Legion: Expansion Review

It is time to look back at the past expansion and review its aspects. I think i would make a quick list of pros and cons because full-scale text will be impossibly long to read :)

Pre-Patch, Introduction and Launch

Pros:

  • Pre-patch brought danger to our doorstep and introduced new demon types.
  • Pre-patch allowed quick gear up for 100s and leveling for 20+.
  • Cinematic and scenario were motivating, heart-ripping and filling our hearts with revenge.
  • Several quests prepared us for Dalaran travel beforehand.
  • Epic Dalaran teleport scene.
  • Absolutely none technical issues on the launch hour and following days.

Cons: 

  • None.

Leveling

Pros:

  • Exciting and flawless new feature of zone / gear scaling
  • Excellent pace of leveling.
  • Just a couple of hours per full zone on alts.
  • Bonus leveling options: profession quests, order hall quests, order hall missions, Heart of Light quests, side quests (fill-the-bar) – and later, assaults.
  • Interesting storylines, new characters and storytelling.
  • Incorporating dungeons into leveling and story experience.
  • Pillars story arc which binds all the zones.
  • Comic relief storylines.
  • Patch 7.3.5 which brought an ability to finish the older zone storylines, a wider choice of leveling zones/dungeons and even allowed to skip the whole expansions if you don’t like them. Also killing mobs became a bit harder and a lot more interesting, allowing to learn how to play your class.

Cons:

  • Little to none Legion presence in an expansion named Legion.
  • Endless elves: warden elves, illidari elves, ghost elves, crazy ghost elves, junkie elves, nazi elves, rebel elves, druid elves, spider elves. 3/5 zones are all about elves.
  • Incorporating dungeons into leveling and story experience – it is obligatory to run dungeons to finish the story arc.

Addie

Dungeons

Pros: 

  • Variety and number.
  • Storylines leading players right to the dungeon entrance where they end.
  • Cool dungeon lore.
  • Interesting boss mechanics.
  • Mythic modes as endgame content (not for me though)

Cons:

  • Mythic-only Karazhan and Suramar dungeons upon their launch.
  • Forcing players into endless dungeon re-runs for story arcs, professions, order hall campaigns and gear from mythics.

Raids

Pros: 

  • Inventive boss mechanics and most inventive boss range within one raid.
  • Excellent open world lead-ins to the raids.
  • Interesting on re-runs.
  • Fun to run for every role: either tank, healer, or dps.

Cons: 

  • Little to none Legion presence in Tomb of Sargeras (5 – FIVE demons in the Tomb itself).
  • Ridiculously hard Kil’Jaeden difficulty – that makes it a single wing of all to me avoided in raid finder on alts.

Gnome-Antorus-Raid-Tanking

Class Order Halls and Class Campaigns

Pros:

  • Unique, engaging and fun class campaigns.
  • Unique class mounts and artifact weapons with storylines of their own.
  • Paying attention to class content way after ending major class campaigns (new follower questlines, class mounts and class trials in Mage Tower).
  • Excellent work on mistakes of the mission table: few customizable followers, enhancing reward list with current useful items along with patches. It appeared to be very helpful and yet skippable apart from few quest missions.
  • Reputation tokens and extra reputation tokens were especially helpful.
  • Garrisons are not self-sustained now, so you can’t sit in it – you have to earn resources for missions elsewhere in the open world.
  • You see lots of other people in your order hall at all times – unlike the Draenor’s hermitage garrisons.

Cons: 

  • Several order halls are just unpleasant to hangout in.
  • Class campaigns require missions and world quests to complete which is now an artificial time delay.
  • Class campaigns required dungeon re-runs.
  • Class order hall bonuses are not equal: free gear token or instant world quest completion are not available to half of classes.
  • Due to the variety of class perception from players, Blizzard did not please everyone or even most of them as they had to choose one option of depicting an order hall. For example, rogues can be ninjas, political assassins, highwaymen, street rascals, pickpockets, pirates, spies. The worst one I think were warriors – they got a god-like golden Valhalla while most of the warriors would prefer a lot more down-to-earth option, blood stained, dirty and brutal. Different stylized quarters within an order hall like in Ashran could have solved the problem – that did not happen.

