Annnnnd the long awaited reaction is…… mildly disappointed.
But like all things, it wasn’t all bad. While I think the Warlords Legendary questline had its moments, I didn’t find it as compelling as it’s MoP predecessor.
First things first, I want to point out how I am actually unusual in that I LOVE raid drop grinds. I’m currently working on the Legendary questline on each of my toons and it’s been giving me a great incentive to keep running those LFRs. Raiding is my favorite activity and when I can get something extra out of it like a legendary questline drop, that is just awesome! Sure, there are moments when I found the various stone, rune, and book drops frustrating (like when I spent over a month getting one stone per boss) but on the whole I found that part of the experience fulfilling. I also had the fantastic luck of finishing up with tomes after 55 HFC boss kills instead of the typical 77 so that last phase went even faster for me.
In addition, I also enjoyed Khadgar. Reading his snarky quest text and then having him accidentally kill me was pretty humorous. I thought his fixation on Gul’dan and then Garona a touch odd, but other than that I generally enjoyed my quest dialogue with him.
However, outside of the actually raid grind and Khadgar’s snark, I wasn’t so much a fan of the questline. The non-raid quests were typically a pain. I remember spending the better part of two hours working on the infiltration quest with Garona as she bugged out multiple times. The kill 10 nondescript mobs out in a cave and loot an orb seemed kind of random.
Also, doing the quests on a purely healing character meant I was spending a long time Denouncing everything down. There was only quest where I could pick my role and heal, the rest I was forced to create a shockadin build (I mean, I can’t say I was too upset by this, I do love me some shockadin). Compared to the Mists iteration where almost every quest was togglable between three roles, Warlords is sadly lacking. I mean, the ring I was slowly upgrading me wasn’t even helping me with those intermediary quests at all. It seemed odd.
And don’t get me started on the shipyard. I remember people complaining about the PvP section of the Mists one, but I would take a thousand PvP quests just to have avoided that shipyard section. I from the beginning haven’t been a fan of the shipyard at all. It was like garrison missions except worse because I was constantly under threat of losing my ships. You could level a ship up to epic, only to have it sink the next day. In addition to this, the shipyard just feels so impersonal. You didn’t do anything to get those ships other than talk to a dude out on the beach. There was no quest to go find them.
And even more infuriatingly, there was really nothing you could do to aid them on a mission if they weren’t already epic. I remember grinding my teeth as I prayed to the RNGods to take mercy on my ships. My skill (or lack of) had absolutely no impact on the success or failure of those ships. For a final climactic part of the legendary, it wasn’t very exciting at all.
The lore of the legendary was pretty good, but I honestly didn’t feel all that invested in the story. With Mists, the legendary tied into the story. With Warlords, the legendary WAS the story. And that story on it’s own just wasn’t very compelling. I’m still not clear if we were attacking the ogres because we wanted to or because Khadgar asked us to. We went from killing Garona to saving her in the space of two quests. The Cordana betrayal served almost no story purpose. Everything just felt… flat.
And the ring itself was also a bit of a let down. While I’m not complaining, I don’t every actually get to click my own ring because I’m not the healer in my guild who is in charge of activating it. I wish the ring was an actual model on our toons all the time. I wish the visual effect was bigger and flashier. The wing thingies in Mists were honestly really cool. You knew right away that this player had worked their butt off to get that cape. But you have no clue if someone has the ring by just looking at them when they idle in Stormshield. Its a legendary, I want it to be flashy gosh darn it!
The biggest reason why I didn’t like the legendary questline however, was none of these. Throughout the whole process, there was no challenge. The legendary questline wasn’t legendary. The raids could be done on LFR and thus were fast. The quests could be easily soloed by a healer class doing 3k dps (that is really telling). I never felt tested, never had to pull out any stops, never even had to pay attention too much. I miss that. I missed the Trials of the Celestials and the Thunder Forge. I miss having to look up how to best heal through a certain mechanic because it was too hard for me to figure out on my own. Everything was just too easy. The time that the quest took was the only thing that held me back.
Just like many things in Warlords endgame, the Legendary questline did have potential but it just fell flat. The main draw of the quest for me was the excuse to raid and I would think that Blizzard would want folks to enjoy the process of getting that ring more. As it currently stands, I have one toon done, one toon on tomes, one toon on runes, and one toon on stones so I am pretty evenly spread. I will probably complete all my in-progress rings, but more because I like raiding than any desire I have to repeat the quest. However, Blizzard has shown that it is willing and open for feedback (just take a look at some of the proposed changes for Legion) and I fully believe that the artifacts system will become a far better version of the legendary questline. Let’s just try to forget about the less than legendary Warlords one. 😛