World of Warcraft: Legion

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"Legion" redirects here. For other uses, see Legion (disambiguation).
World of Warcraft: Legion
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Team 2
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Director(s) Tom Chilton
Ion Hazzikostas
Alex Afrasiabi
Designer(s) Cory Stockton
Jonathan LeCraft
Jeremy Feasel
Brian Holinka
Chadd Nervig
Composer(s) Russell Brower
Neal Acree
Clint Bajakian
Platforms Microsoft Windows, macOS
  • NA/EU: August 30, 2016[1]
Latest release 7.3.5
Genre(s) Expansion pack
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Expansion packs chronology

Warlords of Draenor
Battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft: Legion is the sixth expansion for World of Warcraft. It was announced at gamescom on 6 August 2015 and released on 30 August 2016,[2][3] selling 3.3 million copies by the end of launch day.[4] The expansion's alpha went live on 23 November 2015,[5] then concluded on 10 May 2016 in order for the beta to start two days later.[6] The pre-expansion patch, patch 7.0.3, was released on 19 July 2016. Legion would later be merged with the base game on 18 July 2018, thus only requiring game time to access its content.[7]

Legion was offered in three versions: Standard Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition and Collector's Edition.


Kingdoms Will Burn

The Tomb of Sargeras has been reopened, and the demons of the Burning Legion pour into our world. Their full, terrifying might is fixed on summoning the Dark Titan to Azeroth-and they've already located the key to his return.
With the Alliance and Horde devastated, adventurers must take up legendary artifacts and weapons used by the heroes of old, scour the ancient Broken Isles for relics of the Titans, and challenge the Burning Legion before Azeroth's last hope dies.
Steel yourself, champion. Extinction is imminent.[8]

Following the events of Warlords of Draenor, the alternate Draenor's Gul'dan is expelled by his demonic masters into the original Azeroth with a special purpose - to reopen the Tomb of Sargeras and the gateway to Argus, commencing the third invasion of the Burning Legion, an invasion even greater than the War of the Ancients. Gul'dan also had to find and steal the body of the famous demon hunter Illidan Stormrage.

After the defeat at the Broken Shore, the defenders of Azeroth found themselves exploring the long-forgotten Broken Isles in search of the Pillars of Creation, titan relics which were used to shape the world - and which were Azeroth's only hope for closing the massive demonic portal at the heart of the Tomb. However, the Broken Isles - a land which 10,000 years ago was home to the then mighty night elf civilization - came with their own perils to overcome, from the demon lord Xavius and his satyr armies, to the vrykul's God-King Skovald, to the powerful nightborne night elves, and the deadly naga led by Tidemistress Athissa.

As part of this desperate search, the Kirin Tor, now led by Khadgar, moved the floating city of Dalaran to the shores of this land, with the city serving as a central hub for the efforts of the world's heroes. The death knights of Acherus also took their floating necropolis to the Isles.

To defend their world against the onslaught of the Legion, the heroes of Azeroth sought out legendary artifact weapons to wield in battle, but also found themselves embracing new and unexpected allies in the form of the Illidari, Illidan's elite disciples, freed in desperation by the Wardens that guarded them to fight against the Legion in this hour of need.

Ongoing conflict between the Alliance and the Horde led to the formation of the class orders, with exceptional commanders putting aside faction to lead their classes in the fight against the Legion.

Official wallpaper.
Box art.


Bonus features

Players pre-purchasing Legion also received the following bonuses:[2]

The Digital Deluxe and Collector Edition came with the following bonuses:[2]

New zones

Level up zones

Max level zones

Dungeons and raids


An overgrown enclave in Darkheart Thicket.


The Fallen Avatar awaits in the Tomb of Sargeras.


The expansion saw story-based modifications made to Dalaran, including changes to the center (most notably Aegwynn's Tower) as well as the Underbelly, which saw a new free for all PvP area.[10]


Customizing the Blades of the Fallen Prince in the death knight Class Hall.
Main article: Artifact

Legion introduced Artifacts, a special new type of weapon that served as the only weapon a player would wield over the course of the expansion.

Players acquired these new weapons early in the expansion's run, and the item grew in power alongside players. Players earned Artifact Power through engaging in most types of play, and spent this to unlock a unique tree of traits traced upon the form of their Artifacts, enhancing their abilities. Players also obtained Artifact relics from major content such as dungeons and raids, and socketed them within the Artifact to increase their power. Artifacts also came with an extensive range of visual customization options.

