World of Warcraft: Legion, the next WoW expansion, was announced last week at Gamescom. After having a few days to think about the information, I wanted to talk about my initial thoughts. I’ll admit, I might not have anything completely novel to say, but I think it’s important for the community to be vocal. Plus, I enjoy the writing too!
Here’s a brief recap of what Legion’s offering:
- The Broken Isles
- Level 110
- Honor system 3.0
- Artifact weapons
- Class Order Halls
- The Emerald Dream and Emerald Nightmare
- Demon Hunters
- Queen Azshara
- The invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion
And we can’t forget this teaser:
The tomb of Sargeras is opened, and Azeroth is faced with the largest invasion of the Burning Legion ever. Okay, that’s cool. I don’t really have a strong reaction either way to the Broken Isles themselves, and while I would have preferred to fight the Burning Legion on a different world, this works too. Throwing Queen Azshara and the Emerald Nightmare into the mix seems like overkill a bit, but I assume it’ll be integrated nicely. I’m honestly a little surprised, but Blizzard has been getting better at running concurrent stories. In Warlords, I felt like we had separate stories that pieced together for a single narrative, and I predict (and hope) Blizzard’ll be even better at it in Legion.
Honor system 3.0
The new honor system is kind of strange. You gain honor to move from rank 1 to 50, unlocking PVP abilities. This allows PVP to be tuned separately from PVE. That’s cool I suppose, but does that mean that I’ll have abilities on my bars that only work in PVP? That kind of sucks. The ones I’ve seen have all replaced current abilities or are passives. If that’s the case, I’m good with it! It also introduced prestiging. Once you reach rank 50, you can prestige, earning cosmetic rewards while resetting your rank to 1. I like that system in general, but I wonder how that’ll change competitive PVP players. If you do arenas, you can’t really prestige back to being weak, right? That doesn’t matter to me, but I’m sure it matters to a lot of people.
Artifact weapons are special, lore-heavy weapons that every player will get. There’s one for each spec, and there will be no other weapon drops. You can increase their power through the expansion through something that looks reminiscent to the Path of the Titans (and to Final Fantasy X’s sphere grid). This actually sounds fairly exciting to me, but it has some interesting ramifications. In Warlords, I was the commander and eventually called a general by Vol’jin. In Legion, I’ll wield some powerful lore weapon. What happens next? Does this keep getting upped? Some examples they gave were frost DKs using the shards of Frostmourne to build two swords, ret paladins getting the Ashbringer, and enhancement shaman using the Doomhammer. Um, why isn’t Thrall carrying the Doomhammer? Why doesn’t Tirion have the Ashbringer? Are these characters going to die? Also, I have to add that Matticus on World of Matticus brought up the idea of priests getting Fearbreaker. Yes, please, please, please! That’d be pretty awesome.
I’m not all that excited to be a Demon Hunter, but I’m pretty excited to see their story. Of course, that means playing through their intro, so yes, I’m excited to play them in that sense at least! I think the Demon Hunter lore is pretty interesting, and Illidan has always been a fan favorite. This should be really awesome, I think.
Class Order Halls
Class Orders are the most exciting part of the expansion so far. Each class will get a class order hall, sort of like Acherus: The Ebon Hold was for Death Knights. It’ll be shared, but in the story, the player character will be the leader of the Class Order. This sounds incredibly neat and will really give flavor to each class. I love being a priest, and I never really felt like I had Horde priest lore figured that my character would respect and strive to emulate. I guess now that figure is me. While garrisons had way too many followers and only a few that seemed cool, Class Orders will have far fewer and much more important followers. Each class will have a different name for their “followers,” with champions being the paladins’ followers for example.
This seems like the progression of garrisons, although maybe more accurately the progression of Vol’mar and Lion’s Watch. Vol’mar is a shared location, but inside, the NPCs treat me as their leader. Regardless of how you see the evolution or whether you see them as related, Class Order Halls are what they are, and they sound fascinating.
Class identity is supposed to play a much bigger role in Legion, and I’m all for it. Even spec individuality is going to be explored. I think this is a fantastic idea, but one small thing seems odd to me. During the discussion of the new PVP system, Blizzard said that when you think disc priests, you think dispels – or something along those lines. If that’s the the most iconic part of being a disc priest, I wonder in what direction they will take discipline. To be fair, if many specs are getting overhauls, I’m not against the idea of switching to holy. We’ll see!
It really sounds like they’re giving us a lot. They’ve already dumped a lot of other interesting information that I didn’t even mention – Dalaran run by Khadgar and now floating over the Broken Isles? I’m really hopeful and expectant that the story is going to come together better than ever, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.
Now, where’s the dance studio?