A new year, a new WoW expansion. Except unlike the pandas and a dragon whose raid is trivial in comparison to others, Warlords of Draenor sounds to me like it will bring that spark back to World of Warcraft that its been missing since 2010.
These are my top 5 reasons why I’ll probably play the new expansion and why I think it’ll reinvigorate the game.
1. New character models:
When you look back at the graphics of World of Warcraft, especially the races and some of the old world areas, one word comes to mind. Dated. Fortunately for us the team over at Blizzard Entertainment recognized that things feel a bit out of place with shadows and shiny surfaces when your dwarfs beard still clips through your arms and weapon. All of the original races, and Blood Elves and Draenei will be receiving visual upgrades including much higher resolution textures and faces that actually emote. A welcome chance for those of us who throughout the years have wished we looked as nice as the flaming, lightning spouting armor we all wear on a regular basis.
2.Getting an instant level 90 for purchasing WoD:
This is just smart on Blizzards part. This new expansions is going to be capped at level 100. This, especially for new players is daunting. It takes day to hit max level so having the ability to pick up the new content and jump right into the new content is going to be very nice for a lot of people. For me though, it means I can skip content I just got done playing on one of my characters and get them into the new stuff much quicker. All around this is a smart move I think on Blizzards end.
But Andrew, a free level 90 and new character models…what does that have to do with game play and the feel of the world? How can that help the game after its already lost so many millions of of subscribers?
I’m glad you asked. Not only are the new character models appealing to the eye, but mix that in with a free level 90 to jump right into the new content and have you have a a very clear way of bringing new and old players back in. Its a smart idea. Instead of having to grind and level like mad to get into the new content a week or 2 later then everyone else. You can resub, get the expansion and bring one of your characters right into the action. One issue I’ve always had with starting an mmo late is needing to play catch up. Its not fun, especially if you have friends playing at max level. You want to play with them and see the things they are. Giving players a character at 90 to start leveling in the new area is just smart. You only get one, but it gives players the option to either start or bump up a class they’ve wanted to try out.
3. Gear and mechanics changes.
For anyone that has played during Cata or Pandas, you know how much of a bitch it is to work with a new piece of gear. You’re so excited you got that one upgrade you’ve been looking for, except now you need to drop two thousand gold on gems, an enchant, and reforging it to be perfect for your spec.
NO MORE I SAY, NO MORE.
If gear is going to have gem slots, there will only be one and the gem will give a bigger boost. Only certain items will need to be enchanted, and there will be more of a variety of enchants instead of “Melee damage proc with effect” and “mana regen proc with effect”. Also, hit, expertise, dodge, parry, and reforging are being removed. No more having to dance around the magic number to make your spells effect a creature or else you can’t raid. No more needing to figure out the exact amount of gems you need based on your current gear and what you need to reforge to do the most damage.
Gear drops are also going to change stats based on your spec, you don’t need to worry about spirit leather on a druid when you need dexterity. Another change they are making are tertiary stats. These stats are bonus that you can find on gear, like movement speed, life steal, even gear not having to take durability damage.
I think these are welcome changes.
4. Garrisons, WoWs version of housing:
You get to build your own town, recruit followers and have then run dungeons and missions to gain you gear and bonuses. It’s like the farm currently in game for pandas. Except this actually gives you rewards. There will be different buildings that give you different bonuses, and the large buildings will look like they did in WC3. Sick.
5. Draenor and the Orc clans:
The Draenor we know from the current lore is not the world we will be exploring in this new expansion. The Draenor we’ll be exploring is an uncorrupted version 35 years before the games events in the current timeline. Garrosh escapes custody with a new ally and alters the time ways to travel 35 years into the past, creating an alternate reality. Basically, he’s going back to the past, causing an alternate timeline to start and he is going to recruit the might of the old orc clans on Draenor to march into Azeroth to get his revenge.
So, we will see and interact with all of the old orc clans and their leaders, including Grom Hellscream, last seen during Warcraft 3.
This is cool. A little weird I think, going back to the past to destroy the present. But if I was a crazy, power driven and revenge seeking orc. I’d say it sounds like a pretty good idea. Why not alter the timeline and go back and recruit my DEAD FATHER and all of the old clans to march into the world and kill everything.
Now mind you, these are just a few of the reasons I’m excited for the next expansion. There is still a lot more to see and talk about, several things blizzard still has to release as well. Hopefully when the beta comes up I can get in. Because this sounds like something I could very much enjoy.
I’ll post more updates as they come.
(Please note these images are from the Blizzard reveal of Warlords of Draenor at BlizzCon and are subject to change before the final release)