Battle for Azeroth: Why Am I Enjoying the Expansion?

This post is an expansion of my yesterday’s comments. I’ve mentioned that I’m experiencing a huge gap between my own feelings and what I am reading, watching and listening in WoW-related media from other players. Likewise in Draenor – while my WoD gameplay was rich, full of events and kept me busy from day one to day last, people blamed it to be the worst expansion ever. Literally overwhelmed by the number of negative posting, I’m urged to express my thoughts – focusing on positive features.

Let’s go.

1. The new and the best from Legion systems are here.

Legion introduced lots of quality of life improvements and overall gaming experience.

To name a few:

  • We have got flight master’s whistle – a genious feature that allows us to walk out of the world quest area, hidden in a ravine.
  • The flight point approach is much different from what we’ve seen so far – they are plenty, they are convenient, and your travel time to the required area is literally 30 seconds upon landing.
  • The world quest system is simple, comprehensible, allows a lot of choice and is highly rewarding. BfA is now pulpably scaling the gear rewards, so your gearing up with WQ only could take 2 hours of gameplay to allow you to warfronts and LFR.
  • World bosses were new for Legion, and they are an extra chance to gear up.
  • Reputation tokens are your great help to boost rep.
  • Mob scaling may not be tuned perfectly, but in the long run it’s a bliss. While your leveling process may be a bit hobbled because of scaling, it takes three days of gameplay at most, and the rest of the expansion is your endgame. It is important that mobs stayed relevant throughout the expansion, and gearing up eventually makes ‘Three-five players recommended’ soloable without question on every class and spec.
  • Due to scaling, you have an extreme variety of options and zone leveling order, and quests are plenty and more than enough to get you to 120 without bonuses.

These all things made it to BfA unchanged, and they do work just the same way or better.

2. Some of the Legion’s systems were improved. 

Our mission table was polished once again. Now all our champions are capable of questing (no one left sitting on a bench), and the missions themselves became highly optionable. Azerite, pet charms and reputation tokens are an awesome addition to your routines, but they are totally not necessary. In other words, your mission table doesn’t feel like a chore in BfA. The champions do not require collecting gear to become efficient, and their gear provides bonuses for your professions if you wish so.

Profession quests are now limited to gathering, they do not require multiple dungeon runs, so they could be done in one seat, and overall provide a great deal of easy adventure.

3. Visuals

After endless elven/vrykul architecture and bleak landscapes of Legion (except Val’sharah and Suramar city), we’ve got a nice environment to be in.

In Kul Tiras we are deep in salty, sea theme of Tiragarde with its peaceful or pirate-adventurous soundtrack, Drustvar is your gothic British horror – but not all dark, due to sunny mountain regions, and Stormsong sways between Alpine and Dutch environments.

Zandalar offers all the range from adventurous movies – a jungle/Jurassic park of Zuldazar, magnificent bogs of Nazmir, swarming with life, and Arabian desert of Vol’dun. Each and every location is highly pleasant to be in, and there’s no one that I hate to visit (like Azsuna, Suramar or Stormheim, not to mention the demon-scorched grounds).

BfA is rich with details, so we keep wondering where’s the limit? Investigating a random house gives you a full impression that people do live there, and how they are doing it.

BfA offered new NPC poses – leaning on a doorpost, walking drunk, standing on guard is what you notice, and it really makes the world a lot more alive.

4. Soundtrack

The whole range of BfA melodies adds up to the zone ambience, and the job here is done greatly. Considering catchy melodies, BfA is well ahead from the previous expansion, and I just like every tune that plays along.

5. Azerite armor and necklace

Well, yes, it’s fine. Now that I get the routines, ways and goals to level it, it’s not that bad. Of course it lacks the convenient interface unlike artifacts, but I think of it the same as mission table improvement: it became easier and not that demanding as our weapons used to be.

With all the randomness of azerite traits, I don’t bother much about them. Earning a trait or an extra artifact necklace level is a pleasant bonus – I definitely don’t feel it like a chore to max it out or carefully pick and desire that one trait. I guess it’s the same approach as with legiondaries – people were hunting for the ‘best in slot’ items, but I never cared and just wore what dropped. What is important, azerite armor is earned fair and square through raids, warfronts, emissaries, and it’s a goal to follow rather than an elusive chance to get one.