There is an Artifact for each class specialization, 36 in total. For example, Blood death knights and Frost death knights have different Artifacts. Obtaining each Artifact involves a unique quest to seek out these powerful weapons.

Class Orders

Main article: Class Order

Class Orders represent the collective effort of each class to band together to face the threat posed by the return of the Burning Legion.[11] With tensions between the Alliance and Horde preventing faction leaders from working closely, it is up to the classes themselves to unite to focus on this threat, and do what needs to be done.[11]

After their success on Draenor, the players are looked to as the leader for their entire class. The Class Order creation process begins with the acquisition of an Artifact. With this serving to inspire the allegiance of the other members of the player's class, the player founds their Class Hall.[11]

Class Halls

The paladin Class Hall, in a hidden templar sanctum beneath Light's Hope Chapel.
Main article: Class Hall

Class Orders have their base of operations at unique Class Halls, special locations with a strong connection to the class. These class-specific areas only allow access to players of the corresponding class, and serve as a center for coordinating the efforts of that class, including sending champions on missions.

Class Halls are in many ways Legion's counterpart to Warlords of Draenor's garrisons. They serve as a secondary hub for players outside of the main capital of Dalaran, and allow players to command a team of champions to undertake special missions. A key difference to garrisons is that the Class Halls are realm-wide, and are open to all characters of that class, including characters of both factions.[11][10] Class Halls were not intended to players' main residence during the expansion, but instead somewhere to travel to send champions on missions, customize Artifacts, and pick up special quests, before likely returning to the capital of Dalaran.


The evolution of the Warlords of Draenor follower system, Class Halls featured class champions, which the player is able to send on missions.

In contrast to the follower system, which saw players recruiting a large number of miscellaneous characters, in Legion players command a far small force of exceptional champions, with some fairly major lore characters such as Lady Liadrin. As with followers, players send their champions on missions, but these missions were more integrated into the rest of the game experience, unlocking content and enabling the player in related zones. For example, missions may open new areas for questing, or grant special buffs to the player while in certain zones. Players were intended to work alongside and with their champions, rather than competing with them for rewards.

Class and specialization identity

A major theme of Legion was the forging of clear and distinct identities not only for each class, but also for each specialization. While some of this was achieved through the Class Order and Artifact systems, the developers also planned on making significant changes to the concept, design and in some cases main functionalities of the existing specs.[12] Even a specialization was renamed to be more distinct - "Combat" rogue was changed to Outlaw.

Player versus player content

Earning ranks in the new honor system.

Legion saw some of the biggest changes to the player vs player experience in the history of World of Warcraft, with the removal of PvP gear, a dramatic reduction of gear significance in PvP, the disabling of trinkets, set bonuses, enchantments and gems in PvP, automatic adjustment of player stats while in PvP, and the introduction of the first true honor talents.

A major theme of Legion was the separation of PvP and PvE, to an extent that had not been seen before. Long requested by some players, the division was intended to finally allow the designers to create two different versions of the classes, allowing for far better balance in both arenas.

New honor system

Main article: Honor system (Legion)

At the heart of the changes lies the new honor system. The new system removed [Honor Points] and [Conquest Points], replacing them with a new PvP talent system, granting access to new abilities that functioned only in PvP combat, representing the major division in abilities between PvP and PvE.

Players also earned "prestige ranks" for access to cosmetic rewards. The intention was that players who wish to focus purely on gameplay can quickly reach the maximum power for their character, and enjoy PvP without being at any disadvantage. Meanwhile, those players interested in cosmetic rewards, or simply attaining recognition for their achievements, can choose to pursue the prestige ranks, giving them more substantial goals to work toward over time.

The new honor system was also intended to heavily reduce the importance of player gear in PvP play. In the new system, the significance of gear was heavily scaled down, with the best gear in the game providing perhaps a 7% advantage over a character who had just reached max level. This aimed to still provide some satisfaction from acquiring new gear, but to for the most part remove the significance of gear from PvP, returning the focus to playing ability as well strategic options such as talent choices. It also saw the complete removal of PvP gear itself, along with PvP stats such as resilience.[10]

System changes

Besides the new honor system, Legion saw other major changes to PvP:

  • When entering a battleground or PvP area, the stats of each player were adjusted automatically based on their specialization. This is intended to allow the developers to balance each class and specialization for PvP specifically, without affecting PvE.[13]
  • Trinkets, set bonuses, enchantments and gems did not activate in PvP. This again served to separate the two types of play. Their removal was expected to dramatically reduce unpredictable burst damage, making sustained damage more important. The impact of these effects was replaced by the PvP talent system. For example, the traditional PvP trinket was replaced by the very first PvP talent earned.[13]

Prominent figures

Illidan, Khadgar, and Velen witness the appearance of Argus in the sky.
Main characters
Sargeras impaling Azeroth after the death of Argus the Unmaker.