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Legiondaries

Pros:

  • A joy upon the flashy item acquiring.

Cons:

  • Total random of drops which required grind for those who cared (I did not).
  • Unability to obtain the wanted specific item (for hardcore players).
  • Unability to work for them and total dependence on random drops (until later patches).
  • ‘Gratz’! in guild chats upon every legendary drop throughout expansion.
  • Having a legiondary was often an ilvl barrier to reach even LFR requirements.
  • The whole system sucked so much.

Artifact Weapons

Pros: 

  • Excellent artifact stories.
  • Exciting process of opening artifact tech trees.
  • Attention to artifacts development throughout the whole expansion, up to and through the upcoming BfA pre-patch.
  • Excellent catch-up mechanics: if specs were to be switched, you could catch up on another weapon in an evening or two.
  • Lots of customization options which also indicate your game progress in different aspects. And these will stay in further expansions.
  • Druid artifact forms.
  • An ability to transmog artifact weapons.

Cons: 

  • Restrictions to wielding a weapon: for example, Ferals can’t wear staves, Frost Death Knights can’t wield two-handed swords etc. Some of the core rotation abilities demand a specific type of weapon now, or they cannot be used.
  • Many people complained about AP grind, but it’s never been an issue to me. I’ve never grinded AP on purpose, it came naturally. And I didn’t feel underpowered or obliged to grind it.

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Endgame

Pros:

  • Significant rewards for engaging into endgame activities.
  • World quest system – everything about them is perfect, no flaws to be mentioned.
  • Introducing speaking portraits and WQ briefings – even if the context is quite clear and based on leveling stories.
  • Lots of fun world bosses with cool rewards.
  • A super developed, engaging and complex Suramar campaign.
  • Many new storylines and things to do with every next patch.
  • Quite a logical patch lore path: Nighthold -> Broken Shore -> Argus, all steps towards the final victory over the Legion.
  • Excellent patch pace: it was manageable, but tense to keep up with all my many alts.

Cons: 

  • Upon reaching 110 fighting common enemies felt too brutal – up to specs change.
  • Paragon mounts – it’s the expansion curse. Rewards like that must be straighforward and non-random: for example, the mount is awarded with your 5th paragon chest from the faction.
  • Depressing and uneasy sandboxes of the last patches: Broken Shore and Argus. Not fun to play there – at all.

suramar

Professions

Pros: 

  • Quests which gave an insight how items are created (not just banging a piece of ore with a hammer).
  • Quest storylines.
  • Many fun toys and pets were crafted.

Cons: 

  • Quests appear at random.
  • Dungeon re-runs required for every profession.
  • Earning 3 stars is not an easy and almost an impossible task.
  • Too many mats for creating items.
  • Nomi.

Wurk-Wurk

Travel, Flights and Zone Design

Pros: 

  • An achieved balance between ground travel and flight travel which fits both players and developers.
  • Quite a sensible flight achievement.
  • Rares and treasure hunt.
  • Great zone ground travel design – once you learn the terrain, it’s easy.
  • Flightmaster whistle!
  • Zones are an eyecandy.

Cons: 

  • Zones are very small.
  • Almost no safe spaces where you can ride freely – every inch of the zones is tightly packed with enemies. We definitely need some air (think Valley of Four Winds).
  • Almost no open spaces – slopes, slopes and slopes in every zone including Val’sharah and Azsuna (think Tanaris, Uldum, Valley of Four Winds).

6

Fun Side Things to Do

  • Multiple side questlines to discover and explore – murloc love story in Azsuna/Suramar – quests without a single word, Highmountain goblin hunting party and kobolds, Val’sharah tree spirits, Stormheim vam…pirates etc etc.
  • Underbelly playground right in the major hub both for PvE and PvP players.
  • Withered scenario.
  • Mage Tower challenge.
  • Chromie questline.
  • Postmaster questline.
  • Allied races with stories to learn and new toons to level.
  • Searching for secret mounts.

