level 2. Artifact Traits, both major and minor 3. Artifact Knowledge 4. Artifact Power. Let's go over each area specifically.

Item Level

Your starting item level for your artifact will be 750. That means just over the item level for the current enchants. Don't worry, you won't need them right now. From the moment you obtain it, you will see that you have 2 relic slots open and 1 locked. The picture above shows what it looks like with two relics equipped and the additional socket locked. You will find this in your weapon menu, just above the trait tree. Relics are going to be how you raise the item level of your weapon. Pictured below, you will see a quest that is rewarding a relic:

Notice the green text. This relic gives 1 rank to a trait and 8 item levels. The better the relic, the more item levels you will get. Relic drops will scale with your current item level and the difficulty of the method they were obtained (ie: raid bosses versus random world drop versus dungeon).


Traits are the choices that you make in the artifact tree. There are two different types of traits: major and and minor. Minor traits will give you small passive buff to an ability that you have. Majors are your bread and butter, and ultimately what will guide your choices so that you obtain them. The provide the biggest alterations to your dps. Here is a picture of an artifact. The major traits are indicated by the dragon around them.

You will need to rank up a minor trait completely to unlock the ones linked to it. To rank up traits, you will purchase ranks with artifact power that you earn or place a point in them from relics that you have placed in the relic slots. Those points count too! IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CHOOSE CAREFULLY AND LAY OUT THIS PATH WISELY. In order to respec your artifact, you will have to spend the amount of artifact power it would cost to unlock the next trait. You should plan ahead to avoid ever having to respec. Early end-game, it will be important to have the correct path as these traits become very expensive as you go.

The amount of traits you have unlocked increases the amount of damage dealt and stamina you have up to the max 34 traits. Healers and Tanks will gain 0.75% stam and 1% damage dealt for every trait unlocked for every trait unlocked. Disc priests as a hybrid spec get 0.75% stam and +.5% damage dealt for every trait unlocked. DPS gain .75% stam for every trait unlocked. Source: Wowhead

When you have completely learned all traits because months have passed or because you literally have no life and farmed every since power that you could all the time, you will unlock bonus traits. These are like prestige levels to your weapon that are extremely expensive in terms of artifact power. Here is a chart for your reference!



Knowledge is pretty straight forward. You need to complete a small quest line after you have reached level 110 which will allow you to do work orders to increase your knowledge. This is essentially some old guy doing research on what your artifact is. You use the work orders to increase your knowledge rank. Increased knowledge ranks increase the amount of artifact power you get. It's just that simple. One key thing: knowledge is all weapons that you have, including your offspecs. It is not tied to just one weapon.


So now we have artifact power. This is the currency you use to purchase your traits. It's pretty simple aside from some important notes. You will get power from lots of things including running dungeons or doing quests. When you use items that grant artifact power such as the quest rewards, it will credit it to your active artifact. This means if you are dual specced and trying to work on multiple weapons, you really should just focus on one at first. For those that use two weapons like a shield and sword, these count as a single weapon in terms of where artifact power goes. Your offspec weapons should be just fine as your artifact power gains increase with your artifact knowledge. Remember that their trait costs start from level 1 no matter how many traits you bought on the first weapon.

Fun Stuff

 On top of the fact that we are running around with awesome weapons that just become more awesome as we unlock them, you have some fun stuff surrounding the artifacts. I'm going to be vague here in this post, but I will post a link for those that don't mind having the surprise spoiled. The well known things are skins for your artifact, and of course the secret skin that each one has. Don't forget about the intended secret fishing artifact I mentioned in the profession guide, which also has it's own trait tree. There are some awesome hidden things that have been confirmed by blue posts, which are intended to be a surprise with your weapon. It is also intended that you wouldn't know about it until you stumbled upon it. If you want to check it out: GO HERE

I think that about covers artifacts. The main questions I receive surround how to level it up and how the multiple specs and weapons interact. If there is something you would like further clarification on, please post it below! As always stay awesome Pandas!

This article brought to you by Elricck and Atrianna.



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Joined: 24 Mar 2015
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re: This Is My Artifact


Just food for thought but this was just confirmed.

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