I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, and mulling it over since it was announced, and figured I would share my thoughts so far about the next World of Warcraft expansion. Keep in mind that this is not some huge breakdown and review of what we know so far, merely my opinions and thoughts on what is to come.
So, we’re inching closer and closer to Warlords of Draenor being, at the very least, in a beta phase where people will begin to experience the content that is yet to come. We’re at the weird part of the current expansion where people are not logging in to game, and in fact are tending to play other games instead of WOW, while they wait for WoD to become playable.
Since it was announced at last years BlizzCon, I’ve been struggling with excitement and trepidation over what this will actually mean for me in the game. On one hand, I really like the things that are being done with stats, loot, the removal of upgrades and reforging, itemization changes, raiding changes and yes even healer changes. On the other hand, I’m starting to fear we’re going to get another Cataclysm.
If you don’t know, I really did not care for Cataclysm. Not to take away anything from those of you that did, but it just didn’t do anything for me. While the zones were different, and had been changed by the coming of Deathwing, they were fundamentally the same. No amount of changes could wipe away the number of hours that I had spent in those zones in the days of Vanilla WOW. The new zones as well weren’t very catching to me. While I did like questing in Uldum, I really did not care for Vashjir and Twilight Highlands felt like a zone that ended too early and felt too disjointed. Deepholme was pretty cool, and probably the one I liked the most out of the new zones, but it suffered from blue-grey syndrome, where everything had the same color palette which sort of washed out what could have been an incredibly vibrant zone. Also, as someone who had previously snuck into Hyjal before you were supposed to be able to (yeap, I used to break that shit all the time and hang out with the bones of Archimonde), I wasn’t disappointed with the zone so much as it didn’t really feel like Hyjal to me. I would have loved to have some more nods to the previous incarnation of the zone than what we got. Dungeons were very well done in Cata, I just wish there would have been more of them. Raids left something to be desired. I loved the first set of raids, to a point. I did enjoy heading into Blackwing Descent, and going to a different part of the old Blackwing Lair raid than we got ot see before, I thought that was a nice touch and showed off more of the mountain. I did not care for Firelands or Dragon Soul though. In a way, Cata was an entire expansion about revisits. Revisits to gear textures, revisits to zones and NPCs, revisits to raids. That really did not speak to me, and in fact, took a lot out of me in that expansion.
When Mists of Pandaria released, I felt rejuvenated in the game. I loved logging in, I loved questing, I loved the dungeons and I loved the raids. I loved exploring the world and seeking treasures. I have four level 90 toons right now, which is the most I’ve had since Wrath where I had 8 max level toons. I enjoy spending time in the game, and this is mostly because it’s an area that was, at the time, completely new. We did not know about the lore, we did not know the zones like the back of our hands, and there was a ton of subtlety to explore and discover. It felt, at least to me, like opening up Vanilla WOW back in the day for the first time. Exciting, and full of promise. Even now, I’m still running around finding new things or things that I previously missed while going through the expansion the first few times. I really enjoyed the most recent expansion.
My fear is that with WoD, mechanics for raids aside, is that it is going to be another complete revisit. Where it’s an expansion built on the success of an old expansion and relies on nostalgia to pull you through. I fear this because while I enjoyed Burning Crusade and had a lot of fun in it, I did not particularly care for Outlands as a whole. I know we’re going back in time or to an alternate time line or whatever, but so far nothing about this expansion has gripped me. Garrosh escapes pandaren captivity with the help of what will probably be the Infinite Dragon Flight, kicks off the expansion with the Dark Portal mishaps, and then what? We go and fight beside old NPCs? We alter history? Dunno. Some of the zones look cool, and it’s nice to see them before they get blown the fuck up, but I am not feeling compelled to play like I was with MoP. I don’t have nearly the same excitement that I did when Mists was first announced, I couldn’t wait to get into the game world, to explore, to learn, to uncover the lore of a land we had not visited yet.
I’ll still play, and I’ll still raid. I have fun with my friends in the game, but I’m hoping that something will happen to instill some form of enthusiasm in me, because right now nothing has really done it so far for me. All I keep hearing is “Like BC, but _____”. I think the mechanics sound interesting, but that doesn’t make me want to spend time in the game world and explore. Garrisons don’t excite me, because it’s like player housing, but really not. It has also changed from you being able to build it anywhere to you being assigned a plot of land. I think I like the idea of Wildstar’s Homesteads much better. Only time will tell, though, on how much time the game makes me want to spend in it.
Again, just my 2 copper on the topic. How about you? Are you excited for WoD? Do you have any concerns for the upcoming expansion?