Factions and organizations

New creatures

  • IconSmall NightmareMedium.gifIconSmall NightmareLesser.gifIconSmall FelHaunt.gif Haunt (new types that aren't sha)
New notable unique creatures

System requirements

Main article: System requirements


The alpha for Legion went live on the 11th anniversary of the release of the original World of Warcraft.[5] Flying was not available at launch and came later much like in Warlords of Draenor, with the  [Broken Isles Pathfinder, Part Two] achievement.[9]

It was stated that BlizzCon 2015 would most likely have the "first playable tour of the world".[14]

The demon hunter class had been considered since Wrath of the Lich King. They were added in this expansion because it finally fit into the story.[15] Demon hunter was also considered for The Burning Crusade, but the developers were not ready to add another class at that time.[10]

Legion had the most voice acting of any expansion to date.[16]

It was decided that the intro cinematic feature a war-zone, but the "emotional hook" was decided upon later. Going into war tropes, the cinematics team settled on the idea of an individual writing letters home, and echoing the themes of "why do we fight?" and "what is worth fighting for?" Original concepts had these letters being written by an Alliance footman, and transitioning the sequence to an orc grunt. The sequence would end with Varian writing a letter to Anduin.[17] It was decided that while it was clear that the Alliance and Horde were on their way to fight the Burning Legion, they would be fighting the environment itself to some extent.[18] The design of the airships was taken from 18th century frigates.[19]


Tie-in literature



Concept art

Legion Art Contest Winners




  1. ^ Andy Chalk 2016-04-19. World of Warcraft: Legion will arrive in August. PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  2. ^ a b c Image from official site (cached by MMO-champion). Retrieved on 2015-11-05.
  3. ^ The Legion Returns August 30 - World of Warcraft. Retrieved on 2016-04-18.
  4. ^ Blizzard Press Center: World of Warcraft: Legion Ignites Worldwide Playerbase
  5. ^ a b MMO-Champion: Legion Alpha Live, Wardrobe UI, Artifact Weapon Videos (2015-11-23).
  6. ^ Legion Dev Update Liveblog with Jesse Cox and Ion Hazzikostas - Beta Starts May 12th!. Wowhead News (2016-05-10). Retrieved on 2016-05-11.
  7. ^ Subscribe to WoW and Play Every Expansion Through Legion!. Blizzard Entertainment (2018-07-18). Archived from the original on 2021-11-27.
  8. ^ Official site - Legion. Retrieved on 2015-08-13.
  9. ^ a b c d e f chaud 2015-08-09. Legion Dev Talk, Dev Interviews. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2015-08-09.
  10. ^ a b c d Dev Interviews, Rogue Order Hall, Blue Posts, Warcraft Movie Prop Contest, DLC #500 (2015-08-11).
  11. ^ a b c d 41:50
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Brian Holinka talks PVP in Legion (2015-08-17).
  14. ^ chaud 2015-08-21. Patch 6.2.2 PTR - Build 20426, Dev Interviews, Patch 6.2.2 Development, Blue Tweets. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2015-08-21.
  15. ^ chaud 2015-08-08. Dev Interviews, August 6-7 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Pet Battle Bonus Event, Legion Art. MMO-Champion. Retrieved on 2015-08-09.
  16. ^ BlizzCon 2015 Legion Q&A (around 55:15)
  17. ^ 2016-01-08, BlizzCon 2015 World of Warcraft Cinematics: The Road to Legion panel transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2016-01-11
  18. ^ 2016-01-08, BlizzCon 2015 World of Warcraft Cinematics: The Road to Legion panel transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2016-01-13
  19. ^ 2016-01-08, BlizzCon 2015 World of Warcraft Cinematics: The Road to Legion panel transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2016-01-13
  20. ^ 2019 World of Warcraft: Q&A Liveblog
  21. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Legion, pg. 90
  22. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Legion, pg. 46 and 53
  23. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Legion, pg. 50

External links