Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"World of Warcraft: Legion" Beta Review Part 4: And the Rest

So for my own part, as I've said in previous entries, I'm avoiding playing through too much Legion content because I don't want the experience to become stale quite so fast. Fortunately, it seems Blizzard has built in some branching routes that will keep things different and interesting across different classes and races (and potentially even different specs).

I did want to knock out just one last thing before I switched back to my own characters, though: I wanted to play through the Horde opening. So I rolled up a Pandaren shaman (both a race and class I rarely play) and had a go.

Yeah, I know I said I wouldn't. Sometimes I lie. Even to myself.

So this was interesting because I got to see the other side of the first instance. There were several differences; the Alliance and Horde beginnings aren't just slightly displaced mirror images of each other, save for the one large boss toward the end.

What did mirror each other, though, were the beginnings of the stories for both factions. It looks as though the Alliance and the Horde have more shared experiences than just a massive demon invasion.  Both sides are going through some huge losses and massive changes that could (especially in the Horde's case) shake up how things are run. Sadly, I missed out on a lot of cut scenes because during the entirety of this evening, the cut scenes just... skipped themselves. I have no idea if it was a server issue or what, but I'm reporting it in.

So even though you're given the option to skip the opening instance once you've played through it on your account, I do think I'm going to do it again Horde-side and see if maybe I can see those missing cut scenes. Because a lot happens in them, it seems.

I didn't go terribly far on the shaman side, largely because I suck at playing shamans (there's a reason I don't play them), but I did notice that your choice of artifact will re-spec you. This was not the case with paladins or demon hunters, and I'm not sure how many other classes it's true for. But look carefully when you're choosing. I'd been wondering why the window for paladins was going on about how your choice of artifact wouldn't change your spec, but now I get why -- that can be the case.

That's basically me done with the beta, so I flipped back to my regular characters. And hey, there's been a pre-expansion patch already where a bunch of the changes (basically everything except new content and demon hunters) have already been instated. So I toyed around a bit.

My low-level druid hasn't really changed much.

My rogue, however. My rogue.

I keep my rogue because she was the first character I ever created and I didn't have the heart to get rid of her when I tired of her (and my inability to play rogues) around the Western Plaguelands. I level-boosted her to 90 with Warlords of Draenor and got her a garrison, but it was still hinky.

A friend told me, and I forgot until literally the other night, that the Combat spec for rogues (my rogue's spec) was being done away with. Its replacement? Outlaw. And I finally got to see what that's like.

Ghost ships firing cannons for you. Rolling dice for buffs. Flying through the air on chains. Hand-to-hand combat. Swash. Buckling.

For the first time ever, playing my very first WoW character didn't feel like a chore. And I'm trying to finish up my blogging so I can go play her a bit more.

As for transmog, I dig the new way it's done. I still think making you go to a guy for a few of these things is a bit needless, but the transmog process was quick and dirty and now my outlaw rogue girl looks the way I always wanted her to look.

Final thoughts? I can't wait for the end of next month when Legion hits properly. This patch does have some weirdly needless seeming changes, but overall it seems to be bringing with it a very kinetic feel that I crave in my gaming, as well as a new format for storytelling that will keep at least one zone from getting too same-y when you have multiple characters.

Bring on the fel.