World of Warcraft: Legion (The Endgame)

So, as is typical of when you hit the level cap in a World of Warcraft expansion, the natural progression of your character falls to your gear, which is quantified by your item level. In Legion, you have to be item level 810 to start running heroic dungeons, and that was my primary target, mostly so that I could queue for a dungeon without it taking an hour. And that’s not an exaggeration. With part of the class order campaign requiring items from dungeons, I was keen to get in and grab them, but the new queue system prioritises people who are running and dungeon for the first time over people who aren’t, leading to a ridiculous inflation of queue times.

Fortunately, there’s now plenty of content to do when you’re max level, and when it comes to the newly introduced World Quests, you can choose to pursue the ones which yield particular rewards, so that sped up the process. On the topic of World Quests, I have so far completed over 50 of them, and must admit that some of them are simply repeats of levelling quests. I’ve also seen two (non-profession) quests pop up twice in one week, despite claims that this is unlikely to happen. However, this is only a minor complaint, and I’ve found that many World Quests are unique, have entertaining content and giving great rewards. Some people have complained about the rates at which certain reputations are gained via the system, but given that I’m already halfway through honored with most factions at my middling pace, and it’s only been a week or so since release, I think this is simply a remark from the impatient.

Lastly on the topic of gear, each class has a set already available to them via the order hall, and you unlock the different pieces through completing various milestones, such as completing all dungeons or reaching certain reputation levels. These item sets are recolours of the now unobtainable Mists of Pandaria Challenge Mode Dungeon sets, and some of them look very cool. Unfortunately, I main a druid, and ours looks… like bolognese.

bolognese
No, really, it does.

 

Blizzard have been very firm in stating that the Order Hall is an evolution of the Garrison system that will not repeat the failings of its predecessor. As far as I can see, you can now only earn gold, XP, artifact power and champion XP / ilvl enhancements from missions, and you’ll only ever get around 3 or 4 missions available to you at once. You also can only have 5 champions active at once, including whoever you assign to assist you out in the world, and missions take hours. Blizzard’s approach with this was to make your Order Hall mission table a side project rather than a dominating game experience, and whilst I’ve not seen any complaints so far, I do have to say that I feel they strayed a bit far to the side project side of things to the point where it doesn’t necessarily feel fulfilling, and will likely be something I stop doing altogether.

As for the Class Order questline – well, I can only judge it based off of the Druid one (no spoilers ahead), and assume that the other class ones follow the pattern. The actual quests were very unique, full of lore and a pleasure to play through. However, in between them were painstaking mission table quests, the second of two being to send champions out on a particular mission ten times with long waiting times between. This led to some frustration as I simply wanted to proceed, though it seems that Blizzard are of a mindset that at the beginning of this expansion, progression will be heavily controlled to be slow at first, and then much faster for those arriving later. Whilst this is a clever ideology for those with raiding in mind, it also leads to pacing issues such as the aforementioned, and has led to some other bemusing issues such as Nomi the cook burning most of the ingredients you give him rather than turning over recipes. Blizzard have simply stated that as the expansion goes on, he’ll become a better cook.

To stop us from being here all day, I’ll rush through the next topics. Firstly, I’ve not finished questing through Suramar, the story-driven endgame zone, but from what I’ve seen it’s fun, though a little less phenomenal than I’ve heard many exclaim. The overhauling of the PvP Honor system has actually spurred me to try it out, with the various awards for prestiging being a large motivation and the ability to have seperately balanced class gameplay for PvP being something I’ve longed desired in the past. And as somebody who doesn’t raid much above LFR difficulty, it should come as no surprise that I’ve not bothered with Mythic dungeons and therefore have nothing to say about them. Oh, and as much as I like the profession, Blizzard have made archaeology a huge pain in the ass.

There’s still plenty to see, do and rave about, and if the story is heading the way I think it’s heading, then I’ll have plenty to froth at the mouth about over on my WoW-exclusive Twitter account over the coming weeks and months. But that’s about all I have to say about Legion for now!

 

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