Legion has been announced to release on August 30th, which means we won’t see new content until the pre-patch (possibly around July). Therefore, knowing this, I would like to share my end of expansion thoughts. I will split it into three categories: what they did right, what they did wrong, and what they could improve on come Legion.
What They Did Right
Mining and Herbalism for All: The first thing they did right was to free Mining and Herbalism from their specific professions and make them available to all people through the Garrison. Previously, gathering was usually paired with a production profession, yet in Warlords, gathering materials inside the Garrison freed up an additional slot for production professions. Clearing Level 3 Mines and Gardens on a daily basis on multiple alts also reduced the need to farm out in the world, which is usually a nightmare on heavily populated PvP servers.
World Bosses: While they became farm content after reaching a certain item level, the continuation of world bosses was also a big plus for this expansion. Overall, participation in killing world bosses in Draenor was pretty high, with full 40 man groups being the rule rather than the exception.
Varying Tier-Set Bonuses: Tier bonuses are very powerful tools to have. While LFR in this expansion had their own tier sets, the bonuses were small in comparison to the other raid tiers. One major complaint from Mists of Pandaria involved people who strictly did LFR gaining the same tier bonuses as those doing Flex, Normal and Heroic (now Normal, Heroic and Mythic). Separating the tier sets was a good compromise for both the casual and hardcore groups.
What They Did Wrong
Two Raid Tiers: Blizzard intended to release yearly expansions, but the production time of an MMO tends to be longer than one of a fighting game or first person shooter. Two raid tiers meant not enough content to go through once Normal and Heroic modes were cleared. While Mythic was also made cross-realm, not everyone had the time or the skill to do Mythic progression.
PvP: Aside from grinding for titles, PvP has remained mostly stagnant since Mists of Pandaria. A great example of this is the 2v2 bracket which people mainly do for points, resulting in gross mismatches at lower brackets (usually in the form of one geared player and one undergeared player). This leaves 3v3, 5v5 and rated battlegrounds as the only legitimate PvP options. In addition, no new battlegrounds or arenas were introduced in Warlords.
What They Could Improve On
Garrisons: Garrisons were Blizzard’s response to player housing. The idea of having your own Garrison was revolutionary in the game, but it fell short by making people feel isolated. A crucial part of an MMO is to interact with other players in the game (you can’t make progress otherwise), and the way the Garrisons were designed hindered those goals. The Class Halls upcoming in Legion may improve on this concept.
Content Gaps: The introduction of Timewalking dungeons and other weekly objectives seemed like a good incentive to get players to relive old content. However, I see this as a band-aid solution to the end of expansion “content gaps” we get. These gaps have only become larger and larger, which is also a giant source of complaints from the community. Shortening these gaps in Legion could help retain the player base and minimize the “lack of content” complaints. While there are many things in the game to do, perhaps re-introducing scenarios or splitting weekly challenges up into PvE, PvP and pet battles could help ease the content gaps.
These are my thoughts on the end of the Warlords of Draenor expansion. What are some of your thoughts? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!