Five Months In, Has World of Warcraft: Legion Already Gone Stale?

The dust is settling on Warcraft’s recent expansion Legion – and it’s already growing stale.

I’m still doing those cursed emissaries everyday though, thanks in part to the fact I’ve got a partner to do them with. Early on, players were completing a plethora of content in the hopes of acquiring at least one legendary item. It felt good when I got one for my Monk and Shaman, but it happened during a period where legendaries seemingly were handed out left, right, and centre. Most of the upcoming additions to Legion announced back at Blizzcon may have looked cool, but I kept wondering what long boring quest chain I’d have to do first before I could access some of this new content.

I was already feeling Legion‘s grind just two months after release. World quests might have been a great idea but were always going to grow stale, although it was troubling to see it happen so soon. Blizzard mentioned they didn’t want people to log in every few hours and manage followers like Warlords of Draenor’s Garrison; thankfully we don’t because that baton has passed onto World Quests which is arguably better than logging in for follower missions, but when there are 30 world quests up at any one time and you do one or two outside of emissaries, it’s not the fulfilling content that Blizzard perhaps hoped it would be.

I’m a PvE player in Warcraft and I cleared The Emerald Nightmare on normal relatively easily, but it’s neither an interesting or fun enough raid to want to run through repeatedly. I wasn’t that fired up for going through it again on heroic or mythic as I had been with previous expansions’ content – I’m not engaged enough in Legion’s story to care about what’s going on anymore. The guild I was raiding with stopped raiding due to lack of numbers. I stopped playing for a while as I’d essentially burnt out on Legion within two months; the drive to get a legendary led me, like many others, to do as much content as possible in the hopes of getting one. I’ve done Trial of Valor in Looking For Raid, and it’s definitely a raid. Obviously it’s more engaging on harder difficulties and I will start doing it on normal eventually, but it looks increasingly likely it will have to be with random people which has a 30% chance to go alright and a 70% chance to be a disaster.

Mythic keystone dungeons kept me interested, but once you get to the point where it’s entirely about min-maxing every possible millisecond to achieve a respectable outcome, the fun begins to seep out. For the first couple of months I part of a team that did all the dungeon content together, but one doesn’t play at all anymore, two of us moved to another faction, and guild drama is the worst. Karazhan’s release was an undeniable damp squib by no means helped by resetting trash and bosses – a giant oversight and mistake from Blizzard. Karazhan is another of Warcraft‘s greatest hits brought back for Legion. It’s a five-man dungeon that wanted around three hours of your time upon its re-release, and you couldn’t leave mid-way through and come back later to finish it as everything reset, ergo forcing you to redo everything you’d done up to that point.

I haven’t done Karazhan from start to finish yet, and even when anyone asks me if I want to go to Karazhan I decline because I simply can’t be bothered to dedicate a solid three hours to a fairly mundane task.

I’ve so far changed my main character from Mage to Monk to Shaman. The mage was for fire-fun-times; the Monk was a guild-need for healers (and Mistweaving is the most fun out of all the healer specs in my opinion); and I’ve mained a Shaman for most of my eight years in Warcraft. My problem with healing is the only feedback you get on any improvement is that fewer players are dead. I suppose you can always use overhealing meters to show how often you’re healing when it isn’t needed. As a DPS though, those meters we all love/hate can show that incremental increase with every fight, and a DPS tries to be most effective in all situations; during heavy movement areas plenty of classes have to focus more on knowing when to cast as to not fall too far toward ineffectiveness. As a healer, you heal when needed and those meters don’t give you feedback you’re getting better because there are always periods where no one is taking damage. You’re not trying to go full throttle the entire fight because it’s not needed, and besides you could be top on healing meters but in that instance you would run out of mana.

I’ve seen a lot of other people change their mains during Legion, and I think it’s because people are still trying to find a class they enjoy. With Legion I felt Shaman’s Elemental spec had virtually zero difference between expansions and wasn’t performing well. Luckily patch 7.1.5 makes really interesting changes to Elemental Shamans as we essentially have a choice between three builds: one hurls as much fire as possible, one shoots lightning, and the other hurls ice. The way artifacts work is great, but it’s leading people into choosing artifacts over classes; another reason I decided against Shaman from the start was because their artifacts aren’t very interesting, and as you know the quests for their acquisition are some of the dullest of them all.

I get my Warcraft subscription by buying tokens, and the increase in price since Legion is ridiculous. With demand high just before Legion released, if you bought one at the right time of day you could get a token for 60k gold. The price gradually grew since the expansion’s release and shot up last week with patch 7.1.5; it has since declined back down to some sense of its recent stability. For the EU, a token now sits just below 120k gold, but were 133k on the recent patch day. The same gradual climb has happened in the US but supply of those tokens is so much higher that it went from only 30k to 60k. 120k gold is too much for the token, but they work on a supply and demand system, so if no players are buying the tokens with real money then the price will keep going up to entice them to do so. I have enough gold to last one more month in Legion at this point, so this makes every month feel like a race to make enough gold to get the next token.

So there I am, on the WoWEconomy reddit, wondering what the point is. WoW could easily devolve into spending my gold on a token, and then using that token solely to make enough gold for the next token. Why even bother?

It’s promising with this expansion that we’re getting as much as content as we are, but how much of that is more quantity than quality? With how fast content is being released, there’s a worry that Legion will experience a dreadful content gap which plagued the past three expansions. The drive to acquire the latest and best gear is gone for me, and titanforging is probably the main crux behind that. I could go into an LFR version of a raid and equipment titanforging could grant me better gear than if I went in there on heroic. Sure, I’d have to be lucky enough for that to happen, but you have to be lucky in heroic for it to drop at all. I’m hoping to find a raiding guild that reignites my spark for raiding – here’s hoping to that!

For now, despite all my grips, I do still have high hopes for this expansion. It’s been fun to explore the changes to Shamans; Nighthold is coming this week on normal and heroic difficulties; tier 19 is also here this week and tier sets are always a good drive for gear. You can find me playing my Shaman Placename, happy that for the first time in a long time their new tier set looks really cool.