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Will Legion Save WoW?

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Featuring interviews with Venruki, Treckie and Tegu!


The question on everyone's minds in the run up to Legion is: will this bring back all those subscribers? We sat down with Venruki, Treckie and Tegu to discuss some of the highlights of the past, as well as what Blizzard should be aiming to do with Legion.


In order to assess the topic fairly, we're going to break this down into a few main topics. There are of course more ways to look at the issue, but I felt these were the main contenders. Things like class balance can't really be spoken about here, since we haven't seen any balancing taking place yet. You can choose which topics to read by clicking on them below:

  1. New class (TL;DR Version)
  2. Leveling in Legion (TL;DR Version)
  3. Artwork (TL;DR Version)
  4. PvE (TL;DR Version)
  5. Interview with Treckie
  6. Interview with Tegu
  7. PvP TL;DR Version
  8. Interview with Venruki
  9. General Conclusions

Demon Hunters


Demon Hunters are one of those classes that have been rumoured and whispered about for a long time. Ever since the Burning Crusade, players have been awaiting their introduction, especially after seeing so many of them at the Black Temple.




From a lore perspective, I think Blizzard are definitely going about this in the right way. Demon Hunters have been restricted to the Elven races, as they should be, and have been given a pretty great starting zone. I don't think anyone can say that the other hero class, the Death Knight, had a better starting zone than this.


Throughout the starting zone, you encounter these incredible moments that hark back to the times of the Burning Crusade, with certain NPCs and names popping up throughout the zone. You get an amazing feeling of nostalgia mixed with awe, an interesting combination since you are experiencing new content while revisiting incredible aspects from the past.


One of the more interesting highlights within that starting zone is the ability to choose your path and it's something that Blizzard is actually touching on more in Legion. Choice is one of the most important features in an MMO as big as WoW. If players are forced to do certain things a certain way, you start moving away from that "open" feel. The Demon Hunters are given the choice of which individual to follow during their starting zone, either Kayn, who remains loyal to Illidan, or Altruis, who instead aided the Alliance and Horde in the Burning Crusade.




The quest window that appears when you have to make your choice.


I love the fact that you are choosing which story to follow, even if it is a purely visual and lore-based choice. These little things allow players to enjoy different aspects depending on their preferences, as well as having some level of replayability. Most players that enjoy the Demon Hunter class will most likely level a Night Elf and Blood Elf version, so it's nice to allow players to experience a different story each time.


From a visual perspective, nobody can deny that the Demon Hunters look fantastic. Their abilities are incredibly visually appealing, as well as the actual models of the characters. Tattoos are something that has been widely requested ever since we saw such incredible artwork on the Vrykul, but the Demon Hunter markings are wonderful. They match the aesthetic perfectly, as well as having enough styles to ensure we're not all wandering around looking like Illidan. 


The Demon Hunters aren't perfect, unfortunately. Gameplay-wise, I feel that they do need some work to make sure they have a sufficiently interesting gameplay style. This is especially true for Havoc, in which you can essentially perform the rotation with 2-3 buttons. This is slowly being addressed, especially with reworks to the higher level talents, but I still think the gameplay needs work. If they can fix the problems here, we're going to see a perfect addition to the world of Azeroth. 

TL;DR - Demon Hunters have been given a fantastic visual treatment, with flashy skills and amazing models. The starting zone is great, it keeps you focused on the story, but the gameplay needs work. It's very stale right now, with barely any keys to press. It got better, but needs more.

Leveling in Legion


Despite only experiencing a small number of zones so far, the leveling in Legion is taking an interesting turn. In Warlords of Draenor, one of the problems with leveling lay in the linear format. As we said above, choice is one of the most important things in the game. If players are forced to do things in the order Blizzard wishes, it all becomes very stale, very quickly and any replayability factor is destroyed.


Legion is taking a different approach, in which players will begin their journey with the artifact quest. You are allowed to choose which artifact to pursue, regardless of the specialisation you are playing at the time. Once it has been completed, you can venture into any zone of the Broken Isles questing that you wish. There is no specific starting zone, since they all act as one. This is a hugely welcome change, since it means players can experience content at different levels, meaning it will have varying difficulty. A piece of gear obtained at level 106 might make one zone a lot easier, whereas if you were to do it at level 104 without that gear, you might find yourself struggling slightly. 




This also ensures a much smoother release for Legion. Warlords of Draenor saw players cramming themselves into single zones in order to level, however there is going to be a more varied approach this expansion. Players will be choosing different zones at different times, so certain zones are going to be much less congested. One hopes that this will ensure that players aren't struggling to play with the amount of lag, as we saw happen with WoD. 


Leveling in Legion is going to see a return of one of the best new introductions of WoD, the bonus objective. These are fantastic, allowing players to still level while keeping away from major quest hubs. You can't level solely on these, but they give a hefty heap of experience. I'm definitely welcoming the return of these, they give you a wonderful break from spamming quests and can really speed up leveling an alt.


One of the other fantastic parts of WoD were the cinematics while leveling; they gave players a small insight into the events happening while they were questing, as well as adding an "epic" feel to the major events. Watching Thrall and Garrosh fight in the Mok'gora from a cinematic perspective was a million times better than watching them swing a weapon at each other in-game twice and then /kneel-ing when hurt. If you missed that cinematic (how?!), check it out below:



Judging by the events we have seen so far in the questlines, there are going to be some unbelievably good cinematics coming in Legion. We are yet to see any of them, instead replaced by placeholder text describing them. Regardless, I'm beyond excited for them, especially since it seems Blizzard are bringing characters forward that we haven't seen before, such as Sylvanas appearing in the cinematic trailer.

TL;DR - Blizzard are bringing back a lot of the good parts of WoD, mixed with the new zones and stories. Questing so far looks really good and, with the new choice of where to level, players might find themselves more willing to replay the content when leveling alts.



It's difficult to deny that one of the best things about World of Warcraft is the artwork. If you're a fan of the style, you are in for a serious treat with Legion. The new zones look incredible, while still managing to maintain a different feel in every zone. I'll move on to the other aspects of artwork, but I think time is needed to appreciate just how amazing these zones are. Below, you can see a comparison of two zones from the Alpha.




The first zone shown is Suramar and it looks amazing. The natural feel of the image radiates that summery, forest feel from somewhere like Eversong Woods, while still maintaining the strong, darker feel of the Night Elf structures. It's a perfect blend of Blood and Night Elven influences to represent the Kaldorei theme. 




The next zone, Stormheim, beautifully encompasses the idea of a rocky landscape hidden in misty hills. Imagine approaching by sea, only to be met by a huge viking carved from stone. Scary stuff!


The zones aren't the only thing that has been designed well in Legion. The new models for so many NPCs and bosses just look fantastic. A perfect example is that of Sylvanas, her model has been changed so many times and yet they have still managed to make it even better. Check it out below:




While the models are looking fantastic on the whole, I do think some of the PvP sets we have just seen released on the Alpha are a bit of a let down. In comparison to the other sets, the cloth set seems extremely underwhelming. While some players might prefer that, I feel that, for example, the mail set is just as simple as the cloth one, but it has small details that make it look special. Take a look at a comparison below:

TL;DR - The artwork so far in Legion is looking great. The new models and zones are fantastically designed, but I'd love to see them spread the love. There are some areas in the artifact and gear area that definitely need some work to bring them up to scratch. If they keep a level of quality consistent with the other work they have done, this expansion is going to look fantastic once again.



Despite managing to finish the current tier with a high ranking, I felt that I wasn't quite qualified enough to talk about PvE alone. Instead I've brought two guests in to discuss both WoD and Legion PvE, so that we can get a proper analysis of the changes.

My first interview is with Treckie, an accomplished tank who now raids in the guild Nihilum, as well as being in charge of reviewing the Protection Paladin guide here on Icy Veins. You can check out his stream over on Twitch, as well as following him on Twitter.


What was the best part of PvE for you in Warlords of Draenor?


For me, the real strength of PvE for this expansion was the instances being done incredibly well; the instances had some of the best design we have seen in a long time.  Hellfire Citadel was, for me, one of the best designed raids in ages. It was nearly perfect, bar one or two bosses.


How did you feel about the style of legendary that Warlords of Draenor brought? Was the gradual increase the right style of nerf?


The legendary questline will always be a pain, but the ring seriously impacted the way fights worked once people got their 735. It was an incredibly powerful DPS increase when you first got it, but the gradual increases were a perfect way of nerfing content. By increasing the item level of your ring each week, you would be getting more powerful every week even if you didn’t have any loot dropping. It wasn’t a crazy buff, but it was still a buff.

I prefer seeing Blizzard buff the players rather than nerf the bosses, as they have in past expansions.


Did the ring seriously impact the world first race? Was it a race to the rings?


I think Warlords saw Blizzard exploring different legendary paths; in MoP, we had legendaries that were awarded as soon as Siege of Orgrimmar started, while now we had that delay before obtaining them. Method got the world first kill without a ring, but personally I’d like to see them either extend the period in which nobody had a ring or just give everyone a ring at the start. This means that, at the highest levels of PvE, RNG drops won’t play a factor in progression. If you compare getting a legendary ring to getting a piece of gear 1 week earlier, the difference is crazy.


What was the worst part of PVE for you in Warlords?


I was never a fan of the whole split-tier idea. The first tier of Warlords was done really badly, since it basically made Highmaul completely obsolete. We spent some time clearing Highmaul and then, when Blackrock Foundry released, there was no point going back to Highmaul. There was better gear in Blackrock, but it wasn’t even a new tier. MoP did it slightly better, with the first tier being spread across 3 raids that each class required gear from, but I’d prefer to just not see the split-tier thing.


Would you like to see a return to 10 and 25-player raiding or do you prefer Mythic?


I think the way the game is constructed now works so much better. 10 and 25-player raids always had such strange problems, especially when attempting to balance fights. I loved the 25-player raids, but I think 20-player is still big enough. I think the fixed number of raiders is a good thing, since it means there is no debate about X-difficulty being more difficult/easy. For Heroic and Normal, I like the whole scaling idea since it allows slightly less-developed guilds to raid even if certain people don’t turn up.


Are the class changes in Legion moving in the right direction?


