By Drew Lovell. “A terrible darkness has returned to our world…” One we thought we had turned our backs on. One we’ve longingly reminisced over with friends both old and new. One that promises to keep you up late into the night, ensuring that you’ll be showing up to work the next day with bloodshot eyes. Yes my friends, it is time to prepare — World of Warcraft approaches once again.

While Blizzard Entertainment seems to have struck gold with Overwatch and Hearthstone, it would appear that WoW, its titanic flagship game, has lost much of its luster. World of Warcraft: Legion, however, looks to return the series to some of its former glory by giving the fans exactly what they’ve been clamoring for. Personally, I had played WoW relentlessly for nearly a decade, but stopped abruptly prior to the current expansion (Warlords of Draenor). With WoW’s subscription numbers rapidly declining it would seem that I wasn’t alone; however, it will be something to see whether this expansion serves as a rallying cry for the game… or a last hurrah.

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Along with the typical trappings of any expansion, WoW: Legion brings with it two particularly enticing features. The first of which is the new Demon Hunter class (available if you pre-order the expansion), featuring Elven outcasts who have forsaken their heritage and made a dark bargain, so that they might do battle Azeroth’s most insidious enemies.

The other large addition comes in the form of legendary artifact weapons; every class and specialization in the game will be able to attain a unique weapon that ties into the game’s rich history of lore. Whether you’re an enhancement shaman wielding the Doomhammer or a retribution paladin armed with the iconic Ashbringer, you will have something thrilling to look forward to. These new weapons bring with them an entirely new character customization system which has been sorely lacking in past expansions. (Blizzard has historically taken such options away from players rather than add to them.)

The MMORPG genre is not what it used to be, and it appears that WoW, one of the most successful video games of all time, is going the way of the dinosaur. Blizzard has never been known for paving a path for the industry, but they have taken existing genres and polished them to perfection for the masses. With Legion, the WoW hype train is certainly building steam, and with yesterday’s Demon Hunter release, World of Warcraft looks to be leaving the station, barrelling away from Nostalgia Town and towards something truly exciting.

‘World of Warcraft: Legion’ launches on the PC August 30.

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