The first phase of Rise of Azshara testing is beginning on our Public Test Realms, and this includes the Heart of Azeroth system changes we recently shared in our Content Update Live Stream.
In Rise of Azshara, you’ll be able to unlock three slots (one Major and two Minor) on the Heart of Azeroth which you can infuse with additional customizations called Essences. Essences grant your character new combat-related abilities which correspond to specific roles—damage dealer, healer, or tank—as well as powers that are useful to characters of any role. Characters who can spec into multiple roles can collect any Essences that are appropriate for those roles, but the system will restrict characters from collecting Essences meant for roles their class can’t fill—for example, a Warrior couldn’t collect a healer Essence. Every Essence has both a Major and Minor effect; Essences placed in the one Major slot will grant both effects, while Essences placed in the two Minor slots will only have their Minor effects active.
Essences can be earned in a variety of ways, including raiding, quests, or PvP with the first of these unlocked through a new Heart of Azeroth questline. Completing this questline will also modify the Chamber of Heart with a Heart Forge, a device which allows you to infuse Essences directly into your Heart of Azeroth. Once infused, the Essence will be added to your Spellbook, and you can switch them the same way as Talents: just head to any rest area or use a Tome of the Quiet Mind and change them to suit your needs. All Essences will be displayed in the Heart of Azeroth user interface, including those that you haven’t collected yet with specific information on how to earn them.
Each Essence will exist in four ranks, and the higher the rank, the grander its benefits. The first rank of each Essence will simply grant you access to its primary ability or effect, depending on whether it’s currently in a Major or Minor slot. At ranks 2 and 3, you’ll see direct enhancements to both the Major and Minor effects on each Essence. Finally, at rank 4, you’ll get unique cosmetic upgrades to the ability the Major Essence provides. Rank 4 Essences will be unlocked through the highest levels of play, such as completing Mythic raids or earning Gladiator player versus player titles.
To get you in and able to test right away, we’ve added a test vendor inside the Chamber of Heart beside the Heart Forge who will provide you with Rank 1, Rank 2, and Rank 3 Essences. The helpful test vendor will also boost your Heart of Azeroth level to 55 so you can immediately use the Major and first Minor slots. The purely cosmetic Rank 4 Essences are not available to test at this time. Please note that Essences will not be purchasable when Rise of Azshara arrives in a few weeks—this is solely meant to support testing the Essences.
We will test Essence progression during a later phase of the PTR. At that time, you’ll be able to fully experience the new Heart of Azeroth questline in which, with the help of MOTHER and Magni Bronzebeard, your character will unlock the first Major slot, and earn their first Rank 1 Essence. The first Minor slot unlocks at Heart of Azeroth level 55 and the second Minor slot unlocks at Heart of Azeroth level 65. PTR characters from Phase 1 will be wiped and the vendor removed at this time. Characters copied over from the live game will reflect their current Heart of Azeroth level, and you’ll be able to track down and acquire new Essences (and ranks) throughout the world.
As always, thank you for your testing and feedback.