World of Warcraft Legion Initial Thoughts - Give Us A Reason To Log In Again

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World of Warcraft Legion Initial Thoughts - Give Us A Reason To Log In Again

With the announcement of the new World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, we gathered a few of the staff who play to get their reactions to what has been revealed so far.

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Josh Vanderwall:
New Classes are always exciting, but a little displeased with the fact that Demon Hunter class is labeled a "melee" character. I recognize that it's a different universe than Diablo, but it's still a bit weird.

...alright, he at least acknowledges that the Diablo universe is indeed different than the WoW universe...but does Josh realize that WarCraft III came out long before Diablo III? And that WCIII contains the melee hero for which this new class is based off of?

I think Josh is a bit weird. :P

The only thing I care about is that they dont make illidan a villain again. If we have to kill him one more time my head will explode in bloody bits from pure rage.

Either make him a neutral rogue, or give him the redemption story he sorely deserves.

All the confusion over Demon Hunter being a melee class makes me question how much these people actually know about WoW lore. I'm only vaguely aware of the most of it and I know what a Demon Hunter is in the WoW universe and not surprised at all about it being melee.

Yeah, every comment about "demon hunter, melee?" made me wonder who thought these guys were any kind of authority to talk to about WoW. Every Demon hunter you come across in WoW is melee. The golden boy of evil demon hunters was a boss that wielded two legendary 1-handed swords.

Makes it hard to take any of the comments seriously when there seems to be a large disconnect in knowledge about something that has been one of the most prominent MMO's of the past decade.

Appreciate the idea though. It's sort of getting to make or break time for Blizz. Another poor expansion and drop off in numbers and the money men will start cutting back on development costs because it's not as profitable as other properties, and we all know where that spiral ends.

TBH Escapist, you failed to get a panel of "experts" talking about WoW's announced expansion. There's a plethora of folks on various sites who have knowledge of both lore and the game mechanics, Perculia from wowhead alone comes to mind, and I'm positive at least one of the various folks who knew their shit wouldn't have had a problem answering questions.
Your assembled team honestly read like a few people who'd had a passing interest in WoW maybe a few years ago but never bothered to learn the intricacies of lore (the Demon Hunter/Diablo III gaffe alone spoke volumes) and it makes for an overall useless piece to read for people who actually care about WoW.
Those who don't wouldn't know or care, but the people you're targeting with this article are not going to be happy with its content. Overall Escapist, I am wholly disappointed in you for not vetting the interviewees.

To quote Illidan from HotS (because someone has to do it)

"What do you mean monks were out before demon hunters? Monks aren't even a real hero class!"

But anyway, I don't play WoW (played the RTS games though and followed the lore through WoWpedia), but all in all, this looks like an interesting trip.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
TBH Escapist, you failed to get a panel of "experts" talking about WoW's announced expansion. There's a plethora of folks on various sites who have knowledge of both lore and the game mechanics, Perculia from wowhead alone comes to mind, and I'm positive at least one of the various folks who knew their shit wouldn't have had a problem answering questions.
Your assembled team honestly read like a few people who'd had a passing interest in WoW maybe a few years ago but never bothered to learn the intricacies of lore (the Demon Hunter/Diablo III gaffe alone spoke volumes) and it makes for an overall useless piece to read for people who actually care about WoW.
Those who don't wouldn't know or care, but the people you're targeting with this article are not going to be happy with its content. Overall Escapist, I am wholly disappointed in you for not vetting the interviewees.

Who ever said anything about a panel of experts? They said right up front that these are just the wow players from around the office.

zerragonoss:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
TBH Escapist, you failed to get a panel of "experts" talking about WoW's announced expansion. There's a plethora of folks on various sites who have knowledge of both lore and the game mechanics, Perculia from wowhead alone comes to mind, and I'm positive at least one of the various folks who knew their shit wouldn't have had a problem answering questions.
Your assembled team honestly read like a few people who'd had a passing interest in WoW maybe a few years ago but never bothered to learn the intricacies of lore (the Demon Hunter/Diablo III gaffe alone spoke volumes) and it makes for an overall useless piece to read for people who actually care about WoW.
Those who don't wouldn't know or care, but the people you're targeting with this article are not going to be happy with its content. Overall Escapist, I am wholly disappointed in you for not vetting the interviewees.

Who ever said anything about a panel of experts? They said right up front that these are just the wow players from around the office.

