Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Legion Dev Update

Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas did a Dev Liveblog today on Twitch, where he touched upon several of the topics we've been discussing recently. Wowhead has a nice summary. He also announced that Alpha is ending, and Beta starting shortly.

Every day when you log in, there is an emissary that asks you to do specific sets of world quests to aid a faction (eg all Dreamweaver faction quests in Val'sharah). Do four quests for the emissary and get an awesome chest. These emissary quests kind of work like Hearthstone dailies - they pile up for a few days, so you can catch up on ones you missed.

Legion will still have dailies, though these "world quests" seem more similar to Diablo 3 bounties. But they're adding a bit of a buffer, allowing you to save quests for a few days.

The leveling-up experience in classic zones is pretty broken right now and not well tuned. It's way too easy and it was neglected for a bit. Due to ability changes over the years, you basically feel invincible (even before heirlooms). You're running around more vs actually fighting. The pacing of the game isn't what it should be. They've been looking to fix this (even via hotfixes now).

As I remarked a few weeks ago, leveling is excessively easy with a very fast Time-to-kill. It's good to know that it's on Blizzard's list of things to fix.

As an aside, it's not all classes which are broken. I've been leveling a human Fire Mage, and that specialization feels surprisingly right while leveling. Admittedly, I'm only in quest rewards with no dungeon gear or heirlooms. Perhaps that spec is just under-tuned. It might be a function of not having enough critical strike, as Fire seems to want more critical strike rating to get off instant Pyroblasts. But I actually took First Aid to make bandages to keep my health up. Given my experience leveling a druid, that was completely unexpected.

In any case, there's a decent amount of interesting information on the major system changes coming in Legion. So far, it all sounds pretty good.


  1. Apparently Blizzard has learned *something* from the Vanilla debate. They found out that the leveling experience of WoW is pretty broken right now. (and for many years).

    That's like BMW telling us: "We found out that while we were focusing on perfecting the driving experience, we neglected the doors of our cars and they are pretty broken for years now."

    Yeah, right ...

    1. When I saw that comment about the levelling experience, I thought: "Hey, I guess he read Az's post about comparing level 1-5 in Vanilla with retail!" Heh.

  2. Another quote form the Dev Update struck me. When The Watcher talked about world quests, he said: "... Context is important and we won’t rely on pure mechanics. Story is essential. We lost sight of that."

    For me, that's the most important part, as it descibes my largest gripe with modern WoW right now: the diminishing of the *role-playing* component. Some people describe that as "dumbing down of the game." Since early WotLK, Blizzard has tried to "streamline" the game and in the process, they have streamlined a good portion of the MMORPG component out of WoW. They relied on mechanics as the primal factor of engagement, but as classic WoW with its crude mechanics but seven million players has shown us, mechanics is not necessarily the main cause of success.