Oh World of Warcraft, you have always given me a sense of comfort and awe in the gaming world. I can always rely on you, your servers are great, your gameplay is awesome, and I can communicate with other people to help me on my quest to becoming the greatest Priestess Blood elf a gal can be. This expansion blew my mind, not only is it far better performance wise but story wise it is just amazing.
Lets start with the main story line of the Warlords of Draenor expansion. This expansion is based after the Seige of Orgrimmer when Garrosh Hellscream was imprisoned. however Garrosh escapes as an ally of his helps him to jump back in time to a past Draenor where the blood of Mannoroth was never drank by the orcs. This meant that the Iron Horde was born, an untainted army who answered to Garrosh’s father, Grommash Hellscream, chieftain of the Warsong clan.
I thought it was brilliant that they brought back such an old character from Warcraft II, after his death fighting against Mannoroth with Thrall. Also going down the brave route of time travel, as sometimes in games and films alike going back in time can either benefit the story or can destroy it. In this case it was a definite benefit! We get to see the old Draenor which is a beautiful world indeed.
Just to give you some quick specs on the setup I am using to play this beauty. It’s a Gigabye P15F Windows 8 laptop, with an Intel core i7, and a NVidia GeForce GTX 850M graphics card. I play on advanced settings for everything. I am playing as Hilgalia my (boosted to) Level 90 Blood Elf Priestess on the Argent Dawn RP European server. This review will be in the perspective of a Horde character. For the horde!
On my last day of playing this, the day before writing this review, the server was absolutely chock a block, it took a good hour to finally get into the server so I could play. Then when I did enter the server this is what awaited me…
A sea of players! This got progressively more packed out as the time went on. Most of the players were gathered outside of a portal in Orgrimmar which would automatically transport them to the blasted lands. There were also a lot of people talking in the chat box about how excited and pumped they all were to start playing the new expansion. I must admit I did feel extremely privileged to be played this before release date.
Here are some main points to highlight what is new in Warlords of Draenor and then I will go into a little more detail;
The level cap in Warlords is 100.
Before going to Draenor players must must complete Tanaan Jungle.
- In Draenor player’s mounts flying abilities have been disabled.
What we have all been waiting for…Garrisons are now available.
Eight new dungeons are available.
- Draenor has a lot of treasure chests and loots that players can collect.
You have an option before you start the game whether you would like to level up one of your characters to a Level 90 character. I jumped on this opportunity as it meant I could get straight into the expansion and start experiencing the new features. This was smooth, easy, and quick and I could play the game using that character straight away without having to wait an hour for my settings to take effect. The leveling up feature is a brilliant idea and it means that players who are right at the beginning of their adventure can be the same level as more advanced players and experience the new features a long with the rest of the world.
If you are a level 90 player who has not been automatically leveled up but have leveled up on your own, you will begin your adventure in the Tanaan Jungle. However if you are a newly boosted Level 90 character then you will start off in the Blasted lands. This way you are able to do some starter quests and get a feel of the characters and the story before you start the main adventure. You will also be gaining your skills through these pre-adventure quests which is great to get you up to speed with how the game mechanics work if you have left playing for a while or if you are a new player.
When I started as a newly boosted character in the Blasted Lands a tip box appears with the following information
- Where are my items? – This is a great function! As you are now Level 90 you have a lot of new items attached to you that are more suited to your level. The items that you have picked up through your hard earned blood sweat and tears in quests previously have been mailed to you, thank goodness for that 🙂
- Abilities, Earn abilities in the Blasted Lands – This is to help you to get to speed with the game being a new Level 90 and all
- Where should I go? – This is also a great started function as it tells you straight away what you have to do to begin the story, which in my case is talking to Thrall.
I also found when I first entered my map there was a useful starter mode to show what each part of the map screen did.
The starter quests from Thrall are mainly to with helping the front line with the constant Iron Horde invasion. Once you have finished these quests and a couple of quests on Orgrimmar then you can really get started on the main story. This is kicked off with the quest ‘The Dark Portal’ where Azeroth is under attack so you have to head to the dark portal at the Blasted lands to stop the Iron Horde invasion.
The eight new dungeons in Warlords are the following;
- Bloodmaul Slag Mines – Levels 90 – 92
- Iron Docks – Levels 93 – 95
- Auchindoun – Levels 95 – 97
- Skyreach – Levels 97 – 99
- Shadowmoon Burial Grounds – Level 100
- Grimrail Depot – Level 100
- The Everbloom – Level 100
- Upper Blackrock Spire – Level 100
The garrisons are a completely brand new and excellent feature to Warlords. Garissons are a fortress where you build to recruit followers to help battle the Iron Horde. You first come across these after you have done the quests at Tanaan Jungle, and you are now in Frosrfire Ridge (Horde). When you arrive there you have to do a series of quests to eventually build your new Level 1 garrison, you can expand your garsson and the level as you do more quests, and as you level up you will have more options to customise your garison, for example when you hit level 92 you can levle up your garison to Level 2 for 200 Garisson Resources (Currency from quest rewards, treasures, and missions)
You gain followers mainly in quests. Followers can level up from Level 90 to 100 and the experience points are gained by them completing missions for you, all you need to do is select the mission that you want the follower to go on and then click on the follower. This way they can do a lot of extra work for you, get you rewards, and level up. This is a brilliant feature and really livens up the game play
I have found in this expansion that there are are a lot more cut scenes which really show of the great new graphics that Blizzard have been working on. The landscapes look a lot smoother and so do the characters. The cut scenes also explain how the story is progressing and really involves you in the game and what the other characters are doing whilst you are questing.
I have also found, a little like ‘Shadow of Mordor’ the main bosses or main ‘bad guys’ that your quests involve have a little cut scene of their own introducing them. I absolutely loved this, this really grasped my attention and I felt more engaged with the story. There is also a lot more dialogue, instead of just speech bubbles above the characters you get full blown speaking conversations between characters which is a great feature, this also drew me into the story a lot more and had me waiting on every character’s last word
The graphics look beautiful and smooth and also the cut scenes are lovely to watch. The new graphics for the characters were really worth Blizzard’s extra time and really showed when I was playing. Instead of blocky orcs I was seeing Thrall with completely new eyes. Everyone is a lot more detailed and look a lot more like some of the platform games that are currently being released, so Blizzard really are keeping on top of their game where that’s concerned.
All in all this new expansion is stunning! I must admit it was very difficult to sit down and write this review…because I couldn’t get off the game! I didn’t want to! Then again I did want to share exactly how good this expansion is and all the features that make it so good. I love a game with a good story and so far Warlords of Draenor does not disappoint. The graphics are excellent. the story constantly keeps you engaged, the new features fit into the world perfectly. I honestly can’t think of any downsides of this expansion. It is a huge thumbs up from me.
I hope you enjoyed this review of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.