Wot I Think: World Of Warcraft – Warlords Of Draenor

World of Warcraft is ten years old and over that decade it has dominated the genre it popularised back in 2004. Given the size and devotion of its playerbase, it isn’t surprising to see another spurt of growth, adding bulk in the form of a stack of new content. Tom Mayo explored that content and found that the game hasn’t just expanded – with the release of Warlords of Draenor it may have received its most intriguing new feature to date.

Warlords of Draenor is World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion, and sees Blizzard rummage through the archives for inspiration, adding arguably the game’s biggest and most ambitious feature to date. We return to the world first visited in Burning Crusade nearly eight years ago, as players tackle a slew of new challenges with streamlined spellbooks and a fresh lick of paint.

Draenor arrives almost exactly as Blizzard celebrates World of Warcraft’s tenth anniversary. Whatever you might think of their ‘themepark’ model, they have arguably done more than anyone else to define and popularize this genre, creating a multi-billion dollar franchise in the process.

This latest expansion is their chance to leverage a decade’s worth of invaluable experience as top dogs in the subscription MMO market. They have made plenty of mistakes, and have been refreshingly frank about admitting as such in the past, but to what extent have they truly learned from them? It surely must be nice to be number one by such a comical margin, but along with that success comes a burden of expectation that couldn’t be much higher, particularly on the heels of Mists of Pandaria.

The previous expansion was a bit of a curate’s egg. Many important improvements were made to both systems (the crunch) and the way in which narrative was delivered (the fluff), but the setting itself proved controversial, if not alienating. Look, Blizzard. We know you came up with kung fu pandas five years before Kung Fu Panda. We know. But sometimes originators are forgotten in lieu of popularizers. John Venn didn’t invent the Venn Diagram, and yet it still bears (ha!) his name.

Pandas were everywhere in WoW. It was strange. It’s over now.

Warlords of Draenor is… More WoW! That statement, in itself, is something of a Rorschach test. You likely came here with at least a few expectations and preconceptions, and upon reading that you may have muttered, shrugged, or gazed with narrowed eyes and pursed lips into the middle distance. You may have experienced a deliciously giddy thrill.

Digging down through every layer, bullet point, and buzzword, the heart of the experience feels intact. In stark counterpoint to the recent trend of high stakes, high tension experiences like Day Z, Rust and Dark Souls, I believe World of Warcraft’s key to success is the warm glow of satisfaction rather than the jagged rush of excitement.

Everything you do while logged in increases your power slightly. Sometimes terribly terribly slightly, but this lumbering Satisfaction Engine only rolls in one direction: forwards. You can change the speed, but not the direction. That’s an imperfect metaphor, and exceptions can be found particularly in progression raiding and high level PvP, but at time of writing – five days after launch – those are not readily available experiences. They are part of Phase 2 (more on that later).

You will often hear the word ‘polish’ bandied about in reference to Blizzard’s approach, both by critics who wish to imply that they simply steal from others and apply nicer animations, and by supporters who appreciate the slick presentation. Really, it’s not polish. It’s lubrication. Blizzard are trying to achieve frictionlessness. Every time you log on, they want it to be effortlessly intuitive, no matter how much experience you have. This approach can and will smooth away some interesting snags, but this is pretty much the definition of a big, mainstream title and it thrives on weight of numbers. Said snags can lead to fascinating emergent behaviours, but are just as likely to irritate and push people away. Blizzard evidently feel that the cost of the latter is too high to justify the former. Mmmm. Lubrication.

By handwaving the setting of WoD back to Draenor, Blizzard hopes to appeal to their veterans. From the very first quest, familiar friends and foes from yesteryear pop up to say hello. Or sometimes “Arglebargle eat my axe!”, depending. Equally, though, this is an expansion that is almost ingratiatingly welcoming to new or lapsed players. For a (reasonably stiff) fee, you can get a brand new character instantly boosted to level 90, saving you potentially weeks and months of levelling through gubbins that no-one wants to think about right now.