Lucid-Nightmare-Box

PvP, Pet Battles

I haven’t participated in these activities, but PvP world quests seemed fun and pet battle dungeons is the most crazy and fun thing to do and definitely want to try.

Conclusion

The expansion was definitely a work on Draenor’s mistakes.

We were given an active and meaningful endgame. The mission table and flight systems were polished to an extent of being just what they were meant to be.

We were given such great chunks of content that we nearly choked on them. And the patches were frequent and filled with quite a different stuff to do apart from the main story.

While some of the newly introduced features were an overwhelming success like mythic dungeons, world quests, flightmaster whistle etc, the others were tried and failed – like legiondaries and profession complex questing. Blizzard tried to address the issues and succeeded to an extent.

Anibell-Paladin-Aggramar

Lorewise, Blizzard managed to solve the problem of a cosmic evil in a way that didn’t feel too unrealistic or illogical. Entering Silithus, you can’t deny it was epic AF. Many would be thankful for not meeting the sickly fel green in any nearest future. Old and new storylines, from side minor arcs to major epic events all came to their logical end, leaving no loose ends unattended.

Our classes got so much attention that we never had before, and probably won’t have a long time after – which is swell, as our class is one of the two major things defining our precious toon (along with the race).

Overall, Legion will stay in our memory as a tense, vibrant and eventful expansion. But personally, I will keep no desire to re-visit the Isles. For some reason, it has no chance to be as homely as Pandaria and even the alternate Draenor.

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Paragon Mounts: One Before Last

Yesterday the Nightfallen emissary showed up, so I had my hands full running the world quests with the full 12-toon major roster. 6 of them will have reached over another 10k upon completing the emissary – so I had a nice day of trying.

Funny enough, the very first toon I picked, my druid Helu, opened her chest –

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– and the magic carpet drops out! Now every prize from paragon reputations on Broken Isles is mine now. The mounts from Farondis, Dreamweavers, Highmountain, Valar’jar and Nightfallen, the felbat pet from Legionfall and the sentinel toy from the Wardens.

To end up the paragon farming story I just need to collect the last of three elekks from the Army of Light. And forget about it like a bad dream. Putting this carrot on a stick surely added up to /played time, but it’s too much. As far as we know, we still get paragon chests in BfA, but we will not be chasing them on purpose – the prizes will be just your common upgrades and bonuses. Wise decision – I couldn’t stand one more expansion of endless farm.

Meanwhile, we rejoice.

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Lightforged Leveling Done

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That’s right, the achievement is mine :)

Kalaari finished Azsuna and Val’sharah questlines along with their dungeons. The rest came from bits of Paladin campaign, blacksmithing/mining quests and bonus objectives (which you can grab much like in Draenor – with no actual storyline questing running).

She sits with an admission to Emerald Nightmare now, so a journey of gearing up awaits. The best way for me is tracking the world quests which grant you upgrade gear, and also doing emissaries to fish out the legendaries. Argus argunite items also help.

Like I wrote in the previous post, Kalaari is not meant to be active in BfA, so her gearing up to 915-ish is purely a leisure activity during lull.

Her current transmog is Lightforged Pretorian, the legacy armor for the achievement pretty much sucks :)

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Now we have a Nightborne and a Highmountain to finish their leveling in Broken Isles :)

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Leveling Allied Races

Myde-Aluneth

That’s right: my first Allied Race toon is now in Legion!

Myde the Void Arcane Mage skyrocketed to 101 just in few sits. After landing in Pandaria she just did the Valley of Four Winds, slowly progressing up to Tillers’ Exalted all the way 80-90. I think she wants herself a summer house, which means doing stuff till besties with Tina – she provides furniture :)

She also did almost every dungeon in Cataclysm and Pandaria. Again, it was a wide range of groups there. Just fascinating asshole tank and healer which managed to run past a couple of mob packs, leaving dps to die and blaming it all on them. Moreover, they wanted dps to manage the packs themselves afterwards even if it were a room behind! All dps including yours truly left the ‘group’ for good. Vice versa, just an amazing group in Blackrock Caverns which discussed tactics before pulls, trying bosses, wiping at first, and then killing them as smooth as possible when we got the strategy idea.