Hence the quotation marks. I'd just think they could have assembled better people to interview for an article discussing the future of WoW and what it would take to really draw and retain subscriptions. I'm a veteran from beta and minus about a year and a half spread across WoW's existence (mostly in-between expansions during the doldrums) and I have my own ideas of what would draw me back to sub and retain that sub for the expansion's life cycle but in a professional article, I'd prefer a panel of real experts. Or if they're going the other route, I'd ask the community and do an 8-things post. But this article sets up an expectation of expertise and not a couple people who played/used to play and aren't knowledgeable enough to really be considered experts.

Usually Q&A sessions are done with people who know the field the questions will be coming from fairly well and this article sets up that expectation and fails. Its why I'm disappointed. I expected better from Escapist.

Wow these guys lost pretty much all credibility with the lack of knowledge about Demon Hunters being melee, every single Demon Hunter in WoW is melee, and one of the most popular WoW characters is Illidan, a Demon Hunter with two kick ass blades (that I STILL can't get the main hand to drop). That's pretty facepalm worthy.

RJ 17:

Josh Vanderwall:
New Classes are always exciting, but a little displeased with the fact that Demon Hunter class is labeled a "melee" character. I recognize that it's a different universe than Diablo, but it's still a bit weird.

...alright, he at least acknowledges that the Diablo universe is indeed different than the WoW universe...but does Josh realize that WarCraft III came out long before Diablo III? And that WCIII contains the melee hero for which this new class is based off of?

I think Josh is a bit weird. :P

Yeah pretty much lost the incentive to read beyond that point. Who are they even talking to? >_<

Aside from the aforementioned confusion about the "Demon hunter" class, I agree mostly with what they say. I would say I am cautiously optimistic about the new expansion.Things look cool, but until we see it in action, I cannot say for certain one way or the other whether it will be the saving grace WoW needs to stop the hemorrhaging of subs and actually gain some back. WoD did good at the beginning, but dropped the ball hard.

Everything I've seen and heard of Legion makes me feel as if the expansion is nothing but a wrap up expansion. Get all the lore, plot holes, etc from before MoP wrapped up finally. To me, Legion should have been the expansion before MoP. At least have Garrosh lead the Horde against an external threat (Legion) before, after defeating them, and the destruction Azeroth was embroiled in, leaving diminished resources, leads to Horde/Alliance fighting. Which would be when MoP comes into play, then we go back in time to WoD and all that time interference stuff.

Besides the whole demon hunter gaffe(not to say I wouldn't like a new ranged class. Seriously, three new classes and no ranged dps?), I'm also astounded by their confusion in revisting the Legion. The Legion has been telegraphed as a near-future expansion for the last two expansions. Also, I find their second to last QA telling of the struggle of what Blizzard is balancing. So many people want a return to reinforcing the social aspects of the game, but so many more just want to do it themselves.

Side note: The host during the reveal annoyed the shit out of me.

Side note 2: I actually miss Metzen now. The host and presenters had the charisma of a wet blanket.

Shane Ledford:
All the confusion over Demon Hunter being a melee class makes me question how much these people actually know about WoW lore. I'm only vaguely aware of the most of it and I know what a Demon Hunter is in the WoW universe and not surprised at all about it being melee.

This. What in the Hellfire Peninsula are these people talking about? Do they think the Twin Blades of Azzinoth are projectile weapons?

"Drrrrrrr. Why is this class that uses twin swords a melee class? I can't figure it out!"

"Resident WoW players"... Keep thingies? You mean the Garrisons right? Confused about demon hunters being a melee class despite them being melee fighters since warcraft 3? Comparing WoWs demonhunter to diablos demonhunter?

Mr Vanderwall.. i am disapoint.

As for the expansion:

I hope its not going to be iron horde 2.0... the epitome of ineptness... those guys where such a nonthreat... getting their shit kicked in by a lonely hero and a little garrison.. against the united orc clans of draenor! Well established too and with a massive amount of man(orc)power and resources while we are more or less cut off from Azeroth...

Sure they said we would be shocked and bad things will happen at first... but i doubt the legion will put up much of a fight lore wise. After all Guldan will be killed off in the first Raid of the entire expansion.

Makes one wonder if they will kill off green jesus...

Karadalis:

Makes one wonder if they will kill off green jesus...

Will it matter if they do? Nothing stays dead in warcraft anymore. Heck, we could bring ghosts on as followers in our garrison that could take on battles and help manufacture goods the same as everyone that was still alive. It wouldn't surprise me if they wedged Kael'thas back in somewhere.

Josh Vanderwall:
New Classes are always exciting, but a little displeased with the fact that Demon Hunter class is labeled a "melee" character. I recognize that it's a different universe than Diablo, but it's still a bit weird.

