Leveling in Legion: A Hell or A Bliss?

As I’ve dinged my first 110 in the weekend, it’s time to talk about leveling process in Legion.

The route for my first toon to level was clockwise: Azsuna – Val’sharah – Highmountain – Stormheim. I’ve done all the main storylines and tried to complete fill-the-bar quests too. I did the corresponding dungeons  – the ones to finish the pillars questlines. Also I did some quests for Order Hall missions and one more story arc about Light and Illidan. Well, what are the leveling issues?

Pro:

  • Loads of lore. Just don’t try and squeeze it in one day, your head will explode. Bite by bite – that’s the way to explore Legion.
  • Scaling is performing its intended function well: you may choose whatever route, and you can quest with you guildies or friends.
  • The stories are great. The only pity is that cinematics are not done for every zone’s climax.
  • You can grab extra quest hubs if you feel to do so. They are not obligatory for Loremaster achievements or to get you to 110. But they earn you a nice reward: pets, toys, artifact power items, and they often add up amusing and funny stories.
  • Blizzard managed to ease your questing even further. Since Draenor we got used to NPCs grabbing and leading or carrying you to the next quest point – well, in Legion it’s up to 11. It’s hard to get lost, really. And the most amazing thing is that your Loremaster questline ends right at the dungeon entrance!

The baseline is: Blizzard yet again proved their skills in delivering the cool stories and questing content.

Cons:

Yes, there will be some points.

Travelling

As I said, getting to quest hubs is not an issue. NPCs guide you there or you can get there by yourself. If you’re getting to quest hubs by falling off a cliff or crossing a river or driving through a field of angry mobs, you’re doing it wrong. There is always a convenient road – you just didn’t find it yet.

The problem is: doing the quests themselves. Due to you lack of terrain knowledge, you still get lost. And the terrain itself is hills, hills and hills. If you fall off a cliff, you have your long way back among angry mobs. Quest objective can hide in a cave, and you could spend much time just riding on the surface before you realize you have to make a long detour and seek your way up on the hill or down through some hidden cave entrance.

It is partially cured by doing a quest once. When I went questing with the other toon, it’s way easier. When you know the whole picture, you can PLAN, and it all works out.

Yet, I’m not very fond of that all the five zones in Legion are either hills, slopes or mountains. I would really prefer at least a single zone like Valley of Four Winds or Barrens – just for a change.

I’ve effectively wasted 30 minutes in Suramar yesterday for two quests – kill-me-ten, bring-me-three-items common stuff. Just because I was looking for my ways around the place.

Scaling

Yes, that is not just bliss, but also a problem.

First of all: there’s not a single point now in… leveling. The whole point of leveling is growing stronger. That is why it is called leveling. You gain levels. You grow in power. Well, actually you’re not.

You are not overgrowing the landscape. A 100 lvl frog is still as dangerous because it’s a 110 frog now. So what do these 10 levels you gained mean? Nothing. They are useless levels.

Face that: levels now serve as just a gating to gear, dungeon and quest access. But it could be achieved by other means. With introduced scaling, levels have become an outdated system of character development. 

Class Differences in Leveling

Oh my, that is harsh. I don’t know about designing quests and zones, but it differs much for classes and specs.

Mage: for Micromantica, every quest is a pain. Every single fight leaves me with 20-50% of health, and I eat. I eat after every single mob. I move like a fly to just survive. My fingers are steaming from casting, I am using all the range of my spells. My rotation now includes Ice Floes, Frost Nova and Ice Barrier. After I give in a simple quest I feel like I’ve unloaded a full car of coal with my own hands.

To play a mage effectively you need to be kiting. Now, try that kiting among the slopes, and hills, and heavily populated mob patches. I often end up aggroing many more mobs than I intended. Mobs are hiding in the landscape, and you don’t see their health bars until they jump at you and it’s too late. Mobs tend to resurrect and jump at you from behind when you think you’re perfectly kiting your main foe – suddenly you’re not. If you try to kite sideways from them both – you end up in a bunch of three or four. And I die, and I die, and I die. It’s sweat and blood.

Leveling a mage is pain, and it kills all the experience. I know that I must go to Suramar to do a daily, and I start to cry. I know that mobs will be as tough in zones I already did.

Mommy, I don’t want to fight any mobs! Any at all!

Warrior: Bons is on a stroll. I haven’t tried a DPS spec yet, but for Protection it’s a playground.

I can safely run through a populated hostile village – never caring of how many mobs aggro on me or whether they dismount me. I can and do collect a bunch of five mobs at once. I can beat a rare mob to death and never have a sweat.

I don’t even use any defensive abilities. I don’t itch. Nothing could get my health beyond 75% yet, and I did the whole Stormheim and half of Azsuna. I can watch a movie at a laptop nearby while picking at 8 mobs and a rare at once. They can’t scratch me. They will die, and I will be 70% at worst.

She’s just unbreakable.

………what the fuck is happening?!

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2 thoughts on “Leveling in Legion: A Hell or A Bliss?

  1. I am 100% with you on the need (as a player) for visual relief; a Tanaris or a zone that doesn’t make you sit forward and work just to drive the cart down the road — it is exhausting on some level. Sure, as a design it is the “broken isles” but as players the paths begin to all look the same; winding up and around and over no matter the terrain whether rocky or grassy.
    I assigned a follower to bodyguard my Druid just this morning. He seems to bounce the aggro back and forth with me; I’ve not tried it much but one might be helpful to your mage.
    Finally, I agree with your scaling postings. My one fear for the game design is that it could become “bland” and always the same because of the over-use of scaling everywhere. It will always take a set amount of time to kill mobs in a zone or in a dungeon. The gear reward should mean power and it doesn’t in scaling situations. Maybe at 110? I don’t know. But the words “bland” and “tedious” come to mind with scaling.

    Like

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