The new World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, launches on August 30, but a pre-launch event is going on now. The gameplay in the pre-launch stage opens a window on this new chapter in the WOW saga, and shows that Legion is set to be the game's best expansion since Wrath of the Lich King in 2008.
Four factors position Legion to be the best expansion for World of Warcraft in nearly a decade: an amazing pre-launch event, the ability to boost a character to level 100 right from the start; Demon Hunters and their start area; and the atmosphere of the zone overall.
Whether you are a continuing player, a veteran considering returning to the game after years away, or totally new to the game, there is something in this expansion and its launch event that will appeal to you. Having recently played through all the available content for those who pre-ordered, I had more fun than I have since Wrath of the Lich King's "Scourge Invasion".
There are a lot of elements in this expansion that harken back to the good old days of WOW, making me excited to see what the expansion itself has in store for us.
The Demon Invasion
As Legion begins the skies have opened up over many of your beloved towns, raining demons of all kinds down from above. But not to worry, a two-phase event, with each phase comprised of two parts, will clear that area for a while, saving the poor citizens and lowbies leveling in those zones from certain death.
Phase One involves clearing the town itself of demons before facing a mini-boss, and Phase Two has you out clearing the whole zone until your meter reaches 100%, unlocking the final boss for combat. Each phase awards players a chest with high-level gear and chances at other goodies.
Level 100 Boost: Getting You Back In The Game
If you pre-order the game, you will have the opportunity to boost one character directly to level 100. For a lot of players, this means getting a well loved but neglected character to a playable level; but for many others buying the game for the first time, it lets you play with the big-boys right away.
Worry not: newly-boosted characters come with a playable tutorial teaching how your character works and giving you the opportunity to learn before dropping the character directly into the pre-launch scenario. What makes playing the scenario before being allowed out into the world (of warcraft) great is that you get a taste of what raiding and dungeons are like. This saves a lot of heartache for both you and the other players you eventually get paired with.
While Legion's new character class, the Demon Hunter, is more of an "anti-hero" than a hero class, you will find a lot of similarities to the Death Knight starting area. Not only do you get access to a new zone when you first make your character, but you get to level to 100 in that zone as well. I actually had a lot of fun playing in this new area and was sad when I out-leveled it and had to leave.
Unlike the Death Knight's starting area, this new one is more linear and streamlined. You are guided from one quest to another with a story line that feels a lot like being involved first-hand in a great movie. The cut-scenes are enthralling, and the bickering between your non player character (NPC) friends can be downright amusing. Like the Death Knight's story line though, you have to make some moral choices, like choosing to sacrifice an NPC "friend" or yourself, and later choosing between 2 leaders. It doesn't express how your choices affect game play itself yet, but I hope they clear that up later.
Think Black Temple meets Naxxramus "Plague Quarter" meets old Shadowmoon Valley.
You'd better like green, and lots of it. This patch has plenty of new-yet-nostalgic feelings. Blizzard did a good job of bringing back things we loved in prior expansions, and yet making it totally fresh at the same time (for once).
I really like how the invasions are phased and move around the map, so that no single questing area is affected for too long; and if it is, the invasions scale to your character level so that you can take part in it even without the quests, and enjoy some easy leveling.
This is a patch I recommend people join in on. Not only is the lore great, but as a whole, it is very satisfying. I am looking forward to the expansion launch, and if it is anything like it's hinting to be, it is shaping up to be the best expansion yet.
Check out the World of Warcraft: Legion cinematic trailer:
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