Hey, kids. Zapp Rowzdower here. I was recently thrown into the Legion Beta, and let me tell you: (Earmuffs, Tib), it is a flustercuck.
Some of you may know me from raid boss fights such as "Lol why is that DK soloing Iron Reaver?", "How many stacks of the debuff can Rowz get before he dies?", or Earthhoof's personal favorite "What are you doing down here, Esca?" ---or perhaps my lesser known Guided Mythic Dungeon Tours. Today, we'll be doing a quick overview of changes coming to tanking (notably my class of choice, Death Knight) along with a general idea of what to expect when Legion launches. Oh, should go without saying, minor spoiler alerts will likely be involved.
We'll start from the beginning. You'll first notice when you log on an annoying pop up will display your call to arms as it's time to do battle with the Legion once again, yadda-yadda. Boring nonsense. Get on a boat. Eat your last meal, and enter the queue for the Battle of the Broken Shore.
Once that's out the way, head back and take selfies while characters you barely care about monologue for a bit, kill some demons, and get a call on your Nokia from Khadgar saying he wants to see you right away from some dumb reason. Currently, in the beta, this is where the game bugs out hilariously and renders your character locked from the content. It's advised to choose the "SKIP THIS" option before getting on the boat. Did I say get on the boat? Skip it.
Hopefully all that will be fixed before it goes live. Eventually you'll end up in Dalaran floating over the Broken Isles. And you'll begin your order hall / artifact quest line.
In the current beta build, you choose your first weapon which will determine how you plan to level for the rest of early stages of the expac. If you intend to tank, don't go for the DPS weapon thinking it'll be easier to level, because you'll miss out early points to throw into your artifact weapon. Ya'see, as you complete quests, kill rares, find treasure---you'll get little boosts to your overall artifact power. Currently it is restricted per-weapon. Blizz has recently stated they intend the artifact power to extend and be shared across all artifact weapons. To make sure you have an easier time building up your other spec(s). Speaking of specs, dual spec is gone! PRAISE BE TO BOBBY KOTICK. Well, actually, not so much. You can only change specs in major rest areas, so inns, cities, your order hall, your Garrison (lol why are you still there, idiot?)---places like that. Now, instead of using manuals to change your talents up in raids or dungeons that you buy from a vendor, you instead will have to buy the tomes from inscriptionists who can charge out the ass whatever sum they feel is necessary. I hope you've been saving your gold. On to random details!
At level 102 and 103 you can begin the quest-lines to acquire your other artifact weapons.
GARRISON RESOUR--- I mean, ORDER HALL RESOURCES are back! Aren't you excited!? There, thankfully, ain't that heavy of a focus on them now, but they're still crucial for maxing out your character. You will acquire various champions to your particular cause along the way, notably people related to your Order Hall. You send them on missions and use minions to assist them in their quests. You can also assign a champion to aid you in the field. Death Knights for example see friendly faces like Thassarian and Koltira. Thassy will pop in and out of combat, thwaking things in the face and dropping ice everywhere every so ofteon---whereas Kolt will stick with you as a Bodyguard-style follower. This extends to all Order Halls, just change the Champion names and character models. You earn them as you level, and you can improve their weapons once they reach max level same as the existing Garrison followers. You will also have an Order Hall Research ... guy. Thing. Whatever. You spend order hall resources to purchase these upgrades that do a variety of things, ranging from increasing the RNG of you getting a random quest item to upgrade to improving the success change of your champion's missions. Lastly, for a large sum of resources, you can learn how to equip TWO legendary items at once. Speaking of Legendaries...
Yeah, they're in there. You can also salivate over what kind may never drop for you out in the wild! The Legion Legendaries are random world drops, which Blizz has also further added that they intend to have a system in place that will progressively increase your chances to acquire one the longer you go without getting one. You could potentially acquire all of them for your class and spec over the course of the expac. As previously mentioned, you can equip only one at first.
So, remember that thing about Inscription? Well, they're gonna need that stupid tome crafting to make up for the fact that Glyphs are a thing of the past! Mostly, anyway. Instead of having a dedicated glyph tab, you'll glyph the ability it augments, and it's strictly cosmetic, now. DKs, for example, can make their Anti-Magic Shell a different color! Oooo. Right? No one cares. Glyphing has zero impact on game play, unless you really want your yellow AMS to be slightly green instead as an Unholy DK.
I digress. Crafting questlines are a thing again, with a stronger focus on having more "flavor" to what you're doing. I see it as terribly annoying. You are effectively stonewalled on your crafting from the get-go, because you have go out into the world to learn your craft and it's restricted to certain zones, so that whole little "you can go to any zone you want to level!" thing Blizz is hawking right now-- is complete bull, because you will simply go to the zone your profession sends you to, if you want any of the recipes/schematics for your profession. As you complete quests, you will unlock new crafting recipes, which then you can purchase advanced versions of those same recipes to craft the same item, but at a slightly higher item level. And before you ask: No, you cannot just buy the advanced schematics and learn those. You're workin' from the ground up, kiddo! Blizzard has also made an effort to prevent people from going with dual crafting professions (blacksmith/engineer), as opposed to a crafting/gathering one. All the gathering professions will be able to get Blood of Sargeras in later levels while gathering, everyone else will also be able to get them from World Quests and rare kills, but significantly less frequent. BoS (think Savage Blood, which is used for crafting in WoD) will be BOP. That means, if you don't have a gathering profession to help your crafting profession, you cannot buy your way out of it. You're screwed. GG. People are still hoping Blizz will back out of that decision.
