Friday, August 7, 2015

I Won't Pass Judgement Yet But...

I would like to hear more about the expansion when they do the interview this weekend and of course we will get a much clearer picture once blizzcon comes so I can't really pass judgement on the expansion announcement yet.  We do not have a full picture and this early in a lot can still change as we have learned in the past.  However I will give my first impressions of what we did see in the expansion reveal.

Remember, anything I say here is with no actually knowledge how anything will work in the expansion, so my impressions as I say them as based solely on the extremely limited amount of information we saw.

Level Cap Raised to 110:

Okay, lets face it, no one ever in the history of gaming ever got excited about a level cap increase.  It is the standard for any game of the type.  No surprise to be had here, no excitement to be had here either.

All New Dungeons and Raids:

Again, nothing to see here folks, move along.  Having new dungeons and raids when a new expansion comes out is about as much of a sure thing as getting wet if you stand in the rain with no umbrella.  Not really surprising.  Here is to hoping some of the lore that comes with them is exciting, which with the little we were told, could very well be the case, but them being added themselves is not really a surprise.  Every expansion needs new dungeons and raids.

New World Bosses:

World bosses seem to be the new standard instead of in raid world type bosses like wrath and cata had.  Mists had world bosses and so did warlords, so no real surprise here.  Here is to hoping they actually drop decent gear this time however.  Mists was great, warlords was useless.  The world bosses dropped crap gear and were basically useless within weeks after they came out.  Put two tier pieces back on them, and real tier not LFR tier, and we can start talking about if I am exited about this or not.  If world bosses go back to dropping tier color me excited, otherwise, blah.

Instant Character Boost:

After the instant level 90 with last expansion I had expected an instant level 100 to come with the next expansion.  Quite honestly, if it were not there I would have been surprised.  I was expecting this and when you expect something it is hard to get excited about it.

Improved Transmog System:

We do not know anything about it yet, but it is coming with the expansion.  If it is a skin system that saves all, at least, purple gear as skins so we do not need to save the gear itself, it would be a huge plus.  I would understand if they could not save every skin we run across as that would be too much, so I only expect it to save the purples, or maybe even blue or better, item skins.

As I am not much of a mog person myself and about half of the few things I do mog happen to be green, I don't expect this to change too much for me.  But one thing I can tell you for sure, if it saves skins, I could see me becoming a shield collector on my warrior and paladin.  I love shields.

Am I excited to hear this?  Not exactly, but I am happy to hear it.  Even if I do not use the mog system all that often I do dig quality of life updates like this.

New Continent: Broken Isles:

This was expected even if many people expected it as part of a south seas expansion but we all knew that the broken isles would be coming at some point in time.  The area does appear to be a lot larger than I had imagined it in my mind and the map does look strikingly similar to the pandaria map but it is what it is.  I personally do not care what land mass we play on, as long as it has compelling content well rendered in the standard warcraft art style which I do really like.

I can embrace the idea of the broken isles because where I play is not as important to me as what I do while I am playing there.  So my first impression was, "sounds good to me" even if I was neither surprised nor excited by the announcement.

New Zones:

The little bit we got to see seems like it could be interesting lore wise and I can really dig that.  I am one of those people that enjoys a decent story while questing.  Overall getting new zones is not actually surprising as, like with the new continent, we expect things like that.

However, with that said, having dalaran being a shared home city once again is something I am a little surprised with and very happy to hear.  Of all the cities we ever called home in every expansion that was my favorite.  It was a nicely designed, small, easy to get around city that had everything we wanted without wasting space.  I loved that and I think I will like it being our home city again.

