World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor Has Launched

This exciting screenshot comes from the official WoW site.

With World of Warcraft‘s fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor, having launched this morning, Alice and Pip offer their expert analysis after watching two (2) trailers.

Pip: Alice. There is a World of Warcraft expansion out called Warlords of Draenor – I know this because I have seen TWO (2) trailers for it. You going to play it?

Alice: I shan’t, no – I have one ancient WoW account I played intensely for the free month then no more – but I’m fascinated by the people who will be returning. Like spawning salmon, they feel an aching tug drawing them back to the same place every two years.

Pip: Do you think it’s like when you go home after a few years – like to your hometown or something – and you do a lap to see what’s changed and what you still recognise?

Alice: “Coo, I see them at number 27 have got some new spikes on their turret. Very fancy.” Check in on your old favourite NPCs. Be perturbed by the latest fashions of the region and their propensity for ever-larger shoulderpads. See if your old guild even still exists.

Pip: I was thinking more along the lines of “Well, that Dark Portal to a savage alien realm wasn’t here last time….”

Alice: I think it was. Maybe. I think this one is back again. Or they’ve rebuilt it. Time travel. Complicated. So it’s more like when the rollerskating rink has reopened again.

Pip: And is full of the Iron Horde.

Alice: They call it Warcraft for a reason. That’s a pun. If I were feeling clever I’d… hang on… I can do this…

Pip: No you can’t. Anyway, I’ve been reading about this expansion thing (obviously with about five thousand World of Wikicraft tabs open to tell me what every other word actually means). It seems to imply that interesting things are afoot, although I can’t quite work out what they are. I’ve also watched the TWO (2) trailers and am still hazy. It’s like getting one of those round robin letters at Christmas from some distant relative and desperately trying to remember which one Jacob is and why on earth anyone should care that he has taken up mountaineering. “Garrosh is doing well – minor mishap through the Dark Portal over some weird green goo in a cup, but lads will be lads! Anyway, I’ve been learning how to make preserves.”

Alice: “I’ve given Cousin Shane a jar of bruiseweed jam to pass on to your mother.”

Pip: That’ll sit there til at least next year, then. AND we have to speak to Shane. WAIT this isn’t real.

Alice: I’ll take that as a compliment to the power of my wordsmithery.

Pip: By the way, I think Blizzard own the www.warlords.com domain. Why doesn’t an actual warlord own that?

Alice: I’m not sure they think of themselves as warlords, Pip. They’re just trying to do something nice for the Horde. Or they’re still bidding over warlords.biz.

Pip: Do you think people who are still reading this (WHY ARE THEY DOING THAT) would like to know what Warlords of Draenor actually offers? I mean, I have the press release. And have watched TWO (2) trailers.

Alice: I think everyone can guess most of it: the expansion introduces 10 character levels’ worth of fighting, across 10 character levels’ worth of new areas, with 10 character levels’ worth of new gear. Oh, and you can build a house for your warlord. A lordshack. Wait, who are the warlords again? Pip, you’ve watched TWO (2) trailers, help me out.

Pip: The U.S., Canada, Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Wait. That’s the countries it’s out in. Maybe we can find out who the warlords are by doing a whois on the domain?

Alice: I just checked. It’s private. But www.warlordsonline.info is available right now!

Pip: Why are we writing this and not registering that?

Alice: Let’s stop this and do that now. BYE!

73 Comments

  1. morbiusnl says:

    yes, lets write an article by two people who barely played the game.

    • Ex Lion Tamer says:

      I doubt the RPS audience comes here for deeply serious rewrites of press releases about a WoW expansion at this point.

      Plus, who better to write about it than Warrcraft herself?

      • Great Cthulhu says:

        I concur. Also, since I haven’t played the game either, this is actually way more entertaining to me than a serious discussion of the expansion.

