Returning To World Of Warcraft With Patch 6.2

Featuring my friend Mair, his cat-man follower Leorajh, *his* skeleton dinosaur mount and some plant-based hallucinogens. Video games.

I’ve been playing WoW on and off for most of my adult life and quite a bit more besides. It is my comfort game, a warm blanket of mob-killing, number-crunching and loot-grabbing that has always been there when I’ve needed it. Latest expansion Warlords of Draenor [official site] was, on release, the best the game has ever been in terms of quality, though rather quickly ran out of interesting things to do once max level was reached. I burnt out early this year but 6.2 and its laundry list of changes and additions piqued my interest and pulled me back in. Here’s how it played out.

It’s never the big stuff that makes me smile when I come back to WoW. Large raids and new zones have been spoiled, datamined and usually fully uploaded to YouTube long before they hit the live servers. Even if you avoid community sites or other coverage, Blizzard themselves give quite a lot of detail in their official announcements and patch notes, so they’re unlikely to be surprising. They are what’s used to sell me on another month of subscription, after all. The pleasure, and indeed the devil, is in the details – not having to scroll all the way down the EULA to hit accept when I first log in. That sort of thing.

In Tanaan Jungle, the new zone introduced for max level players, sits Parvink. She’s my favourite part of the patch, a gnome who I recognise from a brief but happily remembered stint with the WoWTCG. The whole expansion offers similarly miniature doses of nostalgia, scatter-gunned so that at least some of it should resonate no matter how deep your history with the series goes. Parvink provides a daily quest that varies in specifics but sticks to the theme of killing bad guys while you trek through the zone on more interesting endeavours.

In that, she and Tanaan are Warlords of Draenor amplified. It’s packed with places to explore and mini-events to complete. In turn those are filled with hidden items and rare spawns to collect and kill. The rewards for this are of a high power level to help newer players (or those with a little less time in the day) catch up to the current tiers of content. This is similar to how the initial level 100 areas played out when the expansion released, but much condensed. It’s difficult to charge around the various battlefields for more than five minutes without running into a powerful enemy or chest. Equally, there’s just as many super-rare mount-dropping mini-bosses in Tanaan as there are scattered across the entire rest of Draenor and it has its own 40 man raid boss.

This density is great, filling each adventure into the area with variety and challenge. But it also highlights the lack of longevity that caused three million players to leave the game between December and March. In our first evening in Tanaan myself and the friend you see posing in the header romped through the areas, picking up the vast majority of hidden treasures. Obviously, that’s a choice being made by us to have a hardcore playstyle and it was a lot of fun, but it only took us a few hours of wandering to see most of what the zone had to offer and figure out its tricks. Stand in these pools for a damage buff, kill these to make that spawn, go into this cave to find those types of enemies for that quest. Now it’s just a matter of logging on every day to power through a few dailies, while once a week quests of actual consequence will unlock as part of a story-based campaign.

It’s a feedback loop that pushes the correct brain buttons but one that’s not compelling enough to keep me coming back to get to that weekly stuff I actually like or, indeed, to stay subscribed in the first place. The garrison, a player-controlled section of the world where you build and manage your own outpost, was similar: fun to develop and one of the best additions to the game while you’re levelling, giving you a home base to return to and a way to develop your character while offline. But once you’re at max the majority of its rewards boil down to small additions to resources you already have massive amounts of or irrelevant pieces of gear quickly outpaced by other, quicker options.

Another addition, the shipyard, is an attempt to fix this. Providing you with naval forces to send on missions rather than the garrison’s followers, you have more control over the distribution of your ships, having to build and customise each. There are less missions on offer but they take longer and follow a form of narrative, breaking blockades letting you run operations in other parts of the sea, while you unlock new ways to counter enemy ships by exploring Tanaan. It’s the focal point of the patch. Possibly it will succumb to the same pitfalls as the garrison over time, but the philosophy of significant missions that follow an arc of sorts and more interesting rewards is definitely the correct choice.