As mentioned earlier, you can start anywhere out of the four new zones to begin your leveling experience. Everything, save for max level content you may run into, is scaled back to your level. You can also quest with people higher level, as their content will be scaled to their level. This extends to dungeons, too. Probably why this happened:
Ya' see, Sarth here was only level 102, which also meant he likely had less artifact power in his weapon. And soooo many things in this expac are tied to your stupid weapon. I was 104. No sure how the dungeon figured out what would balance best, but I'm guessing the people who died were probably lower level.
That's all for right now. In my next installment I'll cover the sewers of Dalaran and why they're gonna be a total nightmare for people who dislike PVP, and the PVP system in general. Spoiler Alert: The cool talents you can earn from the PVP system DO NOT work in PVE. Which means, PVPers will get access to additional abilities that, while would be great in a PVE setting, only function in PVP content.
G'night for now, idiots!
I love that screenshot, rowz. you should trademark that as your tagline. I had no idea about the crafting thing - I probably should have at least attempted leather working on beta before I had to stop playing for awhile. Thank you for the tips. I would have quested aimlessly. The questing wherever you want thing is weird. I left 3 zones halfway through just because I could.
On glyphs - oh no I won't be able to make sapphire's cookie jar highlighted in green anymore. Whatever will I dooooooo? Nobody cares about glyphs.
Thanks for your fun overview of the beta. Lots of useful information. To touch on professions, Blood of Sargeras (BoS) will have increased drop rates from world quests, so we'll have to see what happens with people who have double crafting professions. Many gold makers have toons with enchanting/tailoring on them, so we'll have to see how BoS drops for these dual crafters. Then there is the star system as well, which will be interesting too. The higher the star, the fewer mats it costs to craft. Everyone will have to race to these higher quality recipes to make the most bang for their buck!
Tib asked me to throw in a few additional observations to help any new comers wanting to maximize their potential as they level in Legion.
- As you're leveling be sure to always check in at your Class Order Hall. Blindly grinding to 110 will leave you at a serious disadvantage once you ding max level for a number of reasons. Notably, your Champions (Followers 2.0) are key players in completing your order hall campaign, and if you intend to raid, you will need to complete your order hall campaign. It's what unlocks your entry-level dungeon set gear, your third relic slot in your artifact weapon, and artifact research. Your third relic slot is kind of a big deal in that relics are what you equip to boost your weapon's item level. Needless to say, anyone wanting to raid would be gimping themselves if this is not accomplished. You might be asking yourselves, "But Rowz, I can just burn to 110 and worry about that order hall crap later." Sure, you can, but it doesn't take long to complete the order hall quests (which also net you exp), but more importantly: Your champions are unlocked via completing order hall quests, and your Champions complete Order Hall missions which are required towards completing your Order Hall Campaign. And that takes days. Seriously 12-24 hours per Champion mission. So, you'll be hitting a brick wall at 110, twiddling your thumbs wondering why everyone else is on Chapter 10 of Suramar's questline towards gaining access to Nighthold, and you're off backtracking Order Hall missions at max level. Do yourself a favor. Do your raid a favor. Do your Order Hall crap as you level, you gotta go back there to upgrade your artifact weapon anyway, don't be a schmuck and put it off. Get it done.
- Plan in advance what faction you want to max first, and once you've unlocked World Quests focus in on it. You'll need to be Friendly with all reputations before World Quests are unlocked, so you'll get an idea of what they have to offer. Engineers get schematics from The Wardens, Valkyar offer up Blacksmithing. The Highmountain cows cover leatherworking. These reputations also have little toys, and shoulder enchants which cause mobs to drop random gift packages tied to whatever the enchant is. Salvage gets you greens to sell or DE and metals. Butcher enchant nets you animal meats and skinning hides. Use this to augment what you'd need for your chosen profession. Also, be sure to complete your profession missions as you level.
- Nomi's back! Burning food. This idiot panda wants to be a chef, and you're shackled with helping him further. Much like the Garrison work orders, after you've learned 5 (or maybe 6? I forget) Legion Cooking Recipes, Nomi is unlocked in Dalaran. Giving Nomi raw fish and meat will prompt to begin cooking with the materials. The higher your personal cooking skill the more likely he'll learn something per work order. Most of the time he just hands you burnt junk. Sometimes he'll cook something edible, or learn a new recipe which you acquire as well. Unfortunately, these are completely by RNG. So, rarer recipes like Cripsy Bacon and Hearty Meal will not come so easily or quickly. Or they will. It's RNG. Like with other crafting professions, foods can have star-ratings as well. Feeding a raid will fall to whoever can whip up meals for less materials.
- Have a set plan for leveling your artifact! Don't go picking rando traits because the relic you have equipped at the moment boosts it. That'll get replaced. Check Icy Veins for tips for your spec on what is the best path to take to maximize your artifact power as you level.
See you knobs on the field.
This was also generally my experience throughout the beta, although through Rowz colored glasses.
One thing I will also echo, for raiders. Be sure you know what path you're going to unlock your artifact. Respeccing artifact is expensive, and once you reach a certain number of unlocks each becomes exponentially more expensive. Current projections are at least 4 months of play (daily) to fully unlock an artifact. So research your direction and stick to it.
Forgot to mention this in the prior post:
I'm not the raid lead or nothing, but leading into our first foray into the raid content I would strongly suggest interested raiders take the time to hit up world bosses that become available through World Quests. There's several of them, require 30-40 people to kill, but net you normal-mode raid quality gear. If you're like me and can't stomach LFR half the time, this is a good alternative to wet that whistle, so to speak. In addition to potentially getting a solid upgrade, it also nets you whatever bonus you get for completing the World Quest itself. So, kinda goes without saying.