Feature Article

Blizzard Reinvented World of Warcraft’s Mechanics to Add Legion’s Demon Hunters

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World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Legion, was initially unveiled just over a year ago at Gamescom 2015. Now, finally, the 11-year-old MMO’s sixth expansion is due out next week, and players are bracing for its host of sweeping changes.

Legion will introduce a brand new world-scaling leveling system exclusive to the new continent, Broken Isles, as well as a new means of story progression through Class Order Halls. It’ll also grants players uniquely powerful, class-specific Artifact Weapons and, perhaps most importantly, introduce Demon Hunters--a new class of fighters that function more like the hero of an action game than another avatar in an MMO.

Now that Legion’s nearly upon us, we sat down with lead game designer Luis Barriga, technical game designer Chad Nervig, and character designer Genevieve St-Michel to discuss the long-in-development expansion in greater detail, digging into some specifics surrounding Legion’s ambitious changes and exploring the team’s post-launch plans.

GameSpot: Just starting out, can you give us a quick overview of how Legion fits into the existing lore?

Barriga: The theme of the expansion is the third coming of the Burning Legion to Azeroth. These guys have tried to invade us twice, and we've beat them back before. That kind of leads us into the first big feature that I'm super excited about, which is Demon Hunters. The Special Forces branch of the elves, if you will, they were the Demon Hunters. The most elite. All they trained for was hunting down and defeating demons.

Unfortunately, some of their means were misunderstood by their brethren. They were outlawed and thrown into prison. You play as one of these disciples of Illidan. When the Legion comes back it's like, "Well, do we want to take our chances with these renegade Demon Hunters or do we want to just admit defeat?" The good guys decide to bite the bullet and let the so-called outlaws out, and that's where Demon Hunters come in.

The Demon Hunter class represents a grey area for the good guys
The Demon Hunter class represents a grey area for the good guys

When we talked about revisiting the idea of Demon Hunters, revisiting Illidan, what excited me was we get to tell the story that we weren't able to tell before. Maybe if you didn't completely sympathize with Illidan, you understood where he was coming from. We feel like we want to change the tone and change the direction 15-degrees, 20-degrees, but we also want it to be respectful of the characters that were brought up. Players will see the return of Alturus, Akama, Illidan, Maiev--all characters where we planted the seeds of those stories a long time ago, even before Burning Crusade.

How will the story be structured in Legion? Is there a single linear campaign, or is the story content broken up in some way?

Nervig: Each zone has a storyline of its own.

St-Michel: More of the overarching storyline is held within your Class Halls, so you don't miss any of [the overarching story]. In general it's a lot of fun for [people who play a lot of alts]. You can start in one zone on one character, and another zone on another, and you get to see all the individual stories that are contained within those zones. But your overarching story is still being told through the Class Order Halls.

Can you tell us more about what we can expect from these Class Order Halls?

The Warriors' Order Hall
The Warriors' Order Hall

St-Michel: They're kind of like the natural progression from Garrisons, except we've spent a ton of work to make them very impactful and integrated into the gameplay. [Class Order Halls are] kind of bringing it all back from the story of where the Horde and Alliance are up against the biggest threat ever, the Burning Legion. All the classes just decide to band together within themselves. You collect these very personal heroes that we all know from the lore and bring them under your wing to help you destroy the threat.

Nervig: We definitely learned a lot from Garrisons. For the first month or two in Warlords of Draenor, Garrisons were looking great. But as many people would attest, it got pretty lame just sitting alone in your Garrison for a whole lot of time. The Class Order Halls are not like that. The things you do there are related to stuff outside of the Order Hall, and they send you off to do other things.

Can other people enter your Class Order Hall?

Nervig: They're shared with your whole class. So all the monks will see each other, all the mages, et cetera.

St-Michel: Horde and Alliance are together also.

But opposing Horde and Alliance players won't be able to communicate with each other, obviously.

