Blizzcon came and went and with it the announcment of a new expansion for World of Warcraft, Battle for Azeroth. And again they are talking about focusing on the fight between the Horde and the Alliance, this time with actual new game mechanics to emphasize that fight, specifically Warfronts and Island Expeditions though the latter don’t have quite as heavy an emphasis but still involve doing that exploration while fighting against a team from the opposite faction.
Honestly, I’m not quite sure what to think about that. For me, the constant conflicts between the Alliance and the Horde have been the most frustrating part of the story, probably because I quite like both factions and seeing them kill each other off doesn’t sit quite right with me. Especially the conflicts between certain races, like the Night Elves and Tauren seem to make little sense other than the allies they have and the support they want to give them.
At the same time I understand that it’s something that’s been core to the franchise for a longer time and refocusing on it makes sense, especially considering the PVP objectives we had in Legion already and the story between Genn and Sylvanas. But it’s still really frustraing to see Teldrassil burning, though I guess that was the point of it, to actually try to create some feeling of anger against the other faction.
Though I believe in the end the expansion through its raids will end up focusing on common enemies anyway, so I’m not sure how big a focus the conflict will be in the end. I have a feeling it’ll end up beeing a similar to Mists of Pandaria, in the sense that we began with faction conflict and ended up with a common enemy, even if he at the beginning of the expansion was the leader of one of the factions. I just hope they don’t end up using Sylvanas for that purpose, though that feels doubtful, more likely something like the Old Gods, since we are already seeing signs of their involvement. Though Old Gods being involved of course opens up the opportunity for some corruption arc, but hopefully not feels like we’ve seen enough of those.
With that said, I am really looking forward to this new expansion. They seem to be removing the legendary system and replacing it with the new artifact neck basically, since it’ll allow you to “spec” three pieces of gear which seems to offer similar customization to the legendaries. The progression on the new artifact neck is also character wide instead of spec specific, which really helps with off-specs especially in time like the current where one wants to get to a certain level in order to prepare for an upcoming raid. The raids also look really interesting, which in the end is the primarly reason I’m playing the game. With those and mythic+, probably my favourite addition to the game ever, staying in the game and even getting expanded, I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy the upcoming expansion. Only time will tell for sure.
I’m still not happy about Teldrassil though.