That went by fast. I started by leveling to 110 in essentially “one sitting” which was exhausting but fun. Everything since then has been a blur of world quests and dungeon runs. Oh, and profession quests. Endless. Ceaseless. Profession quests. I’m still on that new expansion high so I’m not ready to say anything definitive yet (I seem to remember enjoying Warlords for the first week), but I think Legion has the potential to be my favorite expansion, or at least second favorite. If Hunters were in a better state, it would probably already have the title.
Above is what I look like as of today. My original goal was to hit 840 ilvl before Emerald Nightmare opened, and I’ve managed that with a couple of weeks to spare! This brings me to the first positive thing: the gearing process. The new warforged/titanforged system is really fun for me. I know not everyone likes the RNG, but every time I got an upgraded item it felt great. At one point I was helping some friends with a normal dungeon even though I didn’t need anything, and what do you know, thanks to warforging I managed to get an unexpected (albeit minor) upgrade.
I’ve also gotten lots of great loot from world quests. I love world quests but I feel like they could lose some of their luster once the upgrades stop coming. So I hope once the raid opens that world quest loot has a small chance to go higher than 850, or else they just become obsolete for people like me (aside from doing the artifact power ones). It’s a neat system that makes logging in every day fun, and it would be a shame if that went away because they want to limit rewards. I never got my ilvl this high in the beta so I don’t know if that’s the case.
I think I’ve done all the mythic dungeons at this point except for Maw of Souls. I think they’re all fine dungeons, but I’m not crazy about Vault of the Wardens. I just find the end part with the lights really tedious. I really had fun with that last boss in Court of Stars where you have to disguise yourself at the party and find the spy by looking for clues. I can see why some may find THAT one tedious, but I think it’s a nice break from just cleaving down trash.
I feel like Mythic dungeons are too trash-focused, as in the trash is almost always more difficult than the bosses. I found this especially true in the Suramar dungeons. Heroics are doable enough for a random group that doing the daily hasn’t felt like a chore yet.
It’s hard to pick a favorite zone, but it’s probably Suramar. One of my favorite things there is the Nightborne training scenario. Essentially you go into this underground area with a bunch of pet shamblers and the goal to claim as much loot (and points) as you can before all of your shamblers die. The first time you do it, you are limited to 8 shamblers, but after that it turns into a world quest that can be done every 3 days. The more Ancient Mana you spend to start it, the more shamblers you start with. At max Ancient Mana (2000), you start with 20.
The treasure hoard pictured above is the result of my first foray in there with 20 shamblers. At one point I had 40 of them before I started spending them on retrieving treasure chests. Having a pet is a must in there so it can tank everything, which means your shamblers will take less damage. I bring my trusty Tortos Junior. On this particular run my rough haul was ~800 gold, 425 reputation, 600ish Artifact Power, a piece of dungeon loot from Court of Stars (which I can’t even access yet since it’s rep-gated), a toy, and several items that upgrade my shambler army for next time I run it (example one and two). This scenario is one of my favorite things so far.
I love Stormheim because it feels like WOTLK condensed into a single zone. Highmountain feels like a vanilla zone on steroids, and then you have a couple of cool night elf zones with Azsuna and Val’sharah. I’m just thankful to not have any more IRON and ORCS and SAVAGE. I’ll be fine if we can skip that stuff for another expansion or two as well.
As for my Hunter, I’ve been focusing solely on Beast Mastery. I know the current flavor of the month is to put 13 points into BM for dungeons then the rest into MM for raiding, but I just decided I’m playing BM for now. The spec has its problems but I’m still having fun. I am a cleaving machine with Master of Beasts, +50% beast cleave damage (2 ranks from relics), and now Surge of the Stormgod unlocked. Single target DPS has been nice too (when I use Killer Cobra). Speaking of talents, I found that I haven’t been using Stampede all that much. For one, it’s just not needed in regular mythic dungeons. When Mythic+ comes around and there are some big and difficult pulls I can see it getting more use, but for now I prefer the single target burst from Killer Cobra. Opening burst is going to be bonkers once I unlock Titan’s Thunder.
What about raiding? Well, I know lots of the Emerald Nightmare encounters favor Marksmanship because of how they work, but I’m not too worried about it. I’m not doing Mythic raiding the week it opens up or anything like that, so I don’t need to worry about basing my spec decision on that. I’m sort of hitting a wall in regards to gear so I’ll be happy to see the raid open up and the 850 ilvl limit on warforging removed.
