We interrupt your scheduled Zone reviews for a confession: Alt needed to do something other than questing this week. Don’t panic, there’s nothing wrong with Legion (though I might have some ideas for Archaeology myself to make it even more awesome). I’m just admitting that if I want to keep playing the Mobile App, there need to be resources to fuel my addiction.
As a result, at the weekend instead of finishing the Azshara quest lines, I went and pushed my reputation with Suramar to Friendly and triggered the circumstances required to put World Quests on my map. Now they exist, and I can fully understand why many players believe Blizzard has found, after twelve years, the perfect way to plan to organize endgame outside of formal instances and raiding.
Frankly, there is absolutely nothing to fault with what I’ve played so far.
World Quests come in all flavors: you can snag cash rewards, Order Hall resources and gear upgrades, which have the same chance to update to a much higher iLevel than advertised. They’re also not just the normal ‘kill x mobs’ setup either; you’ll recognize many of these areas as zones you quested in whilst leveling or areas that were previously bonus objectives.
However, there is more to them than simply recycling of old content. On arriving in Thunder Totem this morning I found myself in the middle of a Drogba ‘invasion.’ Once I’d repelled it and the bad guys vanished It was business as usual in the Highmountain capital. What this system does so well is utilize the ‘multiple instance’ nature of Legions new UI technology. While I’m fighting baddies, other low level players won’t see the incursion and continue as normal. This does make life a little laggy at times for me, but it’s a problem I’m prepared to live with.
However, there’s a second level to this that makes the process of rep grinding considerably easier: certain quests will reward you with a small reputation bonus, but for the big bonuses you’ll need to pick an Emissary to approach. Once upon a time the plan was to have these individuals appear in your Class Order Hall but in an obvious attempt to push players out into the world you’ll find them doubling as Reputation vendors in their home zones across the Broken Isles.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to complete four World Quests in a Zone to qualify for a lovely glob of extra rep and a ‘chest’ that has, I am reliably informed, a decent chance to provide a Legendary item. I’m not that fussed about Orange loot, I’m here for the normal armor upgrades to get myself set for LFR. Anything else? We’ll deal with it when it comes.
It should be noted at this point that your four quests do not need to involve biffing stuff alone or defending things with random passers by. Fishing and Pet Battling count, so does killing a World Boss. You can already have killed a World Boss, I discovered this weekend, and you’ll still get credit and 1000 resources for doing so. However, that’s not all. There are PvP objectives, plus boss kills in Dungeons, that also count towards your total.
This is a reminder that there are a number of high HP ‘bosses’ scattered about the Broken Isles that you’ll need help dispatching but that don’t drop shiny epic loot. That’s why you have the Group Finder, and it is remarkably easy to find some people to help out. There’s also Professions recipes to be traded for/upgraded every three days or so. Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure? World Quests appear to be the only reliable source for bacon. You may not need that now but when Nomi stops burning your food in Cookery lessons? You’re gonna want that raw material. Keep it in the bank until then.
The World Quests cycle every 24 hours, and Blizzard boasted before Legion went live there are more than 500 separate events that can appear. That’s enough to keep the most voracious of appetites appeased. If you wanted, you could do nothing but these for the rest of the Expansion, and presumably with 7.1 on the PTR, there’ll be new things added in due course, undoubtedly linked to the development in story lines. It is very easy to see why people are so enamored with the concept. I picked up three upgrades in an hour this morning, which were considerable for my Hunter who’s getting close to the LFR threshold I’ll want so I can tell you all about the Emerald Nightmare in the weeks that follow.
It has been suggested that although I find it easy to do this questing alone with two pets to hide behind, other classes might suffer and struggle to complete their targets. To be honest, I’ve fought with a large number of people in these objectives and should remind everyone that all of these World Quests allow you to tag other people’s mobs and claim joint credit. That means, if you’re sensible, it’s even easier than you might think to complete your daily circuit. Failing that, I hear Social Media is a great place to find people to help you, and Cross Realm Invites pretty much make the entire exercise a doddle.
An awful lot has changed since Warlords, but the fingerprints of systems established for that Expansion remain all over Legion’s end game ‘plan.’ The lesson learned is that players want to be pushed out of their bases and into the action yet still maintain the chance to win big from random chance hasn’t just been reacquired, but redefined. I made enough resources this morning from my hour’s activity to provide my phone with a full day’s ‘work,’ which means whilst I’ve been writing the iPhone to my right has announced the completion of three Missions for the day. Once I’ve written and uploaded this article, there will be the chance to log on for another hour, compete another slew of tasks and provide enough raw materials to take me overnight and back until breakfast, where the whole process will begin again anew.
It’s what Garrisons should have been, if the company had owned King when Warlords launched. This fulfills a potential that I suspect we will now see not only further developed but exceeded as time goes on. This makes the game that was already so many things to an awful lot of people the potential to finally expand beyond the PC platform. I’m expecting November’s Blizzcon X (we’ve evolved past mere numbers) to see the company grasp the mobile platform beyond Azeroth; if I had my way there would already be a pet battle app being internally tested. However they choose to spin it, combining handheld and PC together isn’t just a match made in heaven, it’s the continuing evolution for the franchise.
For the casual player I have become, World Quests are perfect in so many ways it’s hard to even start to try and find fault. I’m already hearing complaints from ‘hardcore’ raiders that this is further evidence of the company ‘dumbing down’ to attract new players. Well, in Shock News these are exactly the kind of people the company’s aiming to recruit, whilst at the same time keeping a long-term static player base happy with an increasingly sophisticated selection of aesthetic and vanity-based developments. Those casuals have just as much chance of becoming hardcore, and that increased pool of players might not really care about Instances or Raiding. There’s just as much chance they’ll go start doing PvP Prestige levels and then lecture the hardcore on what constitutes real skill in game.
The point here is that it no longer really matters how you play, just that you keep coming back for more. That’s the bigger point with World Quests: a continuous, constantly changing stream of easily accessible content that matches your play style. It does not matter what you do and with whom. You might want extra gear for alts, or maybe help to gear a main, or perhaps you just want to play alone for the rest of your days. The game’s been redesigned to accommodate everybody for the first time, whether that means you playing every day or only once a week. You don’t even need the PC any more to be a part of the action; there’s the chance to still be in Azeroth when all you have is a mobile phone.
When questing in traditional zones was not enough for me, having the opportunity to go and do something else maintained my interest and provided solutions to the perennial issue of gearing and survivability. There’s still multiple options available to do the same things away from World Quests, but frankly I’m not that interested until I’ve done an awful lot of other content that’s tied to the currencies these events generate. All I need is here and will be for quite some time to come. As if on cue, there’s the sound from my phone telling me the last Mission I set running at breakfast is ready. It’s just in time for me to go back online and collect some more resources before I go to bed.
This is as close to perfect as I think Legion can possibly get.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Column, Legion, MMO, News, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday