A post on the World of Warcraft

My Legion Homework

“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.”
Katharine Hepburn


My Legion Homework

I have probably spent more time on Legion doing research, Beta testing, watching Dev Interviews, following blogs and videos, and in the forums than any prior expansion. Part of this is because Blizzard has been much more open in their process. It is also because Legion is ambitious!

Legion is big. With so many systems and designs introduced; it is staggering and can be over-whelming to imagine. On some level we have to trust the designers and be excited to go and try out this new version of our old game.

At core, with the volume of material and the arc to end game, the design is meant to take much longer to “finish”. One can guess that keeping subscribers busy will keep them subbed. However, it is meant to be totally fun too; let not my cynicism squash any joy of play — I am very much looking forward to getting into the boat and rowing up the stream.

A lot of what we have learned while watching the process from the sidelines can be tossed out. Numbers, balance, spells, talents have all been shaken up and shaken up again. How our classes perform won’t be known for a while as the pieces get inserted in our progress; plus we’ll have patches that will re-balance us (but never enough, right?).

  • It should take about 16 hours of playtime for a typical player to reach 110.
  • The big Artifact progress will come after 110, so you’d want a different motive to squeeze every quest in every zone.
  • The typical player will complete their Artifact in three months with advancement pending on future content patches.
  • At level 102, you can start working on your second (and third) spec and Artifact weapon. This will mean some personal choices on time spent and Artifact power/points investment.
  • Each major patch will shorten the distance to Artifact completion, they call them “catch-up mechanics”.
  • Adding an Alt into the time equation means doubling the estimates of “16 hours/three months” to completion.
  • Flying will open up in about a year from Launch. Completing the criteria that we can do now could be saved for a later date, however the rewards are tempting like faster ground mount speed in Legion zones.
  • Dungeons will be popular and emphasized.
  • The Adventurer’s Journal will be far more useful as a study guide on fights with explanations of which spells counter which attacks (tanks and mitigation for example).
  • Haste will be a pretty big factor. Even the spell tooltips will say “increases with haste”. Whether we stack it by design is to be determined by the theory-crafters.
  • Tanks will be Prima Donas more than ever (if that is possible) with their need for direct heals.
  • Your Legendary Ring should fade in value as you near 110.
  • Your Heirloom trinket should be worthwhile until you ding 110.
  • Get used to looking (and looking again and then looking again) for spells that are now gone!
  • Think of it as a massive reset and a time for a new start. Choosing a new class or role is delicious and wonderful.

We will see so many changes but soon enough get settled in. Hunters missed Volley when it was taken away after WotLK but we got used to it pretty fast.

The pre-expansion patch brings:

  • Spell and Talent resets on our characters.
  • A big nerf to our trinkets.
  • Spirit and Multistrike will be gone!
  • Secondary stats that are additive instead of multiplicative so we won’t see the crazy numbers in end game.
  • Invasions with one-time-only rewards.
  • A progressive quest chain exploring the Lore and story of Legion.
  • Implemented wardobe (or appearance tab) and updated toy, mount, pet tabs.
  • The updated Profession interface which will be welcome indeed.
  • A search bar on our Achievement tab!
  • An opening Scenario to see the Burning Legion invade the Broken Isles.
  • We will settle into (new) Dalaran and get our unique Hearthstone for Dalaran.
  • Garrisons will get the Nerf Bat.

We will feel weak and nerfed and maybe betrayed to start Legion. As we should, I think. Today in WoD we walk as gods across the land with no fear or boundary. We’ve conquered Draenor, it is time to tackle a new expansion.

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