The big day is here, and so far, the servers of Azeroth are holding up. World of Warcraft: Legion is officially launched, and a great many of us are playing. The question we want to ask is… are you? It’s pretty common, we think, that WoW players come and go, as the game tends to be a revolving door between expansions and major releases. Legion’s launch is met with a lot of excitement, hype, and some caution.
Why caution? Well, it’s no secret that Warlords of Draenor, while viewed favorably for its leveling content, became one of the game’s most disappointing expansions due to the sheer lack of post-launch content that followed. Polygon’s Phil Kollar has a great write-up explaining just how bad the content draught was for WoD. The post-launch content for Warlords of Draenor was simply abysmal. 1 Raid, and 1 new daily zone… and that’s it. Mists of Pandaria, an often maligned expansion itself, had 2 new zones, 2 new raids, and 2 new PVP battlegrounds added during its post-launch content drive.
So here we are, 2016 and the launch of Legion. Many are skeptical Blizzard can deliver on the promise of more content this time around, but sensing that worry the Irvine-based developer has already announced plans for the first big content update – 7.1’s Return to Karazhan. And while the patch is scheduled to go live with Kharazan being revamped and retooled as a 5-man dungeon, the news from Gamescom also talked about how a mini-raid will be released the two already-announced raids and that new outdoor content will also be a part of 7.1. This is just once patch, but the pre-Legion announcement makes us here at MMORPG.com feel like maybe Blizzard means business this time around. Perhaps there won’t be a content draught – or at least not one quite so dry.
I began the day at 3am ET, leveling my Outlaw Rogue in Stormheim. I’ve played about 3 hours and I’ve not quite made it to 101 just yet. I have my Dreadblades though, and I’m absolutely loving how alt-friendly this expansion seems with the different class builds, class quests, and class halls. The ability to choose which order you play through the zones also seems like a wise move for repeat gameplay. While I’d still prefer a system like ESO’s upcoming One Tamriel for all of Azeroth, it’s good to see Blizzard moving in this direction. Heck, even mob tagging is now open for all players of the same faction.
Later this week, Suzie Ford will offer her initial review of Legion, and we’ll revisit it again a couple of months down the line to assign the final score and see if the initial rush of playing new content holds up better than Warlords of Draenor. For now, we’re cautiously optimistic that Legion could be a return to form for Blizzard, bringing back fond memories of the much-loved Wrath of the Lich King expansion. So one more time, I ask – are you playing?