What I was most excited for going in was the introduction of mythic dungeons, harder versions of the five player instances already in the game. Unfortunately the squad of friends I’d ran with in the early days of WoD have since moved on due to time, money or interest issues so I haven’t managed to plunge into them in the way I would have liked. Mythics aren’t listed in the automatic dungeon finder, meaning you have to use the manual premade group tool. This may seem like a trivial complaint, but it’s the difference between a guaranteed balanced group that has at least reached some stats-based minimums versus a player-ran crapshoot that doesn’t automatically teleport to dungeons or have easy access to replacements if there are quitters.

Which might be understandable if mythics were more complicated in their difficulty. The difference between normal/heroic raids and the mythic versions is more than a simple numbers upgrade. Bosses will receive new abilities, timings will change, entire phases of fights are introduced – the quality varies, of course, but it’s a great design decision to make playing at the highest level both harder and unique. Dungeons have none of that. The fights are identical, only with health and damage of enemies ramped up. This does make them different to play, as elements that could be ignored or dealt with sloppily before are now far more deadly, but it’s not reaching its potential.

On a similar axis are the ‘new’ timewalking dungeons, which scale your character’s level and items down to be on an even playing field with earlier expansion’s five-mans. As someone who never got far into The Burning Crusade, I was looking forward to being able to play it as it was, or close to. At least, that’s the theory. In reality they’re laughably easy, simple to complete even with only four people, as we discovered when a bug stopped anyone replacing a player that left mid-way. The loot that drops there means that grinding them out is the best option for making your way towards mythic dungeons in personal late-game progression. This easy loot combination wouldn’t be an issue – much of this patch is designed around letting players catch up in item level, as discussed – if they weren’t quite so stunningly dull.

No matter what a few nostalgia blinded old-timers may tell you, Blizzard’s skill when it comes to creating interesting encounters has risen considerably since the ‘good’ old days. Bosses are more than tank and spank with a single add, or one mechanic that requires some positioning. Packs come in more than simple caster/non-caster combos and actually vary throughout the dungeon, usually telling a more coherent story of where you are and why. While I approve of timewalking and the 10th anniversary return of Molten Core as Blizzard’s way of showing just how much better things are now, tying it to decent gear that has to be repeatedly ran for with no guaranteed incentives – meaning you can easily come out of those boring 20+ minutes with nothing – is a mistake.

bonus tell-me-how-bad-my-UI-is shot

This may all seem very negative, but I am enjoying being back with the game. It’s still the best MMO in the world from almost every angle and the pure amount of stuff in the patch is impressive. Plus they’re all good ideas, just flawed in implementation in ways that will be fixed over the coming months and years, patches and expansions. It’s all tied together by an adventure guide which tells players what all their options are in terms of progression, and though it needs more work in terms of theme, it’s an excellent way to pull together all the information that is usually found on community sites. Like many other features, with more time and work it will eventually be a vital part of the game I can’t imagine playing without.

40 Comments

  1. egg says:

    Hmm. I played WoW up to level 60 a few years ago.

    What I most enjoy in any MMORPG is the ability to go solo, do my own thing, eventually ganking a few newbies from the other faction or something like that. I also enjoy the thrill of being ganked (and escaping!).

    And I found that WoW didn’t really work with that mindset. It was a “raids or gtfo”. So I gtfo.

    I assume everything is still the same…? Do any of you guys have any other suggestion?

    • banananas says:

      Maybe give Rift a try? It was my first and last MMORPG, right after the second it went F2P because I just wanted to experience what all the fuss was about (never tried WoW, due to those reports of addiction and second job mentality). I’ve played it through pretty much all solo, and some 4-6 player dungeons with random people and it was exactly how you described what you wanted out of WoW, so I thought I could share my info. I leveled to 90 or so and left it at that. Was pretty fun though!