Let’s talk a bit about the levelling experience of WoD – this is Phase 1. The introductory experience throws you into a pretty slick, action-packed, scripted sequence that gives you a chance to get used to the way your character plays. Vets will blast through with ease, particularly if they have raid gear from Pandaria, but there are a couple of buffs to help newcomers too. One teleports you back onto the correct path should you wander too far (exploration is fun, but is encouraged and rewarded once you’re into the game proper), and the other gives you a free resurrection once every three minutes should you get into a nasty scrape. It also introduces you to a handful of key protagonists and antagonists, who are pretty much all orcs. Sorry, Alliance.

Once you’re actually let loose, pretty much the first thing that happens to you is that you get your plot of land – your fledgling Garrison. This is by far the biggest feature of the expansion. When it was first announced, it was assumed it was going to be player housing, as featured in many other MMOs. As it turns out, it’s really much more like building a base in Warcraft III, then living in THAT.

Let us be clear, right up front – it’s super cool. Super super cool. It has been painstakingly designed to reach right into your brain and fondle all those little OCD nodes that make you want to keep playing “just a little longer”.

You populate your plot of land with small, medium and large buildings, and recruit followers. The buildings tie in nicely with tradeskills, but also give other powerful benefits like your own bank, auctioneer, herb garden or mine. Followers have skills and traits that make them suitable for specific challenges and roles. They head out on missions for you, level up, and gather valuable resources including new followers, gear for you, gear for them, and so on. Truthfully, I have even taken little breaks writing this review so I can check if any of my followers have finished their missions, and… Ooh! Vivianne, my fire mage buddy, dinged 92! Sweet.

Anyway. It’s also all inextricably connected to the 90-100 levelling experience. Finishing quest chains will occasionally earn you the respect and loyalty of the quest NPC. This is much more awesome than that dry description suggests. Completing an entire zone gets you a slick cutscene and generally also a blueprint that provides a big upgrade to your Garrison. Given that one character can’t have every building at once, and given that each offers powerful advantages, this means that there will be a natural inclination to fill gaps with an alt or five. Previously, it has been possible to treat those alts as sweatshop workers. Do just enough with them to trigger a benefit, then give them minimal attention beyond that.

No longer. Blizzard have spent a ton of time on the 90-100 experience, they know people tend to blaze through it (Phase 1) and they want – no, need – to squeeze as much additional value as possible from all that time they spent. So yes. If you want more than one awesome Garrison, and it’s damnably tempting, you will have to plough through to 100 every time. If it helps, imagine Blizzard stamping their feet and pouting adorably. “We worked so hard!”

You can have eleven characters on a server. Managing eleven Garrisons, all maxed out, sounds kind of intense to me. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that people will do it, and time will tell how much of an advantage it may offer.

It’s important to look at levelling in context. By the time a new expansion rolls around, players are generally pretty starved of content. It’s been a long time since they have explored, a long time since they felt challenged, and a long time since they weren’t a lazy apex predator, picking bits of one hapless enemy out of their teeth with the bent dagger of the other. When the floodgates open, we collectively click back into Phase 1 mode; a kind of gluttonous, dizzying, rushing mess. Quest text? We don’t need no stinkin’ quest text!

Now, it might seem like a shame that we aren’t encouraged to define our own pace, and stop to smell the roses should that be our preference. In theory, that is totally an option. Possibly more so in WoD than ever before, in fact. Blizzard have tucked away literally hundreds of rare minibosses and treasures that exist to be interesting distractions rather than critical for progression.
In practice, I found myself simply devouring absolutely everything in front of me in a frenzy. This is inescapably a level-based game, and the psychological compulsion is to get that first character to level 100 as soon as possible. It’s not just that it’s easier to smell the roses with alts once you are more comfortable with the game in general, it’s that time is a real factor.

There is a metagame momentum, particularly important when you consider that you will eventually hit the point where group content is very valuable. If you are attempting it at the same time as the roiling masses, terrific! If you get there after they have picked the bones dry and have moved on to the next thing, then it can get a lot more challenging.

