Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Distracted in Draenor

Hexorious in his garrison in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Oops, looks like I forgot to post any new blog entries last week. This is mostly because a lot of my free time has been spent playing the new World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor.

I didn’t play it much in the first week following release, which is probably a good thing as it meant that I avoided the worst of the launch issues, although it was almost two weeks’ after the expansion became available that the game settled down reliably. Apparently a higher than expected number of former players have returned to the game and Blizzard Entertainment hadn’t foreseen this, so there have been capacity issues. A few weeks on and the game is now playable without queueing, disconnects or lag, for the most part.

During the last expansion I effectively retired my main character, a human paladin called Hexorious, and mostly played on a shadow priest. Because it’s been so long since there has been any new content, I managed to level four characters to level 90, and another one was boosted using the offer that came with the purchase of the Warlords of Draenor expansion. However, I decided to go back to my main for this expansion and now he is level 100 – the other four still at 90.

Indeed the player character development features of this expansion make it less-alternative character friendly, in my view. The big new feature of the expansion is Garrisons – your own base of operations where you can construct buildings and gather resources. Building this up is a major time investment and not one that I’d necessarily want to repeat on another character. This is not to say it isn’t fun and I spend quite a bit of time every day tending to my garrison – starting and collecting work orders, sending followers on missions and building up resources to expand. My garrison is level 3 – maximum level – but the buildings are all level two as I haven’t come across any level three plans yet.

I think I would have enjoyed Warlords of Draenor even if it wasn’t very good, because it’s the first major bit of new content in the game for over a year and overcomes the staleness. But it is a really well-done expansion. So far I don’t quite think it’s my favourite – that would be Wrath of the Lich King – but it’s probably a close second, and certainly far better than Cataclysm which didn’t feel very immersive despite the decent story lines. I particularly like how we get to see the planet of Draenor in a different timeline – some bits still recognisable from Outland and some completely different but still familiar. And the non-player characters have a more defined back story – without wanting to reveal too many spoilers, Alliance characters should pay attention to Vindicator Maraad, especially paladins.

I’m still questing through Nagrand and have a number of bonus objectives to complete too, so even though my character is at the maximum level there is plenty more to do. And I’ve only just started setting foot into dungeons. So far, I’m really enjoying it, although hopefully I’ll have time to write things here too…

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