Warlords of Draenor impressions and experience

fivorothfivoroth LondonMember UncommonPosts: 3,916

I just wanted to share my experience so far with WoD in case people are wondering if the expansion is worth it.

I start playing WoW as soon as it launched in Europe (early 2005?) and I loved the game. During my time playing vanilla and TBC, this was the ONLY game I played. Then came wotlk and it was okay but I didn't particularly like it. Then cata was even worse. Then I skipped MOP altogether cause it looked horrible. Now that leaves us with WoD.

Levelling - The levelling experience in WoD is much better than anything I have ever experienced in WoW. The lore and atmosphere are amazing. It feels like playing The Burning Crusade all over again. The quests all try to strike this sense of urgency and importance to the tasks you do and it works much better than any of the previous versions of WoW. You are the commander of your people and people follow you. The guy who has gone through hell and back from fighting the infernal forces of Molten Core through the insanity of Illidan and Arthas to some asian wierd ass creatures in MOP.

Garrison - The garrison system is amazing. It integrates a sort of progression which is alternative to levelling up and gearing. It feels nice and you constantly discover new things. Blizzard have integrated this kind of instanced housing into the game in a way I haven't seen in an MMO before. You recruit new people to join your garrisons and send them off to missions for some interesting rewards. YOu have to choose between different types of buildings you want to construct and I would say I actually spent some time thinking which building I want to have.

Rewards - One thing I really love about this expansion are the rewards you get. In previous expansions you mostly get items and xp when you finish a quest. But these thinigs you replace quite quickly so they don't really feel special. In WOD you get tons of cool collectibles and unlockables through quests - e.g. mini pets, toys (which are pretty much collectibles for fun), new unlockables for your garrison, garrison resources, followers and new story arcs unlocks. These things won't get easily replaced which makes them fun. They are not just another items with +10 random stat.

Professions and side activites - I am amazed of how much there is to do in addition to questing in terms of side activities. You can level up your two main professions and you can do that even if they are lvl 1. WoD allows you to level them up in WoD zones which is a really nice touch. In addition you get archealogy findings, mini pets battles, new ways of interacting with the environment thanks to your garrison, fishing, cooking and first aid. You can also hunt down skull mini bosses for some cool rewards or the do tasks which are similar to GW2's hearts.

Graphics and world design - now obviously WOW's graphics are dated. However, the world design is stunning. It all feels magical in a way which other MMOs can't seem to do. All the zones I have expereienced so far are gorgeous!

Talents - ok I know a lot of people hate this. But from my experience with them, this system is AMAZING! The old tree system we had in vanilla/tbc/wotlk was nice but it was all predetermined. I had like 80-90% of my druid talents which there was no way I wouldn't take. An extreme example of this was innervate. In vanilla if I was a resto druid without innervate then I am not going anywhere. As our job was only to innervate the real healers (priests) and spam healing touch a few times before we run out of mana lol. In this new system, you make a choice between three abilities at certain level points. I would love to have each one of those abilities. The choice between the three abilities is definitely not clear cut. I also noticed these new talents are tailored to your speciliasation too. For example, at lvl 100 I get three talents for my feral spec and 3 completely different talents for resto. And I now have 4 speciliasations! It feels awesome. One final point here, druid was my main class throughout all of WoW. Yet playing it now in WoD it feels very fresh and new. The class has changed dramatically yet it still feels very familiar!

Overall - I would say there is tons to do in the new expansion and the main highlight, the garrison system, is very addicting. I am not sure if I will stay longterm with the game but even if I only do the lvelling experience once and do some unlockables/achievemetns/dungeons/flexible raids then it's all worth the box price and the few months of subscription I am paying.

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

Comments

  • coretex666coretex666 PragueMember RarePosts: 3,287

    Be prepared for being called a WoW / Blizz fanboi :).

    I personally share your view. The expansion is really nice. I had been on a break for almost 2 years until this expansion came out. Was beginning to miss my subtlety rogue.

