Here are some first impressions of the newly announced WoW expansion Warlords of Draenor. I’m not a hardcore WoW player but recently I’ve been playing more than I usually do, so I have more of an opinion than “meh, whatever.”
New Character Models. It’s about time, I say. I can’t believe anyone would oppose this. I found it rather annoying that they made these nice, smooth panda models and animations for MoP but left everybody else with like fourty-seven triangles and six frames of movement.
Instant Level 90. Don’t mind. Personally I wouldn’t use it except in an alt. Hardcore players will know how to use this, and I seriously doubt many people will be buying WoW and starting at level 90 for the first time. If someone does they’ll only be shooting themselves in the foot. (Possibly more on this topic in another post.)
Garrisons/Houses. Meh, whatever. (I say that now, but I have a surprising amount of fun with Battle Pets, so it’s possible I could later try Garrisons and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.)
Draenor. "Draenor is a land of magma and metal, stone and steam. City-forges wrap her twin moons in smog, and wheels deform the earth." Sounds like a Steampunk theme. It doesn’t matter, I don’t have any characters anywhere near level 90. At my current rate of leveling it will be at least next year before I get there.
PvP. Don’t care.
Dungeons and Raids. As I said, I don’t have any characters anywhere near level 90. I guess it’ll be nice if I ever get that far, but from the perspective of someone who usually plays other MMOs, there’s already a metric crapton of dungeons and raids in WoW already.
UI Improvements. Thank god. WoW desperately needs UI improvements. Wading through addons that usually don’t work is no fun. Right now I’m struggling to find a decent nameplate addon so I can actually see what’s going on in dungeon fights.
Tobold said that this expansion solidifies Blizzard’s position that the end game is the "real" game and the leveling process is just an annoying road block for everyone. I’m not sure I agree with that. Does he expect them to change the leveling process so everyone re-rolls new characters with each expansion? Why mess with gameplay that already works? And besides, it’s an "expansion" – as in, expanding the world, or adding on to what’s there, not replacing it. So it seems self-evident that it would begin at the previous level cap. It’s for people who have already played for ten years, done everything, and moved on to other games, not for people picking up WoW for the first time ever. New players have ten years worth of content to see before they even get to Draenor. (I haven’t even made it through the first expansion content yet.)
So that’s my two cents. I’ll play it when I get to it, but I’m more interested in TESO and WildStar and EQ Next and whatever else is out there.