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Expansion Post Mortem - Warlords Turns to Borelords

Suzie Ford Posted:
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With World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, sitting at eight months out the gate, it is time to take a look back at WoD, now considered to be ‘feature complete’. Has Warlords added meaningful and interesting content to WoW? Is there enough to keep players going until a new expansion?

Just over a week ago in an interview with French site Mamytwink.com, Blizzard’s Cory Stockton said that the latest 6.2 patch contains the final raid in WoD. While there may yet be some minor content additions between now and the next raid, for all intents and purposes, Warlords is finished. To say that there has been a sky-high level of discontent at this announcement is to grossly understate the mood of the WoW community.

First Steps in Tanaan, But Hardly the Last

After leaving World of Warcraft for a couple weeks prior to the release of Fury of Hellfire (v6.2), we came back about three weeks after. Over the time we were away, we read the Blizzard forums with interest as more and more players expressed dismay about the latest (and final) major patch of this expansion cycle.

“Can it really be that bad?” we wondered.

That thought in mind, we reentered WoW to see and discovered that, at first glance anyway, Tanaan wasn’t as bad as might have been expected after spending time on the forums. Yet here we are, hardly a week gone by, and we find ourselves with a radically altered opinion.

While the initial quest line for a single character is fine, it only lasts at most a few hours, it becomes repetitive on subsequent characters and over time becomes the epitome of grind in every negative sense that can be imagined.

Fury of Hellfire is, in a nutshell, the zenith of all that is wrong with Warlords of Draenor overall: Nicely done questing that is over far too quickly; fun for a single character but needlessly repetitive for alts; and, finally, endlessly repetitive content, or grind, for all characters.

PvE - Questing, Dailies, Shipyards & Garrisons

The questing experience from 90-100 is great (assuming, of course, that one can divorce the story from the main WoW lore). It proceeds along at a good pace and provides players with the opportunity to see the gorgeous art that has gone into the creation of Warlords. Some of the side quests are fantastic too (Gar’rok’s quest to be reunited with his former lover is very moving). These are, however, few and far between.

Everyone was hopeful that 6.2 and Tanaan would bring new, fresh content into Warlords. Sadly, this did not happen. Once the main questline has been completed, players are left with repetitive daily “quests”, some of which when finished yield two more daily quests, that are tied to gear acquisition, to shipyard progress, to the legendary questline, to pet battling, to resource hunting and more. Tanaan is the embodiment of all that is wrong with WoD in general. Everything in Tanaan, indeed in all of alternate universe Draenor, is wrapped up in one way or another with grinding and everyone is grinding away in one of the smallest zones in the expansion.

Chris Coke summed it up in his weekly Player vs Player article when he said: “It's just not exciting doing the same thing over and over again.”

Shipyards and garrisons also feature grind, not from the standpoint of having to physically take one’s characters out into the world, but with players feeling obligated to visit and complete the daily (or hourly!) missions each requires….which necessitate oil (grind…) and garrison resources (grind…), gold (grind…) and time.

For those who claim that shipyards are optional, do not be mistaken: Level 3 shipyards are required to complete the legendary ring quest, to gain Bind on Account gear for alts, to gain higher levels of gold and to earn high-level raid gear….all of these things tied to destructible ships that can fail at missions with anything below 100% success rate, necessitating, of course, grind to replace the oil, the resources and to level up the new ships (only 40,000 XP to raise a ship from rare to epic at 500-5000 XP per mission).

Endlessly and mindlessly repeated for days and even weeks on end, Warlords has become Borelords instead.

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Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom