*A few weeks ago while sitting in my garrison crafting mechanical scorpions* Doo dee doo oh seems Legion has just gone live hmmmm well I did say I would wait before going in but might as well get my artifact weapon out of the way but after that I will wait till the rush dies down. *Current day my rogue is max level and currently battling a Infernal* Give me your core you bastard I need it for my relic!
Soooo yeah my original plan of waiting did not go over so well and I’ve been playing pretty much since launch and have done most of the dungeons, completed a class hall for my rogue and currently mainly doing the end game stuff till 7.1 launches. The question is however how does the current expansion fair in its initial release and is there going to enough stuff to keep people occupied. Well let’s take a look. Now this is not a review per say as I find it hard to review Warcaft expansions as they tend to have another 2-4 patches that add new zones and content during its life so this is more a case of looking at what is currently here and if it’s worth it now or better to wait.
So yeah with a name like Legion it’s pretty obvious the Burning Legion is back and they are indeed. The back story was covered in some audio novels released before hand but put simply Guldan from Warlords of Draenor was sent to our Azeroth by the Burning Legion to do what the original Guldan failed to do and commence operation Legion invasion number 4. Khadgar tries to stop him but is unable to and using the tomb of sargeras Guldan opens a massive portal and the Burning Legion step through and Khadgar quickly goes to warn the Horde and Alliance so they can stop the Legion before they can setup a major foot hold. This is where the story begins for us as our heroes join several Alliance or Horde leaders in their attack on the Broken Shore’s to defeat the Legion. However it all goes wrong… very wrong and we are forced back and quite a few people don’t make it back causing tensions between the Horde and Alliance to resurface. Still Khadgar knowing there is no time takes control of the Kirin Tor and Dalaran and transports the city to the Broken Shore along with you and everyone else to find relics that are the only things that can beat the Legion.
Have to say this story has done two things for me. One it’s brought the Legion back into the major spotlight as while they have shown up previously in other expansions it has always been as minor or side forces usually only appearing in a zone or patch. Here they are the main enemy and you will see their presence in every zone of the new area. It also shows some major changes are coming to the world as yes characters die some quite major… one I’m actually sad about as I quite liked her. Still the other thing is just tells me that the sole reason Warlords of Draenor exists was to Guldan back into the main story so they had a way to bring the Legion back to Azeroth. Doesn’t affect the game but just really annoys me.
Anyway onto the gameplay itself.
Levelling and the new zones
So currently the Broken Shore the new area is split into 5 zones High Mountain, Azsuna, Val-Sharah, Stormheim and Suramar. The first 4 are the levelling zones however Blizzard has changed things for this expansion and rather go to zone a first then zone b and then zone c… you can go anywhere you want. This is due to the fact Blizzard is trying out a new power scaling system in Legion where the enemies, rewards and quests all level with you so you can start in High Mountain and finish at level 103 and then go to Azsuna and the enemies will be 103. This is quite a nice system and has helped stop some of the problems previous expansions had where with everyone being in the same zones to start the first few days made getting around a pain. Now with everyone split up it makes the experience a lot more enjoyable.
As for the zones themselves we first have Azsuna. This zone harbours a remaining part of the Blue Dragonflight that escaped the madness of Malygo’s and the remains of a Night Elf city from when the legion first came. It’s also infested with Naga and Demons. Next and my favourite zone is Val-Sharah which is where Malfurion learned to be a druid from Cenarius and the basis of the Emerald Dream. It is unfortunately under attack by the Emerald Nightmare and the land itself is beginning to warp because of it. Next Stormheim and this zone is interesting as it is where Horde and Alliance tensions are high due to Greymane and Sylvanas being the ones in charge of the forces here and with those two that is never going to end well. It’s also where the Val’Kyr and Vrykul are from so very norse inspired which makes for some interesting stories and places to visit. Finally High Mountain which is where a tauren tribe lies and having some political trouble. That’s kind of it for that zone which is why I find it a bit disappointing as the legion has a tiny presence here as well so this really could fit in another expansion and not be noticed. Still does have one area I like that has some interesting history about a certain Black Dragon.
