Life has a sense of humor. As I wrote last Friday, my blog plan for this week had been to dissect the reported comments from the Blizz devs at last week’s Legion Summit, parsing their words like a Cold War intelligence analyst looking for political power shifts by seeing who stood next to whom at a Soviet May Day parade. I was going to do this because, honestly, I had come to accept that Legion Beta was not in the cards for me, despite opting in and entering every giveaway contest I could find — some every week. The best I could do, I thought, was scour every little morsel I could from beta testers and devs, and try to draw some insight from that.
Then Sunday morning, going through my email, I found that I had actually won one of the Wowhead keys from the Week 4 contest.
I was dumbfounded. In fact, I was sure it was a scam, but after some investigation I found that it was legitimate.
Thus, my new plan for the next few blog posts is to describe various aspects of Legion from the point of view of a player like me — not a pro, most definitely not elite, but really a kind of semi-casual player who loves the game and really looks to it for the fun aspect, not as a competition.
SPOILER ALERT: I am not going to intentionally hold back on what I am experiencing as I make my way through the Broken Isles. That may include subjects you consider to be “spoilers” — you have been warned.
With that intro, today’s post is about the process of actually getting to the Broken Isles, which is the first thing you will be doing. It is not a quick process. Now, there are still some significant bugs in the beta, which caused portals to not appear, scenarios to hang, and random and fairly frequent disconnects, but even not counting those problems, expect to spend a couple of hours at the very minimum (could easily be longer) just getting to the Broken Isles.
The process is basically:
- Get your initial quest in Stormwind (for Ally).
- Do a few minor local quests, then get your first scenario from an NPC on a ship in SW harbor.
- The first scenario is a group one, and the devs have said you will be able to do it in a set group or in a random group. Basically you will be identifying the extent of the Legion invasion, closing portals, rescuing prisoners, etc. It seems to not be difficult, but it is possible to die by standing in bad or by aggroing some of the many mobs. There are a couple of mini bosses, the whole thing takes maybe 20 minutes, and then you are sent back to SW to deliver something to the king.
- In SW you will get a phased aspect of the Keep, where you will have to kill a ton more invaders to protect the king, and also personally shut down two portals in the Keep. I didn’t realize you had to shut the portals, so I kept killing mobs that are endless until the portals are shut down. DOH.
- Eventually you are sent to a new area in the Mage Quarter, where you get what you will mistakenly think is the final quest to talk to Khadgar in new Dalaran. Actually, you are being sent to a sort of interim Dalaran hovering over Deadwind Pass, where you will get quests for more scenarios.
- Your additional solo scenarios involve trips to Ulduar and Karazhan, and include an appearance from our old friend Brann. When you have completed these, you will be sent to Dal in the Broken Isles.
- You will have to do a couple of very minor quests in the real new Dal, then finally your artifact initial quest will appear for you. You will also be given a Dal hearthstone. (It is not inn-specific, so is it possible that you will be able to retain an inn hearthstone as well as your garrison one — ? Maybe.)
My impression of the intro quests is that they were very fun and engaging. Once. It is cool, even for a non-lore person such as me, to be taken on a sort of historic tour to set the stage for the entire expansion. And the progression makes sense, there is definitely a story path.
But trust me, by the time you get to your second or third alt, you will be thinking that poking sharp sticks in your eyes would be a more enjoyable activity. The quest line is set up without cutscenes for the most part, so you can’t even really Esc out of them, you are pretty much stuck listening to the very very very long narratives, delivered at the usual snail’s pace. By the time you have gone through it once or twice, I guarantee you will be screaming at your screen like a mad person, “Shut UP already! Get on with it!”
I can’t find the reference just now, but I believe a Blizz dev at some point mentioned that players will be able to take their characters through the Broken Shore scenario before Legion launch, during the pre-patch. I don’t know if there was mention of going further than the first scenario, but in my opinion, any advance actions you can take on your main and alts will be well worth the time, not to mention your sanity.
Oh, and by the way, I can confirm that the park in SW is in fact renovated. It is quite nice.
The character I rolled is a Night Elf hunter – beast mastery spec. In my next blog, I will describe the initial hunter quests to get to the class hall and to obtain your artifact, also some first impressions on the Legion BM play style.
Last thing for today, if you have specific things you would like me to look at and report on (except PvP and probably raiding), I will do my best to investigate them for you and give you my impressions.