I mean... seriously? And this guy works for a GAMING website?

Geeze, if you don't even know what you're talking about at least be upfront about it and don't act like you do.

As for me... WoD just wasn't quite enough to pull me back in. Of course, who cares, I gave them the money for it. But still, after a month or so I, and while I did really enjoy the 90-100 leveling experience, I couldn't find a reason to log back in. Between the broken PvP system going on right now (Alliance have an unbelievable advantage), barebones raiding schedule and whatnot, I'm just having the same feelings I had when I quit in the first place back when Cataclysm released: It's just not the same game I played the first time around.

Jaeke:
It's just not the same game I played the first time around.

Would you've prefered the exact same content all over again? I mean this without any sarcasm.

I think WoW should have evolved and expanded on its strengths, and for once keeping promised features. I quit at a similar time for similar reasons, but I don't think that it shouldn't have evolved.

Which it did, a bit. But in the most wrong way, except that it didn't go F2P, yet.

I'm curious, would you have kept playing if they, let's say, released 4 raids on release, 8 5-man-dungeons, more of the same BGs? I was asking that myself and I think I would have quit anyway, just a little later probably.

edit: I mean per expansion.

Naldan:

Jaeke:
It's just not the same game I played the first time around.

Would you've prefered the exact same content all over again? I mean this without any sarcasm.

I think WoW should have evolved and expanded on its strengths, and for once keeping promised features. I quit at a similar time for similar reasons, but I don't think that it shouldn't have evolved.

Which it did, a bit. But in the most wrong way, except that it didn't go F2P, yet.

I'm curious, would you have kept playing if they, let's say, released 4 raids on release, 8 5-man-dungeons, more of the same BGs? I was asking that myself and I think I would have quit anyway, just a little later probably.

edit: I mean per expansion.

The problem i see with WoW right now is they stupefied the game to the lowest common denominator.

EVERYONE is the same... and with this expansion this will even be more painfully obvious because now EVERYONE of a given spec will have the same bloody weapon... and ofcourse there will be an obvious spec for your weapon too since blizz is uncapable of balancing their own game... wich is strange if you take a look at starcraft and the balancing job they do there.

You basically do not take any decisions anymore with your character, everythings streamlined, everythings made "easier", there is only one specific way to play your spec because everything was eliminated... i remember the days of vanilla WoW where my arms warrior was all about agility for ludicrous crit burst sprees XD

Ah.. how i miss the days of WotLK, thats when WoW was at its finest i think. Nowadays the game feels more like a used car salesman then anything else and WoD showed the lack of passion blizzard has for WoW.. rushed, content cut, abandoned before the last (and sadly only) content patch...

It doesnt help either that for the most part you have been the janitor for the big heros cleaning up their messes up to this point. Killstealing lore characters like green jesus and Kadgar are suddenly front and center after you and your teammates have risked your lives to bring the big bad down.. with them hogging all the glory in cutscenes...

Karadalis:

[...]

I agree. There are so many reasons for the subscriber base shrinking this rapidly, and it's not (just) age.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
TBH Escapist, you failed to get a panel of "experts" talking about WoW's announced expansion.

Question for you: I've never played a minute of it. Is it too late to start? How would I? Can I start with the expansion? Is there a base game to purchase?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Naldan:

Karadalis:

[...]

I agree. There are so many reasons for the subscriber base shrinking this rapidly, and it's not (just) age.

I agree as well. I stopped playing WoW because of Comcast, but I am never going to start playing again out of pocket (I can afford one month in gold should I start to play again) if things keep going the way they have been. WoW was definitely at its peak in WotLK when it felt like you were actually doing something productive. The characters all had attention, the game wasn't dumbed downed, and the game felt alive. Now it feels like Blizzard just rushed out beautiful yet empty content instead of improving what already existed. When I say "improving what already existed" I do not mean Cataclysm.

Ultimately the world feels empty and the end-game outside of raiding is non-existent. The game is set up in such a way where crafting is dull, you can't engross yourself into the economy or your trade skills, and there is nothing you can invest in. The Garrison sort of fixed the investment part but it was shallow and it didn't really feel like you built anything when all you did was do storyline quests to get there.

If anyone is able to merge WoW's lore, FFXIV's graphical and audio fidelity, and Runescape 2007's trade skill range and economy I can almost guarantee it will be the best MMO ever made.

