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Artifact is the highest level of item quality in World of Warcraft, above Legendary. Previously speculation of these items was documented across fan sites and the official World of Warcraft website, but no such items were available to players until World of Warcraft: Legion.
Artifacts are also the term used for famous and legendary items in lore. Famous artifacts aren't necessarily of Artifact quality in World of Warcraft, however. Several items that are said to be artifacts according to lore, as stated in Warcraft II, III or the RPG, are epic quality or less in World of Warcraft (for example, ). However, it can be argued that since Illidan absorbed the skull, its power has been reduced to Epic-quality level; and the original skull could have been of Artifact quality.
Artifacts in World of Warcraft: LegionThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
- Main article: Artifact Weapon
- Main article: Artifact Power
It was also revealed that artifacts would have their own ability trees and their own customization options, most of which completely change the appearance of a weapon. Artifact Power unlocks these traits. Players may gather Power through any numbers of means befitting their personal playstyle and interests. Spending Power essentially "levels up" the weapon, and players are free to choose any trait path they wish to spend the Power on.
- Trait Path
Spending Power within the tree allows the player to unlock different traits, abilities, skins, and other aesthetics to further differentiate their personal artifact from others wielding the same weapon. Note that players will have access to the default skin and one "upgraded" skin - additional skins are earned via unlocks from activities such as questing, dungeons, raids, PvP, and potentially other sources. Colors within these skins can be modified.
Examples of Ashbringer's many appearances:
- Prior to Legion, artifacts did not exist in World of Warcraft, so any links seen in-game were likely fabrications.
- It has previously been stated that artifacts were supposed to be red, but the color presumably was pale gold, according to API GetItemQualityColor in Patch 3.0.3. Unfortunately, pale gold was used for Heirloom color and since no artifact items were available until Legion, the color is likely to change.
- Heirloom items for a time shared the same in-game color as artifacts. They were special, scalable, Bind to Account items introduced with Wrath of the Lich King. These items are usable by any character on your account and their stats can scale with that character's level, becoming the equivalent of an equal level rare quality item. However, it appears that heirloom items are currently labeled as Artifacts: when you try to mail one to a character on another account, you receive an error message which reads "Artifacts can only be mailed to your own characters".
- According to an older version of the Item Basics page (until around July 2007) on the WoW website, the names of Artifact-quality items were planned to appear in red. A listing for Artifacts no longer appears on this page however. The red-linked version still exists in archive form under the dates Jul 15, 2005 through Jun 15, 2007.
- The web color code for artifact itemlinks was #e6cc80.
Old Blizzard statements
List of unobtainable artifact items
- , GM Weapon
- , GM shirt
- , GM artifact ring
- , GM artifact single item version of set. Not to be confused with the player obtainable The Twin Blades of Azzinoth
- , GM Weapon
- GM Weapon
If artifacts were actually implemented for players, they would likely be changed from the pale gold now shared with heirlooms. It is possible that they will change to the previously planned red.