Nervig: Correct. Actually, on that note, Pandaren and Demon Hunters are able to communicate cross-faction now. When Demon Hunters metamorphosize, they speak Demonic. So two metamorphosized Demon Hunters can talk to each other. It was just an edge case where we were like, “Yeah, okay, that makes sense.” And Pandaren have always been an oddity. They know neutral Pandaren, and as soon as they choose Horde or Alliance, they forget the other one? So we were like, "Fine, we're letting that line be crossed. Let Pandaren all speak Pandaren."

Metamorphosized Demon Hunters will be able to speak to each other, regardless of Horde/Alliance allegiances
Metamorphosized Demon Hunters will be able to speak to each other, regardless of Horde/Alliance allegiances

From what we’ve seen so far, Demon Hunters seem way more mobile than any existing class. What was it like trying to build out those mechanics?

Barriga: Our game was never designed with any sort of movement ability system for player-based movements, so it's very conservative in that end. A lot of our engineers had to basically look at the game, the way our engine worked, and make it do what an action game would do: double jumps, glides, and all sorts of almost twitch-based gameplay. We didn't even know if it was going to work. There was a moment when an engineer said, "Well, I got everything you wanted except the ability for you to change direction mid-double jump." I was like, "Okay, well, I guess we can't win them all." Then I went in and played it and I'm like, "What are you talking about? It did work." It was almost supernatural that we got it all in there.

Will Legion update or alter the rest of the core gameplay in any way?

It was almost supernatural that we got it all in there.

Luis Barriga, Lead Game Designer

Barriga: We have basically looked at every system in the game, and many of them that were showing their age have gotten upgrades. New PvP system, new profession system--one of the coolest things is the way that experience and leveling work in Legion. We have basically a world with five zones. Previously you would have to pick, “What are the two low level zones that I start the expansion with?” Now we have world-scaling, which basically allows us to say: If you go into Azuna at level 100, it'll be level 100 for you, but if you do Azuna last and your friend is level 108, you can group up together. It'll be 108 for him, 100 for you, and you will both contribute and you will both get appropriate awards.

It lets us leverage the whole world for the end game. Previously we'd do an expansion with a continent and a little bit of that continent was suitable for the end game. Now, with world quests, we have the entirety of the Broken Isles for players to do quests and get rewards. The rewards keep scaling and they stay pretty competitive with dungeons.

Nervig: There's a lot of under-the-hood magic that's going on so that it just works. You don't have to worry about it. You can just be a level 102 grouped with a level 107, and the game just handles that right.

So will the levels of the enemies appear differently to you than they would to your teammates?

The Broken Isles houses five zones
The Broken Isles houses five zones

Nervig: Yeah, if I'm level 102, I'll see the creatures and they'll look like level 102 to me. If [my teammate] is 107, they'll be 107 to her. Her fireball will do the right amount of damage, my backstab will do the right amount of damage and take the right amount of health off the mob. It all just magically works. And if [another teammate] is healing us, it works fine too.

And it works for multiple varying levels?

Nervig: Yes. [In] the pre-launch content that has invasions happening right now, you can be all the way down as low as level 15 and be grouped with a level 100 player and it works fine.

WoW's been around for so long. Why introduce this now? Was it a technical limitation?

Nervig: Pretty much a technical limitation. Doing that is a new concept to us. It's been considered and brought up before, but it's been like a neat dream. But how would we even make that work? But we finally looked at it and did the due diligence on it to figure out how it would work, what the implications would be, what impact it would have, and said,“Hey, we can do this.” So we did.

Can you explain more about Legion's follower system and how that works?

Nervig: Significant differences there from Garrison, which had many different followers. Class Order Hall followers are a small subset of major heroes that you have more interaction with. You can still send them on missions, but you'll also have a slot for one of them to be your combat ally. So when you're outdoors in Broken Isles, that one will be assisting you.

If you don't want anything in your way, you don't want that follower-type gameplay, you can pick one that just runs in and stuns everything, then runs out, and that's your only interaction with it. And that's a cool ability for you to effectively have. Or you can have one that goes to the full extent of being a tank for you.

