Posts Tagged ‘World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor’
RPS Feature Ships, time travelling and myths.
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.
For a game supposedly about war and the crafting of warthings, World of Warcraft [official site] doesn’t have much of any of that. Mostly the Horde and Alliance stand on opposite sides of the warhall sneering and occasionally yelling e.g. “You’re rubbish you are!” The Warlords of Draenor expansion did add a little warcrafting, though, letting folks build and upgrade their own garrison.
Now Blizzard are expanding that to include warboatcrafting, rolling out shipyards. You won’t sail them around engaging in actual war, of course, but at least you can feel comfortable that you totally could and would if those cowards would dare come round your manor.
MMORPG players buying and selling virtual money for real money is, we all know, very naughty indeed. Folks who want to skip the grind end up driving up auction house prices for everyone, making the grind even grindier for those without cash to flash. MMOs tend to ban users buying gold (or credz, shillings, cybershillings…), but a few have introduced roundabout official ways to do it.
World of Warcraft has become the latest MMORPG selling subscription time cards for real money which players can then sell in-game for virtual money. Or, the other way round, if you have time to grind for virtual pennies, you can keep all your real pennies and not pay subscription fees.
Blizzard have announced that an “upcoming patch” will introduce the ability to buy World of Warcraft [official site] game time tokens to be sold on the in-game auction house for gold, the game’s primary currency.
This means two things: there is now a first party, risk free way to buy WoW gold for real cash, cutting the legs out from under a long-standing and TOS-breaking mini industry of gold farming and selling. Secondly, game subscriptions can now be purchased using game riches rather than real ones.
The raid opens on February 4th with Normal and Heroic difficulties (Mythic is slightly later on Feb 11th and Raid Finder kicks in on the 18th) taking the titular Blackrock Foundry as its setting. The Foundry used to be home to the Blackrock orcs but is now being used by Warlord Blackhand to pump out weaponry intended to destroy Azeroth.
RPS Feature Best Writers Pick Best Games
We’re blessed at Rock, Paper, Shotgun with the best contributing writers in videogames, so it seemed only reasonable to ask them for some of their finely-worded thoughts on the bestest best games of 2014. We asked Tim Stone, Cara Ellison, Ben Barrett, Brendan Caldwell, Cassandra Khaw, Konstantinos Dimopoulos, Marsh Davies, Rob Sherman and Rich Stanton to pick their favourite and write a brief summary of why, and that’s what they did…
RPS Feature Garrison And On And On
Garrisons are the biggest, splashiest feature of Warlords of Draenor by a considerable margin. Players have been rhubarbing about the lack of player housing for years, and this is Blizzard answering them while drawing from their RTS roots for inspiration. Combine these factors and you get an instanced Warcraft III-style base of your very own, complete with meaningful building choices and dozens of NPC followers.
If there’s one reason to return to World of Warcraft, or maybe try it out for the first time, this is it. Let me tour you around my home and I’ll explain why.
RPS Feature Hearth and home
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.
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?
Preparations for the Warlords of Draenor expansion to World of Warcraft continues. Yesterday brought The Iron Tide, the traditional pre-expansion patch with all its many changes. Now Blizzard have done the other now-traditional thing and folded the last expansion’s content into the base World of Warcraft game. That means subscribers who never bought Mists of Pandaria no longer need to, as its landmass and quests are available to all.
I returned to World of Warcraft earlier this year on the encouragement of a few online friends. I hadn’t played since the release of Mists of Pandaria in late 2012 and hadn’t paid attention to the game’s systems since the end of Cataclysm’s life cycle. It was an odd experience; a game that I find in some ways intimately familiar, made strange through numerous small changes. Not bad, just different.
I’ll be feeling that again come October 14th, when the pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor – called 6.0.2: The Iron Tide – is released and everything is different again. These patches bring the systemic and mechanical changes of the expansion to the game, and set the scene for the new expansion’s big bad with new world events.
Blizzard usually throw a birthday party for World of Warcraft, but are really indulging their love of pomp and nostalgia as the MMORPG hits double digits. WoW’s 10th anniversary celebrations will bring a level-100 version of the classic Molten Core raid and a new PvP battleground based on old favourite murderzones Tarren Mill and Southshore. Having a bash at those will get players special mounts and gear, but even simply logging in during the festivities (between November 21st and January 5th) will get you that adorable molten corgi pet up there.
I’ve spoken about the Blizzard cinematic siren before and it has gone off again. Yesterday evening at an event in Los Angeles (which, for some reason, was then simulcast to the Blizzard booth at Gamescom rather than just being ran there) the titanic MMO developer showed off the CGI intro to Warlords of Draenor, the next World of Warcraft expansion. Blizz announced its release date–November 13th–and spoke about what’s coming in the expansion itself. They also showed off the first episode of their new animated series about the eponymous Warlords. Find it all below.
At what point does a microtransaction cease to be a microtransaction? It’s a question that’s plagued my more contemplative brain tubules for years now, twisting the follicles of my whiskey soaked beard until they snap. But finally, I think I have an answer: when it’s the price of a full goddamn game. We already knew that World of Warcraft‘s Warlords of Draenor expansion would bring with it the option to boost one of your characters straight to level 90, but what if you don’t want the expansion or need another boost (come on, man – just one more that’s it I promise)? Well, do you have $60 you’re prepared to fling into Blizzard’s abyssal bank account? Are… are you sure?
RPS Feature The War Against Time
By most estimates, World of Warcraft is now 17 million years old. Typically, Internet scientists carbon date it by slicing open expansion packs and counting the rings, but there is some controversy surrounding that method. One thing’s certain, though: WoW’s been at the top of the MMO food chain since before man invented either food or chains. Its age is starting to show, and even Blizzard’s willing to admit that. And while WoW: Warlords of Draenor is working its time travel magic on the MMO kingpin’s dry, cracked landscapes, it’s still fundamentally the same game. But could that change someday? Well, WoW will probably never morph into EverQuest Next, but Blizzard told me that it’s definitely looking into procedural and user-generated content to revitalize its slowly withering world.
RPS Feature Back To The Future Past's Present
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is officially, incontrovertibly A Thing. But what kind of a thing? Well, it’s a WoW expansion, so don’t expect the world’s most immersive virtual minigolf park, a karaoke-based Annoy John simulator, or a really good hotdog. But it is pushing into *some* uncharted territory, and for the rest, well, there’s always time travel. Warlords of Draenor is headed back in time to the horde’s original home, Old Draenor – Outland before it was Outland. There, you’ll find the usual fare like a raised level cap and new zones, but also time-twisting storylines, a robust player housing system with NPCs that can run dungeons for you, revamped raid and inventory systems, and more. Words and video below.