Blizzard’s nine year old MMO is still going strong as it would seem. The upcoming expansion pack will stray away from the more recent strangeness of kung-fu pandas and goblins with Brooklyn accents to go back to a more familiar setting for Azeroth, the Orc’s homeland, Draenor.
You can visit the lands of the old Orc horde of the the past, thanks to one Gerrosh Hellscream, ancestor to the one and only Grom Hellscream (Warcraft: Orcs and Humans). It’s the all confusing time travel story that I’ll leave to astrophysicists and the storytellers of WoW although it involves a portal to a Draenor where the Orcs didn’t shake hands with the Burning Legion. Have a look at the trailer above for a hint of storytelling.
Draenor will be split into seven zones and will be recognisable to anyone who has ventured through the wilds of The Burning Crusade. That is, the areas are almost all there, just that they’ll be mostly differing in appearance or name to the last time you saw them.
You will be able to level all the way to 100 with the expansion and there’s a sneaky, ‘go straight to level 90’ option for use on one character only. This means that if you don’t want to grind your way through some of the earlier game, especially the time-stealing BC… You can cheat your way to a powered up, clean bagged character with all the benefits of not having to do actual hard work.
The new Garrison, you’ll be tasked to building a fortress and maintaining it. Gathering resources, sending out raids and levelling your NPC’s to 100 will be included. I’m not sure you’ll be able to count this as player housing, but it’s as close as you’re going to get after so many years waiting. It seems to be more of an RTS lite within the RPG world and a neat addition, looking back to the source material of WoD.
For those of you who have been shouting for better character models since Werewolves had slinkier human forms in Cataclysm, Warlords of Draenor will rectify that bout of the uglies and fine tune your old heroes to look a little more acceptable. So far there’s some nice pictures representing Dwarves, Gnomes and Orcs with the rest to come for release.
The usual new content will come too for solo, group and raid players. Hundreds of new quests will undoubtedly be added with gear to match. Things that shouldn’t take up bag space but do, will be reduced to spirit form so they no longer take up valuable loot slots. This includes quest items, which since the dawn of WoW, have been an annoyance of mine.
With Blizzard taking the tone back to fantasy and not stupidity, this might push the subscriptions back up to a heady level. This is what real World of Warcraft players have been waiting for and a continuation of the world, story and plight of their character that makes sense rather than an excuse to make money.
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor will be available sometime next year for the game’s 10th anniversary.