Just a couple things…

It is now Day 4 of Legion live, and I have some random thoughts on the good, the bad, and the ugly thus far.

For reference, you should know that my experience has been limited to my BM hunter main. She has gotten the artifact for MM but done nothing other than obtain it, she is now level 110 as of mid-morning yesterday, and has leatherworking and skinning as professions, along with all the secondary ones except archaeology. I do not do pet battling or PvP on any of my characters, and generally do not actively chase special mounts or toys. I usually play about 20 hours a week, but have spent considerably more time than that on the first few days of Legion.

The Good

  • Zone design and rendering — really not enough superlatives for this.
  • Questing — another huge success. It outshines even the excellent questing experience of WoD. The introduction of scaled zones has worked extremely well. The quest lines are interesting even to someone like me who cares very little for lore (I think it is added in and amended to justify mechanics, not the other way around). The one criticism I have is that the dialogues can get tedious, and there is usually no way to skip them like you can cutscenes — I think this will wear very thin by my third or fourth alt.
  • Travel portals — the addition of portals to the ones Dalaran already had is a good idea, as is the portal to Dal in faction capitols. I also like that we have a special Dalaran hearthstone, so that we can keep a handy locational hearth in an area we are questing in, a faction city, a tranquil little inn we just like, etc. Retaining our garrison hearthstones is similarly useful, since we may need to duck into them later from time to time for a quick bank trip, to DE some low level gear, as an alternate  (albeit circuitous) route to other places, whatever.
  • Dungeons — I have only done a couple of these, normal because my gear is still fairly low level, but the ones I have done seem adequate. Not too long, not too short, with some varied mechanics per boss.

So I guess so far Blizz has gotten most of the major expansion things right. Of course, we have not seen the live version of raids yet, and most of us have not gotten heavily involved in world quests or other end game activities, so I will reserve judgement on that part. And this is a 3-day weekend in the U.S., so there will certainly be a significant increase in the number of people playing, and we may yet experience some technical problems due to volume. But a thumbs up on the general experience so far.

The Bad

  • Class halls — so far, this whole idea is just not working for me.
    • I can’t buy into the “everyone is the heroic leader of their class” fantasy, that is just moronic in my opinion.
    • I rarely see a whole gaggle of hunters hanging out there, so it is not exactly a social gathering place. As a matter of fact, in the hunter class hall there is not even any place to sit in the bar/food area. Now that I think of it, I am not sure there is any place in the entire structure to sit down except the floor.
    • I find the follower missions annoying and puzzling and far too reminiscent of the bad parts of WoD garrison missions, except there seems to be far less reward for the new ones.
    • I see no point in the class-specific quest lines, and I think the ones that require a class-pure group to do will become harder and harder to find a group for.
    • The only purpose I can see to the class hall is to manage your artifact weapon, and there really is no reason that could not have been done in Dalaran.
    • The whole mechanic just seems contrived and strained, as if someone decided there would be more garrisons in Legion, then had to do some dramatic changing because of the horrible reaction to them in WoD. Blizz should have just trashed the whole notion instead of trying to convince us that chicken poo is really chicken salad.
  • Professions — maybe these will sort themselves out in a couple of weeks, but leveling a profession is now a quantum leap in complexity from anything we have seen before. I confess I still cannot figure out what the hell I am supposed to be doing in order to just to craft some basic mail gear for myself.
    • There are long, long, long quest lines just to get a few recipes.
    • There is an annoying bug in which every time I enter the LW shop in Dal, I auto-learn the exact same recipes over and over again.
    • Getting to one of the key parts of professions — obliterum — is a ludicrous and currently prohibitively expensive process. I cannot for the life of me understand why everyone should be required to obtain a crafted item from four crafting professions just to be able to further craft their own stuff. On my server, to get the required items now (even assuming you can craft one of them yourself) is somewhere in the neighborhood of 90,000g. Blizz airily claims the prices will come down in the coming weeks, but I am not so sure, given normal greed in combination with the gold inflation of WoD.
    • I have collected over 2000 skins, am at 815 (Worgen racial) skinning level, and I have yet to collect even one Blood of Sargeras. Is this bad luck, a Blizz joke, or is it yet another part of the incomprehensible profession changes?
  • Overall game complexity — there is a difference between a game’s depth and its complexity, and I think Blizz has conflated the two, adding layer upon layer of complexity as a cheap way to give the impression of depth and skill challenge, or possibly as a way to easily add “content” that will keep people busy for a few months.
    • I am not exactly a novice at this game, and I confess I have no idea what the hell I am doing right now. I cannot juggle all the separate pieces of professions, leveling quests, class hall stuff, artifact talent and relic progressions, unlocking a seemingly endless string of required things and processes — even for just one character.
    • I suspect that in a few weeks I will have it more or less figured out, but I absolutely cannot imagine many new players will have the patience to deal with this. Has Blizz abandoned the goal of bringing in masses of new players to this game? Because at this point the investment of time to even understand how you want to approach the game seems too high for a new casual player.
    • Blizz has told us for quite some time that complexity is bad, we cannot be expected to bother our little heads about more than a few action buttons or to undergo the math trauma of figuring out how to reforge gear, and then they give us the chaos that is the Legion experience?
  • Some quality of life things — these are unnecessary annoyances Blizz really should take the time to fix very soon.
    • Auction house in Dal — there is no reason not to have one each for horde and alliance here. I read one blue post where Blizz is considering putting in an engineer AH like we had in Mists, but that is unacceptable and merely annoys non-engineers further. I urge them to discard this idea and just do it right, give us a regular AH in Dal, end of story. (Late Edit: Acutally, I just found the blue post and re-read it. The idea is to put in an engineer AH like in Wrath — not like in Mists. So if that is basically the barrel with an auctioneer on it, available to all, that would work for me.)
    • Quest log — given the large number of quest lines Blizz is more or less forcing us to carry at one time in Legion, the limit of 25 quests in your log is very difficult to deal with. (I hope this limit of 25 is not another piece of unchangeable legacy code like the knapsack limit.) This is another example of Blizz making sweeping changes to the game and failing to follow through  with their implications — make the game vastly more complex, add dozens and dozens of quests for every profession (even secondary ones), make them long and involved enough that one cannot just do them and move on, add even more quests for world content and class hall campaigns and special perks like the taxi whistle — yet fail to see that a limit of 25 quests needs to be changed, too.
    • Transport to hunter class hall — make this a thing you can carry around, don’t force us to go back to Dal, then take an eagle from there. Yes, I know it doesn’t take long, but it is an annoying and unnecessary step that some other classes don’t have to deal with.

