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World of Warcraft: How Legion Can Fix the Homogenization Problem

Monday, September 28, 2015 9:26:08 AM America/Los_Angeles

A new expansion undeniably provides an opportunity for major changes to the game. In the past, Blizzard has even admitted to the fact that it’s almost impossible for them to change major game features or add new features mid-expansion. Instead, we have to wait until a new expansion hits. Warlords of Draenor brought many faults with it, including lack of content, and Legion is a good chance to fix all that.

One of the new planned features for Legion is the artifact weapon system. Players will be able to embark on an expansive quest line that will last for the entire expansion, enabling them to obtain a powerful, customizable weapon that’s iconic to their particular class and spec. The unholy death knight weapon, for example, will differ completely from the blood and frost death knight weapons. These weapons will become better through time and can be customized appearance-wise and via a talent tree-like progression system as the expansion continues.

Giving players a unique way to customize and progress their characters also harkens back to a more classic time of World of Warcraft’s history when players customized their characters as they leveled with the help of an expansive talent tree setup. Players were able to pick and choose between three trees that allowed them to specialize in certain areas such as survivability, maximum DPS, raid utility, or become a “jack of all trades” if they so wished. Certain builds were more popular, naturally, but the possibility of customization allowed players who wished to explore interesting spec combinations do so.

Since Blizzard’s major revamp of the talent trees, WoW has seen a lot more homogenization between all of the classes and specs. The new talent tree system gives players a few opportunities to choose between various self-healing abilities, crowd control abilities, and damage talents, but the degree of customization isn’t what it used to be since players are locked in to a certain degree upon choosing a spec. With the old system, a protection paladin could place more points in retribution, allowing them to do more DPS and lose a bit of survivability. This was sometimes ideal for off-tanking and solo situations. With the new system, tanks have very few opportunities to do something similar. This limits some specs significantly.

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