Legion is over. Well, sort of. I’ve still got a couple of class mounts to pick up, some mage tower appearances to get, some achievements, some profession quests…okay, but really, it’s over. Argus is dead, the expac is done and dusted, so let’s take a look at it.
The Best: Mythic+
Hands down, my favorite thing about this expansion has been Mythic+ dungeons. I knew I’d like them, because I always thought Challenge Modes were cool, but I didn’t know I’d like them as much as I have. While it could never replace raiding for me, outside of raiding they are absolutely some of the most fun I’ve had in this game.
I like the fact that the affixes change to make each week a little bit different. I like that the challenge scales, that you can pick the difficulty based on where you are on your character or with your group. I like that using utility matters, that thinking about what your class/spec actually brings is important. I like that it’s extra rewarding to coordinate with friends but I also like that they can be pugged (with varying success, obviously).
And also, as I’ve expressed before, I really enjoy opening caches. I don’t know, it’s a thing. Send me empty boxes and I’d probably enjoy opening them, too.
The Decent: Story-based, Scaled Questing, the Mage Tower, & Class Mounts
Questing. I’m not going to pretend I did every zone on every character I leveled. I am not that committed. However, I did go through all of the zones on my main, completed all of the chapters, and as I did when they first kind of made the switch to the story-based model, I genuinely enjoy it.
I do love a good batch of quests to turn in (spoiler alert: what I’ve seen so far on beta is a really good balance of the two, at least in Kul Tiras. Story with a bunch of quests you can run around and do and turn in all at once for that super satisfying ahhhhh yeeeeah moment), but I love the progression of the story and having a clear path to follow. And also a clear ending—completing the zones in a dungeon was perfection to me and gave the instances an actual purpose as part of telling the story.
The scaling was well done, too; I liked that I could pick whichever zone I wanted to start in on a given character (Azuna was and still is my absolute favorite) and that no matter where I went in the Broken Isles, it would be appropriate to my level.
Except Suramar. God, I hated Suramar as an elemental shaman at the beginning of the xpac. Ugh. Seriously, I think I casted Healing Surge and Astral Shift more than actual DPS abilities. Thank God for Dwayne, my trusty Earth Elemental and forever tank.
The Mage Tower. I don’t even have a lot to say here. It’s challenging. It’s fun. It feels good to beat it. However, there are certain specs for which it’s annoying in that it could be extremely difficult to beat without a certain item level or legendary. A little bit finer tuning on the balance so that at the beginning it wasn’t a joke for one spec and hell for another would be nice. But they are fun.
Class Mounts. The fact is, I’m a sucker for class-specific things. I like characters. I like things that single out my class, and the mounts are a great little piece of that. The only drawback is that in order to get to the class mount, you do have to do the entire Legionfall Campaign quest chain, and doing that across all my characters got a little lengthy.
Also, my priest’s mount looks like it crashed headfirst into a window. You know I’m right. The wing-flappy sounds it makes when it’s flying are nice, though
The ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ : Legendaries, Artifacts, & Profession Quests
Legendaries. It’s not like we all don’t know what the problem with legendaries is/was, but let’s talk about it anyway: when a spec is reliant on a legendary to do well and the legendary system is RNG, it’s beyond problematic.
I’ve said it before, discussed it with guildies, run it into the ground, but it’s worth repeating: the whole thing could have been resolved by making legendaries 100% utility. Instead of “Oh man, I got Portal Pants” or “Damn it, I got the Feign Death helm” (my first legendary on my hunter, I might add), you’d get “Hell yeah, imma portal all over this bitch” or “I’ll live f o r e v e r.” As it was, if you were looking for that magical legendary (fire mages and their bracers, for instance) and kept coming up short, the difference in your ability to perform was noticeable and that sucks.
Granted, with the new Wakening Essences catch-up system, that’s somewhat improved by making it possible to “farm” legendaries, but it’s still a legendary chance, which means you could still end up on the sad end of the spec you want to play minus the legendaries you need to play it competitively.
Once you get the legendaries, however; they do make for some compelling gameplay and choices (depending on the spec, some specs are just “equip this legendary, do this rotation, check and check”). I enjoyed having them and using them, just the getting there part could’ve been better.
Artifacts. Again, this mostly applies to the beginning of the expansion. The whole “we didn’t think you’d actually farm Maw of Souls endlessly to get AP” and “just because we design the game to be played 80 hours a week doesn’t mean you should” system is an issue. The fact is, sometimes WoW players want to be competitive and if you say “you have to acquire this to be better,” we’re going to find the ways to make the acquiring happen.
Grinding AP was not the most fun experience, let’s be honest. Now, of course, it’s a joke—we have the research that makes catching up characters easy peasy, but in the beginning, that AP farm was a rough haul. Hopefully we’ve learned from this? Team? I haven’t hit level cap in beta yet so I don’t know what that experience is like. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Oh, and while we’re on artifacts, can we take two seconds to talk about the damn Crucible? Do you guys remember when they took reforging away from us specifically because “we don’t want you to get a piece of gear and have to take it to the reforger and run it through sims before you can use it?” Um. Hello? What do you think we end up doing with relics and the Crucible? I’m just saying.
Profession Quests. Okay, so, here’s the thing: I actually like the profession quest concept. I love that you can just jump right into the current level of professions and get moving on it by doing the quests. I even like that there are stories for each profession (if you can’t tell, I like stories).
But some of the requirements for those quest chains got tiresome, especially if you repeated professions on multiple characters. Just—I don’t know, ease up a bit? Shorter quest chains? Fewer instances?
And then there’s Field Medic achievement. I just really started working on this after seeing everyone talking about it on Twitter, and holy hell, I can already see why everyone’s talking about it. Hang in there, boys and girls, I believe.