Now Suramar. Now unlike the others Suramar will not open will you reach level 110 which you will do upon completing the main quest chains in all 4 previous zones. Suramar is an interesting zone as it is split into 2 main parts the wilds and Suramar city. The history of the zone is that when the Legion first attacked it was decided by the citizens to use the nightwell their source of mana to protect the city with a massive field to protect them which has done so ever since then though it has caused them to change and become the Nightbourne who have dark grey skin and pretty much reliant on arcane mana to survive. Now however with the Legion at their door step the leaders decided rather than die to work with the Legion. Not all are happy with this however and a civil war broke out with the rebels losing and being exiled. This causes them to scrounge for mana wherever they can because if they don’t they slowly go insane and become withered basically elf zombies who will attack anything they see and consume any mana they find… sucks to be an arcane mage around here. You will find some of these rebels in the wilds and work with them to infiltrate the city in a nightbourne disguise to find those who support the cause and bring down the legion from within. This is an interesting change as it turns a lot of the quests into stealth section as you try and complete quests without being spotted by the elite demons or sorcerers who can see through your disguise. This is not too much of a problem… bar one area.
So first Suramar city is huge… hell it is at least twice the size of Ogrimmar or Stormwind possibly three times and has several sections and areas. Most are not to bad and have a few guards but as long as your careful you can easily sneak through. Then we get into the area of the city where the nobles are… and every second citizen can detect you or has a demon escort. This is by far the most annoying and infuriating zone in the whole expansion as you have to be careful and slowly and stealthily sne *a player who had been seen runs past with a whole bunch of detectors who then detect me and reveal my disguise making other demons and nightbourne see me* ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
Class halls and Artifact Weapons
So shortly after arriving in Dalaran at the Broken Shore someone will run up to you and give you directions to a special location. This is your class hall where you will find heroes from your class all together who have united to help bring an end to the legion. These are quite major people as well like Taoshi from the Shado-pan and Valeera Sanguinar who worked for Varian Wrynn for rogues and Rexxar and Hemit Nessingwary for Hunters. They have decided that you will be the leader of the order . This is the replacement for garrisons and has quite a few changes. First your class hall is shared between you and everyone else in your class. This doesn’t really change much other then it’ll be a bit more crowded. The class halls have numerous vendors but there are 3 areas in specific you will focus.
The first is the mission board. Similar to garrisons this is where you will send your champions on missions. However unlike garrison these tend to take longer with them taking on average 6-8 hours with some going up to a day so no need to constantly check and the rewards are better with them finding gold, items to boost your character, items to boost themselves and some quest related stuff. This makes them more valuable and actually worth doing as I can tell after a while my garrison quests literally came down to does it give me an item or oil? If no don’t care. Here they are always worth doing as they will benefit you. Also they cut down the amount of followers from 20 to 5 which means not as many get done but you can also hire mercenaries to help out as well though they cost resources and can only be used a couple of times.
The second is the architect. They can research 5 passive upgrades for your order hall that help your followers complete missions. These are expensive however and take a while as the first one takes a few hours, but the next one a day, the next one several days, the next one a week and the final one 2 weeks. Yeah good things take time indeed. Still these are helpful and can result in easier mission success, special loot being found, your mercenaries have longer life and other bonuses. Not essential but helpful.
Finally the last area is the forge which is where you can upgrade your artefact weapon. These are a big feature in Legion and your first class hall mission. Each class has 3 artefact weapons one for each spec. Once you have decided which one you want you will go on a quest to find the weapon which range from the Ashbringer, Doomhammer, Dreadblades and Frostmourne. The quests… vary in there enjoy ability. For example for the rogue one of my quests had me laying siege to a island of ghost pirates, sneaking onto their ship, stealing it, using it against them and then fleeing from a collapsing temple awesome, my second artefact quest had me sneaking around stormwind pick pocketing guards and assassinating key people without being detected by the guard as the city was on lockdown man that was cool. The last one had me infiltrating a demon keep and just slaying a bunch of demons… yeah I kind of spent the last few hours doing that already game. It’s similar for others with some specs being great and others just kind of eh. Still you are able to get all 3 though can only wield the one your current spec uses and level them up further doing class hall quests yourself and finding artifacts to increase their power. Now this is key as these artefact weapons are it for your weapon this expansion. However they had added a trait system to your weapon where each time it levels up you can add a trait to it increasing the power or adding a benefit to one of your skills. The first ten levels are pretty easy to get but after that the amount it makes to level it greatly increases and only continues to do so. This does mean doing a bit of research beforehand to make sure you level it the way you want but is nice to see some of the classic WOW levelling system return in this way.
… yeah they are still here.
