I really like the zones, they have a great feel. The Alliance pirate theme is pretty awesome to me. The Horde side is also engaging. There is some nice xmog gear. The leveling story line was very engaging and compelling to me. The first time through was the first time I have read quest text since I had to actually read quest text to figure out where to go (10+ years?). The Cut scenes are also engaging. The raids have been pretty fun.
They have made 3 major design errors in the current game, starting with WoD. I mean there are other changes they made that have disrupted the social fabric of the game, but that’s a different issue than the purely mechanical ones I will talk about.
After 14 years the classes are complete sh*t. Every single expansion had better classes. Vanilla classes had some serious issues, and played worse than BfA in a lot of ways, but they were rich with situational and interesting abilities. It made for excellent skill gaps, which made for excellent incentive to master your class. With each expansion the classes kept getting better and better all the way up until MoP, with a couple exceptions where certain specs were more well liked in WotLK.
WoD was when they started removing things from baseline. That was a HUGE mistake, and we lost a lot of situational richness in the specs. That doesn’t mean that every single pruning decision was bad. I can name a few that were good (only a few), but overall it was the very worst decision this games designers have ever made. Legion doubled down on the pruning by removing even more things from baseline. Some they added back in, or added back in as talents after numerous complaints.
The thought that taking baseline, functional parts of the spec and putting them into talents was a good idea makes absolutely no sense to me. All they did effectively was to reduce our total number of talent rows by one just to keep that core functionality we had since Vanilla. It is mind boggling that ANYONE was on board with that idea. And they did it numerous times. The most commonly taken talents for MM hunter for example has 3 out of 7 talent rows that were formerly baseline. There are two other talent rows with talents that were also formerly baseline, but they were implemented so poorly that no one can take them. Still, there are many threads made about fixing them so they can be taken because that core functionality is missed.
Legion made up for its class amputations, at least for some classes, with the weapons and legendaries. That was absolutely awful design, but the way at least some specs played in Legion was decent, even if it lacked in the richness of previous iterations. But then BFA took that all away then stripped EVEN MORE!!! things from baseline, and then added some back in as talents as the complaints, once again, rolled in.
I won’t get into the gear because its too off topic, but imo BfA is by far the worst the gearing system has ever been, EVER.
Mythic+ is imo a mythic level failure in game design. Incentivising speed runs, instead of hard runs, where you have to think your way through the dungeon is a huge design flaw. We used to have dungeons where we had to use CC wisely and tax your class’s situational abilities. It took a lot of skill to be successful in some dungeons. Sure M+ is fun because it’s challenging to beat the timer, but its largely just a DPS race, and STRONGLY separates the classes out into the “have’s” and the “have not’s” with regard to certain “strengths.”
TBC heroic Shattered Halls sticks out in my mind as one of the best dungeons in the game. So many pats you had to pay attention to, so many difficult pulls. So many opportunities for wipes, no AoE pulls, just thinking your way through the dungeon for the well earned reward at the end.
So BfA has the worst classes, the worst gearing system, and the awful M+ system to rule them all. Typing this up makes me both angry and sad.
What a truly awful thing they have done to all the people that made such great art and story.
I am looking forward to Classic, but several of the class trees were so bad with some seriously wonky mehanics (must feign death to trap, must get a killing blow with Drain Soul to get a shard, etc.). Some of the gearing was ridiculous, with no upgrade through several tiers for some specs because of bad mechanics. Basic gear scaling for some classes was also abysmal. So its far from a perfect transition. Regardless, I will play either a Warlock or Mage and avoid all those issues. I will stay in Classic and completely give up on BfA unless they do something drastic.