Needless to say, the groups like the second one come to the higher levels well prepared, sturdy, and experienced. Their time spent pays off.

Draenor was as swift as possible. I did some initiate quests in Shadowmoon Valley to get acccess for profession upgrades, and the rest was just doing extra quests (marked with crossed swords fill-the-bars) and continent exploration. I think it’s the best time to replay Draenor nowadays on your way to the top. The whole trip 90-100 took me like 3-4 hours, no dungeons.

Now Myde got her Aluneth weapon, did Legion assault quests in Highmountain (which brought her a whole level up), and worked through the Heart of Light questline, killing Velen’s son :) Ready for proper questlines now.

It’s high chance that this week she’ll be 110, and ready for Legion raids to start raising her ilvl up to planned 910-915. I don’t feel obliged to complete any of the questlines with her, be it main zones, Suramar, Broken Shore or Argus. My class champions have already defeated Legion! So allied races just explore Broken Isles and get ready for the Battle for Azeroth,

This strategy of taking one toon at a moment gives so much progress in no time. I think I’m sticking with it. My goal for May is leveling as much as possible – and the last month before pre-patch will be devoted to grind achievements. My timing seems perfect.

Trivia: World Quests and Antorus Plate Armor Sets

The week started just cool with Anibell acquiring her set cuirass from Eonar encounter. And this means that plate armors from Antorus are now all done!

I have only 3 leather sets to collect now. Demon Hunter lacks a pair of things, I also need wrists for Rogue. And the worst of all – I have only 2/9 pieces for monk. Bad luck for Paitsu :)

My theory still is that you get mostly secondary items on your first runs for the toon – like trinkets, relics, rings, capes and wrists. On her latest run Paitsu has got 3 relics and a ring. We shall see what the current week brings us.

My 110 toons are all in world quests, frantically completing 20 WQ quest for 5k order hall resources which will signify at least a month of sitting on their butts in order halls and earning rep tokens :)

I still need to get many mounts from paragon rep: Farondis, Dreamweavers, Nightfallen and 2/3 Army of Light.

Like official Blizzard public pages reminded us, it’s also a good time to boost your rep to acquire allied races – for 50% increase in reputation earned. But you all are probably exalted by now :)

 

My Toon Roster Revision: Before and After Legion

The major result of the expansion is that I successfully mastered all 36 specs. I may not like playing some of them, but if any situation requires it, I could easily fill any role – be it tanking, healing or dps.

I had an interesting idea to revise my alts list before Legion – and what changes were made to my roster? Specs and even races were changed!

Here I’ll go class by class, revising my toons’ ways throughout expansion and making plans for the next one.

Mage

Micromantica still mains Frost, like it has always been. She had some very tough time in Suramar, and it wasn’t a walk in the park while leveling, but by the end of expansion she’s right at her place. A howling blizzard of raging ice, feeling quite powerful and confident.

I also mastered Fire and Arcane – now I have two more mages for the specs, the fun-leveled dwarf Faari and currently leveling void elf Myde respectively :)

Warlock

Microfury was a Gnome, mastering Destruction when Legion dropped from the sky. She got tired of the warlock order hall, the mess, the brutality, and she retired to being a peaceful jeweller in Stormwind.

Faerella the Goblin picked up the banner, and she went as Affliction in the open world and raided Antorus in Destruction, because mana issues in Affliction is not fun in raids. Yes, there’s no trouble restoring mana in seconds, but it’s just not the thing I want to even think of. I’m eager to see Affliction changes in BfA, it’s my favorite spec nevertheless.

Priest

Aurinko the Gnome started in Legion as Shadow, and quickly got sick of it. She mastered both Holy and the tricky Discipline, opting for Discipline in the open world and Holy in raids. She will stick to the Light side in BfA.

Warrior

Bons the Gnome started as Fury, and in mere weeks changed to the Arms/Protection for leveling. I could say she was the tanking toon throughout expansion, up to and through Tomb of Sargeras. She retired after killing Kil’Jaeden, and Antorus was stormed by my bloody rangari, Oulu the Draenei – in Fury spec only.

