Yesterday released Blizzard patch 8.0 for World of Warcraft, which effectively signals the beginning of the next expansion, Battle for Azeroth. It's an exciting update full of changes both big and small, but 8.0 is also called Legion's end, the best expansion since 2008's Wrath of the Lich King. Now that it's over, I can not help being sorry. It has been a great two years of World of Warcraft's 1
And it's easy to see why. As a matter of course, a life crisis with Catacylsm and Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft has seen itself in self-esteem – a bold vision that sheds the past while it is not linked to it. Legion made World of Warcraft more accessible than ever before, while nailing a cadence of updates and dynamic content that knew I always had to log in. After years of worry about World of Warcraft's best year, Legion is a strong
For the Broken Isles
Legion, Warcraft's Sixth Expansion, launched almost two years since August 30, 2016. When I first reviewed then I said it was "a terrible weight" by compensating for the flop that was Warlords of Draenor. While the Warriors in Draenor began to promise, the core has isolated players in single instances of the world and meaningful updates were too few and far from. Soon after, Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft had throw over 3 million subscribers since the warlords launch. There was just not much reason to play. While World of Warcraft was still easily the most popular MMO with over 6 million subscribers, there was not much promising news for the future of the game. And the Legion would have to be the expansion that transformed these nausea stirrers.
When Blizzard first announced Legion on Gamescom 2015, fans were worried that it could be a quick development to break the ongoing dissatisfaction with Warlords of Draenor. But when Blizzard revealed a few months later at Blizzcon, it was already clear that Legion did not repeat Warcraft's previous mistakes. Instead, Blizzard would give players everything they were asking for since the Burning Crusade was launched in 2006.
Gone were the single-player garrisons, for example, the limited players to their own little bass whenever they were not looking questing. Instead, Legion would introduce class-specific Order Halls where everyone in the same class would hang up to retrieve new history missions, assign assignments to NPC followers, and propel new artifacts. And Demon Hunters finally became a playable class – one of the best that Blizzard has ever designed. Not only are they good at fighting (I especially love how unpleasant the thoughtful Vengeance specialization feels), but their ability to fly and overall mobility makes World of Warcraft feel kinetic in a way it never had before. I had a Demon Hunter throughout the Legion and loved it.
When I first played Legion, I found one of World of Warcraft's most exquisite details and designed zones so far. The Broken Isles was one of the world's biggest hits of World of Warcraft lore, where every zone draws inspiration from a beloved corner of Azeroth. Choice Sharah was a rich woodland slowly succumbing to a festering root, while Azsuna was a melancholy river ruin. Each of the five zones was so distinct that it was a little stupid to go from one to the next but they also exemplified how good Blizzard is in a world-class building. A subtle but still great improvement was with level scaling, which has now been applied to all old zones as well . In Legion, each of the four leveling zones could be managed no matter what order you wanted and the monsters would always scale to your level to keep things challenging.
Legion also improved and iterated on Warlords of Draenor's already major quest design. Treasures, elite monsters and easter eggs were scattered everywhere and encouraged me to take countless detours to my next goal. And the assignments themselves varied widely and told interesting stories that helped to deepen my understanding of the world and its inhabitants. I especially loved Suramar, the final game zone limited to characters of level 110. This eleven city was a big advance in how Blizzard designed urban areas. Each district was buzzing with activity and interesting things to see and do. The overall story of the exiled Nightborne who started a revolution in Suramar that was heard in connection with two updates was fun, even though they sometimes felt like a gate.
While I still want to see Battle for Azeroth, this Legion is felt more social thanks to the public order hall and new world quests. When players reached the level of 110, World Quest would dynamically cross the Broken Isles who offered all kinds of loot. It encouraged players to come out and exist in the world instead of hiding in Dalaran and waiting to enter pre-matched prisons and raids. It meant that the world itself was constantly full of players to succeed and (if the mood struck me) gank.
If there are two main features that ensure Legion will remember, it's no doubt Mythic + Dungeons and the update rate. The first was a much needed explanation of how the prison holes fit into the growing list of activities one player reaches when they reach the level hat. In previous extensions, the prison cavities were often treated as a pace for the ultimate playoff: raiding. But the problem was that when you drove them enough times to get the gear you needed there were no reasons to go back.
Legion fixed this in a big way. Taking a nick from Diablo 3's Rifts, Mythic + was a new, flexible difficulty mode that rewarded the equipment as well as everything you could find in raider. Every week, players will get a mythical keystone that unlocked a specific Mythic + version of a prison cave with enemies who had increased health and damage to their common mythical versions. If you hit the prison cave, you got a more powerful loot and your keystone level up to a more difficult level of Mythic + and set you off to another prison.
But the real challenge came from the links that would slowly be stored as your Mythical Keystone reached higher levels. Enemies can ignore thoughts and go to healers, empower their allies when they die or blast explosive orbs that must be destroyed. More scary appropriations would penalize physicians to abandon or send shockwaves out of players who injure and interrupt their allies.