I played through on my orc hunter (again, sorry Alliance), and while I didn’t have the best gear in the world, I got to level 100 in a few days. I don’t recall being challenged at any particular point by any particular encounter. The combat was not engaging, because I was never required to push more than about three buttons – even in the four unremarkable dungeons that I saw. The lack of a flying mount, even at max level, has been the topic of much heated debate over recent months, but my brain normalized this lack very quickly, and I haven’t missed flying yet. Rumours abound that it will return, but it’s not clear if, or when, that might actually occur.

Again, context is key. I tried levelling again on a squishy, be-robed mage, with whom I am significantly less skilled. My goodness. Suddenly, every fight was a fight to the death, and sadly not always theirs. I was obliged to use mobility abilities, defensive cooldowns, potions, and often quite a lot of swearing. This is more representative of a new player’s experience, and in many ways it’s more fun. For maximum fun-i-tude, bring along a friend. WoW is best played with a buddy. It can distance you yet further from all the fluff Blizzard will try to make you care about, but you will undoubtedly gain more than you lose.

Overall, despite the lack of high stake thrills – or perhaps because of it – the levelling experience was extremely… well, satisfying. That word again. The game has never looked better, with enemy models and animations that are good enough for me to occasionally just stop and watch them for a while. All the player models have had a huge graphical update too, but because you generally just see the back of your armour-plated head all those detailed and expressive new faces tend not to get a lot of airtime. I appreciated the work that went into it, in an abstract way, but honestly I felt that one of the smaller features – a UI update – made a more impactful difference to my enjoyment. Through that update, the way you interact with the world has been simplified and refined in a very elegant and effective way.

There’s undeniably a huge amount to do in Phase 1, but Phase 2 is where you take a deep breath. Relax. Let the red mist fade, take stock, and form a plan. This is where you will live over the next couple of years. Unfortunately I cannot say with confidence how game feels over time, at the level cap, simply because it hasn’t happened yet. There are heroic dungeons. There is a legendary quest chain that everyone can access from pretty early on. There are raids. There is a huge cross-realm 100 vs 100 PvP zone with fortresses, multiple objectives and other crazy shit. I cannot comment too much on these (yet), so I will refrain.

With a game of this scale, it’s hard to do justice to the details. Ultimately, I have hugely enjoyed my time with it so far. Occasional bugs aside, Blizzard are terribly good at this by now. The mood in my guild has been buoyant, and while a ten-year-old MMO is not the most accessible prospect for a brand new player, significant efforts have been made to make it somewhere that everyone can join, enjoy and call home. Literally call home, with Garrisons now being so prominent, and so damnably addictive. Speaking of which, I think it’s about time to check my followers again…

Warlords of Draenor is available now.


  1. Koozer says:

    I liked the pandas!

    Garrisons sound like fun, and they’ve done a lot of work stripping down the billionty abilities that have crept in since vanilla, but I’m not paying £30 + £8.99 subscription for an expansion that will only hold my attention until I hit the new level cap. It’s bloody boring Orcs again too. I’ll wait for when it’s £15 and Blizzard give me a free week of time again.

  2. Dances to Podcasts says:

    I’m glad to finally see some actual coverage on RPS, rather than the previous fluff. Looking forward to seeing phase 2, myself as well since I’m not at 100 yet. :P

  3. padger says:

    The only thing stopping me is, well… I want to play other games. I mean I want to play this, too, but I’ve sunk so much into various MMOs at this point that I feel I need to spend my time elsewhere. This sounds great, but a big batch of releases outweigh it for me.

    AND that Endless Legend discussion down the page is making me want to play that, when before I hadn’t actually considered it. Argh.

    • tattertech says:

      I was in the opposite boat. I figured I had left WoW behind forever and I was extremely hyped for DA:I coming out. Then as WoD approached, one friend started debating returning. Then another. Then the one did actually reup. We all pretty much broke and relapsed into the habit right before the launch.

      Now I’m resigned to not getting to DA:I (or any other release I’ve been hyped for) until a much later date. On the plus side that’s allowed me to skip the horribly buggy launch of Halo MCC on the Xbox, the ubisoft shenanigans with FC4, and I get to save a bunch of money by just waiting for when things are on sale instead of buying at launch.