      • malkav11 says:

        Does anyone at RPS even play WoW at this point? I had not gotten that impression.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          That’s the dilemma, it seems. RPS is supposed to champion pc gaming, but ignores one of its biggest phenomena. They keep writing about it, but simultaneously try to keep up the pretense that they’re too cool to actually play it. That’s why you get repetitions of press releases, articles asking ‘what do YOU think’ and… this.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Yes, some people who read RPS do play WoW. Sometimes, I’m one of them. Is there something wrong with that?

    • Ross Angus says:

      I think you mean “yes, lets write an article by two (2) people who barely played the game.”

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      After people started making un-games, it was only a matter of time until we got un-journalism.

      • poetfoxpaul says:

        Does that make this an un-comment? It’s certainly devoid of anything relevant.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          I’m sorry, but the (low) entertainment value of the article definitely does not help to mask the utter emptiness inside. A waste of everyone’s time.

    • Flopper says:

      I see that as a compliment. WoW and MMOs in general are the meatspin of gaming. Skinner box FO LIFE! Am I rite?!

    • Ditocoaf says:

      We can find someone paraphrasing a press release anywhere. Lots of sites will just have a bland “I’m excited for [feature X] and [feature Y], back to WoW, hooray!” hype post. Only at RPS can you get two people briefly joking about their lack of interest in the news (while still providing the relevant links, which are the important thing anyway).

      I don’t think any of those three things is less “journalistic” than the other. I’m glad RPS does what it does.

    • Premium User Badge

      Neurotic says:

      Infinitely more entertaining than playing the actual game, too.

  2. dontnormally says:

    Is this Warcraft 4 yet?

  3. Mitthrawn says:

    Informative.

  4. shutter says:

    Wow, that was a pile of self-indulgent wank.

    • SparringLlama says:

      I find myself agreeing with you. Perhaps something was lost in translation, but it reads like two individuals wagging their brows at the primordial soup they believe make up the playerbase of this game.

      As someone who has played wow on and off for a number of years I sometimes find myself thinking the same thing. I still enjoy playing the game, however, and find the tone of this article slightly jarring.

      I’m most likely making an arse of myself here; the reality, most likely, being that two individuals, who have never played the game, were asked to right an article announcing its release.

      Perhaps they could have just released a short statement. something along the lines of; Look! It’s that game! You know, the one that’s been going for nearly ten years! It might be fun, we don’t know but now you are aware.

      Mayhap I am reading too much into this. It is possible; been up for hours wondering through a pretty game beset by an inordinate amount of lag and a playerbase so used to ridicule that they’re bonded together like BCB.

      I also have a thing about spacing,
      and using two lines.
      Sometimes three.

      EDIT: statement clarified; objection withdrawn.

      • Premium User Badge

        Philippa Warr says:

        We both enjoy watching and hearing about other people’s experiences with the game and the ways in which people are drawn back periodically. I occasionally use it as a way to keep in touch with a friend in a different country but don’t keep up with any of the lore and so on.

        For me at least, this was a way of addressing the impenetrability of the franchise to those who don’t play it often in a light-hearted way.

        • SparringLlama says:

          It’s like tar; black as the pit and almost impossible to get off yourself.

          It is also definitely cheaper than a plane ticket.

      • Tacroy says:

        As someone does not know what a draenor is nor why it would have either lords or war when there’s apparently warcraft already on the table, I feel like I must chime in and say that this article was probably not written with you in mind. It pretty much sums up my feelings about this event, and I rather enjoyed reading it.

  5. airmikee says:

    Yeah, but did it launch as pathetically as AC:U?

    • Sakkura says:

      They apparently forgot to set the population cap for the servers, so the first ~23 hours were indeed terrible (except maybe during the wee hours of the morning when normal people sleep rather than play computer games). The new garrison feature has been practically unusable due to server lag and buggy stuff. I have some nice screenshots of an army of people stuck on wind riders above the Horde garrison area, like the holding pattern above the airport in Die Hard 2.

