When looking simply at the numbers, things are looking pretty dim for World of Warcraft. Subscription numbers are down to a new all-time low and players seem to be almost universally unhappy with the Warlords of Draenor expansion. However, for those fans who have seen the ebb and flow of the tide of subscription numbers before, this is just par for the course. With Warlords on the way out, very little new content being released, and the option to purchase game time via the WoW Token, it only makes sense that subscription numbers have taken a sudden nose dive.
With that being said, the ray of hope is on the horizon. The anathema to those end of expansion blues; a brand new expansion. Of course, the expansion has to be a good one to recover from the likes of Warlords of Draenor and it seems that World of Warcraft: Legion may just have what it takes. Still not sure about the power of Legion? Here are 5 reasons Legion can help to renew WoW subscription numbers:
Return of Beloved Characters
In Warlords of Draenor we got to meet up with some of the most legendary characters in World of Warcraft lore. However, there was a serious disconnect here. Existing only in a universe apart from our own, almost everything in Draenor felt a little less exciting than it should have, even facing off with the likes of Gul’dan, Killrogg, and Blackhand.
Legion is set to do this right. Not only are we back in our universe, but there is a direct and imminent threat to our world via the Burning Legion. This well-known threat will bring us face to face with old familiar enemies, such as the seemingly immortal Archimonde and other dastardly demons from our past. Also coming back is fan-favorite Illidan, the much despised twin brother of Malfurion. Seeing these beloved (and despised) characters make a reappearance will reinvigorate fans new and old. Not to mention that these events are happening in the here and now, making these reencounters truly feel exceptional.
If you spent any time on the forums previous to the Warlords of Draenor release, you probably saw a whole lot of complaining. One of the biggest complaints about the expansion was the lack of a new class or race to play. While many felt that neither a new class nor race was essential for this particular expansion, there was a general feeling of dissatisfaction that has lasted throughout the life of WoD.
While Legion won’t be offering up a new race, we will be seeing a new class; the Demon Hunter. Finally, players will be getting the brand new class they have been demanding since before Warlords. Even better, the class fits with the expansion and has a definite potential to be one of the coolest additions we have had in some time. If this is the case, players will likely renew their subscriptions just to try out their very own Demon Hunter. Be sure to check out our basic Demon Hunter guide before Legion launches to familiarize yourself with the class!
Content, Content, Content
If Warlords has had one fatal flaw, it is that it was released as a pretty bare bones expansion. After the leveling experience there was very little to do. Besides doing your daily Garrison chores, there was little reason to log in. The first patch in the expansion offered little relief, giving us only trivial items that shouldn’t have been the key notes of what should have been a major content patch. Of course, new content eventually came along, but it was too little too late.
From what we know of Legion, no content will not be a problem. From day one there will be plenty to do. A whole new class, several new zones, profession quests, and more than a few dungeons and raids to sink our teeth into. Even better, a host of repeatable content will be ready to go to keep players satisfied until new patches roll out. Keeping players entertained in the long term will go a long way to boosting subscription numbers and keeping them up.
Open World Feel
The World of Warcraft leveling experience has always worked in a very linear fashion. You moved from zone to zone as you leveled up, with little room for variation. This rigid method of play has prevailed throughout the Warlords of Draenor expansion and while functional, it leaves little room to carve your own path. This makes the leveling experience feel a bit dull and dated, especially when leveling more than one character.
The Legion expansion will open up a totally new leveling experience. For the first time players will be able to almost completing choose their own adventure. Except for max level zones, all other zones in Legion will scale for the player based on their level. So if you want to do 6 quests in one zone and another 6 in the next zone over, you can do it and be rewarded appropriately for it. This flexible leveling experience is sure to draw players in and keep them interested for the long haul.
The Death of the Garrison
It goes without saying that the Garrison in WoD was perhaps the worst disaster that has happened in WoW in a very long time. While the idea was good, the way this feature actually played out destroyed the game for many players. Isolating players and offering up mind-numbing “chores” to complete, there will be very few players who are sad to see the tail end of the Garrison.
However, when developers announced Class Halls, the player base held their breath in fear. Would this be a Garrison 2.0? After many interviews and BlizzCon, we can breathe a sigh of relief. While Class Halls will be something like the Garrison, it seems that this time it will be done right. Better Followers, more interaction with other players, and less grinding, Class Halls are shaping up to be everything the Garrison could have (and should have) been. Getting rid of the Garrison and all the negative energy is a sure fire way to draw back in the masses.
While we can’t say that Legion will be perfect, from what we have seen it is shaping up to be a potentially excellent expansion. After the failures of WoD, all of the above and more will need to happen to help boost up subscription numbers to their previous levels. The future is looking bright, but we won’t really know until the expansion is released. Let’s hope that Legion kills it.
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