In Legion, we know that rather than continuing with Garrisons, we’re going to have what they’re calling the Class Hall.
We’re also going to have a class-specific weapon quest chain, an expansion on the weapon quest chain they implemented from the Broken Hilt drop in Wrath of the Lich King.
That’s pretty cool sounding, but what has come before this?
We had an upgrade to our Guilds with ranks, reputation and special perks and vendor items.
We had a character-specific zoned farm and quest hub tied to a zone/expansion.
We’ve had the guild system taken down many pegs and rewards removed or ranks flushed.
We’ve had the Garrison, a vastly expanded farm concept but still tied to a zone/expansion.
Now, Class Halls.
Considering what we’ve seen in the past, what could we reasonably expect from the Legion Class Hall experience?
First thing we’ve seen is that a new character-specific system generally isn’t designed to be persistent. It is meant to tie into the expansion it is released in, grow with that story, and then be abandoned once the new expansion comes along.
Second, the system has a carefully crafted art theme that ties in to the concept and grows based on your efforts.
Third, there are NPCs that are tied to it that can provide daily quests and vendor items, possibly tied to new reputations.
Fourth, there are usually cute little interactive aspects you might not expect that add charm and flavor. As an example, the farm had dog and watering cans and upgradable tools, the Garrison had a special commander area to display archaeological items, etc.
So, what can we expect?
I’d say we could expect each class to have an area somewhere in the world tied in specifically to the new expansion that is zoned to your character. It is an area that will not be in a central area for whatever the following expansion may be.
It will be populated by NPCs famous in each class who may provide lore when talked to, offer quests, have class reputation and items for transmog, mounts or toys relTed to your class.
The hall itself will be carefully designed so the aesthetic is not Horde or Alliance, but instead reminiscent of class interests. It will possibly start as one set size but can expand as you play and perhaps unlock/recruit more famous champions of your class to come and dwell therein.
The Hall may also be customized by seeking out relics of lore associated with your class that you find by questing, interaction with items from old raids or dungeons, or as drops. Relics that you bring back and put on display. Current examples being Music, Archeology and Pepe.
Finally, we can fully expect this to be abandoned in the following expansion. Right when you’ve taken it as far as it can go and people are tired of it, a new expansion will bring new zones that we move the story to, and that area will have the next big thing. Maybe a trueGuild Hall, taking the lessons learned from Class Halls and Garrisons and the Farm and really rolling out something shared and special.
One thing I’ll be curious to see is if the Class Hall is zoned to one character, or if it’s shared to a faction, or even cross faction like Dalaran.
I’ve seen a lot of assumptions so far that I think are more wishful thinking than anything else. Like that of course all Class Halls will be large enough to hold all players of that class of both factions on a server simultaneously.
I personally expect that it will be zoned to your one character, or that like Dalaran did with Factions there will be shared areas with smaller sub-areas zoned for you alone.
Okay technically in Dalaran the faction areas just ported the other faction out instead of zoning.
I think we are going to be sent on a quest that leads to a fabled artifact of our class. That will take us to our first famous class NPC who will examine it, share lore and generally herald you as the new wielded of blank and the class champion.
Alternately it will be that first NPC that sends us on a quest to track down the weapon and sets it in motion.
Either way, having recovered the class artifact and becoming the class champion, we will begin with that NPC to create from scratch a Class Hall or get access to a class related place that may have “always” been there.
From that point we can begin recruiting more class champions to our cause, the overthrow of the Legion.
I would also question whether the Bodyguard system will be expanded, allowing us to quest in the company of a true class lore champion.
Looking past the opening bars of Legion, I could see the next expansion finally seeing the coming of Sargeras, but once you’ve gathered the heroes of your class where do you go from there?
The Guild Hall, bringing together all the class champions (you) officially as a Guild with your massive fortress may be the end game.
If the invasion of the Legion is as devastating as Blizzard has suggested, dividing our forces along Class lines may not be enough to save Azeroth.
We may lose.
We’ve seen from Mists of Pandaria that in pursuit of a satisfying story, Blizzard can transform an entire zone through phasing to show the devastation of war.
What if post Legion sees our max level characters in a phased Azeroth scorched and barren, dominated by demons, and our forces thrown back into isolated fortresses where we are making our last desperate stands against final oblivion?
The fortress itself would be our new expansion capital city, and could have a Guild Hall area for the last desperate forces of light.
Where I’m going with this is kind of a cautionary tale. And a reminder.
When Legion comes, I hope everyone tries to remember to enjoy what you have as you have it, make the best of it and really dig into the gameplay of the moment. It won’t be forever, for better or worse, and who is to say for sure if it, any of it, will still be there tomorrow.
How many wish that they could have just one more day in the blessed valley of the Four Winds, to take tea in the village and camp along the golden grasses?
Seize the day, enjoy the Garrison, ride the hills, for tomorrow we go to war, and our world may never be the same.