Thoughts on World of Warcraft: Legion Part 1

This piece will be split into two articles. This first article is focused on systems, the zones, and questing of Legion. The followup will be revolved around raiding and the patches of Legion as well as my hopes for Battle of Azeroth.

World of Warcraft is about to wrap up it’s latest expansion’s main story arc next Tuesday with the release of the final raid tier of the expansion Antorus, the Burning Throne. As the final part of the 7.3 patch, Shadows of Argus, we will be sieging the Burning Legion’s main headquarters in an attempt to quash Sargeras’ Burning Crusade once and for all. However this piece is not intended to focus on Antorus in any major respect as it is meant to provide my opinion on the rest of the expansion prior to its release. 
Legion began with our fight on the Broken Shore. For those who don’t remember, this is where the third invasion of Azeroth began. The first invasion being in Warcraft III with Archimonde invading Mouny Hyjal and the second invasion occurring during The Burning Crusade expansion with Kil’Jaeden invading through the Sunwell. Well our attempt to cut off the head of the invasion preemptively failed. Miserably. To put it lightly, we were decimated at the Broken Shore, which is when we decide to go off and found our Class Orders and venture the Broken Isles for the pillars of creation. The questing experience for me was phenomenal. When Blizzard first unvealed Azsuna in 2015, I was blown away with how gorgeous it looked.

While each individual zone in the Broken Isles had an overarching story and while each one was individually rather compelling, I failed to find any major connection or threading between each zone. Maybe finding the Pillars of Creation? But that was about it. 
After you reach 110 you are met with numerous options. You can PvP at max level. Or maybe run some heroic dungeons and gain some loot. Or you can do some world quests and finish your emissary cache for the day. But the most prevalent and most apparent option is Suramar. Now I, as someone who loves elven lore in World of Warcraft, adored Suramar. I love every single aspect of it. I wanted more at the end. I wanted more stories told in the way Suramar was told. A whole zonr at end game dedicated to a huge expansive story that leads up to a raid tier. My only gripe with Suramar was that it was timegated. You could only complete up to “x” quest every week until the Nighthold released. However other than that, I loved Suramar. The story was superb, I felt connected to the First Arcanist and I enjoyed Telemancer Oculeth’s personality. The other aspect of Suramar I enjoyed at the start of the expansion was the Withered Army Training scenario. I believe that this was the way that scenarios should be handled from now on, minus the story telling scenarios in quests etc. The Withered Army Training felt like an additional progression system on top of the Artifact, only it didn’t feel cumbersome and I thouroghly enjoyed it.

Now, I mentioned Artifacts. I have many positives and a few negatives about this system. 

Positives:

-I loved being able to wield Doomhammer and Ashbringer… 

-It provided a meaningful end game progression system

-Artifacts continuously got more powerful as you played through the expansion

-Always a reward for completing content in the form of Artifact Power
Negatives:

-Everyone had the Ashbringer. Everyone had the Doomhammer.

-Progression system forced everyone to have all 36 traits by Nighthold, limiting access to raiding early in the expansion

-Never a clear and obtainable end goal for progression
I enjoyed the Artifact system overall, however I am pleased to hear that we’ll be returning to normal weapons in 8.0 and will be replacing the Artifact type system with Azerite.

Titanforging. Ah yes. The infamous titanforging. For those who don’t know, titanforging is a random chance upon getting new gear (excluding legendaries and artifacts) to increase item level drastically. Sometimes up by 40-45 item levels. And item levels in World of Warcraft, in theory, reflect player power. The system seems good on face value, giving players incentive to run older content for a chance at better loot or to let players know that there’s always a chance for something better if they show up to raid night. However, the system has become rather notorious as the expansion has gone on, gaining more and more undesireability. It ends up making players chain run mythic plus dungeons in hopes for better and better gear until they reach the item level limit. In my opinion, I think the system could be fixed by reimplementing a valor or justice point system to allow players to manually upgrade their gear and treat titanforging as a free upgrade rather than a necessary random chance. 
Mythic plus. I believe mythic plus has been an incredible success. The mythic plus system essentially overhauled the challenge mode dungeons from MoP and WoD and added affixes to the dungeons weekly. Mythic plus created incentive for running dungeons all throughout the expansion and made sure each run was a little different and that the dungeon didn’t get old.
Class Order halls have been an giant step up from the garrison system in WoD. The biggest gripe with garrisons were that there was no reason to leave them throughout the entire expansion, at least until Tanaan Jungle released. Class Order halls fixed this by only having your follower table and mission table, as well as your weekly cache for mythic plus, your artifact forge, and your artifact knowledge pickup being in your order hall. All other necessities were in Dalaran on the Broken Isles. I feel that the order halls were a step in the right direction, however I prefer having faction cities like we are getting in Battle for Azeroth.
The final topic I want to mention in this piece is the legendary system. In reality, I could express my opinion in this in one simple word: Why? The legendary system felt really cool at first, but quickly became a bag hoarder as well as it becoming frustrating when you don’t get the legendary you want or need and get one that is just bad. Like me. My first legendary was pre-buff Prydaz. That thing was garbage at the time. Now it’s one of the strongest legendaries in the game in my opinion. I just felt that the legendary system turned legendaries into a joke and made them feel way less special than say the Warglaives of Azzinoth were or how the Shadowmourne was. Even to a certain extent the cloaks in MoP and the ring in WoD.

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