It’s no mystery at this point what state World of Warcraft is in. With the announcement of only 5.6 million subs recently, as well as confirming the release of a new expansion, it seems that Blizzard is trying to keep their head above water and win back the 4.4 million subscribers they lost over the lifetime of Warlords of Draenor.
And everyone knows nothing gets people more excited than a new expansion! When released, Warlords of Draenor brought in the most subs in years due to intense hype of the game, and despite it’s relative flop, Blizzard seems quick to brush it under the rug. At Gamescon they officially announced the next expansion for World of Warcraft – Legion.
Following the storyline from the end of the previous expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion presents a new continent known as the Broken Isles, which has multiple zones and unique story lines between each of them. The main story revolves around a demonic invasion of the world which players will have to stop, utilizing their classes and new weapons in ways never before seen in World of Warcraft.
Of the many features introduced into the game, one of them was Artifact Weapons, where players acquire class specific weapons that have a lot of significance in the games lore. They are then able to customize the weapon according to their preference, from changing the base color to changing the model. Tying in with this feature is something called Class Orders, where each class will have their own area only they can enter, and because they now wield this powerful weapon they are given access to it. Each one is unique to the class, such as Paladins acquiring a Church and Death Knights get a Necropolis.
The biggest announcement is perhaps the inclusion of a new playable class, the Demon Hunter. A Hero Class much like the Death Knight from Wrath of the Lich King, they will start off at a higher level to get to the new content faster. Unlike other classes they only have two talent trees, one for DPS and another for tanking. Restricted only to Elf races, the Demon Hunter is a class that people have been calling for since the end of The Burning Crusade.
There were also changes to the PvP system as they move away from the one they’ve been using for the past five expansions. Introducing PvP talents and a prestige system, they’re trying to avoid item discrepancy that was so prevalent throughout PvP before. They also mentioned multiple dungeons that take place all over the Broken Isles and announced two low level raids – The Emerald Nightmare and Suramar Palace.
Blizzard seems to have learned their lesson from the previous expansion and addressed complaints that people had, especially around the garrison system. They’ve given players a lot of what they’ve wanted this time around: Demon Hunters, the Emerald Nightmare, popular lore characters. With the subscriber loss, it’ll be interesting to see if the hype around the new expansion will be enough to bring back players.