Legion infomercial

Yesterday, as most of you know, Ion Hazzikostas spent an hour doing a “dev talk” on Twitch. MMO-C has both the video and a written summary of everything covered, you can check it out here. The program was not highly hyped by Blizz in advance, more of a mention in passing a couple of days before.

I can see why. I don’t want to be too negative about it, because I suppose it had some utility for some people, but my overall impression was that politicians could study it for pointers on how to say nothing for an hour. I kept waiting for Hazzikostas to get past the small talk and to the meat of the discussion. Turns out there really wasn’t any meat. Here is my summary:

  • Beta starts Thursday.
  • Class halls are not garrisons.
  • World quests are not Mists-style dailies.
  • For all those yammering about legacy servers, Blizz will work on improving the leveling process. (!?)
  • Something about Hazzikostas and being a shaman tank. Gotta be honest, I got up to get a cup of coffee here and when I came back he was still nattering on about it. Eventually this somehow morphed into a big plug for Demon Hunters.
  • Artifacts are powerful and they look cool.
  • Mythic+ dungeons are hard and provide another avenue for burnout in case raid burnout for progression teams is not enough. (My interpretation, of course, not his exact words.) Hazzikostas spent at least three times longer on this subject than he did on artifact weapons.

In all fairness, I suppose I had set my expectations far too high for this “dev discussion”. I know it must have been informative for some people, and I don’t want to denigrate anyone who liked it. But, honestly, for anyone following Legion developments so far, it was more of an infomercial than anything else. Other than the announcement of an exact time for the wider beta, there was nothing of any real substance in there that I could see. In fact, when he spent so much time on Mythic+ dungeons, I really felt like he had run out of things to say too early so had to go into great detail on this last topic because he still had several minutes before his hour was over. It just seemed a tad bizarre that he spent all of about 2 minutes on artifact weapons — the aspect of Legion that influences nearly every aspect of game play for every player, and even then really only focused on their graphic depictions — and much longer on Mythic+ dungeons that will probably affect only a fairly small percentage of the player base.

I will admit though, that besides the beta announcement, there were a couple small crumbs of new information. Not enough in my opinion to justify an entire hour, but still. For example, we will apparently be able to do our Legion entry scenario after the pre-event patch but in the weeks leading up to Legion going live, so that when it does go live we can immediately report to Dalaran and get started. That is clearly Blizz’s solution to server crashes on launch day — that and flexible zone leveling — and I think it is a great idea, here’s hoping it works.

The other tidbit I picked up is that Blizz considers 12-15 seconds per mob to be the optimal time it should take you to kill one at max level. Who knew? Not sure how useful this info is, and it makes me worry a bit that Legion’s annoying weed-mob-equivalent ambushing you as you travel about will be even more annoying than in WoD. Doesn’t seem like fun to spend over a minute killing 4-5 little nuisance mobs every time I gallop past them…

But my general response to the discussion was that it struck me as a bit condescending, not in tone but in substance. Blizz has been conducting this alpha test now for 6 months, with the top players in the world giving them feedback. There have been some major changes made, give Blizz credit where credit is due, but there is still a lot of discomfort out there with some major aspects of the expansion, for example class and spec play and the pervasiveness of artifact weapons. I expected Hazzikostas to give us some feedback on the alpha test process, on status of class balancing. I expected him to allay some concerns over the impact on the game from artifact weapons, to discuss approximate timetables for patches, maybe even talk about feedback so far on regular dungeons and raid tiers.

In other words, I expected to be given a realistic assessment of where Legion is going as game evolution. What I feel I got is a nice pat on the head, and an admonishment that “It’s gonna be great!” Like when you were a kid sulking because you were required to spend a week in the summer with your Great Aunt Dorothy, and your mom gave you the pep talk about how much fun it would be and how you were really going to have a great time, she was going to take you to her quilting group and bridge club and everything! Whee!

As for beta invites? Well, let’s just say, since they are essentially at the whim of RNG for us peons, I am not expecting one. I have signed up for beta testing ever since it was possible to do so in WoW, and I have yet to receive an invite. And I am certainly not one of Blizz’s Chosen Ones, so no hope for an invite from that end either. There will undoubtedly be beta keys given away by various web sites and third parties, but most of those also involve lottery-type luck, so ….. See you all in the PTR a couple of weeks before launch.

I give Blizz props for having a “dev talk”, but overall — being generous — about a C- for content.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

2 Responses to Legion infomercial

  1. Ha! You found SEVEN bullet points. Good job, I only got five …

  2. Pingback: Dev Chat: First Responders – Coffee Cakes and Crits

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