Successful add-on that solves annoying problems, offers great innovations and has the potential to replace BC / WotLK as the best WoW add-ons.
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Anyone who has been playing WoW for a long time has probably asked themselves the question: is there ever again such a good add-on as Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King? Let’s be honest, Pandaria wasn’t great for most players, and Warlords of Draenor wasn’t there after a long 21 months. Personally, I now see Pandaria as the low point and WoD as the turning point. But back to the first question: Yes, the bad times are finally over, Legion is finally going uphill again!
Now to the difficult and probably somewhat longer part: What exactly does Legion do differently or better than its predecessors? Well, that’s not because of one big point, but because of many small improvements that eliminate problems that have bothered you for a long time. There are far too many for this article, so I’ll limit myself to the most important ones.
I don’t want to reveal anything about the great story at this point, so only this much: Anyone who is interested in the plot will not be disappointed. The fight takes on cosmic proportions and takes some drastic twists and turns that you definitely don’t expect (@ Blizzard Lore Department: I hold it against you about Ysera, you don’t do that). You also meet many new and well-known characters who (again) are allowed to play a major role in the overall event.
Mother, the man with the quests is here!
If you look at the map of the devastated islands for the first time and then compare it with the areas of the last expansion, you quickly get the idea that the space on the planet has to slowly decrease and the new areas are therefore getting smaller and smaller. The islands may be smaller in size, but don’t think there is less to do because of it – the opposite is the case.
The zones are crammed with quests to the point of vomiting. Whenever you think, “Thank God, finally finished here, I can no longer see the quest giver” a new NPC with orders hops out from behind a bush and throws the next sentence of jobs at your head. The designers in the Suramar end zone have almost overdone it.
Here are a few numbers for comparison: At the end of Pandaria there were a little more than 1500 quests. At the end of WoD it was well over 1800. In Legion there are already as many as there were at the final times of WoD (around 400 of them in Suramar) – even though some quest lines are not yet activated and with the following patches there will be a few more add a hundred tasks. To get from level 90 to 100 in WoD, you had to cross about four to five of the six starting zones. In Legion you only need about 1.5 to 2.5 zones for the ten levels up to 110.
But don’t worry in view of this abundance of quests, the leveling is much faster than in WoD, as the paths are not that long and there are more experience points and more sources. When it comes to the tasks themselves, Blizzard is not reinventing the wheel – as well as, somewhere you’ve seen even the funniest and craziest quests.
Once you have made it to the final stage, the first thing you will notice is a clear jump into an equipment hole. In other words: If you pounded a dozen opponents into the ground at level 109, suddenly at level 110 it is the minions who put on the nasty grin. This is due to the final scaling and gets better within a few days if you have cashed in some equipment that also corresponds to the final level.
Another point that immediately catches the eye at level 110 is the flood of tasks. The one goal – to reach the final level – suddenly becomes very many. The remaining zones offer countless quests that you should also do for the reputation of the factions. Speaking of factions: So far there are six of them that you can suckle into. Equipment, craft recipes, toys, pets and so on are waiting there.
In addition, you have to inflate your collection of artifact weapons with millions of artifact power points, advance the professions with their seemingly endless quest series and the class hall needs to be improved and equipped with champions – the latter are shooed to their missions. In addition, there are dozens of world quests every day, ten dungeons await with lots of loot and the “Mythic +” dungeons and the first raid are just around the corner. The to-do list goes on forever, so nobody should get bored for the next few weeks and months.
Class hall: the minimalist WoD garrison
The garrison with its subordinates is also there in Legion in the form of the class hall, but in a very heavily cropped form. There are barely a dozen champions to choose from, and only around half of them can be activated. The bottom line is that a maximum of three missions can be started, of which there are rarely more than six.
One can argue about the design of the classrooms. So far I have taken a closer look at the Druid Grove, the Hall of the Mage Guardians and the Villains’ Den of Robbers, and I can only say that they fit in well with the class imagination and I like all of them. The latter in particular: whispering a password to an NPC so that a secret passage behind a bookshelf can be opened and the way into the secret shadowy world under Dalaran is revealed, is simply reminiscent of too many fantasy films.
But those who are bothered by the design of their class hall no longer have to get by as long as with the garrison in WoD. The halls serve more as a quick stopover, from which you can set off for world quests and dungeons. You only have to come back here when it comes to improving the artifact weapon (s), sending missions or researching the hall improvements.
Artifact weapons: suddenly we are all legendary
Artifact weapons are arguably the most important innovation and the flagship of Legion. Since there are no new skills for the heroes as they level up, the artifact weapon is now the central point of contact for character improvements. For each talent specialization of each class there is a unique artifact weapon that can be obtained through an individual quest line right at the beginning of the add-on. Apart from the unique artifact ability, the weapon cannot do anything at the beginning and therefore doesn’t feel particularly “legendary”.
Many more quests and the gathering of artifact power – a new resource especially for weapons – are necessary to gradually unlock each of the 54 improvements. With each activated improvement, the need for artifact power for the next level increases. To counteract this, you can hire an NPC in the class hall to research the artifact. He then delivers an item every few days that permanently increases the amount of artifact power received by a fixed percentage. This is how you gradually get stronger. This is especially noticeable in the instances: If you have done carefully group by group beforehand, you run right through to the first boss with a little more equipment and 16 points in the weapon and pull everything that comes in front of your nose with you.
But even if you regularly check out all the artifact power sources and advance the research, you will be busy for several months until all improvements are unlocked – and then there are still the artifacts of the other specialization plus an artifact fishing rod for the fishing enthusiasts. So you definitely have enough to do.
High mobility: who needs flight mounts when they have toys?
