It’s going to be a long summer wait until World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Legion, gets here. We’re already being inundated by tons of spoilers and information thanks to a very vocal alpha and beta community. I’m not super-following it, because I don’t want to be completely bored with the game on day one, but hey, if that’s your goal, then go for it.
Still, I can say that there are five things I’m definitely anticipating when Legion drops:
(1) Getting to start an expansion with everyone else
The last time I got to jump into a WoW expansion on day one was Wrath of the Lich King. Since then, any time I’ve come back I’ve been behind the crowd. This is especially true right now, as I’m two years behind the pack.
Yet because I know that there’s an expansion reset coming on August 31st, I don’t feel incredibly pressured to gear up and do whatever everyone else is doing. When that day arrives, we’ll all be heading into the Broken Isles together, and while I’m sure there will be those who will shoot ahead, at least I’ll be there with the bulk of the playerbase instead of lagging behind like a little kid whose legs aren’t as long as his older brother’s.
(2) The world quest system
Taking a cue from Guild Wars 2’s shifting dynamic events system seems like a very smart move on Blizzard’s part. World of Warcraft needs to create a sustainable endgame that isn’t just the same dailies and dungeon runs, and I think this idea at least merits trying. It definitely looks flexible (quest in whichever zone you like — it’ll level to you!) and changing (every day delivers different missions!).
Another nice quality-of-life feature that WoW’s borrowing from other MMOs? Letting you tag in on a mob after someone else has attacked it. Let’s share these kills instead of greedily grabbing for them!
(3) The beauty
Again, I haven’t done a ton of looking into this, but from everything I’ve seen and heard, Legion is surprisingly beautiful. I wouldn’t have thought so from the whole “GREEN EVERYWHAR” initial artwork of demon hunters and legions invading. Having pretty zones to go around in is so much more engaging than ugly and oppressive ones. Plus, WoW’s art team keeps doing pretty amazing things with this older engine.
(4) Transmog 2.0
To be honest, I haven’t ever used transmog in the game yet. Coming from other MMOs where cosmetic systems are implemented in a much more natural and effortless way, WoW’s system seems like a hassle to me. So I’ve been collecting pieces but haven’t really fiddled with changing my look… yet.
The new transmog system is a great step in the right direction, with a better interface that keeps track of all of the looks you’ve unlocked. Plus, you don’t have to keep that gear around for future transmogs! Very much looking forward to fiddling with it.
(5) Artifact weapons
I originally wasn’t that keen on this. Oh, weapons you can level up sounds all awesome and whatnot, but LOTRO showed us how dull, grindy, and underwhelming legendary items could be. Even now, after that system’s been adjusted a few times, it’s just not that engaging.
But the more I hear about artifact weapons, the more my excitement is overcoming my caution. I like the focus on customization and choice, both in visual appearance and function. And kudos to Blizzard for letting us transmog the weapons in case we don’t like any of the artifact looks.
Oh, I’m not fully sold on it yet. If you don’t like a particular style of weapon but are locked into that artifact weapon because of your build, then tough luck. Suck it up. This definitely robbed me of my interest in my enhancement shammy thanks to the build getting a hammer instead of elementals’ awesome fist weapons. But it does look intriguing.