Warlords of Draenor sounds very cool and seems to be bringing a lot of great things. I don’t intend for this post to rehash all the news released at BlizzCon, but I still want to talk about my reaction.
I love the direction of the story; Garrosh escapes and, with the help of the Timewalker Kairoz, travels back in time to Draenor. He stops the orcs from becoming corrupted by the Burning Legion and forms the Iron Horde. He then builds his own Dark Portal connecting that Draenor to our Azeroth. I know that anything relating to time travel can be confusing to people, but I kind of like that Blizzard basically told us not to worry about it and that there wouldn’t be any time paradoxes or consequences. I like it. It’s just an excuse for us to visit Draenor and interact with all the old orcs. Of course, this gives us a lot of potential. Seeing ruthless, old-fashioned orcs should be fun, and of course, experiencing Draenor will be great.
It could also be a vehicle for some interesting character development. What if Garrosh finds his father’s not what he expected? What if Grom thinks Garrosh is a failure? It’ll be fascinating. I also think Blizzard has a chance to do something great with Thrall. Thrall never had the chance to know his parents. We know Durotan is going to side with our Horde, but what if he’s different than Thrall imagined? Even if he’s a good guy, what if he’s still ruthless? What if he thinks the Horde is too soft? In addition, some characters could stick around after the end of the expansion. For example, Durotan could come through the Dark Portal to live on Azeroth.
I’m also fascinated by the idea of circumstance shaping a person, and I hope Warlords of Draenor examines this. I’d like to see some characters act very differently than they did in the original timeline due to the changed events in their lives.
Stats and itemization
Hit was always a boring stat to me. There was no strategy or choice. You just had to get hit-capped. I’m glad to see it and its fellow not-fun stats removed. Movement speed could be a fun stat on gear as well. Plus, being able to move quickly and get back to DPSing or healing means a DPS/HPS boost.
Having gear change to match the wearer’s current spec is very interesting. It means you can use more gear but that there’s more competition. Ultimately, I think it’ll make the game much more offspec-friendly.
Reforging seemed more needless than useful. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to change from a haste build to a crit build without changing gear. I almost feel like it would work better like changing specs. When you’re out of combat, you can could change builds. Oh well. We’ll have to see what it’s like for gems and enchants to be less common as well.
Garrisons are effectively the Sunsong Ranch farm crossed with the companion mission system of TOR (or other games) with a dash of Warcraft RTS. Sounds intriguing. I liked the farm even though it felt like a grind at times, so I’m optimistic about this. Honestly, it’s more of an evolution of the idea of keeps and followers from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It could be pretty fun.
Updated character models
Honestly, I don’t really care about this. I don’t understand it. My character is a pretty portion of my screen. When I play D&D, my representation is, at most, a small metal figure that isn’t even using an accurate weapon half the time. However, a lot of people do care, so I’m glad Blizzard’s doing it.
Boost to 90
I completely understand how some people are bothered by this, but I’m not at all. I’ve never had two characters at the level cap. With the character boost, I’m more likely to get a second to level 100. It’d be nice to check out some other styles of play, because I’ve only ever had my priest at endgame. In addition, being able to boost to 90 combined with updated character models mean that people who haven’t played WoW before can immediately begin playing what is effectively a new, modern game. That’s great.
Collections and quest items
These might be my favorite changes. Currently, mounts and pets are in collections rather than items. In Warlords of Draenor, toys, heirlooms, and possibly tabards will be in collections as well. That’s so much bag space I’ll be regaining. In addition, quest items won’t take up bag space. Finally. I’m pretty excited. The only downside is that I lost all those toys I earned previously. Maybe Blizzard could check that I did those quests and award me the toys. Please, Blizzard?
LFR is still LFR. Flex will be called Normal. Normal will be called Heroic. Heroic will be called Mythic. LFR, Normal, and Heroic will all be flexible (1o to 25 people) and cross-realm. Mythic will not be cross-realm and will be 20 people. As a normal-mode raider currently (so a heroic-mode raider next expansion) in a guild that struggles with attendance, this is great news. We recruit so we have 15-20 people, and then we take everyone every week. Awesome! I do feel bad for current 10-man heroic guilds, but it won’t be my problem at least.
Dailies and dynamic events
Dailies will not be widely used. Great. Dynamic events like those from the Timeless Isle will exist in the world. Also great if not overdone. In addition, they talked about wanting to combine the ideas behind the Isle of Thunder and the Timeless Isle. I think Blizzard is on to something, and I like to see them iterating on the way content is delivered. A combination of these two is exactly what I want.
The map will tell you where the next story quest is, and it also indicates how many story chapters you’ve completed. This is awesome news. In Mists of Pandaria, I finished all the zones before I started raiding, and I only did a dungeon once I got to it in the story. It made for a nice, cohesive experience, but it also meant I took longer to get raid-ready. In Warlords of Draenor, I’ll skip all the non-story quests and come back to them. This should speed up the process significantly.
PVP interface updates
I don’t know how anyone could have a problem with being able to see capping progress on the map and on the flags themselves. This is a welcome change.
Warlords of Draenor
I’m pretty excited about all the aspects of the expansion. I’ll admit, things could go wrong. The quests could be boring, or the new content delivery mechanisms could be boring. I won’t know until I see the content. But I’m feeling hyped to experience it. Of course, I’d like to defeat Garrosh in normal-mode first!