    • Ben Barrett says:

      if you haven’t played since the max level 60 days I’d definitely recommend trying again now, particularly if you like solo play – there’s a lot more of that and it’s a lot easier to do it in the early levels. I think for someone who just wants a cool single-player-ish RPG, the 90-100 levelling curve (which you can access immediately with a new copy of the game thanks to the free level 90 that comes with WoD) is worth the price of admission, and at the end of it you have this massive MMORPG you can also get into if you want.

      very endgame is still just raids ‘n’ such tho

      • SomeDuder says:

        But why would you play WoW as a SP game? The story is laughably bad, the UI is horrible (making and tweaking my own UI was a part-time job), the visuals are a badly-aged cartoony mess and there’s about 10 million people doing the exact same thing you are doing.

        There’s plenty of single-player focused RPGs that will give you a better single-player experience, so unless he’s trying to show the “noobs out there” he doesn’t wanna hang with tem, there’s no point in trying to solo in WoW, which is a terribly frustrating, lonely experience.

        • Ben Barrett says:

          We either disagree on everything or you haven’t played in five years *shrug*

        • malkav11 says:

          No MMO is going to be as good a solo experience as the best singleplayer RPGs, but WoW has one of the best solo experiences in the market. I could not disagree more about the quality of the writing and quest design, and there’s a ton of other stuff to do, like archaelogy, pet battling, etc. Or for that matter, visiting old raids and dungeons and cackling maniacally as you solo stuff that used to take 25-40 people. The UI is imperfect, but it’s decent enough to start with (better than a fair number of competing games, really) and it’s not at all difficult to piece together a suite of mods that will customize it to your individual needs. And ugly? It’s regularly stunningly beautiful, especially in the newer areas. Sure, the tech isn’t cutting edge, but the art direction is phenomenal.

        • Vayra says:

          Whaaat? WoW is a pretty strong game solo, with great storytelling, lots of ways to play solo or entirely with pick-up-groups whenever you want, and tons of options to progress.

          In fact most MMO’s are well tailored to solo play. Guild Wars 2 – very nice to solo. Elder Scrolls Online: the only way to do it.

    • bp_968 says:

      I played WoW at a few distinct times in its life: the first time I played was about six months prior to the release of a burning crusade (the FIRST expansion for WoW). I was playing a rogue on a PVP server. It was some of the most fun I ever had playing an MMO! You could, with enough skill and luck, gank players 10-15 levels higher then you since the gear progression was very linear and all the most powerful gear was locked behind large raid instances. If you found a player in amazing gear he usually sucked at PVP and was still killable, it just took longer. Burning Crusade changed all that. The massive gear reset created an impossible gap in power to the point that even a team of 40ish level players would easily be murdered by a single 63+ with any skill simply because most of their specials would miss or fail and even when they did hit it did almost no damage. So now when the high level players got bored and attacked the leveling hubs of lower level players it was a pure turkey shoot. They were essentially invincible. It sucked all the fun out of PVP for me.

      I came back for wrath of the lich king with some friends but on a PvE server. We had a blast until we got to Kara and Raids. Our guild simply didn’t have the player skill required to survive the raids. Sadly you couldn’t get them leave the crap players out of the raids and so the wipes were always the faults of the same few people. I couldn’t bring myself to spend the effort to find another guild so I quit. Hilariously enough (to my cynical mind anyway) the crap players finally stopped going on the raids about a month after I quit.

      Since then I’ve been tempted to try it again, but now days my wife would want to play so the 30$ a month it would cost us to play has been a barrier. Instead we both played GW2 for a while after it was released.

      • jrodman says:

        Huh, the starter raid for Lich King, Naxxramas (karazhan was burning crusade) was really not designed to be difficult. It did demand basic competency, but I felt anyone who was motivated learn to play well could do it.

        Sadly it’s true that most players weren’t that motivated, and the solo game doesn’t really teach you how to excel.

        For better or worse (I think better), there’s of course a low difficulty level setting now that even people who aren’t particularly motivated can defeat. So you can have a social guild with some people who are just not good and still clear content, if just seeing the sights is all people want. There will still be the same old fault lines though if people want to move up to the “normal” difficulty.