For a long time WoD was unable to encourage players to regularly explore the game world. This was mainly due to the strong fixation on the garrison (where you got everything you needed). But the long ways to the few reputation, farm, and outside quests were at least as much responsible for it. It wasn’t until Patch 6.3, when flying was allowed again, that the situation improved a little.
Free flying is also not possible in Legion for the time being. However, you don’t really miss that at the maximum level. The reason for this are toys and aids that improve mobility. In Suramar, for example, there are plenty of teleporters and in Stormheim and a few other areas you can move around the impassable area with grappling hooks. With the sky horn kite large distances can be bridged, but due to the long cooldown time it is better to use the gobling ladder kit again. The best and most important aid, however, is the flight master’s whistle, with which you can quickly get to the next flight master. Later there are other things like successes that further increase mobility.
Unfortunately, a test hotfix has been running since September 8th, which means that some of the toys such as the Brulfaust idol have become useless or now have long cooldown times. The most important item was not changed. In addition, there are still many aids that greatly increase freedom of movement. Blizzard still leaves open whether the old state will return, but unfortunately that is not very likely.
No more farming / grinding reputation
Up until now it was in WoW that one achieved the rank “friendly”, with luck “benevolent” with the quests in the respective zones. Then you set out to stupidly knock down a collection of opponents in small, defined areas for days, hour after hour, while watching a film on the second monitor until you finally achieved the desired reputation. Those times are finally a thing of the past with Legion.
The call comes first from the main quest of the zone, but then the world quests and the emissary quests take the turn of the grind. For every normal world quest, there are around 75 reputation with the commissioning faction. The emissary quests are a kind of meta-quest, for which you always have to complete four to five world quests of a specific faction. This is then rewarded with 1,500 reputation points with a faction.
The emissary quests practically take care of themselves while you go through the world quests. However, if you do not have that much time to meet the requirements, you are not exposed to great pressure – there is only one emissary quest per day and you can run up to three of them. The bottom line is that increasing the reputation takes about the same time or a little longer than in WoD. But there is no annoying, brainless assassination of the same opponents.
More endgame content outside of raids
Endgame content in the PvE section used to mean visiting a raid with 10 to 30 people several days a week to get the best equipment in the game. This is extremely time-consuming and unfortunately simply not feasible for the majority of the player base. The only thing left was to do all the quests, to farm the best possible equipment from all dungeons and to maximize the reputation with the factions. That was done after three to four months. After that, boredom was announced.
So that players in Legion have a longer incentive to play, the world quests and the new dungeon difficulty level “Mystic +” have been introduced, which I already explained in more detail in the first impression. The new Myth + Dungeons will not open their doors until September 21, but it is already clear that they are the best alternative for small groups and players without time for a raid. The reason: Myth + Dungeons get more difficult with each level, because the damage to the opponents increases and they get additional skills, but the loot also gets better. So good that they are equivalent to the items from raids (excluding sets).
days and the chances are good that they will continue to be interesting. This is mainly due to the rewards. Regardless of whether gold, resources, craft material, artifact power or equipment – there is a corresponding quest for everyone. There is no obligation to complete all quests, but there is nothing against it. Apart from the PvP quests, which appear every two hours, you always have several hours to days to complete the quests. In addition, thanks to the aforementioned high mobility, it usually only takes five to ten minutes to navigate and complete a quest and start the next.
Above all, the scaling of the reward should ensure high motivation across the entire add-on. So you increase the received artifact power points by means of artifact research and the equipment is scaled with your own equipment level. In other words, you always have a small chance of getting a better item. Often times it is also easier to get an item through a world quest than to wait for the correct drop in the raid.
The technical side
With each add-on, the developers also polished up the look – also in Legion. Unless you are generally against the comic look of WOW, the ten-year-old game does not have to shy away from comparison with new titles. The servers have been 99% stable since the start. Only at peak times and on weekends were sporadic short lags to be noticed – apart from a larger lag that was related to a DDOS attack on the server.
On the other hand, there are a few well-known problems that have been around for years. For example, animal domination hunters continue to suffer from companions who like to get stuck on edges and then passively watch as the hunter is riveted by the elite opponent. Alternatively, the companion continues to grow and is then as big as a house.
The huge big cat should actually not be bigger than the boss or its owner. At first a funny mistake, but if the companion animal continues to grow, at some point you can no longer see what you are firing at or whether you have to avoid any attacks.
The regular quests in the zones all went as good as without any problems. However, there are currently a few world quests that are not marked as such on the map. You just stumble into it while riding past. In the meantime, however, there is already a reaction from the development department that suggests a fix soon.
If you are looking for more hairs in the soup, you can also find small problems: Some respawn times are too high for the current rush of players (especially the heavily over-farmed PvP quest spots) and the difference in damage between some classes is again very noticeable at the beginning. Warlocks – who should actually be deadly demonic machines of destruction – are currently fighting for the last place in the group with the healer, while hunters and warriors just press a button and the damage meter explodes. This is also not uncommon for an add-on start, which is why a large balancing wave usually follows after about three weeks. Still, it’s very frustrating for players right now.
After Pandaria and WoD, people had secretly hoped that Legion would do better than its predecessors. After all, you have already seen with the new content patch philosophy that the development team has recognized the problems in the right place. To solve this, a few designers from the Diablo 3 team were brought in to implement the ideas that worked well there for WoW as well. And what can I say, Legion has turned out to be a hit. Countless small improvements and innovations work on the little corners and edges that have always bothered you, and thus ensure an all-round better gaming experience. How long the newly introduced World Quests and Myth + Dungeons can keep players happy remains to be seen.
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