      On the flip side now I spend all day at work jonesing (and using remote desktop on my phone to make sure I’ve refreshed all my garrison missions periodically).

    • Zamn10210 says:

      That’s not just WoW or MMOs. Try sustaining a Europa Universalis or Football Manager habit while playing other games.

      • Llewyn says:

        It’s even worse when your main gaming poisons are WoW, FM and CK/EU. I find it completely unsustainable to play more than one at once, while the backlog of other games just grows and grows.

  4. Rummy says:

    I had the impression that serious reflection on anything WOW was taboo on RPS. Regardless, that was a great bit of writing. I’d not noticed Tom before, but I’m looking forward to more of his work.

    • padger says:

      IIRC Jim and Alec both like Warcraft and related stuff. Dunno about the rest of the team.

      • Ditocoaf says:

        That’s the great thing! They have people here who are “in” WoW, who write about it for readers who are “in” WoW. But they also have articles written from the outsider’s perspective, for people (like me) who only see all this stuff from a distance.

    • Rizlar says:

      Why? Because of one article? If you click the ‘World of Warcraft’ tag at the bottom of the article you can find many interesting, serious reflections on WoW.

      Apologies if you were just making a joke or something…

      • Bury The Hammer says:

        The thing is, because WoW is practically a hobby rather than a game, I suspect WoW players are more accustomed to the kind of coverage they’d get on WoW Insider or MMO champion.

        That said, my general feeling is that most articles I tend to see on RPS are news related, rather than anything as thoughtful as this article, or the many interesting articles written about Eve. Again, perhaps I’m just spoiled by other coverage, but MMO-C tends to be fastidious updates, and WoW Insider is slightly lowbrow.

        Unrelated note, shit, look at the jump in subscribers Warlords has had! It’s the biggest spike it’s had for years and years. No wonder it had problems with server loads:

        link to mmo-champion.com

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I only spent about six months in WoW, but I certainly enjoyed it. Eve was happening at the same time though, and there was only room for one.

      It’s a great game, though, and if I had a spare lifetime I’d probably go back.

  5. daphne says:

    I’ve heard so many good things about WoD that I’m tempted to resub for the first time since 2008. I enjoyed the recent one-week free playtime as well. Fuck this shit. I kind of wish Blizzard would provide a lifetime subscription option…

    • Michael Anson says:

      Jesse Cox and Wowcrendor are doing a series on the new things in Warlords of Draenor. Though, if you’ve been away for a while, you’ll want to watch the fourth episode, where someone who hasn’t played since the opening of Lich King discovers three expansions worth of content.

  6. djbriandamage says:

    I just got my dwarven enhancement shaman to 100 last night and I’m having a whale of a time with the world questing content. With each expansion I try my darndest to read all the text I encounter, and despite Tom’s (absolutely true) warnings I’ve had great pleasure playing at a deliberate, unrushed pace, reading every word. I appreciate that each zone starts with you choosing which of two buildings to build, and your choice dictates which unique branch of the story you will follow; you can’t see it all until you’ve levelled 2 characters.

    There’s a ton to do and it’s all gleaming with polish. Such an inviting game. This is Blizzard’s best content, no doubt. This expansion undeniably exceeded my very high expectations.

    Don’t feel rushed. Smell every rose. This lush game is so worth your time.

    • Kamalen says:

      This. I was wondering if I was the last one rying to read the quests at least a bit and follow the stories.

      After all, why the hell Blizzard bothers to write theses texts when no one reads them. (Well, they seems to actually notice it, with the new and many bonus quests with no text or quest giver/taker all around.)

      • Nevard says:

        This is without a doubt the best 10 levels that exist in the game, I hope the slowly-creeping wave of voice acting will lead people to get more engaged with what is going on than the pure text of the past.

      • malkav11 says:

        I read them. I think people who don’t are cheating themselves of one of the best parts of the game. But obviously they don’t share my tastes.

      • Moraven says:

        Quest Titles, Quest Text, Quest NPC chat, quest item flavor text.

        All of it is choke full of cultural references. My wife and I have a good laugh at many of them.

