I remember when I first downloaded World of Warcraft, the year was 2009 and I was a mere 16 years old. I started playing right before Ulduar launched. I remember the amazement and wonder that I felt. My level 80 friend picked me up from Nordrassil in their Mekgineer’s chopper and I was off to explore the world I would come to know as Warcraft. I played religiously for about a year (I may have flunked a class or 3 because of this) and I was forced to say farewell. But little did I know, that farewell was really a see you again. As of June of this year I resubscribed to World of Warcraft and had a huge wave of nostalgia come over me. After derping around on a few of my Mains from Wrath of the Lich King, I made a Pandaren monk to see what I’ve missed since my departure and played from level 1-100. Then I grinded old raids until the long awaited Legion Expansion launched. Make sure you have a cup of coffee folks, this is gonna be a long article.
I WAS NOT PREPARED! (for launch night)
On Monday night I sat awake watching reruns of House and chugging Mountain Dew to stay awake. I felt my eyes growing heavy around 12:30AM, only two and a half hours left before the new WoW expansion launched. I knew that the oncoming battle against the legion would require all my strength, so I surrendered to my nest, err, I mean bed. I awoke at 5:30 and instantly sprung out of bed and into my computer chair. To my surprise there were no delays, the servers let me in right away and I began my crusade against the burning legion. My first difficult choice of this expansion was which character I would take along with me on this journey. I chose my Demon Hunter, by the name of TurtleBear (A reference to the Lightbringer book series.). Once in the game world, I was told to go to Dalaran (Jokes on them, I was already there) to meet Khadgar and to start the epic journey that would be legion. After an epic cutscene, Dalaran was teleported to the broken isles, which reminded me of when Gallifrey was teleported in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special. (Editor Ken Murray gives a thumbs up to my fellow Whovian’s reference!)
A big part of Legion is your artifact weapon, which will be your only weapon throughout Legion. I can understand from a lore perspective how this makes sense, but I’m just not a fan of them. (Please send hate mail to Press@hillaryclinton.com) My favorite loot drop was always the weapon. I appreciate the artifact weapon’s talent tree and all the obvious effort that Blizzard put into artifact weapons, I really do, but I still need some time to get used to them. Another big part of Legion is the new class hubs, also known as Order Halls. Every class has a new social hub specific to them. Since I’m a demon hunter, I get to travel to the former Legion world of Mardum. The unique thing about Demon Hunters are that we can speak to each other regardless of faction, which made me love my order hall 10 times more when I had the chance to speak to a blood elf even though I was a night elf.
This is the part where I talk about each zone. I’m gonna give each zone its own paragraph and talk about them in the order that I visited them. Gonna flag this section for POTENTIAL SPOILERS!!! So if you’re saving yourself for the real deal, please stop reading from here on. When I picked my first zone I was half asleep and had to ask my guild which ones they chose. It seemed that High Mountain was the most popular so I set off to this new zone, not expecting what came next.
I believe the best phrase to sum up High Mountain would be “Holy Cow” because this is the first Tauren Zone I’ve even been to and not been attacked. I’ve always had a soft spot for these Potential Steaks who escaped and evolved into the peaceful race that we’ve come to know and love. High Mountain tells you a classic tale where you must, as Mel Gibson once said, Unite the clans! High Mountain is under attack from a terrible creature called Dargrul the UnderKing and the tauren clans must work together in order to fight him. First off, this zone is absolutely beautiful. I was a sucker for Mulgore when I first saw it and High Mountain reminded me of it so much. The main hub in High Mountain is a place called Thunder Totem, where all the cool tauren hang out. I spent about four hours in High Mountain and in that time I got to visit the past and fight in the famous War of the Ancients, I discovered that one tauren was not what he seemed and most importantly, now I want to make a tauren.
Next up, I visited Azsuna. If you’re big into Warcraft lore, you will know Azsuna well. I knew a few small details about this zone flying into it, I remember its relevance during The War of the Ancients, which was the first time the legion invaded Azeroth. The whole area revolved around the events of the war and the restless mana addicts who now plague the area. All I wanted was to see Queen Azshara and I kinda got what I wanted. While assuming the role of Prince Farondis on a mission to rescue my own character, Queen Azshara made her entrance. She recounted Farondis’s role in the curse bestowed on his people and offered him a way out. Join the ranks of the legion or continue to suffer eternity in this now scarred land. Prince Farondis reflected on his options and refused her offer, knowing that my character’s quest could lead to his people’s freedom. This was the most emotion I’ve felt while playing WoW, knowing that my character was chosen to be a savior of such an iconic land. What I loved about this zone was its relevance to the War of the Ancients. I have been catching up on the lore of Warcraft and the war of the Ancients is one of my favorite events, mainly because it sets the stage for most of Warcraft.
Once I finished Azsuna, I went to the famed land of Val’sharah. I wanted to save this zone for last but I couldn’t resist, I have a soft spot for druids as I played a druid as my first ever WoW character. The Emerald Dream, an alternate azeroth without the footprints left by civilization, has been one of my favorite concepts ever and I knew going into Val’Sharah that I was going to be attempting to save it. It’s no secret that the Emerald Dream has been tainted, corrupted by Xavius, an agent of The Burning Legion. This corruption claims those who dare travel to the Emerald Dream are never allow to wake from their slumber and they corrupt their very being. While playing through this zone I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. Cenarius was the first major character I saw to be taken by the corruption, but he was not the last. This zone is gorgeous, kinda how I wish Nodrassil and Darnassus would look. The music set the tone extremely well (As it often does in Blizzard titles) and The cut-scenes made me invested into what happened. I know that I said Azsuna was the zone that hit my feels the hardest, but Val’sharah actually made my jaw drop during one scene. Even though things just got more grim throughout the zone, in the end we obtained the Tears of Elune and our (My) third Pillar of creation.
