World of Warcraft: Legion Beta Hands On

One of the longest surviving multi player online role playing games that is based on the award winning real time strategy game Warcraft, it was quite a surprise that Blizzard decided not to create a sequel to the series and embark onto a MMORPG. Many years and expansions later, Blizzard has announced the next instalment in the series, World of Warcraft: Legion (or WoW Legion for short). Now in its Beta phase, we take a look at what Heroes of both the Alliance and the Horde can expect.

Take note this hands on is NOT SPOILER FREE so you have been warned!

The Road to 110

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With WoW Legion, the level cap is raised to level 110 from level 100 in the previous expansion. While leveling used to be a long journey especially the vanilla level 1 to level 60, in WoW Legion it felt better as I averaged 2 levels in 3 evening of casual playing. This is of course also due to how WoW has evolved to provide aids to completing the various quest. Also the drop rates for quest items are also very good overall although there will be some quests where it is about 1 in 4 but this might lead to more wait time if a large group of players are also looking for the same item and the spawn rate of mobs are not high.

Welcome to the Broken Isles

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The new zone that players will be exploring in this expansion is called the Broken Isles. Separated in 5 different zones, players will meet a variety of different characters that adds favor to the place. From the Taruen to the Druids and even the Highborne elves, players who love the Warcraft Lore will enjoy visiting these places and interacting with the NPCs there. A good step forward also is the face you can choose which area to go to first as the levels of the mobs will scale with the player’s level so it is going to be a “free and easy tour” of the Broken Isles.

A Place to call Home

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New to WoW Legion are class halls where your player can call home. Each are designed to fit in with the lore of the class and provides lots of its own activities for players to do. Think of it like the Garrison from the previous expansion only now instead of being generic to everyone, here the class halls are designed specifically for the classes. Activities are also customized for the class from the NPCs to the quest and even the follower quest. Thumbs up to the game developers for this extra effort instead of a one size fits all.

Heroes Never Die

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Long time players to the WoW will be happy to know lots of old faces will return for WoW Legion as the world continues to deal with the effects of previous expansions, even up to Thrall leaving the Horde in wrong than right hands. Continuity is the name of the game here and Blizzard has gotten it right too. Although my only beef with the sequences of events in the storyline is well the death of certain big names as many who have played the beta has complained about. Not going to spoil it even more but for those sentimental types, prepare your tissues.

I Have The Power

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In line with the previous expansions, Legendary items are back and this round you get not one but up to 4 (depending on the class like Druids). What’s nice is that now you get a storyline to the item and even the ability to change its appearance as you progress through the game. Other little extras that game developers has added after effects to the Legendary items like killing an enemy with Ashbringer will leave a pile of ash behind. You also get to collect a new type of resource which enables you to add abilities to the weapon depending on the weapon type. This can range to additional attacks to powering up your character skills.

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

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One highlight of WoW Legion is a new class that both Alliance and Horde players can play is the Demonhunters. Something that has been around since the Warcraft RTS games, this class is only for the Elf race for both sides. Similar to the Death Knights, you start at a higher level and have an introductory quest line to get you started and to learn more about the lore of the class. Familiar faces will also appear along the way and lore lovers will want to play through this even if they main another class.

Ready for Action!

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Overall WoW Legion shaping up to be an excellent addition to World of Warcraft and from what I experienced with the beta, I am definitely ready to return to Azeroth to fight Gul’dan and the Legion.

By Kenneth Wong

© POPCulture Online 2016

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