Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Its Good!

I bought Warlords of Draenor, the newest WOW expansion.  For the first time ever I was not in the group of people ready to log in at midnight to rush to level cap and start raiding.  A few months after launch day Wendy told me that she wanted me to buy Warlords because she wanted to see what all of the new stuff was about.  She doesn't have time to play the game herself really, but watching here and there is a thing she enjoys.  So I bought it and I am glad I did.

Warlords is a very well executed addition to WOW.  It sticks to the formula in the ways it needs to and adds one big new thing that I like a lot.  Garrisons are the major new addition, which is essentially Farmville in WOW.  Having your own little instanced headquarters that you can customize is a fantastic idea and I enjoy it a lot.  They didn't just shove it in there and hope though, but rather did a good job integrating it with the rest of the game.  I love it that when I save an NPC from danger or do them a huge favour they join my cause instead of just handing me a trivial sum of gold and then ignoring me going forward.  Collecting followers that have a wide variety of abilities is great and although I am sure I will eventually forget where most of them came from it is a great time finding new shiny stuff.  "Oooh, a follower with a jewelcrafting benefit.  Now I have someone to stuff in my jewelcrafting shed!"

The dungeons are fine so far, with simple layouts and bosses that have abilities that are nicely thematic and reasonably powerful.  I need to pay attention and play properly but if I do things go easily enough, which is exactly the challenge level that basic dungeons need.  Questing is excellent with lots of little quest hubs all over the place, random boss monsters with unique and interesting drops scattered about the landscape, and a good mix of linear plot quests and one off simple quests.  Basically they found a middle ground between Kill Ten Rats and Epic Story that is enjoyable for me, especially because I really love exploring about and finding new and unexpected things in nooks and crannies.

I can't yet comment on the changes to tradeskills and raiding as I really haven't delved deeply enough into those at this point but they seem fine.  Regardless of any balance concerns I am definitely having fun learning all the new mechanics and figuring things out and that is a good place to be.

From where I sit (still 7 levels from the cap) Blizzard really delivered.  This expansion is polished, brings new and fun things to do that improve the experience, and kept the best things of expansions past that I enjoyed back then and enjoy again now.  I am feeling that old itch again, though who knows if I will want to get back into playing hardcore the way I used to.

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