Friday, September 4, 2015

Some Interesting Legion Details at Dragoncon

The twitter feed @mmoc_events (that of MMO-Central, not to be confused with MMO-Champion) and also Elvine (@Elvinelol) live-tweeted an event with Jonathan LeCraft (a Blizzard designer on WoW) in which we got some really interesting tidbits about Legion.

The series is pretty rapid-fire - it's clearly just a quickly-typed recording of a Q&A - but it's got some really juicy details. I'm not exactly sure how I'll be organizing it, but I'll start with the things I found the most interesting:

  • The current plan is for Demon Hunters to start at level 98, which I think works out fine. Having a quest experience equivalent to all of Nagrand B? Great! (I'm sure it won't be quite as extensive as a whole zone, and you'll be earning more XP per quest to ensure you're 100 by the time you get out.)
  • Demon Hunters will be able to use one-handed swords as well as glaives, presumably so that they can allow them to wield the Warglaives of Azzinoth. Frankly, at this point wouldn't it make more sense to just make all Demon Hunter glaives swords?
  • Demon Hunter Metamorphosis will be a relatively short-duration transformation, and not like a Druid form that you stay in constantly. It sounds like it will be less often than Demonology currently uses it - which is basically in and out constantly in combat.
  • Pretty much all specs are getting a lot of work done to make sure they have a unique identity. This makes me a little worried, because major revamps can cut out the most compelling gameplay of a spec. Let's hope this is more like Mists' Warlock revamp and not like Warlords' Arms Warrior revamp.
  • Some specs are going to be renamed. It really looks like they're focusing on class and spec identity, and I think that means some major overhauls. One thing I wonder is if they're going to give all specs unique names. Currently, Holy, Restoration, Frost, and Protection could all refer to a mix of Priests, Paladins, Death Knights, Mages, Shamans, Druids, and Warriors. Also, "Enhancement" has always been the least inspiring spec name.
  • Some specs are getting new or at least renamed resources. The example given was Insanity for Shadow Priests. Whether this means that Shadow Orbs will become Insanity, or if they'll take the more radical approach and have it replace Mana remains to be seen. I do wonder if they'll be giving specs that don't currently care about that always-solid blue bar below their health new resources - Enhancement, Protection, Retribution, Frost, Fire, Destruction, Balance, Elemental, and of course the aforementioned Shadow really never have to pay attention to Mana in most situations.
  • Multistrike as a stat is going away. This actually surprised me, as I thought it was much more interesting than Versatility. But I do understand that it is kind of a stat where, without a passive that boosts its value (as some specs have) or something that makes crit worse, it's basically always going to play second-fiddle to Crit. Still, at least it does something interesting. Versatility is incredibly dull, and even if it is a useful stat (though basically only for tanks) it's not fun.
  • Transmog is going to be account-wide! Items with class restrictions will still be usable only by that class, but if you get a plate item's look on your Warrior, you'll be able to use it on your Death Knight. I don't think they've said anything about letting you transmog different armor types over each other, so there will still be some big restrictions (I assume.) The point is that this will all be UI-based, so you won't have any need to hold on to the pieces anymore. As a result, Void Storage will not be getting any bigger - but then, you'll probably be able to empty it of all but your most sentimental pieces (Verigan's Fist!)
  • Survival's definitely going melee, but no other class is going to have access to ranged weapons. So there goes my "ranged rogue" theory. No word yet on how they're going to differentiate Rogue specs, but it better be significant.
  • Survival will get a harpoon throw ability to pull enemies to them - presumably similar to Death Grip.
  • Rather than upgrade tokens, professions will be able to destroy older models to get materials for newer models.
  • Professions will have lots of quests, and there will not be daily cooldowns like in Warlords (thank the light.)
  • The Dalaran Sewers will "not look like sewers," and they feel bad that they made people feel so attached to Ravenholdt. So it does sound like they're rather committed to that area as the Rogue class hall, but I'll be fine with it as long as it is OPULENT once you get in the door.
  • "Will dungeons be relevant again?" "Yes, Absolutely," with apparently not-yet unveiled mechanics to ensure this.
  • Dalaran will be getting a facelift - both the Broken Isles one and the Northrend one (I guess Northrend's Dalaran will be changing so that it isn't a big floating continuity error.)
This is a much bigger infodump than I had expected to see before Blizzcon. There's a bunch more on that feed that I didn't get to - some of it is confusingly worded. But this makes me that much more excited about the Beta and Blizzcon.

I only ask that they don't do anything too radical to Protection Paladins. Call us Defender Paladins or whatever, but don't suddenly make us into dodge-focused tanks who have to run into spheres of light in order to block attacks.

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