The MMORPG World of Warcraft will be 12 years old in November, seeking to redeem itself from the disaster which was previous expansion ‘Warlords of Draenor’. While ‘Warlords of Draenor’ saw some initial hype at its launch, it became quickly apparent the expansion had very little content, instead segregating players into their own phased bubbles (garrisons) meaning they never really saw the world.
With the subscriber count hitting its lowest point, Blizzard had to do something drastic. What better method than bringing back the Burning Legion? The first expansion, ‘The Burning Crusade’ was the game’s most popular, and Blizzard hoped to rekindle that love for demon-slaying in the latest expansion ‘Legion’. But how does it shape up?
In truth, it’s difficult to say just yet. As previously mentioned, ‘Warlords of Draenor’ had a lot of love at the beginning. It is worth mentioning however that ‘Legion’ saw one of the smoothest launches Blizzard have ever pulled off, with very little server lag or lockouts. In the first few weeks however it does seem that pretty much all complaints have been addressed.
Class Halls are perhaps the biggest feature of this expansion, and are exactly what garrisons should have been. Each class has a unique building designed around the theme of the class where they can hang out and complete class specific missions which makes the player feel like their class choice was actually vaguely important for once.
Additionally, players now receive ‘Artefact’ weapons which fit with class and even specialization lore which once again helps to remind players of the importance of their class. Although it could be seen as quite gimmicky, there’s something very satisfying about wielding weapons so prominent throughout World of Warcraft lore.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the new levelling system. Whereas previously, there would be a set series of zones to complete, players can do any of the new expansion zones in whichever order they prefer. Through some sort of wizardry, Blizzard have managed to make it so that players of different levels can play together but still be fighting mobs scaled to their own personal level. Truly an outstanding innovation from Blizzard.
Other new additions see tweaks to endgame content which look promising, such as mythic dungeons and PvP-only abilities, but it is too early in the expansion to really tell how successful these features will be.
There has clearly been a lot of work put into the storytelling this expansion. Each zone has a compelling and interesting storyline, while the overarching story succeeds at being ever-present and engaging.
Overall, this promises to be one of the best expansions to the game, and could certainly see the title lifted close to its previous heights.