As expected, Blizzard announced their next expansion pack for World of Warcraft during Gamescom last year, and it was a surefire hit with fans. As of Monday, an official release date has been announced. World of Warcraft: Legion will be released on August 30th of this year, and it's bringing a lot more to the table when it does release. The level cap has increased once again, this time to Level 110, and it will also introduce a new class named the Demon Hunter. In a description on the World of Warcraft Wiki website, it states that "Demon hunters ritually blind themselves in exchange for spectral sight that enables them to better sense their prey. This enhanced awareness, together with their great agility and magical prowess, makes demon hunters unpredictable adversaries. An Illidari’s quarry has much to fear." The Wiki also states that the Demon Hunter class will only be available to Night Elves and Blood Elves once the expansion is released.
Legion will also introduce a new continent for players to explore, The Broken Isles. The newest location is a group of islands right in the middle of Azeroth. The islands contain many pieces to the next expansion, such as the "long lost Tomb of Sargeras", as well as the starting area The Broken Shore. In addition to the new continent, players will also receive new artifact weapons that are customizable, as well as new dungeons and raids. The PVP system will also see some improvements and tweaks made. A quote from Blizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime gives a little more insight as to what the expansion will look like, "Legion opens a dark and thrilling new chapter in one of the Warcraft series' greatest conflicts, and things will never be the same for some of Azeroth's most iconic heroes and villains. This expansion is loaded with features and content that give players whole new ways to explore the world and customize their heroes. We're looking forward to sending everyone into battle against the Burning Legion this August".
Currently, there is a standard version of Legion that is priced at $50. However, for the more hardcore fans, Blizzard is offering both a Digital Deluxe version and a retail only Collectors Edition. The Digital Deluxe version will include the expansion itself, as well as content for other Blizzard games such as Heroes of the Storm, Diablo III, and Starcraft II for $70. The Collectors Edition has it all, as it comes with a hardcover art book, a two disc DVD/Blu-Ray set of behind the scenes footage of Legion, a CD soundtrack, and a one-of-a-kind Legion mousepad. Players can get all of that for $90. If players pre-order any of the digital packages above, they will receive an instant character boost to Level 100, as well as early access to the Demon Hunter class.
Subscriber numbers have been dropping in recent years for World of Warcraft, so it's no surprise that Blizzard is attempting to pull out all the stops for its upcoming 6th expansion. Back in 2010, World of Warcraft subscribers were at an all time high, reaching nearly twelve million players. However, that number has since shrunk to about half of that. For many players like myself, who have played the game since it first released back in late 2004, it has been getting rather repetitive leveling up the same characters over and over again. Not to mention the constant addition of new areas, which have to be explored from top to bottom, as well as the pain of having to do certain quests to be able to use flying mounts in said area. The addition of new classes to play is a nice touch, however, as it's always interesting to learn how that class or race came about and explore starting areas. Overall, the next expansion looks promising, and it will be interesting to see what else Blizzard has in store for fans in the future.