Warlords Of Draenor Review: WoW Is Back, And It's Not Here To Coddle You Again
Within our first few steps onto Draenor we're shown a world that is in turmoil, teetering between rule and struggle. The beginning of the expansion is a scripted world introducing us into the lore of the expansion, explaining the Iron Horde and their story and what is to come. The player is locked into this for a brief amount of time, similar to the previous expansions – and does great to get the player into Draenor for the first time.
Once we've been introduced to the world, we're brought to our respective starting zones. Frostfire Ridge for the Horde, and Shadowmoon Valley for the Alliance. Immediately we're given the quest to start building our Garrison, one of the new features in Warlords of Draenor which sees heavy focus in gameplay.
After you've set up your Garrison, you step out into a rich world filled with story driven quests, characters with deep backgrounds, and possibly the most well thought out story line so far. I haven't had a chance to level my Alliance character through the expansion yet, but the feel for Horde truly gives us an experience of becoming a powerful member of the horde, and helping to continue the story as a key member.
Through our adventures in Draenor, we see familiar sights of what will come to be, and what hasn't changed much. In Gorgrond and Talador we can see what will become the familiar zone of Zangarmarsh, the Spires of Arak will look familiar to veterans of The Burning Crusade as Blades Edge Mountains, and of course Nagrand is as beautiful as it has always been. It's truly nice to see Blizzard pay hommage to what players loved about TBC (The Burning Crusade) and continue to build on it further.
The questing progression for Warlords of Draenor is very simple to follow, with great story and decent pace. A casual player can level from 90-100 in a few days time without any difficulty; while still feeling as though they're accomplishing something. The new 'item upgrade' system, which gives you a chance to upgrade a quest reward to a Rare or Epic item, really helps to push along the power curve for leveling.
Upon reaching your peak at level 100, the game does stall somewhat. You have dungeons to run, and your Garrison to work on, but some things we've come to be used to in the past are missing – such as daily quests, reputation grind for raid ready gear, and deeper achievement hunting. If you are into raiding and dungeons, the dungeons are enough to keep you occupied, however there are some departments lacking for players interested in other spectrums of gameplay.
Garrisons are a breath of fresh air in regards to new things to try. Blizzard did an excellent job of making the player, once again, feel like they're making a difference. As you progress through your levels of Garrison you gain access to new structures which add a grand number of things to your repretroire. From the ability to increase your skill as a crafter – or branch out and gain crafting supplies for professions outside of your own, to the ability to gather lumber from around the world for more supplies... each Garrison can feel unique and worthwhile.
Overall Warlords of Draenor hits the nail on the head, only missing in the slightest of departments. A rocky launch was upsetting, but not unheard of – and Blizzard was kind enough to give all subscribers during the time 5 days of account time added to their subscription. Hopefully we will continue to see Blizzard keep on target with this expansion in the upcoming months. As it stands I give Warlords of Draenor a 9/10. Plenty to look forward to, with just a small lack in things to do currently. I expect big things, and it looks like Blizzard is back on track for great content once again.
2P Score: 9.0