World of Warcraft: Legion dropped on August 31. I’ve been playing it almost exclusively since then, and I have some thoughts on it. I promise that this post won’t just be me saying "WoW is awesome" over and over, though I admit that there will be some gushing over it (and maybe a few spoilers, so read with caution).
The basic plot of the expansion is thus: the Burning Legion (a group of demons that go from world to world and destroy everything) has come back to Azeroth. After a battle to stop them (which the Alliance and the Horde both lose horribly), the attention shifts back to the Broken Isles, where members of both factions enlist the aid of whoever they can to stop the demonic invastion.
For the most part, I’m actually liking Legion more than Warlords of Draenor. While there were aspects that I liked about the previous expansion, there were things about it that I found somewhat tedious (mostly the garrison quests and missions). Legion does have something called class order halls, where players of a certain class can gather regardless of faction, that’s similar to garrisons, but so far seems a bit more streamlined. Also, unlike the garrisons, you can see other players in this space. For this reason, order halls are sanctuaries, meaning if you try an start shit with someone of the opposing faction, NPCs will come and kick your ass.
There have been some gameplay changes as well. Most notably, instead of picking one specialization and having to pay gold to gain a secondary one, characters can now change specializations at a whim. Talents can also be rearranged as desired, so long as the player is in a rested area (such as a major city or an inn) or has a Tome of the Clear Mind or Tranquil Mind. There isn’t a whole lot of race or class stuff that’s new, except gnomes can become hunters now.
The biggest class change, however, comes with the new hero class: the demon hunter. This class, much like the previous death knight hero class, has their own starting area and start at a higher level (in this instance, level 98). For lore reasons, the only races that have access to this class are night elves for the Alliance, and blood elves for the Horde. They are also incredibly fun to play. One of my favorite feature of the class is that they can double-jump, and glide short distances using a pair of really badass wings. They also have the ability to shift temporarily into a more powerful form. Not to mention the fact that they look cool as fuck.
There’s also the idea of artifact weapons. Before starting Legion content, you get a quest chain that unlocks an artifact weapon for your class and specialization. These weapons are usually important in the game’s lore. For example, retribution paladins can wield Ashbringer, and enhancement shaman get the mighty Doomhammer. The weapon can then be customized in the proper class hall, and new abilitis learned using artifact power (gained through quests or certain item drops). The downside is that this is the only weapon that you gain in Legion; however with a few exceptions they can be transmogrified to look like other weapons if you wish.
One other thing of interest about the game is that, rather than starting in one zone, your character can start in one of four zones on the Broken Isles: Aszuna, Highmountain, Val’Sharah, or Stormheim. So far my favorite zone is Stormheim, because vrykul.
I also wanted to discuss the collector’s edition, which is what I received. Like pretty much all Blizzard collector’s editions, this thing is enormous:
That box contains, besides the game itself, a full-sized artbook, a mousepad, a making-of DVD, and the game’s soundtrack. Admittedly, I was mostly interested in the soundtrack, since game music is awesome, but the other stuff is pretty awesome as well. There are also some digital items, like a mount, pet, and some stuff for Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm, and Starcraft II.
All in all, this expansion kind of has a sense of finality to it. The Legion are basically the major antagonists of the series, and one of the root causes (them and the Old Gods) of just about every conflict in the franchise. I’m kind of hoping that this will be the last expansion pack for the game, since it would tie it up nicely (also there’s been six of them. I think that’s probably enough).