6. Faction story/continent division

It’s arguable, but as I’ve said previously, you’ll never experience all the lore by playing only one toon – ever since Vanilla and starting zones. The most punishing in these terms was the all-praised Legion – 11 separate stories, rich and evolving, would be left unknown to your single character. Now you have only two.

And I guess everyone’s missing how logistics were masterfully solved – considering the enemy continent. I feel myself at home both at hostile Zandalar or hostile Kul Tiras – multiple and convenient flight points are making travel through enemy’s lands a breeze. In many cases taking a ship from your harbor to a world quest is WAY faster than your enemy would fly from his capital. So, both continents offer equal opportunities to both factions.

7. Plot 

Continents provide a range of small stories, and we get the deepest insight possible to the local societies – societies we were speculating about since Vanilla. It’s not your no-name Highmountains or Nightborne you’ve never heard of before – it’s Kul-fucking-Tiras, heroes dating back to Warcraft II, and Zandalar, the heart and spiritual center of all troll tribes we’ve ever met. What factions could have been more epic? And they really are interesting and very well worked out.

We may not like how the events are unrolling considering faction war, but we can’t deny it’s very logical. When you put a genocidal bitch in charge of one faction, it’s only a matter of time when the bomb will go off. This was clear right after Vol’jin appointed her as a warchief, and this happened in the beginning of Legion. Don’t you worry, it’s not for long, as even the Horde (most of it) is not happy with what’s going on. It is crystal clear without spoilers that the infamous banshee will not survive BfA as a warchief – and it’s damn intriguing how this will happen. Are you not interested?

The faction war itself rolls on very logically. Both factions coped with the multiple internal Kul Tiran/Zandalari troubles – the islands were an utter mess before our arrival. And we’ve not only established bonds, not only that. We guide a very aggressive campaign – there’s more outposts on the face of Kul Tiras and Zandalar than pimples on a teenager’s face. The Alliance has prepared everything for the direct onslaught on the troll capital itself, while the Horde also has an ace in its sleeve.

There are the fattest hints possible considering N’Zoth and Azshara – the only major threat left on the surface of Azeroth. The long anticipated meeting. Of course, we couldn’t have got the raid in 8.0, but presence of the Old Gods is literally overwhelming throughout even the initiate stories.

And while it’s yet unclear how we heal the sword wound, it’s also a plot we never forget about. Druids, shaman and Magni are frantically working on a solution, while we aid our small aid during our adventures. They never let us forget that the situation is dire – even the world quest music plays Azeroth’s sad and ominous theme whenever we’re stepping into the Champions’ task territory.

Long story short, there are four major and rich plotlines, and we cannot say any of them is not paid for enough attention. They may be dark, they may be grim, but they are certainly well done. They keep me motivated, they keep me rolling, and they keep me intrigued – what else could you desire?

8. Pursuing my goals

I’ve written a separate post about how we’re lacking an extra progress system we got used to in previous expansions (artifact weapons, order halls, garrisons, crop farm), but this doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. My goals are now back to the basics: reputations / gear / profession leveling and raiding for transmogs, and I’m having my hands full now.

And I cannot say that anything is holding me back while I’m pursuing these very goals. The gameplay is smooth, fun, relaxing and provides alternate options with the smallest grind amount possible. Even the smallest gaming sessions of 30 minutes long let you make a significant progress towards this or that thing, and that is totally plausible.

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There’s more I could possibly remember later, but these are the main reasons why I find the expansion:

  • Interesting
  • Engaging
  • Non-grindy
  • Playtime forgiving
  • Alt-friendly
  • Overall – Fun

My subscription ends in November, and by all means it will be renewed the minute it goes off. The expansion has its drawbacks – mainly because its new systems are unpolished – but it really is awesome. There is no question if I’m playing it or not – I just do.

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Milestone: 2 Days Until Patch 7.2.

Patch 7.2. is dropping on EU realms on Wednesday, which means that I’ll be largely exploring Broken Shore on Wednesday evening after work.

We have two days to go. Are you ready? I am not.

Milestone-March-2017

My chart says it all.

Artifact Weapons

I am at least fine with artifact weapons.