Mythic + made the prison cave a playoff instead of a climbing stone and it was challenging as hell. It ran to its limits and was rewarded with amazing tools but was exempted from the sometimes unnecessary and unavoidable requirements for hardcore raiding. More importantly, it made the dungeon fun to run every week instead of another grinding. It's no surprise Mythic + will be a pillar of the Battle of Azeroth prisons.
But the best thing about Legion that everyone can appreciate is how aggressively Blizzard released major updates. To put it in perspective, Warlords of Draenor had only two major updates while Legion had a giant five.
Update 7.1 came just two months after Legion's launch and introduced Return to Karazhan, a fan-favorite raid transformed into a mega-dungeon. It may take hours to complete the first time completely. Two and a half months later, the Patch 7.1.5 released a new raid, The Nighthold, while there was a new Timewalking Dungeon event (where players can jump into prison caves from older expansions to rewards) and the brawler Brawler's Guild boss-rush mode. Another two months saw the release of 7.2, giving a mini zone, new dungeon and raid and dynamic demon invasions across the Broken Isles. And five months later, Legion received its greatest update when Blizzard added three mines on Argus, never before seen, a new raid and dungeon, two new fractions and minor features like Invasion Points.
There was always something to do in Legion and Blizzard by 7.3 when players became intergalactic travelers and explored Argus, headquarters of The Burning Legion. It was a dramatic climax for an expansion full of dramatic climaxes. It was only earlier this year that things began to slow down as Blizzard shifted the focus of developing Battle for Azeroth. The only massively annoying part of the legion was the way 7.2 walkway much of its story to dump feeders for 11 weeks until the new razzine opened. But afterwards it's hard to be bitter considering how good Legion's other updates were after the launch. At last, it felt that, after the tears of dragon's warlords, Blizzard hit a step that kept everyone happy.
As a matter of Artifact
Not all about the Legion was sunshine and demon-slaying. While Blizzard nailed how the players got a new loot, the Legion released the ball on which the new byte was. Initially, the expansion gave each class specialization a unique artifact weapon – a powerful war material like Thrall's fabled Doomhammer. The message was clear: The players would use the most powerful weapons in the famous world against The Burning Legion.
First, artifact weapons were large. Unlike the normal tool, they had inherent properties that were locked up and leveled by Artifact Power. To begin with, the choice of which chose to level up a significant effect chose, but later, Artifact Weapons felt like a linear gate for marginal improvement. They just were not exciting anymore. Even worse, Artifact Weapons made leveling alternative signs a real pain early in the Legion. Players had to wait real-time at annoying "research levels" to get their new artifact weapons on par with their other characters, "a process that became so terrible. Blizzard completely removed it in a later update. Afterwards, artifact weapons were fun to wear,
But also Artifact weapons pale in comparison to Legion's most serious problem: Legendary tools. In previous extensions, Legendary objects have been assigned for herculean feats like completing epic questlines or striking the hardest raider several times. It was a sign of your status as a top tier player, and the Legion threw all this away for a system that favored RNG in particular.
Like Diablo 3, Legendaries in Legion can be obtained from wherever any and anything. You can sneeze on a sickly antelope and a legendary object can pop up. It was not rewarding at all. Worse, these Legends had a dramatic effect on your performance in battle. But because everything was RNG, it was quite random who had the best Legends and who had nothing at all – and that made the players furious. Throughout the extension, Blizzard tried to update Legendaries and make them less terrible but the damage was done.
An equally annoying system was Titan-Forging, which would sometimes lose equipment and randomly make it stronger without any reason for Everything. Like Legendaries, it was the complete RNG that gave the players exorbitant powerful equipment without requiring any extra of them. It was supposed to be a nice little bonus but those without the Titan-Forged gear seemed to be omitted. It was these random elements of the Legion that really made loot, feels like a sharp shot. Players have assumed that monsters can not always let go of the equipment they want, but it was very frustrating to get someone else to get a much stronger tool for nothing but happiness. But in comparison to what Legion succeeded, these frustrations are a small (but very noticeable) spot.
When I first reviewed Legion and gave it 90 out of 100 I was afraid that, like the warlords of Draenor, it would make a good first impression, but let go of the ball for months. Instead, Legion significantly improved every new update by adding a dizzying amount of missions to do and areas to explore. At the same time, smart innovations like Mythic + ran this 14-year-old MMO ahead of its competitors by refreshing an old formula and making it an exciting and valuable investment.
While Struggling Sometimes Legion was all I wanted from World of Warcraft: A huge world for exploring, tough and negative group content and a constant stream of new things to do each week. Now that it's over, I can safely say that Legion is the best two years I've played World of Warcraft since it launched the first time in 2004. The Battle of Azeroth is just a month away from the launch, but Blizzard has his work cut out for them if they are hoping for the legion.