  • BigbooBigboo Member Posts: 201

    I like WoD, maybe not as much as you Op as I played through both Cata and Panda. But I agree that its one of the best expansions. Garrisons is really addictive.

    Now I will just wait here for all the haters to troll this thread.

    *grab a beer and popcorn*

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  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 17,260
    This should be moved to reviews forum.
  • ForgrimmForgrimm Somewhere in TimeMember EpicPosts: 2,783
    Originally posted by DMKano
    This should be moved to reviews forum.

    There is no review forum. There's a review tab, and the reviews in that tab have to be submitted through the user's profile according to specific review guidelines. The OP's post is an informal summary of his thoughts and experience with WoD, and it was posted in the WoW sub-forums, exactly where it belongs.

  • filmoretfilmoret Palm Bay, FLMember EpicPosts: 4,906

    I found this expansion to be one of their best as far as content.  They did add quite a lot for people to enjoy and anyone who will deny this is just trying to troll it.  It isn't enough for me to go back and play the game again but its definitely a step in the right direction.  You didn't mention the whole pvp Continent that is open world like GW2 and Archeage.  Also they revamped the entire combat system which might have made better pvp balance but IDK since I'm not gonna play it yet.

    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • Tasslehoff35Tasslehoff35 Dragonlance, ALMember UncommonPosts: 962
    Originally posted by DMKano
    This should be moved to reviews forum.

    So I would bet if the OP was negative you wouldn't be trying to push it removed from its current place.  The good ol I don't agree I will attempt the silence its views...

  • FlawSGIFlawSGI Woodstock, GAMember UncommonPosts: 1,379
    Originally posted by coretex666
    Be prepared for being called a WoW / Blizz fanboi :). I personally share your view. The expansion is really nice. I had been on a break for almost 2 years until this expansion came out. Was beginning to miss my subtlety rogue.

    I also am really enjoying this expansion and this is coming from someone who is extremely critical of Blizzard and has not touched WoW in 4 years. So far this one is shaping up to be favorite expansion although BC still holds that title. Once I run some raids i will then determine if I like it better than BC but the garrisons and the exploration they have implemented into the game is fantastic. Nothing new to the genre, but new to WoW and they have done a fine job of it.

    RIP Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan and Paul Gray.

  • Jean-Luc_PicardJean-Luc_Picard La BarreMember EpicPosts: 6,782

    Second best after WotLK for me for now, and garrisons are definitely a major addition to WoW and to the genre in general.

    WotLK remains first mostly for the setting, which was awesome, and it was also before all the down dumbing that sadly happened to the game because of the ignorant masses refusing to learn and just wanting easy mode.

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  • SweedeSweede NorsborgMember UncommonPosts: 193
    Well i find it ok, but i don't get the new druid forms, in Ironforge doing pvp with some horde i tried to get into flightform but game choose travelform, i would much rather have it like it used to be, i choose not the game, feels like russian roulette rigth now, press the button and what do i get :)

    image

  • ArazaleArazale marietta, GAMember Posts: 348
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Second best after WotLK for me for now, and garrisons are definitely a major addition to WoW and to the genre in general. WotLK remains first mostly for the setting, which was awesome, and it was also before all the down dumbing that sadly happened to the game because of the ignorant masses refusing to learn and just wanting easy mode.

    WotLK is your favorite because it was a complete expansion. WoD is just getting started. Thats the way i'm looking at it right now as WotLK was my favorite as well, but if Blizzard keeps up with the foundationt his expansion has laid down, WoD is easily going to be my favorite expansion. Once we get all the raids and new shit to come(heirloom UI i'm looking at you) it'll be leagues better than WotLK.

     

    And for the record, WotLK heroics were nowhere near the level of difficulty that BC's heroics were. So WotLK already experienced "dumbing down" via heroics coming from BC. The only heroics that were actually somewhat difficult were the 3 ICC heroics when they were released, though a couple weeks in and they were nerfed which was sad but still.

