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World of Warcraft Legion Initial Thoughts - Give Us A Reason To Log In Again

John Keefer | 7 Aug 2015 15:30
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Q. One of the news things promised is class specific halls and followers. The garrisons in Warlords of Draenor were rather popular. Given we know little, what do you think this will be and how could it work well?

Ron: It sounds like Class Orders will be the new Garrisons, albeit with fewer followers. These Champions, as they're called, will go out into the world and set the stage for you to do things, or do things alongside you. It's less followers doing quests for you, and more a feeling of you doing things alongside your champions, as I understand it. I'm very interested to see how they've evolved the concept, as I thought the Garrison idea was a solid one, just not fully thought through.

Janelle: Blizzard is quoted as saying "unify champions of their cause at their class's Order Hall." I hope that means that, unlike Garrisions, they are more social. I'm excited to see the idea of Garrisons evolve. While I loved them myself, they didn't seem quite completed in terms of idea and execution.

Josh: Given the seeming similarities to Garrisons, I have to assume people already have a time-sink and reason to log in every day with those. I think they're going to have to really make this something new and interesting to garner much interest.

John: I tend to be a solo player, so I spent a lot of time in the garrisons. Many of my characters had the gear ilvls increased solely from crafting and follower missions. Yeah, it was a bit like a Facebook game, but I enjoyed it within the context of WoW. As Ron said, I'm curious to see what Blizzard sees as the next evolution. We have gone from the small phased plot of Sunsong Ranch in Mists of Pandaria, to the expanded Garrison that could be a good money-maker with the right management. I do hope that the new class orders give us a reason to get out in the world a bit more.

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Q. Blizzard is revamping the honor system again. It's now going to look more like the prestige system from Call of Duty, where you can max out and then start over at level one to earn more exclusive rewards. How do you feel about that change?

Ron: I think the change to the honor system is a much needed one. Not so much because the prestige idea is awesome, but more because the design of this system looks to finally give Blizzard a tool to start balancing PvE and PvP on a separate basis. This is something that's been needed for year, as balance changes to either one have had unforeseen consequences in the other. With the new PvP talents, Blizzard can hopefully make the changes they think they need without affecting PvE in an adverse way.

Josh: I've always been on the fence about the honor system. The most fun I had in PvP was in vanilla, before honor existed. There's something to be said for rewarding players for pvp stuff, but I think the system inherently took the focus off of the exciting world PvP and put it onto pvp bubbles with virtually no actual impact on the game experience. I want to see some kind of incentive to engage in open world pvp on those dedicated servers, rather than putting all emphasis on battlegrounds and such.

John: I have not PvP'd at all since burning out hitting Rank 12 in vanilla WoW and hitting exalted with the three original battleground factions. So that is an area of the game that interests me the least. But I do know that plenty of people love to PvP and I will be following their reactions to the changes.

Q. We recently gave Blizzard a hint as to what we would like to see in the new expansion. Given we still know very little, what is most important for you to keep playing the game?

Ron: One of the most compelling reasons to play WoW is the people that you play it with. LFG and LFR have made maintaining a group of friends or a guild less important, and the main incentive that was left (guild perks) is gone too. I want to see Blizzard encourage guilds to grow and people to form those relationships again. I think LFG and LFR have been boons for getting people to see content, but they've hurt the social aspect of the game tremendously. I'd love to see a focus on bringing that part of WoW back.

Janelle: Ron took the words out of my mouth. One reason I no longer have my WoW account active is that I lost reason to. Most of my friends ended up spending most of their time in their garrisons. Make guilds important again!

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Josh: I'm an expansion player primarily. I play through new content, hit the new level cap, and unsub until the next x-pack hits. I can't imagine too many things that would keep me subbed between expansions, but solo/scalable dungeons would definitely be one thing that would stand a chance. Being able to run a dungeon with just my wife and myself would be incredibly appealing.

John: Given that I tend to be a solo player, I would love to see more solo dungeons and a way to impact the world as an individual. I have used LFR quite a bit just so I can see content, but I would love to see some sort of branching possibilities where outcomes can be different based on choices or accomplishments made in dungeons. Granted, that means more phasing, but I think it would be fun.

Q. Finally, if you could give Blizzard a piece of advice on what to do with Legion, what would it be?

Ron: They need to keep the world interesting. One of the reasons I think Blizzard has seen the precipitous drop in subscriptions that they have lately is that Warlords of Draenor's end-game was far too static. They need to give people compelling reasons to log in again, and they need to do it through making the world fun to inhabit again.

Janelle: Keep advancing the lore in a social-dependent way that is accessible. And make WoW feel more dynamic again.

Josh: To be honest, Blizzard executes waaaay better than I could ever hope to. Do what you do. Make a great experience. Embolden the players. Engage the players. It's what Blizzard does.

John: More lore and more solo-style end-game content. Yeah, I know I'm the minority, but ...

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