There are a few changes where people don’t really feel a change was necessary, but we don’t have all the information that Blizzard does. We don’t know what their final plan for the classes is, yet people still feel very entitled when it comes to demanding changes to be put into place or reverted. I think Blizzard are definitely listening to feedback on the changes, we just can’t see all of the feedback and information that they can. Sometimes, we don’t know what their master plan for a class is, so some changes don’t make sense to us.


How are you feeling about the instances in Legion so far?


I really love the instances in Legion. I’m a huge lore fan, so I think they are doing a really good thing by stepping away from us killing huge lore characters in dungeons, like we did to Ner’zhul in WoD. Instead, we are starting fights with big lore figures and they end up running away after a period, meaning we will face them again at a properly epic stage of the expansion.


I think this takes us back to some of the best dungeons we have had, such as the Icecrown Citadel dungeons in Wrath. We had a preview of the Lich King and what he could do, but we didn’t directly fight him.


It can really take away from the epicness of a boss if you kill him 50 times in a 5-man while barely concentrating.


Would you welcome smaller, 1-boss raids in Legion between tiers?


Ruby Sanctum was the perfect example of this and it was pointless. We still did Icecrown Citadel every week after clearing Ruby Sanctum because it was the “main” raid of the expansion. RS was essentially a world boss in an instance. I would rather have seen another boss added to the main raid to push that “epic” feeling further.


Do you feel add-ons have simplified too much in the game?


Every tier, bosses get more difficult. We see more complex mechanics introduced and more complicated add-ons being created to deal with them. I think some features of add-ons are definitely going too far, such as the radar on Archimonde, but I can’t imagine doing the bosses without them. I think there are definitely certain add-ons that are too advanced, where they alter positions and commands based on the deaths of certain players. This starts to actually do parts of a raid leader’s job for them.


Would you support the introduction of Timewalking raids?


I would, but only if they introduced them at a very low difficulty level. I’d hate to see Timewalking raids introduced and then Blizzard trying to make them a competitive thing. It would be nice for players to go back and experience the fights at the appropriate level, but a Heroic Timewalking event of Wrath would just see people continuously wiping on fights. I would totally support a Timewalking weekend for raids though.


Have you got a favourite boss in WoW?


I think Lei Shen is probably one of my favourite bosses. He had an amazing mixture of intermissions and phases, as well as the incredible aspect of choice. While you were going for your first kill, you would take the easiest route, but this differed depending on your raid. You could choose which pillars to activate and then which mechanics to deal with. Your choices directly impacted the later phases of the fight.


Are you excited for Legion or are you waiting to pass judgement?


I’m really excited for Legion. I love lore, I love the story of this game and I can’t wait to see our storyline moving forward again. Warlords of Draenor was a nostalgia expansion, we simply revisited old lore that would then be brushed away as another timeline. I’m excited to see our timeline and the story of WoW moving forward again.

Blizzard need to keep the standard of raids that they did this expansion and they will be in a great position PvE-wise.


The big thing that needs to be changed though is the social aspect of the game. Garrisons slowly killed this off, as well as a general feeling of discontent, so it would be nice to see Blizzard actively promoting the social aspect of the game. The Alpha seems to be moving in the right direction, especially with garrisons gone, but people looked forward to that idea in WoD. It’s really hard to tell how things will impact the game when they are announced, so we’re just going to have to wait and see. Overall though, I’m really excited.


Speaking to Treckie was interesting, especially on the topic of instances in Legion. As he says above, WoD dungeons had two major problems: killing off characters too soon and no reason to go back to the dungeons. Moving forward in Legion, Blizzard is doing a great job of making sure characters don't die too early. His example of Ner'zhul is perfect, since he was meant to be this incredibly powerful warlord, who had just unleashed the power of the Dark Star, and yet we kill him swiftly in a 5-man. Not quite epic.


His point concerning the Lich King is interesting, since the Halls of Reflection did exactly what he describes. We were given a small preview of the final boss of the expansion, but there wasn't any chance of fighting him. We literally just ran. We knew we couldn't defeat him and he didn't feel the need to chase us quickly. We were nothing but bugs under his feet that he could easily squish. We got away because of him underestimating us and a huge heap of luck. 




I'd love to see something similar to this brought back into the game, because this was perfectly done. Being able to fight the Lich King in that dungeon would have been equivalent to us deciding to kill Illidan in a 5-man or face Deathwing in The Hour of Twilight. It just completely removes any epic feel to a boss. Running away in terror from a boss that can one shot you? Yes please, that's a boss to be feared.


His point on the split-tiers looks like it's going to happen in Legion, which is unfortunate. I would have preferred to see specific tiers being set out, rather than us (most likely) getting Suramar Palace and Emerald Nightmare set out in the same fashion as Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry. One can only hope Blizzard has other things planned, otherwise there might be another 2-tier expansion on the way.

For my second PvE interview, I sat down with one of, if not the best Death Knight in the world, Tegu from Serenity. He reviews the Frost and Unholy guides here on Icy Veins. Make sure to follow him over on his Twitter, as well as checking out his Twitch.



What were the aspects of PvE that you think Blizzard did well in Warlords of Draenor?


I’ll be honest here, the only thing worth mentioning for me is the raids. Highmaul was fairly enjoyable as a first raid instance, with a few challenging fights put in. I liked the open-plan feel of the raids this expansion as well, since you could choose which bosses and wings to progress first.


What was done badly in Warlords of Draenor in PvE?


I’m sure that this one aligns with most players’ feelings, but garrisons for me were a huge let down. Many people were looking forward to them when the feature was announced, but I think it has seriously hurt the game. The majority of the players spent their WoW time this expansion sitting in their various garrisons, recruiting followers and doing missions. There has also been a crazy amount of inflation caused by the easy gold.

P.S. Thanks for the easy gold cap, Blizzard!


Is there a specific aspect of a past expansion (Vanilla - MoP) that you would like to see brought back to the game in PvE?


I’d love to see certain dungeons brought back into the game, but as I say this, I know that Violet Hold is re-appearing in Legion. That definitely isn’t the type of dungeon I was talking about, please don’t add it! I’d love to see some of the short raid instances brought back, like Throne of the Four Wins and Obsidian Sanctum, since it would mean more content being brought out more regularly.


Are there any aspects of the game that you think are currently damaging PvE in WoW? Should they be removed?


Garrisons. Never again. Please!


Do you feel that the changes made so far in the Alpha are moving in the correct direction? Are Blizzard learning from their mistakes?


I really do, I have the Alpha and I’ve been testing a few classes. I’m really enjoying it right now, not because it’s new content, but because the game feels like what WoW should be. The choice rests with the player. You choose the way you level, you choose where you level, there are things around the world to do outside of the normal stuff. I love the levelling experience, the quests are well done and the new system of zone-choice might mean we have a better launch than WoD did.


The artifact weapons are another good point for me. I like that we can upgrade their power through a number of different ways, rather than forcing players to do one single thing. The new legendaries are also pretty interesting, but I’m waiting to see the effect these will have on raiding.


Even with what’s on the Alpha, there’s still more enjoyable content than WoD, so I think it’s looking pretty positive right now!


Given your role as a melee DPS, are there any changes that you feel “need” to happen in Legion?


I think we need to exclude fights like Blackhand, where we saw nearly every melee sidelined and replaced by a ranged DPS. Rogues had their positions in the fight, but the other melee just weren’t deemed good enough. I think outside of this, melee is in a good position. I’d like to see slightly more competitive DPS figures (and more mobility for my Death Knight!), but unfortunately that can only be guaranteed if there is 100% uptime on the bosses for the melee. This likely won’t happen, since the fight mechanics will have to be extremely basic for the melee. I’d also love to see some of the other melee specs represented next expansion, ones that perhaps we didn’t see much of at the top tiers of raiding in WoD.


As a melee DPS, do you think melee are at a disadvantage at the highest levels of raiding? Are ranged more useful?


I think this was much more prominent in older tiers, where the ranged basically could do everything a melee could. It has definitely got better, with melee players bringing certain utilities, such as Rogues using Feint and Death Knights using Gorefiend’s Grasp. We saw melee represented very well this tier, so I think they are definitely fixing the issue.


Do you think the introduction of yet another melee DPS class is going to affect the class balance in a negative way? Since melee spots are already quite limited, will Demon Hunters cause a lot of problems during raid setups?


I think that no matter what role a new class takes, it’s going to cause problems. There’s a lot of classes and there will always be a struggle trying to fit a completely new class into the raid. It will most likely depend on how good their DPS is, as well as the raid utility they bring.


With another melee class that will most likely start the expansion being very strong, do you think we will see a return to the vanilla-style of certain classes being forced out of certain roles? Will we see a return to people being completely rejected as, for example, a DPS paladin?


In the top guilds, there is always a huge amount of class rotation before and during progress. This ensures that they can clear the raids with the best setup, in the fastest possible time. There are a lot of unique abilities being given to classes, like the mobility spells being given to Ret Paladins (don’t forget DKs!). I think these unique abilities are going to ensure that people can maintain spots in raid groups, regardless of their specific spec and class.


What’s your favourite boss and why?


Patchwerk, because nothing is more enjoyable than being able to smash my keys and never move, right? For real though, Mimiron is probably my favourite boss. It was just a simply unbelievably amazing fight from start to finish, whether on the normal or hard mode. From this expansion, Operator Thogar really stands out for me. It brought a really unique twist to the game’s mechanics and forced raid groups to adapt. I loved it.


Would you like to see Blizzard re-visit the old “favourites”, such as re-using older challenging mechanics in new ways, or do you prefer to see new mechanics on each boss?


WoW could always use more trains and Mimirons, just preferably not in the Violet Hold (please!). Blizzard never disappoints with their mechanics, they really make some fantastic new ones every expansion that continue to adapt and challenge us as players. I’m really looking forward to it!



I think Tegu touches on a few interesting points here, most notably about the utility of melee classes in WoD. As you most likely already know, melee classes often struggle with uptime on certain bosses. The ranged have no issue in regards to range, movement, whatever it may be, they can normally adjust themselves to keep DPSing the boss. 


Unfortunately for melee, we don't have that luxury when moving from a mechanic, hence why raids often appoint stack locations close to the boss. Instead, certain classes got given utility that really made them stand out. Rogues using Feint could avoid huge amounts of damage when soaking abilities from bosses, as well as Death Knights simplifying many fights with a number of adds by using Gorefiend's Grasp. This is an ability that also simplifies large portions of Challenge Modes, by ensuring AoE stuns and abilities hit every mob. 