    • Flopper says:

      Wow is still a game for people who are happy settling. It had so much potential to turn in to something amazing with the billions if not trillions of dollars it’s harvested over the last decade.

      Instead they pump out the same content patches every other MMO puts out. Except they are making 100x more than every other MMO.

      If you are truly that much of a fanboy that you think WoWs patches match their income you’re living in denial.

      As much as I can’t get onboard with Guild Wars 2 gameplay, their update schedule has been ridiculous over the last almost 3 years.

      Wildstar, don’t get me started on Wildstar. That game had so much potential. But the giant sucking sound of players leaving made the problem exponentially worse. Servers emptied because people heard the servers were emptying. That game with NO MONEY has completely updated and changed their game for the better. Every single problem that existed at launch does not exist today. Only problem is no players. rofl Which will be remedied this fall.

      The moral of the story is, Blizzard made so much money off that game they could have changed the MMO genre forever. Pioneered some new frontier. Instead they just stuck with the Activision model of pump out the same crap every sequel or xpac and get people to come back then leave again. Congrats. Warlords brought back about 3 million players. And they all left within 60 days of launch. Impressive.

      • MooseMuffin says:

        They did change the MMO genre forever. They just didn’t change it again.

    • hawken.grey says:

      I would highly suggest giving Black Desert a try. Get an account for the Korean version there are various ways of doing this, it costs about $10 though a site like Newgameway(dot)com for example, or you can play the Japanese version through a VPN. Both need an english patch, which you can google and download without much trouble.

      If you like solo play with the idea of eventually playing with a guild, this game will blow you away. There are many that will say that the endgame is PvP, but that’s misleading. There is a massive amount of PvE to do in Black Desert, and a lot more reason to be doing things out in the world, compared to wow. Really complex trading between towns, crafting, building reputation with individuals in the world to unlock things, horse taming, housing, etc. Lots to do. The endgame is more about Guild versus Guild warfare, but you only get into that if you want to.

      I also loved wow for many years, starting back in the BC days, and played up to the end of WoTLK. I also played Rift for a while, which is a decent WoW replacement with some twists on the old formula, and then SWOTOR, GW2, and a few others. All have their appeal, but most revolve around the raiding treadmill.

  2. Maxheadroom says:

    “I’ve been playing WoW on and off for most of my adult life”

    Statements like that always make me feel old. I was probably playing Chuckie Egg at the age you started playing WoW.

    Not played WoW in about 5 years but went back recently for a nostalgia trip and found it nothing but a very confusing string of explosions and scrolling numbers.

    Also music today is just noise

    Now get off my lawn

  3. Auru says:

    It’s still a fantastic game, but like any other it has flaws and after 10 years of change.. it appeals to a very wide variety of people who don’t all blend together well when it comes to what they ‘want’ out of WoW.

    Blizzard know what they are doing with WoW, they might kneejerk one way or another sometimes or do something the ‘community’ (loudest people on forums) dislike but overall, they are very meticulous with what they do and do not put into this game, 6.2 for me is actually pretty great.. and it still contains some things I don’t really like (but other players will find immensely fun)

    For example, no group finder for Mythic dungeons.. to me this is brilliant as it goes back to the days of building groups (even through the new group finding tool) and having a more personal experience with the players you run that dungeon with, since it took a little more effort to make the group.. people are more willing to stick it out and actually play with each other, I had tried to explain this to some guild mates recently with mixed responses.

    Then we get a Blizzard interview where they are asked this very question with pretty much the same response I had, it’s so closely aimed at certain players (maybe even those who were around before the dungeon finder tool) and it’s good to see them not forget about this kind of interaction..

    I am impressed with WoD overall, it has some major faults (garrison!) but they are SO much more open about errors and do really seem open to changing the game, it’s great to see that kind of thing for a 10 year old game.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Oh, I didn’t know Blizzard had talked specifically about dungeon finder for mythics – got a link? I had a look around for it when I found out because it seemed a bit backward, but couldn’t see anything.