We were supposed to have at least 35 traits so we could do some quests, add a new trait options and boost our artifact knowledge. That I do. Most of the weapons are 35 or even more. Mayluna lacks a bit behind having four druid weapons, but it can be cured of course.

I’m not in the artifact power race, and I’ve never been. This part of the chart serves not as urge to hurry, it’s just a reminder of where should I put the next tokens I earn. We’ll be there. Or not – I don’t really care if I gain all 54? 86? 421207 traits? during the expansion.

Reputations

Yes, it’s Revered borderline. I’m entering the new patch being “revered blue” – with a goal of “violet exalted”. I’m diligently running every emissary quest – in fact, every toon has his emissary list empty by the end of the day. It is – it was – a reputation marathon.

Once the Patch 7.2. drops, I’ll return to the previous pattern. Legionfall will be the first priority, and I will be doing the other emissaries very chaotically. Not necessarily I’ll be running every toon for emissaries – in fact, only if I have time to do so. I’m entering “we’ll be there” state with reputations. The important thing before patch was driving every toon to Revered – then you think of 21k as the last leg.

The Nighthold

Finally, the last mysterious part of my chart (1,2,3,4) means The Nighthold wings. This much I’m able to perform during the week – throw in a pair of “+” on Monday evenings.

One full run per toon gets me several pieces of loot. We’re so far from completing this raid. By completion I mean collecting the tier set pieces – average ilvl is between 850-865, so I meet the requirements for the next group content by all means. At best my toons have one or two set pieces, and it’s runs, runs and runs coming.

The sad thing is that Blizzard will likely drop the next raid in April, so we’ll have to collect the next set.

I don’t know where they are hurrying. They are over the top again. We’ve complained about the lack of content – here we go, we have a new raid every 2-3 months, and we just don’t have time to digest the previous one. Come on: LFR Gul’dan was available only 3 weeks before the next Patch. I’m not voting the 12-month raids, but this pace just doesn’t let us to get busy with smaller things, save the main course.  I think the Patch 7.2. should have dropped at least at the end of April, giving us some time. Even if I played only one toon, three attempts at the last boss could be too little to get a tier piece.

Shall we expect Argus in June, then new expansion announced in August and out by Blizzcon?  It seems ridiculous, but too likely. One more hilarious thought: it now seems that Blizzard hates Legion expansion so much that they want to get rid of all patches as soon as they can.

Ugh.

Demon Hunters & Invasions Experience

I’ve tried both. The post contains spoilers about Demon Hunter starting quest chain!

Obviously all plans for a new toon are always ruined. I’ve scrolled through barbie faces of blood elves, their range of sophisticated, elegant standard haircuts… And it’s not what I associate with a wild, mad Demon Hunter. At all.

Melaris-Demon-Hunter

Kek. Meet Melaris!

The starting quest chain was awesome. The path through Mardum demon world was smooth. I didn’t lose my way, objectives were clear and easy, and the whole journey was a perfect tutorial – letting us learn and use the new abilities. Still I didn’t have much time to look around – probably I will roll one more DH just to see the plot happening in a slower pace.

Other Demon Hunters – players – felt like we are all the raiding Illidari party, and that’s an awesome quest design. You are not super-duper commander, you’re one of many. Well done!

What positively surprised me, is that most fellow Demon Hunters around me had really awesome nicknames, totally elvish and in character. There were no “Shitfaceblade”, “Cooldemonhunteralex”, “Poops” and the lot. Well, not yet.

The whole quest to Mardum felt pretty useless though. We got some Legion key to the worlds, and forgot about it immediately, because we were captured by Maiev (we return to Black Temple to witness a defeated Illidan, so we’re busted as well). What happened to the “key” that we were acquiring? No one knows.

Then after many years – it is ‘now’, and Cordana opens our and Illidan’s prison for Gul’dan. Maiev gives us freedom, and we fight through the prison to the surface. Illidan is captured and kidnapped by Gul’dan, Maiev follows, but we stay to slay some demons and escape to Stormwind/Orgrimmar with Khadgar.

On our arrival to Stormwind gate Khadgar immediately informs us – through quest – that Varian is dead and we must greet Anduin. We do some final demon slaying in the Stormwind Keep and get our demon hunter hermitage at mage quarter.