Druid Order Hall
Druid Order Hall

So they function like a pet in a way.

Nervig: Yeah…kind of.

Are they around with you all the time, even when you're back in Azeroth?

Nervig: No, just in Broken Isles.

How do you gain new followers?

Nervig: The Class Order Hall storyline will introduce them to you. You can only get them through that storyline.

St-Michel: That's what makes it a lot more personal and related to your classes. You've definitely heard of this person before if you've played your character a lot and you're really into the lore of your class. You'll see them and they'll go out on actual quest lines with you too, in some instances.

Nervig: They are class-specific. I played a whole lot of Legion beta on a monk, and I had Li Li and Monkey King assisting me. There are major characters in the lore assisting you.

Are there Horde/Alliance-specific followers?

Nervig: No, they are neutral ones.

Have you learned any other lessons from previous expansions that changed the way you approached Legion?

Suramar's quests open up after hitting level 110.
Suramar's quests open up after hitting level 110.

Barriga: Our fans held our feet to the fire a little bit [because] there might not have been enough content for them to do in Warlords for their play style. There was a lot of raiding content, a lot of PvP stuff to do, but some people wanted a little bit more. We didn't support Warlords enough with updating the content that players had at their disposal, especially at the end game. Players ran out of stuff to do. I don't think that there was an aggressive enough patch schedule. That's what I want to promise our players: we will be very aggressive with making sure that there's content on the table, and we should not see a content drought like we saw before. Even as we're getting ready for players to play Legion, we're already working on stuff that's going to very rapidly get put in the content pipeline for them.

St-Michel: You also have the level 110 zones that open up. So hitting the level cap, you're not even close to the end. You have Suramar, which just opened up. You still have your artifact that you're levelling. There's a lot of content to just going past level 110.

Which actually brings us to the new Artifact Weapons--can you tell us a little bit about what those are and how they work?

Barriga: So players might be familiar with legendary quest lines from before where some classes got special quests to go and get a very special weapon unique to their class. For Legion, we did one quest line for every class spec. That means mages have three individual acquisition lines for each of their specs. Druids have four. Once again, one for each of their specs. A very, very hand-tailored story about how you get the weapon. Very specialized powers that come along with this weapon. Then as you grow in power, the weapon grows in power with you. It's basically the classes' version of Excalibur.

From what I understand, these weapons are not going to carry over into the next expansion, should one ever come. Can you comment on the thinking behind that decision?

Barriga: In a way, it gives us permission to make these weapons as awesome as we want them to be. If there's anything about the powers that we really like and feels like this should be core to the class, we have the ability to move that skill over to the main class. If right off the bat we said, “This is something we have to carry over,” you would see a much narrower field of design space [and] much more conservative powers. Some of the talents at the end of each branch of the tree are very powerful and they change the way that you play, so we want to treat them a little bit as experimental. In a way, it's a way for us to try new things without having that commitment of [being] married to this idea from here on out forever.

Artifact Weapons themselves will disappear after Legion, but the skins will remain.
Artifact Weapons themselves will disappear after Legion, but the skins will remain.

Like Garrisons, for example, was the first time we said, "Hey, we really want to try this feature, but we're not sure we want to try it out forever." I think that paid off because everything about them felt very integral to Warlords of Draenor, but by the time Warlords was done, we were kind of like, "Okay, Garrisons had their place, but we want to move on." Had we said garrisons are a feature of the game rather than the expansion, we would have a very cumbersome system to have to upkeep and facelift over and over again. This is a new model that we like better.

So will all Artifact Weapons disappear completely before the next expansion, even if players invest time in leveling them up?

Barriga: For players that did level up their Artifact Weapons and unlocked the special looks and all that, they earned those transmogs, so they can make future weapons almost like a badge of prestige. Say, "Hey, I was part of Legion, and I unlocked this prestige skin."

What was the rationale behind the decision to remove stat bonuses from gear when players enter PvP arenas?

