So a few more words. I started with Stormheim, which is a cross between Game of Thrones and How to Train Your Dragon. It’s mostly Vrykul lore (think Nordic gods) and you get a hook shot tool to swing yourself up on ledges. The zone has quite a few vertical spots, so the hook shot is very useful. I completed the overall zone story and I have to say it’s pretty solid. The part where you get sent to hell and have to come back is pretty neat.
You know what’s great about Stormheim? Not a single Orc. Screw those guys.
I also started my Class Hall (Monk, since I want to heal) and it’s exactly in the spot it should be – turtle island. The legendary quest was pretty straightforward – it scales with your gear and not level. Instead of Garrison missions you now have Class Hall missions. I am curious as to how that plays out at max level…
The cinematics are top notch, though each intersects with the other faction so you’re missing out on a lot of context. I have no idea why the horde is attacking the alliance (should be the other way).
Each zone has a flavor, which is more based on the most popular aspects of previous expansions. Where each expansion had a unified lore behind the land, Legion does not. Remember, this was supposed to be an island with only the Tomb of Sargeras. Now it has people who have been living on it for centuries, people who were isolated on other continents (as per their lore). So if you’re looking for a cohesive view of the expansion, look somewhere else.
Shout to the music. I usually keep the music on for the first month or so of an expansion before tuning out. So far, great stuff. If you hate bagpipes though… might want to turn on mute.
I completed the Halls of Valor. That was a neat dungeon that took just the right amount of time. Boss mechanics were fairly simple, though there was a fair chunk of AE in each. When I see “spread out” or “move from boss”, I think to my previous post. The art is solid, the lore is great (sort of like Valhalla) and the final boss is hyuge (again, sucks for melee).
I think this deserves some consideration. Combat is mostly the same as before – press buttons, things die – though there is arguably more AE stuff going on than before. There are no new talents for existing classes. There are less skills, though the skill dance is more complex than before as everything seems to be on cooldowns.
Dalaran has it’s own Hearthstone. But it doesn’t have an auction house. So… everyone should be in the MoP capital, for practical reasons. Again.
Very similar to WoD, there are world uniques and treasures to collect on the map. Dissimilar is that all the bosses I’ve found so far can be soloed, and scale to more people. Treasures seem more abundant and less based on climbing to weird places, but more about exploration. It’s an overall improvement.
I’ve died. A few times. Not to gimmicks, but to actual combat scenarios where I mucked up – again mostly due to AE.
Artifact weapons are ok. I’ve leveled mine up a bit based on drops (lots of drops) and taken some additional skills in its tree. Item levels are boosted by slotting items in the weapons, and those are obtained from quests. So there is some progression.
Quests are a mixed bag. Lots of kill X or collect Y. Lots of it. There are some different ones, where you need to follow a set path, or sneak around. Just not a whole lot. The optional quests require you to spend double or triple the time in an area to clear the objectives. Since they go away at 110, I would argue that they are not worth the time.
Clearly these are first impressions. The game is an overall improvement over WoD. It’s not baby-bathwater, but it’s forward movement. I have some questions about longevity of certain design choices, but time will tell.
I am enjoying Stormheim thus far, though I don’t understand why Norse mythology exists in WoW. It is even more jarring when Odyn sends my Warrior down from Valhalla to battle enemy vikings …
I’m thinking because it’s a) public domain, b) fairly structured, c) combat focused – which leads to easy appropriation rather than originality.
It makes sense from a Sylvanas lore-line. Makes no sense for anyone else. Though by the end of Stormheim, it seems like it’s the end for Sylvanas as well.
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