European Community Manager Aerythlea took to the forums today to answer one of the major questions about Patch 7.2 (currently in testing on the PTR) and how the new artifact traits being added will work with regard to stockpiled artifact power.
Once the patch is released players who have reached rank 35 or higher on their artifact weapon will be able to complete a short questline to unlock the new set of traits and if you’ve invested Artifact Power into the final trait it will be refunded to use on the newly added traits. On top of that your weapon will receive a power increase to compensate for the removal of the additional stats from the final trait.
One item of note, however, is that if you have already maxed out your weapon(s) ranks and do not have another weapon to apply them to there’s no use in stockpiling your Artifact Power to level your weapon the first day of the patch as AP acquired prior to the patch will not be usable toward the new traits.
Blizzard is planning on releasing a hotfix in the “near future” which will allow the current tokens to be sold to vendors.
There hasn’t been an announcement on when patch 7.2 will be released so there is still plenty of time to upgrade your weapon before it hits if you haven’t upgraded it fully.
As many of you have noted, Patch 7.2 will be introducing several new traits to Artifact Weapons. We’d like to clarify how these traits will unlock so that you can best prepare for them.
After Patch 7.2 is available, players who have an Artifact Weapon of at least rank 35 will be able to further empower that Artifact through a short quest chain. Completing this quest chain will consume any ranks beyond 35, increase the overall power of your Artifact Weapon (to ensure that losing ranks 35+ isn’t a downgrade), and unlock access to the new 7.2 traits. Any Artifact Power spent on traits beyond 35 will be refunded and you’ll immediately be able to spend that refunded Artifact Power on the new traits.
Note that any Artifact Power tokens acquired before Patch 7.2 will not be usable on an Artifact Weapon that has had its new traits unlocked. If you’ve already reached Rank 54, feel free to use any tokens you earn between now and then on alternate specs; there is no need to stockpile those tokens for Patch 7.2. We’re also planning to apply a hotfix in the near future that will allow the current Artifact Power tokens to be sold to vendors.
Please feel free to add any feedback, questions or thoughts to this thread.