The Ugly

  • Hunters. I am not going to stop harping on this. Blizz has, either because of incompetence or indifference, broken this class, and they must fix it. Yet we still have no acknowledgement from them that there even is a problem. Stunning. And ugly.

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 Just a couple things…

  1. Demonnick says:

    So its now Saturday and I’ve had some time to test the expansion out as well. I’m sadly only at lvl 105 because I work Tuesday-Saturday, which happens to be the worst shift ever for wow expansion releases haha. On top of my shift I also like to take my time, read every quest, and explore every part of my current zone before moving onto the next (probably the definition of insanity…I know)

    I also find the zones to be completely amazing from what I’ve experienced so far. Each zone has so much depth. I’ve heard stories of guildies making it to lvl 110 while only visiting 2 zones and completing them fully. This to me is super exciting, because lets face it, we all have a couple alts to level, and the more we can avoid repeating content the better.

    I have no doubt in my mind that the quantum leap in complexity you speak of is an attempt to give players something to do in the coming weeks. It would seem to me that Blizzard went about simplifying mandatory things for players (such as classes), in an attempt to make the game more accessible as a whole, while simultaneously adding complexity to “extra/non-mandatory” content (such as professions) to add longevity to the release while not being too obstructive to new players. Considering I was seeing players at lvl 110 within 24 hrs of release I can completely understand why blizzard took this approach. I also suspect that the massive changes to professions is an attempt to catch up with current industry standards, which tend to have professions be complex and non-linear (look at ESO for example).

    The state of hunters makes me sad…like super sad. Fortunately I think the MM and Surv spec will probably be fixed in 7.1, as the problem with these specs can be fixed with some minor tweaking of abilities (ie. changing CD’s and minor mechanics, etc.), in my opinion. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no hope of them fixing BM in the near future. For me the spec is so fundamentally broken that they would need to actually drop and create new abilities, which as we know, Blizzards rarely does between expansions. If we are to see BM restored to a playable state I would suspect that change would be at least a year away, probably in patch 7.2 (if it even happens). Just my speculation.

    Overall, I am super impressed with this expansion so far. High Mountain is far and away my favorite zone in the game so far. For me, creating a zone that I enjoy more than I enjoyed the original Nagrand was something I didn’t think was possible, so hats off to Blizzard.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, some good insights in your comment. I think you are right about the complexity leap reason. And professions have without a doubt needed a serious revamp for some time — WoD was a great leap in the wrong direction in my opinion, so I think eventually these changes will work out for the better. It is such a drastic change, though, that it takes a lot of getting used to.

      Sadly, I think you may be right about BM hunters. If that is the case, I will be super bummed that Blizz will have done this to me two expansions in a row — first as a SV hunter in WoD, then the same thing when I switched to BM hunter.

      😡😡😡😡

    • Marius CROY says:

      Sadly, if you do not do any quests in any of the leveling zones, you do not get the friendly reputation with those factions needed to unlock world quests.

  2. Reputation is what confuses me. I picked a zone to start with the goal of the shoulder enchant at revered. I cleared the zone, got the “good job” achieve for clearing said zone and I’m only at friendly. There are not any more quests, I did them all — how do I rep up?

  3. gnomecore says:

    Legion ‘garrisons’ are what WoD garrisons should have been. Here’s what I find appealing to me:

    – Few missions – you can’t send more than 3-4 at endgame I guess, excellent mission timing (just enough to check once a day), few significant followers that you are able to actually remember by name.

    – Mission table rewards start with experience points, yes, but they will grow in value as your followers upgrade and level up. Quests, pets, AP objects etc.

    – Two campaigns are linked to Class Order Hall, and it’s a thematical quest hub.

    – People actually spend time in Mage and Warrior order halls (the ones I’ve explored and upgraded so far). They ask questions, look at each other and everything. For me it’s comfortable to see only my class guys around, a cool refuge where not everyone is allowed – which is needed in case off cross-faction Dalaran sanctuary.

    It all feels like an important, cozy and helpful place, but it doesn’t accumulate all the activities in itself. I like it.

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