My crystal ball

Last night as we were tidying up some loose ends for guild achievements, our GM remarked that we only have two more Thursday night fun runs before Legion. I knew this, of course, I mean I know how calendars work and I can count, but that statement really got my attention. Suddenly all my plans for gearing up my DH, for finishing up some profession stuff, for final bank reorganizations, for setting up my Legion leveling transmog outfits (hey, I’m a little vain, ok, don’t judge) — all those things got brutally reduced to a couple of must-do priorities. It was like someone took a chainsaw to my to-do list. It was at once both shocking and liberating.

I think I have mentioned once or twenty times before in this blog that I am by nature and by training an extreme planner. Lists, spreadsheets, and flow charts are my life. (It drives my poor spouse crazy — we are kind of an ant-and-grasshopper couple — but luckily for me he is an easy-going and tolerant type, nods and mutters “Yes, dear” a lot.)

Anyway, my point is that even though I love planning and organizing, what I love more than that is the freedom of knowing there is no longer any time for planning, you got what you got, you are where you are. Your work is done, you know you’ve done all you can, and it’s time to enjoy things. Last night was that point for me, and now I am going to just sit back and enjoy the ride to Legion.

And what a ride it will be. How do I think the first couple of weeks of Legion will unfold? In a word, chaos.

  • The rollout will be terrible — by now it is a tradition with Blizz — technical issues and probable denial of service attacks are almost certain to bring the entire game to a halt, likely several times over the course of a week. Expect to play the game only sporadically during this time, expect to be frustrated, expect things not to work even when you manage to log in. Should it be different, should Blizz anticipate the huge load on servers, should they have already implemented solutions based on their months of stress testing, should they have foreseen the magnification of small problems into massive ones with scaling? Yes, but honestly I think they have made the decision that to do so is too hard and expensive and what the hell everything will normalize in a couple of weeks anyway. I half-suspect that somewhere along the line Ion Hazzikostas has opined in a staff meeting that such chaos is part of the fun™ of a new expansion.
  • Some players will suspiciously be able to produce crafted items and provide vast quantities of gathered mats within 24 hours of launch, and these will be outrageously priced in the auction house. Based on what we have seen in the beta just for some NPC-sold items, do not be shocked if you see AH items priced close to or over a million gold. Expect to see gear routinely priced in the hundreds of thousands. Within the first couple of days, there will also be BoE gear for sale from raid and world drops, and these could easily be some of the items priced in the million-gold range.
    • Unfortunately for the WoW economy, we are likely to see  repercussions from the WoD gold giveaway for quite some time in the game. Blizz opted to try and bribe players to stay active by handing out massive amounts of gold for garrison missions, and that decision will haunt all of us for quite a while. One result will be huge inflation in prices for goods.
    • The other result of the WoD gold giveaway is that there will be a distinct divide between the haves and the have-nots in the game. New players who did not have a chance to amass gold fortunes from WoD — or those not-new players who failed to save much — will be hard put to compete with wealthier players. New players, of course, can take advantage of higher prices to sell gathered mats and make more cash than previous new players could, and Blizz will make a few feeble attempts to remove some gold from the game, but there will be a noticeable division between rich and poor players in the game for a while — with a greater perceived gulf between them than we have seen in previous expansions. Whether this results in an ever-widening gulf as the rich get richer and the poor get comparatively poorer, or whether it eventually all evens out, remains to be seen.
  • Inevitably, a few overachievers will play nonstop until they reach 110, causing normal (and by “normal”, I mean “sane”) players to scratch their heads and wonder either “How?” or “Why?” Trust me when I say this — Legion will last for a minimum of three years, and I would not be surprised to see it go even beyond that by a few months. (In fact, I predict Legion will be the longest expansion in the history of the game.) Doing everything you want to do in the first month or even the first year will not be a winning strategy. This expansion will be a marathon, not a sprint.
  • In spite of comments to the contrary, Blizz will do some significant class and spec “balancing” in the first few months. All of it will be perceived as nerfs to one class or another. There are still just too many outliers for this not to happen.
    • What this means is that no one should make a decision on class or spec based on how it is performing now or even in the first couple of weeks of Legion. My best advice — to myself as much as to everyone else — is just find what you love to play, what you will have fun playing, and stick with it at least until the first major patch.
    • And yes, you might feel you have lost out if ultimately you decide to change and therefore basically have to start from scratch with a new artifact weapon, but in the long run you will be happier for playing what is fun. Look at me, I am sticking with a BM hunter, what could be sillier than that?

