World of Warcraft: Legion gets an official release date

Posted by ChickenWrap |

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On the 18th of April, Blizzard Entertainment published a press release for World of Warcraft: Legion.

"Legion opens a dark and thrilling new chapter in one of the Warcraft series’ greatest conflicts, and things will never be the same for some of Azeroth’s most iconic heroes and villains,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion is loaded with features and content that give players whole new ways to explore the world and customize their heroes. We’re looking forward to sending everyone into battle against the Burning Legion this August."

World of Warcraft: Legion is set to follow upon the events of Warlords of Draenor, where the dark warlock Gul'dan unleashes yet another demonic invasion upon Azeroth. Enlisting the aid of the Illidari Demon Hunters, you'll travel through new locations and gain access to powerful artifact weapons.

Demon Hunters

Will Illidan finally get his redemption story? This poor guy has been through a lot - marking the pages of history with his greed-laced approach to saving his people. Under Illidan's command lies the Demon Hunter.

Demon Hunters have two talent trees they can dive into, one for tanking and one for DPS. Regardless of which you choose, you can rest easy knowing one thing: You are the most mobile thing on the battlefield. With multiple dashes and the ability to actually double-jump, the Demon Hunter is the King (or Queen) of mobility. While Death Knights prefer to bring you to them and dish out an onslaught of damage while being an immovable object, the Demon Hunter is the opposite. They will chase you to the ends of the earth, the ever-present unstoppable force to the point where they can use their special spectral sight to see you even when you think you're safe.

Demon Hunters will be available before Legion drops (presumably when the pre-patch is launched) and are accessible to both Blood and Night Elves, as they should be. The class is very specialized toward Elves and it's exceedingly rare to see anything other than a Night Elf in this position. It's nice to see that Blizzard still tries to hang on to its lore when and where it can.

Order Halls

Class Order Halls are a major focal point, but in reality they're more of just a more public Garrison, complete with missions! It serves as a hub for your class and allows you to embark upon some missions yourself which is nice, but they could have done a lot more (and I'm hoping they do, because I'm rather disappointed in what they've shown off so far. Sure they look cool, but are they actually that awesome?).

Artifact Weapons

Artifact weapons will level alongside you and are the return of a somewhat decent talent point system. For those of us who missed the talent points on the jump to Mists of Pandaria, we can enjoy our own customizable system through our weapons, which will continue to grant us talent points even after hitting level 110. This is a really nice way to bring it back to the game, however currently this will be how you learn all your new skills in Legion.

Presumably after Legion is over, these skills will be learned automatically, as it would be very unfortunate to set something like this up and then remove an entire expansion's new spells and abilities. Artifact weapons will be able to be customized with a rune system as well as the way you want your weapon to look. The many, many forms available to your weapon will be unlocked through doing tasks in the outside world. Not only that, but there's also an artifact weapon for fishing! It allows you to walk on water. How cool is that?

Professions

Professions are getting a huge rework and will actually be fun again, so the opposite of what Warlords was. Gathering professions will gain perks to said gathering profession, such as "Standing near a dreamleaf will grant you a powerful buff", or the ability to "Mount quickly after gathering any herb in the Broken Isles". As well, players will learn how to craft certain items by learning how to do so out in the world. Recipes will also "rank up", so a pair of boots created by someone with rank 1 in that recipe will be worse than someone with rank 2 in the recipe. Blizzard is trying really hard to make crafted weapons feel special again, worth having and worth wearing, and that's respectable. Even the secondary professions like Archaeology and First-Aid are being made into something interesting (First-Aid? Interesting? What?).

Legendaries

You want Legendaries? Yeah, those are back too, and they're world-drops. Remember how epic you felt when you found a purple while questing at level 43 (or how crummy you felt when your friends found two and you got two characters to max level by grinding mobs and never saw a single one?) Get ready for that again.

Broken Isles

All of this will be taking place on the Broken Isles, just south of Northrend. The zone blends the old Howling Fjord/Grizzle Hills theme in the north (as it should with how close it is to that section of Northrend), with ancient Night-Elven architecture and a whole lot of trees to the south. You will be able to level fluidly in this new zone, as the content will scale with you and not the other way around. Do you want to start in Highmountain and then level in Azsuna after that? Your questing experience might feel weird and you won't finish the Highmountain story, but yeah, you can totally do that.

Conclusion

Blizzard is trying their best to create a seamless experience for this expansion. They're adding in so many things that should have been in already. Legion is shaping up to be more of a "Sorry we've screwed up so bad lately, guys" expansion than anything we've seen yet, and that's exciting.