With the official release date of Legion finally announced (August 30th which is a Tuesday) I feel now is a good time to look back at the expansion we all love to hate. But was it really all bad. Well let’s go over it and find out. Please note I will not be touching Garrisons, I don’t feel they need to be talked about outside of
The beginning. Or how I stopped worrying and loved the ques:
Well let’s just say that WoD didn’t get off to the best of starts. Blizzard unaware and if I were to ask Illidan he would say “not prepared.” found that their servers became full in the first few days. Many players were stuck in ques that lasted hours, some unable to play at all in the first week. This was a PR disaster a nightmare that was even picked up by the BBC watchdog programme in the UK, although far too late and when it came out everything was sorted. But that was the first in a line of incidents that made fans unhappy. Though in a partial defense Blizzard was at the time under attack from constant DDoS attacks which made things a lot harder, and for MMOs in general DDoS attacks are practically impossible to defend against.
The leveling: Or “How to screw things up in your first five minutes in this new land.”:
So we finally are able to come into the game. What is the first thing we do, we talk to a newly clean shaven and much younger looking Khadgar before storming our way through the portal into Draenor, reminiscent of the attack on Draenor by the alliance in Beyond the Dark Portal, which was also lead by Khadgar. We come through the portal to be met by thousands of orcs and what is the first thing we the players do? We release Cho’gall, Teron gore and worst of all Gul’dan.
Now I know this was a desperate time but in the end some fore planning should have come about in the lore department. After that we retreat, hide and make our way to the ships, landing in Shadowmoon for Alliance and Frostfire for the horde where our adventure begins.
Now I must say early game and leveling (for the first character you play) was pretty well done. The storyline for most of it seemed fine (Gorgrond exception here), there were a few hiccups along the way. The most noticeable being Doomhammer’s sudden 180 in about 3 quests. Unfortunate symptom of cut and changed content which would plague the expansion. Though the cinematic that ended the quest chain I must admit I enjoyed.
The questing took us all the way to Nagrand where for many the story for us ended with “And justice for Thrall.” Where the Makro’gah between Thrall and Garrosh ended a story arc that began all the way back in Wrath, maybe BC. For others it could say the leveling story line ended with Cho’gall’s betrayal and his turning to the new masters. Which I am certain are the Void Lords that were introduced in the Chronicles. In the end meaning he joined the same side as his main universe counterpart (Since Old Gods are pawns of Void Lord’s). All in all a good part of the game
Dungeons: Or “That thing that will always be compared to Burning Crusade.”
Ok the dungeons. These are a mixed bag, in my opinion some were good, some were great. Some were hard, others easy. Of course generally difficulty tended to be on who you were with but in the end let’s look at those that stand out.
UBRS remake: The remake of the dungeon where Blackwing’s forces are replaced with the Blackrock and Dragonmaw tribes lead by Zaela. Perhaps one of the more difficult dungeons due to perfect positioning required on certain bosses and everyone insisting on resurrecting Leeroy. Adding a new difficulty addition to the dungeon.
On the other end we have Skyreach, which I feel is perhaps the easiest of the dungeons. No bosses bringing in a difficulty level of high skill. Simple, straightforward yet fun. Like most of the dungeons which were in between. They were fun enough. Only problem being there were too few at launch and no more added till later on. While the addition of Mythic difficulty added a new challenge it didn’t add enough to keep players interested.
Raiding: Or how you are now Khadgar’s little plaything.
Now we come to the endgame. The raids, each of which Khadgar decided to send you along to gather things to take down Gul’dan. All in all there are three raids, Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry and Hellfire Citadel. Three raids with different themes. Highmaul the Ogre empire. Blackrock Foundry the orcish raid. While Hellfire starts off orc but becomes demonic as you continue on. Ending with the one of the leaders of the legion Archimonde.
Here I feel WoD shines. For all its flaws the raid part feels just right. A difficulty level for everyone (Though some scream that you need to do them all when you don’t.). Those that wanted mythic didn’t need to do Normals and those who were not into raiding but wanted to see the story had LFR and if they were adventurous normal. For me LFR was a major disappointment, it became too easy when MoP difficulty was just at the right level. While the others felt good for their position. Highmaul as the entry raid. BRF later on and then Hellfire. All in all each gave a pleasant experience for the raider within me.
PVP or “How I must smash in the other guys face.”:
Can’t say much, no new BGs, Ashran good idea, bad execution. Balance, worse than MoP. Better than earlier expansions. Biggest issue, too quickly able to outgear everything in one day outside of heroic Hellfire Citadel.
Outside world content or “That thing most people do.”
Well once you have leveled, done your heroic dungeon and such you want to go out there right? Well of course, so you grab your quest, go out and… Wait where is the content?
Now don’t get me wrong I have no objections to the Apexis % style of dailies. To me that is essentially taking all the quests in a zone and saying “Do it all how you want.” but why so few and why not have a good enough rewards for them. Yes I know gear was there but before Tanaan everything had versatility on it and that helped no one. The world needed more to do and better rewards for it. Especially when people won’t do things for sake of it being fun.
Don’t get me wrong certain zones apexis dailies were fun.it just needed to be more of it, added variety. Also extra things for gathering and crafting.
Tanaan came about and helped a little. More daily zones, rares left, right centre. But in the end it was too little too late. If each zone at 100 had this amount there would have been less issues.
Final Verdict: “Or the score that reviewers give out of 10”
Well WoD was doomed from the start. It was clear a couple months after the Blizzcon announcement that a major error in development happened and a lot of stuff needed to be scrapped. Added with SoO fatigue Blizzard couldn’t push back till it was ready and were punished for their mistakes.
Good raids, decent dungeons, good leveling but when it comes to the overworld gameplay too much bare bones. Good parts and really bad parts. All in all the score I will give Warlords of Draenor is: