Confronting the Legon
This week on “the twitters” I said something to the effect of Legion might be the first World of Warcraft expansion that I never managed to get into either Alpha or Beta. Then almost like queue on July 15th I found an email in my inbox notifying that my account had been flagged for Beta access. As a result I installed it on both my Desktop upstairs and my Laptop downstairs, and spent a good deal of the weekend poking about around the fringes of the new expansion. The truth is I was not all that excited about Legion prior to this weekend, namely because I am stuck in another down cycle with this game. There are plenty of things I could be doing, but just nothing I felt terribly compelled to do other than log in a few times a week to collect “free gold” from the garrison chore masters. Even more maddening in a way is the fact that I desperately need the transmog system changes yesterday. I think a huge part of why I stopped playing so frequently is because one of the activities that I absolutely love is farming old content for interesting bits. The challenge there is that I have my entire bank, void storage and all but a half dozen slots in my inventory taken up with appearance gear. So I just really have no more place to store anything and with transmog changes so damned close… there is no way I am going to get rid of anything that might be cool looking. So as a result I think I just largely stopped playing, thinking that eventually Legion would arrive and I would be able to have a massive spring cleaning… or in this case late summer. Well that time has arrived almost and tomorrow the patch lands that is going to see me spending my entire evening sifting through shit trying to figure out what I can pitch and what I should actually keep.
A huge part of the reason why I wanted into Beta was to fiddle with the class changes. Yes I realize that at any point in the last several weeks I could have installed the PTR client, but without having access to more than just those changes it didn’t really feel worthy of the 28 gig install. Throughout late Wrath of the Lich King up until Warlords of Draenor I was a huge fan of the Blood tanking spec. Then in Warlords alpha a whole bunch of that changed, because the feel of the class changed. Sure the rotation was similar, but the inclusion of Blood Boil as part of the standard rotation made the class start feeling too casterly for my tastes. It is funny how class fantasy can really effect the way you feel about a set of changes, and at least in this case it was a bridge to far. On the other hand the Warrior changes for Warlords were amazing, and I loved being able to indulge in a different player fantasy… which was dpsing with a sword and shield thanks to the Gladiator spec. While I mourn the loss of that option, I completely get why they had to make the change for balance reasons, because quite frankly Gladiator was just too much of a one off special snowflake. It was my hope that Blood on the other hand would be appealing again, and for the most part I think I like the changes. That said something is still off with the class and I am struggling to put my finger on it. Deathknights in general have undergone some pretty shattering changes, and while the feel of the class is right… there are a bunch of empty spots in the rotation where you are waiting on either runic power or rune regeneration. That is not to say that there is absolutely the chance that I might be playing it wrong. However in my experience so far there seem to be some pretty significant lulls in the action, and at the same time the class feels like it has lost a whole lot of survival. On my fresh 100 test character I struggled to get through the quest that ultimately earns you the artifact weapon, because I kept dying with no real way of keeping myself alive.
After a bit of a false step by accidentally choosing a talent that turned my resource builder into an auto attack key… I’ve decided that I really love Havoc Demon Hunters. Much like Deathknight was the Belle of the Ball in Wrath of the Lich King… it feels like Demon Hunters are the class that has the most new toys to show off. For starters… any class with a double jump is something that I am going to pay attention to. Better than that they have a built in wing glide, which is similar to using the goblin glider… but just as an intrinsic ability. Then there is the movement… this class has the ability to dart around the battle field like crazy… and those same abilities have allowed me to explore maps in ways that you really could not in previous expansions without copious amounts of wall hacking. The only negative so far is that I hear by creating a level 100, I somehow am missing a huge batch of abilities that you pick up from quest chains in the starting mission. The only negative of the class… is that you have to be an elf. I kinda hate elves, and will likely always hate elves… however ironically I have always loved Illidan and the concept of the Demon Hunter. I am seriously contemplating making Demon Hunter my new main for the expansion, even though I realize that will make me yet another member of the Legion of players doing that… pun only partially intended. The gameplay however feels fun and fresh and like this strange amalgam of Combat Rogue and Fury Warrior. Ultimately I need to spend some time with the tanky variety of the class to see if I like that as well, because if so you might be looking at a newly minted Demon Hunter.
The class that I spent the least amount of time playing this weekend was Warrior, but everything I saw made me feel like tanking as a warrior was going to be just as stable and reliable as it always was. Unlike Blood Deathknight, I had zero issue completing the quest chain to get my artifact weapon, the only problem being… that the protection warrior artifact is boring as hell. I have a vault full of amazing one hander and shield combinations… and for the most part all of them are cooler than the artifact weapon. It seriously looks like leveling trash, and I am hoping that some of the mutations later will at least give me something I am not embarrassed to be using. With the absence of Gladiator though, it is going to be hard for me to really consider being a Warrior main this time around. I have to say however that some of the changes in animation for Fury looked amazing, so at some point over the next few days I want to give that a proper whirl… once again pun only partially intended.
Generally speaking I tend to gravitate towards tanking, and if you plunk me down in a brand new game that is almost certainly what I will roll. That said I think Final Fantasy XIV has spoiled me when it comes to tanking. Their version is just head and shoulders more enjoyable than pretty much any other form I have played since then. As a result I think I might be hanging up my tanking hat when it comes to World of Warcraft at least. I tried to tank for some of my friends late in Warlords, and I just didn’t like the way it felt in the least. Now I am sure I will still play things that have a tank spec… and be able to swap in for specific encounters or for copious dungeon runs, but more than anything I just don’t think I want to be a raid tank anymore in this game. So knowing that, I am trying to find the class I enjoy dpsing the most or hell I might even try out some healing. Mostly I have a feeling that I will never again be completely stable and reliable as a player when it comes to World of Warcraft, so I am trying to make sure I pick classes that are useful when I feel like attending something, and not a burden when I don’t. For all I know I might really love Demon Hunter tanking, and that ends up changing my mind… but I am prepping myself to no longer be a go to tank at least when it comes to this game.