Now these have had an improvement. I found most of the Draenor ones to be pretty bland but bar Violet Hold most of these are enjoyable. The maw of souls see’s you summoning a ghost ship and then fighting a massive sea witch who slowly tears the ship apart as you do. The halls of valour see’s you taking on numerous champions in different areas before fighting Odin himself. You can even enter the lair of Neltharion and see what it was like before he started hanging out with the Old Gods. These are all enjoyable with the exception of the previously mentioned hold with is basically defend yourself against several waves of demons, fight a boss, fight waves, fight a boss, fight waves, fight a boss and is just boring. The dungeons are also linked to the story and class halls with a few quests taking you into them. Now I’m not a huge dungeon guy but I found that on normal and heroic they were enjoyable however I am a little annoyed two dungeons in Suramar are mythic only so yeah need to a form a high level group to take those on. Speaking of Mythic a new feature Blizzard has added is mythic plus. How this works is you purchase a mythic keystone and then you can use it to start a timer where you will have a certain amount of time to complete the dungeon and doing so you get more rewards. However the keystone also gets upgraded and using it again the challenge starts again but the difficulty increases as do the rewards. This is how Blizzard is helping deal with the end game by letting you fight tougher and tougher challenges in dungeons until you are defeated but also rewarding you for going well. Now I haven’t tried this yet as it being Mythic not really had a chance but for the dungeon runners out there this is for you.
Now raiding can’t say much as not many of them are open yet but with the next patch Karazhan is being revamped with new content and other include fighting in the Emerald Nightmare and taking on the Nightbourne high council and their demon allies to liberate the city so looks like some good ones are coming.
So I haven't played too much of the demon hunter but that's mainly because it just didn't do it for me. Maybe because I have a bunch of characters who already do similar jobs in game already but they just didn't really click for me. However Demon Hunters start off with their zone in the burning crusade where Illidan sends them on a mission to a demon world while he stays behind to halt the invaders of the Black Temple. This mission goes on explaining how the demon hunter works and upon completing it you return to find Illidan defeated and you end up imprisoned by Maiev. It then goes back to the current time and Maeiv reluctantly frees you as while she hates you... she hates the legion more. From then on you then decide to join the horde if a Blood Elf or Alliance if a Night Elf. Now the main difference between demon hunters and other classes is they have 2 specs instead of 3 one making them a tank and the other a damage dealer. Both have some similar abilities e.g. double jumping and gliding god that last one is so useful in some zones here but apart from that they fit into those 2 roles though will admit blasting demons with fel energy is amusing but yeah didn't do anything for me that my warrior, death knight, rogue, mage and warlock couldn't do so can't say much more though the artefact quests were pretty boring which is a shame as there class hall is pretty cool.
End game content
So you’ve reached level 110… so what now? Well along with the class hall stuff, Suramar and Dungeons a few story quests open up. These need to be expanded upon in a future update but what is there so far is quite intriguing and shows where they plan to take the story and I like it so far. Along with that the world quests open up. Now each day you will get a representative from one of the regions along with the Wardens and Kirin Tor who will ask you to complete 4 quests in their zone. Doing so will grant you gold rewards, artefact power, rare and epic items and occasionally legendary ones. Completing all 4 quests will and talking to the emissary will reward you a chest that contains more powerful items that can further increase your artefact power. The emissary will stick around for 3 days and you can have 3 emissary’s at a time so even if you miss a day or two there will still be stuff to do. My only real gripe with these are there only seem to be a few quests in each zone and they repeat themselves quite often which is a bit of a pain and the Kirin Tor this is really noticeable as they seem to have 3 types only. Along with that there’s always the professions stuff and believe me I’ve made way to much gold mining stuff and selling it on the auction house at the moment.
So overall how do I find Legion? Well so far I have to say I’m enjoying it. The levelling was great, the artifacts are awesome and while I’m not playing as much as when it launched I’m still enjoying doing world quests and continuing the story in Suramar. Whether it will still this way will have to see how Blizzard supports it in future patches but for now it’s suffice to say Legion is doing.
So for those who have been waiting to see if it’s any good before doing so I can safely say it is, for those who used to play WOW I say give it a go as you get 30 days game time with Legion and for those who haven’t well you can always create a level 20 and go from there and now is probably a best time as barely anyone is in the earlier content as we’re all playing Legion. Now if you excuse me *grabs a pickaxe and tackles a nearby Felslate Basilisk* GIVE ME YOUR ORE!
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