  • grimgryphongrimgryphon Pacific Northwest, WAMember CommonPosts: 682
    Originally posted by Tasslehoff35
    Originally posted by DMKano
    This should be moved to reviews forum.

    So I would bet if the OP was negative you wouldn't be trying to push it removed from its current place.  The good ol I don't agree I will attempt the silence its views...

    If you say something bad about Archeage, DMKano will run off after it like a cat chasing a ball of yarn. That should keep him busy for a while and we can get on with the WoD discussion.

    Optional PvP = No PvP
  • joeadamjoeadam NoMember Posts: 31
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Second best after WotLK for me for now, and garrisons are definitely a major addition to WoW and to the genre in general. WotLK remains first mostly for the setting, which was awesome, and it was also before all the down dumbing that sadly happened to the game because of the ignorant masses refusing to learn and just wanting easy mode.

    Gotta disagree on this one.

     

    I thought wotlk was when the dumbing down started.

     

    Respeccing became very easy, a fully intrusive, non optional inspect was introduced so people could copy the builds of more skilled players and all builds became carbon copy this way.

     

    I left at the end of wotlk because my entire guild copied my build cuz I as class leader in my guild for getting highest dps perisistently through my use of spread sheets to min max the best builds and my use of macros for greater efficiency.

     

    This failed to keep working in wotlk when my entire guild copied my build and I saw the same thing happen across the game with anyone who had a good build getting it stolen and passed on.

     

    To me that was dumbing down of the game because people no longer needed to compete in building, if someone beat you on the dps meter in pve, just copy their build. If someone beats you on pvp, just copy their build.

     

    In the end since building is such a core part of rpgs, I left at the end of wotlk.

  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member EpicPosts: 3,812
    I would complain as well and say this should go under one of the 10+ reviews of WoD already but AA had like 20+ seperate reviews, such as "Why I uninstalled AA" "Why I reinstalled AA" "Why I never installed AA", so let these people have their fun. The threads will drift off the list eventually.
  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHMember RarePosts: 3,760

    Right now it's garrison related stuff and achievements keeping me playing.  I am a big fan of the LFR aspect of WOW as I have no interest in committing to raid schedules.

     

    I actually thought leveling in WoD is worse than BC and WOTLK but better than the last two crappy expansions.  Lots of music while leveling in WoTLK really stood out as well, but not so much in this expansion.

  • ArazaleArazale marietta, GAMember Posts: 348
    Originally posted by FrodoFragins
    Right now it's garrison related stuff and achievements keeping me playing.  I am a big fan of the LFR aspect of WOW as I have no interest in committing to raid schedules.   I actually thought leveling in WoD is worse than BC and WOTLK but better than the last two crappy expansions.  Lots of music while leveling in WoTLK really stood out as well, but not so much in this expansion.

    Its odd you say that as me and another friend commented a while back on how much we liked the music in WotLK. My favorite theme is from Grizzly Hills. Something about that Irish-kinda sound to it, was just amazing. Could listen to that for hours.

  • Viper482Viper482 Somewhere, FLMember RarePosts: 1,791
    Originally posted by DMKano
    This should be moved to reviews forum.

    Really?

     

    As for the expansion, I have been so busy with so many other games I have not had a chance to do much with it. I really need to dig in.

  • Astro6Astro6 Member UncommonPosts: 238

    I find class balance is off seem blizzard does not know how to balance and that they seem to nerf based on crying kids and not testing.

    Some classes got buffed to insane amounts other classes like monks got damage nerfs monks are useless in PvP i play feral druid got a buff i don't play monk they die so fast in pvp they are not even slightly challenging.