I'd love to see more of these abilities introduced in Legion to make sure melee classes stay competitive. We don't want another scenario like with Blackhand Mythic, where many melee raiders were forced to sit out or attend on an alt due to their complete uselessness on the fight. 

TL;DR - Both Treckie and Tegu are hyped for Legion, with each of them pointing out their expectations and hopes for the expansion. They both agree that PvE was very strong in WoD for the most part, with BRF and HFC being incredibly well designed raids. Let's hope this continues in Legion!



We recently saw a huge patch go out on the Alpha introducing a preview of the PvP action in Legion. With a revival in the tournament scene of WoW from GCD TV, it's becoming more important that the PvP scene is paid the attention it is due! 

I sat down with arguably one of the best PvPers in the world currently, Venruki, to discuss some of the changes that need to happen. Our interview actually took place before the patch released on the Alpha, so I'll discuss that more later on. If you enjoyed reading through Venruki's points, make sure to check out more of his content on his Twitter, YouTube and Twitch



In Warlords of Draenor specifically, what do you feel were some of the highlights of the expansion for PvP?


Personally, I think Blizzard did a fantastic job of ensuring that every class (excluding tanks) had a viable team that they could bring to high-rated arenas. Even Retribution Paladins were able to play at Gladiator/Rank-1 levels this expansion. If we look at the Blizzcon qualifiers and main tournaments, every class was represented except Monks. In terms of balance, they really nailed it this expansion.


Despite them doing so well on the balancing front, there is always the issue of bots interfering with the balance. Is this something that you encounter at higher ratings in arena or are the banwaves removing enough of the cheaters?


This is definitely something that we encounter and it’s a huge problem right now. The problem with the banwaves is the sheer delay in punishing those that cheat. If I was to submit video evidence of someone cheating on League of Legends or Counter-Strike, that person would most likely be banned within the next few days.


Blizzard’s banwaves cause them to wait, gathering multiple reports until they can ban a large portion of the cheaters at once. This means I can submit video evidence of someone cheating and they will still be able to play for a few months before getting banned. It can become extremely frustrating playing against someone that I know is cheating and has been for months, but won’t be banned until the next banwave.


Do you feel that Blizzard needs to introduce a targeted team that looks solely into reports and bans? An anti-cheating task force might be able to put out more frequent bans that punish cheaters much faster, rather than allowing them to continue playing.


Yeah, I think it would be a really smart move on Blizzard’s part to have a dedicated team that investigates cheating and bans those that are breaking the ToU as soon as they are reported. I’m sure they get a huge number of videos and reports sent in, but botting is becoming a serious issue that needs to be addressed.


One would assume that, with the introduction of the “Prestige System” in Legion, botting is only going to become more common, so they’ll hopefully have a better system of reporting in place before then.


For sure. It will become incredibly disheartening for players that have worked hard to grind their prestige levels, but are still less “prestigious” than someone that just botted for a week.


Do you think the prestige system is going to work out for Blizzard? Are we going to see players coerced into battlegrounds in order to earn the rewards, despite them being solely arena players?


I think that the prestige system needs to stay as a purely cosmetic system, otherwise we are just going to see a repeat of the problems that players had with Ashran. It will be really awesome to have something to do outside of arenas, as well as a new target to work towards rather than just rating.


Was Ashran one of the worse parts of the expansion for you then?


I think they fixed a lot of the problems with Ashran, but certain gear only dropping from Ashran was a huge mistake. It was completely RNG-based and meant that two situations were happening for classes like Warlocks and Warriors: either they would get their accolade trinket within the first few weeks and have a huge advantage or they are still sitting there now, being forced to continue doing Ashran in the hopes of getting the trinket to drop.


Don’t get me wrong, the lootboxes were a fantastic addition, but they never should have had exclusive gear added to them. It just meant that people geared at completely different rates, depending on the luck of getting the right piece of gear early on.


Would the introduction of standardised gear help to avoid these kinds of issues in Legion?


I hope that what is planned for Legion is going to address the issue of different gear levels. There’s two main perspectives that we need to look at the situation from: the geared player and the undergeared player.


Players that manage to get the right gear early will love running into battlegrounds, stomping through teams of poorly geared players. They might be fantastic players, but there’s only so much you can do with such terrible gear. It’s extremely satisfying to watch your spells nearly one-shot players while reminiscing about all those old PvP videos, where players would plough their way through entire teams.


The problem with this is that there’s a player on the other end of those one-shots. It’s completely demoralising to sit there and be completely incapable of fighting an opponent simply because of gear differences. My opinion is that we need to have players fighting on a relatively level playing field to ensure that they have a fighting chance, if they really do have the skills to beat their opponent.


Despite the gear changes planned in Legion, do you think the class pruning is going to counter the positives of the changes? Are we going to see classes becoming too similar?


I think they’re actually doing a pretty good job of keeping the classes separate and unique. They’re removing abilities that, in the past, caused certain specs to be played in almost exactly the same way. An example of this would be Frost and Fire mages in Cataclysm, which shared nearly exactly the same playstyle.


I’ve tried out Arcane and Fire on the Alpha and I loved both of them. They play very differently and, outside of a few core spells, such as Blink and Polymorph, have a really unique feel to them. I haven’t played every class, but, at least for Mages, it’s looking good.


You mentioned Cataclysm there, so I was just wondering if you had any aspects of an older expansion that you’d like to see brought back with Legion?


If I had to pick one, I’d say the progressive rating requirements for gear in Burning Crusade. I absolutely loved that you had constant progression for pieces of gear as you climbed up the ladders, rather than just getting all your gear and farming rating. With the way the game works now, it probably wouldn’t work well for balance between teams at different ratings, but I’d love to introduce a cosmetic progression system.


This would allow you to, for example, unlock different parts of the elite gear at different ratings, rather than having to farm all the way to a specific rating to purchase every piece. The other big downfall of the current system is that players have to spend an insane amount of Conquest Points on the cosmetic elite gear. I think you should be able to just unlock the gear and then buy the “skin” for your wardrobe for a tiny bit of gold.


I’d also love to see rewards brought back to different brackets in arena. Personally, I love playing 5v5 arenas but nobody wants to queue them anymore. Since they removed the rewards from everything except 3v3, nobody wants to play anything other than that. They could even introduce a model of shorter seasons in which the rewards come from different brackets depending on the season.


Are you someone that supports a model of shorter, more frequent seasons then? I saw that you recently tweeted to Holinka requesting a ladder reset, but with no new gear added.


Here’s the problem. The season begins, people farm their gear and then they basically play for a few weeks, farming themselves to some relatively high-level of rating. We then hit the dead period that occurs during every single season recently, where players simply stop playing. This means that high-rated players will sit on their extremely high ratings, but they can’t be caught up to since their rating isn’t being re-injected into the queueing pool. These players return later into the season, during those final weeks, and the ladder suddenly reignites with activity.


It’s a really horrible model to play in and I think one of the solutions might be the shorter season model. I personally don’t care about the gear farm, especially since it almost becomes a chore when you have this many characters. I play to play the game with friends, achieve higher ratings and just have fun. I’d love to see temporary rewards introduced in shorter seasons that allow people to just keep playing, rather than playing for 25% of a season.


Adding new gear is definitely still important, since gear can change the way certain match-ups work, and they should continue doing it, but it could be new gear every other season rather than every season with the shorter model.


Outside of ladders, the competitive scene of WoW has slowly died over time. With the introduction of GCD TV, do you feel that we might finally see a revival of something that was once so great?


Firstly, I think that WoW is still holding out strong given that the finals at Blizzcon had such huge viewing figures. Outside of Blizzard-hosted events, I think GCD has shown that WoW is still very popular. Thousands of people watch the games on Twitch and enjoy the content that is there. Both David and Hannah have put it a huge amount of work and they’re doing a great job to keep the company running as well as it is.


I feel like there is a die-hard community behind the scenes of the WoW tournaments that continue to drive the game forward. It’s this community that allows us to keep WoW relevant on the big stages. I also think streamers really advertise the scene well, since they are something to aspire to. When I used to play CS: GO, I’d watch these legendary players making these unbelieveable plays in tournaments. I’d sit there and think, that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to play that well. It made me work harder to become better and without it, I wouldn’t have had something to really push towards.


I think GCD is really showing us what can be done for WoW competitively. People want to see skilful players battle it out in arena and that’s what GCD is bringing to the table, along with some great casters.


Is there a season that really stands out for you as you’re favourite?


I think it has to be season 3 or 4, since I really enjoyed playing with my teammates at the time. I still love my team now, but we were playing a comp that was new to arena at the time (RMD) and I managed to get my first rank 1 title. For me, it stands out as the one title I’ll never stop using. Vengeful Gladiator Venruki just fits too well.


Will Legion save WoW or are you waiting to pass judgement?


The only thing I am waiting to do is play Legion, I can’t wait. There’s so much that looks fantastic and I really can’t wait to experience it all. I’m seriously looking forward to the PvE/PvP gear meshing, since it means I can join my friends like Mes in PvE if they ever need a Mage.


Nostalgia is great and it’s nice to look back at how things were in the past expansions, but it’s time to look forward. Warlords of Draenor has received just as much crap as every other expansion at the time, but I enjoyed it. I played it, I still do play it and I 100% plan to continue playing WoW when Legion arrives.



There's a few points here that I'd like to go into, since they're fantastic really. The first is the discussion we had concerning bots in PvP; anyone that has taken part in arenas or battlegrounds will most likely have encountered bots at some point in their time playing. They are extremely infuriating, no matter what the player is using it for. They can borderline ruin the game completely, such as when your healer can't cast a spell without being interrupted immediately, or when you're capping points alone while a team of bots runs towards the middle of the battleground mindlessly. 


Undoubtedly, one of the changes that needs to happen is the way Blizzard address the botters. Currently, banwaves simply don't work well enough. I really feel like a dedicated team would allow Blizzard to target the cheaters faster and more efficiently. I understand that resources are limited, but I really think returning to games of 10 players vs. 10 players in Warsong Gulch would benefit the game immensely, rather than 5 bots and 5 players vs. 2 sets of 5 premade players. This is an extreme example, but you get my point. Bots need to be dealt with.


