More than anything for me Legion seems to be the expansion where Blizzard learned a bunch of lessons. One of those lessons was apparently that putting a mobile game system in a desktop client… was not actually all that fun. The Garrison system more or less was an upkeep and timer based mobile game system, designed to be fiddled with constantly, however the problem is that this same system often times prevented you from actually going out and engaging in the world. With the advent of Order Halls, and missions… it was my ultimate fear that this system would be extremely similar. However over the weekend at Pax West they announced the mobile client, and with it launching yesterday… it improves this side of the game so much. Not only do I get notifications on my phone when a mission has completed, and can then collect the rewards and queue up for another mission… it also allows me to check to see what world quests are available. Yesterday this allowed a few of my friends and I to plan our goals for the evening, of knocking out a handful of larger world quests before diving into dungeon madness. We saw that there were several group quests available that rewarded gear, and after dinner we gathered to knock them out. The only negative so far is that when you are using the app it appears to log you out of the game. It was my hope that it would be a true “companion” app like the Bungie website that allows you to fiddle with things while playing the game… and prevents you from actually having to go back to your order hall while the action is happening. That unfortunately is not the case, which makes me wonder if there were some odd technical limitations here preventing that.
What the game really provides for me that has been lacking, is a larger shared purpose of things that I can be doing out in the world… to keep improving my character. The World Quest system is almost exactly like Diablo 3 bounties, in that it provides a bunch of bite sized objectives that you can then complete to somehow move that needle forward. In my case at least I am largely focused on the items that give me physical gear upgrades, or artifact power… but I am certain after time I will begin caring about order resources as well. Essentially it is Garrison missions… but turned into fun combat missions where YOU are the person actually going out into the world and doing things rather than simply commanding from a table. Ultimately to keep me engaged a game needs to function in two different ways. Firstly it needs to provide me a constant source of things I can do by myself to keep feeling like I am progressing. I can’t handle constant interaction, and there are large swaths of time where I need to quietly do my own thing. World Quests give me this option because there is a constantly regenerating source of new missions popping up that I can go after. A game also needs to give me both small and large group play that lets me spend time doing relevant stuff with my friends, and so far the dungeons have been this… and I am sure at some point in the near future raids will provide the large group interaction. So long as the game can keep moving these paths forward…. and does not for some reason decide to let one simply die, I might be happy here for a long while.
Last night something odd happened. We were wrapping up a set of world quests when we got a message stating that “Azeroth itself recoils as <name> unleashes an ancient evil. Kosumoth the Hungering walks the land once more…”. Ashgar quickly looked this up and found that it is apparently a world boss that spawns in the Eye of Azshara sub zone, just to the south of Dalaran. I finished my combat, and hearthed to Dalaran and then took a leap of faith… hoping that the Goblin Glider would be able to get me to the Island. There were a few tense moments as my fatigue bar managed to get down to 15 seconds… before reversing course completely as I seemed to be through the dangerous area. I landed just feet away from the flight path, which I ran over and grabbed… but by the time I got there the boss was apparently dead. It seems like the world boss is one of the minions of the old gods, hanging out in the middle of the Island. From everything I am reading it seems extremely puggable, and has a chance of dropping both an underwater mount and a pet…. though from the grumblings last night over say in the area it seems like nobody actually got either. On some servers friends over twitter were talking about it destabilizing the zone, to the point where the flight master was not responding. Thankfully my hearthstone for Dalaran was up, so I simply hearthed out to move on about my business. However it seemed like this event spawned on all of the servers at the same time, which is an interesting new dynamic if that is the case.