      • melnificent says:

        Did someone set the ground to 200 ft closer?

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          No I think they just set the latency to 200ms slower instead. As soon as I get to Shadowmoon Valley the lag has made the game unplayable for me today.

    • Tritagonist says:

      It was apparently fine during most of early Thursday, but turned into a giant disaster at the end of the afternoon, to downright unplayable in the evening. Then characters started disappearing, preventing log-in throughout most the night, and now they’ve taken everything offline for a few hours.

      Quite the mess, I’d say.

  6. Caelyn Ellis says:

    Well, it made me laugh.

  7. reyla says:

    So World of Warcraft is like William Shatner. Too much parody made of it to have anything serious written about it.

    The xpac is quite fun so far. The initial quest line and the building of your garrison are like a “story mode”. It is linear but effective. It’s not just menus and clicks.

  8. halcyonforever says:

    5 years WoW free and hoping to stay that way. My message to all those still gripped by the darkness of WoW addiction. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, you too can find your way out.

    • Themadcow says:

      Same here. Great times in Vanilla, TBC and some of TLK but the amount of you it consumes in order to be competitive is far too great. I keep getting the urge to go back but I know it’s not good for me.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    I think Alice and Pip captured nicely why I’m tempted to take a look back in after 4 years away. Seems like I’ve got a lot of lore to catch up on though! I also now want to find out whether
    a) Bruiseweed Jam is a genuine new recipe and
    b) Is it under Cooking or Poisons?

    • Person of Interest says:

      I think they got rid of poisons, last time I checked (I also check in on the game every few years using a free trial). Streamlining and all that.

      • Sakkura says:

        Poisons are still there, but you don’t have to brew them anymore.

        • Koozer says:

          They also streamlined out reagents. Oh, and soulshards. And ammo. And weapon skills, class quests, permanent auras and totems, complex dungeons…

          • Nevard says:

            Soul shards still exist but in a different form, there are still class-specific quests (especially for Warlocks), permanent auras haven’t gone anyway and totems were never removed.
            How engaging you think the dungeons are is up to you but they’ve certainly been more challenging in the past than some of the ones now.

          • Asurmen says:

            Ammo was a pointless tedious grind. Weapon skills were also pointless. Auras and totems are still around. While I prefer harder dungeons Blizzard cannot win with that one. It’s either too hard and elitist or too casual and boring to the community. Take your pick where you stand on that issue.

          • Distec says:

            How was ammo a grind? Buy some stacks from the Auction House, done.

            It’s been so long since they got rid of the ammo system that I couldn’t imagine going back to it any more. But I did like doing a bit of cost/benefit analysis when preparing for raids. Top tier ammo was expensive, but could make the difference between a dungeon clear and a wipe at 1%.

            Also, Warlocks (and maybe one other class) have some quests left, but the rest are gone AFAIK. The epic Hunter questline that I fondly remember isn’t there any more.

          • Asurmen says:

            Because most people made their own, and it was horribly grindy to do so. Considering the effort involved, I doubt many even bothered selling then. Even if they did, you’re still grinding for money to buy them. I was an engineer and it took far too much of my gaming time mining to raid that I did a small dance when they first lowered costs required and made them into a box of ammo instead, and a bigger dance when they removed them entirely.

            Ammo was literally pointless from a gameplay mechanic point of view. They improved nothing and penalised an entire class into losing a huge amount of bag space which is why they rolled the DPS into the weapons themselves in the end.

  10. Hex says:

    There sure were a lot of pillars of various colors of light/darkness in that first trailer.

    No clue what any of it was about.

    Hope to keep it that way.

  11. BooleanBob says:

    Congratulations RPS on finally passing the Bechdel test!

  12. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    OK, who let Alice and Pip have that much sugar this late in the day?

    (Also, why was I still reading it? BECAUSE IT WAS FUN (and funny).)

