World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor review by Tyson

Overall

Rent

     The 5th WoW expansion is here and its worth checking out but there isnít much content to keep your subcription active throughout the expansion. I recommend that you play for a month here and there throughout the expansion.


Gameplay

     Warlords of Draenor continues off with the ending story from Mists of Pandaria. Garrosh Hellscream has escaped his imprisonment and has used the Dark Portal to travel back to an alternate reality Draenor. With this alternate universe Garrosh wants to build a new horde to take over Azeroth. Honestly I find the story a bit weak. This alternate universe is a reason for Blizzard to bring back older heroes and villians from the earlier Warcraft games and I find it a bit lazy. I would of really of loved to have the focus be on new heroes and settins rather then just retreading old ground.

     The biggest draw in Warlords of Draenor is new garrison system. Once you have finished a small quest chain you will be sent to your factions starting Draenor zone. From here you will build up a garrison that will act as your base of operations throughout the Draenor expansion. I liked how you could do some cool stuff with the garrison like being able to build buildings in your garrison that can give you various benefits. As you quest throughout Draenor you will also recuit followers for your garrison. You can send these followers out on missions and many missions can reward you with things like gold or even raid quality weapons and armor. While I liked some aspects of the garrisons there are some that I didnít like. One area that I disliked is that garrisons require their own resource and you use these resources to upgrade your garrison and send followers out on missions. You can get these garrison resources from some quests, killing rare spawns, finding hidden treasure chests, and a few garrison building like the lumber mill can generate resources but the problem is that you get very little resources from these things. For example killing a rare spawn might get you say 12 garrison resrouces and a quest might give you say 150 but you need thousands of garrison resources to fully upgrade your garrison buildings.

     Questing has been improved in some ways in Warlords of Draenor. I like how each zone will have you making a choice of which outpost to build and this outpost will determine what kind of special ability you get in the zone but also what quests chains you get in the zone. I like this as it gives you mutliple unique playthroughs in each zone. There are also secondary quest chains you can do in zones that will reward you with a good amount of gold and experience as well. Sadly questing at the new level 100 cap is pretty limited. There isnít any daily quest hubs as there was with other expansions. While you do get a few dailies and a limited weekly quest chain with your garrison there still isnít much to do quest wise at level 100.

     I came away disappointed with the dungeons and raids so far in Warlords of Draenor. As you level up you can only access a few dungeons. I find it weird that running heroic dungeons with the dungeon finder requires you to get a silver medal in the solo provings grounds dungeon. Yet normal mode dungeons and the raid finder raids donít require this which is weird. The fact that you can get into the raid finder raids with normal mode dungeon gear means you donít even need to run heroics which I feel is a bad decision by Blizzard. I also donít like how easy the raids are using the raid finder tool as well. I understand that its hard to balance a raid or dungeon with random groups but you can atleast make things a bit challenging. Constantly killing new raid bosses on the first try in the raid finder is kind of boring.

     I felt that professions in Warlords of Draenor were disappointing as well. There are way less items to craft this time around and you get a limitation of only being able to equip 3 raid quality crafted pieces . Also many professions like Enchanting only have a few items that you can enchant and stuff like smelting and prospecting go unused. Leveling up professions is a pain as well. Learning new profession recipes and getting materials to craft equipment all revolve around daily cooldowns. So missing a day really sets you back and it sucks.


Control

     Nothing much has changed control wise from previous expansions. You still use the keyboard and mouse to move and you can either click icons or use keyboard keys to use various character abilities.


Graphics

     The big graphical draw of Warlords of Draenor is that the original and Burning Crusade character models have been redone. I felt that Blizzard did an excellent job with the new character models. I love how the various facial features work with the new character models. Outside of the character models everything else is built with the great Blizzard graphic standard. The various new zones, dungeons, and raids look great.


Sound

     I came away mixed with the sound design in Warlords of Draenor. The new music sounds great but I donít like some of new sound effects like your characters scream when getting hit. Also there are times where they use music from the Burning Crusade and I felt this was a little bit lazy. I really wanted more new music used in this expansion.