After reporting some incredibly disheartening subscription numbers on August 4, Blizzard has taken the stage today at Gamescom to annou119nce their upcoming expansion pack for World of Warcraft (WoW), the decade-long running massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG).
Introducing World of Warcraft: Legion
WoW’s last expansion, Warlords of Draenor, used time travel to lure players through an alternate timeline, and Legion appears to be what is essentially the same thing but involving the Burning Crusade.
As expected with every WoW expansion, there are a few givens:
The Broken Isles – the newest continent for players to explore
Artifacts – the new “system” that allows players to customize weapons; letting them grow in power as players level up.
New World Bosses
Improved transmogrification system
Improved social features
New class-specific Order Halls and followers
New dungeons and raids
Perhaps the biggest change to the game is the introduction of the Demon Hunter, which is a new playable hero class (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?).
The Demon Hunter
Blizzard fans will immediately want to start making comparisons to the Demon Hunter class in Diablo III, but they should stop there. The Demon Hunter class in WoW is similar in name alone. Blizzard describes the class as an “elven outcast” who was shunned for harnessing the power of the Legion, but they look like smaller versions of Illidan Stormrage.
Demon Hunters have the ability to double-jump, perform gliding attacks, see with “magically augmented sight, metamorph into fel forms, and, well, that’s about all we know so far.
World of Warcraft Subscribers Down to 5.6 Million
During Blizzard’s Q2 earnings call for 2015, the company mentioned that subscriptions had fallen to just 5.6 million — down from the 7.1 million subscribers reported in Q1. Some of the biggest complaints coming from players revolves around reliance on uninteresting raids, a broken PvP system, and too much focus on repeatable content.
Looking through the highlight reel from today’s announcement didn’t instill a sense of confidence in a lot of gamers. The ability to play as a demon hunter is pure fan service, replacing garrisons with class orders doesn’t seem to change the focus, and Blizzard was quiet on details revolving around how they were planning to revamp WoW’s broken PvP system.
Blizzard really needed to shift WoW in a different direction, but Legion sounds like it’s more of the same, though that still remains to be seen.
Let us know how you feel about WoW’s newest expansion in the comments below.