The second point I want to touch on is the cosmetic system that Venruki mentioned based on the Burning Crusade system. Progression, as well as recognition of that progression, is what keeps MMOs going. Currently, the progression system around the rewards of PvP is extremely stale. You pass 2000 rating and are immediately rewarded with being able to buy the entire set of elite gear. I'd love to see a system implemented that allows for gradual progression, unlocking each piece of gear after every 100 rating or so. 


This would give players more of an incentive to push for rating rather than just capping, since they are more likely to achieve the rating required. This doesn't make it any easier, it simply means that players that are, for example, 1780 rating might already have their elite shoulders and the next piece is only 20 rating away. In the current system, a 1780 team has a 220 rating climb ahead of them to get any of the gear. It's not a major climb by any means, but it definitely seems like to lower rated teams.


The last point I'd like to touch on is the prestige system. I think this is one of the best additions to the expansion for PvP. This system is going to help and damage the game so much, but I still think it's going to be amazing. The gradual progression of prestige through PvP is a new thing in WoW, only being visited briefly in the old-school rank system. It's a welcome addition, since it gives people some form of incentive to do battlegrounds. Battlegrounds became the 5-mans of PvP, with players rarely visiting them outside of the first weeks of a new season. This will hopefully get players back into them and participating.


The big problem, of course, is botting. We're going to see more bots than ever in battlegrounds because people will want the maximum prestige as fast as possible. We can only pray that Blizzard target bots more frequently, as well as more real players queuing into the battlegrounds.

TL;DR - According to Venruki, he's hopeful for Legion on the whole. The prestige system is a big plus, but we need proper policing of bots for PvP to really succeed. If they can maintain the same modicum of balancing that they had in WoD, we might be set for some fantastic PvP.

General Conclusion


It's that time when we consolidate and really take a look at the question being presented to us. 


Is Legion going to save WoW?


This is a question that is filled with so many traps and so many problems that it becomes a true nightmare to answer. If I had been asked the same about WoD, I would have said it would be the most amazing expansion ever. There were some major problems that we didn't foresee and that we never could have. Instead, I will pose another question to you:


Do I think Legion will be enjoyable?


You bet I do. From what I have seen so far, I am so unbelievably excited for this expansion that I am struggling to put it into words. From the dungeons I have experienced on the Alpha to the new PvP realm, I simply can't wait. The look, the feel, the style, everything. I think Legion is going to be amazing, BUT Blizzard have to keep up the same quality throughout.


Warlords had a fantastic start, but the content and social drought was too much. They need to finish as they started, keeping content flowing and ensuring they keep the same quality. If the game continues as well as it is starting so far on the Alpha, I think this might be a return to the WoW we grew to love once upon a time.


Let us know what you think about Legion and what you think are the high points of the expansion so far. Are you as excited as this obviously ecstatic writer is?


Fingers crossed that Blizzard finishes this properly. 

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Imo, if they just keep their promises instead of abandoning them like they did in WoD, that will redeem then in the eyes of a lot of players.

Otherwise, it's a Blizzard game. Ofc it will be well made :) They learn from their mistakes. Look at Diablo 3. It's a completely new game

P.S. The reason I think WoD was lacking so much, was that the brunt of the work was on this expansion. Hope Thal'Dranath isn't abandoned. 

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Imo, if they just keep their promises instead of abandoning them like they did in WoD, that will redeem then in the eyes of a lot of players.

Otherwise, it's a Blizzard game. Ofc it will be well made smile.png They learn from their mistakes. Look at Diablo 3. It's a completely new game

P.S. The reason I think WoD was lacking so much, was that the brunt of the work was on this expansion. Hope Thal'Dranath isn't abandoned. 


Yeah, the ideas put forward so far are just excellent. If they can deliver on what they have put forward and then maintain that throughout the xpac, we're in for a real treat. 


Even with D3 there were naysayers, saying they had ruined the Diablo franchise. I guess it's impossible to please everyone!

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It's a difficult question for me. I really liked WoD for the most part, but what has killed it for me is as Treckie said in his closing statement, the social aspect.


Both of my guilds have died this expansion. My raiding guild hordeside, and my more casual guild made up of some old friends alliance side. Without an active guild the game feels incredibly isolated, the only time I really interact with other players now that I'm not raiding is when I'm doing timewalking dungeons. (damn you mount!)


I'm not going to go into why I think this happened, as I said I like the expansion but it is deeply flawed in ways which have already been discussed over and over in different places. It's just I think for legion to be a success it's those players which have left that need to be catered to, not me who will likely still be playing until the game ends anyway - as well as what was already mentioned in making the world feel more alive by getting players out of the garrison.


From what I've seen of Legion, I think it has a good chance yet all the friends who have left who I've asked about it are still in the 'maybe' phase. I'm hoping they manage to raise the level of hype prior to the release, perhaps when the beta comes out - and as was already said provide more frequent content for all aspects of the game when the expansion hits.

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From what I've seen of Legion, I think it has a good chance yet all the friends who have left who I've asked about it are still in the 'maybe' phase. I'm hoping they manage to raise the level of hype prior to the release, perhaps when the beta comes out - and as was already said provide more frequent content for all aspects of the game when the expansion hits.


It seems like this is a problem for many people right now. Warlords looked amazing and look what happened. It's going to take a lot for some people to "trust" the advertising of Blizz again this soon.

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My big issue with WOD is the HUGE gap between the the last added content and the new expansion. I feel like there should have been another raid added when HFC was and then HFC added around now. I would also love to have then continue merging realms. I'm from a merged Med pop realm and it just seems like more people are still moving onto high pop realms to raid. 

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Too hard to say about Legion. It.... feels... like they got their heads out of their rears... but at the same time, WoW will never be what it once was. 

Too much lore twisting has gone on. So many class tweeks and rebuilds. MMOs change and die off over time.

WoD was good but Blizz SERIOUSLY dropped the ball. Basic things (like half flooded ships in the horde garrison harbor for example) are STILL unfixed. Major bosses just killed in the matter of moments.


Hardly anything was epic at all in WoD. WotLK had build-up over build-up as weeks and months went on. You did a quest line and there he was suddenly, messing with you. Then we got to pull back for a moment and spend some time in Ulduar. Then back at gearing up for ICC. The entire time, the theme of the fallen king being thrown at us. Every time a patch came, something epic happened. None of that feeling came in WoD. Pretty much just railing the quest railroads around Draenor, learning lore. Not to mention, WoD wasn't even out a year and it was over.


TL,DR: If Legion doesn't "save"/restore WoW to some level... I think that will be all she wrote. 


...unless of course they screw with the timeline and we go back in time to pre-DK Arthas and a very alive and well King Terenas and Uther the Lightbringer. 

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So I don't get why people keep saying WoW is dead, it's not! I mean every expansion people come back to the game and subscribers hit around 10 millions or more. And then it starts to decrease. To around 5, 6 millions again. So what's here to save? WoW is not lost.

Now with Legion, it's the same deal. People will definitely come back for it, WoW hits 12, 13 millions or so and then people start to complain about how boring WoW is again biggrin.png  LOL, and start leaving the game yet another time. Again WoW will have 5, 6 million players and STILL remains the most popular MMORPG. And people keep saying WoW is dead, well it is your opinion but this is activision-blizz that will make 2-5 Billion dollars per year for years.

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From what I've seen of Legion, I think it has a good chance yet all the friends who have left who I've asked about it are still in the 'maybe' phase. I'm hoping they manage to raise the level of hype prior to the release, perhaps when the beta comes out - and as was already said provide more frequent content for all aspects of the game when the expansion hits.


It seems like this is a problem for many people right now. Warlords looked amazing and look what happened. It's going to take a lot for some people to "trust" the advertising of Blizz again this soon.




This is key for me.  I have had a large number of old guild friends who quit in Cataclysm / Mists of Pandaria come back for the beginning of Warlords of Draenor due to how great it looked.  However a large proportion of them left within the first 3 months of the expansion.  Some, not all, will make it back for Legion, but this is their last chance with WoW - if they are stung again they won't come back for a third time I doubt.

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My big issue with WOD is the HUGE gap between the the last added content and the new expansion. I feel like there should have been another raid added when HFC was and then HFC added around now. I would also love to have then continue merging realms. I'm from a merged Med pop realm and it just seems like more people are still moving onto high pop realms to raid. 


Yeah, I would loved to have seen a smaller raid like TotFW filling the gap, just to at least give us something new to play around with. It seemed like Blizz sorta gave up with WoD though, so let's hope all those resources were allocated well in Legion!


Hardly anything was epic at all in WoD. 


That was a huge problem for me. As we discussed in Treckie's interview, it didn't feel right to just kill of Ner'zhul in a 5-man or Kargath at the start of Highmaul. These are huge figures in lore, but we crushed them way too easily. A multi-boss end fight would have been awesome, where we fight multiple warlords at the same time. Could have been much more "epic".



So I don't get why people keep saying WoW is dead, it's not! I mean every expansion people come back to the game and subscribers hit around 10 millions or more. And then it starts to decrease. To around 5, 6 millions again. So what's here to save? WoW is not lost.

Now with Legion, it's the same deal. People will definitely come back for it, WoW hits 12, 13 millions or so and then people start to complain about how boring WoW is again biggrin.png  LOL, and start leaving the game yet another time. Again WoW will have 5, 6 million players and STILL remains the most popular MMORPG. And people keep saying WoW is dead, well it is your opinion but this is activision-blizz that will make 2-5 Billion dollars per year for years.


The problem here is that a bigger corporation like A-B will see WoW as a failing game, since it is losing money if subs fall even further. When it becomes that much of a chore to maintain for a smaller audience, they will just put less and less resources into the game. 


For me, Legion will be the decider. They will put a lot into the expansion and if it isn't worth it, they will just slowly draw resources away until people stop playing it. 


This is key for me.  I have had a large number of old guild friends who quit in Cataclysm / Mists of Pandaria come back for the beginning of Warlords of Draenor due to how great it looked.  However a large proportion of them left within the first 3 months of the expansion.  Some, not all, will make it back for Legion, but this is their last chance with WoW - if they are stung again they won't come back for a third time I doubt.


It's almost sad to see it happen, but WoD was a huge betrayal of trust. The amount of stuff that was promised and never came to fruition was crazy, followed by a huge content drought. This mixed with the changes to raid-group sizes just meant so many guilds struggled to work. Players left because they were unhappy, players left because they didn't like the merger (10-mans merging to meet 20-man mythic requirements) and it all just bundled together into a ball of disaster.

