Yesterday, in amongst a lot of conversation over content via social media, I came to an important understanding of what Legion has really been about. This was the Expansion that not only rebooted the Warcraft ‘franchise’ but has redefined how content is deployed going forward. No longer will there be accusations of ‘nothing to do’ from anybody that can be justified with evidence to support it. There is an excess of distractions presented, stuff to discover that has put all previous Expansions to shame, and this is part of a larger plan that patch 7.3 will now reveal. With the revelation that multiple new worlds will be available to explore going forward, that Argus is just the beginning…
7.3 will be the culmination of all we have, but reinvented.
The Broken Isles is a massive pile of raw materials, including new doodads and skins. It has extensive new mechanics for mobs and NPCs with animations to match. The Micro holidays, all chosen for a reason, have code that undoubtedly can be repurposed for differing purposes. The only things that change are dialogs, objectives and rewards. Imagine, if you will, that Legion’s like a Lego kit: blocks that can form any manner of different objects, that look and play differently dependant on which combination is used. 7.0 to 7.25 has introduced all of the building blocks needed to build Argus, and the various worlds that will now spring forth alongside it. 7.3 gives players a bunch of new items that work really well alongside that basic set of ‘bricks’ but doesn’t change the framework, simply how the pieces are put together.
This allows the design team to keep presenting ‘new’ content, which is simply a combination of rejigged code sequences. It allows a continuation of the pace we’ve seen previously, without hamstringing continued progress. Effectively, it has taken since Warlords of Draenor to re-organise studio time and repurpose the staff inside the IP to now work at this pace: to help aid that, everything is now being built to serve multiple purposes inside the new instance based framework. You know how people keep joking how Warcraft is becoming more like Diablo? Well, they’re right. We’re no longer Open World any more, but a series of instanced play boards that are linked together, dependant on the progress of an individual player. Welcome to the new, modular Azeroth.
The question then becomes what we can expect to see repurposed from the last year or so, what will be new going forward and what ideas will be summarily left by the wayside. More importantly for me, there’s also the question of what in-game pursuits will have a Mobile app attached to them this time around, and to what end. I’m aware that a new 7.3 build was deployed a couple of nights ago, but that’s as far as I know about details… and long may that remain the case. I’ve not even managed a login this week, and hope to correct that tonight. Real life, suddenly, is far more interesting as distraction.
I hope 7.3 can be a decent use of all that has come before, however. The potential sounds endless, at least in principle. I look forward to having my shark-jumping belief proved wrong too, hopefully in the most comprehensive terms possible.