  • VelifaxVelifax Ogden, UTMember UncommonPosts: 385
    Originally posted by fivoroth
    I just wanted to share my experience so far with WoD in case people are wondering if the expansion is worth it.
    Thanks, I'll add my opinions to your impressions.
    I start playing WoW as soon as it launched in Europe (early 2005?) and I loved the game. During my time playing vanilla and TBC, this was the ONLY game I played. Then came wotlk and it was okay but I didn't particularly like it. Then cata was even worse. Then I skipped MOP altogether cause it looked horrible. Now that leaves us with WoD.
    I've played since close to release, heavily up until the end of BC, then less and less each expansion. Now I'm thoroughly casual, barely get into LFR before burning out. In spite of burnout, I've maintained three or more max level characters in every expansion to date (working on WoD), and raided up to the first tier.
    Levelling - The levelling experience in WoD is much better than anything I have ever experienced in WoW. The lore and atmosphere are amazing. It feels like playing The Burning Crusade all over again. The quests all try to strike this sense of urgency and importance to the tasks you do and it works much better than any of the previous versions of WoW. You are the commander of your people and people follow you. The guy who has gone through hell and back from fighting the infernal forces of Molten Core through the insanity of Illidan and Arthas to some asian wierd ass creatures in MOP.
    Leveling is the core of this game, unless you stick around for a long time. For me, the leveling got decent around BC and stayed that way. I fully agree that, for what it is, leveling is better than ever in WoD. Phasing is used well, TONS of variety in mobs, quest goals, environments, etc. This is a triple A title, and this is where it earns that badge. (Subjectively to me, it's rather annoying, boring, and easily the worst part of the game.)
    Garrison - The garrison system is amazing. It integrates a sort of progression which is alternative to levelling up and gearing. It feels nice and you constantly discover new things. Blizzard have integrated this kind of instanced housing into the game in a way I haven't seen in an MMO before. You recruit new people to join your garrisons and send them off to missions for some interesting rewards. YOu have to choose between different types of buildings you want to construct and I would say I actually spent some time thinking which building I want to have.
    Garrisons are something I've never experienced before in WoW. So far I'm enjoying collecting the various resources it hands you, as you progress. Basically it's a small town with goodies spread about for collecting, that reset daily. You can “build” various structures occasionally. However, it provides little sense of “home.” A Barracks is a Barracks, period. You can't control where the garrison is, and even if you could it wouldn't feel like home, since the zones are built for leveling, not for being real places. Not to mention everyone's garrison overlaps everyone else's. Still, a fun addition, a fun distraction.
    Rewards - One thing I really love about this expansion are the rewards you get. In previous expansions you mostly get items and xp when you finish a quest. But these thinigs you replace quite quickly so they don't really feel special. In WOD you get tons of cool collectibles and unlockables through quests - e.g. mini pets, toys (which are pretty much collectibles for fun), new unlockables for your garrison, garrison resources, followers and new story arcs unlocks. These things won't get easily replaced which makes them fun. They are not just another items with +10 random stat.
    The addition of toys, pets, etc is good. You also acquire things for your garrison, like followers. However, everything else is largely the same; you replace gear constantly, get gold and xp waaaaay too fast (subjective) and outlevel story arcs in every zone. It's McLeveling (been that way since WotLK). That said, it's very fast and convenient (for better or worse). More flightpaths, quicker hub to goal trips, etc. It seems like you are making more of a difference in the world as you level through a zone.
    Professions and side activites - I am amazed of how much there is to do in addition to questing in terms of side activities. You can level up your two main professions and you can do that even if they are lvl 1. WoD allows you to level them up in WoD zones which is a really nice touch. In addition you get archealogy findings, mini pets battles, new ways of interacting with the environment thanks to your garrison, fishing, cooking and first aid. You can also hunt down skull mini bosses for some cool rewards or the do tasks which are similar to GW2's hearts.
    There are TONS of special monsters that provide “challenge.” There are pet battles (no comment), tons of professions, etc. As always there is ample side content, if you can stomach it. Professions are similar to what they always were; make crap and watch a bar go up. They changed a few things, but ultimately it's the same (minus the interaction with other players). I can't comment on this much, since I tend to make a bee line for instances/raiding and forgo everything else.
    Graphics and world design - now obviously WOW's graphics are dated. However, the world design is stunning. It all feels magical in a way which other MMOs can't seem to do. All the zones I have expereienced so far are gorgeous!
    This, to me, is the biggest advance this expansion. They added moving objects, so the grass and bushes flow around you as you walk through. Huge boost to the graphics. Water is fantastic since the new shader in MoP, the skyboxes this time around are truly exceptional, and, as always, all animations are fluid and professional. All textures are plenty sharp. Object view distance seems a bit low (even on max), leading to some minor pop in, in some of the larger views (Shadowmoon Valley specifically). The world design team is, as usual, top notch. The feel of every area is amazing; swamps feel damn dangerous, and have incredibly beautiful foliage. The barren, windswept mountain passes have crystal clear vistas and feel bone dry. The ancient Night Elf forests are freaking amazing; they used the sunshaft technique very well. Even the snowy areas are better, although not great. The last time I enjoyed the snowy zones in WoW was in Vanilla, the Dwarf starting zone. For some reason they won't do heavy blizzards, or steep snowbanks, etc. Just blank white snow and some wind. Meh.