      • Moraven says:

        link to wowhead.com

        Q: What is the reasoning that players cannot queue for Mythic dungeons?
        A: Getting you back out into the world cause you have to actually physically have to go to the instance entrances. Also, there is some value to inconvenience when it promotes social cohesion. We add encouragement to work together this way. No way to quickly replace people makes you have to work together harder together. This is what dungeons are about. It encourages cooperation and interaction. Hotfix is incoming to triple the Mythic change for dungeon loot to be warforged (705)! Coming next tuesday!

        • Ben Barrett says:

          ah, I’d seen this interview mentioned and hadn’t got around to it yet, cheers :D

        • Beanbee says:

          I wouldn’t say it promotes social cohesion as much as it’s so much better if you have it.

          You always get a mixed bag. Sometimes people really tough it out, others they leave like flies. Weekends are almost exclusively a pain and earlier in the week is better than later.

          • jrodman says:

            Well, it’s the whole experience.

            You have to work through the pain, and there is pain. But it’s also the adding of people to lists because you know they’re good, and building a network of players you appreciate.

            The downsides is just how much energy and time this takes. I wouldn’t ever want to do it again, but I definitely reaped the benefits back in the day.

  4. Moraven says:

    I play in small doses now which works perfectly for the amount of content there is. I see people who spent the past week playing 6+ hours a day (more on weekend) and burning through Tanaan Jungle, then complaining they have nothing to do.

    Raiding once a week, then its easy to play a little each day or every other day, there is something to do and won’t get burned out of it quickly. Normal (was flex in last patch of MoP) has worked great. 3 hours a week and have been able to clear Highmual and Blackrock Normal before the next raid tier was released.

    Timewalking is something people wanted, but without reworking all the boss encounters to work better against how talents and abilities work, they don’t work well as good encounters. Make the fight to hard, people complain (Cata dungeons at release). Make them to easy, people complain. Dungeons are hard to invest in since its content that takes a lot of work but quickly becomes old within 4-8 weeks.

    Maybe they should try a Modifier event system, kinda like what Destiny has for the weekly dungeons, to spice things up and offer a challenge?

    I wish they put in more platforming treasures, like they did with Timeless Isle, Spires of Arak and Nagrand.

  5. Rudel says:

    I’m too lazy to write a novel why I quit WoW after 10 years. In a nutshell it’s basically that there is nothing else to do but raid. If you do not raid, you can do mindnumbing easy things like LFG or useless stuff like 5-men. Professions are dead. Alts are dead (because professions are dead). Garrison is simply boring and repetetive.

    If you are like me who likes a challenge but does not have the free time (anymore) to do organized raiding, than WoW is not a good game for you. If you only like hardcore raiding, it’s great. You don’t even have to farm anymore like in the old school. Hell, you don’t even have to leave your garrison to do hardcore raiding. Just log in 3-4 times / week and do raid only. And if you are on the other side of the spectrum, meaning you hate challenges.. than WoW is also your game. Go do some pointless fishing or build your garrison steady and slowly. You get better gear than ever in your WoW career. You can even see all raid content because you only be able to press “w” to compete. To top the letter, insert keys “1” and “2” here.

    Conclusion: for something who likes a challenge but does not raid, a classic / bc / lk or even Panda server is way better than the current WoW.

    • Rudel says:

      Excuse me, my baby boy was screaming at me the whole time, I had some troubles concentrating while writing…

  6. malkav11 says:

    The biggest improvement this patch brings (well, as I understand it, not -quite- this patch, but it lays the groundwork a later small patch will activate) will be the return of flight to current content. Sure, it’ll take some footwork first – the meta achievement that will bestow flight requires a fair number of feats – but at least it’ll bloody well be there. The absence was what has been killing my interest in Draenor. Well, that and the weird decision to make rep grinds all about endless, tedious genocide of arbitrary enemies that that faction happens to decide they hate. And it sounds like 6.2 has made some strides towards fixing that, too.

