As the release date of what some reviewers have taken to calling "the umpteenth expansion" to Blizzard's World of Warcraft draws near, more and more details emerge about the contents of what will essentially completely transform the game yet again, and from these details, it's clear that Blizzard are - to use a poker analogy - looking to go all-in with this one. Many have questioned the viability of pushing yet another expansion onto an aging frame of a game which WoW has become over the years, especially in regards to re-awakening player interests and thus generating more purchases and more subscriptions, but at a closer look, Blizzard are yet again playing this card masterfully. The game is set to come out not long after the Warcraft movie, which is expected to hype the canon up yet again among existing players and those already familiar with the title, while in the same time, getting an entirely new class of players into the game. In addition to that, Legion isn't shaping up to be some sort of a bland lifeline looking to breathe a couple more months of playtime into the slowly fading corpse of the world's most popular MMO. On the contrary: it is going all-in on several fronts, its changes as numerous as they are radical and balance-altering.
The focus of these changes will apparently be the PvP aspect of the game, arguably one of its most appealing ones (at least for a certain type of player), which will be completely shaken up, with the goal of leveling the playing field and letting newcomers as well as PvE-focused players compete with a fair chance.
To this end, exclusive PvP gear will be banished, in fact, there won't even be PvP and PvE gears, but rather just one gear class, which will be nullified and class-buffed upon entering the battlegrounds. Not only will PvP gear-wearing players lose the advantages they're currently enjoying, those who choose to hang on to such gear may even end up penalized.
This will open up the game for the newcomers and while it's obvious that current PvPers will hate it, they will get thrown under the bus for the sake of prolonging the already venerable life of the title some more...
Philip Thalberg has been in eSports coverage at Gosugamers since 2004.