Nervig: To ease the barrier of entry to PvP so you don't feel like you're way behind if you're not up to date on full PvP gear. We wanted to get more people PvP'ing. Also to be more fair, so that we could balance and tune classes based on the gear stats that we assigned them. For example, if [Warlock's] Destruction mastery is overpowered in PvP, we'll just give them less mastery on their PvP set of stats.

We will be very aggressive with making sure that there's content on the table, and we should not see a content drought like we saw before.

Luis Barriga, Lead Game Designer

Now that Legion’s almost here, I wanted to ask about the long-term future of World of Warcraft. Do you think there's ever going to come a point where the team decides, "We're going to do one more expansion, we're going to wrap everything up in some way, and we're going to put an end cap on this as opposed to letting it fade out the way so many MMOs do"?

Barriga: It's a very hard question to answer. We have generations of players that will basically have grown up playing World of Warcraft. You imagine one of those kids gets to grow up and work on the game, bringing that fresh new take on things. I'm sure there will be a time when we pass the torch, but it's a game that instils such passion in people that, at least in the near future, I don't see that point of just calling it quits.In terms of momentum--and in terms of the energy that we and our community have for the game--this is the expansion I've been the most excited about. This is an expansion where we have gotten to do basically everything we wanted, from the new class to all the new features. We had systems before that we weren't happy with. We just said, "Our players deserve better." As long as we keep doing that, we hope that our players will continue to reward us with playing the game.

Update 9/3/2016: The original version of this article contained a misspelling of lead game designer Luis Barriga's name. The article has been updated with the correct spelling.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Zorine “harli” Te is an editor based in GameSpot's Australian office. She wants to save the world.
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Raggs2riches

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I really like the changes. I haven't played in over a year. The game just cranks you through the levels. I had a 90 priest a 93 druid both are 100 now after just a few hours of doing those waves of demon attacks. I am completely outfitted on both for my chosen class specification.

I have started a horde and alliance demon hunter. The play through is similar, but the game has utterly changed in that over the years the game is smoother, the action more intense and the design and writing as good as it ever was.

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Richardthe3rd

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@raggs2riches: agree 100%, the hardest part for me is choosing a main as so many of the class mechanics have been changed and are incredibly fun now. The more classes I try the more I fall in love with each.

I have a warrior, shaman, Hunter, demon hunter, Rogue and Druid all ready to go at lvl 100 and I really enjoy them all. I will say that fury warriors feel absolutely brutal now.

I think the artifact weapons are going to really reward people who want to play alts and extend the life of the expack as well.

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mwewerka

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I really wanted a StarCraft version of WoW, a Space game with the care and attention to detail that WoW provides. Or actually, I wouldn't mind a spin off, WoW's PvP only game. Which is basically Overwatch, but in third person. I think taking WoW Battlegrounds PvP and making it a one time purchase of like $20 -$30 bucks, with gear upgrades and such is a great thing for PvP players and fans of games like Overwatch, Call of Duty, League of Legends, etc. Plus it could be a great test bed to see if console fans would like WoW on there too, (granted a PC version is a given).

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Richardthe3rd

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Edited By Richardthe3rd

@mwewerka: I think a standalone wow PvP game would be cool and it would boost players hip. The only problem is that it would just further cannibalize wows sub base.

As it stands, there are a ton of people that only play wow for PvP, so I guess Blizz just sees that as leaving money on the table. *shrugs*

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mwewerka

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@Richardthe3rd: I think you're right, it would cannibalize their WoW sales, but at some point they need to let go and realize that WoW is no longer the juggernaut it used to be. If this new exp fails to bring in sustainable numbers (i.e. they get back 5 million customers upon the Exp release, but after 2-4 months they lose 4 million) then they need to think what's next.

I think Overwatch proves that consoles can be a viable business strategy for Blizzard and WoW on consoles is probably past due, as it should have happened 3 years ago on the PS4 launch. But, WoW on consoles would make the franchise available to players who've never played the game before because millions of console players aren't PC gamers, this could really bolster numbers. So whether it's a full fledged WoW PC port to consoles or just the PvP Battlegrounds element, a' la, Overwatch style in 3rd person, something's gotta give.

