Players can acquire these new weapons early in the expansion's run, and the weapons will grow in power alongside players. Players will be able to earn Artifact Power through engaging in most types of play, and can spend this to unlock a unique tree of traits traced upon the form of their Artifacts, enhancing their abilities. Players can also obtain relics from major content such as dungeons and raids, and use these to upgrade the Artifact itself. Artifacts also come with an extensive range of visual customization options.
There is an Artifact for each class specialization, 36 in total, plus an additional one for Fishing. For example, Blood death knights and Frost death knights will have different Artifacts. Obtaining each Artifact will involve a unique quest to seek out these powerful weapons.
List of Artifacts
|Death knight||Blood||Travel to the Legion world of Niskara to slay Gorelix and steal the axe from him.|
|Frost||Blades of the Fallen Prince ( and )||Seek out the shards of Frostmourne in Icecrown Citadel where they lay after the defeat of the Lich King, and reforge them into a pair of runeblades|
|Unholy||Delve into the catacombs beneath Karazhan and retake the blade from the Dark Riders.|
|Demon hunter||Havoc||Twinblades of the Deceiver ( and )||Storm the Broken Shore to take out the traitor Varedis Felsoul|
|Vengeance||Aldrachi Warblades ( and )||Return to the Broken Shore and take the warblades from Caria Felsoul|
|Druid||Balance||Delve into the catacombs beneath Karazhan and retake the scythe from the Dark Riders.|
|Feral||Fangs of Ashamane ( and )||Travel to Ashmane's fall, then chase after Verstok Darkbough in Falanaar.|
|Guardian||Claws of Ursoc ( and )||Prove your worth to Ursol to obtain the claws in Grizzly Hills.|
|Restoration||Retrieve the branch from the dream and cleanse it at the Well of Eternity.|
|Hunter||Beast Mastery||Delve into an ancient Vrykul tomb and retrieve the ancient gun.|
|Marksmanship||Travel with Vereesa Windrunner to the Legion world of Niskara to find Alleria Windrunner.|
|Survival||Track down the beast that killed its last wielder and retrieve it from the beast's cave.|
|Mage||Arcane||Travel to the Nexus to retake the staff from the Ethereum.|
|Fire||(and )||Team up with Archmage Aethas Sunreaver to obtain the blade from Icecrown Citadel.|
|Frost||Hunt down Balaadur and take the staff back from him.|
|Monk||Brewmaster||Make a drink for the Monkey King, then defend the Temple of the Jade Serpent from a Legion invasion to retrieve the staff.|
|Mistweaver||Retrieve the Staff from the Terrace of Endless Spring, where it has been kept since the Last Emperor passed on.|
|Windwalker||Fists of the Heavens ( and )||Follow the old tale's path to Uldum, and make then retrieve the Fists from Skywall|
|Paladin||Holy||Retrieve the legendary hammer from Tyr's tomb in Tirisfal.|
|Protection||(and )||Enter the shrine of Tyr where the shield is held on an island in Stormheim.|
|Retribution||Search the Broken Shore, where the Ashbringer fell in battle and was lost|
|Priest||Discipline||Travel to the Nexus to retake the staff from the Ethereum.|
|Holy||Travel to the Legion world of Niskara to retrieve and purify T'uure.|
|Shadow||(and )||Hunt the Twilight's Hammer in Tirisfal Glades to stop them from releasing the Faceless general Zakajz hidden below.|
|Rogue||Assassination||The Kingslayers ( and )||Aid Garona in taking out cultists in Stormwind|
|Outlaw||The Dreadblades ( and )||Hunt down the Dread Admiral Eliza and her undead crew and take them from her grasp.|
|Subtlety||Fangs of the Devourer ( and )||Invade the Shadowgore Citadel and take the fangs from Akaari Shadowgore.|
|Shaman||Elemental||(and )||Partake in a tournament held by Xuen to earn the right to wield the fist.|
|Enhancement||(and )||Doomhammer fell into the Maelstrom. Travel to Deepholm to recover it.|
|Restoration||(and )||Travel to the Throne of Tides to retrieve the scepter from Azshara's servants.|
|Warlock||Affliction||Delve into the catacombs beneath Karazhan and retake the scythe from the Dark Riders.|
|Demonology||(and )||Storm Felsoul Keep to steal the skull from Mephistroth.|
|Destruction||Steal the scepter from Gul'dan at the Tomb of Sargeras|
|Warrior||Arms||Travel to Tirisfal Glades and retrieve the sword from the hidden tomb where the faceless general Zakajz lays.|
|Fury||Warswords of the Valarjar ( and )||Invade the shores of Helheim and steal back the warswords.|
|Protection||(and )||Delve into the sealed and curse-laden tomb of an ancient vrykul king who was buried with a sword and shield made from the scales of Neltharion|
Artifacts are customized and powered up with a new resource called Artifact Power, which is earned from adventuring, completing a quest line, beating dungeon bosses, winning PvP objectives, and so forth. Artifact Power is used to unlock traits to increase the power of the weapon and the character, as well as customize the look of the weapon.
Each Artifact has a unique "trait tree", a grid overlaid upon the outline of the weapon itself, resembling the old talent trees. Players can spend Artifact Power to activate additional traits, moving along the tree; once a trait is activated, all connecting traits become unlocked. Many traits have multiple ranks, with players able to activate them multiple times to gain increasing effects. At the ends of the trees are "majorly impactful abilities"
Artifacts will also have Relic slots. Distinct from the previous items of that name, Relics are Artifact-only objects obtained through completing major quest lines, dungeons and raids. Relics will have a major impact on the overall power of the Artifact, such as its basic damage and item level. The Relic system will act as a substitute for the upgrading of weapons seen in previous expansions; rather than switching to a new and more powerful weapon, the player will slot a new and more powerful Relic into their Artifact.
Artifacts can be customized at the character's Order Hall.
Several different looks will be available for each Artifact. These can be unlocked through various activities. One look for each Artifact will only be available through PvP. Each look appears to come with unique flavor text, and background lore. Players also seem to be able to recolour the various looks. In the case of Feral and Guardian Druids, changing the look of your weapon also changes the look of your form to match.
Artifacts can be transmogrified into other weapons, but other weapons cannot be transmogrified into artifacts.
Following the Broken Shore experience, players will set about acquiring the Artifact for their character's current specialization. The Artifacts represent a greater power than the heroes of Azeroth have ever collectively wielded before, a power which will be needed in order to defeat the Burning Legion.
The process of acquiring an Artifact will be heavily determined by the character's class and spec. However, players will be able to acquire Artifacts for each specialization on the one character. A catch up mechanism may be added to reduce time taken to earn Artifacts for secondary specializations, but not for alts.
Gallery of customizations
- Fangs of Ashamane (formerly Fangs of the First Nightsaber)
- Prior to Legion, artifact was the item quality above legendary. Though none of these items were obtainable, a handful did exist in the game files (primarily as GM gear). They used the color gold to denote their quality; this color was later reused when heirlooms were introduced. This caused a few interesting issues where some references to artifacts had not been removed. For instance, trying to mail an heirloom to a character on another account would return the error message, "Artifacts can only be mailed to your own characters."
List of pre-Legion artifact items
- , GM Weapon
- , GM shirt
- , GM artifact ring
- , GM artifact single item version of set. Not to be confused with the player obtainable .
- , GM Weapon
- , GM Weapon
- , GM Weapon