The introduction is awesome, and also serves as a trailer to Legion questing. I’m happy to confirm that questing in Legion would be great.

By the time we are 100, we have a pair of talents to choose, and what seems like a sufficient set of abilities. A pair of cooldowns, 3-4 offensive, some defence, some pretty useless situational crap as ‘capture demon until it’s hit once again’.

Gameplay is very nice. It feels pretty fast, and rotations are very logical and understandable. Build – spend, easy as that.

Invasions

I haven’t had enough time to do a Broken Shore scenario, but I’ve tried an invasion – it was conveniently running at a nearby Westfall.

It feels very, very easy to complete – until the 4th step. The final boss; design is awful. The dreadlord is almost constantly AoEs everything, and well, if you cannot self-heal, you are dead. You are dead 4 to 7 times during the encounter. What you do is waiting for resurrection, and then you die again. Things are the worst for melee fighters, but if you’re within a shooting range, AoE will get you too.

WTF, Blizz? Unless you have healers around who heal everyone, you’ll be dying whatever you do. You can’t avoid dying, no sir. I fear that very soon players will figure out to die once and then wait for the boss to be killed just to get their loot. Who needs these repair bills, anyways?

Something should be done with this.

On evening I will try Horde and Alliance scenarios for Broken Shore (I know the spoilers about faction leaders, but it won’t spoil me the real experience). And there are city events to explore.

Woot! So many things to do in the coming days :)

How Gnomecore Visited PTR and What He Saw There

Yesterday Public Test Realms became available for everybody.

We are able to test new spell and melee animations, new sets of skills and talents, wardrobe and invasion events.

TL;DR: it was an awful experience.

I’ve tried to start the game right after my installation process allowed to do it. The whole PTR weighs circa 35GB, and I’ve spent 5 hours downloading it in full (and I have very fast internet).

I couldn’t login. All the realms sent me to hell for the first 2 hours. Then finally I entered some waiting queue. And here I am, with an empty character list.

You cannot copy your character at once, first you must create a new 1 level toon.

Then when you try to copy your character, PTR won’t let you do it. Blizzard said: we are aware of the issue, so I went to bed. There was no point to run with the first level toon.

In the early morning I was finally able to copy a pair of toons there, and here’s what we have.

  1. Wardrobe. It looks nice, it showed all of my previously acquired items. Micromantica has naturally got all the Fashionist new achievements on login – I guess so will do everybody except for maybe a tabard one. You need to acquire only 25 items of every slot, and that number was well exceeded through your previous questing. Each armor slot items and weapon charms are conveniently split by groups. You could also use a filter to see only available items, and you could choose your favorite ones to appear on top of the list.
  2. The big drawback is that your helmet and cape are on by default. I’m wearing neither at any of my toons, and you can’t get them off in the field – you need to go to the mogging guy now. I hope you must do it only once, not with every new cape or helmet you wear.
  3. That I couldn’t do. Flight taxi, mounts and teleports stopped working right when I decided to go to mogging guys. Nice, so we’re stuck at Garrisons.
  4. Before that, I have managed to check out in action my Combat – now Outlaw – Rogue Hedersen. I still need to get the grip of her new abilities and rotation, but oh my god, how cool are all of her new moves! It looks absolutely amazing and wild, and bless you Blizzard animators and artists once again. There are three or four cool swordplay moves and a pair of pistol shots (one is a combo-builder, the other is a finisher). I miss my teleporting step through the shadows, but I have an ranged aggro ability now. Outlaw Rogues are not that bound to melee range now – it seems their saber slashing and pistol shots will not require pressing your nose to enemy’s butt the whole time. I didn’t feel myself weak too. I went to Zorammarsh to test her, and ended up in a raptor nest with 4 or 5 beasts attacking me at once. Even if I killed them one by one with no AoE – it was my second fight and I haven’t learned anything about my rotation yet – I wasn’t even close to die.
  5. Then I logged in with Micromantica, the Ice Mage and my main. That’s when the transportation was broken and I’ve only revised her spells and talents, not being able to go somewhere from the city. She didn’t change that much. The main thing is that Frostfire bolt is gone, which is a good thing, because I don’t want any fire spells at my Ice Mage or ice spells at my Fire Mage. Ice Nova doesn’t replace Frost Nova now. They are both present, the DPS ability has one stack, and stunning ability has two stacks. All AoE abilities are present, and there’s a talent to enhance your Blizzard to cover more territory and be more powerful – that would be my AoE talent choice. Speaking of talents, I’m very excited about tier one – you could dismiss your elemental for 30% power of certain spells!! My joy is explained easily: I hate pets around my toons.
  6. Obviously there were no invasions for me, as I couldn’t leave town.