    • Auru says:

      Really? There are so many ways around Draenor.. can’t say i’ve really missed flying tbh, flightpaths.. worm holes, dark iron drills.. mage tower portals, works pretty well for me

      Not that i’m really complaining, will be fun to see Draenor from a flying mount :)

      • malkav11 says:

        Those are ways to specific points in Draenor that are well short of anywhere you actually need to go, at least once the initial questing phase is over. And man, between the rugged terrain and the swarms of trash mobs everywhere, riding around at ground level is just maddeningly irritating to me. I literally opted to go back and do Pandaria stuff instead of engaging with Draenor content because even though Pandaland no longer has anything mechanically relevant, flying makes it so much more pleasurable to spend time in and there’s still plenty of reps I never finished out and mounts to grab, etc.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I was on the other side of this fight and didn’t think they should bring flying back, but can see it being more of an issue once I’m out of the garrison more. Happy with the middle ground of a worked-for achievement that guarantees you’ve at least given non-flying a shot.

      • malkav11 says:

        Yeah, compromises are fine. I get that they have reasons they don’t like it from a design standpoint, and I’m willing to suffer through being groundlocked as long as I have a definite end to that state ahead of me. But if they ever remove it altogether, the way they were talking about doing, I would quit. It’s that integral to my enjoyment of the game.

      • jrodman says:

        Indeed. I enjoyed the slow progress towards flying in Burning Crusade, and while odd, it was sort of satisfying re-achieving it in Northrend. However, in Cataclysm it was immediately obvious from the start just how little I was going to care about the space they had created, when I was going to skip over most of it in the air. The only part I really enjoyed was the bit that so many hated: underwater.

        So while I don’t play anymore, it sounded like the right direction to me that they were leaving it behind. Oh well, perhaps I missed something having not tried it.

  7. honuk says:

    I certainly wouldn’t say 6.2 has changed anything regarding factions and rep. There are three new factions in Tanaan. Let me explain them to you. The first is a “faction” that is just some more horde/alliance people that set up your Tanaan outpost–as in they are only there for you–and yet somehow you must grind rep with them anyway. How do you do this. Go to the bonus objective areas and kill all of the stuff every day. Who are the characters in this faction? No one. What do they represent? Your entourage, I guess, only you still have to prove yourself to them for some reason. The second faction is two arrakoa. Yes, two. The first one gives you The Quest, which is the only way to gain rep with this faction, and the second one is the quartermaster. The Quest is a quest to collect the treasures/kill the rares in Tanaan daily. Why? who knows. Go do it. The third faction is three dudes in some random outpost in the jungle that want you to kill some tiger people. Why? I don’t know. How do you get rep with this faction? Two ways: there is a singular weekly quest to summon some rares that take a few people to kill. Then there is the grind. Every tiger dude you kill (and you have to kill them in groups, by the way) gives you 25 rep. Have fun. I’m sure you’ll feel accomplished for having helped these three guys kill literally a thousand tiger dudes. They are very integral members of the wow story, I swear.

    • malkav11 says:

      Well, yuck.

      But it has made at least one improvement as I understand it – doing associated dungeons (when that’s the “daily activity”, at least, although IMHO this should really be ongoing) gives you faction rep with the pre 6.2 factions.

    • jrodman says:

      Blizzard never did try that hard to make a believable world, did they?

  8. AndreiCristian90 says:

    Don’t think I’ll get back into WoW, but I have thoughts of buying a month of game-time to see what’s all the fuss about. I was about 13 /methinks when I started playing Vanilla WoW, and I loved every second of it. Had absolutely no idea what to do – I was following quest lines, exploring the world, fishing, creating sucky leather armour, and mining copper. Yup, I was your average Tauren Warrior newbie. Didn’t get pass level 20’ish with DunDun.

