World of Warcraft: Legion’s most pressing question wasn’t answered yesterday

legionLots of excitement and interest bubbled up around World of Warcraft’s expansion reveal at Gamescom yesterday. I was at a Chinese restaurant eating lunch while keeping an eye on my Twitter feed, but that served to give me most of the salient details.

So. Legion. As many others have noted, once you digest the whole announcement you’re left with two primary impressions: It’s more of the same and it’s trying to piggy-back off of The Burning Crusade. Neither of which, I want to note, is a bad thing. Sequels and continuity can be great if done right, and WoW doesn’t have the greatest track record of shaking the boat and introducing radical new features (Cataclysm’s world revamp and Draenor’s garrisons both ended up flopping pretty hard).

Blizzard continues to sample neat ideas that have been proven elsewhere in the MMO industry, like WildStar’s (and Metroid’s) double-jumping or LOTRO’s legendary items. Both of which I’d steal if I was making an MMO, so there you go.

I do want to know what these class order halls are and what, exactly, Blizzard is doing with garrisons (abandoning them, I would think, as it did with Pandaria’s farm). A true housing system would have been a welcome addition, but I don’t think we’ll ever see that. Demon Hunter? Even if this wasn’t Elf-only, it’s just another melee tank… with horns.

I can’t help but be pretty underwhelmed by this whole announcement, even past the bias as an ex-player. WoW’s huge subscription dip needed something truly inspiring and exciting to counter it, and instead of knocking it out of the park Blizzard is settling for a triple play.

However, the biggest question of the announcement wasn’t answered yesterday, although I didn’t think it would be. And that’s the question of when it will be releasing. With beta promised this year, one can assume an early-to-mid spring 2016 release, which means that World of Warcraft has to weather the better part of a year without a major patch release, trusting in the excitement of an upcoming expansion to sustain player interest.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Legion at BlizzCon and maybe there are a few curveballs not revealed yet. Maybe. And if it can’t be a major game-changer, a well-done expansion with tons of content to keep the population happy would be a welcome substitute in any case.

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5 thoughts on “World of Warcraft: Legion’s most pressing question wasn’t answered yesterday

  1. Lethality August 7, 2015 / 9:06 am

    Well don’t forget (unless I’m interpreting this completely wrong!) that The Broken Shore “experience” is a content patch ahead of the expansion. They carried on like it’s something we haven’t seen before, so I’m feeling like it might be considered a content bridge more than a “pre-expansion patch” so the drought isn’t nearly as long.

    Also. I think Legion a lore-hound’s dream, if nothing else.

    Class Orders / Halls… right a bit of FFXIV maybe?

    I’d love a true housing system more than anything, but maybe someday…

  2. Moxie August 7, 2015 / 9:12 am

    According to the new interview up at Icy Veins (http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/13199-wow-legion-interview-with-tom-chilton-ion-hazzikostas/), Class Halls are shared multiplayer spaces, where you manage your followers and do class quests. Sounds like they are removing the ties to professions and such and removing city functions, which is a VERY good thing.

    I’m “meh” on the Demon Hunter, tho I know my husband will play one. I really like the themes and lore on this expansion. I just want to make sure they actually get everything done and don’t cut content. It also sounded like they will kick off these events with pre-launch activities, so maybe we’ll get one more big patch with some build up to the expansion. Maybe. We’ll see.

  3. sleepysam August 7, 2015 / 10:22 am

    It’s a single IMO. Triple would be a lot more interesting.

  4. Tyler F.M. Edwards August 7, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    I did a huge post/rant with my impressions on my own blog (http://superior-realities.com/2015/08/06/world-of-warcraft-legion-announced/, if you’re interested), but suffice it to say I’m rather lukewarm. I’d probably be a lot more enthusiastic if Warlords hadn’t left such an unpleasant taste in my mouth, but my faith in the WoW devs is at an all-time low.

    That and there do seem to be a lot of potential pitfalls, and cut corners. Like giving demon hunters only two specs, or expanding Vrykul lore without making them a playable race.

    It does seem the days of huge, ambitious, blockbuster expansions are over, and that’s kind of sad.

  5. j3w3l August 8, 2015 / 12:34 am

    I’d say the biggest question if I was a player would be “will this expansion only have 2, incredibly minimal content updates again”.

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