Legion, Years Later

Meanwhile, in retail... the husband and I have been running out of things (we both want) to do in Shadowlands even with our ultra casual play style. Our main staple used to be to do the callings every three days at least, but we're at the point now where we've maxed out all the reputations and got all possible conduits out of the reward bags, so we were basically just doing dailies for vendor trash at this point. While gold still has some value in retail, this was obviously not the most satisfying of setups. I suppose we could always have continued to grind anima until kingdom come, but seriously, who does that?

After some discussion about what to do next, we agreed to roll up a pair of alts, specifically a set of demon hunters, as it's a class I'd never played and I also had zero first-hand experience with the Legion expansion in general.

The demon hunter starting experience was a great story with neat cinematics and some very interesting moments. Five stars, would play again. (Even if the once-famous Blizzard polish is definitely not a thing anymore. I got very confused by the game repeatedly throwing level-up messages at me that claimed I had gained this or that ability, but the cited spells were nowhere to be found. Only later on did I learn that skill acquisition for demon hunters in the early levels is actually tied to completing certain quests, not levelling up, so who knows why they did that...)

I knew from a post by Wilhelm that the demon hunter experience segues straight into the regular Legion expansion content, so that wasn't unexpected. As with our previous characters, we absolutely flew through the levels. After about two of the zones, we were already level 45 and mobs stopped scaling with us. (I keep having to refer back to Wilhelm's chart about this because the way levels work in different expansions now is just confusing to me.)

We jumped into the Chromie time version of Legion and also used this opportunity to do a few dungeons. With that and about another half a zone worth of quests, we both hit level 50. I know I'm not the first one to say this, but boy, does Blizzard not want you to hang around in old content. The moment each of us dinged, we got a shout-out from Chromie about being needed in the future and a one-minute timer started counting down before we were ejected from Chromie time. You better hope you're not in the middle of a quest chain that takes longer than a minute to complete, or else you'll have to manually make your way back to the unscaled version of the same zone. Who cares about silly things like seeing the end of a storyline anyway? Just go to Shadowlands already!

The husband and I refused the call and just returned to the unscaled version of the Legion zones, where everything was now grey to us and died within one or two hits. We've continued questing there for little to no reward, even if it's a bit disheartening to not receive significant gear or XP rewards anymore. But why would we want to immediately go back to the expansion we just left behind, and intentionally at that?

As of now we've more or less finished the base expansion zones and are currently working our way through the Suramar campaign. I can only imagine how incredibly epic (though potentially also annoying) all this content must have felt at the time when it was current. Even with the city guards posing no threat to us anymore, hearing phrases like "something's not quite right" whenever your disguise is about to be blown still makes me want to scream sometimes.

Then there's also patch content left to tackle, such as the Broken Shore (?) and Argus, but playing through this stuff now as a latecomer it's a bit hard to know what's what to be honest, as the quest NPCs throw everything at you at once, without any indication of what order these storylines are supposed to happen in or sometimes even that you're dealing with a major storyline at all (until you're further along already), which can result in chaos like conflicting phases for the same area of Dalaran and things like that.

The other thing that's stood out to me so far is that professions were super weird in Legion. All this play time and I'm nowhere near maxing out my mining skill for example, something that is usually extremely easy to do, and further jewelcrafting progress seems to be tied to me completing some dungeon quests first. It's as if Blizzard looked at professions in Legion and concluded that they needed spicing up, but for some reason decided that the best way to spice up these non-combat activities was to add more combat (the mobs that keep popping up whenever I do any archaeology on the Broken Isles are another prime example).

We'll see how long we'll keep working on this particular project. Achieving the old pathfinder, even if it doesn't serve any purpose anymore, seems like a reasonable goalpost that should result in us seeing most of what Legion has to offer (or what's left of it at least). At some point we can also move on to Shadowlands to see a different covenant campaign or something I guess, but I don't think we're ready for that just yet...


  1. Hah, I was reading that and got to the link and said, "Oh yeah, I made a demon hunter, didn't I?" Retail is strange. I am still basking in the simplicity of classic.

  2. While many people say Legion was one of the best expansions (it only captivated me for like 3 months) the profession stuff was really, really annoying. I guess more annoying than vanilla/classic (hello Mining 240 and the grind for Thorium hasn't even started). I think it was the first and only expansion where I didn't max out most of my professions, more like I didn't max out a single one.

    And yes, the Chromie time really sucks if you're in it for the story. I'd say if you're just blasting through on alt #6 it's not as bad, but I could still just use my hearthstone and leave 5 minutes later, you know?

    The Suramar quest line was indeed quite epic, but I don't think it has a high replay value, it really annoyed me when starting it on the second character, that's one point where I really like Shadowlands' Threads of Fate now - I CAN play the story again and again, but I don't have to.

    1. The thing with the Legion professions is that I can understand what they were trying to do, but it's as if the person they got to do it had absolutely no clue what it is that people actually enjoy about professions.

      What throws me about their decisions with Chromie time is that one of its big selling points was that it was going to allow for a more cohesive story experience... and yes, I guess doing two or three Legion zones is more cohesive than doing one zone from each expansion while levelling up, but in terms of being able to follow the story it's not as much of an improvement as they made it out to be.

      And oh yeah, I can totally see how Suramar must have been a major PITA to repeat on alts! I don't know if it was required to unlock some kind of progression mechanic, but if so - yeah, that would have been annoying.

  3. I'm not surprised that the squished Demon Hunter starting experience references things DHs done have at that level. I think Wow has gotten too big for Blizzard to effectively re-polish everything when they make this sweeping changes. I've been snarky about their unwillingness to fix old things and only focus on the new, but these days I think they would need a separate team just focused on fixing the old stuff. Sadly, that is not the Blizzard Way. Always In With The New is the path for retail.

    I liked the attempt to add new flavor for professions, but didn't like having them go into dungeons and raids. Professions aren't a group activity, so why should people have to do group content to progress a solo option? Ah well, that's an age-old Blizzard design blindspot. Blizzard somehow thinks forcing folks into into content they dislike will make them want to do said forced content.

    I agree about Chromie time. I don't know of a decent solution if you want to experience all the stories, though, given the current situation. It really feels bad to tell people to hit max level and then circle back to do the stories. You almost need a Classic server for each expansion and just let Retail be the current one.

    Suramar was generally fun the first time around and obnoxious for alts. Having to unlock a certain amount of Suramar to progress certain professions was annoying. I will say that once you know where to get the items to increase how much Ancient Mana you can carry, Suramar's quest chains get less painful. (Plus you can find Ancient Mana on the AH at times.)

    The sad thing about Suramar is you knew Blizzard was never going to create another city this good, again. They are so allergic to repeating the popular parts of their expansions. :sigh: