About six months ago I wrote an article compiling a few ways to kill time before the Legion expansion released for World of Warcraft…holy crap that was really over half a year ago. Damn. Well anyway now that I’ve spent altogether too much time taking names in the Broken Isles – and with the major patch 7.2 on the horizon I figured it was a good time to take an objective look at what Legion brought to Azeroth (and the overall gaming experience)…beside, you know, the death and destruction. This will be mostly my own opinions as usual so take them for what you will.
I’ll start with the parts of the expansion I was most excited about, which is of course both Demon Hunter class and the idea of class story quests making a comeback. Again just my own opinion, but I would call the Demon Hunter an amazing success. I love the feel of the class, how mobile and chaotic the gameplay becomes when you need to constantly be re-positioning to get the most out of your dps. There’s a visceral thrill in knowing that your next Fel Rush could land you in the poison tornado that spider boss just puked out and insta kill you. It also helps that the aesthetics are amazing. Blizzard did a great job of bringing the Demon Hunter to the list of playable classes. Speaking of Fel Rush though I have never seen an ability glitch as much as this one. I’ve been stuck hanging in midair, launched across an entire map, and and tried to use the ability only for my character to stand there doing nothing.
Class stories were a bit of a letdown, depending on which class you play. The Demon Hunter story was fine, no major complaints there. But of the other two classes I once played as my mains, the Paladin and Death Knight, I have less complimentary things to say. The Paladin story was decent…if taken on its own. I don’t play the Priest class but my fiancé does so I got to see that story as well, and they’re literally the same thing. Both classes go on identical quests throughout their campaigns (with exceptions regarding those surrounding their champions, of course). I do get that the two classes play similar roles lore-wise, but that just feels like lazy writing to me.
The Death Knight story on the other hand just pissed me off. Defying all common sense and apparently forgetting everything that happened during Wrath of the Lich King, the Ebon Blade has decided that following the orders of the NEW lich king is a phenomenal idea! Nothing could possibly go wrong with this. And sure it may be Bolvar as opposed to Arthas in the driver’s seat, but the lich king is still a dick. The DK campaign has you running around Azeroth reanimating fallen champions to reform the Four Horsemen which admittedly is pretty cool. What annoyed me so much was how the campaign plays out in the end. The new lich king orders you to go raise Tirion Fordring, the former wielder of Ashrbinger and hero of the Argent Crusade to be the leader of your new collection of knights of the apocalypse. I hated listening to Tirion drone on in Wrath too, but the man deserves his rest. You then go and attack the Paladin class hall – great display of intelligence there. “Hey the Legion isn’t causing enough problems, let’s make some more enemies!” Needless to say you fail and end up putting Darion Mograine in charge. You know, the guy who was there the whole freaking time and didn’t require an assault on another classes base that achieved nothing?
Then again, the response is non-existent…
Anyway moving on. One of the biggest issues during the previous expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was how damn boring it got. For me it eventually just boiled down to weekly raids and logging in to check my garrison before Alt + F4ing to go do something else. Has that gotten better? I would say yes…almost too much so. Legion has been a veritable tidal wave of content with updates coming almost faster than I can keep up with. Dailies have been replaced with the much less static and generally less tedious ‘world quests’, which I would say is a good thing. They can still get tiresome after a while but anything will when you’ve done it a few hundred times and they’re much less time consuming. Reputations were less of a headache to level in this expansion as well, certainly better than the unholy grind-fest of Warlords.
So how do dungeons, raids and pvp measure up to previous eras? I may not be the best person to ask since my schedule doesn’t allow me time to raid anything more complicated than LFR (and I suck at pvp really), but here goes nothing. Dungeons are dungeons. They’re interesting the first few times then devolve into a pattern of soul-sucking tedium the more you run them. I feel bad saying that because they did a pretty damn good job of designing them and making each one interesting. But the challenge of Mythic runs notwithstanding, I struggle to stay awake any time I need to grind them out. I wouldn’t call that a flaw with the expansion so much as an issue with the formula…or I need stronger coffee. PVP is great and I’ve actually done more of it in Legion than any previous expansion. That probably ties back to my loving the Demon Hunter class, but it also has to do with the prestige system they introduced. Having something to constantly work towards and tangible rewards for all that honor you accumulate was a great idea. The raids have been interesting and well tied into the overall story. The mechanics haven’t felt too punishing but again, LFR. What is good to see from the perspective of solo farming these things in the future is that few of the fights look like they will mandate a group the way much of the Pandaria content did.
Overall, Legion has been good for the game. Maybe I’m just basing this on my own experiences and assumptions but it definitely feels like Blizzard is learning from the past and moving forward with an eye towards only bringing the best along with them. A lot of people I’ve talked to over the years tend to lament the days of Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King, but I feel like Legion has and will continue to eclipse both of them. Neither a story nor a game nor we as players grow by holding onto the past, and I believe that what Blizzard has done with Legion heralds greater things to come.
But maybe that’s just me. Are you enjoying Legion? Do you like where the game has been heading or are you upset with the changes that have been made? Let me know in the comments below what you think of where WoW is headed. Happy gaming!