Senior Surfacing Artist Wey Wong worked primarily on the cinematic videos for WoW: Battle for Azeroth. He gave the legendary WoW hero Anduin Wrynn a realistic...Read more
Review: World of Warcraft - Warlords of Draenor
At the beginning, we should explain a little bit about the story background - it's a bit complicated, but for the fans of Warcraft universe it will be a real rarity. The whole story oscillates around the new territory - Draenor, where the Orcs come from. Outland, its version destroyed by a cataclysm, whose lands float in the Great Void, was introduced in the first expansion, The Burning Crusade. The main enemy is one of the former leaders of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream. He decided to create his own version of the Iron Horde, made up solely of Orcs, but he lost to the Covenant troops and was captured. After escaping from prison he moved to an alternate world of Draenor 35 years ago and tried his luck there once again. He was so successful that a whole supplement was written about him.
Class races and lots of money
The old guard is back - the expansion brings WoW's population back up to 10 million
Those who were hoping for new races or even classes will be disappointed. This is the first expansion that doesn't develop World of Warcraft in this direction. Fortunately, Blizzard comes to the aid of the impatient and the pre-order of Warlords of Draenor includes an immediate upgrade of any character to level 90, so you can immediately start playing in the new world. Interestingly, this convenience is also available in the store, but such a pleasure costs more (50 euros) than the digital edition of the add-on itself (45 euros).
Another extremely important aspect is the improvement of the visuals - the change is huge compared to the last version, and looking at the beginnings of World of Warcraft from 2004, we will wonder why anyone even wanted to play something so ugly. If anyone wonders about the soundtrack, then apparently they had nothing to do with this title, because it was always its huge asset. Also this addition does not deviate from tradition - we will hear at least a few new themes.
It's time to move on to the campaign - as before, the story has been divided into chapters, each of which takes place in a different part of the presented world. A variety, however, is a large number of short cinematic interludes. Unfortunately, those who play from quest to quest, just to gain as much experience and get promoted, will be worried because they will lose a lot of interesting, often very explanatory side stories. Those who are more careful, however, will find a huge number of references to previous supplements and even to games and books within the canon.
All or nothing
Graphics have improved a lot and as for MMO standards they are good
You can go through the whole campaign by yourself - we won't need any help from other players in the main quest or even in the side quests. I was a little disappointed with this aspect, because I hoped that Blizzard will create a greater challenge, so that we unite to achieve a common goal. After all, this is an MMO game, so the multiplayer aspect should have been more prominently featured. Of course, Raids, Dungeons, and Battlefields are still very fun and provide plenty of gold and unique items, and most of all, fun. Six new dungeons were created, four existing dungeons were redesigned, three new raids and a new PvP zone in the form of instances were made available. Some cosmetic changes have also been made to the Battleground - the scoreboard has been updated, and the developers are also considering developing the "all or nothing" idea, in which the winners take the entire prize, including random perks or items from the set.
I also don't have any complaints about the length of the game - it took me a few days to get through the main thread of the newest addition. Although the record holders reached level 100 in just 3 hours after the release of Warlords of Draenor, I didn't aim for such a speedrun. On the contrary - I read all quest descriptions (well, most of them...), completed objectives and side quests. But I had a lot of fun doing it. Draenor is different from other lands, it's full of elite mobs, both silver and gold, and hidden treasures and supplies are hidden in unusual places, encouraging the visitor to explore.
Old friends return
Anyone who has spent even a little time in Azeroth will know how enjoyable it is to develop professions - fishing, cooking, collecting skins, or searching for precious stones and unique metal ores. No new professions have been added, but although the highest level of initiation is the "Zen Master" introduced in Mists of Pandaria, the level available has been raised from 600 to 700. The way of obtaining ingredients has also changed a bit - in Draenor it's mainly about collecting semi-finished products. What is it all about? For example, while fishing, you should gather twenty minor fish and only from this number create ingredients directly used in the recipe. In tanning, on the other hand, I got the impression of too much "contrivance". - Previously, collecting skins was a way to use the materials you had collected. Now, you need to collect a huge amount of shredded skins (every skinned monster leaves the same ones) to make 1 "rawhide" from every 10. With 25 pieces of such material and 10 plants (not available without the skill "Herbalism"), you can make one skin used directly in the recipe - and you need at least ten of them. To sum up, to create a single helmet, you need 2500 scraps, and from one creature you will get a maximum of three. With help, however, will come the tannery, but about that a little later.
What's the best, we've also thought about the characters created from the booster, which means entering the 90th level right away - learning a profession and doing it in the area of Draenor, we get books, which after reading automatically give us the title of Zen Master and although they don't raise the level of the profession itself, they teach us to create things from materials obtained in those areas. All this so that we do not have to roam the lands of Azeroth, laboriously training in the art, but only collect useful ingredients during new adventures. Of course, the use of each recipe will significantly increase skills, up to 10 points for creating a single item.
Bob the Builder...
Now it's time for probably the most interesting aspect, found in the new addition - we're talking about Garrison. After a short introduction, starting our adventure in the new land, we move through the portal to Draenor. We do as any good strategist, entering an unknown land, we set up a post. Gradually, we improve it along with the progress in the campaign, at the expense of Garrison Resources. We have quite a lot of freedom - while expanding it, we gain space for smaller buildings, which we choose according to our "whim". It can be, for example, a merchant's stand, which will bring the necessary goods, gladiators' headquarters, which will allow us to use the help of warriors from time to time, or even the previously mentioned tannery, which will greatly reduce the amount of material needed to produce leather. Of course, there will also be available the top-down headquarters of a fisherman, herbalist or even a mine. All buildings will develop to a maximum of level three, and each brings with it new benefits or improves the old ones. In these places we can place orders, which, as in the case of the previously described tannery, significantly facilitate crafting and limit the use of resources.
Although the proper Garrison is located in the first land we visited in Draenor, Frostfire Rigde, and it's its development that we'll be mainly concerned with, we'll set up smaller outposts in every region. Here again, we'll face an important choice - we'll have to decide which of the two proposed buildings to put up. Needless to say that each of them brings different benefits, so it's best to adjust the decision to your own way of playing. In Gorgrond, for example, we have to choose between the Gladiator School, which provides us with the ability to summon for a short period of time several warriors to fight at our side, and the Sawmill, which allows you to sit behind the wheel of a powerful Mech for 60 seconds.
Follow the white rabbit...
Another novelty, which I personally strongly associate with Assassin's Creed, is a system of followers. We recruit them by completing quests, and each of them has its own skills (for some quests we get the opportunity to learn some new tricks). They are important because we send our friends on various missions, for which they gain money, experience, or Garrison Resources (the latter can also be gained on elite monsters and found in hidden hiding places). If one of your followers has a special ability, for example, he deals with alchemy, and you have built a laboratory in the Garrison, you can order him to work in this place, which will translate into greater benefits from the possession of the building. Sometimes this can even greatly reduce the amount of raw materials needed to produce a given material.