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The Diablofication of WoW

Now that World of Warcraft: Legion has been out for just over a month, some of the classic 'fatigue' with any expansion is beginning to set in. As an up-to-recently avid Diablo III players, Shelassa and I began to notice several things in Legion that seem awwww-fully familiar and what we now affectionately call the "Diablofication of WoW".


In today's column, we'll take a look at four ways that Diablo systems have been brought into World of Warcraft and opine on whether or not we think the two are well-suited to one another.

With the release of the Reaper of Souls expansion, Diablo 3 players gained access to a new game system called Adventure Mode that has absolutely had an impact on Legion.

Randomness and Increased Levels of RNG

There is no question that World of Warcraft has had a lot of RNG. Between waiting for that lucky drop in a raid or finding the right herbs to collect or tracking down that elusive Time Lost Protodrake, RNG has always been a part of WoW. Wow power level. However, Legion has gone crazy overboard with the randomness in just about every system imaginable.

F

or instance, if you're into secondary professions and have taken the Cooking skill in Legion, you've no doubt met Nomi - ah yes, that little Panda so affectionately raised to be a skilled cook in Mists of Pandaria (or not if you didn't bother but the game thinks you did...but whatever). He should be good at what he does, no?

No is the right word. Players carefully gather cooking ingredients to take to him for the off-chance that he'll grant a recipe of a higher skill level to improve our cooking. Kind of the middle man. More times than can be counted, Mr. Burn returns charred remains of ingredients painfully collected via fishing, monster kills, etc. and no recipe. Or, if you're really lucky, he returns a recipe you already have.

Neat. I'll take a chance on that RNG in the RNG please!

Nomi is only one small example of the amazing level of randomness in Legion too.

The same can be said about world drops that can potentially drop gear up to Mythic levels of quality. While Blizzard couched that with the "extremely rare" prefix, it is obviously the hope that players will continue to keep going through repetitive content on that minute chance of unbelieveable!

If you've played Diablo 3, of course, this is pretty standard fare. Players are often on the hunt for those random amazing drops and they come back over and over just on that off chance it'll happen.

While this is great for D3, it might not be so great in the long term for World of Warcraft. Most would probably have said that the levels of randomness prior to Legion were quite high enough, thank you very much. Now? Through the roof, which brings us to point two.

Item Quality & the D3 Ancient Legendary System

Blizzard is clearly hoping to tap into the gambler's mentality by offering minute, but still present, odds that Mythic quality gear will drop on any quest that rewards gear. There are also the Emissary quests -- four per day -- that reward a loot box that has a statistically small chance that a legendary item will be contained within and, of course, loot drops in dungeons and raids also have a chance to become something amazing.

Case in point: Legion has been out for a month. Through all that time, not a single item over 860 has dropped in the world for either of us. Suddenly today in a Suramar World Quest, the reward item proc'd to 865. Sure, not as high as things can go, but pretty dang good and it was a 'gasp out loud' moment when we further discovered that its stats were perfectly suited and not the usual "hey this is great except for that darned versatility stat…" thing.

Remind you of something, D3 players? Right you are! It's the same thing we hope for in every game we play. We want that Legendary armor / weapon / jewelry to not only be exactly the one we want, but we want it to be Ancient and with all the perfect stats on it too. It's what keeps us going back to keep trying to build THE perfect set, right?

World Quests & Bounties

This one probably needs little explanation but is worth mentioning. World Quests are achieved when players reach level 110 in Legion. Diablo 3 players unlock “Adventure Mode” when one character has completed the story quest through Reaper of Souls. In both games, when the stated objective is reached, the map opens up with quests popping up everywhere, often now labeled 'adventure' or 'world quest' that are the same quests we ran while leveling, just now with a random reward attached in the case of Legion.

There is little difference between the two in the big picture. Each game sends players on randomly generated quests in locations throughout the game world. In Diablo, each of the game's zones has its own bounties marked on the map with a reward box (or two if it is the "bonus" location) at the end perhaps making it a "better" system from the standpoint that players can run multiple zones for up to ten caches per game. Want more? Make a new game, rinse and repeat.

For Legion, world quests run on a timer for a specified amount of time and for a variety of rewards that can include running for crafting materials, gold, Order Hall resources, Artifact Power, etc. Once per day, a named faction will offer an Emissary quest that sends players off to complete four world quests in order to earn a reward box for so doing. These caches can contain gear (including Legendaries), gold, order resources, AP, etc.

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