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 I really hope they will keep their promisses this time. As you say, they kept a part and made almost everything easier (Why?)

I don't say the raids are to easy, at least not when you and your group/guild are new to it, but... outside of the instances you can easily gear up. Like some of my chars, never raided and I haven't put much time or better said effort in them, but their gear is around ilvl 700. Just do the garrison and shipyard orders, do a bit pvp (like a few hours farming of Ashran) and you have ilvl 625, 700/710 gear for easy Honor points.

Friday I went with a pug and some friends/guildies with my Blood DK, 1st time in hc blackrock. I did a few bosses  on normal with him as frost dps (peeling agro away) and my hunter a few months ago. But about the mechanics... for example I made a big stupid error.I'm honest about it. I forgot to switch back from unholy to blood in the Furnace... I was like WTF why am I out of runes and why am I loosing aggro so fast, reaction of the other players was...  you're doing fine you peel the mobs off of us easily etc etc. (lol) But than I noticed I wasn't in blood stance.! (still banging my head, long time ago i made such a mistake. I should have noticed to on my low health-pool). Anyway, switched back and I peeled most mobs of off the other warrior. just staying alive with ease, with a little help of the healers ofc.  But the point is, most bosses didn't make it through the 1st phase.!  1 wipe, because people weren't slowing or killing the wolfs. I didn't even notice i was over last and that they told me to just die. I had peeled off a few percent when they were alrdy dead. << THAT shouldn't be even possible.

Trains...  I was hit Full by a train, cause I moved the boss to late. I didn't even loose 5% of my health, and the boss and adds were sticking on me like glue. I'm not the best tank on a DK, kinda new but i like the selfheals i hate the empty runes.

Because I always have been a Warrior tank and love the rage.!


That's what I've missed after ICC.

The builds are to similar, there aren't any personifications anymore. Almost ALL builds are the same, hell even my tank and dps talents are the same.! And they are the same as most other chars.

I misss the time you could a have totally different build than others, but still the same or even better outcome in dps, heals, treat and/or survivability.

Now it's often... you need this build and at least this ilvl  and have done that achievement. otherwise you're even kicked out of 5-men's or raids.


Proving grounds as base for the ability to sign up for normal or heroic instances...  Big failure imho.  it's all about burst and a very short timer...  why?  What when that's Not my playstyle? So I have my chars geared etc etc for durability, high dps or tanking/selfheal over longer periods. But not really bursting, so because my playstyle is not as seems to be required in the PG's, I'm not allowed either to do instances.!? 

I fail in PG's, but I'm high up in the top on recount or skada, almost never die against elites even when pulling to many. My gear is Mythic ready, But I fail in bg's  so still not allowed to do normal or heroic instances...  WTF?


These bonus rolls....  I rolled 6 times, I got 5x gold and 1x a item. not even procced.

thus vendor stuff.

Could be done better by Blizzard imo.




I haven't heard anything about Better support for for "newer" hardware. (newer as in available for the last 10 years or so?)

Most, if not all, CPU's are multicore... so why is still only 1 core used? << FYI I have a 4GHz hexa core on my main gaming rig and 1 GPU (gtx670).  My other rig has a 4GHz Quad core and 2 GPU's (gtx275) in sli.

Almost No difference, both only show 1 cpu in use.! And doesn't matter if I run windows 10, windows 7 or Linux. In Linux my fps is btw still to low.  IMHO FPS should be around 50-60 in high load to be playable / allowed.


I can give an example of a other f2p game, i'm only talking about the graphic option here btw.  (World of Tanks.)

You have 2 base choices there, install SD or HD.

SD is for weaker / older pc's, HD is for the newer stronger ones and includes High definition graphics.




About Hunters.  (Not demon hunters)

It seems there will be a Lot of new animals to find and/or tame, even taming quests if I have read it right..., 

but how should we do that, I mean, even now we don't have any room/space for (new) pets.!!!!!???


I have been forced to abandon pets that I wanted to keep, because they aren't tameable anymore or only available while questing (summoned, anyone?), or special tinted/colored, very very rare, rare elites etc etc, I can go on and on.

Why not give us unlimited store space, like the mounts and little pets. 

We can only have 4-5 pets with us anyway, so that shouldn't be any problem.




I'm also curious how the melee hunters will be. If they are a good replacement for survi

val hunters.





About people coming and leaving...

That will always be the case, with every game. And it's difficult to make everyone happy.

But... when it happens so often after each other that people quit after a few weeks, than there's something wrong.

As Blizzard tries to keep the players, by nerfing bosses and making content much much more easy...  I think that's exactly the opposite way.


Can you guys remember how difficult it was in the past when you met a Elite 1-2 levels higher than you? Or even at the same level?  You thought twice before engaging them, or you rather went around them. They could one-hit you...  but now? 

Go to Shatrath city and just ride your mount around agrooing a lot of normal and Elite mobs. Who cares, they die without any problem for you....   < That's bull, shouldn't be possible at all.  That's what's driving people away.


It's all to (fckn) Boring and Easy.  (Not only my words.)




About flying Mounts in Draenor...  IMHO the Worst thing Blizzard has done.

You have people with and without flying ability atm.

The people Without flying ability are kind of fucked.!  Litteraly, you want to reach that semiboss that can drop a mount?  You first have to kill all those npc's, mobs and elites between you are that boss... Even before you have killed the first two mobs, you see people fly up again. That semi boss is dead within seconds after it's engaged. 

When 2 people with flying mounts go down, they'll start attacking, Nobody is waiting for those that don't have a flying mount.  When you say something about it...  you get the reply that you suck and should un-install WoW.


Another reason why people leave this game...  the behavior  of other players.!





Legion,  no garrisons?

Both a good and not so good thing.   Garrisons are cool, they are great...  at least the idea. 

The big failure was and still is is that thanks to how it's still set up, there's NO use in leveling Any Production Profession anymore.  Only gathering professions are still a little viable atm. And also almost obsolete, because why would you learn anything? Just farm your mine and garden and build the building with the profession you want. And voila!  You can make your three items or unlimited source of potions and elixers.


The effect is also seen in less actual contact between people. You just make some stuff for yourself and build a new building for something else.

It keeps you a bit busy, but it has ruined the whole idea behind the AH and trading.

Also only three (3) items...  so when you have these 3, you're done. You only have to upgrade them or replace them with drops. But when you replace them with drops, chances are very big that your other gear also already has been upgraded thru drops or rewards.  So needles to make other gear with your buildings, again  a big failure or missed opportunity.


It's ilvl 630 or 640, ... ilvl 640  that's also the gear ilvl you get when you use the powerlevel (instant 100) option...  So why not remove the 3 item limit and improve something of the trading and gearing of people.


Even the garrison and shipyard do give better / higher (blue and purple) ilvl gear.!


The idea behind it was good...  a year ago, in the absolute beginning... but it didn't change or scale with the content.



Again all reasons why a lot of people just quit playing, because it's to Boring, not fun anymore, thrown away money and time for their now useless professions or they just expected more or better as was promised by Blizzard.!.

A reward isn't always a item, it's more than often just a feeling, a thought, something you have accomplished. << Which almost or totally has been removed by Blizz.




ps. it's not all that bad. Because otherwise I and a lot of others wouldn't play this game anymore. :P



I can go on with giving examples and options, but I guess you know what I mean.

I can just hope that some of Blizzard are also reading all our comment and really take them into notice. And think about it.

Some things could be changed before Legion and other things could be implemented or taken care when legion comes out.



Regards and keep on playing.



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"Save WOW."


WOW doesn't need saving. If WOW died today, It would still be a ridiculously monumental achievement that no other company could hope to replicate, until maybe we get a virtual reality MMO.


With that said, sure, there's room for improvement. Many have commented on how easy WOW is. I definitely think that more care should be put into the mob design and that it shouldn't be so easy to clear quests and dungeons. This would force people to work together, much like "the old days" people love to reminisce about.


However, gear and loot should scale appropriately. When I get an epic item, it should feel EPIC. I remember when getting a blue item felt really awesome! Now it's standard. 


LFR could be a little bit more difficult, too. I think it would force people to pay attention and learn the fights.


Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forwards.

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About people coming and leaving...

That will always be the case, with every game. And it's difficult to make everyone happy.

But... when it happens so often after each other that people quit after a few weeks, than there's something wrong.

As Blizzard tries to keep the players, by nerfing bosses and making content much much more easy...  I think that's exactly the opposite way.


I think that's one of the big problems. They reduce the complexity to cater to a slightly more casual audience, but a casual audience will often have a fleeting love for WoW. The diehard players that would prefer the challenge are the ones that stick around. 


It's always difficult to find the right balance, especially since they would have to remove so much to bring the game back to what it was once upon a time. I definitely don't think we should return to Vanilla-style, where we spend half of our raid days farming materials rather than raiding, but I would like to see more of a challenge outside of instances.



Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forwards.


I agree with this sentiment, but sometimes it can be difficult to take a step forwards when you're already half-way off the huge cliff behind you. I still play the game and I will in Legion, but Warlords did many things wrong. Blizzard took a good few steps backwards and they've put themselves in a position where they can't really move backwards anymore. If they do, there won't be a "WoW killer" because there won't need to be one. Legion, for many people, is a form of last chance. If the same broken promises happen, we might even see a fall to Vanilla-level subs.

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I love the new ease of access and quality of life changes as far as leveling goes. I usually play a bit more than my friends so it will be nice to have the options to do certain zones with them rather than having to wait for them to catch up in levels before we can continue to quest together.

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One big problem that seems to be on everyones lips in the pvp community is the ability pruning. It seems that they've removed to much and might take away the small things that took the skillgap a bit higher

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Great post.It´s not that i hate WoD,but some things could have been better.Legion looks promissing, and got me a lil bit hyped.Hope they get it right this time.

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Greetings Icy-veins. I'm excited for loads of things, that is true. But to be honest I am kind of scared as well, since there is a lot to be done wrong in this expansion. Artifact weapons truly look good and have some nice traits, but personally i would ask how are we going to develop them in next patches and what will happen to them in the end of Legion.


