Warlords of Draenor – The Good Stuff

A shot of my Death Knight's garrison, in the center left a street light illuminating the way

I am a very gloomy person. Whenever possible, I create a dystopian scenario. In my opinion, far too many people see the world through rose-tinted glasses and therefore actually simply are blind to the suffering others have to endure. But – as the title indicates – today I want to look at the good stuff, which has to be maintained and built upon for improvement. Granted, I'm talking small-scale goodness here but you have to start somewhere and somebody cares about this game, which is all that counts for now.

First, I think, the approach on making experience points more flexible was a good idea. It amounted to a decrease in gained XPs for repeatedly killed mobs, and maybe further changes I'm not aware of. One instance in which it didn't work was when you tried to do quests. It felt as if XPs for killing decreased very fast in a questing zone (sub-zone of a Draenor zone?). Maybe the system could allow for more variation and maybe for rewarding varied gameplay. Uncovering areas, collecting ore and herbs, searching for treasures, and doing quests could increase the amount of XPs you get, while for all activities would go that repetitive gameplay would decrease the rewarded XPs.

Redesigned lighting. It's way more moody, if you actually care for mood, and composition, and stuff. The interaction of light and darkness always influences atmosphere. Go watch a good movie. Also: With great lighting there must come great nights.

Choice. I think, Tanaan solved the problem of objectives-choice pretty well. This might be the most sandbox-y WoW we've had in a while. Doing more will reward you with less stuff, but it'll still reward you. I am, however, someone who started playing WoW under the assumption that whoever had more time to play WoW, would see, achieve, and enjoy more of the game, and if I played less, I would have to pick my experiences and joy more carefully. Wasn't that big a problem, actually. I enjoyed questing and doing dungeons in general.

Moving grass. I guess, it's great because it's dynamic. Or creates an impression of affecting your game world. In any way, I like to see it move. It's fascinating. Suggestions for improvement: Disabling it for spirit form, enabling it for other player characters. I assume however, that the latter would result in too much traffic which seems to be one of the greatest concerns for MMOs, superior to hardware requirements.

A new world, the mutli-verse. Blizzard's devs wanted to do that, but they were afraid of player reactions after what happened in Burning Crusade. I haven't been along for the ride back then, but whatever some players want to make you believe, there's plenty of evidence some devs thought, players hadn't been happy with BC and its setting at all. I for one think, that developers of a fantasy world should be allowed to go crazy there (within self-imposed restrictions).

Aborted questlines. There are like a thousand unsolved mysteries in Draenor. From a lore point of view, there's more than enough content for another expansion, although the ogre-string had been crippled. Don't pull an “and the REAL threat was on the ogre continent” there, because that's been done way too often and I think, it's already beyond a point at which you could give proper conclusion that way. Aside from that, I want to publicly state that I'd be happy to return to Draenor for a proper expansion, maybe freeing Lantresor from being trapped in my mine on my way.

I guess, there are some other good aspects for WoD but honestly, this post is already getting too long for not getting payed for it. So, maybe stuff for another time.

PS: I tried to find more than one source on which to ground my claim regarding journeys to planets, worlds and planes aside from Azeroth. I'm sure there are some and I read them, because the whole “in fact the gods and demons were just creatures from outer space” was a twist I loved in Warcraft III (yeah, was old, established at least back in Warcraft II, but I can't change being young, you gotta live with that). Also, wouldn't it be awesome to have a whole universe of virtual planets which are as detailed as Azeroth?