  13. vlonk says:

    I actually liked that Addon to Warcraft II: Beyond the dark Portal. Still have that box and printed manual (!) lying around somewhere. After watching these two (2) trailers I get the dim fealing that finally everything I remember from that good old time is changed into something else entirely with Time Travel shenanigans and retcons.
    Also remember the nose ring but not the tooth-rings…
    Also with all this Hearthstone thingy going on you should really aim for http://www.barlords.com before you have to pay the iron price for it.

  14. HaruharaHaruko says:

    So much SRS BSNS in this thread. Chillax, people.

  15. Zorlan says:

    If you’re thinking about playing again, don’t. The game is a laggy, buggy unplayable mess at the moment. Give it like 6 months and then you can see if it’s any fun. There is a 10 year anniversary inc with a time exclusive Core Hound mount coming up next Friday iirc though.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      6 months?
      WoW’s expansion launch technical issues happen every single expansion and every single time it’s back to normal in a couple of days, saying you need to wait 6 months is ridiculous.

  16. TehK says:

    Stuff like this is why I love RPS!

  17. melnificent says:

    I find it interesting that ex-wow players say how long they’ve been clean of the game (2 years here).
    It’s so addictive that even after quitting it we refer to it in the same terms as other addictions like alcohol.

    • Michael Anson says:

      Personally, I’m rather annoyed at the flippant acquisition of those terms. Addiction is a very specific thing, where you continue to do a thing long past where it is at all enjoyable, to the neglect of other things that must be done, to the point where it becomes less of a choice and more of a necessity. The continued reference by people who got bored and cancelled their subscription to “being clean” is not only insulting to current players, but also to people with real, damaging addictions that they struggle with every day.

      • Sophia Aetheria says:

        To pretend that concepts such as internet addiction and MMORPG addiction are not real is also harmful. Many people refer to things like this in a years sober format specifically because for them, it actually is just as destructive to their lives as any other all-consuming addiction. Think about it for a moment. MMORPGs are inherently social experiences that create pressure and obligations therein. Further, they are often games that require constantly spending an hour, two hours, maybe even more in a session of raids just to get anywhere. This can decimate social lives and completely undermine productivity. Many an individual at university can attest to the effect this has on their future prospects.

        To act as though the people who say these things are simply those who are bored of a game and canceled their subscription is utter nonsense. Most people I’ve personally known who played games like WoW obsessively for long periods of time didn’t get bored, they became afraid of what it was doing to their lives. It became an addiction that was completely out of control, and getting sober was the only choice to counter the addictive by design nature of such games. With each new article about an expansion and new features and the promise of fun and that fix they’ve been missing out on for so long, they have to remind themselves of why they proclaim never again, of how long they’ve kept themselves away, of what it really is, and what it will do to them.

        There is nothing wrong with enjoying games like this, nor in taking pride in that. However, it isn’t an insult against those that do take pride in and enjoy these games for people to reinforce to themselves and the others negatively affected by their addictions the reality that it was an addiction, and they are still clean.

        • Not Marvelous says:

          I think that the problem was not that that you cannot be addicted to an MMO, but that people who were never actually addicted to WoW refer to their game time in addiction-related vocabulary, therefore diminishing the dangers of real addiction. Including WoW addiction.

      • Ed Burst says:

        “Addiction is a very specific thing, where you continue to do a thing long past where it is at all enjoyable, to the neglect of other things that must be done, to the point where it becomes less of a choice and more of a necessity.”
        Yup, that’s how I remember WoW.

      • melnificent says:

        “Addiction is a very specific thing, where you continue to do a thing long past where it is at all enjoyable, to the neglect of other things that must be done, to the point where it becomes less of a choice and more of a necessity.”

        That’s how I remember WoW ending up for me. It got bad enough at one point that I would wake up and play until I fell back to sleep for weeks. I bought a laptop so I could play it while making dinner or at work.
        I would be at work doing things on my desktop and have a drawer open with my laptop in to play WoW as much as possible.