I stopped playing WoW because I couldn't stand the community. They weren't helpful in the least, much less nice. How this game ever reached 12 million with the kind of unwelcoming, sometimes outright hostile people that inhabit it, I will never understand. Taken from friends who entered the game during Draenor, this has not changed since I left. I'll stick to ESO, where I am a member of 3 guilds, one of which is solely dedicated to crafting and trading, is generous with materials, has weekly drawings, and is generally a fun group of people to be around.

I don't think I can adequately explain how disappointed I was that the big bad of the new expansion is... *drumroll*... the damned Burning Legion. Again. It feels to me like Blizzard is just rehashing its own ideas, over and over again. If not the Burning Legion, then it's Orcs, if not Orcs then it's Zandalari Trolls. What's the next expansion going to be? World of Warcraft: Lich? I'm just tired of it, I guess.

The Garrisons were a grind and felt like nothing more than busy work. The community feels like it's becoming more toxic by the day. LFR would probably be fine if everyone didn't immediately ragequit at the first wipe. It's become a slog that doesn't feel worth the $15 subscription fee. I find it sad since WoW has very rich lore and has been fun in the past.

Gorfias:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
TBH Escapist, you failed to get a panel of "experts" talking about WoW's announced expansion.

Question for you: I've never played a minute of it. Is it too late to start? How would I? Can I start with the expansion? Is there a base game to purchase?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

I think WoW is free up to Level 20 or so. You should be able to download the game from BattleNet and give it a try.

Naldan:

Jaeke:
It's just not the same game I played the first time around.

Would you've prefered the exact same content all over again? I mean this without any sarcasm.

I think WoW should have evolved and expanded on its strengths, and for once keeping promised features. I quit at a similar time for similar reasons, but I don't think that it shouldn't have evolved.

Which it did, a bit. But in the most wrong way, except that it didn't go F2P, yet.

I'm curious, would you have kept playing if they, let's say, released 4 raids on release, 8 5-man-dungeons, more of the same BGs? I was asking that myself and I think I would have quit anyway, just a little later probably.

edit: I mean per expansion.

What I mean is a factor that you can't mechanically design in a videogame, at least not with numbers and lines of code. It's just the sense of exploration and "everything is new" the first time you play through a game. It's a lot more prevalent in your gaming life when you are at a young age.

WAY too idealistic without any actual solution and not an opinion to be taken seriously but, at least it's one shared by a LOT of others.

At least I finally get to have my Demonhunter I've been waiting for for a decade.

Jaeke:

What I mean is a factor that you can't mechanically design in a videogame, at least not with numbers and lines of code. It's just the sense of exploration and "everything is new" the first time you play through a game. It's a lot more prevalent in your gaming life when you are at a young age.

WAY too idealistic without any actual solution and not an opinion to be taken seriously but, at least it's one shared by a LOT of others.

At least I finally get to have my Demonhunter I've been waiting for for a decade.

Well, this is exactly what xpacks are supposed to deliver. You could measure the quality of an xpack by the duration of this feeling alone, if it's imprtant to you.

As said above, not surprised by the Legion coming back, and this has the feel of a last significant expansion. The biggest enemy ever will be dealt with for good (let's get real, considering what WOW brought us before, there's a real chance the bad guys will manage to bring back Sargeras as THE end boss), and then there won't be much of importance left to do. With the shrinking player base, that's kind of expected - better wrap up the key parts when there's still people playing it.
If it's the last solid expansion, that will also give Blizzard more leeway, and they can decide to kill off some big characters that they wouldn't have killed earlier - including faction bosses if needed. They said this expansion would hit players hard, so I expect several big names to bite it (Sylvanas, Illidan and Thrall for instance, and Anduin possibly).

Ron: I think the change to the honor system is a much needed one. Not so much because the prestige idea is awesome, but more because the design of this system looks to finally give Blizzard a tool to start balancing PvE and PvP on a separate basis. This is something that's been needed for year, as balance changes to either one have had unforeseen consequences in the other.

So much this about being sick and tired of changes made for PVP that fuck up PVE stuff, or the other way around. They should've made up their minds years ago about which was more important, or found a way to make sure that fixing PVP balances wouldn't impact PVE, or PVE changes wouldn't screw PVP.

Karadalis:
WoD showed the lack of passion blizzard has for WoW.. rushed, content cut, abandoned before the last (and sadly only) content patch...

Made painfully obvious by the maps of Draenor you actually have in your garrison and all over the place, showing Faralhon continent up NE and a big island South of Nagrand.
About being the big NPC hero's helper, this seems to change at long last. You were at his level in WOD, since you basically were the general of the expeditionary force, but now, with many prominent leaders of Azeroth being possibly killed during the Legion's invasion (I mean, you can get Doomhammer or Ashbringer as artefact, so I doubt their owners will be able to kick ass long into this expansion) and you being the world's head of your class's order, you might be the biggest badass around at long last.