New Class: Demon Hunter:

I had a post speculating about the shadow stalker when that rumor was going around.  I said that we really did not need a shadow stalker class, it would be better served as a new spec for another class instead of a class of its own.  The feeling I had about the shadow stalker is 10 fold with the demon hunter.  If I did not think we needed a shadow stalker I really think we do not need a demon hunter.  Seriously, basing an entire class around an ability warlocks already have seem silly.  They should have just made warlocks have a forth spec for a demon hunter and turned demonology into the tanking spec.  There was no need to add a new class.  (I have an article already written about this to elaborate on that feeling, I will post it at a later date)

I was most definitely not excited about the announcement of the demon hunter.  As a matter of fact it was quite the opposite.  Not only were they not needed as a new class, they were not needed as a hero class.  We already have a melee / tank hero class, what I would have liked to see is a ranged / healer hero class if they were going to add a new hero class.  More of the same just seems boring if you ask me.  This addition, while I admittedly will play one of course, was not needed in the game and I would have preferred they spent their time adding balance to the existing classes instead of trying to add a new one, or just adding it as a 4th spec to some other class.  I think it is wasteful design time spent on something the game did not need.

Artifact Weapons:

If you did not think that FF14 has something going right for it this should change your mind.  Blizzard has stolen the relic weapon ideas from FF14, at least in part, and made it their own.  Blizzard usually does a very good job of taking things from other games and making it their own.  I am hoping the same will come from this as they usually are capable of improving on what they took from other games, or they have in the past near consistently.

I did like the idea that the weapon grows with us but it leads me to question if this means that weapon drops this coming expansion will be useless.  Or maybe sometimes they will be better if your artifact is now powered up enough.  Or maybe the artifact weapon will only be best if you do not raid.  Or... well, you get the idea, still too many questions there.

But the main question is this, do you think this is what blizzard meant when they said that they would give dungeons a reason to be run over and over again?  Because as it seems, to level your artifact weapon you will need to be active.  Anything you do, questing, dungeons, raids, PvP, will give points to your artifact weapon.  So perhaps that is how they plan to make people run dungeons more, by having us spam them as the most effective way to level out weapon.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you do not like to grind, unsub now.  I am not kidding.  Even if we do not know anything sure sure yet and nothing is set in stone at this point it sure as heck seems like their intent is to keep us doing things, like dungeons, to make this artifact weapon stronger.  The artifact weapon is the proverbial carrot on the end of the stick and they want to have us grind day in and day out to level it up.  Is it a good idea?  Yes, I think so.  Will people like it if the grind is any more than it used to take to valor cap in the past?  No, they will hate it.

Was I surprised by this announcement, I guess I was and I wasn't at the same time, I knew that in time they would be adding artifact (red) weapons.  I even had a post about it three or so years ago.  But I really did not expect it to be like this were it would become a grind fest and then I would need to do it for each and every spec so I had an artifact weapon for each.  If this is not handled right this could end up being another nail in the coffin of players to like to play alts.  Can you just imagine if you need to grind your heart out to level all your alts weapons too, or be stuck with a crappy weapon.  This will not go over well with the alt community if that ends up being the case, mark my words.

It is still early, lets hope they do not turn this into something that will kill the alt game even more than it has been killed already.  I am looking forward to artifact weapons, but I am not sure what to expect from them yet, I could very well see myself hating them if blizzard does not handle it correctly just as much as I could see myself loving them because I never have to beg to the RNG gods for a weapon drop again.

Class Halls:

Not exactly sure how I feel about this yet and that probably has more to do with I am not exactly sure what the hell they are yet.  At the moment it seems like another piece of wasted development time, but who knows really.  Maybe the interview this weekend will give us more information about them but all it seems like to me is a place where all hunters meet, all druids meet, etc.  Not exactly something I am excited about but I guess it very well could be.  Time will tell but hearing the announcement did not give me the "this sounds cool" feeling.

Honor System (v3):

We all know there are some issues with PvP but after hearing this, while very interesting, I am left with more questions than I have answers.  This is not really all that unexpected.  It is something new so of course we have questions and I am not exactly what you would call a PvPer so I do not have a great deal of PvP experience so I do not know how gaining PvP abilities while leveling will impact the playing field.  But I can surely guess what happens when one person has more abilities and buffs than another because you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

However, with that said, I have worries about it and plan to make a post specifically to express my worries.  For here I will give my long story short version.  How is it going to work if me, as a level 1 PvPer if I run into a level 50 PvPer.  He would probably have more of an advantage than he did before as he would have a ton of PvP specific abilities and I would not.  Doesn't really fix the problem I had with PvP, not even remotely close, it makes it worse.

