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My initial conclusions of the new WoW expansion Warlords of Draenor
Introduction graphics made by Diigi
It only seems like yesterday to me that the all conquering Blizzard Entertainment were unveiling their previous good reason to forget everything and dedicate your life once more to world of warcraft. Yet, after seeing 4 expansions and having waited a further 24 months for this one, i can't help but feel more than a little bit excited. Also, it almost feels that i'm obliged to document the occasion in some way. Firstly because it's become something of a habbit albeit a good one and secondly to let everyone know that, for the 1000th time, no i'm not actually dead. really.
And so, it is with great pleasure that I present to you my INITIAL review of Warlords of Draenor. Please note that much of the game is yet to unlock and although Molten Core was opened last night, I'm won't be ready to give my verdict on the raids for a while.
In my mind, for this expansion to be successful, it had to simultaneously introduce some risk taking ideas, while at the same time change what was wrong with the previous one. The biggest thing wrong with Pandaria was the daily grind. Grinding on it's own is fine - every game does it in one way or another but in the mists of pandaria, you won't find much in the way of smoke and mirrors, instead you'll be met with almost fifty daily quests to fill your time until the day comes that you have enough rep to buy a little pet grinder called grindy.
I'm very happy to say that this aspect of the game does not appear in warlords. Instead, you are presented with story rich questing that is seemlessly blended with quality cinematics. The variation in the quests is impressive and they can be approached in various ways, thanks in no small amount to the extra abilites that you get along the way such as dealing with your foes with a fire breathing tank or calling upon your factions forces to aid you in your epic struggle. Everything you do progresses the story further and it all ties in to what is going on back at your garrison.
Did I say Garrison? yes lets talk about the garrison
The Garrison is the biggest shift in WoW gameplay in a long time. It is your own instanced base that is linked to everything else you do. By the time you get to level 3 it will be a hive of activity - full of followers doing your evil bidding. To some extent, the Garrison represents everything you can do when you're not even playing. Your followers will do all manner of things for you such as gathering resources, creating crafting materials or going on missions to find a toy hearthstone board, Even when you're not logged into the game. Want to go down the pub AND play world of warcraft? No problem. Send your followers on some misson and get leggless, by the time you return they will have completed their task. or not... yea they sometimes fail.
Another big change is the removal of certain skills with the enhancement of others. Clearly Blizzard have been listening to it's player base who have recently been complaining that their razor naga mouse with 12 thumb buttons, is no longer enough to cope with all the necessary skills and macros. While some players see this as a dumbing down of the game, I personally feel there have been too many abilities in WoW for some time - resulting in some of the current ones never even being used. Having said that, new level 100 abilites have been introduced, which so far have drawn few complaints. 250k shield anyone?
Which brings me to the final area of Warlods of Draenor that i wish to look at. i saved it till last because not only is it a great way to end this video but it is also, in my opinion, the strongest area of the game, without wich, it would be like star wars or jurassic park without their classic themetunes. If you like your music large, memorable and with hooks big enough to catch moby dick, then this game might be right up your street.