I like every warrior spec in Legion, so I’m thinking of making a warrior or two for the upcoming allied races.

Death Knight

Mindebad the Gnome started as Frost and mastered Unholy and Blood for fun, Unholy to perfection and Blood not so much. She abandoned these specs, DK = Frost to me.

No one knows what happened – she probably choked on a cookie on Argus, but Antorus is raided by Backston the Human – Frost, of course.

Paladin

The vengeful Blood Elf Gardell disappeared in Suramar – they only found her corpse with sword wounds. Her replacement is Anibell the Human, who is a master of sword and shield. She’s bored to the bone being a vindicator, and healing doesn’t ring a bell with her. She’s a bastion against demons in The Nighthold, Tomb and Antorus – and she will protect the Alliance troops in BfA.

Kalaari the Lightforged is a Holy Paladin healer. She’s quite dim, but good-hearted, which is essential for a medic in the field of battle. So she’ll be in BfA.

Shaman

Schlitzchen the Goblin entered the Broken Isles as Elemental, and she’s still pretty powerful and ready to travel to Zandalar as such. Yet since Tomb and through Antorus she tends to support her allies in Restoration. Most likely, I’m keeping this casting spec pair for open world/raids in BfA.

Hunter

Lizgun the Goblin started as Survival and enjoyed it while leveling and attacking Emerald Nightmare and Helya’s domain. She retired from adventures, marrying a rich goblin in Orgrimmar – her loot is quite enough for a careless and rich life.

Enter Baisa, the skilled Gnome Sniper, which raids Tomb and Antorus, and doesn’t even think of changing specs in BfA. Marksmanship it is.

Monk

Paitsu started the Legion journey as a Windwalker, but quickly discovered the joys of tanking and healing. Her twin knuckles are collecting dust, and she’s mostly a Drunken Dodging Master now (although Tomb was healed through). She’ll enter BfA proudly wielding a staff and a keg.

Demon Hunter

Melaris the Night Elf started as Havoc, and she still sports her glaives as such. Needless to say, she easily mastered the Vengeance tanking spec as well, but she finds it pretty boring (fun fact: sickly yellow icons of Vengeance abilities are an argument cons playing a tank too). I plan to be a pure DPS in BfA, raids too.

Druid

Mayluna the Night Elf started as Feral, and she found her home in Dreamgrove. Helu the Tauen picked up, and she is equally skillful both in Balance and Restoration, ready to lend a hand in any of these roles in raids.

My new allied druid is a playful cat Jammu. She still keeps admiring the wondes of the world. She will join the Horde fight against Alliance… but she takes nothing seriously. You know, the type that stands in ranks and mocks the warchief’s battle speech in whisper.

Rogue

Hexen the Goblin started as Assassination, and she retired after she stayed to collect heaps of ancient goods from the Tomb. She also lives in Orgrimmar with her sister Lizgun, but unlike her, she’s not into monogamy and prefers many admirers around her, being a lady of class.

Berringer the Human is now raiding Antorus in Assassination, being a quiet, stern and super effective criminal currently employed by SI:7.

My next rogue is also Arkeona the Nightborne, who is a political assassin and a shadow blade of Subtlety. Previously working for Elisande, she’s eager to receive orders from her new warchief, ready to infiltrate Alliance ranks and kill officers and people of power.

Two More Sets Collected!

With Anibell the Paladin’s run, she didn’t win a single piece for herself, but she effectively covered the missing helms for Warrior and Death Knight!

Warrior-LFR-Set-Antorus

Death-Knight-LFR-Set-Antorus

Of course I’m missing the wrists for the Death Knight, but I won’t be hunting them. They drop from trash only, and Tomb experience shows that it’s futile to farm on purpose. So I consider the set complete.

Backston and Oulu will try to win the belt from Hasabel in return this week – they owe Anibell a favor :)

By the way, the warrior helm came from Imonar kill quest, out of order hall mission. And it’s not even at his loot table. So if you’re hunting for tmogs, these quest items may help.

Anyways, Mage, Priest, Warlock, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior and Death Knight are covered. It’s 7/12 and a little more to go :)