The Warrior’s Charge: And our name is Legion, for we are many
Okay, I was intending to do a completed Hellfire Citadel loot list, but the World of Warcraft: Legion reveal left me with some questions that I thought we could talk about here. So let’s muse about the expansion that was just announced and which we can’t possibly know the answers to these questions about.
First up, the issues at hand:
- What are our artifacts going to be? We saw a brief mention of our Protection artifact: a sword and shield made from the scales of Neltharion the Earth Warder before he succumbed to the corruption of the Old Gods. But what do Arms and Fury get? If each get their own artifact, how does the artifact system plan to deal with Titan’s Grip vs. Single-Minded Fury?
- Class orders and class order halls — how does this work for Warriors, who have historically never had such an order? Mages have the Kirin Tor. Hunters have the Farstriders, the Sentinels, the Longrunners, etc. Paladins have the Silver Hand, Shamans have the Earthen Ring, Druids the Cenarion Circle. Warriors don’t have any of that — our whole deal is that we’re the basic man at arms, the person who straps on armor and weapons and transcends through sheer guts and determination. So how is this going to work?
- There will now be a third tank/melee DPS hybrid class. They sound like they’ll be wearing leather and using agility gear, so at least there’s that. But will they dilute our role even further? Considering how melee-unfriendly WoW has been for years, is jamming another tank/melee hybrid into melee range and tanking going to push Warriors out?
Okay, first up, artifacts.
I have a whole list in my head of potential artifacts for Warriors. The problem here is, Warriors tend to have a bit more racial flavor than, say, Paladins or Death Knights. It’s easier to imagine all Paladins wanting Ashbringer than all Warriors wanting the same weapon. A Human Arms Warrior would drool over a chance at the Great Royal Sword or Quel’Zaram but an Orc might prefer an axe such as the Axe of Cenarius (and heck, Night Elves might like that one, too) and Tauren might be disappointed they still don’t get their giant pole weapon. Alliance warriors might well be granted Shalamayne by Varian himself (he’s getting too old for this stuff) or perhaps the long rumored Prismatic Quel’Serrar or even Ashkandi could serve. You can see the problem — while a Forsaken Warrior might enjoy using a weapon once used by Anduin Lothar or Thoras Trollbane, would a Troll? A Pandaren would have no idea who any of these people were.
A more primal weapon, such as Sulfuras or Thunderfury, might be called for here. But I really don’t know if I want to see an artifact that’s dropped as a legendary already. Maybe it’s time to just make up some new lore, or dig into older stories. For instance, we’re dealing with the Burning Legion and the Tomb of Sargeras here. What if Warriors got Gorribal, or some version of it that the Avatar of Sargeras carried onto Azeroth when it fought Aegwynn? She could easily have hidden the weapon away, recognizing its literally Titanic power. This Shade of Gorribal would still be one of the most astonishing weapons ever to exist on Azeroth, more than worthy enough for an Artifact, and you could easily have it be the Arms weapon or the Fury weapon. Maybe both — maybe it divides into two blades when Fury get it. Or whatever spec doesn’t get Gorribal could easily go on a quest to Ulduar to ask Algalon for the equal and opposite, Taeshalach.
The problem for Fury is, how do you support the two playstyles (TG and SMF) with one artifact? One possibility could be weapons that could shrink or grow depending on if you wanted them to be one- or two-handed. We don’t know anything yet about if the class mechanics are going to stay the same in Legion — but we do know there are class changes on the horizon and it’s possible one of the two options will be removed for Fury. If not, it would be nice if the Fury artifact could somehow work for both TG and SMF. Since the artifact weapons are unique to the spec, they could even be an entirely different weapon category, similar to Diablo 3’s mighty weapons. Two massive cleavers that don’t count as either one- or two-handers, that only work for Fury, could sidestep that problem entirely.
We didn’t get to see any Warrior artifacts on the stream or on the Legion page, so right now, we’re just waiting to see. Since Warriors are the weapon class, it’s a big concern for me.
I have to admit I was flummoxed by the idea of a class order for Warriors. The closest thing in the lore to anything like a class order for warriors was the old brawling quest out on Fray Island, and that’s been gone for years now. But talking about it with my boss Alex Ziebart, we basically came around to the idea of a mercenary company a la the Black Company from the book series of the same name. Perhaps it could contain elements from other organizations of a military bent throughout Azeroth. The now-defunct Brotherhood of the Horse, the lost knights of Stormwind who fought valiantly and fell against the Old Horde, the 7th Legion and the remnants of the Kor’kron who didn’t side with Garrosh. Perhaps call this organization the Might of Azeroth, as in a way it’s a successor to the Might of Kalimdor, the cross-faction army that united to defeat the Silithid and C’thun.
It still feels a little weird to imagine a Warrior order. For once thing, absolutely anyone can get in. There are Warriors for every playable race — Gnome Warriors, Tauren Warriors, Worgen Warriors, Blood Elf Warriors. Demon Hunters are going to be a ton of Elves standing around staring at each other, while Warrior gatherings are ridiculously diverse. Every other class keeps someone out, but not warriors. That’s a good thing, mind you. As long as the Warrior order feels that inclusive — so long as it feels credible that someone who straps on two weapons and spins around until she’s covered in blood and a noble who uses his shield to safeguard the weak could both credibly be members, I have no issue. We’ll see how it shakes out.
They’re not taking our jobs
Now, as for how another tank class is going to work out.
Honestly, I’d worry more for Druids and Monks than for Warriors. We’re not going to share gear with these guys. I expect as agility tanks that they’ll do a lot of dodging and maybe some parrying, and since they turn into big honking demons to tank they’ll have an entirely different mechanic than us. Frankly, though, I do think adding another melee/tank hybrid is weird decision-making on Blizzard’s part. I know that WoW Demon Hunters aren’t ranged, but frankly, go ahead and steal from Diablo Demon Hunters.
In general, the Demon Hunter does not feel like much of a threat to us. That’s my opinion, anyway. Next time we’ll finish that gear column, I promise.
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