    They've added lots of Draenai architecture, which turned out incredibly well.
    Talents - ok I know a lot of people hate this. But from my experience with them, this system is AMAZING! The old tree system we had in vanilla/tbc/wotlk was nice but it was all predetermined. I had like 80-90% of my druid talents which there was no way I wouldn't take. An extreme example of this was innervate. In vanilla if I was a resto druid without innervate then I am not going anywhere. As our job was only to innervate the real healers (priests) and spam healing touch a few times before we run out of mana lol. In this new system, you make a choice between three abilities at certain level points. I would love to have each one of those abilities. The choice between the three abilities is definitely not clear cut. I also noticed these new talents are tailored to your speciliasation too. For example, at lvl 100 I get three talents for my feral spec and 3 completely different talents for resto. And I now have 4 speciliasations! It feels awesome. One final point here, druid was my main class throughout all of WoW. Yet playing it now in WoD it feels very fresh and new. The class has changed dramatically yet it still feels very familiar!
    The talent system has changed from the earlier expansions, from a tree model to a choice model. Regardless of your opinion of either, the system provides meaningful choices in many different situations. You can tailor your character to perform better in single target fights, aoe fights, have better survivability or damage, etc. The list goes on and on. You can also change these decisions on the fly. This increases the amount of things you must learn. Some bosses, for example, almost require certain choices, especially at or above heroic dungeon level. So get ready to memorize new techniques on each boss, in addition to their mechanics.
    Overall - I would say there is tons to do in the new expansion and the main highlight, the garrison system, is very addicting. I am not sure if I will stay longterm with the game but even if I only do the lvelling experience once and do some unlockables/achievemetns/dungeons/flexible raids then it's all worth the box price and the few months of subscription I am paying.
    As always, I find WoW worth the subscription price. The WoD box price was damned steep, and I held off for several months due to that (combined with burnout). It's on sale now, no reason to skip it.
    Here are some other ways the game has changed.
    HEIRLOOMS
    The leveling model has changed slightly. In earlier expansions one had to invest substantial time to obtain a max level character, and significantly more to get them “geared.”
    Nowadays, the game offers heirlooms which drastically increase leveling speed, experience potions which do the same, and characters hit max level before questing out even half the new expansion's content. Actual leveling time is significantly faster, too.
    This means the new leveling model is; get multiple toons to max level, gear them out in easily accessible raids/dungeons (LFG system is incredible), and move on to the next character.
    Adding to this is the overall simplification of class mechanics. The “ability pruning” which just happened removed many of the superfluous abilities and merged them or removed them completely. Rotations are simpler, but still require heavy research to maximize, as before.
    Easy to learn, difficult to master.
    Additionally, they MASSIVELY reduced the time required to level through previous expansions' content. Personally I hit level 90 LESS THAN HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST ZONE OF MOP. That's an entire expansion in one quarter of one zone. A clear attempt to focus players in one area/level band. The previous expansions are similar; in no expansion's content did I require more than two zones to outlevel the expansion.
    GAMEPLAY
    After Burning Crusade, WoW changed the combat model. They increased damage compared to maximum HP. They've continued that trend to this day. While leveling in WoD I've killed equal level enemies in literally three global cooldowns.
    Since then they've perfected this combat model, by manipulating leash distances, cluster density, Daze effects, etc. In the newest expansion, it is fast and easy to gather up as many mobs as you can handle and AoE them down (I've not played a class yet that can't AoE properly).
    You rarely get disturbed by single mobs that take up too much time to be worth killing, without being in the vicinity of several others that you can gather up.
    Additionally, survival tools are nearly perfected for all the classes I've played. My Druid (Feral) has a heal that he frequently must use, my Warlock routinely heals her pet, and my Paladin actually needed mods to properly track his particular heal ability.
    That's good. What's bad, however, is that mana (while leveling) is a non-issue. Might as well remove the bar. You'll be vendoring mana potions and food because it simply will never get used.
    In instances, as dps, I did have to drink three times (for a total of 5 seconds), so at least you have to watch it. Running out of mana is something that happens to raiders (and not LFR, either).
    HEALING
    Healing seems okay. I've healed at max level in every expansion, and I'm still having fun in this one. HP bars move quite a bit, but not stupidly fast. In other words, not so fast that your latency is a factor. Not only that, but they added rather a lot of complexity to healing. Now we have cooldowns and multiplicative effects, like DPS. Same with tanking. The different healing models (HoTs, Absorbs, etc) are well differentiated, and are apparently all viable/needed.

