I’m back from a short holiday, having had a total break from gaming and blogging. Since returning I’ve crammed in some intensive time in World of Warcraft to crack on with levelling my first couple of characters through the Legion expansion. As a warning to readers, I always try to avoid explicit spoilers but in the interest of finding interesting screenshots there may be something spoilerish below.
I have characters at levels 106 and 105 (Druid and Paladin) respectively. Although the temptation is there to play other characters as well to unlock their artifact weapons and class halls but I’m holding off for now. Even with just two characters there’s the danger of quickly repeating the same quests and stories – with four levelling zones even picking different zone orders you’ll end up repeating them soon enough.
This highlights for me a strength and weakness of the expansion, it’s story-telling. The zones are extremely well crafted in terms of story progression and flow. Main stories have kept me motivated and interested as I quest through a zone, the little side areas and quest chains are also rather interesting and, I feel, worth doing. But past the first or second repetition I’ll probably start to skip some of the reading and be a bit more picky over what quests I do or pass – that’s my personality and no fault of this MMO, I’d be the same in any other game.
One thing I’ve noticed is the increased emphasis in the story-telling on characterisation and evoking feelings of empathy (or antipathy) from the player. In some zones it’s taken perhaps to an extreme, what I’d call “doing a Disney”. Even more than in Warlords of Draenor, the good guys seem to lose a lot in this expansion, and NPCs are not immune to the consequences as they have often seemed in the game’s past.
Overall I still have a pretty positive impression of the expansion to date. It’s been great fun playing old characters and meandering through new zones. The presence of rare monsters and treasure chests at random are great to encourage a bit more exploration off the quest path. More thoughts will follow in future posts!