Wednesday, April 25, 2018

WoW: Legion is Radical to the Maximum - Side B

Once the Tomb of Sargeras is cleared, you can see Argus looming in the skies over Azeroth. Really cool stuff here. This is it, the final battle. Soon, it will be the end of the world. ...of Warcraft.

First, a quick detour to a peaceful lookout. This is it, the calm before the storm. Possibly the last blue sky our hero will see.

...okay, that's a bit dramatic for this game. If World of Warcraft were real life, people would be constantly dying running across freeways while asking aloud "what r car", then respawning and doing the same thing 2-3 more times in a row.

...........yeah, I know the game has a healthy raid scene with some very skilled players, but most of my experience has been with the open world. The rank-and-file. The masses, with all of their spastic jumping and falling off of cliffs.

The phoenix of Kael'Thas sure can soar. Considering this is likely to be the final WoW post on this site, I had to include a shot of me streaking across the sky like this. It was totally worth farming this phoenix, and it's likely the coolest mount I've ever seen in a game.

Landing on Argus. Alas, this doesn't have the quiet, creepy vibe of the first landing of a Metroid game. It's more like you're arriving in an outright combat zone, the siege of a heavily-armed alien force.

The Argus overworld map. This place consists of three distinct zones, each one about the size of your average Classic zone. One can clear the main story of all of these zones in a day, and it's a lore-rich experience.

The surface terrain of Argus is mostly rocky and green, with this one area that resembles Venus.

Now this is cool. Get to a good vantage point and you can get a better view of Azeroth than we've ever gotten before.

After finishing most of the Argus main story missions, we're getting closer to the final battle in the Burning Legion home base.

Before the final raid, I've got a few odds and ends to finish up, like this scenario fight (mini-raid, you could say) that has you fighting General Rakeesh.

The Burning Legion stuff in this expansion has already mimicked the Muramite storyline in Everquest heavily, with things like The Broken Shore containing the temple that takes you to the ruined homeworld of the Burning Legion. It's comparable to EQ where The Broken Shore contains the temple that takes you to the ruined homeworld of the Legion of Mata Muram.

The similarities trickle down to simple mobs like the three-headed beast Guarm being reminiscent of EQ's four-headed dragon Quarm. And here we've got a very obscure one, with the Legion's General Rakeesh looking a bit like the Legion of Mata Muram's General Bagresh. And then there's the fact that the previous WoW expansion was about the Legion going back in time to alter events and try to destabilize the world, much like one of the Muramite expansions had the invading legion going back in time and altering major events of the past to try and destabilize the world.

Regardless, WoW takes a lot of these ideas and goes all the way with them, giving us visual realizations of concepts that EQ's engine has never really been able to handle, and I can't say I really have a problem with it anymore. Here's one of the high-tech elevators in the various sections of Argus.

The amount of Artifact Points you get for using relics is now astronomical, and it's a snap to get an artifact weapon maxed-out. No longer need to build up the level of your AP intake; just use relics and go to town getting new powers on the weapon's sphere grid.

A somewhat Xenogears-like scene as our hero is implored by the powers that be to end the threat of the Legion.

Which is exactly what we're doing now, heading to the Citadel of Antorus.

Kinda like how in EQ you travel to Discord to take on the Citadel of Anguish and the Edge of Discord where you battle the Worldslayer. ...alright, I'm probably reaching here.

Actually, I thought maybe I was reaching with the EQ similarities for a second just now with the Citadel of Antorus/Anguish thing, until the -very first room- of the raid was called Edge of Discord and pitted us against the Garothi Worldbreaker. Again though, it's fine, almost like revisiting a new version of EQ's venerable space-army storyline.

The Citadel has some interesting rooms that seem to show us some of the many worlds the Legion has taken over.

Damn, overall this place looks INSANE. The battles are intense, pitting you against giant mechs that make the Fel Reavers of Outland ten years ago look primitive.

Most of the bosses in here are gigantic Burning Legion commanders. None of these fights are easy and are filled with game mechanics to watch out for.

One of the raid fights here takes you outside to a strangely elven-looking area, where you fly around with energy-wings to beat up Fel Reavers on platforms. It's as fun as it sounds. This raid tier is actually pretty freakin' sweet.

Check out the wingspan on Portal Keeper Hasabel. This is where the raid bosses start to surpass Kil'Jaeden from the end of the previous tier (in power, not wingspan...well, wingspan too, from the looks of this).

As can be expected, this guy goes all Portal by creating holes in the world for demons from elsewhere to jump through.

The Burning Legion REALLY likes the color green, as the WoW conventional wisdom of "don't stand in stuff" becomes "don't stand in the massive pillars of death-blaze".