Time will clear it up more I am sure and answer a lot of the questions and perhaps address some of the worries I have but I was not surprised by this, as I knew something needed to be done with PvP, and I was not excited about this, because lets face it, I am not a PvPer.

I think I would have been excited by the changes if I felt "I want to try this" after seeing the announcement of the coming change but I did not.  That is okay, PvP is not my thing normally so I do not expect to be excited by PvP changes.

My Favorite Part of the Entire Announcement:

The fangs of the first nightstalker never made me wanted to play a feral druid more.  The only part of the entire presentation that actually had me saying "this looks cool" was the feral druid artifact weapon skins.

Not sure if that is a sad thing or not, but the only thing in the entire presentation I got excited about is something for a spec I don't even play.  Here is to hoping that this weekend they can actually address the things that matter to me.

What I Want to Know:

Will flight be available from release when we reach max level?  Will valor gear make a return?  Will scenarios come back for people that do not want to wait in queue for a tank or a healer?  Will there be daily hubs?  Will the reliance on RNG be reduced?  Basically, will there be stuff to do that is worth repeating at max level, or will we have another one and done expansion?  Will raids be scaled better for smaller groups?  Will there ever be a mythic option for smaller groups?  Those are the things that matter to me more than anything they mentioned at the announcement for the expansion.  Maybe we will find out the answer to some of these questions this weekend.


  1. In an interview they said we will not get weapon drops in Legion. It's all about the artifacts. I'm ok with that after struggling to get weapons to drop in WoD. At least one less RNG fight.

    1. I noticed the interview after I did the post. I think I like it took. I had not seen a hunter weapon drop all expansion until this past week. I will like not having to deal with the RNG of it. I just hope it does not take a lot to level them for my alts will get even more neglected than they are now.

  2. The class hall strikes me as very odd. On the one side it's a meeting place for all ... druids... on the other side you are the leader? What about the other players? Are they in the hall - or is it Farmville 3?

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. It is another one of those "everyone is the leader" thing.

      If they are going to make us the leader it should be a single thing like garrisons. Otherwise it should just be a meeting hall for the classes were we all follow the same order with none of us as leaders.

  3. Will flight be available from release when we reach max level?

    If I was a betting man... No. I imagine we'll have to do some chorework (Quest completing, Exploration, 1 rep) to be granted the ability to purchase Broken Isle flying.

    They'll have a good argument for keeping it locked down for a while under the "Too many Infernal Meteors are in the sky that we can't have our commander risk dying to a strike"

    1. Hey Hasteur, long time no see. Been enjoying your shows, keep up the good work.

      I hope they realized the issue they had, and the problems they caused, with flight this expansion and never let it happen again. But with blizzard you never know.

      I am not adverse to them adding an achievement requirement to it however, as long as it is not something crazy like kill so and so in mythic to unlock it. If they link it to loremaster and explorer I am fine with it as I usually finished them at, or near, the release date.

    2. I think (and hope/pray) that they have a clear indicator about how to go about getting flying in the 7.1 patch (~3 months after launch) and not equivicate about if there will be flying. Tell us it will be there in the first content patch and give us an idea of what will be required to get there.

    3. I too hope they give us a clear and definitive answer before they start taking preorders this time. None of this "we will see what the people think". I am pretty sure they know what the people think by now.

  4. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    This may be the make or break expansion. So many storylines are involved and perhaps will be resolved in many cases. If WoW:L is a hit, then more expansions are almost a certainty and probably new storylines rising out of the old ones resolved. If the new expansion is a dud or worse, then WoW is over for all practical purposes.

    I like a lot of the concepts, I really do. The class halls seem a bit weird to me, but if my guess is correct about what the world being in flames means, maybe it does make more sense that class orders would be the rallying point for Azeroth. My guess is that it means when we wake up with the world in flames, we permanently enter a phased Azeroth, where most if not all faction leaders are dead, where cities are destroyed and Burning Legion encounters can occur in any zone on Azeroth. Other than something similar to this, I cannot imagine what else a "world in flames" would mean (other than simple hyperbole).

