Over the past several years, I’ve had a bit of a hit-and-miss relationship with massively multiplayer RPGs. WildStar impressed me with its combat and art style but it felt like it was missing some unique hooks to truly keep me addicted. Guild Wars 2 looked like it would be a fantastical experience, especially with the recently released expansion Heart of Thorns, and it seemed to offer a ton of freedom to boot. For me, Bungie’s Destiny has been “MMO” of my choosing and its attempts to meld first person shooting with MMO-lite content always kept me coming back. But there was one release that I had never tried and, as a casual player of most MMOs, wasn’t sure I’d ever get into: World of Warcraft.
The MMO has been chugging along for more than 10 years now and while it might not be at its absolute zenith in terms of popularity, Warlords of Draenor does try to introduce some sweeping new changes to the systems. Yes, I know Legion is the next big thing but given Draenor’s age and the updates it’s received, I thought it’d be worth a look at this point. It would also help answer an important question-just how easy is it for your average player to hop into WoW at this stage?
As you might guess, the lore was a lot to take in at first. Warlords of Draenor immediately follows the conclusion of Mists of Pandaria and sees you battling with Garrosh Hellscream who goes back in time Draenor to unite the Orc clans into the Iron Horde to invade Azeroth. As part of the Alliance or Horde, you’ll be manipulating the Dark Portal to travel back in time to Draenor in order to stop Hellscream. Even without all the time paradoxes, Warlords of Draenor isn’t an easy story to pick up. However, I could appreciate the weight of the lore and the immediacy of the situation.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor may not be the pinnacle of revolution that it was hyped to be, even a year after launch with so much more content having been added. However, if you allow yourself the time to drink in the lore, quests and beautiful environments, you’ll find an addictive MMO that has reeled itself back in many ways to be more accessible. Veterans may scoff at some of the major changes but there’s still plenty of challenging content to complete. While some new features like the Garrison and new PvP zone could have been done better, Warlords of Draenor is an excellent expansion on its own and a great starting point for anyone even remotely interested in World of Warcraft.