        The point I realised it had gotten that bad was when I pulled over in the car to have a “quick game”. I quit after that, but it took months to fully leave it behind. Seeing the new DLC is tempting, but I’d rather stay clean than get back to that state again.

        So yes for some it can be an addiction, you are lucky that you can quit whenever you choose, For some of us it takes as much willpower as stopping smoking, drinking or gambling.

      • jrodman says:

        I feel somehow you wrote that deliberately to be read two ways.

  18. PopeRatzo says:

    I’ve never played DOTA2 and think it’s kind of dumb.

  19. Jenks says:

    This should be a supporter only post

  20. Carra says:

    You sum it up nicely. I’ll log in, play for a few months and then be back in two years.

    And in that time I’ll see a handful of my old guildies from 9 years ago back. We’ll talk a bit about the good old time and run a few instances. I’ll take a look around and see what’s new (there sure are a lot of different mounts out there). It’s all good fun.

  21. Arren says:

    “Garrosh is doing well – minor mishap through the Dark Portal over some weird green goo in a cup, but lads will be lads! Anyway, I’ve been learning how to make preserves.”

    Laughter was had.

  22. skyturnedred says:

    Wow, they actually registered the the web address. Dedication!

  23. mipearson says:

    I thought that this was clever. There are other places you can read actual things about worlds of warcrafts.

  24. Serenegoose says:

    So, which of their cast has gone mad this time? Every event in warcraft is usually prompted by ‘someone goes mad and throws their lot in with the demons’. Illidan, Kael’thas, Arthas, Azhara, Dragonface the chinmaster, etc. Someone’s gone mad. Come on, out with it.

    • Chris Cunningham says:

      Nobody, it’s the same big bad as the last expansion. With any luck Metzen will finally get his way and the new Iron Horde will steamroller over Azeroth and put the 50% of the playing population that doesn’t have an unseemly fetish with orcs out of its misery, then the IP will be retired.

      • malkav11 says:

        As a Horde player, I like orcs just fine but am kind of irritated that Pandaria culminated in my faction HQ being a raid site and now my former warchief, who I beat the everliving snot out of, somehow arbitrarily isn’t dead and is in fact precipitating the next expansion’s worth of biffery. You could at least arbitrarily convert some major Alliance figure(s) into raid content as well, dammit. Also I really hope that Garrosh’s final comeuppance (assuming, of course, that we’re allowed to actually take him out this time) comes in questing and not with him as a raid boss again.

        But hey, I’ll probably enjoy the expansion nonetheless, and I’m sure there’s other, more interesting stuff going on as well.

  25. Flank Sinatra says:

    I was a WoW addict for years, from vanilla to the Lich King, and my life suffered greatly from it. I sometimes try to log back in and see how the game has changed, but my account was apparently hacked at some point and Blizzard won’t let me in. Thanks hackers! Your intervention has kept me sober and clean.

    • Distec says:

      I think I and all my friends who ever played WoW had been hacked at various points in our time playing. The conventional wisdom is that it would surely be a nightmare to unfuck yourself, right?

      I preordered WoW and had everything restored exactly back to how it was at my last logout, and the whole process took less than an hour to fix and I didn’t even have to pick up the phone. I was shocked at how smoothly it went.

  26. heyhellowhatsnew says:

    Alice and Pippa are the last two great writers this site has because they maintained the old RPS status quo. The new writers you hired with the supporter programs, are terrible. I say this as an editor of a large non-profit. They are bad. The supporter program has been a debacle. I wish you never introduced it. I wish you never sold your souls to become mainstream and ignore bigotry and terrible developer practices.

    All we have left is Alice and Pip.

  27. Valk says:

    My name is Jacob and I’ve taken up mountaineering this summer… What relative are you?! Anyways Warlords of Draenor is a really good expansion. If anyone hasn’t tried WoW, now is a great time!