Also i am excited for the PvE concept. There are 10 dungeons and I've seen few of them in YT previews and such. They look really nice and have really nice design, but what i would be again scared of is the scaling and the difficulty in heroic or challenge modes.


PvP concept is really looking nice with the small amount of information i have, but again, question is, how will the gear, talents and prestige work? I really look forward to it.


And last point: Lore... This is one thing I am really looking forward to and what interests me probably the most. We have a chance to see new and old characters and also we could have a chance to encounter or at least get some more info on Old Gods. Scaling system looks also really amazing. Since I am an alt person, i love to get all classes on max lvl, so this would allow me to progress the Broken Isles in any way i want. But again the negatives... I am really worried about the length (in hours) of each zone in Broken Isles. Some sources say that one zone only takes about one and half hour to complete which is too fast, but that is my personal opinion.


I know this was supposed to be "Why i am hyped for Legion" comment. But I just can't write all positives, without leaving out possible negatives, which are important. To me chance to get into beta of Legion is the chance to test the game and point out the bugs and glitches made in the game and help in one way or another improve the game for normal players, rather then play it as one. I will have a chance to do that when it launches. 

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One big problem that seems to be on everyones lips in the pvp community is the ability pruning. It seems that they've removed to much and might take away the small things that took the skillgap a bit higher


Yeah, this is something that probably should be revisited. If an ability is used by so few people that it needs to be removed, why can't it just stay in the game and let the people that do use it, use it. I understand that most Mages won't be de-cursing, but it can be a big thing if there is, for example, a curse in a Mythic-only part of a fight that they can help remove. It won't damage the gameplay of anyone to keep it in.

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I personally hope that Blizzard took WoD as a humbling experience. The game as a whole, and the trust the playerbase had in them took a huge hit. And if they simply continue on without acknowledging that, then I feel like critical mistakes will be made a second and third time. Which... yeah. Not a good thing.

However. Legion does look amazing! They took some major steps forward that, for the longest time, I never thought Blizzard would take. They appear to be embracing the idea of player choice with things as big as leveling where you want. To smaller things like choices that effect nothing more then story. Plus embracing the choice of wearing what you want with the major transmog changes, plus motivation for PvPers to keep Bging with the cosmetic items you can get from the prestige system.

In short. I believe the more choice the player has, the better the game will be. Even if the choices seem small and mundane, or are completely cosmetic. So this is a very good, strong direction for Blizzard to be taking.

But that's only one triangle in the triforce. Gameplay and mechanics are also a huge aspect, and that's where things are having me a little shaky at the moment. As a big pvper, I'm keeping a close eye on the pruning situation. But, I'm also keeping an open mind about the whole thing. Given, I don't have access, I can only see the situation through other peoples eyes. I understand wanting to make pvp more friendly and inviting to others, especially with E-sports exploding in the best kind of way. We definitely cant argue that more pvpers would be bad. But hopefully it's not at too big of a price. We'll see.

For the record though. Completely hate this constant revamps.... Not a big fan of worrying if  I'll still enjoy my current class, that I invest all my time into, come this time next expansion. That...yeah... that I'm not so fancy over. With all these changes, I'd like to hope that it's them laying the foundation to something a tad more permanent  in the long run as well.

So! I do think Legion has the potential to 'save' WoW. The announcements they've made proved that they've learned a thing or two as time has went on. The looming question is however, will it all make it into the game? Or will Blizz repeat their biggest mistake and fumble the ball as the game releases? 

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Here is the issue with this question in my opinion ......


What classifies as saving WoW?


If it means the return to WotLK subscription numbers then the answer is a definitive "no". The marketplace is much different than it was then and Blizzard has burned bridges along the way. With all of the competition that is now out there getting to 11 - 12 million subs is just not a feasible goal.


If saving WoW means making an enjoyable game, Blizzard has a very good chance at success. Blizz has always crafted a solid product that was enjoyable to play. Yes, I realize for many WoD missed the mark. I do feel that much of the disappointment is not that the game is "bad", but rather it fails to meet a standard that Blizzard themselves has set. When You set the bar, you darn sure better hit it every time.


Success could also mean repairing the image loss and hurt feelings caused by WoD. In this case, Legion CAN save WoW but I am not willing to say yet that it WILL. Blizzard needs only to deliver on their own promises here. That may sound like a very easy thing to do. In a corporate world where you are dealing with the hopes of millions of customers, it can become harder than you think. WoW has a HUGE hype train attached to it. A train that can often gain its own momentum. The ability to control this train and deliver on what Blizzard promises and clearly separate those promises from what is conjecture believed by the masses will determine their success.

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    • By Starym
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      Pirate's Day (source)
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    • By Starym
      We're back to Shamans after our deep dive into Elemental, but there's a lot more to cover with Enhancement, as the spec got pretty much a revamp with the playstyle being very different in the Shadowlands. Our guide expert Wordup has really gone into detail in this article with the spec's many changes, from the altered mechanics and playstyle, new baseline spells and passives, the big Covenant decision, talent changes and re-arrangements, crucial legendaries for the spec and more!
      Big Enhancement Changes on the Horizon
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      Altered Enhancement Shaman Spells and Mechanics
      Maelstrom as a resource has been completely removed, and instead the playstyle is now more oriented around juggling a number of different spell and ability cooldowns. These are mostly fueled by Mana, but it is not a resource that needs to be worried about in general gameplay, outside of managing it for utility spells.   
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      Stormbringer no longer grants a free cast of Stormstrike, and instead just resets the cooldown and increases the damage of your next Stormstrike when it triggers.
      Maelstrom Weapon has been reverted back to the original design, with melee attacks having a 20% chance to generate a stack. Each stack reduces the cast time and increases the damage of Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Chain Heal or Healing Surge by 20%. At 5 stacks, they become instant and form the core switch up of the rotation. Up to 10 stacks can be pooled, but only up to 5 are ever spent at once.
      Feral Spirit now generates one stack of Maelstrom Weapon on cast, and an additional 5 over the next 15 seconds.
      Newly added Baseline Spells and Passives
      Lightning Bolt has reverted to a cast time spell, and both Chain Lightning and Chain Heal have been added to the spec, both tied to the Maelstrom Weapon system.
      Healing Stream Totem returns as a short cooldown support tool for some quick healing.
      Windfury Weapon and Flametongue Weapon have both been converted to weapon imbues instead of passives.
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      Windfury Totem returns, grating a 20% chance for all of your allied party members within 30 yards to generate an additional attack with their auto attacks. This does not affect ranged Hunter specs or pets, and has a 0.5 second internal cooldown.
      Frost Shock and Flame Shock both return, sharing a 6-second cooldown affected by Haste. This replaces Rockbiter, which has been removed.
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      Each of the 4 covenants all come with a class specific Shaman spell, and a signature tool that is more utility oriented. Here we will take a quick look at what is in store for Enhancement:
      Kyrian Ability: Vesper Totem - 1 min CD, instant
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      This ability is my personal favourite for two reasons. Firstly, it is extremely non-invasive to the rotation which can sometimes get busy, but those situations are not predictable. It deals solid AoE, and can utilise the Kyrian conduit Elysian Dirge to shore up the single target shortcomings. Placement can be cumbersome, but can be played around with a bit of experience. Secondly, it provides strong off healing, allowing you to bank the free extra 3 charges for healing for situations where you need it after the damage charges are used. This is especially useful in lower player content like Mythic+, because the healing is good no matter the situation or target count.
      Kyrian Signature: Summon Steward - variable CD
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      Necrolord Ability: Primordial Wave - 45 sec CD, 1.5sec cast
      Deals Shadow damage to your target, appliesFlame Shock to them and causes your next Lightning Bolt cast to hit all targets affected by Flame Shock. 1.5 second cast time, can be reduced by Maelstrom Weapon.
      Conversely, this is my least favourite ability for Enhancement. It takes a significant amount of resources and setup for relatively low payoff, and also displaces important AoE tools in Chain Lightning, which has a knock on effect of not reducing the cooldown of Crash Lightning. The twofold Maelstrom Weapon requirement hurts this too much, and given it has no real AoE and a small boost to cleave, is not going to work. It is also the only one of the 4 that provides no real off healing utility, which I think is a big hit to the value when it comes largely for free with the others.
      Necrolord Signature: Fleshcraft - 2 min CD, 4 sec channel
      Generates a shield over a 4 second channel for up to 20% of your maximum health. If near an enemy corpse, is increased to 50%.
      Necrolord does provide the most survival oriented tool available, and is something that has to be considered when Enhancement has struggled in that sphere for the last two expansions. Unfortunately a mostly GCD locked spec having to find room for a 4 second channel that also limits movement is not very accessible to fix the on demand things the spec needs.
      Night Fae Ability: Fae Transfusion - 2min CD, 3sec channel
      Deals Nature damage to up to 4 enemies over a 3 second channel - cancels on movement. Can be reactivated within 20 seconds to heal 8 nearby allies for 15% of the total damage done.
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      Night Fae Signature: Soulshape - 1.5min CD
      Teleport 15 yards forward and transform into a vulpin with 50% increased movement speed. You can re-cast the teleport every 4 seconds, and lasts for 12 seconds.
      Soulshape will probably see the least impact for Enhancement because of the overlap the ability has with Ghost Wolf (and even moreso if using Spirit Wolf). The blink effect can be useful for displacement and fall damage reduction, but it is giving access to something that the spec mostly already just has.

      Venthyr Ability: Chain Harvest - 1.5min CD, 2.5sec cast
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      Right now this is the hardest to quantify, because there are a number of bugs relating to this ability and Maelstrom Weapon in particular which makes the data hard to judge. It has a lot of potential to be a good fire and forget burst tool with some free healing tacked on, but until these are fixed there are some problems. Most importantly, it is displacing a cast of Chain Lightning that is crucial to the AoE core rotation, which spends resources on a mix up in the flow that slows the pace down, alongside it not currently triggering effects such as Hailstorm. This does however have the most likely chance of competing with Vesper Totem.
      Venthyr Signature: Door of Shadows - 1min CD, 1.5 sec cast
      Teleports you to your cursor within 35 yards after a 1.5 second cast.
      While this ability did get a lot of hype early on, the practical applications of a cast time teleport is entirely limited to how the community finds ways to break it - which currently are few and far between. The spec is not desperate for more mobility, especially not one that requires us to stop and predict movement, so this is one that remains to be seen what value it really has.
      Covenant Choice Conclusion
      Despite all of this though, there is a bit of wiggle room with the choice you make because many of them are effectively achieving the same purpose. While I personally think Vesper Totem and Chain Harvest are most likely to win out because of how easily they slot in (assuming bugs are ironed out), it is not impossible to see Fae Transfusion having some niche uses. Primordial Wave however, I have strong misgivings about and would be surprised if it manages to work out unless the tuning of Enhancement’s damage profile changes significantly.