So, expect confusion, frustration, and chaos starting August 30. If you are someone who usually likes to take a couple days off work to enjoy a new expansion, think about waiting until Sep 7 or so to do it. Trust me, you will enjoy it more. And remember, Legion will be with us for a long time. Pace yourself. (I am mainly giving this advice to myself — and I hope I listen for a change — but it may give you some perspective as well.)

And on that lecturing note, let the weekend commence.


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.

7 Responses to My crystal ball

  1. I hope I’m right, I think that we’ll get a quest to (new) Dalaran soon and with it will come the hearthstone. That will be the transition for me, when I can park my butt on some new territory! Otherwise, I’m still feeling tethered to my garrison; which is depressing when looking at the new horizons.
    I think all of your predictions will come true! Who ARE those guys will a ton of mats or crafted gear in the first week? Astounding.

    • Fiannor says:

      I hope you are right, too. I think for sure we will get a quest continuation next week that will take us to the interim Dalaran, the one floating above Karazhan, but whether or not we can get the Dal hearthstone then, not sure. I have pretty much abandoned all my garrisons in favor of camping out in SW until I can move to Dal. It’s just really nice to see so many players and so much activity again in SW.

      Also, if I am not in my garrison, there is exactly zero temptation to do “just a couple more” missions. No! Renounce such thoughts! They are worthless now, anyway. I really need to force myself to cut the garrison cord, and moving into an inn in SW for a while is one way to do it. I am sure in a few months I will visit my garrisons again, maybe harvest a few herbs and some ore for old times sake, and check to see how my followers are doing in retirement, but for now I feel like I need to go cold turkey from the whole experience. 😉

  2. demonnick says:

    I tend to be one of those players that looks back on past content with a little bit of sadness, and although I CAN NOT WAIT to put the garrison behind me and NEVER visit it again I will from time to time think back on it and feel an obligation to not fully abandon my followers there. For me I wish there was some quest (perhaps in the early expansion) that would involve me burning the garrison to the ground, which would be so satisfying I can’t even describe it….and to a lesser point draw a very clear “well that’s done” line in my mind and allow me to move forward into new content.

    • Fiannor says:

      Haha! That is a diabolical idea (wish I had thought of it). Interestingly, while I detest garrisons now, I think in a few months I will think of them more fondly. I hated the drudgery of Sunsong Ranch, too, but now I go back there every couple of weeks, and it seems homey and welcoming, with that cozy bed and the bubbling pot on the stove. Sometimes I even log out there as a sort of overnight refuge. I bet after a few months of Legion I will feel the same way about my garrison.

      Not the same with the shipyard, though — after I finished up my final achievement there, I sent all my ships on suicide missions and hope never to see any of them or any others again.

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  4. Grumsta says:

    I’ve boosted a Troll Fire Mage on a different server and I’m gearing her up via the blue 700 Invasion gear. It’s a pretty fun way of doing it: certainly better than the old Timeless or Tanaan way. (It’s frustrating there’s no staff or OH dropping, but there’s always LFR to fill the gaps).

    The Invasions have proved more repeatable than I expected. Initially I thought I’d just get the achievement for doing all six and then stop, but I’m running four per day on two characters and not getting bored (yet).

    Having Mages doing it and getting around so easily probably helps, but mainly it’s because (1) it’s genuine group activity which is very welcome after the solo world of WoD and (2) they won’t be around for ever: grinding something intensively for a couple of weeks is plenty.

    I keep checking at my garrison to see if there’s an Invasion pending there but no luck so far.

    “Come, Legion bombs, and fall on Lunarfall!
    It isn’t fit for Draenei now,
    There isn’t grass to graze a Tauren.
    Swarm over, Death!”

    (Deepest apologies to Sir John Betjeman)

    • Fiannor says:

      Why, Grum, how nice to see your literary side! (I only vaguely remember Betjeman from some long-forgotten World Lit class. The WWI-era Western poets all seemed a tad grim for my tastes, though …) 😉
      I have not really gone overboard on the invasions. I do like them, and if I were to do them more often I doubt if they would seem grindy, since as you point out they are limited time only. But I don’t see myself doing enough of them to significantly upgrade level 700 blue gear for my lesser-geared alts, and I am not especially interested in the transmog sets or any of the other items for sale, so I doubt if I will do them much except to experience any new stuff over the next couple of weeks. (I think I have something like 12 pair of boots so far, can’t seem to get anything else in my reward chests.)

      I was able to get my new DH to ilevel 700, though, and do one upgrade to each glaive, so that seems adequate to me. I also really enjoy the feeling — is it in Phase 3 of each invasion? — of climbing on mounts and madly chasing the next target with a whole group of players. It reminds me of the rapidly-spawning bosses in the Battlefield: Barrens event just prior to Patch 5.4 in Mists. It’s fun.

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