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Legion Review: Putting the WOW back in World of Warcraft

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There has always been this stereotype attached to World of Warcraft. It sucks your life away, it is so hard, and it is difficult to get into. Yes, one of these might be true as the game does require quite the dedication to master, but World of Warcraft: Legion, has brought the game’s intimidating presence down a notch. Thankfully Legion makes it easier to enter World of Warcraft, and better for those who have been playing it for years. 

Before I start, it is important to know where I stood before Legion released. I just got back into WoW after a two-year break. This was after I watched the World of Warcraft film back in May. Sure, I thought I would have my character ready by the time Legion released, but it was no going to happen. With other games needing my attention, I did not have a character ready for Legion’s release. 

This is where Legion’s 100-level booster came in handy. Being available in every copy of the game, it allowed me to send my level 52 Pandarian Shaman, all the way to level 100, allowing him to start Legion, as soon as midnight hit. It was freighting to be honest, as level 100 meant that all my gear and even the skills I had, would have to me remastered. Entering Legion however, there was a short tutorial to play through before I jumped into the opening scene. 

Legion springs to life in many ways. The Burning Legion have returned with forces beyond comprehension. Demons have marched into the world, bringing death and destruction in their wake, and the Horde the Alliance now need to come together to save the world. As much as the story is by far the best of the best in recent years, it does take strain as the main plot points are far between. 

Legion also brings with it new classes changes, some so drastic that your character might feel completely different. These changes are all welcomed however as they bring about new fantastic tweaks, that go hand in hand with new Artifact skills in the game. I for one changed from my Elemental Shaman, to my Enhancement Shaman build, as Legion brought such a refreshing new take on abilities, that I felt it would be best to switch things up to make it all feel refreshing. Legion also does so much to make each class feel like the star of the game thanks to the new public spaces, and the ability to travel to certain areas for your class-specific Artifacts. 

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It is in these class quests, that you really feel a sense of identity. Each of them seem so refreshing, and fit so well into locations we visited years ago. The same goes for your professions too, as up to now, you have been challenged with rather tedious farming for herbs, leathers, and resources. You will now head off to learn new techniques for each profession, adding a new layer of adventure to the game’s most mundane feature. 

We then have the new Artifacts, which feel like a whole new skill tree at times. These Artifacts will change your class in a huge way, and the more you level them up by killing certain public event bosses, and gaining items to earn XP, the stronger they will feel. Leveling up your Artifact to suit your skill preference, is the best part about this, and you really feel the damage buffs of your lighting strikes, and your healing timer increases. This however does come at a disadvantage, as it means that every other player and his cat, are running around with the same weapon as you, and the hunt for new weapons becomes something of the past. Sure, you can collect new looks for all your equipment, but the hype for new weapons, will just be excitement for gold.

The Broken Isles plays as the new area in World of Warcraft: Legion. As you start off deciding where you want to start tackling the Burning Legion, you head to each area, one of the other, to do “recon”. This is a nice word for exploration, looting, levelling up, and doing what we all do best. It is a beautiful land to explore, each of the five zones, have their own unique look and feel, with each side quest, and main quest peak, more enjoyable than the other. The zones are so cleverly designed, that it plays as a love letter to fans. I trust that if you know the lore, you will be absorbed into the backstory of each location, and the characters that play host to each. 

Legion is lonely adventure when playing solo, and Blizzard does encourage you finding people to play with. Saying that, I played the majority of the main story alone, and it gave me more time to take in the experience, rather than rushing around with a group. I was a “noob” still, and many of the features like the Dungeons and all the social activities, were still very intimidating. I run a Destiny clan, and I am so used to having a team for what I need, so jumping into anything public in Legion, was freighting. 

At least the group finder in the game runs well. Getting matchmaking done for Mythic Dungeons, was quick and eased that feeling of being mocked for being a noob. I played on a newcomer server, so guys were much nicer than I expected.

Then we have the new Demon Hunter class, which fits so nicely into the Legion expansion, and ultimately into the World of Warcraft character choice. Although I did not play the class as much as my main character, what I did play was thoroughly enjoyable. The starting zone provided a solid backdrop for the new class, and the introduction to its abilities. The nice thing about the class, is that as long as you have a character above level 70, you can create one. 

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The game’s mechanics and new lands add a well-formed introduction for new players, as well as some deep lore for those old players to explore. All the expansion’s mechanics, feel great, and there is much to do and see.

Anyone who has not been pulled in by WoW’s claws yet, will find it easy enough to get into, while those who have, will love it even more. However, newcomers and old WoW players are in for quite a pricey adventure, as the expansion comes in R799. 

Marco Cocomello: Twitter MWEB GameZone: Twitter Facebook YouTube

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