    Went on to create a Human Mage, and Elwynn Forest seemed so complex, and filled with stuff to do – Mulgore seemed boring as hell. At level 6 or 7 I got a quest to deliver something to a shop in StormWind. My young mind was blown away by the epic music, and how unbelievably cool the whole city looked like. My first dungeon ever was DeadMines – I was obsessed with it. It took me a month to find the right group to actually finish it, but fuck man, it was so awesome. Played with Usul until I reached level 60, but end-game raiding wasn’t the thing for me – I super sucked at raids, because a) my English wasn’t good enough, and b) I seriously didn’t know how my mage works.

    Quit the game for a while because school stuff, and at about 15-16 I bought TBC. God I loved that expansion. Levelled a Belf Paladin – yeah yeah bubble boy. Me, and Mr. d’Eath went on to level 70, raided all of the big dungeons – even got into SunWell Plateau at the beginning and wiped the floor with it. I was so excited about Wrath of the Lich King, but when I bought it, it felt lacklustre, hollow, so stupidly easy. What pained me the most was how almost all of my high-end raiding gear from TBC was shit compared to what you could’ve gotten from quests in Grizzly Hills, and Dragon Blight.

    Haven’t played WoW since Wrath of the Lich King came out. Should I give it another try? I’m quite a fan of RPGs – MMORPGs, and love the universe Blizzard created. Never was that much into PvP, and I quite enjoyed raiding.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I think you’d quite enjoy the new levelling experience and what the endgame is like now, it’s definitely focused on groups and raiding (even if it’s easier to get into that stuff solo, with all the group finding tools).

      It’s definitely an easier game now, but imo in a more fun way rather than a trivial way. I remember levelling in vanilla, dying or fleeing any time I pulled more than one mob. Having to spend 3 hours finding a group and running UBRS for one loot drop in the end game. Saturday’s of Molten Core with at least 25 players who didn’t know the first thing about their class (myself included).

      Now it’s about seeing just how many mobs you can pull without dying. My record’s somewhere around the 15-20 mark, because Prot warriors are busted while soloing. Loot flows a lot faster from quicker dungeons and there’s a much longer and more obvious progression system that allows you to tackle content when you want at whatever difficulty you want. Raids have four tiers, dungeons have three (now). The top of each requires quite a bit of thought to master, but you probably won’t be spending months and months trying to beat single bosses any more.

      Then again, WotLK was the first time I really, properly enjoyed the game and I couldn’t even be arsed to level through TBC, so it’s possible we differ in some significant ways. Like I said above, I think the levelling stuff from 90-100 is worth the price of admission. You’ll probably really like the exploration stuff from this expansion too, from what you’ve said, which is at least half of why it’s great.

      • jrodman says:

        Honestly, the most fun I ever had with that game was getting totally wrecked by accidentally pulling two mobs in terrible gear in vanilla.

        It was a simple game I was playing (don’t fuck up, keep your eyes around you, be defensive, etc), but it was somehow compelling. I don’t enjoy the herding cats challenge of raiding, and would rather not interact with strangers if I can avoid it. I’ve played a bit on private servers occaisonally, and the vanilla experience still has that certain something for me, while the real game does not.

  9. Neutrino says:

    “There are less missions on offer”

    fewer

  10. BattlePsyche says:

    Sounds like Tanaan is basically Timeless Isles but with a narrative; unfortunately, that’s going to keep me from staying in WoW as I’m unable at this point to see it as anything but a land-mass-sized gear pinata designed solely to keep the raid machine going. The shipyard also sounds like a variation on a theme and ultimately still the same issue I have with the Garrison: it’s a cell phone game in my MMO that is as empty of immersion as one could possibly get. I suppose the Mythic difficulty will make a small minority of hardcore people who still enjoy the game happy, but all this looks like is WoW is still, forever, all about raiding for gear to raid for gear.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, I was really hoping Tanaan Jungle would have more of a narrative component to it. I really disliked Timeless Isle and its model of “um, go kill this stuff that’s really hard and densely packed throughout and hey look you can’t fly either. What? Questing? Any context for grinding at all? Nah, who needs that? it’s not like it was our entire selling point over Everquest!”