The team designed the Artifacts and Order Halls to be relevant in the future with additional quest lines and content.
The team is interested in delivering patch content that fulfills the community's needs.
When Legion releases, there is the base artifact appearance, an upgraded one from the Class Hall campaign, a PvE quest line that rewards one, the PvP version, as well as the hidden appearances.
There is one other Artifact variation that is intended to be in later patches that we have already seen.
People will unlock all of their Artifact variants and then in the next expansion there will be some way to bring along those appearances. Maybe after Legion is over, you can't earn the appearances anymore.
The team is looking at a way to allow druids to keep their artifact forms after Legion as well.
You will be able to respec your Artifact, but there is a high cost.
Eventually you will be able to unlock all of the Artifact Traits, so respeccing isn't something that will happen often and shouldn't be a huge concern.
The team doesn't want to tweak traits so much that a free respec is necessary.
Artifact Knowledge and Catch-Up
The first 12 traits only have a small cost increase, but after that the cost increases much faster.
Artifact Knowledge increases the rate you gain Artifact Power.
Artifact Knowledge allows the team to reduce the huge gap between players that are playing 60 hours a week and 4 hours a week.
You research Artifact Knowledge at the cost of Order Hall resources. The cost was 1500 for much of beta, but it has been reduced to 500 (a few world quests or other content). It won't be a huge amount of effort.
Research starts at 5 days per work order. As time goes on after, this automatically gets faster for everyone.
Artifact Knowledge goes up to Level 25 now. The team might increase that a little bit in the patches, but you won't be working on Artifact Knowledge for the entire expansion.
If you want to maintain multiple specs at at high level, it will take a similar amount of effort as you would have put in with another expansion.
You will get your first 12 traits for another spec very quickly thanks to Artifact Knowledge.
Artifact Knowledge is per character system, not account wide.
The team is expecting it to take a few months to unlock every trait in your Artifact.
The time it takes will vary based off of what type of player you are.
Hidden Artifact Appearances
There are a few parts of the Artifact system that aren't equal between all of the classes.
Every class should feel different and have different experiences.
Hidden appearances is one area where there isn't equality between the classes and specs.
Ret Paladin and Arcane mage hidden appearances will be "fun" to unlock.
Some required Honored with a faction, some require Exalted, some cost lots of gold.
Some of the more accessible ones are easy to get to help players that identified with a different weapon type, bow vs gun.
Leveling and Artifacts
The team balanced all of the classes against each other and then did another balance pass with all of the classes and their completed Artifacts.
Classes should feel complete and interesting through the leveling experience and at endgame.
Artifact Appearance Unlocks
Most of the achievements for unlocking artifact appearances are character specific, but a few are account wide.
You need to obtain the upgraded model before you can obtain the extra colors.
Artifacts and Class Balance
Artifacts Traits are something that can be tuned to maintain class balance, just like your regular abilities and talents.
There is some overlap between the Artifact questlines, but not as bad as some players think.
There are a few specs that either share some content or the setting, but the majority are very unique experiences.
Artifact Lore and Story
Artifacts are really different from other weapons because of their history.
The team wrote out the story of the Artifacts and put it in books in your Order Hall. You can read through this story as you gain Artifact Knowledge.
The Artifact acquisition quest lines also touch on the story and where the weapons come from.
There are a few of the Artifacts where the weapon type goes back and reflects the old story.
A big hammer and book is a classic Holy Paladin look from older Warcraft.
The weapon type changes are also to help the weapon feel unique.
The Holy Paladin had a mace and shield for a long time, but you don't actually use them in combat.
Feral and Guardian get the weapon and become a representation of the Ursoc and Ashemane. This is why there aren't racial variations.
Being able to swap back to the regular druid models is a good idea. It won't be in the shipping game but maybe in a patch.
Artifact Fist Weapons
Fist weapons have been invisible when sheathed for all of WoW.
The Artifact Fist weapons are invisible when sheathed because there aren't really points to sheathe them, they are too bulky and clip everything.
Order Hall Teleports
The team originally added the teleports because they thought there would be a need to go to your Order Hall frequently.
It turned out that there wasn't any reason to send players back to their Order Hall frequently, so the teleports were mostly removed.
It was important that Dalaran was a central hub for the expansion. In the process of removing the teleports, they added the portals in Dalaran and the Dalaran Hearthstone. This makes Dalaran a central hub.
Order Hall NPCs
For the most part the team has introduced the famous NPCs that will appear in the Order Halls.
A few more NPCs might be added in patches.
The Warrior Order Hall originally had lots of ghosts of the famous Warriors, but it didn't feel appropriate for all of these Human and Orc heroes to appear in this Vrykul place.
The team shifted to focusing on the Vrykul story and fantasy.
Order Hall Champions
It was important that you recognize your Order Hall champions, which is why you are limited to six.
You need to make choices about who you care about and want to spend time with.
Order Hall Services
There aren't many services in your Order Hall, no banks or transmog NPCs.
There is rested XP in the Order Hall, so you can change your talents there.
Services remain in Dalaran so that it can be a central hub and you don't spend too long in your Order hall.
Trade Chat in the Order Hall was allowed so that you aren't missing out or forced to avoid the Order Hall to stay in Trade Chat.
Hunter Artifact Weapon Types
Hunters have strong opinions about what weapon type is the main one for your spec.
The team tried to use the other Artifact Appearances to give players another weapon type choice when this is a problem.
Artifact Unlock Progression and Groups
There are no plans to require specific levels of Artifact progression to access content. There still will be item level requirements.
Artifact unlock progression in premade groups isn't expected to be a huge factor for most groups.
You can't inspect people and see their Artifact unlock progress.
Acherus and Order Halls
Acherus is similar to other Order Halls, as far as the systems and services offered.
There will also be the same additional content added in patches as all of the other Order Halls
The team doesn't want to completely change the Order Halls when they are already existing places in the game.
Selecting Artifacts and Order Halls
For the Order Halls, the team looked at what represents the class fantasy in the strongest way possible, what locations they connect with really well, and what location was neutral rather than something Alliance or Horde specific.
Orcs in the Stormwind Chapel wouldn't feel right.
For the Artifact Weapons, class fantasy was a major consideration, as well as what stands out and feels unique, what had a strong history or the team could create a strong history with using an existing hero, story, or location.