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Richardthe3rd

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@mwewerka: opening wow up to more platforms would be a great idea so long as they could do so without compromising the experience. If they fully support plugging a mouse and keyboard in to play the game then I say go for it.

The other problem with wow is all the UI mods many players use. I don't think the console environment would be receptive to them. It's fairly unique as an MMO because of the large array of mods available and allowable.

So if they could figure these things out and make it work there's really no reason to exclude any platform.

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FBohler

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WoW, the game that spoiled Blizzard forever.

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Olander

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I hope they do wrap of the game and not milk it forever. Even though they can go back to the old gods again, the Burning Legion is the biggest threat in the game. Sargares is the big baddy that everyone that has played WoW wants to beat since Arthas. I feel that they should just do 1 more expansion dealing with the Burning Legion again on the planet Argus (homeworld of the draenei and where Sargares is located in). Or if possible to not make the next expansion feel the same, have the last raid tier take you to that planet.

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kljvoph

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@olander: Why on earth would you wrap up a successful business ?? You have millions of customers and you want to bring it to a close. I take it you have little concept of business ?

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Olander

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@kljvoph: It comes to a point to let go of a concept instead of milking it to death for as much money as possible because in the end it may result in people not liking it. Blizzard makes so much money from their other IP's (hearthstone alone is raking in hundreds of millions of dollar a month) they can wrap this game up and start a new MMO. There is only so much they can keep doing before it really gets stale, if you haven't noticed, they have slowly been using old content since Wrath with the reintroduction of Naxx. And that has drove millions of subs away. For instance Karazhan is coming back again in this expansion as a 5 man if I am not mistaken, even though it may be an awesome dungeon, just like the raid. It isn't entirely new.

It is better to wrap up a game that has a solid overall story than to just keep making shit up to just make a little more profit.

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kljvoph

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Edited By kljvoph

@olander: No and No and no. Blizz has really only reused a few instances and it makes sense to do that. This latest expansion has an absolute ton of new content and it is anything but stale. There is no such thing as 'milking' it in business terms. Its about generating revenue for shareholders who want a good return on their investment. Surely you know that ? Without profits there would not be a gaming industry at all. Its ALL and ONLY about profit. Just learn to accept that and enjoy the games that come out. Making an all new MMO it a totally unviable prospect for Blizz at present and would represent a massive investment with a huge risk of little to no return. So I am afraid you are completely wrong on all accounts. Warcraft is very solid at present and is still by far the biggest MMO so the shareholders are going to want that to continue.

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Olander

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@kljvoph: A few? You say redoing Scarlet Monastery, Dead Mines, Stockades, Naxx, Bringing back Ragnaros as a boss, Karazhan, Onyxia, Nefarion, and several other horde side dungeons just a few? I will give it to blizz though that they at least had a story to tell on the 5 man dungeons for redoing it as a progression factor. But as for raids, come on, players apparently killed Illidan in BC, then we find out he may not be dead in Legion. Just like how we thought we killed many of those bosses in vanilla wow, they were all brought back again for later expansions.

Yes, I understand that its all about making a profit and making sure the shareholders are happy. That is why many people since Activision and Blizzard merged no longer find blizzard to be the same as they were before the merge. Many people do think that the quality of blizzard games did go down a bit. Look at Starcraft 2 being split into 3 games for its "story" when that story was complete trash and could have been done the same way it was in Starcraft 1. Legion does look like a good expansion, while Warlords was crap, that expansion was rushed and incomplete. No excuse for locking out Tannan Jungle till 6-8 months after the game releases. And we don't know how well WoW is actually doing since they stopped showing subscriber numbers, for all we know there could only be 1-2 million people playing the game today (if I recall, the last update showed there was 4-5 million subs remaining which was like a year ago), which is still a decent amount compared to other MMO. And I don't know if that includes the Chinese player base, because if it does, then that is pretty bad.

