With the forces of the Iron Horde dulled with the Hellfire Citadel patch, Gul’Dan’s forces pushed back and Archimonde defeated once more, the heroes of Azeroth could take a breather….that is until the Burning Legion invaded Azeroth in the pre-patch to Legion and we saw our first glimpse of the new playable class, Demon Hunters. We also got to experience a small quest line involving Khadgar, Karazhan and Ulduar.
As each week went on before the release of Legion, the invasions intensified, more demons and invasions every 2 hours, down from 4.
Kingdoms will burn!
It was great to see so many player participating all within the one area, rushing off to do zone objectives, coordinating in general chat. All converging at the end to kill a boss, that required a solid 10 minutes of DPSing to kill, however, certain bosses obliterated players, which would mean running back to your corpse, reviving and back into the insanity of it all.
I could go on longer speaking about the pre-patch, which really didn’t have a whole lot of content, but enough to keep players logging in each day until the eventual release of Legion. In a nutshell, the invasions gave a currency, said currency could be used to purchase appearances for the 4 different armor types (Cloth, Leather, Mail and Plate), gear and a pet. You could also obtain the gear from 2 stages of the invasions in the form of guaranteed loot boxes.
Fast forward a few weeks, we have the release of Legion, which was an extremely smooth launch compared to previous WoW launches. A majority of players could log in, play without lag and stay connected, unlike the infamous release of the average Warlords of Draenor, where players constantly disconnected, couldn’t move when they could get in and in the end Blizzard ended up compensating every player who logged in during the release with 5 days extra game time added to their account.
You first start off by receiving a quest from Khadgar, who urgently requires your presence in Dalaran, it seems the Burning Legion have had enough of his spell chucking, so they go for an all out attack on Dalaran.
You complete the quest where Khadgar warps Dalaran to the shores of the Broken Isles, where the sundering of Azeroth took place eons ago. You’ll pick up a new Hearthstone which will teleport you to this new Dalaran (the old Dalaran still exists in Northrend). New Dalaran is the main hub city of this expansion and faction neutral, the city is usually teeming with people coming and going to their class professions, order halls and general exploration. It’s been a while since WoW felt alive to me and wandering about new Dalaran makes it feel like an actual world, bursting with adventurers and heroes.
You’ll receive a quest for your Artifact weapon, which, depending on your class and spec, will put you a quest chain to obtain your weapon. Unlike any other expansions, Artifact weapons last you the entire expansion so there’s no weapon drops from anywhere whatsoever. They will level as you level and power up using relics that slot into the weapon and artifact power which levels up abilities in this talent tree system.
Even the order halls (Order Halls are class specific halls, where you’ll collect missions, send your followers on missions, upgrade your Artifact weapon and become your home base besides Dalaran) is also bursting with life, as players of the same class come and go.
Another first for WoW is picking a zone to quest in. In previous WoW expansions, you’d have to level in zone A, level from X to Y, before you could move on to zone B. In Legion, you have 4 zones to pick and they will scale with your Level, so you could hop into zone A, and head to zone D later on. There is a max level zone for players at 110 with world quests, story quests, etc. This system has been a massive success in my eyes. It completely removes the entire “Ugh, I have to level in that place again, better just go through dungeons til I can avoid it”. Surprisingly, each zone felt great to me, where as in previous expansions, I’d be feeling meh halfways through. Each zone is designed fantastically, with story, quests, interaction and the music.
Valhalla Awaits Me!
I picked Stormheim as my first zone, being a nut and general fan of Norse mythology and I’m extremely glad I did. The story arch follows our new Warchief, Sylvanas Windrunner (leader of the Forsaken) and her quest to uncover powers that Stormheim holds. I arrived on the shores of Stormheim with a looming mountain side greeting me, ascending this, I am met with a giant stone carving of a Vrykul (WoW’s Viking warriors) holding and axe and pointing outwards, meanwhille the music kicks in, very reminiscent of the Howling Fjord music from Wrath of the Lich King and it’s brilliant. Questing through I fight vikings, dragons, getting dragged to the Norse underworld of Helheim where I escape the clutches of the Goddess of Death, Helya and crushed god kings before being summoned to the Halls of Valor, by Odyn. Needless to say, Halls of Valor is Valhalla and Odyn, is of course, Odin. It’s a great dungeon to finish off the wonderful zone of Stormheim.
I decided to head to Azsuna next, where a beach was being swarmed with demons from the Burning Legion and the main defenders no other than the Demon Hunters. You’re sent to dispose of some Legion scum the second you arrive. This was a shattered and scarred zone, with a lot demons about. Theme wise, this zone had a few nods to ancient Greece, but of course Elvish at the core. Story arch was also enjoyable for this zone, which I must say right now: Story wise, this expansion is top notch. Cannot fault anything with it. I enjoyed the zones dungeon, Eye of Azshara. It wasn’t anything special, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Earthmother watch over you.
I plodded along to Highmountain next, which is basically Tauren themed. Of course, being Taurens, it was heavily Native American in visual design and music. The story arch follows reuniting the Tauren clans to fight back as a whole against a once allied race. However, we find out down the line why and how that pact was broken. I really enjoyed this zone, however, there was an area for my blacksmithing profession that made me swear a few times…Damn mountains!
My final zone, Val’Sharah, which I’m not going to speak on much, go experience it, however it is a zone based around nature and the Druids. An absolutely gorgeous zone with one of the best story archs. So. Damn. Good. I hit level 110 around 3/4 of the way through the main story of this place and didn’t want to leave until I finished.
Once I had finished the zone story, I went back to New Dalaran and my order hall where I was bombarded with new things to do, quests to go on, explore the new zone Suramar and try out World Quests, which are randomly generated quests that you can complete each day and every few days you complete a certain amount and earn a chest and artifact power. This system is no doubt a direct copy of the bounty system in Diablo 3 and it works so well in WoW. World Quest range from PvE, PvP, Bet Battle, Dungeon Quests and so on. There’s enough there for everyone and something for everyone too. (Rewards ranging from gear, gold, artifact power, resources and so on).
Now that I’m 110, I have so much to try. Heroic and Mythic difficulty dungeons, the entire zone of Suramar which is exclusively for Level 110. Have my professions to sort, Artifact to level, order hall campaign gearing up, World Quests to grind and so on. The first raid instance unlocks in a few weeks, which I won’t be doing just then. There’s also the announcement of what’s coming in the next patch..Patch news so early into an expansion, crazy, right?! Patch 7.1 is titled Return to Karazhan and it looks AWESOME. Karazhan has been a fan and personal favourite Raid since its release back in the Burning Crusade. The instance and boss design are fantastic and the music, oh my the music <3 7.1 looks to add Karazhan as a mega dungeon (Dungeon so big it’s considered a mini raid).
It’s great to see that Blizzard are looking ahead with content and announcing it so early. The have taken the mistakes then have made and channeled them into what I can safely consider one of the best WoW expansions. A majority of players feel the same way in that it’s a great expansion and you can tell by how lively the game is once more.
Just released today, was the WoW Companion app. Which lets you view your order hall missions, followers and see what world quests are available. You can send your followers out for missions too, which makes this absolutely awesome if you’re out and about, or have no access to your Wow account.
This is just the tip of the iceberg with so much to come, I cannot express how excited I am with the current state of Wow.
May it long last!