Legion: A Questing Simulator For World of Warcraft
It may seem a little late for a review, but I personally find it hard to take a review seriously by someone that doesn’t have a level 110 character. How can you legitimately review a game, not knowing what the endgame is like? Well, I have two 110s now thanks to my little speed leveling experiments. I would personally say Legion is a return to the expansions of old. Warcraft’s greatest expansions. The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich king. You can see a lot of these two expansions in Legion. The environment, the music, and the meaningful storytelling. Best of all though, Worgen have taken quite a prominent role in this expansion. Moreso than any race except humans. I think this is easily the second or third best expansion. Not without its flaws though, and man is there a big one.
I think the story is what makes or breaks an expansion. A good, strong story gives the player a clear direction. Legion’s direction is a dark and serious one. So many of the characters we’ve come to know and love have been taken from us in the blink of an eye. The rivalry between the Alliance and Horde is instantly brought to the forefront in the initial assault on The Broken Shores. This, for me, is a necessity for any good expansion. Like an Imperial Star Destroyer at the beginning of every Star Wars movie, a good fanning of the flames of war is a necessity for a World of Warcraft expansion. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I think it’s safe to recommend you don’t get attached to any NPCs. The next time you see them may be the last. Even the quests begin to reflect the mood. The world is a very dark place right now. One of the rare spawn encounters has you rescue a baby bear cub who is sitting next to its slaughtered parent and siblings in their den. Surprisingly graphic. I think Blizzard has tuned this expansion towards an older audience, and I think they’ve tuned it well.
I’m kinda meh on the Order Halls. I think they’re a good idea, but terrible in execution. You get to hang out with random strangers now instead of by yourself. So it’s almost exactly the same as Garrisons in other words. I think if it served as a quest hub instead of a gathering place it’d be better. I don’t really care about the lore for my Warrior’s Order Hall, but it’s better than most. Some of the Order Halls have atrocious stories and lore, and it’s really depressing to have to play one of those classes. It really feels like getting a participation trophy, instead of feeling even remotely special or important (Poor Hunters). Blizzard continues to miss the mark in the player-housing arena, which is really boggling to me. Garrisons looked amazing, but the solo experience was pretty awful. Order Halls are only slightly less awful.
As far as leveling up, the questing is superb. Fun quests, funny quests, and some story-driven quests. I never got bored with one particular quest type. Kill X mobs, gather Y goat bladders – there was very little of that. One particular questline has you dancing your little hind-parts off! CUKKAW! You’ll know what I mean when you get to it. Another let’s you assume the role of a Night Elf wisp. I liked the variety available in quests. Quests also scale to whatever level you are. You can quest in any zone, at any time. Got a higher level friend? No problem. Mobs and Quests scale to everyone’s level at the same time. It’s like magic.
Unfortunately though, the questing never stops. Ever. Want to work on your professions skills? You do that by questing. Want to unlock all the relic slots in your artifact weapon? More questing. Ready to unlock World Quests? Cool, go do questing IN EVERY ZONE. And of course once you unlock World Quests, you’ll do more questing. Blizzard has shoved questing down everyone’s throat this expansion. The continual questing is overbearing, oppressive, and the worst part of this expansion. At no point do you ever get a hint that it might be over soon either. I have never had such a feeling of frustration after hitting max level in a game. All the questing robs you of any feeling of accomplishment. I love so much about Legion, but just cannot stand all the questing. It’s a roller coaster of emotion. While I stop short of not recommending this expansion, I would seriously consider your willingness to continually quest before you buy it. Once you get 110, you literally have to spend another several levels worth of time just getting ready for endgame. It’s probably more like 112 or 113. The worst part is that it is forced upon every character you level, and the class campaigns are identical so far. Enjoy doing the same thing over, and over, and over. And over.
I know I ranted about questing above, but I have to admit that I love World Quests. I can get my World PvP fix, as well as upgrade my gear, farm gold, and generally goof off all at the same time. World Quests are scattered across the Broken Shore. They each have different timers, and when the timers run out, they are replaced by something else. You have 3 slots on your map to tell you which World Quests you need to do. Each slot is a different faction, and is replaced daily with a new faction. You have to do 4 quests for each faction to get the reward. Some factions are tied to a zone, so you can knock out two quests at once by doing a quest for one faction, in another faction’s assigned zone. None of them are too complex, and some of them are actually fun. I actually find myself enjoying moving zone to zone to complete them when I have a backlog. You can gear up through world quests too. Some quests will offer gear, and your gearscore affects what level the reward is. The higher you go, the higher the reward goes. This implementation of questing gets my seal of approval.
I love the implementation of artifact weapons. They are one of the shining stand-outs of this expansion. Essentially you get a skill tree specifically for combat. It does require you to know your class very well, but a little research and extra planning time is all that is required to catch up. What I love most about Artifact Weapons is the storylines that go with them! Even the mediocre stories so far have been great. The Ashbringer, Frostmourne, Alleria Windrunner’s bow! THE SCYTHE OF ELUNE! Legendary weapons that we’ve all read about and stared in awe over, now in our hands. I’ve recorded several of them and put them on my YouTube channel, with definitely more to come.
More To Like About Legion Than Not
Overall, I am excited for what’s in store for Legion. There seems to be a fair bit more lore being provided throughout, which is World of Warcraft’s biggest draw for me. Hopefully in the future they address the abusive questing. Maybe with heirlooms, consumables, or something we haven’t seen yet. The universe of World of Warcraft is alive again for me. Some of my friends are even back to share the experience. The stage has been set, and Blizzard looks to be delivering some powerful stories in the future with this expansion. I’m glad to be here to see it.