     

     

  • TealaTeala SomewhereMember RarePosts: 7,598
    Totally agree with the OP on this, WoD is great expansion to WoW and I will be doing my write up on it in about a week.   So much to go over...the good and the bad...but it'll all be there.   :)
  • SmashixSmashix Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 73
    Originally posted by Arazale
    Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
    Second best after WotLK for me for now, and garrisons are definitely a major addition to WoW and to the genre in general. WotLK remains first mostly for the setting, which was awesome, and it was also before all the down dumbing that sadly happened to the game because of the ignorant masses refusing to learn and just wanting easy mode.

    WotLK is your favorite because it was a complete expansion. WoD is just getting started. Thats the way i'm looking at it right now as WotLK was my favorite as well, but if Blizzard keeps up with the foundationt his expansion has laid down, WoD is easily going to be my favorite expansion. Once we get all the raids and new shit to come(heirloom UI i'm looking at you) it'll be leagues better than WotLK.

    Holy cow, they had 2 years to do WoD, just as they did with WotLK. 2 years! This is the thing that drives me nuts, they have a license to print money and take longer to bring out content than any other MMO I've ever played.

     

    To be fair, it's always top quality. This is still the thing that sets WoW apart, the quality. Everything is so smooth, things just go as they should. The other thing it has is fun, it just gets that part right. I've tried many a WoW clone that has all the right things on paper (I love the ability to merge 3 talent trees in Rift), but then somehow lacks the fun component. Killing a few mobs in WoW is fun whereas doing the same thing in many other MMOs just doesn't feel the same way, in some it feels more like work than fun.

     

    Anyway, good feedback everyone! This is the first thread (not just on MMORPG.com) where I've read mostly read good things about WoD, now I will have to try it myself.

     

    I also loved WotLK, I agree some changes were negative, but I loved it for the overall feel. Whenever I level a char, I still look forward to level 68, when I get to head off to Northrend. This is almost always when I stop leveling via dungeon runs and just enjoy questing again until 80.

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