    Really what makes me think this is the artifact level weapons. Other than death, why would faction leaders and VIP NPCs ever give up their weapons? If say Varian is dead; well, there are the Fury Warrior weapons. Or for another example, can you imagine Green Jesus without his weapon? So for an enhancement shaman to pick up Thrall's weapon, doesn't Thrall have to be dead? Or all of these Very Important Non-Player Characters suddenly deciding to give away their most potent weapons to us up and coming heroes of Azeroth?

    Have they announced yet what level the Demon Hunters will start at? As a hero class, I hope it is well above level one. As far as the class itself goes, I like a purely elfin class and while I doubt it was part of their overall planning and more likely a coincident, it is nice that each of the two factions has an elfin component.

    Even more so, I like having only two specs for the class. It balances out the four for druids, making a nice even total of 36 specs altogether. As I have seen others say, some of the existing classes could easily be pruned back to two specs, while others could easily get a fourth. (I still want a holy dps class spec for priests.)

    Important questions still remain of course. How will flying be handled? Another character slot or an rearrangement of how characters are assigned to a server? How many major content patches can be anticipated? How widespread is the "world in flames" thing going to be? How will it affect Azeroth as a whole?

    1. They did say we are not on an alternate azeroth so it does lead to the question, are all these people dead. While I know many people would love to see Thrall bite the dust, I am not sure that will happen. I wonder if this is an alternate azeroth and they are just saying it isn't. Or at the end we will "set things straight".

      DH will start between 95-100 they said, they have not decided. I think the two spec thing is a great idea too. Why have 2 tank specs or 2 DPS specs, for more to balance? This is good.

      I am sure they will allow us to have 12 characters per server now, one for each class. I would bet money on that.

      The world in flames, I think, means that tiny little portion of it we are on is in flames. Nothing more.

  5. Not bad: in one post you dismissed the entire expansion.
    Go take a cooking class and get out some.

    1. In one comment you made no actual comment, so congrats I guess.

      I know this might be hard for someone like you to understand, based on your comment, but everyone has different opinions. Just because mine might differ from yours does not mean it is without merit.

      Either way, lets wait until they flesh it out more. As it stands now there really does not seem anything interesting about it to me, but it is early in development still. Time will tell.

  6. I don't really think these class halls make a whole lot of sense for many of them. Think about it, what is a warrior? It is just a strong guy who hits things. They do not have a common creed, belief, or desire. They would advance organizations that benefit their ability to hit things. Something like the NRA but for smacking things. Such an organization usually does not have a political agenda of peace or cooperation.

    Paladins, priests, shamans, druids, and maybe monks each follow a religion which binds the members together and has a philosophy of peace and cooperation. Death knights are basically a third faction and that's what can bind them together.These things that would allow opposing factions to work together are absent in mages, warlocks, rogues, hunters, and warriors. The religious and peaceful ones of these would probably join the paladin and priest orders if they want to advance their beliefs.

    1. For hunters it fits, we do already have the warcraft hunters union and have had it for some time. :)

      I agree. For some classes like paladins with a central purpose and belief system it makes perfect sense, but warriors, not so much.

      We will have to see what they do with it before we pass full judgement but I can just see it now. A bunch of hunters on massive mammoths sitting on the command table so I can not send out my followers. Oh joy, the fun I will have. Better start saving up those baby spice you get from the dalaran fishing daily. But in all seriousness, I am sure it will be indoors, but it will not stop jerks from being jerks.

  7. Looks like Survival as Melee is confirmed:

    In Legion, Survival Hunters will be a melee spec that utilizes a pet. To differentiate specializations, the developers will try to de-homogenize the classes. Further to this, Beast Mastery Hunters will fight at range with a pet, while Marksmanship Hunters will fight at range with NO PET.

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. Check my posts earlier the day that was announced. Oddly enough I said that is how I envisioned BM, MM and SV, and then later in the day it was announced. Scary.

