WoW Legion – Slouching Towards The Broken Isles

Warlords of Draenor wasn’t close enough to The Burning Crusade, the good old days for WoW by many accounts, so this time around Blizzard is just going to go all the way and bring back the Burning Legion and demons and all that.  So say hello to World of Warcraft: Legion.

Single word expansion title? Really stretching so far!

Single word expansion title? Really stretching so far!

Go visit the official site and you’ll know all there is to know I suppose, but my gut was sort of this:

Key bullet points:

  • Ten more levels… because we like that more than five
  • More raids, more dungeons because of course more raids and more dungeons!
  • Demon Hunter, the new OP hero class, because Burning Legion demons.  Elves only though!  Suck it Syp!
  • A new PvP honor and progression system, because some people PvP. Ranks are back.
  • Legendary Weapons from LOTRO, only with a talent tree and some cosmetic effects
  • A free character boost to 100, so you’ll have yet another level cap character sooner
  • Revamped transmog… hopefully less annoying
  • Class Specific Garrisons… I mean Order Halls, complete with fewer followers
  • A new area, The Broken Isles
  • And more… or so they say
Hrmmm... shaped kinda like Outland when you look at it...

Hrmmm… shaped kinda like Outland when you look at it…

Yeah, there are lots of details, and I have clearly injected some sarcasm into that list, but that is the big picture.

I am no doubt influenced by the fact that I am on a down cycle in my relationship with WoW, but I have to say straight up, right now, this feels like more of the same.  Nothing new to see here.  No business model change (so I was totally wrong there), no ideas picked up from SynCaine, just one straight from the generic MMO expansion playbook so far as I can tell.

That will work for some I am sure.  Not hitting home with me though.

But if Blizzard is not really stretching itself on this expansion, maybe we’ll see it in less than a year then?  Maybe that is the plan?  They beefed up the team and subscriptions are back into 2005 levels, so sooner is the real plan here, right?

Either way, my initial feeling isn’t “must pre-order today!”  I will hold onto that $50 for now.  I am feeling more like I could wait until there is a sale on World of Warcraft: Legion at some point after launch.  We’ll see how that progresses I suppose.

Other reactions to the announcement, updated as I find them:

Maybe somebody will spot the silver lining for me.

Meanwhile, at least CCP appears to have given up on EVE Legion, so no conflict there.

Addendum: A follow up interview with more expansion details over at Icy Veins.

15 thoughts on “WoW Legion – Slouching Towards The Broken Isles

  1. Shaun Le Conte

    Warcraft has been great, I’ve subscribed for a very long time but the story has lost my interest. I play for the artwork, audio and some battlegrounds. Not sure if it can hold me as there are other titles with at least this much plus the story I seek. I pre-ordered Draenor, won’t pre-order this time.

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  2. SynCaine

    New Blizzard logic: “People are leaving our game in record numbers, what should we do?” “Give them more of the same!”

    I guess WoW’s officially in ‘milk until dead’ mode. Was really hoping they would do something of note to at least challenge FFXIV, rather than pull an SOE and just hand the crown over.

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  3. Jenks

    We know you loved garrisons, but all that choosing between dozens of followers was hard. We’ve heard you, so now there will be five followers that everyone gets, and you don’t even have to choose! We feel that this will provide you with a much more unique experience.

    Why don’t these morons just make single player games? It’s clear that’s what they want to be doing.

    Oh, sorry, YOUR Ashbringer can be green! Mind blown.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kiryn

    Sorry Blizz, but while I shall probably come back to play this expansion as I have every one before it (I just can’t stay away from more leveling quests) it’s not going to pull you back from your slow decline.

    This feels like the “tying up loose story threads” expansion (I’m calling it, Zandalar will be a raid tier in this expansion) before they send us to the twisting nether to go kill the rest of the demons where they live, and then let the game die to announce the MMO they’re making to replace it (and doing a better job of keeping secret than the last one).

    I just hope Azshara is more than just a dungeon boss. Maybe they’ll find some way to tie her, Neptulon, and N’Zoth into that Zandalar raid tier.

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  5. Shintar

    I’m really surprised that they are going to try and milk the BC nostalgia for two expansions in a row. Then again, if it got them ten million subs for WoD, why not again? People seem to love going back to WoW just to check if it feels any different this time around.

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shintar – Well, Pandas got them 10 million subs as well, and didn’t hit 6.8 million until a year and a half had passed. We were not far past the 6 month mark for Draenor back in June and were down to 5.6 million. And they’re going to have to throw pre-orders and insta-100s and something else at people to support the line until the expansion actually ships, because Draenor is done.

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  7. bhagpuss

    And to think people laughed at pandas.

    Y’know, I never thought about it until today but no-one ever seems to speculate about a “WoW2” because, I guess, it always felt like WoW would go on forever. But now, there’s a big movie coming and, if that turns out to be a success, probably a few sequels. That’s going to create a whole new world of interest in the franchise.

    Interest that a WoW2 would be perfectly placed to exploit.

    Like

  8. Fenjay

    I realized this talking in Slack chat today with my Eve alliance: Mists was the only real “original” setting (if you don’t count Samwise’s doodles) they’ve ever done. Every other setting was already played through in WC3 (and they did Outland/Draenor twice).

    I’ll probably still pre-order a collectors edition because Tradition and also for the soundtrack and art book. I may, however, like I did in Warlords, never bother to sub.

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  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Fenjay – I hadn’t thought about that, Pandaria being the only true new location in WoW.

    I have a strange interaction with WoW expansions at times. There is something of an inverse relationship between how much I am into them when they are announced and how much I play them after they ship. Right now, Legion doesn’t spark any real interest in me. We’ll see if that changes when the ship date… whenever that is… approaches.

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  10. Matt

    Some things you can note:

    Garrisons are considered a failure, hence the new class garrison that is much less central.

    WoD raiding is apparently fine, but there need to be new dungeon releases in patches. It’s the only way I can interpret the “need more 5 mans” without actually planning more 5 mans at release.

    The game doesn’t really need another class, but WoD having no new race or class is considered a blunder.

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  11. Noizy

    You only hinted at it, but CCP only gave up the trademark to EVE: Legion early this year. Now Blizzard has World of Warcraft: Legion. Coincidence? Does anyone know if Hilmar bought a new car?

    Like

  12. Nathan Morton

    You hit the nail on the head here, there’s nothing announced in the new expansion that gets anything more than a “meh” from me. Now if I could just get my wife to play EVE my dealings with WoW would be done.

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  13. .xyd

    @SynCaine – *snort* I almost passed coffee through my nose on the “Give them more of the same!” comment. Funny. And spot-on. I do have to think about the numbers, though: Even 5 million subscriptions at ~$15/month is decent money. Why kill the product when it brings revenue? Still, I was hoping to read something that made me think “wow [drum kick], I really have to renew and see this!” Unfortunately more of the same won’t do that for me.

    I managed to pass on WoD and I get frequent emails from Blizzard asking me to return. I actually might take them up on one of their offers soon because my son is about old enough to actually play the game and I’d love to play it with him.

    Like

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