Conclusion:

  • I’m happy with the wardrobe system
  • I’m not very happy that I must go to ethereals to turn off my helmet, cape (and now shoulders too). But it maybe a nice restriction.
  • I’m very happy about new fighting animations, it brought much life in gameplay compared only to my excitement about race models improvement in WoD.
  • I will eventually learn to play all my classes again, probably run one more LFR with them to put the skill test to extremes. Personally I think that class reboots is a good thing. It brings you back the joy of exploration, learning new abilities and everything. Because your previous stale rotation – you could perform it with your eyes closed, one hand holding a pizza slice. Isn’t it discouraging and boring to go for a kill-me-ten quest and know that you must perform this rotation again? It is for me. I have 15 specs to re-learn and I’m not scared about it, I’m excited. It’s new content too :)
  • I’m not happy how PTR went off. It’s basically a demo of launch day, and it shows us that Blizzard learned nothing from their mistakes. There will be queues, disconnects and everything. August, 30 is for hardcore players who will grit their teeth for the ‘first kills’ and ‘first to be 110’ through all the bugs and disconnects. I expect the smooth game not earlier than September, 3 or 5 – that’s the actual launch day.

My Leveling Experiment: 1-60

With my morning coffee Oluu got her blue tail into Hellfire Peninsula and thus ended my experiment of leveling 1-60.

So, how did it play out?

During this experiment I have tried to mimic the new player’s leveling experience to World of Warcraft. The rules were as follows:

1. No heirlooms. You wear only what you craft or get from quests and dungeons.

2. I performed every quest that I came across, except for those sending me to Eastern Kingdoms from Kalimdor. I also ignored the go-to-Barrens quest because the zone was not on my way. So I finished all the storylines in every next zone. If I didn’t get some of the “do X quests in a zone” achievements on my way, it’s because they never sent me to some parts of the zone. Mind you, I followed only NPC guidance.

3. I followed the Blizzard-planned route through Kalimdor. Blizzard-planned levels are in brackets – they didn’t fit my actual character levels.

Azuremyst Isle (1-10) -> Darkshore (10-20) -> Ashenvale (20-25) -> Stonetalon Mountains (25-30) -> Desolace (30-35) -> Feralas (35-40) -> Thousand Needles (40-45) -> Tanaris (45-50) -> Un’Goro (50-55) -> Silithus (55-60).

4. I did only vanilla dungeons, and I did them only once with few exceptions. Some of the groups were too toxic to finish a dungeon, so I had to run 2 or 3 dungeons once again to complete them. But that’s what a new player would do, he would like to see the last boss. My dungeon entrance level was like this: if a dungeon is for levels 25-35, I would take it at my 28 or 29 level, and so on. Also I tried to match them with the zones I’m questing in – immersing.

5. I have occasionally participated in pet battles which gave me some experience. I have leveled professions – for my monk these were Skinning and Leatherworking – and maxed them about 300 skill level (to continue in Outland). Got my Fishing to 130, my Cooking and First Aid over 300. So you see, it’s a new player’s approach again if he is interested in Professions.

6. I never paid attention to whether I logout in a tavern/city or in the wild. When I got an extra “rest” experience, it was because I put my Draenei to bed for roleplay reasons, or was too lazy to take a flight from Darnassus’ profession teachers across the continent to my leveling zone.

My Conclusions

Leveling in Kalimdor is not tuned, that is very true. About your second leveling zone, that is 10-20, you are rapidly outgrowing it and the gap stays like this almost until the end.

The good thing about it is that you easily kill all the mobs, because they are 4-5 levels less than you. Also the random mobs in the wild don’t aggro at you that much when you are just passing by.

But it’s also a bad thing, because it never gives you any challenge.

