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.
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.
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.
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.