Legion: Frost Death Knight Impressions

DK react header

First off I am not a theory crafter and I do not play at a mythic skill level. My analysis is from a casual player’s point of view.

I’m cobbling this together from things said at Blizzcon and the official Legion Death Knight preview. I’m not going to copy every detail of the preview. Follow the link and check it out if you have any questions about what I’m referring to.

I primarily play as a frost Death Knight so that is the spec I am going to address here.
I currently play two handed frost and I am sad that it is going away. The artifact weapons for frost are dedicated one handers so this spec is going to be dual wield only –  at least for Legion.

“Combining martial prowess with supernatural cold, frost death knights leave their enemies chilled to the bone—and broken of the will to fight. Unlike mages who learn to harness frost magic to great effect, these death knights are born of it, rime gripping their decaying hearts. These frozen undead warriors wield dual blades to strike with ferocity and inflict deathly cold upon anyone who would stand against them. “

Blades of the Fallen Prince

Frost Artifact Weapons: Blades of the Fallen Prince

I’m not personally thrilled about that, but I do think it makes sense for the class as a whole. I don’t like the current version of dual wield frost but the change to Killing Machine makes it sound like the Legion version will actually be very similar to the way two handed frost plays now.

The big bomb dropped on all Death Knights was the elimination of frost, blood, and unholy runes.

Instead, all specs will just have six runes that will work for any rune ability.
This pretty much eliminates rune tetris. I admit that I’m casual enough to not have really paid that much attention to my runes, but I do understand how juggling them was a fun added element for higher skilled players.
Even to me, it seems like Blizzard is unnecessarily simplifying the class.

Koltira and Wyx are agreed. WHAT?!

Koltira and Wyx are agreed. “WHAT?!”

Frost now only has one disease – Frost Fever. I’m assuming this means Plague Strike and maybe Outbreak are completely gone from frost abilities.

Based solely off of that, it looks like frost will be reduced to Howling Blast, Obliterate, and Frost Strike. Blizzard added Remorseless Winter in there too as an example for a rotation. I’m wondering if that will replace Death and Decay.

Honestly hitting only three buttons sounds really boring to me. Hopefully talents are going to change game play more than they do now.

It will probably be possible to take all passive talents and have a three to four button rotation. That will probably be helpful for new Death Knight players.

I’m hoping that choosing more active active talents will give you more abilities to use so it isn’t boring. It looks like the artifact weapon will also have active talents that can be key bound. I expect those will help add some complexity back in.

Unholy Artifact: Apocalypse

Unholy Artifact Weapon: Apocalypse

Blood Artifact: Maw of the Damned

Blood Artifact Weapon: Maw of the Damned

If I end up not enjoying the new frost, I’m going to try unholy. It sounds like it got the biggest Legion facelift.

Unholy also has a lot more core abilities shown in the preview which annoys me as a frost Death Knight. Whatever else it is, unholy doesn’t look boring at first glance; I have not played unholy since Wrath so I can’t really comment on the actual changes. This also applies to blood. I solo stuff in blood on occasion, but I usually do not tank so I don’t know the spec well enough to say much.

dk snarky gnome

Obviously I won’t know for sure what I think about the future state of Death Knights until the Legion beta opens up and people can actually test them. I am still worried, but ultimately I doubt I’ll be abandoning my favorite class.

Posted in Legion, Opinion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Legion: First Impressions From Blizzcon

The demons are welcoming you to the Broken Isles.

The demons are welcoming you to the Broken Isles.

So I have many thoughts about today’s Blizzcon reveals. I decided to creep out of the darkness and post my impressions of Legion. I had the virtual ticket but what they actually showed on that was pretty limited.

First off, it seemed pretty apparent from the opening ceremonies that WoW is no longer a priority for Blizzard. Looks like Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, and Hearthstone will be their big hitters going forward. I guess that whole e-sports thing (which doesn’t interest me) is where all the money and future gaming market is.

WoW was relegated to the last ten minutes of the presentation and over four of those minutes were the Legion trailer. It wasn’t even next to the Warcraft movie trailer reveal. Chris Metzen (dressed in Overwatch gear) introduced it, but he seemed unenthusiastic. I think his passion for the game is gone and it showed.

That said, I enjoyed the Legion trailer. Go watch it if you haven’t yet. It has a nice callback to Wrath. I suspect that was deliberate.


For Azeroth!

Varian’s narration to his son really reminded me of the Wrath trailer. They could be setting Anduin up as the exact opposite of Arthas…or maybe he will be tempted to share the same fate? Who knows. It was a good trailer. I liked seeing the Horde – specifically Sylvanas – working with the Alliance to fight demons.

It does make make me wonder if Varian and Sylvanas will die during the course of Legion. It certainly looks like that could happen. I hope not.

I bet these guys end up as battle pets.

I bet these guys end up as battle pets.

The WoW Legion World and Content Overview panel was very scripted and awkward to start. They showed a lot of cool art though and added in bits about the story here and there. Ion Hazzikostas had more energy than anyone else on the panel. He seemed really pumped about Legion.

(Perhaps they were ordered to stick to the script to prevent unintended leaks. Maybe that is also why Chris Metzen wasn’t on this panel.)

It looks like Legion will be a beautiful expansion. The Broken Isles are very pretty. The zones that are still mostly incomplete still look good. It sounded like one zone is too unfinished for them to show. It was mentioned that it was coming later on like Tanaan did. New demons, harpies, critters, elves etc. all look pretty cool.