The level gap starts to shrink in the southern zones. From Thousand Needles you are starting to get a real good quest loot which you actually wear. From Tanaris and especially Un’Goro you notice that mobs don’t ignore you anymore – because the level difference gap is already 1-2 levels above them, not 5. And Silithus – you come there at your level 56, which perfectly fits the 55-60 flag of the zone.

Strange thing is: when I finished Silithus questing, I was… at level 59. And very few introduction quests to Outland (you quest-report to 5 different NPCs on your arrival) made me 60!

Can we call it a leveling design success?

I think that this is hilarious. I never believed it when I saw it with my own eyes, because I have thought that I would come to Outland being 61 or 62. And I came there to make me 60 through welcome quests.

Anyways, there’s something to be seriously done with leveling pace. We shouldn’t outgrow the zones before we enter them. The quest rewards should be useful.

Conclusion: within  1-60 Kalimdor leveling, everything is fine through levels 1-15  and 50-60. The speed of getting experience of the 15-50 questing is not tuned well, it is not satisfying, and it must be fixed.

P.S. Oluu won’t continue this experiment – since 60, she’s just leveling through the most interesting storylines :)

Starcraft II – Legacy of the Boredom: Opinion

Spoiler Alert: this blog post contains an immense amount of spoilers for Stacraft II: Legacy of the Void. You have been warned!

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And so, yesterday in the middle of the night I have finished the Starcraft saga. This time it’s arch enemy, cosmology, revelation, happy end and of course Protoss.

The focus of this Starcraft II Review/Opinion will be the story, the characters and the campaign missions.

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I never expected that now, with those amazing Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm parts of Starcraft II, the epic conclusion of the whole story would end with a paradise of boring shite.

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Characters

Look at Kerrigan and Raynor: they are uneasy, they are struggling with their dark side, they evolve and make important decisions throughout their campaigns. Well, now they give us Artanis. Seriously, each and every briefing and cutscene are the same. His agenda throughout the campaign is one and the same babbling about “we will endure” and “we must unite”. He does so with a single intonation aka enthusiastic dreamy teenager. He doesn’t get angry or bored or sad or happy, he’s always looking at the stars and juggling the same 3 phrases which are apparently enough to unite Protoss and win the game.

Protoss have always been the most boring race in all of Starcraft. But you know, we had at least self-sacrifice of Protoss heroes and these sneaky Dark Templar in Starcraft I – everyone likes good-hearted rogues and exiles. They had clashes, betrayals, life. In Starcraft II, nothing happens.

We have Karax. One more “dwarf tinker” character – Terran Rory Swann was the first one. He’s calm and doesn’t care for anything but science. His ascension to Templar was so unnatural. No-more-castes – it’s a good idea for plot, yes. But Karax openly says: I fuck your Templar war thing in nostrils, even if you say I’m Templar now. Let me craft my toys and my cogwheels, whatever you call me.

Isn’t it great? All the pathos of “unity” and “new world” and “templars” is ruined. There’s the ceremony. He shrugs his shoulders: “Whatever you want me to do”. He’s not excited at all about becoming a Templar. Why should we?

And being the “tinker” character, Karax doesn’t seem to care too much about neither Artifact/Keystone nor Solar Core. I didn’t feel his devotion to machines and experiments except that he told us so.

Then we have Fenix and Vorazun. There’s nothing happening to them as well. Click on them before any mission – you get the same talk in other words. These aren’t characters, these are answerphones. They all are expressing their small worries only to listen to Artanis, open-mouthed, as he repeats the same old shit again and again. It’s like a pre-arranged press conference or a lesson in school visited by superintendants: all the Q&A are rehearsed and unnatural.

The only bright spot in this realm of plastic dolls is Alarak, the leader of Tal’darim. He’s the only one here to have more than 1 intonation and his own opinion. He’s the only one that doesn’t play a flat one-dimensional role. He has feelings and emotions.

Missions

Yes, there were purest pearls among the 19 missions: the ones when you join Raynor or Kerrigan armies on the battlefield, the push & pull Rak’Shir fight, the moving platform (!) and of course several Heroes-of-the-Storm missions – everyone likes one-man-army levels, come on :)

But most of the game, when you are teleported to battlefield, they will show you 3 to 5 pillars or gates or stones you will have to destroy. If you want to get somewhere, destroy 3 pillars. If you want to leave the planet, destroy 3 pillars. If you want to defend, destroy 3 pillars. If you want to make yourself a sandwich, destroy 3 pillars.