Have you ever watched How to Train Your Dragon? Then you will know exactly what StormHeim, the final zone until I could visit the famous land of Suramar. This zone is the only zone that touched on the classic Horde vs. Alliance story Arch. Due to the events that occurred on the broken shore, Genn Greymane is out for blood (Horde blood, but there’s a lot more being spilt than that). The quest line starts with an assault on Sylvanas Windrunner’s naval fleet, and man, it was fun. There’s nothing like blowing bat riders out of the sky and knowing that they’re going to plummet at least 100 feet to the ocean. Once we rid the skies of bats, we boarded the horde ships attempting to kill Sylvanas herself, but she is already gone! After more Horde Vs. Alliance action, I crash landed into the zone of StormHeim. After completing the stereotypical “Collect this” and “Kill 8 of these” I finally got to explore this nordic inspired land. I felt like an outsider coming into this land, being forced to earn the trust of local vikings. As I progressed through the quest line I felt that I was transforming into a viking, I had to prove my worth in trials of valor, and prove my worth I did. This zone was overall a blast but it did feel tedious at points, often I felt that I was going nowhere in the story. The highlight of this zone for me was its 5 man dungeon, which you’ll read about in a few paragraphs.
Dungeons (Refill that coffee)
I remember the first dungeon I ever experienced, it was cold, dark and a middle aged Asian man kept making me lick chocolate off of him. Ever hear of shackle burn? It’s the worst, but at least I got chocolate out of it. But that’s not the dungeon I experienced THIS week. Each of the zones I mentioned above had an associated 5 man dungeon to go along with it. In High Mountain, it’s Neltharion’s lair, in Azsuna it’s The Eye of Azshara, Val’sharah has Darkheart Thicket and Stormheim has the Halls of Valor. There are loads more but these are the four I’ve experienced. Fret not however, I just hit 110 and I will be playing the other dungeons. You’ll get an article or two about those as well. So here we go!
Neltharion’s Lair, former prison of the terrifying villain Deathwing! Lucky for us, we killed Deathwing 5 years ago (Give or take, I killed him for the first time a week ago.), This dungeon was fun purely from a lore perspective. I was fighting in a place that acted as a demented dragon aspects prison. Seriously, how cool is that? And the overall look and feel of the dungeon was well done. The boss fights were just your stereotypical Tank and spank, they only felt fresh because I changed my role from a ranged DPS to a melee DPS for Legion. The Final boss was the terrible Dargrul, the Underking. I was happy to finally end him but he felt weaker than he should have. In the story line he one shot lvl 100-110 NPC’s. Yet he couldn’t pose a real threat to 5 players only 5 hours after launch.
The Eye of Azshara has to be my least favorite dungeon in Legion so far. I like that it’s an outside landscape, but the fights are boring and the constant moving debuff is more annoying than threatening. I can’t recall one boss in the entire instance where I had fun. I will give credit where credit is due however, this dungeon has actual mechanics in the normal mode where if you don’t follow them, you could wipe and have to try again. Of course I’m talking about the Lady Hatecoil fight. If you’re in the water, you are putting yourself at risk. But if you stand on one of the available sand mounds for too long, it’ll sink. Cudos Blizzard, well played on putting a decent mechanic in a normal mode 5 man!
Darkheart Thicket is where all the cool, corrupted druids go to chill. The purpose of the dungeon is to rescue Malfurion Stormrage, one of our greatest allies. This is the only dungeon where I have seen a rare boss spawn, which is quite an excellent addition. Well done Blizzard! This dungeon had a color scheme that matched a painting done by a hippy who only could work with black, red and green. But it set the tone well enough. The boss fights were droll and easy, which is to be expected in a normal mode, but the fact that we were rescuing Malfurion made me happy to slaughter all who stood in my way. All in all, this isn’t a dungeon I’d want to farm, but I wouldn’t decline an invite for a run or two.
Hall of Valor is the final 5 man dungeon I did and boy, did I save the best for last. I was thrown into Valhalla, this dungeon is literally Valhalla! The landscape is beautiful and I felt like I was actually in the feasting halls, battling for honor and glory. One thing that made this Dungeon stand apart was the fact my party and I teleported to the land of the eternal hunt. There were two polar opposite zones that we had to fight through in order to challenge the Legion Agent, GodKing Skovald, for the famed shield of Aggramar. After we defeated GodKing Skovald, we had one last boss to take on, the big man himself, Odyn, That’s right, mother effing Odyn! While the fight was easy, it was really fun and unique, and it was Odyn! I’ve never been so pumped to fight a god before and I’ve played a crap ton of D&D!
Almost Done (I promise)
Still reading? Good on you! Right now I’m doing the Suramar Missions along with some order hall quests. I did take a break today from Legion to farm some old raids, in doing so I completed my Warglaive Of Azzinoth set on my demon hunter! So now I can cosplay in Goldshire with the best of them! We have a great line up of reviews coming up this week, so sit back, relax and enjoy the week! Also, if you play WoW and haven’t purchased Legion, stop waiting and get it done!