I have had a bit of a strange history with World of Warcraft over the years. I’ve been a fan of the Warcraft series since I first played Warcraft 2 at a friend’s house, and I was even more of a fan of Warcraft 3 and the epic story that was told there. I think like a lot of people when World of Warcraft was announced I was put off by the fact that I had to pay a monthly fee to be able to play this game.
Of course it was my friends talking about the fun they were having playing WoW that eventually got me to buy the game. This was in early 2006 and I couldn’t have been happier with my purchase, even though I found Vanilla WoW difficult and my Tauren Druid didn’t pass level 17 in the two months of an hour a day I had to play.
When The Burning Crusade launched I re-rolled and began playing a Blood-Elf Mage and I had a lot of fun playing, again I never reached the cap of level 70. In fact it wasn’t until Wrath of the Lich King was announced that I made the push and leveled my mage to 55 so I could play a Death Knight when Wrath launched.
I followed this through and my Orc Death Knight Noxforge was the first character I reached level cap with, and has been my main character ever since. I loved Wrath, but although I played this expansion more than the previous versions of WoW I was still limited by the fact that my mum and I only owned one computer, so I was severely limited in the time I could spend playing.
In the lead up to Cataclysm the pre patch “The Shattering” altered the world, updating many of the lower level areas with brand new visuals and quest lines. I thought this was a great chance to revisit that old Druid I had lying around. So I leveled him though this new world to level 58 where I could enter Outland, and I enjoyed this new content immensely.
Unfortunately I hated the Cataclysm expansion as a whole. I enjoyed leveling through the new areas, as they had fantastic aesthetics and did a great job of telling the story of the Cataclysm and Deathwing’s return. But expansion was also the place I first encountered the toxic elitism that online games are often known for, and I think this was what turned me way from the expansion more than anything.
Because of my experience with Cataclysm the announcement of Mist of Pandaria didn’t do anything for me and I had no any interest in Pandaria until the WoW team announced that players would finally begin dealing with Garrosh Hellscream. The fact that as players we would be preparing for a rebellion against a faction leader was such a great idea to me, so I bought Mists and never looked back. In fact I enjoyed the time I spent playing Mists of Pandaria and as I had moved out to live with friends it was also the first expansion where I actually had the time to raid, and progress through the expansion.
When Warlords of Draenor was announced, I had never been more excited to play a WoW expansion. We were actually getting the chance to go back in Time and see Outland before its destruction, and see a bunch of famous characters from the history of Warcraft. For the first couple of months Warlords was fantastic. Leveling was the best it had ever been, and progressing through dungeons to get the gear required to start raiding felt good as well. The problems began when people realised that they were spending all of their time in their garrisons, making sure work orders had been placed, that their herbs had been picked, and their mine had been picked clean. As a result of this the world outside of the garrison felt empty, and players began to encounter fewer and fewer other people out in the world. For example when leveling my Mage to 100 recently, I saw maybe a dozen other players when questing in the world, in the 7 hours that are levels 90 to 100.
However it is clear that Blizzard has me hooked into their Warcraft universe, as the announcement of Legion has me as excited as I was for Warlords of Draenor. All they did is announce that Illidan is returning and Demon Hunters are the new class and I’m sold. The fact that we will all be getting lore important weapons is also exciting. I just can’t wait to wield the Ashbringer on my Retribution Paladin.
I hope that legion fixes the problems that the game had in Warlords. I don’t wasn’t to be stuck in a garrison the whole expansion, and I want the world to feel full of life because other people aren’t stuck in their garrisons.
From what I have read and watched about legion so far it seems that Blizzard is well on their way to fixing these problems. Garrisons have become Class Order halls, which are supposed to be an area for people of the same class to congregate. Instead of your character being the top hero of the world like you were as the garrison commander in Warlords, this time around you are the leader of your class instead. This is a small step back, but to some people who are heavily into the lore it is a nice addition that focuses the story on multiple characters like a massively multiplayer game should.
Like any expansion to a beloved game it is hard to see exactly how well Legion will do. I hope that it will be a return to form for Blizzard, and if they do run into any problems they are able to quickly fix them. My final hope for legion is that Blizzard fixes their content schedule, as for Mists of Pandaria, and especially Warlords of Draenor the game has been stuck on the final patch for far too long, people just get bored and feel like the game they love is being ignored.
Here’s hoping that Legion is the expansion that we fans hope it will be, as it will be great to get back into a game that we have been playing for over ten years. We have put so much time and effort in to this world, we want it to be good, we want to love this game and once again have hours of fun playing it.