Story

There are Three Pillars of Boredom in Legacy of the Void:

  1. Plastic “characters”
  2. Missions themselves
  3. Chaotic flight across the universe with no epic enemies or resistance

The story was as illogical and fragmentary as possible. If Aiur was our climax point (which is fair), why should we start with it only to fail there in the first place?

While Amon behaved as stupid as he could. His forces are spread across the universe, and they never have enough firepower or presence to pose any threat to one stupid spaceship with Protoss remnants. WTF? Dude, make a citadel. He gains his body on Aiur – well, ok, cause he forges it from Overmind’s leftovers. But he does it in the last moment. He doesn’t seem to care if his forces are destroyed in small groups. He didn’t build any defence, although he had much time.

Mind you, he’s tracking Artanis through Rohana, he constantly tells the Protoss how scary and powerful he and his plan are. By the middle of the game, it’s just an annoying buzz. Because we come to the next planet, lazily collect information or extra boring warriors for our army, we leave. We’re not in a rush: Amon’s forces are said to be terrorizing the worlds, but when we come to the next planet, it’s just a next roaming bunch of thugs, colored red, with no guidance or goals. And Radio Amon online.

Amon never cared for Keystone, Spear of Adun or any plan. Amon’s thugs just broke windows, turned over trash bins and tagged the walls of Koprulu sector with bad words, until all these gangs were busted and all their base and loot are belong to us. Couldn’t he collect enough firepower, build a citadel, perform some plan? No, everything he did was maniacally stalking Artanis through the radio till the end – why not Kerrigan or Raynor… ah, whatevs. And then he tried to build himself a body – WHY? Why does he stalk Artanis for 17 missions and then he tries to build a body only when Artanis finally comes for him?

It would be unfair not to mention really good parts of Legacy of the Void: cosmic conspiracy about Khala, Xel’Naga and betrayal was very, very cool. And when Kerrigan & Raynor joined the fight – the story suddenly becomes vivid and fun. 

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If you want to write a comment, destroy 3 pillars.

About Class Changes in Legion

I’m playing 11 different classes/specs very actively, all 11 toons are at maximum level and were raiding throughout Draenor. So I kept my eyes peeled for all the class preview articles. I guess I don’t have only priests among my toons. They didn’t survive long, didn’t like healing or their shadow thing which is a sort of warlock to me.

Let’s me say I’m very excited about the changes and all that Blizzard announced is very tempting. Bringing more fantasy back sounds very great. So, I’ll speak of classes one by one in alphabetical order.

Death Knights

My Death Knight is the Draenei girl Melaris, and she’s obivously Frost. No changes worth mentioning here.

Druids

My Druid is the Night Elf girl Mayluna, and she’s Balance with a Guardian off-spec for fun.

For Balance, Blizzard destroys the previous rolling energy scale and transforms it into usual builder/spender type. Ok, maybe we did pay too much attention to the UI instead of battlefield, although it was unique mechanic which I liked.

I have the only question: how would I or anyone choose between Lunar Strike and Solar Wrath cast now? For 30 seconds of cast, you get the same amount of energy (I guess that damage is also balanced the same way). But Wrath is a faster cast, which makes you more mobile, less vulnerable for interrupts and stuns, and it also provides some little AoE. Why should I ever need or use Lunar Strike then?

For Guardian, the changes are nice. No dodging, just a heap of fur and muscles with lots of health. Fits me well, although I’m not a seasoned Guardian player, just making my first steps.

Hunters

My Hunter is the Orc girl Salash, and she is Marksmanship. I feel good what they did to Marksmanship, as I took the Lone Wolf talent immediately after reaching 100 level. Pets are annoying, although I use a wolf from time to time for soloing old raid achievements. Moreover, Marksmanship class fantasy for me is an Orc in bright colors, who defends the city walls. She keeps her heavy gun well-oiled and in dry arsenal, not enjoying forest stalking. In battlefield, she’s the one to support the melee corps, a strong backup.

