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The QueueApr 25, 2016 11:00 am CT

The Queue: Managed expectations

Welcome back to The Queue, our daily Q&A feature for all of Blizzard’s games! Have a question for the Blizzard Watch staff? Leave it in the comments!


don’t know if this has been covered yet as I’ve found nothing about it on the web: With  the new Legion transmog system in place, will it be possible to switch individual shoulder guards on/off? I’ve read that it’ll be possible to turn them off completely, but individually?

It isn’t possible to turn only one shoulder off. You can either have both of them enabled or both of them disabled. The only situation where you can have a single pauldron is when the piece of armor is specifically designed that way.


Was Warlords just a reason to bring Illidan back? I’m trying to think of lasting ramifications from Warlords…all I have are…

#1) Gul’dan is the du ex machina to bring Illidan back from the dead

#2) In an expansion that started with an Iron Horde invasion of orcs, it lead to the next expansion dealing with the Burning Legion.

Was there any other reason to be there? (I mean, Yrel was awesome…but not lasting for the foreseeable future..)

I don’t necessarily think the entire thing was created entirely to bring Illidan back. I do think bringing Guldan and Illidan back is convoluted as heck, but I don’t think the entire expansion was created for that purpose alone, no. What we’ve seen with the last couple of expansions is Blizzard tying them together more closely. Mists of Pandaria kinda-sorta carried us into Warlords of Draenor via Garrosh. Warlords of Draenor is directly leading into Legion via … the Burning Legion. It’s a continuous story, as opposed to Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, or Cataclysm. In this expansions, when that story was over, it was over. One didn’t lead into the next. They were stand-alone stories. The recent expansions are more like a trilogy.

Our reason for being there is Blizzard wanted to tell a story there and/or create content in that landscape.

I’m interested in seeing whether or not Legion will lead into the next one like Warlords leads into Legion, or if we’re going to see a conclusion and the next story will be completely different.


How do party buffs work in Legion? They’ve changed, I think?

Generally speaking, they don’t exist. Mark of the Wild, Fortitude, Arcane Brilliance, all of those things — they’re gone. In some cases, classes have similar effects baked into their own stats. In some cases, classes have buffs they can give individuals instead. Overall, though, they’ve eliminated those passive buffs. Playing on the alpha, I miss them from a flavor standpoint, but I know they didn’t serve any purpose beyond that. If you’re in a raid group, you’re going to have a stamina buff. You just will. You have to, because they design raids with those in mind. So why bother with them?

Still, I’ll miss giving random people Fortitude.


Does anyone think there is too much focus on the Artifacts in this expansion? It’s just another piece of gear to me, so I’m not excited at all about them.

Having played the alpha, I think people who are not in the alpha have an incorrect perception of artifacts. Are they a part of gameplay? Yes. Are they a part of the story? Yes. Does every aspect of gameplay and every moment of the story focus on them? Not at all. Your class hall campaign does involve your artifact, but it’s also about doing class-relevant stuff with characters of your class. In my progress so far in the warlock campaign, only the beginning has been centered on acquiring my artifact. The rest of it has been doing warlocky things with warlocks.

And when it comes to gameplay, yes, there are rewards related to empowering your artifact. Artifact Power is, itself, a subset of the rewards you get through questing, both while leveling and at endgame. But there are all of the usual things, too: gear, gold, toys, and so on. You can focus your efforts specifically on gathering artifact power as quickly as you can, or you can mostly ignore it and gain Artifact Power passively while you do whatever you want. Do you love dungeons? Then keep running dungeons like you always have. Sometimes you’ll get gear drops the same way you ever have. Sometimes you’ll get Artifact Power or a token which increase your artifact’s iLevel.

The expansion isn’t only about your artifact. It’s just another thing to do. It is, essentially, just another piece of gear, except you can upgrade it over time instead of praying for a boss to drop what you want and it comes with a little backstory. I truly don’t feel like they’re something to get super pumped about — they’re just another little activity, another goal to work towards, another way to feel like your character is gaining power over the course of the expansion. I’d say that’s worth a little excitement, but not super duper excitement.

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