We’re not a news site, but we often like to react to the news around our favorite games and other media. That’s what this column is about. Today, massive Warcraft lore nerd T.J. Hafer (he’s basically second in line behind Red Shirt Guy) reacts to today’s announcement of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, at Gamescom in Germany.
The sixth expansion for World of Warcraft has been announced, and it’s focusing on the Burning Legion. Long-time Warcraft fans like myself might find this odd, considering the Legion has already been defeated in the War of the Ancients. And again in Warcraft 3. And again in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. But thanks to all the weird time travel shit that happened in Warlords of Draenor, they’re back for what Blizzard is quick to describe as their most significant invasion of Azeroth yet. Also, Illidan is back from the dead for some reason.
Yeah, Warcraft has basically turned into a comic book universe where cool characters never actually stay dead. But maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
We’re getting a new continent on terrestrial Azeroth in the form of the Broken Isles. Unfortunately, this isn’t some great, world-changing thing where Archimonde shows up and drop-kicks an entire, existing continent. They’re just some islands that were already broken. And now the Burning Legion has showed up there, presumably making them more broken. Okay, yeah, I guess they do have some precedent in Warcraft lore as the place Gul’dan went to screw around and get himself ripped to shreds in the Tomb of Sargeras (simultaneously causing the defeat of the Horde by taking a third of their soldiers to re-enact the melting face scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark). But now it’s going to have zones and ancient cultures and cheesemongers and all kinds of other, crazy MMO stuff.
HYPE LEVEL: Moderate
Among these is a “new” race of elves we haven’t seen before. After the elves split at the end of the War of the Ancients, we were left with the magic-hating, tree-dwelling Night Elves and the magic-loving, tower building High Elves. Supposedly these newcomers are… even more into magic than the other magic elves. Like, they look at the magic-addicted citizens of Quel’Thalas and say, “You call that being obsessed with magic?!” And then they… I don’t know, snort a whole bunch of magic from the rim of their magic-filled jacuzzis while singing a song called, “Magic is So Great, You Guys Don’t Even Know.” Magic.
HYPE LEVEL: Magic
Let’s not be so cynical, though. There are some pretty cool things coming. The Emerald Dream is finally showing up in the game as a raid zone. It’s not as cool as having an entire expansion based on it, but at least we’ll finally get to play through and see some resolution to that long-dangling story arc outside of a tie-in novel that people who aren’t as big a nerd as me probably didn’t read. Likewise, we’ll be getting to see and confront Queen Azshara at some point. She also deserved her own expansion, but if this is going to be the point at which Blizzard decides to tie off all the loose ends they don’t really want to write about anymore, I’m glad they’re at least getting some resolution instead of hanging in limbo forever.
HYPE LEVEL: High
And we’re getting a new hero class, the Demon Hunter. Warlords of Draenor, the previous expansion, was the first not to introduce any new character race or class options, and it made alt addicts like myself sad. Demon Hunters have a lot of background in the lore, are much beloved, and will get their own, unique starting experience along the lines of what Death Knights got in Wrath of the Lich King. Also, most importantly of all, they will be the first characters in WoW’s history to be able to DOUBLE JUMP!
HYPE LEVEL: Double High
Lastly, Blizzard is continuing the tradition of making your player character (whom, in my case, has been dealing with the never-ending chain of war and shitstorms for over 10 years) more of a big deal in the world. Warlords let you have your own garrison and mini-army. Legion will make you the leader of an entire Order based on your class. My paladin gets to become literally the leader of the Silver Hand. Which is something I am quite frankly looking forward to.
HYPE LEVEL: LITERALLY THE LEADER OF THE SILVER HAND
Other cool bits and pieces include persistent, customizable artifact weapons and your stock level cap increase. You can get caught up on all of that at the expansion official site.
Let us know in the comments what you think of the announcement. What’s your history with WoW, and are you planning on re-activating your account for this one?