    2. It doesn't make sense to me though. Survival has always had a sneaky element to it, to survive at all costs. Surely they should be ranged with pet and the bm should be melee with pet?

    3. BM with a pet would sound more like BM, yes. Actually BM with 2 pets would sound more like the melee class. And a ranged spec with one pet.

      I am however worried with MM. What if I want to quest as MM, I would want a pet. I am fine raiding without a pet, but questing I love having a pet as a hunter. Guess MM is off the radar for questing now for me.

    4. Beast Master Creed

      This is my pet. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

      My pet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

      My pet, without me, is useless. Without my pet, I am useless.

      My pet is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, We will become part of each other. We will...

      My pet and I are the defenders of my Alliance. We are the masters of our enemy.

      (with apologies to Major General Rupertus USMC, 11/1889 to 03/1945, Semper Fi)


    5. That is kind of how I feel about my pet. It is not just a tool, it is my companion, my friend, and mate. I love my pet, as all hunters should.

  8. Well, as you say, we will wait a couple days and hopefully get some key answers, but my sinking feeling is that we have pretty much seen the end of alt play. That has been the trend now throughout WoD, and I see nothing to indicate an end to it. In fact, what I see is that having more than one or two alts is not "approved" as a play style. Again, it is raid or die, and hardcore raiders have a main and a raid-useful alt, and that is it.

    1. Even more so if we will have to grind, a lot, for our artifact weapon to level. If that ends up the case, and there are no other weapon drops, then alt play for many can be considered dead.

  9. Hopefully, Artifacts are not a gated RNG grind like the legendary ring is. It can be gated based on a max weekly progress, but I just don't want it to be RNG based progression.

    They stated that lvling from 1 to 50 Honor should be pretty quick, so hopefully, it won't take forever to catch up if you fall behind.

    They also told Icy-Veins that flight will be unlocked with a Pathfinder-type achievement.

    Unlike WoD, I feel Legion has "potential". I never liked the lore idea of WoD, but the overarching Legion concept makes sense to me. Bay from FinalBossTV made the tin-foil hat comment that WoD was just an excuse to bring Gul'dan back into the picture, which is interesting to think about.

    Hoping the panel on Sunday gives us some more detailed information.

    1. I know it is all just guess work here right now but it seemed liked it would be a quest line to get it and then activity that levels it. If that is the case, and it is made easier for alts and your other specs, then I will actually love it. No RNG at all. Work for your gear and get it. Just like a game should be. You get out of it what you put into it.

      I do think legion will be better than warlords, it can't be worse can it? The key will be end game content. If it is void of content like warlords was, we are in for a long time, and sinking sub numbers.

  10. Some of Legion looks interesting. Artefacts and more class oriented content could be very interesting.

    Elitists are wailing about Artefacts already though. They think that they are special snowflakes and only they should have decent gear, with the rest of us reduced to wearing sh*t and spit.

    They are already calling Ashbringer "Cashbringer" and "Welfarebringer".

    Will Blizz cater for a broader spectrum of players? or will Legion be "Basements Of Paymore" v2 with their "raid or gtfo" attitude?

    Also... Flying. I'm going to wait until things are more firmly nailed down. I'm not gonna jump through hoops or raid to fly. No Fly, No Buy.

    No Flying or too basement oriented means Blizz can get lost.

    1. I look at artifacts the exact opposite way. They are the furthest thing from welfare as welfare could be.

      Now... get into a raid, win a weapon, woohoo, you are powerful.

      Legion... Do a quest to get your weapon, work your ass off to empower it, you are powerful.

      Which one is welfare again?

      I hate when people use that term because they do not understand what it means.

      If done correctly artifacts could be the best thing that ever happened to the game. I would love to see all gear be like that. No RNG, just work to make it stronger.

    2. Night Elves are welfare.

      -roo yee-haw, got one over on a NE

      Case in point -

      a dwarf is walking down a river bank trying to get to cross over, when spies a Night Elf on the other side.

      "Oi! How dood ye get to the uder side"

      Night Elf yells back "you are on the other side!"