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Thursday, July 02, 2015
Warlords of Draenor is a failure
Posted: 3:00:00 PM 0 comments
As a background, I have been playing World of Warcraft since about 3 months before The Burning Crusade was released. I have been a part of 4 guilds, including running Six Minutes To Release for over 7 years. The Six Gaming Podcasts exists solely because of World of Warcraft. I have seen the best that World of Warcraft has to offer. Today, I am seeing the worst.

If you haven't heard, it was recently announced that Warlords of Draenor has likely shipped its final content patch - and in the opinion of many players, its ONLY content patch. 6.1 was the social media patch which did not progress the Draenor story at all. Even if you count 6.1 as a major patch, that is still only 2 patches.

Here is a quick reference to the content released in previous expansions:

  Vanilla Burning Crusade Wrath of the Lich King Cataclysm Mists of Pandaria Warlords of Draenor
Major Patches Post-Launch
(Not necessarily content patches)
Dire Maul,
PvP Honor System,
Alterac Valley & Warsong Gulch,
Blackwing Lair,
Tier 0.5,
Cross-Realm Battlegrounds
Black Temple,
Voice Chat,
Crusaders' Coliseum,
Icecrown Citadel
Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub 5-mans,
Dragon Soul
Brawler's Guild,
Throne of Thunder,
Deepwind Gorge,
Siege of Orgrimmar
Hellfire Citadel
Content at Launch Raids: 2
Dungeons: 16
Raids: 6
Dungeons: 15
Raids: 4
Dungeons: 11
Raids: 4
Dungeons: 9
Raids: 3
Dungeons: 9
Raids: 1
Dungeons: 8
Content patched in Raids: 5
Dungeons: 4
Raids: 2
Dungeons: 1
Raids: 5
Dungeons: 5
Raids: 2
Dungeons: 3
Raids: 2
Dungeons: 0
Raids: 2
Dungeons: 0

Warlords of Draenor the first expansion with less than 3 raid tiers, has had as many or less raids total than the other 4 expansions LAUNCHED with, has the least number of 5-man dungeons of any expansion, gave up queued scenarios, isolated players within their garrison, eliminated flying, and simply rehashed old ideas with its only major content patch.

Sure, Warlords of Draenor had some good content. The questing between level 90 to 100 was extremely well-done. Everything flowed correctly, there were more than one quest line you could take on at a time, and the build up to the dungeons made for a really good story. Sure, they funneled you into your garrison along the way, but the garrison didn't make you feel trapped. You WANTED to go out and explore, and explore we did.

Then 100 hit. Garrosh was killed at the end of Nagrand, and our only major questlines remaining were our weekly garrison quests and the legendary ring quest. Sure, we had dailies for Apexis, but other than raiding, dungeons, and PvP, what did Blizzard provide us?

Their first major patch of Warlords was 6.1. It was so lacking of content they even had a lame name for it, "The Adventure Continues". From their patch notes, here are the highlights:

  • Updated Blood Elf model
  • Heirloom Collectinos Tab
  • Cosmetic Transformations an Toy Effects improvements
  • Twitter Integration
  • Garrison, Follower, and Outpost updates

Blizzard considers this a major content patch because they incremented the first number after "6." to 6.1. But make no mistake, there is not enough content here to call this a major content patch. For all intents and purposes, 6.1 was business as usual for us players.

The second major patch was just released, 6.2, "The Fury of Hellfire". This was better, as it introduced Hellfire Citadel, mythic dungeons, and of course Tanaan Jungle. Something new to do, right?

Turns out it was just something new to look at. Here's a list of the content that was added:

  • Hellfire Citadel
  • Tanaan Jungle
  • Garrison Campaign
  • Legendary Questline
  • Mythic dungeons
  • Shipyard

Hellfire Citadel is a new raid tier, which is great news for raiding guilds, as we have fresh content to tackle. This is probably the best part of this content patch.

The legendary questline continues, but so far it's just a bunch of raiding. We'll know in a few weeks if this is worth. It probably is, but it's also quite a grind.

Tanaan Jungle visually is gorgeous. I cannot stop talking about how cool Tanaan looks, from the lush jungle to the desolation of the Throne of Kil'jaden, they got the zone's atmosphere down perfectly. The problem, however, is what you actually do.

First, there's the garrison campaign. Fine, a new series of quests, tie up some old loose ends, and we'll probably get a cliffhanger that says "Go raid Hellfire Citadel!" at the end. Still, a fresh questline with new story added can't be bad. Problem is that it's designed along the lines of the garrison campaign from 6.0. Namely, I may not get the same quest that my wife may get, which means we can't tackle the same content together. I find this bad design for an MMORPG. It would fit a single player game, but WoW is not a single player game.

Next up are the reputation grind dailies. I am so sick of daily missions in WoW, and have felt this way pretty much since they were introduced. It feels like end game filler content. There's no challenge to the daily quests, which makes playing them feel like you're just going through the motions for pretty much no tangible reward.

Also, the apexis grind. They added new bonus objectives that reset every day, so if you want to grind out the apexis, you can. You can even earn apexis just by killing, but you don't get a whole lot that way. The bonus objectives still can run out daily if you do them all, and the only real use for them is for oil for your shipyard because eventually you run out of the need for apexis once you get all your 695 gear. It's a boring grind, because your options are extremely limited. There are no scenarios, no real world events outside of world bosses, and the type of content you do is just a rehash of everything you've done so far. Where's the innovation? I feel Blizzard really sold themselves on how good their content was, when in reality it gets boring after just a week of play.

Mythic dungeons were added, which add higher difficulty to content we stopped caring about months ago. No real new dungeons were added. One of the great things about Wrath was the amount of dungeon content they added post-release. They seem to have abandoned something that worked well before.

And finally the shipyard. Oh, the shipyard. They hyped this up to be something really cool when the reality is it's just another garrison mission table with ships instead of followers. Personally I feel they need to abandon this whole garrison and mission idea. Bring back scenarios in their place, they were more fun!

In summary, Warlords of Draenor had some of the best leveling content, and some of the worst, most monotonous end game content they've ever put out. I've been extremely disappointed with how Blizzard has treated an expansion that we paid $10 extra for by really shortening the end game. They put out this great, epic time traveling/alternate dimension story, but they have supported it so poorly that I haven't had any interest in the story behind these raids. Why did we raid the ogres in Highmaul? Did we have any other reason to raid Blackrock Foundry than to get revenge on Blackhand? And Hellfire Citadel doesn't really end the whole story of Gul'dan and this alternate Draenor. How far down the rabbit hole are we going to go with this whole alternate dimension thing? We have so many unsolved stories on Azeroth, I feel Blizzard would be better served creating new story rather than re-hashing old story and making us defeat enemies we've already defeated in our own timeline.

This is most likely the end of Warlords of Draenor, so we can only hope the next expansion is better, but I am concerned that Blizzard is not going to learn from their mistakes, because the mistakes they supposedly learned from last expansion led to them making even worse mistakes this time around.

Give us content. Give us more to do at end game. Give us a game with a story we can get behind. Don't rehash old content in new zones. And for god sakes, don't you dare give us another selfie stick patch.

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