Random Gamer:
(Sylvanas, Illidan and Thrall for instance, and Anduin possibly)

These are the four that you can guarantee the survival of. Why? Because one is Kosaks waifu, another they already killed and is bringing back, Thrall is Metzens author avatar and Anduin dying would do the alliance playerbase a favour, thus won't die -ever-. That and blizzard already stated outright via the naaru that Anduin is gonna be playing some big role whenever they make Sargeras into the biggest raid boss ever in some distant future.

That said I'd celebrate if Sylvanas, Thrall and Anduin kicked the bucket.

Halyah:
blizzard already stated outright via the naaru that Anduin is gonna be playing some big role whenever they make Sargeras into the biggest raid boss ever in some distant future.

Hmmm, I must have missed that - unless it was in some later part of Draenor.
But still, with the "biggest invasion of the Legion ever", taking place at the Tomb of Sargeras, and with Anduin a major character who will have a bitter experience/choice to win the peace, I wouldn't rule out that this is what they have in store for the last bit patch of WOW 7.X.
And really, were I Blizzard, I'd begin to ponder what should/could be the starting situation for a Warcraft 4, or (unlikely) a WOW II.

Random Gamer:

Halyah:
blizzard already stated outright via the naaru that Anduin is gonna be playing some big role whenever they make Sargeras into the biggest raid boss ever in some distant future.

Hmmm, I must have missed that - unless it was in some later part of Draenor.
But still, with the "biggest invasion of the Legion ever", taking place at the Tomb of Sargeras, and with Anduin a major character who will have a bitter experience/choice to win the peace, I wouldn't rule out that this is what they have in store for the last bit patch of WOW 7.X.
And really, were I Blizzard, I'd begin to ponder what should/could be the starting situation for a Warcraft 4, or (unlikely) a WOW II.

The thing with Anduin is a bit older than WoD IIRC. It was army of light something something. It didn't sound particularly interesting to be honest and I only recall enough to say Anduin was gonna play a part. That said I doubt we'd be ganking Sargeras in this round. Mostly because they'd toss Kil'Jaeden(and Archimonde for the fourth time) at us first.

At least two of these WoW "players" are confused about Demon Hunters being melee? Umm, couldn't The Escapist find anyone in the office who had the slightest clue about Warcraft.

Illidan, and other Demon Hunters have featured in Warcraft lore for years, always using a pair of Glaives in melee range.

Oh dear...

Just wanted to chime in here for some clarification. I hadn't really expected WarCraft folks to in any way agree with my sentiment re: D3 Demon Hunters in WoW, but I hadn't anticipated this. Don't get me wrong here, I certainly don't begrudge anybody for wanting to keep franchises/universes separate.

Rest assured, both Janelle and I have been playing WarCraft since the mid 90s. I dabbled in the first, but played 2 and 3 plus expansions way too much. I also cited Illidan as one of my favorite lore characters, and promise you that I know about WarCraft universe's DH vs D3's DH class. Janelle does, too.

I didn't elaborate on my point because it was a brief Q&A thing, but having watched subscribers dwindle for years now, I think Blizz has tapped out the WarCraft fanbase by this point. All I meant was that if they were to cater to non-WarCraft folks, they might have more luck boosting subs. That's all. I promise.

As to Janelle's comment, it's more a matter of existing commitment to the D3 DH class than ignorance of WarCraft character/lore. She's sunk circa 300 hours into her D3 DH. She's also got roughly the same crisis-inducing /played on WoW that I do. Unlike me, she's actually taken down Illidan in WoW. What she's never done is play an alt, and a melee DH isn't going to change that. Whereas a D3-esque DH class addition might be what it takes to convince her to make an alt.

Also, fun fact. I'd never actually looked into what glaives were, historically speaking. They're apparently more Halberd than Chakram. There's no situation in which an actual, historical glaive could have been used as a ranged weapon. With or without magical boomerang properties. Who knew?!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaive

Travis Fischer:

Gorfias:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
TBH Escapist, you failed to get a panel of "experts" talking about WoW's announced expansion.

Question for you: I've never played a minute of it. Is it too late to start? How would I? Can I start with the expansion? Is there a base game to purchase?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

I think WoW is free up to Level 20 or so. You should be able to download the game from BattleNet and give it a try.

Thanks, I'll give it a shot!

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