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Gruntreaper

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Edited By Gruntreaper

@olander: Actually the void lords are a bigger threat and will probably be the last bosses

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Ohaidere

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I keep seeing people say the genre has progressed, but I've yet to see any solid examples of it outside of maybe Exploit Wars 2, and even that is half a decade old at this point.

Either way, not every game needs to be a DMC-esque action game. People forget that the way these games function are actually part of a popular genre.

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kljvoph

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@Ohaidere: Cross server technology, Group finder tools, cross faction auction house, level independent zones. These are significant technical innovations that greatly improve the experience.

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ProjektInsanity

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@Ohaidere: I said why in my post underneath. It's the combat. The combat feels incredibly dated to me. I think almost everything else is top-notch, but if the combat is lacking, then the rest means very little (to me, other players will of course have different priorities).

If you really want a comparison, go download the free Blade and Soul game I mentioned and roll pretty much any class (I suggest blademaster, kung fu master, or destroyer). It's not worth sticking with the game long-term, but compare that combat to WoW's. I'd be amazed if you don't notice within the first day or two of play time how much more fun, visceral, and timing-based the combat is, and it gets much better at the higher levels.

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Saxondale

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Man, I haven't played this game since 2005. Are they going more the ARPG route with this expansion? More like Neverwinter? Just depressing hot keys at certain intervals was depressing. A more action oriented combat system is what this game needs - along with a complete graphical overhaul so it doesn't look like a cartoon.

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A_C_M85

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Edited By A_C_M85

@Saxondale: Some people like that semi-cartoonish look. Also that look permits the game to be played on a large scale of pc specs, and it also permits the game to have all those beautiful ingame mechanics (flying anywhere, jumping and doing somthing while in air, and so on). It is that freedom fo mechanics that made this game so popular.

Look at serious graphic games like Dragon Age or Witcher, yes it looks more realistic, but it limits you on the way the caracter moves, it limits the developer on the mechanics it can add to the game.

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method115

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@A_C_M85: Yea I always enjoyed the art style.

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Saxondale

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@A_C_M85: Oh, I totally understand why they limit the graphics and it's smart in terms of grabbing the largest number of users. But it's 2016 - over a decade since WOW's launch - and hardware has largely improved. I know they already went through one graphical update but it still looks really dated - especially compared to games like Tera, Neverwinter, Black Desert, GW2, ESO, etc. I know those aren't apples to apples comparisons but they prove it is possible to have more polygons and still maintain a large user base.

As far as the cartoony art style, to each his own. I hate it.

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Salt_AU

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Edited By Salt_AU

@Saxondale: The game engine and graphics have moved well past how it looked in 2005. The art style, animation, character models and world environments are all light years ahead of Neverwinter. I'd very much disagree that it needs an overhaul, its basically received one each expansion. Class abilities have more of an ARPG feel to them than they previously have, the Demon Hunter definitely has more of an ARPG feel than any other class, Fel Rush the very first ability you play with is completely an ARPG mechanic.

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A_C_M85

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@Saxondale: Sorry to say, but I dont agree that GW2, ESO, BD, Tera were MMORPG. With their subscriber/player numbers, they were singleplayers with campaigns. I played 5 minutes of ESO and I realised that the way the caracter moves, jumps, it doesnt allow me to play a WoW-like arena 2v2 etc.

I played GW1 before WoW, I know how limited the gameplay in GW2 is. It looks great, but again the mechanics and the freedom to do stuff combined is lacking there aswell.


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Saxondale

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Edited By Saxondale

@A_C_M85: That's all true. There is a lot of instancing in those games and they aren't truly open world in the way WOW is. But, why do you need open world when you are confined by space/time/objective to one segment area of the game and to get to the far reaches is like 10-15 minutes on your mount/griffon? Better just to have instancing and higher graphical fidelity, IMO.

I personally prefer the mechanics in almost every MMO over WoW, which I think gets really boring and can basically be auto-played with macros. But it sounds like you prefer WoW, and that's cool.

