Legion: the Leveling Experience

Legion is upon us. Most folks are now 110, or at least getting close, and now it's time to spend the weekend gearing for raids, and hoping the RNGods smile upon you with a legendary drop. As such, I thought I'd start up the old blog and you know, rant for a bit.

Adjusting Expectations

So far, my enjoyment of the game seems to be based on how much I can lower my expectations. If I think about how much fun hunters used to be to play, then legion is simply miserable.  If instead I compare it to some other MMO's out there, then I can start to feel like it's a pretty good game. Unfortunately, the way world quests are set up, and the focus on a Hunter class hall, there's a lot that keeps my mind focused on how much we've lost, and how great this expansion would have been if they hadn't destroyed the hunter specs.


Once again, they've really stepped up their game and made some of the most beautiful zones in the game.  I did very little leveling on the alpha/beta, so I hadn't had a chance to really experience the zones like I am now.  They feel much more expansive than Warlords of Draenor did, and the work they've done to make phasing between small areas in the zones more seamless has created a much more dynamic world. It feels pretty cool to be able to have world quests pop up in an area that's normally a quest hub or faction headquarters.


Though the general story of Legion fits into the world of WoW much better than Warlords of Draenor did, the smaller, zone-wide stories aren't as compelling as they were in WoD.  I didn't feel like I had a good impression of the personality of the citizens of each zone by the time I was finished leveling there.  Some of that might be because leveling was very, very fast in Legion, but some of it was surely because the storytelling just wasn't quite as good as it has been in the last couple of expansions.

There were, however, some moments that were highlights. I had fun getting to know the moose Tauren of Highmountain.  The Horde questline in Stormheim was a lot of fun, though the Alliance version is fairly lacking.  Suramar, also, has so far had some fairly fun quests.  I enjoyed exploring the area and getting to know the people there, learning the story of the city and the Legion.

Solo Combat 

In Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard starting adding more interesting mechanics to mobs out in the world. It was generally fairly basic things, like a telegraphed AoE cone, or void zones that appear.  In WoD, however, they didn't really expand on those. In Legion, however, they have. Similar to how you sometimes will see trash mobs in a raid doing mini versions of a mechanic the raid boss is going to do, now we have that out in the world. These aren't difficult mechanics by any means, and I haven't come across any that I think would 1-shot you if you messed it up, but they tend to hit pretty hard, and encourage you to pay attention while playing.  

Unfortunately, most anything interesting in combat mostly just makes me wish I could play a pre-Legion version of a hunter. Perhaps this is just my jaded reaction, to old of a dog to learn new tricks, but there have been several times where I've thought something looked cool, maybe a mechanic that's really hard if you have lots of mobs or something, and I had ideas for how to handle it, only to realize that wasn't something hunters could do anymore. So instead I just turn on netflix on my other monitor, and go back to the boring grind of playing the new hunter specs. 


I did absolutely nothing with professions on the Alpha/Beta, so that part was all new to me. I had heard they were adding a lot to them, though I didn't really have many expectations for what that would be.  

After leveling a couple of professions now, I have some mixed feelings. There were parts of them that were a lot of fun.  But I also think there are parts where the devs fell into the old trap of thinking travel time is the same thing as content.  There were a few moments where I was surprised to run into an interesting NPC with a fun quests to gather recipes (Nomi is all grown up!).


Overall, I think we've got a fairly good product.  While the game was a bit glitchy at times, and there was that huge "error 132" issue, things were much smoother than the WoD release.  And if I can convince myself to stop thinking about how great hunters used to be, then I catch myself having a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of my gearing experience goes, and how the raids turn out.

No comments:

Post a Comment