Battle for Azeroth – First look

BlizzCon is here, and with it comes the new expansion announcement! World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth brings a lot of awesome-looking new content and some interesting system changes. We’ll just be covering the very few changes to Elemental that we’ve seen thus far, with the caveat that this is very, very early pre-alpha. None of what is written will be final!

New races

Of the new “Allied races”, we assume the following can be shamans:

  • Highmountain Tauren – confirmed
  • Zandalari Trolls – unconfirmed
  • Dark Iron Dwarves – unconfirmed

And we know for a fact that the following races cannot be shamans:

  • Nightborne Elves
  • Lightforged Draenei
  • Void Elves


Artifact weapons are going away at the start of the expansion, replaced by a new system called the Heart of Azeroth. This is a necklace that unlocks a new progression system in different pieces of armour (head, chest and shoulders were shown). You collect a new resource from various activities across the game world, used to empower the Heart of Azeroth. When it reaches a certain power level, you unlock a tier in an armour piece. This tier contains multiple traits and you have to decide which one you want to activate for this particular item. DPS and utility traits are confirmed to be on separate tiers. Each item will have handcrafted trait distributions and will always drop with the same traits. It was mentioned that items from more difficult content are going to be more powerful, but we’re unsure what this means just yet.

Elemental changes

Lightning Rod has been removed. In its place is a redesigned Stormkeeper:

1.35 sec cast. 1 min cooldown
Charge yourself with lightning, causing your next 2 Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightnings to be instant cast and trigger an Mastery: Elemental Overload on every target.

It’s important to note that this new Stormkeeper is castable while moving. It no longer provides the damage increase, but instead gives the Static Overload effect on both Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning used.

Chain Lightning has been changed a little bit too, generating 4 Maelstrom per target hit (down from 6 per target hit).

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more!