Ahead of Battle for Azeroth‘s August 14 launch, Blizzard is gearing up for its typical pre-expansion patch. Patch 8.0 will introduce numerous tweaks and features, including the new PvP War Mode, when it goes live on July 17.
Battle for Azeroth brings the demise of conventional PvP servers, but don’t worry. You can still play PvP in the game’s world and, in fact, your rewards will be better than before. The pre-expansion patch will let players get started with the replacement: War Mode. Whenever you want to play PvP, you can turn it on inside a town via the menu. The next time you step out into the open world, you can square off against the opposing faction. There’s more incentive for opting into PvP combat. If you’re below max level, you’ll get an experience boost. If you’re capped, you’ll get additional rewards from quests.
You’ll also notice that all of your stat numbers have decreased. Don’t worry, though, stats, damage, and health, have dropped for both players and NPCs in an effort to make numbers more easily readable.
As the torch is passed to Azeroth, Legion‘s primary weapon, artifacts, is exiting the stage. Your artifact won’t be able to acquire power any longer, and the traits that you have unlocked and assigned through artifact leveling will be inactive. However, Blizzard said a good portion of your artifact traits has been added to your character’s class, so you won’t lose everything. For those who haven’t already played through Legion content, you will still be tasked with leveling up your artifact, but it will increase level automatically instead.
One of the biggest changes in the pre-expansion patch is to how progression works within professions. Blizzard has moved each expansion’s recipes into their own categories, each of which has their own leveling progression. The benefit here is that you won’t have to go back to previous expansion’s recipes to keep pace. You can focus all of your attention on the new recipes, if you so choose. The First Aid profession will be eliminated. Bandages will now be made by tailors and anti-venom serums will be handled by alchemists.
To ramp up the excitement for Battle for Azeroth, new story content and quests will be available until August 14. That means you’ll have to get in on the action pre-Azeroth, as the new content will disappear at launch. Additionally, a “Legion PvP post-season” will kick off in the weeks leading up to launch to give players the opportunity to snag some powerful new gear.