As we all know, World of Warcraft had a rather bumpy ride in recent years. With the previous expansion, Warlords of Draenor, failing to meet expectations after the initial player rush, Legion is quite possibly the last opportunity for Blizzard to restore WoW to its place as the top MMORPG. While only time will tell how successful Legion is in the long run, the short-term impressions are very positive. There are numerous new features specifically designed to keep the player engrossed and actively completing content, along with a slew of other features to ease players into the game and make content more accessible to newcomers and returning players alike.
The first major addition unique to Legion is a new type of weapon – and a new system to go with it. Almost as soon as you begin adventuring in the expansion you will receive your first Artifact Weapon, a special legendary tool of mayhem that will never leave your side. The first one you receive will match the spec you’re currently using, but very quickly you will receive 2 more to complete your off-spec setups. This artifact will level independently as you complete quests or collect items that add “Artifact Power”, making it a constant companion from start to finish. What’s more, the artifact has its own skill tree with its own possible upgrades and unlocks, making the whole thing customizable and extremely useful.
Of course, Legion also adds a new class. Similar to the Death Knight “Hero” class, Legion introduces the Demon Hunter. Starting at level 98 and reaching 100 by the time you complete the class’ starting zone, the Demon Hunter is probably the most awaited class ever since The Burning Crusade released. A 2-spec melee class (DPS or Tanking), the Demon Hunter uses the iconic Glaive weapons and wears leather. Even if melee isn’t your thing, I strongly recommend you begin one even if for the sole purpose of going through the class starting area. It is packed with lore, cutscenes and is overall a fun romp through a few hours of WoW history.
If you’ve played Warlords of Draenor, you surely remember the Garrison. An upgrade from Pandaria’s little farm, it made you feel like the king of your own castle as you sent your minions to fight and fetch for you. Legion further extends on the concept with the addition of the “Class Order Hall”. Being your one-stop-shop for anything you might need, the Order Hall also has a long and rewarding quest chain for you to complete as well as other, more mundane tasks to perform. Unlike Pandaria’s farm or Warlords’ garrison, though, the Class Hall is a place for players to get together as opposed to sitting in their own instanced fort isolated from everyone.
Legion also introduces a whopping eight 5-man instances at launch. Like a lot of other things, the 5-mans have been somewhat overhauled and improved to make them feel less of a grind and more of an experience. A new difficulty is set to be introduced (Mythic+, an incrementally increasing difficulty) and the entire loot mechanic has been overhauled – I won’t bore you with the numbers but in a nutshell, the more content you complete the better your loot becomes. Chaining content in this expansion is likely to be far more rewarding than before and hopefully a lot less monotonous. It also bears mentioning that in true Blizzard fashion, raids will be released later and in segments, so stay tuned for when that comes around.
One last item worth mentioning is the long-awaited graphics upgrade. With the introduction of the 64-bit client, Blizzard started making several changes to the game’s look to bring it to a more modern appeal. This can currently be seen in increased draw distances and finer control over graphic settings – it may not seem like much but it is a step in the right direction and I truly hope that Blizzard keeps up the upgrades. Of course, Blizzard officially announced that all future graphics updates will only apply to the 64-bit client, meaning even those of us running older machines can still enjoy the game in a lower graphic setting.
As you can see, a lot of effort went into making Legion a great expansion – to the point where it almost feels like a regular RPG you play with your friends. The new zones have quest lines that are actually fun and engaging (and in keeping with WoW tradition, some that are outlandish and silly). There is certainly a noticed effort to make the story a stronger part of gameplay through cutscenes as opposed to walls of text or boring lengthy monologues, too, which is a nice addition even for players like myself that don’t really follow along the lore.
It seems to me that Legion is set to be an excellent expansion, but much like Warlords before it we won’t know until the full content becomes available. There are still 2 more instances to instance, raids to raid and bosses to clobber upside the head until loot spills out. For now, it’s a very good step in the right direction and I’m feeling hopeful, which is quite something, coming from a long-time Affliction Warlock and a cynic.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.