        I see no point in rushing. Take your time. Explore. Read the text, the treasures, etc. You have a better overall experience. There is always tomorrow to keep getting 100 (which goes by quicker than you think).

  7. Chicago Ted says:

    I hated having to deal with Chinese Pandaland so much, I’m really glad this expansion has nothing to do with them.

  8. Swanny says:

    Everything you do while logged in increases your power slightly. Sometimes terribly terribly slightly, but this lumbering Satisfaction Engine only rolls in one direction: forwards. You can change the speed, but not the direction.

    That’s the best way to describe WoW I’ve ever seen.
    This is the first Tom Mayo piece I’ve had time to read- it’s fantastically written. Tom put in a lot of effort to do a good job. Reminds me of the Kieron days- Jim, give this man a raise!

    • Person of Interest says:

      I agree. This article was a pleasure to read but, also, I feel like it gave me a clear understanding of what I would enjoy or dislike about the expansion. The lubrication vs. polish section, especially.

  9. Arglebargle says:

    I will not eat your axe!

  10. Sebine says:

    “Wot I Think: World Of Warcraft – Warlords Of Draenor”

    Overpriced Crap.

    Same Shit, Different Day.

  11. Distec says:

    I too swore off WoW and found myself subbing again as WoD started piquing my interest. I realized it was silly to deny myself something I wanted to play out of some bullshit puritan principle. Yes, WoW is no longer the game I knew and loved in Vanilla and BC. But I’d be lying if I said there was no satisfaction to derive from the game. And while the lore has gotten right fuckin’ silly at this point, I’ve had a soft spot for many of its characters since the original RTS games when I was a kid. A chance to see old Dreanor and some of the faces I had unceremoniously put an axe to in previous expansions was nice.

    We’ll see how much mileage I get. But I’m happy so far. It’s been a nice palette cleanser since taking a break from EVE.

    • zentropy says:

      Gawdammit, I made it this far, but… Resubbed.

      • Distec says:

        It’s okay, man! It’s not so bad over here. Just remember you can always leave when you want to!

  12. Moraven says:

    I liked Mists of Pandaria a lot and this is just another step up away from the scorn of the Cataclysm and Blizzard re-investing into WoW after dropping Titan.

  13. bleeters says:

    My vague interest took a hefty blow when, upon watching other people play shortly after release, it was full of the usual launch week shenanigans with three dozen people camping on a quest mob spawn point mashing area of effect spells until they got it done.

    I appreciate that it’s not always like that, but the whole ‘first person to deal damage gets all the rewards’ thing feels so archaic these days.

    • Thankmar says:

      Some (most) important enemies can be tagged by more than one player now. They respawn very fast as well (way too fast for my taste, as you may end up killing the target NPC three times over because you pulled him right when he respawned while looting the trash).

      • malkav11 says:

        That is one of the best changes in WoD. Some of those enemies then scale a bit to compensate for the increased number of players attempting to murder them, but it still means that other players are, to at least some degree, a help and a nice thing to have around rather than a pain in your rear. Unfortunately it’s not true of every quest objective or resource node the way it pretty much is in Guild Wars 2, so it’s still very possible to get beaten to the punch in an annoying way, and sufficient population can still be an obstacle. On the other hand, that level of feeding frenzy died down after the first day or two, at least on my server.

        • Moraven says:

          These changes came about in Mists of Pandaria.

          Shared Tag. Scaling mobs.

          One new thing is that quest items do not take up inventory space (but you can still read flavor text before you loot it or click on item name in loot message).
          They are also on a personal loot/phase. My wife and I can loot the same crystal on the ground now for instance. Not having to fight each other over them.

          • malkav11 says:

            Not for rare mobs it didn’t. It might have for quest bosses, I suppose, but by the time I was questing in Pandaria there wasn’t much competition for those.

            And unfortunately, the quest item thing seems less holistically implemented than I’d prefer. I -think- in Draenor the only quest items that linger in your inventory are the ones you need to actually use, which I suppose might be trickier to get around. But as far as I can tell, outside of Draenor everything’s still an inventory hog.

      • bleeters says:

        That’s good to hear, then.

