A lot of details about the resto druid artifact weapon in Legion have popped up around the web. The artifact weapon has “traits”, which is a secondary talent system that applies to your weapon. Here’s an early look at the resto druid weapon traits of our staff G’Hanir, The Mother Tree. Remember this is a very early release of info and it is certain to change. It’s still really cool to get a feel for the direction the artifact weapon will be taking us! Note that most tool tips feature a 0 in place of an actual value, or have a placeholder or missing string of text where the actual effect will go in.
A Brief Overview of Artifact Weapons
The initial trait will be your first trait. You don’t get any choice here but to drop a point in it. I wouldn’t mind betting this is a fairly early unlock, either part of the early quest chain that gives us the artifact weapon or soon after we actually it.
Major traits are the big game changers. They’ll require at least 4-5 minor traits chosen to unlock them in a particular path, so you’ll need to decide where your priorities are. There seem to be two direct path options to each. It might mean that one you really want has a path with traits focused around mana regen, while another less appealing major has a pth with minor traits focused on throughput gains, so there’ll be lots of choices opening up.
Minor traits give a solid increase across the board. They can be upgraded with relics, but you’ll only need to go in to one point in order to open the next.
Eventually you will unlock every trait. As yet it’s unclear how long this will take. It’s also unclear whether we will get enough relics to upgrade every minor trait to rank 3.
- Initial Trait
- Druidic Touch (Rank 1) – Casting a helpful spell has a chance to sprout a patch of flowers at the target’s location that heals a nearby targets every 5 sec.
- Major Traits
- Dreamwalker (Rank 1) – Every 0 casts of Swiftmend or Regrowth causes your mind to fully shift into the Emerald Dream, increasing the healing rate of your heal over time spells by 0% for until cancelled.
- Tranquil Mind (Rank 1) – Tranquility no longer requires you to channel for its duration. For until cancelled after activating Tranquility, all cast time spells are instant cast.
- Power of the Archdruid (Rank 1) – Wild Growth has a 0% chance to cause your next Rejuvenation or Regrowth to also apply to all allies within 8 yards of the target.
- Minor Traits
- Nature’s Essence (Rank 1) – Wild Growth grants 0% of its total healing amount immediately.
- Knowledge of the Ancients (Rank 3) – Increases mana regeneration by 13%.
- Seeds of the World Tree (Rank 3) – Living Seed gains 40% additional value from critical heals.
- Essence of Nordrassil (Rank 3) – Reduces the cast time of Healing Touch by 30%.
- Infusion of Nature (Rank 3) – Reduces the mana cost of Wild Growth by 20%.
- Armor of the Ancients (Rank 3) – Ironbark reduces damage taken by an additional 20%.
- Natural Mending (Rank 3) – Increases the healing of Swiftmend by 20%.
- Blessing of the World Tree (Rank 3) – Increases the direct healing of Regrowth and Healing Touch by 13%.
- Persistence (Rank 3) – Increases the duration of your damage and healing over time spells by 4 sec.
- Repetitive Blooming (NEEDS REPLACEMENT) (Rank 1) – Lifebloom causes its burst of healing every 8 seconds while it is active.
- Mark of Shifting (Rank 1) – While in Travel, Cat, or Bear form, you permanently have Rejuvenation on yourself.
- Grovewalker (Rank 3) – Increases the healing of your healing over time spells by 13%.
Source: MMO Champion
WoWDB has an early release of a trait calculator which will let you play around with the traits of the artifact weapon!
Artifact Weapon Progression Paths
I think it’s pretty likely that the 3 major traits of our artifact weapon will be a requirement to have ASAP, and most people will want to plan their trait progression path in terms of “which minor traits do I need, that also let me get to the major trait as efficiently as possible”.
Power of the Arch Druid
Power of the Archruid at this stage is a big AoE healing throughput gain. You’ll get 8-for-1 casts of Rejuvenation or Regrowth. This is a ridiculous amount of healing per mana and healing per global cooldown. This area of the tree includes traits focused around around mana efficiency (a mana regen and a reduced spell cost, as well as an increased HoT duration). Increased HoT duration synyergises particularly well with Power of the Archdruid. Another path to Power of the Archdruid focuses more on the power of direct heals, through a direct boost to Swiftmend and a boost to living seed that comes from Regrowth. The living seed change synergises particularly well with Power of the Archdruid also.
Dreamwalker looks like it’s the semi-passive reimagining of Genesis. It requires activation through other spells (which I like) and gives a huge buff to HoT spells. Grovewalker is a straight increase to HoT healing and synergises well. Nature’s Essence grants a direct heal to Wild Growth. This is nice if it’s an additional heal, but the way it’s worded, it could mean WG will still heal for the same amount, it will just be sacrificing a percentage of the HoT for a direct heal – the lack of relic upgradability I think suggests this is more likely. However, that would mean that this synergises worse with Dreamwalker (but in its own right, still brilliant). Essence of Nordrassil makes Healing Touch a shorter cast, which also synergises by activating Dreamwalker quicker. Also in the vicinity of Dreamwalker is Armor of the Ancients being more valuable than Nature’s Essence pre-raid. Repetitive Blooming is going to be removed and so not worth a second thought.
Tranquil Mind removes the channel from Tranquility, so it will effectively be a set and forget. This is more like other classes’ big heals (holy priests are getting the same change to Divine Hymn).
One path to Tranquil Mind has a big focus on boosting direct heals, but it’s also only one additional point away from Armor of the Ancients, so its progression is very similar to Dreamwalker.
There are multiple paths which will let you unlock two major traits with 8 points (including the initial trait). Tranquil Mind features in all – you can get Dreamwalker & Tranquil Mind in 8, or you can get Power of the Archdruid & Tranquil Mind in 8, but you won’t be able to get Dreamwalker and Power of the Archdruid in any less than 9.
There is one path that lets you unlock all three majors in in just 11 points, as opposed to alternatives which require 12. Whether it will be worthwhile doing this is another matter, and doing this would require you to forego Grovewalker, which might be the best single minor trait on the tree.
One important question is whether you can get all traits unlocked before beginning raiding. Some minor traits will be much more valuable early in the first raid tier – such as anything that helps your mana. If you’re not in to raiding but are going to be big on dungeon content, throughput will be your ideal. One thing I’ll point out though is that the design team seem to have nailed it with the minor traits focused on mana leading in a progression path to the major talent which is arguably most specific to raiding.
One possibility is that we will unlock the full range (or most) of 1/1 traits over the course of levelling to 110, or immediately after. Relics will then be the gate, with your higher end raiders with better progression getting more relic drops and therefore a better artifact weapon through the upgrades (much like they have better gear in general). The thing is, a lot of these traits have a set bonus feel to them, and having players unlock tools over the course of the expansion to make them more powerful and change their playstyle would be cool – historically my favourite tier set bonuses are those that really make you change your playstyle, and cast something where before you might have cast another. They add a lot of thought and complexity – in a good way.
Another key question is, will we unlock ALL traits? I was pretty sure it was announced that this was the case, but I can definitely see it being possible that there are say, 3 minor traits you can’t take, and you need to make a decision which ones they are. However, I have no issue if we all end up the same in the end and the customization was limited to the acquisition of talents. There will definitely be min/max-ability if there are some number of traits that can’t be taken, and we’ll all end up with the same looking trait tree anyway.