The latest expansion for World of Warcraft, Legion, launched on August 30th with noticeably less hype than the previous expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Despite this, feedback has been good, with many referring to it as Blizzard’s smoothest expansion launch to date. There has been some initial complaints from those on high population servers of queue times, but I, myself, logged on at 6pm on launch day, usually regarded as peak time, without sight of a queue which, I have to say, was a surprise. Some are claiming that the lack of queues signal a fall in popularity of the game and its slow demise, but others point out that since the last expansion was released Blizzard have increased their server capacity. I, personally, believe the reason for the lack of queues to be a mixture of both of the above.

The last expansion, while well received at launch, left a number of players disillusioned after a one year long content drought, which was only broken with the pre-expansion content patch, released on August 9th, adding Demon Hunters to the game for those who had pre-ordered Legion. While good upon its first play through, the previous expansion suffered in replay-ability. With no choice of zones to level in, it quickly became tedious to level alternate characters. As an indicator, by the end of Mists of Pandaria, I had nine level ninety characters which included the boost I had with the pre-order of the next. By the end of Warlords of Draenor, I had only three level one hundreds which also included the boosted character. I found levelling characters through that expansion a real chore, in part, due to the lack of alternative zones but also due to the very linear quest lines, with the majority of the quests in each zone part of a single, long quest chain.

While Mists of Pandaria also had only a single zone for each level range, within those zones there were usually around three different quest chains linked with different groups or factions. By the time you started to level alternate characters, usually mainly on rested experience, it would only take half a zone to reach the required level for the next, which meant you could do one faction’s quest chain levelling one character and another faction’s with the next, giving a little more variety to the alt levelling process. However, in Warlords of Dreanor, I found myself replaying the starting quests for each zone over and over. The only other choice was to finish levelling one zone to skip the next, which still involved a lot of repetition but did at least allow me to skip some of my least favourite zones. Either way, it was a tedious process.

Unfortunately, when you compare Legion to the two previous expansions, it’s more similar in structure to Warlords of Draenor with most of the quests in each zone tied to a single quest chain. However, its saving grace may prove to be the fact that the first four zones adapt to the player’s level, allowing them to be played in any order, once the minimum of level ninety eight is reached. Potentially, with the rested bonus, this may mean the player can level alternate characters through only two of the four zones, which should reintroduce some much needed choice in levelling path for alts. This is something I can’t confirm, as yet.

My first opinions on Legion aren’t bad. All the classes have been revamped. Mainly for the best, although my previous favourite DPS class, hunter, seems to be one of the few that has become a lot less fun to play. This is particularly depressing, as I only managed to level two classes through the previous expansion, hunter and priest, which isn’t leaving me much choice in this expansion. Ideally, I like to try warlock or druid, but the prospect of first having to level them through the previous expansion or waste a boost to get them up just ten levels, isn’t appealing.

There is the added option of demon hunter, the new hero class, which starts at level ninety eight and therefore gives you direct access to the new content. From what I’ve experienced, so far, this is a fun class to play with a lot of mobility and fluid combat. If none of your other accessible classes appeal to you, this one is certainly well worth a try, and may just save the expansion for you, if, like me, you’ve found yourself a victim of the class revamps. Also added in the new expansion is the ability to swap between all of a class’s specialisations, rather than the previous limit of a main and secondary, which is a great addition. However, this process becomes a little more complex with the new single, scaling weapon for each spec, which means to be proficient in all three, you would need to plough significant resources into three separate weapons. I sense a lot of resource farming in my future…

This is just a brief overview of the new expansion. A full review will be posted next week, once I’ve had time to explore it more fully, but I do have hopes from my experiences so far that it should be a significant improvement on the last one. Not that that is saying much…