On the annoying front is your usual pet issues. Pets getting stuck all over the place, not being able to attack Naraxas unless I tell them to attack in Kill Command range. Oh, and the ninja nerfs they pulled early on. They reduced pet auto attack damage by 10% and Hati’s Beast Cleave was reduced to 75% of normal damage. I’ve got no problem with little bits of tuning like that, but I wish Blizzard would add this stuff to hotfix notes so we don’t have to scratch our heads and investigate ourselves, then wonder if it’s a bug or something else is happening.
The way Blizzard has been talking recently makes me think that Hunters could be seeing some mechanical changes in patch 7.1. Maybe finally listening to feedback? I guess we’ll find out soon. If you ask me, it’s too late to make any major, gameplay-altering changes. I think some minor tweaks would be nice, but leave the re-design until next time, folks. I don’t want to go through another round of balancing and bug fixing. That takes months.
There’s been some shenanigans going on with Hati, as you can see in my screenshot above. The Essence Swapper retains any temporary transformation your pet may be under, so you can do cool stuff like have a demon for a pet. This particular one is done by going to Durotar, to a cave filled with Burning Blade mobs (example) and killing them with your pet to get stacks of Felblood. After 5 stacks your pet will transform and you can then use the swapper. Expect this to be nerfed at some point in the future. There are other things you can do including a little murloc. See a list of them here. Enjoy the fun while it lasts.
As for other pets, I crafted the Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix and picked up a few mechanicals, Bulvinkel the spirit moose, a couple of mana sabers, and the Tortos-lookalike Lowland Manashell (also seen above). My little Tortos has been seeing the most use because of all the world questing and how valuable his shell shield is in situations like that.
I hate to end on a negative note, but I have to bring it up: Professions are all over the damn place in Legion. I’m going to focus on engineering because it’s one of mine, and it’s in a horrific state right now. Let me lay out what’s wrong as simply as I can:
- The quests. I think this is the whole reason engineering is in such a poor state. It was gated by an RNG drop cooking recipe from cooking work orders. I’m not even joking. Thankfully, Blizzard hotfixed it to require raw meat/fish instead. But I think this is the reason the profession was never tested on beta… NO ONE COULD! So there was no feedback, and we have what looks like a completely unbalanced profession.
- OK, I can forgive the crazy travel quest that sent me all over the world for an hour (it’s supposed to make us use our old transporters I guess), but the one for the high level goggles is downright puzzling. In order to learn how to craft max level goggles, you need to complete a quest in the Suramar dungeons. Not only are these Mythic only (which some people don’t want to do), but they are also rep-gated. By the time you get to the point where you can run this dungeon, you will almost guaranteed have an ilvl 840+ helm, which makes the 815 goggles obsolete before you can even craft them. Oh, and the gun on them? It’s basically just cosmetic.
- Reaves. He was supposed to be the long-awaited successor to Jeeves, only he has turned out to be too expensive to use. You see, in order to summon him you have to craft and consume Reaves Batteries, which currently cost about 400 gold to craft (on my realm). Even if you’re a miner, that would mean giving up that potential 400 gold to summon Reaves ONCE. Why in the name of everything sacred would someone want to spend 400 gold to summon a glorified repair bot? Reaves should be a permanent item like Jeeves. If this happened, then it would actually be fun to use all of his various modules. I’d love to summon him in Blingtron mode for people, but not at that great personal cost. Maybe they could keep the batteries as a way to bypass the traditional 1-2 hour cooldown?
- The madness doesn’t stop there. A stack of 10 Gunshoes costs 1800 gold at current prices. So… it costs 180 gold for a short burst of speed and some brief water walking (not usable in combat).
- How about the fun-sounding Bandage Gun. For a mere 900 gold you can heal your allies for a whopping 96k health. That sounds cool until you realize max level characters approach 2 million health by the time the first raid opens.
- There’s a single-use portable gun turret you can also craft for the low-low price of 900 gold. It does 200k damage, but so does one of my Kill Commands. Why would I pay 900 gold for that?
- There are more examples of baffling costs. Yes, I know the price of ore will drop as time goes on, but even if it dropped to a mere 10% of its current price, it would still be far too expensive IMO, especially for Reaves.
Wow, that turned into quite the engineering rant. Sorry about that, but I’m just so disappointed to see my favorite profession in this state. I should also say that I am totally OK with it being a gold sink, just not of this magnitude. One could make a case for stuff like the gun turrets being expensive to deter use in a regular DPS rotation, but Reaves?! That’s not personal power, that’s helping out your group.
Putting professions aside, I am enjoying the hell out of Legion!