12. That is the number of characters I now have sitting at the level cap in WoW. Why on earth I have done this thing I do not know, but there it is. Except for the demon hunter, which was number 12, I have finished everybody’s order hall quests and have all the horde ones plus one ally monk caught up on the broken shore quest line as of last week. Even with 12 characters, there’s some duplication, so I still haven’t seen quite all of the class stories yet, so that’s still a goal. The only one I’m really dreading is warrior, simply because I don’t have a warrior leveled at all, so instead of having to dash from 100 to 110 I’ll need to grind myself all the way up from level 20. That process of getting from 100 to 110 is incredibly painless now, especially with invasions. Those events are fairly quick and in addition to decent experience they give way more AP and order resources than you otherwise have access to while leveling. That, combined with gifts of an AK tome and some boxes of resources from the blood trader from more established characters, makes the initial stages of gearing up at 110 and upgrading the order hall a breeze.
Something that becomes increasingly apparent the more class stories you see is just how variable they are in terms of gating, story, and difficulty/annoyance factor. The really frustrating difference to me is the amount of dungeon runs required. Some, like the demon hunter I just finished, don’t make you run any dungeons at all until after you hit 110. Others send you to one or two. The druid is the worst offender, forcing you to run at least 4 dungeons and then even more once you reach 110. Some of the story quests are also expensive, requiring various crafting materials to finish. I think some of this may have been nerfed since Legion started, but it is still weirdly frustrating that some classes had this step and others didn’t. Finally, don’t get me started on the differences in order hall upgrades. I like that in theory there’s some differences there so that every class isn’t just given the same choices with different flavor text, but a few classes make out like bandits while others are left with really lackluster options. Druid loses here again in my opinion. There’s a couple key abilities that make life way easier in the order hall: the ability to complete one free world quest per day, an NPC that lets you place work orders for champion equipment, and the option to get bonus resources when completing world quests. The poor druids get none of these, which means leveling and gearing up your champions is much slower, and you need to do more world questing to be able to afford to run missions. Meanwhile my mage, pally, and lock are fairly set since they can all place orders for equipment and also get one free world quest per day. Some of these bonuses will matter less when some more time has passed and champions get fully leveled and geared, but for a fresh alt these perks are really helpful.
As for the stories, there are some definite winners and losers there too. At some point when I’ve finished all of them I’d love to go into detail about which are the best and worst and why. So far my favorite is surprisingly the rogue story. It has a real authentic rogue flavor with lots of sneaking and subterfuge (and some pirates too!). It wasn’t the most original thing in the world but it was executed well and made me feel important in the story of Legion without having to be a big damn hero or a cookie-cutter version of what everyone else was doing. It also helps that the bonus companion rogues get from the broken shore quest line is one of my favorite characters in the game, and now she and I can go be buddies murdering demons out in the world every day.
I’ll wrap up here with my top three order halls (the ones I’ve seen anyway) for flavor of the hall itself (layout, atmosphere), story, and convenience:
Flavor of the hall itself:
Mage – It’s Hogwarts in Dalaran. ‘Nuff said.
Rogue – Secret passages, vaults of loot, and a fighting ring. Much better than “the Dalaran sewers” makes it sound.
Druid – A tiny piece of the Emerald Dream and a beautiful grove in Val’shara. There’s even a barrow den, which, annoying as they are to navigate, definitely exude druid flavor.
Worst: Hunter – A lodge on top of a mountain with very few distinguishing features. It is pretty, but so boring.
Rogue – Subterfuge, treachery, pirates, secret codes, and Lillian Voss. Clear winner.
Druid – Very true to druid class flavor and ties directly in with major world story events.
Monk – Beer beer and more beer. Once I got over how silly it was I realized how much fun I was having and how different it was from the other classes.
Worst: Hunter – loses points again for boredom. I was not interested in their organization or their story at all. I love hunters! Why is their order hall stuff so boring??
Mage – Easy teleport access from anywhere, optional portals to every Legion zone, free world quest completion, compact layout
Warlock – Mostly tied with Pally for including lots of useful options in the order hall upgrade tree, it wins over pally for the slightly better layout.
Pally – Like the Locks, Pallies get useful hall upgrades and as an added bonus it’s an extra way to get to the Eastern Kingdoms in a hurry.
Worst: Druid – As stated above, they are missing key quality of life options in their hall which makes starting out and maintaining resources more annoying. Also their hall is huge and sprawling (but at least you can fly in there).