      Talent Changes
      Due to the spec having a ground up redesign in many cases, obviously the talent tree had to follow suit because the abilities are no longer there. There are a lot of switch ups, and a few new choices available to us. Some have also moved in position, which will be shown at the bottom.
      Talents Removed:
      Boulderfist removed. Lightning Shield changed and made baseline. Landslide removed. Totem Mastery  removed. Searing Assault removed. Overcharge removed. Fury of Air removed. New Talents, and Existing Changes:
      Lashing Flames - with the reintroduction of Flame Shock and the surprising damage it does, this talent is great for single target when the DoT is maintained, and does a lot of work for little effort as you are hitting Lava Lash constantly anyway.
      Elemental Blast - this is in a weird place right now. It is an upgrade from our other finishers, but requires a lot of maintenance to pull off. Has some good synergy with one legendary in particular though in Elemental Equilibrium, and has potential down the line despite being disruptive.
      Stormflurry - an easy win passive option returning from Legion’s artifact. This is one of those talents that is hard to go wrong with, we hit Stormstrike a lot and this is just some free goodies on top with each cast.
      Hot Hand - this received a big rework to now be a proc window for 8 seconds that reduces Lava Lash's cooldown and doubles its damage, triggered by auto attacks on a 5% flat chance instead of the old RPPM. This turns into a short burst window similar to Ascendance’s one-two cycle, and also has some strong legendary synergies.
      Ice Strike - stands out at the moment as unfinished. Resetting shocks when they already have such a low cooldown is pretty low impact, and the GCD investment only makes this feel worse. Has niche applications but effort to reward ratio is way off.
      Elemental Assault - Similar to Stormflurry, this is just an easy win. Hard to mess up, synergises well with it, and pulls off some excellent single target builds especially with legendaries touched on later. Also ups our Maelstrom Weapon consistency to boot!
      Hailstorm - the absolute god tier talent addition of this expansion. This almost single handedly smooths out the AoE rotation and cements us as being able to pool and dump out punchy damage to up to 6 targets. This is what I would call a “capstone” talent that effectively defines how you play the spec, and does a lot to make Maelstrom Weapon feel like a resource you have to manage correctly.
      Fire Nova - do not be fooled by the name, this is not the same spell you remember. Without any spread mechanics for Flame Shock, this is cumbersome to use and the payoff is weak. This is gonna need a lot of help to rekindle its glory days sadly.
      Stormkeeper - while this is a big hitter for Elemental, in the Enhancement kit it is largely out of place due to the investment cost. This requires 5 Maelstrom Weapon to make instant, and does have some unusual scaling with latent stacks that buff the amplified Lightning Bolt casts. Too often though it almost gets in the way because it does not technically consume stacks, which break some other effects in the process. If tuning makes spenders more valuable however, this has some potential.
      Elemental Spirits - while not directly changed, the shift to cooldown locked abilities has had a profound impact on the values of each wolf spawned. This is a pain point right now, and came out of the rework battered and bruised. It is not helped by how poorly the baseline ability is performing either.
      Ascendance - still on the GCD, but recently has had a big AoE pulse attached to the cast. With the reduced impact of Stormstrike spam that we have had for two expansions, it remains to be seen where this really lands but it is feeling a lot weaker for a 3 minute cooldown.
      The tree now consists of the following tiers:
      Level 15 Talents:
      Lashing Flames / Forceful Winds / Elemental Blast Level 25 Talents:
      Stormflurry / Hot Hand / Ice Strike Level 30 Talents:
      Spirit Wolf / Earth Shield / Static Charge Level 35 Talents:
      Elemental Assault / Hailstorm / Fire Nova Level 40 Talents:
      Nature's Guardian / Feral Lunge / Wind Rush Totem Level 45 Talents:
      Crashing Storm / Stormkeeper / Sundering Level 50 Talents:
      Elemental Spirits / Earthen Spike / Ascendance
      Legendary Effects
      For Enhancement, Legendary effects are a huge deal. In more than one case they round out a build and provide an incentive to play in a certain way, which means in the pre-patch these are going to be missing, and you will feel that. Here we will run down the relevant Shaman specific effects, but the generic legendaries will be left out because they are more of a question mark.
      Legacy of the Frost Witch - this legendary is similar to Hailstorm in that I would consider it a “capstone” to the spec. This is incredibly powerful at giving value to Maelstrom Weapon, works well in both single target and AoE due to funneling and consistency, and flattens some of the dry spots in the rotation all in one clean package. It also gives value to pooling for burst, it is so cleanly designed I cannot sing its praises enough.
      Witch Doctor's Wolf Bones - right now this provides a significant bump to Maelstrom Weapon generation both from the passive and the additional cooldown use. Unfortunately, Feral Spirit is not a strong cooldown, so the value of this even with Elemental Spirits considered can struggle. This is a versatile choice though - especially in Mythic+ - and settles as a good all rounder.
      Primal Lava Actuators - another “capstone” style effect that builds into the Flame Shock and Fire oriented abilities on the tree. Unfortunately again, Legacy of the Frost Witch outshines this in flexibility due to the accompanying build, and since there are no good options for cleave or AoE due to Fire Nova’s weaknesses, it has fallen away as the Beta has gone on.
      Doom Winds - this is probably the legendary that is the most at the behest of the tuning of the spec. Right now, Windfury Weapon is a very weak effect, and while this provides an extra cooldown because of this, it is not high impact even with Forceful Winds considered. If these things are re-tuned however, this has a lot of potential.
      Elemental Equilibrium - while this is an Elemental legendary, it does work for Enhancement and we can easily trigger all three effects via Flametongue Weapon/Lava Lash, Frost Shock/Ice Strike and Crash Lightning/Lightning Bolt. All 3 of these effects can be combined into an Elemental Blast cast, meaning this has solid potential with a build focused on that. Otherwise, it provides a great boost to Hailstorm value in AoE.
      Deeply Rooted Elements - unfortunately this has spent the entire Alpha/Beta cycle bugged for Enhancement and does not work, so cannot be judged.
      Ancestral Reminder - simple rerun of the Legion legendary, short fights push this hard, as do fights that have a big weight toward your Bloodlust window. This is one of those edge case options that has a place, but not a big winner.
      Deeptremor Stone - Earth Elemental tends to have a bit of a deathwish, and because of that having a legendary relying on it is not great. This is also not helped by how relatively weak the damage is.
      Chains of Devastation - because we rely on Maelstrom Weapon to scale up our spells, this is a really bad choice even for switch ups in the spec for utility. It also creates some serious mana issues if you try to capitalise on the effect.

      Concluding Thoughts
      For the pre-patch, I think a lot of people are going to feel a bit of whiplash transitioning from the one-note playstyle of Stormstrike spam in BfA, but with a bit of time will adjust into the more measured and deep cooldown style of Shadowlands. The biggest thing is that it will take some practice for those who have no experience from the Wrath-to-Warlords styles, and there is a slightly different skillset in juggling cooldowns and weaving Maelstrom Weapon spenders. That said, the important thing is there is a lot more room for Enhancement to breathe with the tools it has now, and the direction it is headed seems more healthy than the stagnant BfA situation we had to deal with at launch. One important thing to note is though, the Crash Lightning passive gained at 52 is huge for our AoE rotation, and pre-patch might feel a little off until then.
      For Shadowlands itself, we only improve. We are quite reliant on having access to our Covenant tools to up our frontloaded AoE potential, and most importantly Legendaries have a huge impact on exactly how you tailor your gameplay. Right now most the most important of these is Legacy of the Frost Witch Legacy of the Frost Witch which opens up the option for a more robust style that is similar - but more in-depth - than the BfA Stormstrike oriented gameplay style. Combining that with new toys like Hailstorm, I see Enhancement’s damage kit able to flex itself into more spaces than recent iterations, which is a good thing. Alongside this, once we hit 60 our AoE profile really starts rolling due to the Crash Lightning passive gained, with a smooth cycle of Crash Lightning -> Stormstrike -> Chain Lightning -> Frost Shock that synchronises almost perfectly, and is a big game changer. The one and only serious issue that still remains though is survival, as noted at the beginning, but whether that is addressed or has serious impact going forward is too hard to tell.

      Other Spec Highlights:
      Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Arcane Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Protection Warrior
    • By Starym
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      Exciting Changes for Elemental Shaman in Shadowlands
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        Other Changes
      While Fire Elemental is active, Flame Shock generates 3 Maelstrom when it deals damage over time. Icefury-buffed Frost Shocks generate 8 Maelstrom. Flame Shock now lasts 18 seconds (down from 24) Searing Totem has been pruned. Ancestral Guidance is now no longer on the GCD! Spiritwalker's Grace is now available to Elemental Shamans once again! Rejoice! Ascendance now instantly casts a Lava Burst at all enemies affected by Flame Shock, refreshing its duration.
      Covenant Choices
      Kyrian Ability
      Vesper Totem: Summon a totem at the target location for 30 seconds. Your next 3 damage spells or abilities will cause the totem to radiate (95% of Spell Power) Arcane damage to up to 6 enemies near the totem, and your next 3 healing spells will heal up to 6 allies near the totem for (85% of Spell Power) Health. Casting this ability again while the totem is active will relocate the totem.
      (Instant, Costs 10% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 60-second cooldown)
      This is probably the strongest covenant ability for Elemental Shamans. It is versatile and powerful in every situation.
      Night Fae Ability
      Fae Transfusion: Transfer the life force of up to 4 enemies in the targeted area, dealing (414% of Spell Power) Nature damage to each enemy over 3 seconds. Pressing Fae Transfusion again within 20 seconds will release 15% of all damage from Fae Transfusion, healing up to 8 allies near yourself.
      (3-second cast, Costs 7.5% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 2-minute cooldown)
      This is a fairly weird ability. It is unlikely to be sought after unless its numbers are higher than they are right now.
      Venthyr Ability
      Chain Harvest: Send a wave of anima at the target, which then jumps to additional nearby targets. Deals (345% of Spell Power) Shadow damage to up to 5 enemies, and restores (255.5% of Spell Power) Health to up to 5 allies. For each target critically struck, the cooldown of Chain Harvest is reduced by 5 seconds.
      (Instant, Costs 10% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 1.5-minute cooldown)
      While not very interesting, this does give significant damage and healing which can be handy in a variety of situations, especially in dungeons.
      Necrolord Ability
      Primordial Wave: Blasts your target with a Primordial Wave, dealing (65% of Spell Power + 65% of Attack Power) Shadow damage and apply Flame Shock to an enemy or heal an ally for (65% of Spell Power + 65% of Attack Power). Your next Lava Burst will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock.
      (1.5-second cast, Costs 10% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 45-second recharge)
      While this is a pretty cool ability that synergizes with our kit, it is fundamentally niche and makes the ability, and therefor the Covenant, unlikely to see play.

