Yesterday was the launch day for World of Warcraft: Legion and when the expansion went live I was stuck at the office, almost counting the hours to run home to log in with my Druid and take the fight to the legion in the Broken Isles.
But before I could do that, I had to meet one of the major NPC druids, Hamuul Runetotem and open a path to the Emerald Dream, a place I’ve wanted to visit in the game ever since I read about it in lore and in the supplements for the World of Warcraft Tabletop Role Playing Game. I took my time just taking in the sites before moving on with my mission, to reach the Dream Grove, the Druid Class Hall, and meet a few important NPCs and begin the quest for my first artifact weapon, The Scythe of Elune.
Since I read the Scythe was the Balance weapon, I was jumping with joy. It’s one of my favourite pieces of WoW lore, the scythe that opened the way for the Worgen to come into Azeroth and spread their curse. Without the Scythe, we would never have the Worgen of Gilneas, the Alliance playable race.
The quest for the Scythe isn’t the best of stories but it’s pretty fun, picking up from Duskwood, a place very firmly associated with the Worgen and the Scythe. But before you can get your hands on the weapon, Dark Riders appear and take it away, escaping to Deadwind Pass and from there to Karazhan’s tombs—I’ll admit I wanted these tombs to be the Hall of Tortured souls that once existed under the tower, accessible only through clipping, but no such luck.
Once under Kharazan you have to fight your way through a ton of enemies—I even died a couple of times for trying to fight too many at the same time—before finally facing off against the main Rider, who quickly succumbs to the beastly power of the Scythe. With him, down, you claim your weapon, wielding it without issues and even upgrading it once you return to the Dream Grove. The New/Half/Full Moon spell you get from the weapon is absolutely amazing!
The last thing I did yesterday was acquire the other three weapons for the druid specialisations. One of the major changes that Legion brought was that you are no longer restricted to two specs. You can now freely switch between them all, so it makes sense to collect the weapons for all other styles of play.
Over the course of the storylines, I proved three things to myself: I still have the tanking skills, I can be a decent healer and I thoroughly suck playing feral. I still can’t make heads or tails out of playing kitty, so this is likely to be the spec I use the least in the game!
The feral weapon quest is the weakest, with a simple quest and scenario with no real ties to the rest of the expansion. The Balance story tied to the upcoming re-worked Karazhan dungeon, for example. The Bear story tied to the Emerald Nightmare raid and the Restoration story was just simply cool! The feral on the other hand is just pursuing a young druid that escaped with the weapon, only for it to drive him insane.
The Bear story has you tracking the Claws of Ursoc, the Ancient that fell during the first invasion of the legion, the War of the Ancients. To find them, you have to seek out his brother, Ursol, and gain his blessing so you can reach his fallen brothers’ spirit deep within the Emerald Dream. This part plays out like Tanking 101, and it’s about whether you can handle threat, multiple enemies and keeping them away from your squishier companions.
But then you reach Ursoc’s lair and it’s a badass fight with the ancient himself by your side, battling satyrs, corrupted plants and other such agents of the Emerald Nightmare. I got my butt handed to me a couple of times in this one, just because of the sheer number of enemies, the low healing I received from the NPCs and just how rusty I was at being a tank. But at the end I got my new claws, which gave my bear form a completely new and badass look.
The Resto story is about recovering the staff, G’hanir, a branch from the similarly named mother tree, from where all the World Trees came from, the tallest tree atop the tallest peak, the Valhalla for all winged creatures. The staff has been corrupted by the Nightmare and you have to first recover it and then purify it in the waters of Nordrassil, the world tree on Hyjal, where the climactic battle of Warcraft III took place.
But when you get there, you find the place in ruins and the waters all but gone, just a tiny puddle remaining. While an NPC cleanses the staff, you have to fight a massive demon. The other major Druid NPCs help you out, assuming a form matching the other three specialisations, leaving you to do the healing.
I almost thought I wouldn’t make it, since my skills as a healer aren’t much to brag about, but in the end, with some high-adrenaline moments, it went well and the staff was pure again. I picked it up and used a special button you get right there to call on the spirits of the forest to one-shot the big demon. It’s pretty awesome.
But my absolute favourite part of the class quests, and I truly mean it, is the ceremony held when you recover your first weapon. Malfurion Stormrage, big daddy druid, comes and pretty much tells you: “My friend, you are awesome. You have done some amazing things in these years, stuff we can’t even imagine. You’re a badass and it’s high time we recognised it. From now on, you are officially a leader in the Cenarion Circle, you are an Archdruid!”
I stared, wide-eyed at the screen and shouted “Hell Yes!” I dug that so much!
My second favourite is how you reach the Emerald Dream for the restoration and Bear quests, by drinking some suspect water. The only thing missing was for them to tell you: “We need to reach the dream, here, drop some acid and let the trip take you!”
Another major change in the way things play in Legion is that the new maps don’t have level ranges anymore. Instead, the world scales up with you, which is so amazing. It gives you the freedom to pick the maps you want for the stories instead of restricting your choice by character level.
So I picked Azsuna for my first map and I absolutely adored the zone plot. There are two major stories and a ton of smaller ones. The first one is for the Pillar of Creation of the area, taken at the end of the chain by the Naga into the Eye of Azshara, one of the new dungeons. The quest has you fighting side by side with tormented and cursed Night Elven ghosts, trapped in undeath after rising up against Queen Azshara ten thousand years ago. It’s not pretty but it is a very good story.
The second storyline is about blue dragons and it made me genuinely sad. I love the Dragons in Warcraft. I love their concept of guardians of the pillars of the world, the fundamental forces of nature and such. So when an elder blue dragon tells me, “Since the fall of Deathwing we’ve lost much of our power…and we can’t give birth anymore. We are dying out!” I felt so bad for them, truly sad.
Sadly, work keeps me away from the game for most of the day, but this weekend is going to be one of intense bingeing on WoW. I’m planning on doing so much, but most of all, I’m going to enjoy every story in the world now. There are so many little character stories that I know I’ll be questing for weeks!
Are you playing World of Warcraft: Legion? What do you think? Do you have a favourite story? And most importantly, what are the other class weapon quests?