Val'sharah crop

The dungeons and raids are also pretty this time around. I’m looking forward to seeing unbroken Night Elf architecture. Raids look more like Ulduar than anything we have seen for a while.

This is Legion's ancient Night Elf architecture style sheet.

This is Legion’s ancient Night Elf architecture style sheet.

While leveling to 110, you will be able to jump around and level in whatever zone you want so there is not a distinct progression path. The zones will scale according to your level. Suramar is the max level zone. They sold this flexible leveling as being able to play with your friends, but I see it more as a break when leveling alts because I prefer to level solo.

Demon Hunter crop

Demon Hunters still look badass. Mardun is feltastic and I expect their starting experience will be as much fun as the Death Knight starting zone is.

End game looks like it is borrowing a lot from Diablo’s bounty system. That might be fun or it might not. It depends on how they translate it to WoW. The fill the bar apexis dailies were also similar to Diablo’s rifts and I don’t really like that gameplay near as much in WoW. It does look like Blizzard is trying to make end game more than just raiding though.

These are totally based off of D3 bounties.

These are totally based off of D3 bounties.

These end game quests are not designed to be necessary every day. Some of them will stick around for a while so if you only log in every few days you won’t fall behind. They are planning to add some world bosses into this and also fun mini-game type quests.

To be honest, this is probably an acknowledgement of how a lot of people play more casually now. I think the days of playing several hours every day are gone for most people because the player base has aged and gotten busier. It’s nice that Blizzard isn’t designing WoW for that type of game play now.

This is Legion's version of a Greater Rift Key.

This is Legion’s version of a Greater Rift Key.

They really want everyone to do dungeons. The new dungeons are also borrowing from Diablo’s greater rifts and will require keys and be timed like challenge mode dungeons currently are. In theory, this means that dungeons will never become obsolete because there will always be a level higher than the last one you completed. Each level will be harder and will drop higher level gear if you complete it in time. Completing each level successfully will also upgrade your key to the next level. Essentially these are five person raids at higher levels.

Ion also said that if you can do heroic dungeons now, then these new dungeons are for you. They start at a doable level and work up from there.  It sounds like you can pick the level you do up to your cap so if it gets too hard you can drop down a level or two (also like Diablo.) This should accommodate a wide variety of skill levels.

Emerald Nightmare

Emerald Nightmare Dungeon

There wasn’t much said about the story of Legion other than the basics; the Burning Legion is invading again and the Horde and Alliance are working together to save Azeroth. There are new Tauren who had something stolen from them by new critters and I suppose we help them get it back? Their story wasn’t really clear to me. Azshara and the Naga are doing bad things too and there is a new race of Elves.

These aren't Drow...or are they?!

These totally aren’t Drow…or are they?

The Nightborne sound tragic to me. Their back story is similar to the Blood Elves and they have their own version of Wretched except they look more like zombies. I hope we don’t commit Drow Nightborne genocide blindly. I would prefer to help these people instead.

Beta is supposedly starting a few weeks after Blizzcon and Legion itself is scheduled for Summer 2016. That fits with the out by September 21st 2016 date.

All in all, I’m pretty excited. Even if Blizzard is easing down on WoW as a main focus, it seems like Legion is still going to be fun. I’ll post part two after the Q&A panel tomorrow.

Posted in Legion, Opinion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Taby Drinks From The Sunwell

pally header

I have really enjoyed the S.E.L.F.I.E. camera. I love running around and tweeting little stories from my character’s perspective. This might annoy the poor folks who follow me on twitter. (I hope not!)

Last night I had fun hunting pets and transmog on my evil pally. I got a couple of pets for Raiding With leashes III. She can easily solo these raids at 94, so you don’t have to have 100s to do all the new things.

This is what Taby thought of the experience.

After that she went to bed in her tent with spikes because life is not fair.



Posted in My Characters, Pet Battles, S.E.L.F.I.E. | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Blizzard Watch: Out of the Ashes

yay header

As I mentioned last post, February 3rd was the end of everything that made Wow Insider good. However my DK up there is cheering her head off because it also marked the beginning of Blizzard Watch.

Blizzard Watch is the soul and heart of what was WoW Insider. Those writers you loved? They are still around – just in a new place.  They have created a new site and are free of corporate overlords. However, their success and livelihood does depend on community support. Blizzard Watch has a patreon account set up and they were fully funded in under six hours.

The good news doesn’t stop there. By now they have passed several more goals and that means class columns are a go. Hopefully we will get to see the return of writers who were let go last year. Beloved former columns or even new ones will be happening again.

The podcast is also a go. (We might even get more than one.) I listened to the first Blizzard Watch podcast live and it was awesome. They aren’t on itunes yet, but they will be.

The Queue is alive and well. (And very lively…lol)

Their new twitter account is: 

If you enjoy their work, please consider helping them out. Even a dollar a month will help keep the best community I have ever found on the internet alive. I’m not going to spam Blizzard Watch’s patreon link, but it is also on their front page.

I have to add that this post was much easier for me to write than the last one. I spent most of last week heartbroken and mourning. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it is true.

It hurts to see a site I loved go down, but I expect great things from Blizzard Watch. I think it will be even better than WI ever was. I am glad that my wish they would rise like a phoenix came true.

BW applecider phoenix

So in that vein, I dedicate this song to the entire Blizzwatch crew!



Posted in Blizzard Watch, Community Blog Topic, Opinion | Tagged , | Leave a comment