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kljvoph

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@Saxondale: The answer is total immersion. Only a completely persistent world can give you that and no other MMO comes close to WOW in that department. That is why they are still king in spite of an, arguably reduced subscriber base. Lets see however I suspect Legions many substantial improvements may bring the subscriber base back up albeit not likely to peak levels.

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Olander

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@Saxondale: Blizzard games will always have that cartoon feel. That is their style. As for followers, Neverwinter was the first game that came to my mind as well. Blizzard will likely do it better, like they typically do.

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Ayato_Kamina_1

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@olander: Not true. Look at Diablo 1 and Diablo 2. They had their own image and were a much more serious tone. Because of Blizzard generally being Blizzard and wanting their "universe" to all look the same, when it came around to Diablo 3 they completely overhauled the atmosphere and character design to make it look more WoW-ish.

WoW's graphics and world work for what it is, it's hugely successful and I'd expect them to employ it in a large number of games, but when it comes at the expense of their other IPs I think it's just a bit sad.

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Richardthe3rd

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Sends like there's a lot of people that are eager to keep rodding the popular wow hate train.

Too bad for them. Legion looks pretty awesome and after dabbling in the beta I'm fully committed.

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darkelemental1

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@Richardthe3rd: I am more just fed up with it. We went into Warlords with the same hype and came out disappointed. Community relations have become threadbare over the years as the devs seem to rely more on sites like WoWhead to keep players informed over actually speaking themselves. The down-to-earth discussions with devs in forums is now a series of scripted interviews and feedback, whether good or bad, is largely seen as ignored because the many many community managers seem to have forgot how to type unless they are defending things that are largely seen as bad ideas. Even days before launch multiple classes are messy and foul yet have not received any sort of response in months one way or the other on how its being handled. Trust is gone, they have to work to earn it back.

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Baconstrip78

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@darkelemental1: Ditto. WoD was so bad it might have broke the magic of this game for me forever. I was always one of the players that jumped in right before the xpac and then stayed around for 4-6 months, rinse and repeat. I left WoD in disgust after a month.

When I came back for this month, I found the feeling for this game is gone.

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Richardthe3rd

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@darkelemental1: I can appreciate that perspective honestly. There were a lot of problems with WoD after you got past the first week of level capping and running instances raids. The content stream definitely fell off really really hard, and they banked on garrisons filling the gap. They weren't very enjoyable at all by that point.

And let's not mention WoD professions. I will give you that one without question.

You're correct that Blizzard will need to win back that trust, and it will take time. I'm willing to admit that I'm a suckered and will give them another chance though. :)

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DAOWAce

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Edited By DAOWAce

Yet it's still auto-attack, target based, skill cooldown based crap despite its "reinvented mechanics".

I don't know why people continue to play this 12 year old game with outdated mechanics.

I love Warcraft, but I quit the game 8 years ago and every time I tried it again it was just horrible. Still horrible in Legion.

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A_C_M85

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@DAOWAce: Usually games like this take 2nd place when something better appears.
If you dont get a game with ALL wow mechanics + tools + features + NEW/better mechanics/features, then WoW will remain 1st place for ever for this MMORPG genre.

The only type of game that will replace this is what I said earlier OR a VR equivalent, since VR = way more immersion. But for the VR part there will be a long time until it will become CHEAP for everyone to afford and NO_MOTION_SICKNESS so you can play for 5-10 hours without trowing up.

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DAOWAce

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@A_C_M85: Sad, but true. Many games have surpassed WoW in one, two or a whole bunch of areas.. but none have ever had the amount of content, the amount features, QoL stuff.. everything, that WoW does. It's also based on a franchise, on lore, that hundreds of millions of people absolutely love.

But then again, WoW has had 12 years of development and essentially infinite money. It's basically impossible for anything to surpass it.

Still, WoW's subscriber base fell below half of its peak, and it's still continuing to decrease over time.

