World of Warcraft | Legion Review
- Val'sharah. The best quest content in Legion and some of the best ever created. I worried, I cried. Its awesome.
- Aszuna. Also good questing and storylines. Its not as tight as Val'sharah and lacks the feels, but is still a lot of fun.
- Level scaling. It worked like a dream, spreading players out across the content. It allows disparate levels to work together. It lets you do whatever dungeons you prefer when levelling. All in all, a good addition (special thanks go to Guild Wars 2 for starting the trend).
- Khadgar the Troll. Who ever got sent to Dalaran Crater by a mage playing portal roulette? Seems Khadgar wanted in on the fun and the portal to Dalaran Crater used to access some areas in the Order Hall stories makes you appear, as with the mage portal, where you would land if Dalaran was still there. And then you fall.
- Positive play and tagging. I have long believed that the lack of tagging in Guild Wars 2 leads to a more positive player base. Other players are always good - they help you get where you want to go quicker. This is borne out by the experience in Legion.
- Artifact and Order Hall quests. I now have to play every class this expansion to see the different quests. The paladin one was excellent. All three weapons were fun and I liked how the quests were designed to allow you to use the spec you were gaining a weapon for.
- Storyline. I've mentioned some specifics, but actually the overall expansion story is very strong. Some of the very best characters are back. Maive, the Naaru, Illidan. In fact, most of the Alliance leaders have had some good storyline (apart from the gnomes, but they got Hunters so thats enough love). I haven't seen the Horde storyline yet, but Sylvanas definitely made an appearance.
- Artifacts. I suspect not everyone would put these in the good (maybe another entry under mixed), but I'm wielding the Ashbringer. Nuff said. Actually, the system seems good, but I suspect it will be short lived unless they add to the existing content in either depth or breadth. Still, with transmogging in place and lots of awesome weapons out there, I won't be sad if I can just ignore that slot for most of the expansion.
- World Quests. There is a huge variety of end game content and its all packed up into little bit sized chunks. The overarching sets give you a good set of structured goals, whilst still allowing you to wander around and do what you want. There are quests of almost every kind too - pet battles, PvP, dungeons, world bosses, elites, kill 10 rats, etc. Theres something for everyone and it definitely alleviates some of the grind. It is, however, still a grind. But this is still an MMO and grind is a part of the genre.
- Professions. There are quests, levels of recipes, mini games. Definitely a huge improvement for the primary professions in particular. And there are new coins in the Dalaran fountain.
- New content. The first patch has already been announced and it looks rather good. The nostalgia for Karazhan ties in well with the new Mythic dungeon approach. It also appears to have been given the love it deserves with more than just a basic update. There will also be an ongoing weekly storyline. If they can sustain that between patches, then this will be impressive.
- Music. If one thing has gotten better and better in WoW, its the music. Especially Val'sharah and the way they built a variation on the Teldrassil music. Its not original, but it evokes the connection between Val'sharah and the rest of the Night Elves really well. I think all the zones have good musical themes that really suit them.
- Stormheim. Its both good and bad. Some of the storylines will send you to sleep, whilst others are very engaging. The mini-game in the zone is good, but can also be buggy. In the end there was enough good that I forgave it. That, and discovering that Hightmountain was so much worse.
- Order Halls. They look awesome. They're full of character. The quests, as I mentioned, have been great. The missions mechanic isn't great (though this is perhaps saved by the companion app). The upgrades are a bit 'meh'. And having to go to your Order Hall to change your weapon look and then a transmog person to change the rest of your gear is irritating when you are trying to build a complete look. I think this one is up in the air until we see how they play out across the expansion.
- Highmountain. A friend suggested it should be 'nuked from orbit' for the sheer level of dullness achieved by the questing there. I'd invite the Burning Legion to do just that. Please.
- Dungeon groups. Reaching new lows. Apparently since they are unable to behave like asshats as much in the open world with tagging gone, they go to special lengths in Dungeons.
- Dragons. You don't want to be a dragon in this game. Another aspect bit the dust. We found some wonderful blue dragons and some storm dragons, but I refuse to emotionally invest in dragons any more. It hurts too much when I have to kill them later.
Legion had a very smooth launch. The spreading of players across all four levelling zones, as well as in Dalaran, Order Halls, etc. seems to have worked. But a few bugs could be found.
- Being Hated. A couple of players have found that being Hated by a faction stopped their Order Hall/Artifact quests. The people hated by Booty Bay because they were farming Bloodsail Buccaneer rep? Fair enough. The people hated by Cenarion Circle because they though it was funny? Not so much.
- Stormheim mini game. Why? Why create content thats so much fun and then leave bugs in it that were there in July. Why?
- DDOS attacks. There is nothing Blizzard can do about these, so we the players just have to ignore it as best we can. Don't give the trolls the satisfaction of being angry. The attacks don't last long and they'll be sad for far more of the time than us. In fact, the DDOS attacks were so noticeable only because of the lack of other major issues in the launch.
Like most reviewers out there, I'm cautiously optimistic. Optimistic because the content at launch is great. Cautious because, no matter how good the launch is, it will be how well its sustained across the expansion that define the success of Legion. They are starting from a good place with lots of strong underlying systems. So we'll just have to wait and see. For now, we can just enjoy what is on offer because, for now at least, the World of Warcraft is at its best.