    • drinniol says:

      It’s largely resolved now, too, unless you play on a super busy server.

  14. Grover says:

    “It’s been a long time since they have explored, a long time since they felt challenged, and a long time since they weren’t a lazy apex predator, picking bits of one hapless enemy out of their teeth with the bent dagger of the other.”

    Good show, wordsmith!

  15. XhomeB says:

    I miss the days of WarCraft, the RTS series. It was simple, yet stylish, lovable and oozing with charm – that applied to the whole package (atmosphere, plot, graphics and lore in general).
    Warcraft 3 kind of felt like a harbinger of things to come (recycled plot from Starcraft 1, the entire faction – Orcs – losing their awesomeness and becoming “noble warriors with a troubled past”), but despite those problems, it was a good sequel.

    … And then came WoW and bloody ruined everything. I no longer recognize this series, it strayed so far from the original ideas and previously established style. Unnecessary retcons everywhere, cringeworthy writing, horrid characters, those fking pandas that became part of the canon all of the sudden… the lore became so convoluted and stupid I kind of feel sorry for everyone still giving a damn about it. WarCraft’s charm, clever simplicity evaporated for good.
    Why, Blizzard. WHY.

  16. RedWurm says:

    I’m enjoying WoDlords so far – I adore garrisons and the leveling is the best it has been in wow (perhaps faint praise, but still) – yet the dungeons really aren’t terribly impressive. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for when the raids roll out and hoping that they redeem it somewhat.

  17. malkav11 says:

    I am really enjoying everything about Warlords of Draenor except not having access to flying mounts. I have been willing to tolerate their weird obsession with forcing me to stay on the ground during the levelling process because it’s typically fairly brief, but the introduction of flight to the game increased my enjoyment dozens of times over. It’s not just a cool power fantasy, it’s also a salve for a huge swathe of small irritations in WoW’s gameplay that add up after a while. Not a single thing about the game is improved for me by taking that away. Having it taken away indefinitely is just cruel.

    • drinniol says:

      What about interacting with nodes while mounted and not being stunned while mounted while 20% extra speed while mounted? Those are all things now. You can ride over water, too.

      • malkav11 says:

        Apart from maybe the riding on water thing (which I’ve been able to do since Wrath because I play a death knight), I believe those are functions of a specific garrison building whose primary focus is PvP, so I won’t ever build it. (The speed boost miiight be something on the stable, which I probably will build because I am a mount collector, but, eh.) But those are small sops, anyway, no real compensation for the loss of flight. Certainly the mount speed isn’t – that’s a nice bonus of flying, but even if my max flight speed was +100%, like ground mounts, I’d still vastly prefer it to being stuck on the ground.

    • Moraven says:

      I am enjoying the no flight.

      Now, I loved gaining flight, especially epic flight, in BC. You basically unlocked new areas, some being the best farming places for crafting elementals, access to World boss. But that has come and gone and I think I prefer no flying. Mobs have purpose and you have to fight through them. You see more of the world and all the treasures to find.

      Flight paths are so fast.

      You can get the Stables and Portal building at the Garrison to be quicker.

      You may remain mounted while interacting with objects in outdoor Draenor zones.
      Increases mount speed in Draenor by 20%

      Mage Tower
      Allows the collection of ogre waystones from Ogres on Draenor. These waystones can be used to power an Ogre Waygate of your choice on Draenor. Also occasionaly triggers Runes of Power during combat.
      Unlocks access to a second Ogre Waygate.
      Unlocks access to a third Ogre Waygate.

      Don’t think there is a water walking perk. There is always the Water Strider mount which has water walking.

      • malkav11 says:

        I see less of the world and find less treasures, because it’s such a bloody pain to fight through all the stuff I’ve already killed a million times just to get at something that -might- be interesting but more likely is just a dead end with a couple of generic mobs. And those mobs don’t have purpose. Quests give them purpose. You don’t quest any less with flying. But the ones that are just between you and the exit? That’s frustration, not fun. Similarly, with flight you can check out all sorts of cool terrain and places and poke your head into little scenes like a goblin resort or a nest on a mountaintop or something with grace and ease. You feel powerful, free. Without it? “Hmm, does this bit of texture mean I can get up here? No, guess not. This one? Nope. WTF is the intended route here? Oh, here’s another 3 guys that I can kill without any challenge but will eat up enough of my resources that I’ll have to park my bovine butt down and munch on another sandwich.”

