This year’s Blizzcon comes at us with a veritable freight train of huge reveals. Watching it I found myself astounded back to back to back as the Blizzard franchise showed their plans for the next year and commitment to continue to develop content at the highest level.
This year marks Blizzards 25th anniversary. The company gradually expanded over that time to dominate several different gaming genre’s. I was not around for the famed “The Lost Vikings” release, but I do remember discovering Warcraft. Warcraft has had no small role in how my life changed and developed. The first competitive online play I had was at the hands of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and I’ve never looked back.
Blizzard is a company that will never release a product that they consider unfinished, no matter the fan demand and that is a standard that I am happy to agree with. The consequences of that mindset have been obvious and somewhat staggering at times. For the last couple World of Warcraft expansions, the game has found itself stagnant at somewhere around the 70% mark, drying up completely in the end as the company shifts all gears towards developing the next thing, often leaving current content behind, with Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor each having nearly year long gaps between a major content patch and the next expansion. I believe that this ebb and flow of “fun” to be had in the game has been seriously addressed and fixed.
World of Warcraft: Legion has had me running 100 miles per hour from the jump! From a fantastic and dynamic leveling system, removing level ranges from zones and allowing you to go anywhere with monster’s that scale to you drastically improves the experience. It’s got dungeons that drive the story as much as the chase for bleeding edge equipment! It has time gated events and quests that make you feel like you are making a change INSIDE the world! This is the World of Warcraft that I have always wanted to play and at Blizzcon this year they showed me that this was only the beginning!
What else can they do!?
Frequent content patches, yes 7.1 just came out and it has been glorious but even in that short time Ion Hazzikostas has also announced future patches to wow and the changes they will have. There are plans for patches of a middling size (7.1.5/7.2.5 etc) that will address many other issues, In fact this week or next 7.1.5 should be being introduced into the Public Test Realm for … well … testing of course.
Is the content coming at us faster than we can process it and enjoy it?
I don’t think so. There is perhaps a chance as a player to feel overwhelmed if you haven’t logged in for a few days and when you do you find the striking number of world quests ahead for you, but you don’t have to do them. Yes they can benefit you, but it is not required in the slightest. This Expansion has done more to have content for every level of play than any before it. This content covers a large number of events and quests you can get done solo, to 5 man mythic dungeons and keystones, all the way to full scale Raiding.
I genuinely feel at this time that Blizzard has listened to it’s fans. It took the punches that came from failures in Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor and made a promise to us that it would not happen again and so far I have no doubt’s that the future of this company and this game are headed for the stars!
What happens in 7.1.5?
The Biggest single change for 7.1.5 to me is the tuning adjustment that will be done to the secondary attributes in game. The item level system built into wow was due for a direct overhaul, It was complicated and often challenging to discover if an item was actually an upgrade for your class/spec. The solution decided looks to be a narrowing of the gap between secondary stats and how they effect your class (I am sure this will be done by using those famous “tuning dials” that Hazzikostas always mentions) to create an environment where Equipment that drops with a higher item level will just yield a flat gain for your character, I cannot support this enough!
– Several class updates are planned!
Do you ever find yourself looking into your talent tree and just wondering why you would ever pick X talent over Y? It just wouldn’t make sense to do it, right? Well that will hopefully change some. Blizzard want’s you to be able to define your character a bit more, have a playstyle that maybe you find more fun and still let it be a viable playstyle that will still keep you where you need. I tend to be a bit of a Min/Max kind of person when I am preparing for raid and I am very interested in what changes can be made that will allow that kind of diversity without overpowering or underpowering at the same time.
– A reskin of Blade’s Edge Arena to bring it up to the standard of the rest of the game while keeping the dimensions of the Arena exactly the same
– Time walking dungeons to add Mist’s of Pandaria expansion dungeons
Never been? want to relive some fun from the past, now you can go back in time and see what happened in the Mists.
– Introduction of Micro Holidays
A 1 or 2 day event that will happen in Azeroth’s open world.
More love for the altoholics in us all!
Rushed work orders for artifact research, allowing some achievements or time gated scenarios to be account wide instead of character specific.
And the last, the return of the Brawlers guild!
Remember, 7.1 has only just been out a few weeks, HECK we can’t even go into THE raid that 7.1 has for us until 11/8/2016 and now we have all this other tasty news to take in and I haven’t even gotten to the juiciest bits of news for World of Warcraft so far!
Tune in later this week for part 2 of our Blizzcon recap!
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