Legion First Impressions Part 1: The Broken Isles

We are now into the first month of Legion… and I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had playing video games.

No seriously, this expansion is awesome. So far, at least. While I think it’s still too early to make further assumptions, many of us can agree that Legion has lots of potential to become a favorite- and the way patch 7.1 looks right now (warning: datamining spoilers) only adds to that.

Now, I may be a little late with this post, but I’ve taken my own time to experience and digest both leveling and gearing processes. A lot of cool stuff has happened  in the meanwhile and it’s all been utterly fun! Now, the Emerald Nightmare is upon us and I thought I’d share some (late) personal impressions on the expansion.

I’ll start with some insights on the new zones. Landscape exploration is one of my favorite things to do ingame- and the Broken Isles don’t fall short. They are beautiful and the detailing is mindblowing!

Stormheim: since me and my boyfriend enjoy Vrykul lore, we decided to start our leveling journey in Stormheim. To be honest I was very surprised to see so much people claiming that this zone felt boring, confusing and even depressing, but personally, I enjoyed it very much. I felt that navigation was pretty smooth and intuitive despite of the steep terrain. The quests and plot were entertaining in a general way and the ambience, even if dark, brought me memories of WotLK which has been my favorite expansion to this day. I had LOTS of fun with the grappling hook, climbing to search for treasures and gliding down the cliffs. The shieldmaidens and val’kyr are really interesting (and badass!) and the final cinematic was pretty cool. To my own surprise, I actually found myself enjoying the little plot twist. Sorry, Warchief, but you were up to some really shady stuff I simply couldn’t agree with.

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Azsuna: definitely, this was the zone that surprised me the most. For some reason I expected Azsuna to be sort of dull since most of it is crumbling into the sea and there are demons in there and such. Indeed, I didn’t care much about the initial section with the Illidari, but as soon as I was sent north to Azurewing Repose my impressions started to change. I mean, meadow fields with unicorns, hippogryphs, blue dragons, elven ruins and a long-lost-greek-isle feel… the zone just got better and better as I advanced in my questing. Runas the Shamed was a sweet breath of fresh air, until his last, tragic moment (why do u do dis blizz). The story of Prince Farondis was intriguing and I really enjoyed getting to know him and his past. And Nar’thalas Academy? So much fun- as expected from a long time Harry Potter fan. In the end, Azsuna turned out to be one of my absolute favorite zones in the Broken Isles… if not the favorite. I love its ambience, the music, the secrets and mysteries. I took part in the orb investigation that turned out to be the attunement process for Kosumoth, and spent a lot of my playtime searching for other clues for the Long Forgotten Hippogryph. Even now that the mount’s disappointing puzzle has been solved, I keep roaming Azsuna very frequently, hoping to find those elusive crystals sometime.

Val’sharah: the lore behind the Emerald Dream has gripped me since my early WoW days, so I had extremely high expectations for Val’sharah. Indeed, the sceneries are just so pretty and breathtaking- even the Nightmare corrupted areas look amazing. I really enjoyed some of the side quests, like saving the faerie dragons from trickster sprites. The main questline, although, gave me many mixed feelings. Like Tyrande and Malfurion. I like their characters so much, but their love can be so cheesy at times I found myself growing tired of them. On the other hand it was really neat to finally see Xavius and experience the Nightmare corruption taking over such a peaceful land. And the final cinematic… nothing could prepare me for that. It’s amazing how Blizzard manages to conjure so many feelings with their games. I’m so sad to see my favorite dragon Aspect go.

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Highmountain: I saved Highmountain for last because honestly, it was the zone I was less pumped for, even though I enjoyed the comic a lot. I still liked it, however. To me, Highmountain’s ambience reminds me of vanilla Stonetalon Mountains and I appreciate it, since that zone (not the post-Cata version) has a little special spot in my WoW memories. But unlike the rest of the Broken Isles, I feel that Highmountain is a pain to navigate, so much that I found myself getting slightly frustrated and taking questing breaks more often. The main plot might have been my least favorite of all the zones, too. I just didn’t care about Dargrul and the drogbar at all and thought they were really silly villains. The Huln Highmountain scenarios are entertaining though, as well as the side quests.

Suramar: as soon as I hit lvl110 (and long before I was finished with Highmountain questing), I departed to Suramar because I couldn’t wait to see that magnificent city up close. And man, I was not disappointed. Suramar is most definitely the best work we’ve seen from the art team to this day. The city is such a joy to explore! I enjoyed the intro quests with Thalyssra and the Nightfallen very much. The only bad thing I may have to point out is that soon the questline started to send me back and forth every few minutes, which made me grow a little tired and eventually slack a bit on rep progression. Maybe that’s why I still haven’t seen The Arcway and Court of Stars yet. Oh well. Oh, and thank the gods for Feign Death.

I hope you guys are enjoying Legion as much as I am! What’s your favorite Legion zone? I’d love to hear about it.

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