Yesterday was the release of World of Warcraft: Legion and I was on to play bright and early… okay, dark and early as it was only 4 a.m. I wanted to get started before I needed to do my articles for the site. I consider myself a casually intense player. I don't play constantly, but in waves. When there is new content, I'm on a lot. When things slow down I tend to only show up for raid times. Until yesterday I had a maxed out character of each class… now I have 12 characters to level up 10 levels.
The first character I planned to level up is my raiding toon, Tzelmoth. He's a destruction warlock and he's been my co-main for the last few expansions. If you're curious about the name, it's a Hebrew word meaning "Shadow of Death". I'd never heard of the band before naming the character.
Blizzard did some great things with this expansion. In Warlords of Draenor the introduced garrisons which allowed players to have a home base and followers who could do missions on your behalf. But garrisons also gave you daily quests and areas to pick up herbs and ore. In a way it became a series of chores you had to do and it got worse if you had multiple characters you were leveling up. With Legion they introduce Class Order Halls. They have the mission / followers set up but no longer the basic chores you have to do. You also share the area with other characters of the same class. So Tzelmoth gets to chill with a bunch of other warlocks in his downtime at the Dreadscar Rift. And the quest to open the each order hall is unique by class. When it's time to level up a different character it will be a different experience.
The second thing introduced in Legion that you get to deal with is artifact weapons. Each class and specialization gets their own legendary weapon. And the quest to get that weapon is also unique. As a destruction warlock, Tzelmoth has to steal the Scepter of Sargeras away from the Orc warlock Gul'dan. The Scepter of Sargeras has a long history in the franchise lore including being used by Ner'zhul to open portals for the first attack by the Burning Legion which caused the shattering of Draenor and created the Outlands. Basically all of the first WoW expansion, Burning Crusade. Now my warlock is carrying that weapon around. And as I level up, I can added power to the scepter, opening up new abilities.
So before I even head out into the Broke Isles to quest, I've already had an experience that when it comes time to level my other characters, will be completely different. Different weapons, order halls, etc. These two things alone are huge improvements in the game. And once you hit level 102, you can go and get the weapons for the other two specializations in your class. Demonology gets the Skull of the Man'ari and Affliction gets Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester.
Once you have your weapon, you have the option to choose one of four different areas in the Broken Isles to start with. This is the third big thing Blizzard got right. No longer is everyone funneled into one or two starting areas making the expansion laggy as hell. Now you choose as the mobs and quests scale for your level. This allows you to start at Azsuna as I did, Stormheim as my girlfriend chose or Val'Sharah or High Mountain. Then I can do which ever of those I want second and third, etc. And once I move on to another character, I get to pick new again. And though Suramar isn't an area you get to choose from, I've already been given a quest to go there when I hit 102.
The strength I see in this expansion over the previous five is how you are basically the variety and uniqueness that each player can experience regardless of how many characters they choose to level up… unless you're my friend Nightowl who only likes to play discipline priests… and has five of them. He might get bored.