The dust has settled a bit after watching several panels on The Battle For Azeroth. I’m still not thrilled with Horde vs. Alliance being the expansion theme, but I’m calming down from my first bit of disappointment.
My first impression was a bad one.
The name Battle for Azeroth is terrible. It sounds like a working title that never got it’s name update. But that is a minor thing.
I never played Vanilla. I never played any of the RTS games except for Warcraft III. I have never really identified with either faction. I like them both. I like the leaders and cities of both, so seeing the destruction of Teldrassil and Undercity really upset me. I don’t like the idea of each continent being Faction specific except for the Draenei and Blood Elves who I guess are under siege and barely holding on to their respective lands.
I am more upset about losing Teldrassil than Undercity. Teldrassil was the very first thing I saw when I started playing WoW in 2009. It was what made me love the game. I feel deep sorrow knowing it will be gone.
The poor Night Elves no longer have a home. The poor Worgen have now lost their home twice. It’s just a mess. I know the Forsaken will also lose their home. That sucks too. I am more sympathetic to the elves though simply because I love Darnassus more.
I hope there is more to the overall story of the expansion than what we got to see. Pushing all out Faction war does not sell it to me. It disappoints me terribly because I loved Class Halls so much in Legion. I enjoyed seeing members of the opposite Faction that were also DKs or Hunters or whatever all working together. I loved the shared city of Dalaran. I don’t understand how after all that cooperation we just dissolve back into petty fighting immediately.
I hate PvP. A whole expansion that seems to want to push that on me is a big turn off.
But there were things I liked about the Battle For Azeroth reveal.
Jaina is back and she looks awesome. Jaina has been my favorite character for a long time and I missed her in Legion. I am looking forward to seeing how her story grows.
Kul Tiras and Zandalar both look cool. I don’t really mind separate Faction leveling zones. That makes playing both sides more interesting and fun. I like the weird ghost/spirit things in Kul Tiras best. In Zandalar, I am loving the Vulpera and that amazing dinosaur mount.
I like the new allied subraces. I already know I will do the quests to unlock all of them even if I don’t actually make a character of each subrace. I might race change to some of them, but leveling new for a 100 levels seems a bit much to me because I already have every class at level 100 to 110. The only class I have a ton of are Death Knights and none of the new subraces can be a DK. (Which makes complete sense except for maybe the Dark Iron Dwarves.)
It is neat that Alliance will have access to Blood Elf models with Void Elves though. Likewise Horde will get night Elves re-skinned as the Nightborn.
I’m not really happy that the Nightborn decided to all go Horde after both sides helped them, but it does make sense. The Blood Elves are over there and they have a lot in common. Highmountain Tauren going with the rest of the Tauren also make sense and ditto the Zandalari Trolls.
The Light Forged Draenei don’t really have a home anymore so it makes sense they would join with the remnants of their race. They might also be following their comrade Turalyon. It makes sense that Alleria would stay with him and bring in the Void Elves though I wonder where she finds the elves she teaches the Void to. I already thought the Dark Iron Dwarves were part of the Alliance, but now I guess they really really are.
Finally that cinematic was awesome in every possible way. Even at my grumpiest I loved it. Getting to see Sylvanas go full banshee was almost the most badass thing I have ever seen.
And then Anduin pulls off a mass res and heal combo with a giant discipline bubble worthy of Prophet Velen. I’m so proud of my second favorite character in this game. Anduin has grown into his role of being the King despite being very young.
The art on that was incredible. I would so love to see Blizzard make a movie with their cinematics department.
I’m really interested in seeing more of Sylvanas’ and Anduin’s stories. I’m afraid they are going to make Sylvanas another evil Warchief that must be taken out in the end, but maybe they won’t.
Some Good, Some Bad. A Lot Of ‘I Don’t Know.’
I think the questing to 120 will probably be fun for both Factions. I’m interested to see the different stories told there. I enjoyed the leveling experience in both Cataclysm and Warlords of Draenor, so I expect it to be good for Battle for Azeroth too.
There will be a substantial stat squish and I think we need one. It is fun to do godly amounts of damage but also ridiculous. It makes sense that we need to unload some OP-ness after defeating Sargeras and coming back to our world.
Legendaries seem to be gone and that makes me sad. I understand why they are eliminated though. Too many people felt they had to farm for the “right” legendaries in order to raid and they complained about it. That and AP grinding burned out a lot of hardcore raiders. As a casual player, I loved bonus legendaries but they probably weren’t the best addition for the game as a whole.
I’m glad world quests are coming back for end game. I hope they award Azerite and gear.
I’m not sold on the new artifact necklace that somehow empowers three kinds of armor though. It sounds very confusing but more will likely come out explaining that as we get closer to the launch.
I’m not sure about the Island Expedition scenarios. They don’t sound fun to me, but maybe they will be. I don’t much enjoy having to gather resources on a time limit. It reminds me of some Mists scenarios—like the monkey one—with added PvP elements.
I’m also not sold on the Warfront 20 player build a base things. I don’t enjoy RTS games and these things don’t sound like fun to me either. Maybe they will be better than they sound though.
I guess my main worry is that end game will not be fun for me because I dislike most of the end game features. I have had so much fun in Legion that this thought really upset me at first. If I don’t enjoy the Island Expeditions and Warfronts, I won’t do them. I have never enjoyed dungeons so they are already out. It makes me wonder what I will do once I hit 120.
I’ve thought about it though and it will be alright. I will still raid and on nights I’m not raiding I will either do something else or make my own fun. I’ve been too busy in Legion to run old raids for transmog or pet battle much. I can catch up on stuff like that if need be.
Hopefully more information about Battle For Azeroth will come out soon. There was no hint of a timeline or when beta might be announced. It might be a longer wait than most people expected (due to the consistent 11 week cycle of Legion) until the next expansion. I was expecting it around July, but now I think it will be late summer at the earliest. And probably later than that.
I can’t tell if Blizzard was trying to be sneaky and keep some big story beats hidden during the Battle for Azeroth reveal or if they were trying to sell a very early iteration of the expansion. They seemed to say things like “We are still working on that” or “We haven’t decided on that yet” a lot. I didn’t feel like a lot of additional information came out of interviews or the Q&A.
I guess we will all find out in the months to come. So what do you think about Battle for Azeroth? Are you excited? Sad? Indifferent? Let me know.