So I’ve been watching my partner play Warlords of Draenor next to me over the last week and so far I’ve not seen anything that would encourage me to return to the game. It looks very polished as you would expect from Blizzard and there’s plenty of questing to be done as you level characters from 90 to 100. I have a few thoughts but naturally they should be taken for what they are, vicarious observations, and not my own play experience.
In terms of new features the garrison system is seems pretty dominant, it guides you through the quest zones and requires maintenance at least once a day to update queues of gathering quests from the various buildings that you have chosen. That combined with the follower system, the NPCs that you can send on missions every few hours, makes me think they’ve taken inspiration from other similar features like SWTOR’s crafting or the STO duty officer system.
The zones are reminiscent of later additions to the Pandaria expansion, there are elite mobs to hunt out in the wild for instance.
The storyline seems standard Blizzard fare, it looks well told with some impressive cut-scenes, but it does add up to Orcs, Orcs and more Orcs. My concerns that this expansion’s story would be too narrowly focused seem justified. Yes one of my favourite races, the Draenei, finally get some lime-light for a change but honestly the whole Iron Horde as the enemy doesn’t excite me at all. My partner’s character is now 95 and in Talador to give an indication of how much I’ve seen so far. I think the plot suffers from “too many villains” syndrome, like the devs thought “why have one big-bad orc villain when we can have seven!”…
I’m feeling very different about this expansion to Pandaria. I’d already lost a lot of my passion for the game at that point but came back late in the expansion to play a character through the storyline and try some flex-mode raiding. Give me a non-derivative expansion with new lore and a new continent or two and I’d be more interested perhaps, but as it stands I really have no intention of coming back this time.