With Blizzcon just over a month away, we know that Blizzard is planning on making some type of big World of Warcraft announcement. With Legion already a year old and on its way to the final raid experience, players are already looking ahead at what’s next for the game. In fact, Ion Hazzikostas broadly hinted that a big WoW announcement is coming at the annual convention, a sure sign that an expansion reveal is on its way.
With that in mind, I’ve started thinking about the things that have plagued Legion over the course of the past year and have come up with five things that Blizzard needs to leave behind in order to bring back some of what has made WoW so special over its decade + of existence.
5 – Egregious RNG
There’s no question that RNG is part and parcel of every MMO on the planet. Everyone hopes for a lucky drop from a dungeon or raid boss or to strike Lucky 7s when crafting. Most players, however, would say that Blizzard has taken the RNGesus trope to the ultimate degree. It’s everywhere and has insinuated itself into nearly every facet of Legion from whether or not your AP will proc to double to getting Warforged or Titanforged gear to finding the next legendary item.
RNG just keeps getting piled on too. In the Antorus raid, new trinkets will drop that contain an almost unbelievable amount of RNG in order to be effective. According to our own Shelassa via WoWhead, “Each person's trinket buff triggers an associated hidden flag on every member of the raid. For example, when the buff from Khaz'goroth's Courage (Worldforger's Flame) is active, every player in the raid will gain the Mark of Khaz'goroth flag. Once all six flags are active at the same time, the player becomes "Empowered by the Pantheon" which then triggers the secondary trinket buff. So, you need 6 people's trinkets (6 different trinkets I might add) to proc at the same time to proc the second effect.”
That just makes me tired and frustrated reading it and certainly reduces the desire to own one of those trinkets.
4 – LEGIONdaries
While we may not have legendary items in the next expansion, Blizzard does not seem inclined to get rid of the system. I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when it was exciting to get a legendary item whether it was through a lucky drop from Illidan in The Black Temple or by working through a legendary questline to get Tarecgosa’s Rest and the awesomeness that seeing the Blue Dragon Flight over your capital city represented.
“LEGION”daries are something altogether different. While sporting the same orange color, the feeling associated with any one of them doesn’t even begin to approximate what came before. In fact, after the first one or two on any character it becomes pedestrian and mundane. I mean, after nine legiondaries on my Blood Death Knight, I barely take note any more other than to wonder if it’s considered a BiS or not.
3 – Open Zones with a Caveat
While the idea of open zones for leveling is a good one, Blizzard missed ArenaNet’s much better take on the system. While it’s great to be able to level in any location on the Broken Isles, what is lost is the semblance of an over-arching storyline.
If you think to GW2 and how they progress the main storyline, you can run around anywhere, yet there’s always that “go here to experience the next part of the story”. It is available to you and by following the suggested story content, players keep track of the grand scheme and the “urgency” of the mission.
Legion, by contrast, has broken stories all over the Broken Isles. Sylvanas and Greymane’s story peters out in Stormheim. Baine Bloodhoof never makes an appearance in Highmountain. No sign of any concern or sorrow about the death of Ysera on the part of Alextrasza or Nozdormu, not to mention Kalecgos or Chromie who are actually present in the Broken Isles. The list can go on but the point is solid that they need to do something to bring story back into focus.
2 – The Burning Legion
These guys and their fel green goop have been way too present in World of Warcraft for far, far too long. Maybe it’s the pain of eyes seeing yet more fel green after having tons of it present in Warlords of Draenor or maybe it’s just demon fatigue, but it’s time to leave the Burning Legion behind for good.
Of course, there’s always that “dead doesn’t mean dead in WoW” thing, but let’s hope that the advert telling us that we will defeat the Burning Legion once and for all is actually true this time.
Oh, and they can keep Illidan too.
1 – Artifacts
Artifacts are the one thing in Legion that is most responsible for so much pain in the expansion overall. They are representative of many of the things that are just wrong with Legion in general. For many, Legion and its artifact system have sounded the death knell for alt characters or even off-specs. So much energy has to be poured into leveling an artifact as to be prohibitive to any other spec, let alone class. For those who are raiders or high-level Mythic+ dungeoneers, taking a day off from working to grind AP can be punitive as well.
It seems unlikely, however, that we’ll ever see the artifact system go away. Blizzard has said that it is keen on the horizontal progression that a system like this represents. We may not have artifact weapons next expansion, but it’s likely we’ll see something similar.
Honorable Mention – PvP Templates
Ask anyone who participates in instanced PvP about templates and most will tell you that it’s been the single worst thing to happen since the arrival of battlegrounds and arenas. With virtually no customization, min-maxing has flown out the window and reduced most to FotM builds and switching off characters to capitalize on the current comps. Templates have literally sucked the life out of PvP.
Add in the lack of PvP vendors, the RNG of even getting PvP gear drops, etc. and PvP is suffering badly in Legion.
It will remain to be seen what the next expansion brings and whether or not Blizzard has truly examined what has been successful in Legion and what has not. In a way, and even more than any of the above, I hope that the next expansion gives us a break from the “save the world” trope. Let us deal with inner-faction conflict and the fallout from the deaths of two prominent faction leaders and their replacements. Will that happen? Doubtful, but one can always hope.
What would you like to see left behind in Legion? What would you like to see Blizzard carry forward? Let us know in the comments!