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At a quarter to eleven last night, give or take a few minutes, my XP bar magically re-appeared. Then began a couple of hours of continuous, gloriously bug and lag-free playtime. In fact, so much fun was had last night I’m still quietly reeling at how hassle free everything ended up being. It was almost as if Activision Blizzard read all that criticism about them from both Pandaria and Draenor and decided not only to make things better, but ensure 100% that NOBODY would have any room to be critical come Launch… except that one guy who kept killing Cenarian Circle guards. He’s got a REAL problem.

I’ve seen only scattered complaints about being stuck in places, or NPC’s not functioning that was then subsequently fixed by dropping and restarting a quest. What there’s been far more of is pure, unbridled joy at what Legion brings for players, however they decide to play their game.

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After my Alpha/Beta time I’d resigned myself to not doing the Beast Mastery artefact because of what it gave players, but a lot has changed between then and now, enough for me to take the plunge and ‘adopt’ Hami as my own. Ironically this now allows me to solo with both tank and dps pet and frankly, I could not be happier. The questline to get the weapon has just the right combination of comedy and historical relevance, and no I’m not spoiling any of it for anybody. Needless to say that’s me at the Throne of Storms, which is all you really need to know. After that, I went and opened the Class Hall (Hunter Edition) and then completely ignored ‘organised’ and went rather gloriously off script.

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That meant time at the Dalaran Fountain (boy is that gonna get annoying when you’re fishing and its just all duplicates) and making sure I had every single Professions quest required, which is quite a few. Then I may have killed everything I possibly could to skin it, got more Professions quests and then gone back for more. I’ve located the NPC I will need to use when I’m doing the Fishing Artefact, and this morning I managed to pull up my my first two Achievements in a Secondary Profession because, you know, DOING IT RIGHT PEOPLE.

I am beyond happy this morning to be not playing, too. I know it is all there and people are levelling at the speeds that please them, but what this means is that I’m no longer constrained by other people’s demands on what should always be my game and rules to begin with. It will mean I’m maxxed in Skinning and Fishing well before I even see 102 (101 is four bars away thanks to doing Nessingwary quests (and starting my Cookery journey.) I actually found my first legitimate bug there too, so there’s proof not everything is infallible.

What will surprise so many people, I think, is that this game is very, very strong. It will be a brave person who’ll criticise at Launch anyway, but if End game and patch content are as robust as this? I wonder what the streamers and critics will find to pour scorn on because really, truthfully, I don’t remember so much enthusiasm for not screaming to max level since… well, Vanilla. There’s SO MUCH to do that by stopping myself from wading into the real story it feels as if I’ve lost myself already to the Broken Isles. My problem, for a long time, was assuming that plot was all that actually mattered, yet for me it is establishing a working relationship with new mechanics that often prevents me from taking plot in successfully. That therefore happily makes me the Hunter who went AWOL to fish and gather while everyone else did the work. I’ll get there eventually, and won’t really care if you spoil me along the way.

Mostly, I’m having the time of my life.

3 thoughts on “LEGION :: Look at Me

  1. Aside from a few of the very initial Druid quests needing to click on a small time surrounded by a plague of birds not dissimilar to finest venison road kill on a rural Wiltshire road making it hard to progress a quest (taking maybe 45-60 seconds instead of 3-4), and noticeable, but negligible lag at these first few points, there has been nothing to note at all as you say.

    Its simply stunning – though Blizz have been exceedingly clever about this (or have done some dead obvious things rather well) – splitting us all into classes for the initial phase reduced the load on any one zone to 1/12th (potentially) of what would have hit Tannan.

    Then giving us a choice of questing areas – again reducing impact/crowding/lag 1,000s of big mounts hiding quest givers.

    Plus it encouraged a – where shall we all go conversation in the guild. A conversation – in a guild – that lead to teams of people… questing. Together!!

    And that’s before the quality of the ‘show’. The first ‘mini’ boss I had to kill in the Druid quest line – when she says her taunt – then a tiny cut scene zooming in on her and flashing up her name in big Hollywood letters (like when you upgraded a garrison hut, only not annoying, more subtle but bigger impact) – wow!

    Then when I picked up First Aid on the gunship during an attack by talking to someone helping an injured crewmate – I nearly ignored her – then clicked for no reason and boom – trainer. It’s so integrated, immersive, seamless. That was an OMG moment too. For something so tiny – its all the little things. The care and attention – who are you and what have you done with the real Activision (just out of interest – don’t give them back you understand).

    Then the whole scenario going into my first zone (I assume they all have one) well paced, well written and fun. Even hanging around in the first zone proper waiting for guildees to catch up was not un-fun. I did get stuck – I fell into the bottom of the gunship and found getting out very hard – but eventually got to the bomb bay and could drop to my death.

    I played for two and a half hours – and needed sleep to get up early for work (didn’t get up early and if it were not for the school holidays still would have been late in) but was so worth it. To the point I’ve been waiting to read what you had to say – and know its not just me.

    Plus the 30 odd hexweave bags I’ve made in the run up to launch all sold in seconds for twice the price they were three weeks ago.

    Time to do a happy dance. If any aspect of the end game doesn’t live up to this then wow will die instantly. The bar is soooo high now. But if it ends with Legion, it will have been worth it.

    Sorry for the wall of text.

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  2. Night one went smoothly, but night two is the evening on day 2 is traditionally the most painful time for queues. Touch wood, it is OK so far. You can tell things are going well when the most serious hot-fix has been to unblock druids that were barred from starting their artifact quest because they had killed enough Moonglade guards to be hated by their own faction.

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  3. It’s a shame that Druid hot fix is not to introduce a quest where you have to grovelingly apologise to the Moonglade people. Like when DKs first go back to their faction city.

    But I share their pain – I’ve not got around to finishing the Insane in the Membrane achievement and haven’t been able to use the Booty Bay flight point or boat for 18 months. I do occasionally forget.

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