      Legendary Effects
      While there are other generic Legendary effects, I'm only going to touch on the ones specific to Elemental Shaman (although you can check out the rest of the shaman ones here and generic ones here).
      Echoes of Great Sundering (Shoulder/Hands) — When you cast Earth Shock  or Elemental Blast, your next Earthquake will deal 250% additional damage.
      Should be very strong for dungeons, solo play and encounters containing any kind of regular cleave/AoE.
      Elemental Equilibrium  (Legs/Feet) — Dealing direct Fire damage increases the damage of your next Frost spell by 30%. Dealing Frost damage increases the damage of your next Nature spell by 25%. Dealing Nature damage increases the damage of your next Fire spell by 20%.
      This is very similar to Master of the Elements and might be used withIcefury. It is unlikely  to change rotations, the numbers are simply not high enough.
      Skybreaker's Fiery Demise  (Chest/Finger) — Flame Shock damage over time critical strikes reduce the cooldown of Fire Elemental by 1 second, and Flame Shock  has a 30% increased Critical Strike chance.
      This is probably going to be the go-to legendary on any fights where you will multidot a lot. 
      Windspeaker's Lava Resurgence  (Back/Feet) — When you cast Earth Shock  or Elemental Blast, gain Lava Surge  and increase the damage of your next Lava Burst by 30%.
      This does not seem particularly powerful, although it does give fairly convenient guaranteed mobility as well as a small burst.
      After trying to change quite a lot, Blizzard ended up reverting the majority of their changes, and Elemental is back to being quite similar to what it was in BfA. We gain some things and lose others, overall ending up in a slightly stronger place in my opinion, if you consider that we were losing the BfA specific bonuses anyway. The legendary powers should help complement various playstyles and encounters, and unlocking them all quickly is going to be important. It is still hard to say which Covenant will be best, although Kyrian and Venthyr seem to be the safer bets currently.

      Other Spec Highlights:
      Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Arcane Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Protection Warrior
    • By Starym
      Rogues arrive on the scene in our Shadowlands and pre-patch highlights overviews, as Outlaw gets some welcome changes and a varied selection of legendaries and Conduits! We've asked our expert guide writer Seliathan tells us all about the gameplay changes to the spec, new abilities and talents, Covenants, legendaries and even some Conduits!
      Exciting Changes for Outlaw Rogues in Shadowlands
      It is time to take a look at Outlaw Rogue and what it will look and play like in the upcoming expansion (and pre-patch). Overall the Outlaw gameplay is not receiving a whole lot of adjustments, so if you're familiar with the way the spec currently plays you will feel right at home once you start your journey into the Shadowlands.

      Gameplay changes
      Roll the Bones no longer uses your Combo Points, and instead has a 45-second cooldown. Its cooldown is reduced like any other ability by both Restless Blades and True Bearing .  You will most likely still re-roll bad buffs whenever the ability comes off cooldown again.  Kidney Shot and Between the Eyes are separate abilities now. Depending on the situation this can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, since you will no longer have a stun on one of your damaging finishers that might lead to messed up Diminishing Returns for AoE stuns. However, this also means that you no longer provide a regular damage bonus by speccing into Prey on the Weak. Adrenaline Rush is no longer on the global cooldown. Blade Flurry has been changed. It is now a single-use cooldown with a 30-second CD. This CD is reduced by both Restless Blades and True Bearing , allowing for almost 100% uptime on Blade Flurry. New Abilities and Talents
      Slice and Dice is making its return as a maintenance finisher, increasing your attack speed by 50%. This will speed up your rotation by generating more energy due to its interaction with Combat Potency . Poisons are back! Outlaw gains access to Wound Poison, Instant Poison, Numbing Poison  and Crippling Poison. You are still limited to one lethal and one non-lethal poison each.  Shiv is no longer a PvP talent and can instead be used by all rogue specs. When used it will apply a strong 70% movement speed slow. Dreadblades  is a new talent that replaces Slice and Dice. It is functionally the same as the artifact-weapon ability from Legion. While it is active, each of your combo point builders generates your maximum amount of combo points, at the cost of 5% of your current HP whenever you use a finisher. 90-second cooldown, 10-second duration. 
      Covenant Abilities
      Kyrian Ability - Echoing Reprimand
      Deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point. Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points. Costs 30 energy. 45-second cooldown. 
      After using Echoing Reprimand, your second, third or fourth combo point will be highlighted as the anima-charged combo point. When using a damaging finisher with this exact amount of combo points, it will scale as if it was being used with 7 combo points instead. This scales both the damage and the duration of any effects associated with the increased amount of combo points being used.
      While interesting on paper, this ability sadly doesn't mesh very well with the nature of Outlaw's combo point generation. Your combo point builders generate an inconsistent amount of combo points, with procs and buffs changing how many CP you generate whenever you use them. Oftentimes you will skip over the amount of CP required to benefit from Echoing Reprimand, hoping you will eventually hit the required amount of CP. 
      Necrolord Ability - Serrated Bone Spike
      Apply a bone spike in the target, dealing Bleed damage every 3 sec until they die. Deals damage and generates 1 Combo Point per active bone spike. Refunds 1 charge when target dies or is healed to full. Costs 10 Energy. 30-second recharge, 3 maximum charges.
      This ability feels very fun to use whenever there are multiple targets, due to its fracturing mechanic. You will always want to target less important targets first, and then get a huge spike of burst on your priority target on your third use. While the ability is fairly simple on single-target, it is currently (subject to change) the strongest covenant ability for Outlaw Rogues. 
      Unfortunately it is also the one that interacts the least with the Outlaw toolkit, and can become the only button you press on AoE until you run out of charges.
      Venthyr Ability -  Slaughter
      Slaughter the target, causing moderate Physical damage. The targets anima mixes with your lethal poison, coating your weapons for the next 5 minutes. Slaughter Poison deals Shadow Damage over 12 seconds and steals 15% of the healing done to the target. Costs 50 Energy.
      This ability can only be used from stealth. While Outlaw gains more frequent uses of Vanish as a dps cooldown, it hits for the the same damage as Ambush. The Slaughter Poison is slightly stronger than your Instant Poison, and the associated Conduit Slaughter Scars greatly improves its potency, but it is still one of the weakest Covenant choices for Outlaw right now.
      Night Fae Ability - Sepsis
      Infect the targets blood, dealing Nature damage over 10 sec. If the target survives its full duration, they suffer additional damage and you Vanish from sight. Cooldown reduced by 60 sec if Sepsis does not last its full duration. 90-second cooldown. 
      This covenant ability scales directly with the usefulness of Vanish as a dps cooldown, but Outlaw doesn't benefit much at all from the stealth-only abilities like Ambush. However, there are a few legendaries that can directly boost this Covenant ability's usefulness by providing additional benefits, based on the legendary you use. 

      Legendary Effects
      There are quite a few legendary effects available in Shadowlands, so we have picked out some of the strongest ones for Outlaw rogues **(power level subject to change).** 
      Master Assassin's Mark is back and provides a 100% increased crit-chance for 5 seconds after using Vanish. Using this makes the Night Fae ability Sepsis quite a bit more powerful.  Guile Charm is making a return, previously known as Bandit's Guile. Each cast of Sinister Strike will gradually increase the amount of damage you deal, capping out at 30%. This can be delayed to line up better with your cooldowns by not using Sinister Strike for a while, and once you received the maximum benefits for a short duration the cycle starts anew. Greenskin's Wickers will greatly boost the effectiveness of your Pistol Shot. This can be combined with talenting into Quick Draw  for even more damage dealt by your Pistol Shots.  Celerity will randomly grant you Adrenaline Rush for 4 seconds as long as you maintain Slice and Dice . There are plenty more legendaries with different power levels, these are just a few that currently perform strongest for Outlaw. We will keep you updated on the individual strength of each legendary once we get closer to release. 
      Conduits in Shadowlands
      There are many conduits coming in Shadowlands, so this is just a selection of some of them.
      Ambidexterity increases your chance to trigger Main Gauche as long as Blade Flurry is active. With the rework to Blade Flurry allowing for almost 100% uptime, this is quite a boost even on single-target.  Count the Odds gives your Ambush, Dispatch and Slaughter (if you have chosen Venthyr) a chance to grant a Roll the Bones buff you do not currently have active.  Sleight of Hand gives your Roll the Bones a chance to immediately reset your cooldown, allowing you to re-roll your buffs immediately.
      Outlaw is shaping up to be in a solid spot for both raiding and Mythic+ content in Shadowlands. The changes to Roll the Bones, Blade Flurry, and the addition of Slice and Dice to the base toolkit have given the spec quite a lot of additional maintenance. Having to maintain all three of these will take some getting used to, and re-rolling Roll the Bones buffs is still going to be of big importance. Coming from BfA, the cooldown on Roll the Bones feels a bit off-putting at first, and having to keep re-rolling into bad buffs feels a bit demoralizing. 
      Legendaries and Conduits give quite a bit of choice and allow you to customize your gameplay by slightly shifting your rotational and re-rolling priorities. Most Legendaries and Conduits are fairly close in power right now **(subject to change)**, so you might be able to pick and choose the gameplay you prefer the most and still be very much viable in all types of content.

      Other Spec Highlights:
      Balance Druid Restoration Druid Beast Mastery Hunter Arcane Mage Outlaw Rogue Elemental Shaman Enhancement Shaman Shadow Priest Protection Warrior
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