tanaan

It has been a while since I have posted anything (for varying reasons) let alone thrown my opinion out into anyone’s face. So here we go. I don’t think that Warlords Of Draenor was a crap expansion. While I don’t like every single thing in it, neither did I like everything in Mists of Pandaria, Cataclysm, Wrath of the Lich King (which was my favorite expansion .. god bless you dual spec) and Burning Crusade. Overall, there is a lot I did like in WoD and much I wish was making its way forward into future expansions.

So what is there that I like so much?* Lets see shall we!

* I mean apart from the new models – even if some did take a while to grow on me, barring male humans, they are just a travesty


Garrisons. Everybody hates them. Or so I keep hearing. As an altaholic I love them. For the first time since I can recall I can generate a reasonable sum of gold on alts, enough so that my main can even venture to the AH occasionally to buy .. things .. something that I have always avoided. Also in garrison herb nodes and mine .. fantastic, this more than anything else has made leveling professions on Alts so much easier. Even if some professions did feel a little underplayed or lost .. I mean really why is the Jewel-crafting hut the only one with a well paying daily and why on earth is the Leather-working mount profession bound?

10 minutes running the garrison on my main every few days has kept up my repair bills for raiding and dieing in general, and has allowed me to easily max out professions on Alts. The variety of buildings has kept me chasing achievements and buffs, and now have most done (damn you pvp building) and while it lasted I did enjoy the end-game story line that revolved around your garrison and appeared every week or so.

If only Garrisons were racially themed and in your racial start zones, these could be one of the few features that could easily grow with you from expansion to expansion. Though admittedly there would be some changes needed – such as changing Naval Missions to Scenarios. The ability to grown them and expand on their uses would be incredible.

blackhand

“Grindable” Reputations. Ok, so maybe I don’t like every reputation having to be ground out one mindless mob at a time .. but I do enjoy having one or two reputation groups that during wait period before raids, or chat periods while you are not overly busy, that can be whittled away at – especially if you know there is a decent carrot at the end, like a nice mount or something.  As with other things in Warlords I think there should have been a little more balancing in how to gain reputations, but did enjoy having something to work at as I liked again.

Levelling / Questing. When WoD launched I wasn’t sure how much time I was going to have to dedicate to levelling .. as serendipity would have it I ended up with some time off, and with virtually no rested xp to start with I was 100 inside three days and geared for heroics in 4, having completed each zone plus all the bonus missions. Thats right, 3 days, I literally devour new storylines .. I can always grind and potter around, but give me a new story to follow and I’m glued to the screen. I am not looking at the levelling / Questing experience for my main though, every expansion that is a unique experience. No I look to my alts .. and while I miss the choice of start zones that both WotLK and Cataclysm both gave, the rate of gaining XP in this expansion has allowed me more flexibility to pick and choose what I do in levelling. I’ve had toons that follow the story, some that do everything possible in a zone before moving on and others that level almost only through cleaning out my garrison mine, huntin treasures and doing bonus events. I’ve been given a plethora of ways to level. Shame I wasn’t given a plethora of ways to spend quality time at end game.

Lore & Characters. This has been pretty fun for me, revisiting towering lore figures I haven’t seen since WC1 and WC2, seeing a version of the world they came from, getting at least some more backstory for races like the Ogres and the Arrokoa (even if it doesn’t 100% apply to our timeline). I also loved the way that you had the main story line that threaded you from zone to zone, tying in the pivotal moment of WoD, right up until our end fight with the Blademaster of the Burning Blade in our Garrison. More the threading storyline led to a number of offshoots and non-related / semi-related stories that were well worth seeing, even if some were a little whimsical .. like defending the fisherman on the edge of Talador from Iron Hore looters, after all every looter wants a barrel of fish right?

khadgar

Flexi-Raids. I realize these came in with the last patch of Pandaria, but they were built for change leading into WoD, and this raid change – I love. Now we have never been heroic raiders, but have managed to clear every expansions raid content on Normal since Wrath of the Lich King during the expansion itself (though I can’t recall if we got Arthas down during Woltk or the pre-Cata period). My concern as a casual guild leader that focused on 10 mans was always having to say to people  “Oh I am sorry we already have 10 people  this week” or saying “I’d love to bring you, but we have already brought in this person instead”, now I can just say “Sure fine, come along, the more the merrier”. The only downside is that so many people have been disillusioned with this expansion we have had trouble maintaining regular raids. Flex raids though definitely get my vote .. their only downside is that they don’t really work well when trying to extend a raid lockout like the old solid 10 or 25 mans, which is a bit of a bummer, it was good sometimes to lock ourselves into not having top clear again when progressing.

hellscream

The Downside .. I wasn’t going to add this, because I wanted to try and keep this all positive. While I wanted more from Warlords of Draenor, past expansions have taught me I don’t always get what I want, and I can live with that even if I feel there were things that were under utilized or lost.

Tanaan, and Hellfire Citadel were to me the biggest disappointments of Warlords of Draenor.  I did like how Tanaan wasn’t opened until we were ready to assault the zone and Hellfire .. I wish Icecrown (the Zone) had been opened in a similar way, it would have been fantastic.  For me the “story line”in Tanaan was over too quickly, and with so much that could have been integrated that wasn’t. I was never a huge fan of the Timeless Isle and having a whole zone basically similar didn’t appeal to me.  A beautiful zone, adequate story, and then those damned apexis zones again. Not overly inspiring .. but livable. Where my true distaste comes in is with baleful gear.

When Timeless Isle launched and I was able to gear up all my alts, and even a piece or so on the main that hadn’t dropped, to a fairly decent level .. but it wasn’t so high that the odd drop from Looking for Raid, or even Normal wasn’t still usable as an upgrade. The Timeless Isle gear was a launching platform for the raids – great! Baleful gear was not a launching platform. As casual raiders we have always concentrated on Normal, but with Baleful Gear allowing people to get higher level gear from grinding mindless dailies than they could get from a normal level end of the expansion raid .. killed the impulse of a lot of raiders to keep raiding. While myself and a core group keep plugging away because we like group activities, and like to see ourselves achieve something for the sake of achievement .. for many unless there is a shiny bauble at the end, there’s no reason to run, and if they have seen the story in LFR, can get higher ilvl gear via the dailies .. there is little reason for people to step into Normal.

This is my major gripe over WoD, Blizzard shooting raiding in the foot by having better gear available elsewhere. I’ve always been in favor of alternate gearing .. there needs to be a way to get PvE toons as far geared as possible without entering a raid, but the best gear for PvE should come from raids – if I have a toon that doesn’t raid, it doesn’t need gear higher than what is available in raids to survive out and about in the world.

New Models

Flying .. let me end this post though on a definite UP! I don’t like how long flying took to come in, how Blizzard handled it or the whole controversy around whether it should exists or not. If its there then people are free to use it or not, its their choice and I am happy with that, hell I flitter between ground mounts and flying all the time, usually depending on time available to me. To me, flying is an integral part of WoW after all these years, and without it there are some things I just wouldn’t do .. like archaeology. In any event having an achievement unlock flying, and allowing it to be account wide was fantastic. While I don’t mind spending gold to fly I do not always have thousands to spend on alts, and most of what was in the achievement was something I was doing anyway .. a perfect pairing.

So while I haven’t loved everything, there has been enough in WoD to keep me playing and enjoy the expansion, even if it isn’t my favorite. If nothing else watching Gul’dan and his manipulations has been awesome and left me feeling a little vindicated 🙂

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