Yesterday was of course the launch of Legion, or more so the first full day of the expansion. I have a lot of memories of acquiring copies of World of Warcraft throughout the years. When it launched in 2004, I was firstly in the “never pre-order anything” camp, and while there was a line out the door and down the sidewalk at Gamestop… I was able to stroll into Walmart at midnight and pick up my copy. I remember Walmart having this huge display in electronics, the size you would have expected for a major movie release. With Burning Crusade, getting a copy was significantly more difficult, but I still managed to roll into Walmart at midnight and snag one. I did however spent the next few weeks going out at lunch trying to find copies for folks who could not for whatever reason seem to get it in their area. When Wrath was released, once again I did the Walmart at midnight thing… and this time there was actually a line. I had an awesome conversation with another warrior tank while standing in line waiting on our boxes. However by the time Cataclysm came around… I believe that was the first expansion you could purchase a digital collectors edition and I did so happily because I was getting “too old” to be doing this midnight madness. I had reached that point in my life when I just wanted to be able to log in and play, and didn’t care too much about how that happened.
With Pandaria I somehow ended up with another physical collectors edition, and at this point I don’t even remember how or why. Now traditionally speaking around here… World of Warcraft Collectors Editions rot on the shelf. Not in a large quantity, but up until recently there have been a couple of physical copies of Warlords of Draenor available at various stores. I have a second account, and could use a second key… so yesterday I checked a few places to see if there happened to be one available. The idea was that I would ultimately trade that CE key with a friend who just got the normal copy, given that I already have the digital entitlement on my battle.net account. That plan however backfired in the most spectacular of ways because no one seems to have Legion in any form, let alone Collectors Editions. Throughout the day yesterday I heard tales of Amazon switching orders to arrive on September 29th, and listened as several friends had to dodge and weave to get around this delay. Throughout the day I checked Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Gamestop… none of which had so much as a single copy. When I looked up Legion on the Best Buy website, it stated that there were no copies available in a 250 mile radius. 250 miles includes the Dallas Metro, Kansas City Metro, Fayetteville/Bentonville Arkansas area, Wichita Kansas, and Oklahoma City.
I refuse to believe that every single copy sold out, because that just seems impossible. What seems far more likely is that there has been some massive shipping mishap, that involved delays to the central southwest. The result however is that it feels like Legion was the expansion that retail somehow forgot. While Warlords of Draenor was supposed to be this expansion to invite people back that had been gone a long time… it feels like Legion is actually delivering on that promise. It is going to be sad if it somehow misses its opportunity simply because the copies of the game are not available. The truth is… my only interest in a physical Collectors Edition is the fact that it includes the soundtrack. I wish that they would add that to the list of digital entitlements that you get when you buy the collectors that way. I can also always use a new mouse pad at work, so there is always that bonus as well. I however more than anything wanted to walk into Walmart and see a big display of pretty new copies of the game, in the hope that it might entice players to return. It has been great seeing players coming out of the woodwork for the first time in years, and I guess part of me wants to see that continue. Pretty boxes sitting on a shelf taunting you when you go to get groceries… seems to be an awesome way to guilt players into coming back.
As far as the expansion itself… so far I am enjoying myself. It is a much slower paced expansion, but that is precisely what I had wanted. I spent all night playing the game, from the time I got home around 5ish until when I finally went to bed around 10:30. During that time I managed to make it to level 101 and about 15-20% into level 102. As I had originally planned I went Fury this time around… which is quite honestly the first time since the launch of the game that I will not be leveling my Warrior as Protection. I am sure somewhere something is turning over in its grave… but more than likely it is just the old me that used to take pride in saying “Real Warriors Level Prot”. Fury is fun as hell, but there was a period when I started on the artifact quest… that I questioned my decision. I am guessing that maybe these quests are just a little “overtuned”… because I remember in beta thinking they were rough. I died probably no less than a dozen times when I tried to do this as a Deathknight, and I probably took a half dozen deaths as a Fury Warrior. Towards the end I was super carefully picking my way through the zone a single mob at a time, and kicking myself for not bringing any food into the quest. That was ultimately the hardest part was that I had no real way other than bloodthirst to get back my health. I finished it however and once I started Stormheim… everything leveled out and I have had no problem taking down any of the starred mobs solo. So far I am enjoying the hell out of myself, but I don’t feel like I have spent enough time in game yet to give it much more than a thumbs up.