The game WILL fall below others eventually; it's just going to still take a number of years.

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ballaShotCaller

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@DAOWAce: Almost all games have target based fighting and skill cooldown... This expac is sick.

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DAOWAce

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@ballashotcaller: Almost all games?

Almost all old MMORPGs you mean.

Almost every new game coming out uses a form of action combat, and by god going back to the archaic target based auto-attack crap is horrible.

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rauden

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@DAOWAce: are there different kinds of mmos out that dont do this?

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DAOWAce

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@rauden: Let me expand on what @m33ts4k0z said with what I can remember at this exact second.

Vindictus (best combat of any MMO to date, still), Black Desert (2nd best), TERA, RaiderZ, Guild Wars 2, Blade & Soul, Age of Conan (melee), Wildstar (mostly), Neverwinter (pseudo), Skyforge (pseudo), C9, Spiral Knights, Dragon Nest, DC Universe Online (IIRC)... and that's all I can remember right now, at least for the traditional 3D MMORPG like WoW. If we throw in side scrolling ones in there.. could list a dozen more.

The only new MMO to release with the old combat system is FFXIV:ARR. The game was originally action combat, but after its utter failure the developers did a complete 180 and essentially ruined the game by changing it into FFXI-2, then shut it down and released v2.0, ARR. Forever disappointed.

I've been playing MMOs since NexusTK (almost 20 years ago, and funnily enough that was action based from a 2D top down perspective). If you can still stand the auto-attack stuff like WoW, cool, but I can't; it's horrible. I forced myself through FFXIV solely for its story, and quit shortly after hitting 60 because I couldn't tolerate the combat anymore. Not only was it auto-attack, it was HALF AS SLOW as WoW. It felt like trying to run through tar.

FWIW, I played WoW for 2 years in vanilla, quit before TBC, played on private servers on and off for about 5 years, then 100% quit the game. Did come back for WotLK and played through to 80, but that was essentially my last real experience with it. Trial'd cataclysm and did pokemon for a day.. trial'd Draenor and logged out in 5 minutes. I was last on for the level to 20 for the Paladin portrait in Hearthstone. I had to play a ranged class because the melee made me want to kill myself (my main classes were all melee too), hated the entire experience regardless.

In other news, my friend is still playing it after 12 years, has put thousands of dollars into it and gets EXTREMELY defensive and insults you if you say even one remotely negative thing about the game, no matter how light.

Some people just can't open their eyes.

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m33ts4k0z

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Edited By m33ts4k0z

@rauden: Black Desert, Tera, etc. But WoW will always have a special place in my heart. I, in fact, just got a subscription and bought the expansion looking forward to try it with some friends.

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Liltart

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Not at all looking forward to this . It's going to be the worst expansion ever...wow is dying a slow painfull death. Bet it won't hold my attention for 2 was and I'll be back playing ARK.

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ballaShotCaller

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@liltart: Umm no, this looks like one of the best expansions ever.

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d11vamos

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Edited By d11vamos

@liltart: too bad you can't afford it. stick to your F2p games

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ahpuck

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Oh the memories, so many memories. I want to play WoW, bad! But I know I'm going to get addicted again, so I won't even try. Enjoy!!

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Jmerithew87

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@ahpuck: Depending on the last time you played, it is much easier to play in small spurts these days. Which is perfect, because I have a fraction of the free time I had when I was a teenager lol.

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Devil_wings00

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No content drought? I'll believe that when I see it. It's gotten worse and worse with every expansion and now that less players then ever are playing your game you expect me to swallow that you are somehow going to go full in on content NOW? Following WoD who can still buy have any faith that is going to be true.

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A_C_M85

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@Devil_wings00: The ppl that are yelling there's no content, are casual, after '90 people.
There are achievements to do, there are pets to get, there were 11 classes to play.
For me, a PvP player, I had no troubles living the entire WoD period, getting all my 15x100 characters fully geared with PvP sets :)
The good part in Legion, for PvPers, is that the prestige system will make you focus on your main class.

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