This is the last day of a vibrant expansion. It’s no review, as I previously wrote one. this is not the “best moments”, as Z & Cinder urged us to list them. It’s a farewell.
The question is: what feelings will I have looking back at the expansion behind our shoulders? What could possibly make me return? And will I be missing the Broken Isles?
Legion is the strangest expansion if you think about it. It’s a gigantic work on WoD’s mistakes. Garrisons turned into welcoming party enclaves, keeping all good and relieved of all bad. We got beautiful scenery. We got the most solid end gameplay, both with repeatable dailies/dungeon re-runs and epic new lore questlines served in small portions in the course of weeks. We got a totally epic and logical lore provided in raids. We got epic lore characters of the past returned and solved. We got cozy and enhanced Dalaran to hang around. Many life improvements. Finally, we had an epic pet boomstick to care about throughout the expansion.
All this normally qualifies to name Legion the best expansion ever. And yet, I’m not attached to the expansion where all the events have happened.
First, I come to the end exhausted. Every other player chooses his own poison, of course. Most of the players would name artifact power/legendary grind here, although it’s never been a slightest issue to me. Leading 12 class alts and keeping them up with current raids was not boring or tiresome to me as well – they had their own cozy halls and unique questlines to go, unique experiences and unique class sets to collect. I’m not complaining about achievement hunt, working towards reputation – this has always required some effort and a sense of completion in the end.
My exhaustion choke point were paragon reputation rewards. I did them throughout the expansion, trying different strategies, quitting, and picking them up again. The last paragon mount dropped in July, and I wasn’t even happy about it. The limit has been reached. It didn’t matter at the time how awesome, convenient and replayable was the whole quest and reputation system in itself – the paragons sucked out every drop of blood from my toons.
Second, the zones were not pleasant to be at. Every square meter was effectively used to pluck in another world quest, which made the zones swarming with enemies. There is little to none places you could hang around or see some scenery, and slopes over slopes didn’t help much either. Even when we got flights, there was no chance. The very few enclaves where I liked to hang around – just for hang around sake – were the Highmountain central hub, Lor’lathil and class order halls/Dalaran. Every other place felt like it was pressed against some awkward slopes, hard to get to and surrounded by hostile creatures. Throw in my general dislike to the overwhelming elves, elves everywhere, and you’ve got it.
Broken Isles is not gonna be my best continent to be at. Not the place where I want to return and chill for a while. Not the place where I discovered any new culture, explored and felt myself an adventurer. It’s gonna be the place where we went as combatants. It was a brutal campaign, a needed one, a successful one, but not the place where I had some happy moments.
Lots of bad things could be told about Draenor gameplay… but it was a nice place to be at. When yesterday I had a Draenor dungeon tour to acquire the remaining achievements (spoiler: the meta-achievement is mine!), I’ve compared my experience to Legion and thought that it was nowhere close. I enjoyed revisiting even Gorgrond’s stony gronn wastes, set aside the pensive Spires of Arak, lush Nagrand, cozy Shadowmoon, delightful Talador with a funny mushroom piece or Frostridge eye candy of peaceful tundra.
With BfA, I hold my highest hopes. Everything good from Legion will be there – and at the same time it’s promising to bring back the joy of exploration like we had in Draenor or Pandaria. Two completely different settings and lands to explore await us.
I’m keeping the Dalaran hearthstone of course. It’s the best traveling option yet. And when I’m passing by, I will stop at the edge of Krasus landing to spit down there :) Spit on the land of ruins, demon grounds, bitter and grim Broken Isles. It’s not the place to make them Un-Broken, it’s the place to be abandoned. For good.
Goodbye, Legion, goodbye, Illidan, goodbye, Argus and goodbye, all the wasted rocks. I won’t be missing you :)