Fun Fact: Given that these raids have titles like "The Gates of Hell", I found that playing the DOOM OST added a hell (hyuck) of a lot of ambience to the fights. Check out my DOOM playthrough here.

Some flashbacks to the original Kil'Jaeden fight, as well as the Avatar of Sargeras fight we just had. These Burning Legion bosses really like to lurk halfway under the floor.

Here we've got the Mirror Universe evil twin of Illidan. What circle of Hell are we on now?

I take a moment to brood on the seriousness of the situation, as our tank turns out to be in all green armor (for those unfamiliar with WoW, green armor means very low-grade at high levels, with only white and grey being a lower armor type). He promptly gets ganked, things go downhill fast, and then we wipe out. I played the song in question, and the tank left. People were thanking God until I raised the specter of...

...tee hee

I take a raid-break to check out the third and final zone of Argus. The first zone is the war-ravaged surface of Argus, while the second zone is the wasteland surrounding the Citadel. This third zone, however, is oddly gorgeous.

Man, check out that view of the world. ...wait a minute! Is that a Xenomorph head on the right? How many video games has Aliens infiltrated??

Once I finish the exploration achievement, I call it a day with the Argus overworld. Made it a point to get every explore achievement in the game, and I finally finished that goal here.

And now, the final bosses. First up is Aggramar, and it's a good time to mention that this finale is much more interesting if you're well-familiarized with the Burning Legion lore. Suffice to say, he's the X to Sargeras' Sigma, if X had later gone Maverick. Or something like that.

This is possibly the coolest-looking fight in the game, a giant with a flaming sword and a room with color and shadows second-to-none in WoW.

Here's an example. The fight is also blisteringly difficult. Get past that, and it's on to the final battle...

...Sargeras Argus the Unmaker. This titan is the actual world soul of Argus. The planet Azeroth has its own world soul that may come into play at some later time, who knows. All I know for sure is that this fight is badass, with...

...him laying waste to everybody with that glassy, afterimage-producing scythe! Hell yeah! Wait I'm dead

This is a rough battle, but Aggramar seemed a lot worse. Maybe Aggramar is the real "final boss" of the expansion and the world soul here is just the last event to finish things off.

At the end of the fight, everyone dies and ends up in a pile while various NPCs rant about stuff.

But wait! Nature grows healing foliage and everyone is revived! All things considered, this is pretty cool. I really thought we lost for a second, because WoW doesn't typically have events scripted to defeat everyone like this.

The battle resumes, and this time you can finish the battle. You get a bunch of free revives (as a raid) at this point, but it IS still possible to lose if you squander them.

Win, and the world is saved. Sargeras goes to Space Prison, dropping his massive sword onto Silithus.

Seriously, that's what happens. The sword crashes into Silithus, permanently changing the look of the zone. Here's the top and bottom of the sword. Not seen is the approximately half-mile of sword between these two shots. The sword is probably the largest structure in the entire game, and you can only see it after finishing the raid tier. Visiting Silithus before this results in seeing the previous version of the zone.

Another shot of Nu Silithus. It's an interesting place, and there are even some new quests to do here. Was kinda hoping for it to be a postgame type situation. Unfortunately it's only about a half-hour of gameplay to wrap up some of the story.

Aside from Silithus being different, you also see this bright star in the sky instead of Argus. Pretty cool.

So yeah, World of Warcraft is concluded. I'll likely never get into it again now that the Burning Legion is defeated, but I have to say that this latest expansion was a total blast and probably on par with the early expansions in terms of being balanced just right.


  1. Can only you see Argus, or are you instanced?

    I thought it was an orc that went back in time to warn the pre-Legion orcs about the Legion.

    I have more instance questions now about Silithus.

    1. Let's see here... the sky changes are on a player by player basis. So you'll see Argus looming until you go there and do the things, then after you finish the raids Argus is replaced with an unknown bright star. To someone else next to you it might still be Argus.

      Now Silithus I don't know. I don't see how someone else could occupy the same space and see a different landscape (sky is easy enough). So chances are it's a different version of Silithus that you're zoning into. The other person side by side with you might zone into regular Silithus and then you won't see each other. Least, I think that's how it goes. I don't know for sure.

  2. i'm a big fan of the RTS and the lore, but i never got the chance to play WOW due to the sub, the Burning Legion and the Naga are my favourite factions, i guess this was the best expansion to play if you like demons. great site!

    1. From what I'm hearing, the Naga might be taking center stage in a later expansion. Rumor has it that the expansion after next will be the South Seas, which could potentially bring me back for a month to check it out.

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