As for shooting abilities, I see that focus building/spending is reworked, but I need to see this in action of course. By now, it’s constant wait for cooldowns and two similar strong focus spending shots which is a confusion. Of course I’m using the one which is instant cast.

Survival sounds extremely interesting for me, that’s stalker fantasy. You are the one covered in sweat and blood, fighting side by side with your pet.

One more big news: Gnomes will be Hunters too! I would have given us Paladins as well, and be done with it.

Mages

My main is the Gnome Mage Micromantica, and she was always a devoted Jaina’s pupil, which means ICE! It seems they don’t change Ice Mage much – and it’s good, because in Pandaria and in Draenor I learned to play mage from a scratch. Snails and turtles killed me, because I couldn’t understand how it works, this batch of new abilities. This time, it looks like it will be more or less alike my previous rotation.

Monks

My monk is the Gnome girl Paitsu, and she’s Windwalker. Nothing changes drastically with her, but there is a pair of nice additions. First, Earth, Wind and Fire – the clone ability – will be instant and more comprehendable, because I didn’t get at all how previous version worked. Second, they make us shuffle the abilities, not repeating two same blows in a row EVER, if we want to provide increased damage. Which sounds like a vivid ninja: roundhouse kick, slap, punch, kick – just what we need.

Paladins

My Paladin is the Blood Elf guy Ilmari, and he is Retribution. There’s little to be changed in Legion for Retribution Paladins, although described changes are confusing. Introduction text says: “many of the Retribution Paladin’s abilities were ranged spells that they started to feel more like a caster than a melee crusader”. Well, I can say it was Judgement and a finishing move. Now they add a spell called Blade of Justice. Ok, we want you to be a melee crusader, so here’s one more ranged ability. WUT?

Rogues

My Rogue is the Goblin girl Hexen, and she was Assassination from her start. I’ve tested Subtlety and Combat, but they didn’t feel special. Now I’m tempted to try these extra specs: come on, a pirate with a gunshot! a ninja which will be diving in and out of the shadows! Still I think the choice will be between Subtlety and Poisons. Rogues are mischievous killers rather than brawlers.

Shaman

My Shaman is the Goblin girl Schlitzchen, and she is Enhancement, the only attractive Shaman spec for me. Mana was useless for her (it was used only for healing spell) – now mana is gone, and here comes the builder-spender scheme which fits better. It seems they also give us not-totem-bound elementals, ability to put several totems at once (means farewell, totem choice) and they also give us 2 ranged attack spells. As far as I see it, Schlitzchen will get her an amazing mobility, even more so than now. I need to test if builder-spender scheme will slow up the axe play, but it looks very promising. What I need from my Shaman is a meat grinder enhanced by elements.

Warlocks

My Warlock is the Gnome girl Microfury, and she has always been Affliction. Playing Affliction, you put 3-4 DoTs on your target and then use your “beam” filler.

By now, we have essentially 2 of them: the main filler and the Drain Life which you are supposed to use when you need to heal a bit with low dps. Obviously no one used Drain Life: you have your Demon Tank in the field or a proper tank player in raid to take damage for you. And if you were silly enough to aggro a dozen of mobs, or if you stand in the fire, or boss turns his eye on you, Drain Life is not a life-saving option. You have a pack of life-saving cooldowns, and you want to finish mobs FAST while this CDs work.

In Legion, Drain Life becomes our main filler, and it makes sense, because it will provide both good DPS and a small self-heal simultaneously.

I also like the new Demonology idea of juggling many demons. Sounds tempting. Nothing good to be said about Destruction: it’s basically a recolored Fire Mage vibe, always been that.

Warriors

I have two Warriors: it’s the Gnome girl Bons which is Fury and it’s the Tauren guy Gottenbar who is Protection with Gladiator talent (DPS).

Well, Gottenbar is bummed out. They have no resources to make Gladiator a separate spec for Legion, but they won’t leave it as it is. I guess I will have to try and tank with him in Legion. Don’t like Arms much. Although I would prefer to play Gladiator, and I don’t care if it is nerfed to the ground and provides worst DPS ever.

As for Fury, Blizzard likes the spec. We became meat grinders in Warlords of Draenor, in Legion it’s meat grinders of industrial scale. Bons will be happy!

That’s all for class previews I have to say for now :)