        But hey, you don’t have to agree with me. The nifty thing about flying in WoW is that if you genuinely don’t like it, you never have to buy the training or flying mounts that activate it. There’s some stuff you’ll miss along the way, but it’s not required on your way up to cap, and they generally are pretty good about putting flight paths around even where most people are going to be flying. Whereas if they just plain turn it off at the backend, you might get your way, but I’m left out in the cold.

  18. caff says:

    As an ex-addict, returning for the occasional month or two with each expansion, I have to say it’s nice to see such life in a long running game. It could have grown old and faded away, but instead it’s updating well – the new features are fun and nicely explained, and the graphics and interface are slicker than ever. Dungeon matchmaking runs are quick and easy, although you might get unlucky with your group. The quests are well laid out, but I still find myself clicking quickly through quest and reward screens.

  19. MellowKrogoth says:

    Well, this drive to race to get to lvl 100 ignoring any fluff along the way reminds me of why I hate MMOs. Interesting write though.

    • katinkabot says:

      I have to agree with you there. I couldn’t log-in on the first night – I was like, whatever, no big deal. When I finally log in on Saturday morning, 2/3 of the guild was already 100 and were complaining about not having high enough ilevel to do heroic dungeons(some had already started). The game had literally been out for 2 days. How is that fun? Our guild is nowhere near being able to push for world firsts, so what’s the point?

      • malkav11 says:

        World firsts, at least as a in-game thing, don’t even exist anymore.

  20. Keasar says:

    Does RPS have a European guild? I’d consider joining if I decide to dust off my old account to give this expansion a shot.

  21. xenothaulus says:

    I left the game when I got into the MoP beta. I actually loved the Pandarens, liked the new zones and beautiful music, but I really hated what they had done to my skills and talents. I have told everyone for years that Cataclysm killed the game; MoP just teabagged the corpse. This article has me interested in coming back.

    • Heavens says:

      The lack of serious theorycrafting is what keeps me from coming back to WoW.
      The hunt for the perfect build and perfect items (aka best-in-slot) is what kept me going for years but it has vanished since Cataclysm and MoP.
      Talents are a matter of personal taste and items are basically stat sticks (like D3 but without the legendary/set flavor), next tiers items are exactly the same just +2 to all with a different art.
      The only difference between players are now just class and player skill. I really like talent trees and the item-puzzle which is why I’m sticking to PoE to get my “RPG” fix even though it doesn’t have raids.

  22. b3633775 says:

    Found it here for just 32 euro.

    link to gamescoon.net

  23. MissSea says:

    Created a login just to comment …

    I am SO FREAKING GLAD I knew nothing of this game until the tail end of Cata. No fond memories of raiding AQ, storming the Black Temple or killing the Lich King for the first time … just unadulterated joy at leveling and playing. This meant I liked the Cataclysm, and I LOVED the pandas … to the point where I play pandas almost exclusively.

    Per Draenor, it’s mindblowingly awesome … truly overwhelming in its complexity of random crap for you to do. You are never bored in this game, and it provides a taste for everyone, regardless of their gaming aptitude, to advance and be successful. Can’t raid worth a damn? Your garrison’s missions can provide you with decent enough gear. Can’t PvP to save your life? Ashran is like PvP-lite … go in with some buddies and run around wreaking havoc without worrying about ratings. More of a pacifist? Level up your toons via pet battles, the Poke-esque side game.

    My one frustration with WoW is the aforementioned OCD stroking that this game provides. It makes it downright agonizing to step away. To this point, I’m deliberately dabbling in other games, if only to help wean myself to a point where I’m not religiously checking my followers and grinding out every alt (of note, you really only need to get your alts to 92 for them to reassume their roles as sweatshops … er, I mean, support providers for your main). Progress, I suppose.