The Renegade Rip

‘Warlords’ brings old school feel for gamers

courtesy of blizzplanet.com

courtesy of blizzplanet.com

Brooke Howard, Reporter

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At BlizzCon 2013, Chris Metzen, senior vice president at Blizzard, thrilled the World of Warcraft community with the announcement of the fifth expansion pack, Warlords of Draenor, which would take place in an alternate timeline and provide many players the nostalgia of the old Warcraft game play.

With the expansion pack release at midnight Nov. 13, just a couple days after BlizzCon 2014, your character takes a quest that propels you into an alternate version of Draenor, the Orc home world.

Players last saw Draenor, or what was left of it, in the 2006 expansion pack, The Burning Crusade, where it was blasted into fragments and renamed The Outland.

In the new parallel timeline, the old Draenor is still intact, and populated with legendary Warcraft heroes, such as Gul’dan, Durotan and Archmage Khadgar. You’ll fight alongside them as you unfold a phenomenal story line involving the Iron Horde, a united Orc army that threatens to take over Draenor and beyond.

With the build up of excitement and attendance at BlizzCon 2014, Midnight rolled around and of course every player in North America pulled an all-nighter. The lag was terrible, a million people trying to test out these new features all at once overloaded the game and many were kicked off the server multiple times.

Luckily, I knew peak work hours and logged on at the perfect moment.

Two glorious hours of game-play later that morning and I was hooked.

Russell Brower, who scored the new expansion pack, had me stopped in the middle of a battle just to listen to his wicked and beautiful melody coming out of my headphones.

Visuals and music in World of Warcraft have always been a top priority, but I commend Blizzard for their attention to detail in this world of Draenor. From the trees to the beasts and new armor, you hardly feel like you went back in time.

One major area of importance in the visuals of this expansion pack are the new character models. Some races of the Alliance, which include Humans, Dwarfs, Night Elfs, Gnomes and Draenei all got a makeover along with the Horde races of Orcs, Undead, Tauren, Trolls and soon the Blood Elfs. The new character models have more defined muscle tone, tendons, teeth, eyes and hair.

If the graphics of your character don’t excite you, the new level cap 100 will. For many of the avid gamers, level 90 has been beside your characters name for years. Within hours of release we already had levels 100. This allowed them access to the new raids, Player Vs. Player gear, and areas of Draenor unavailable to anyone under 100.

One feature that is available after just a couple initial quests is the Garrison. In Draenor each player gets their own fortress, called a Garrison, which they can personalize by building barracks to recruit warriors, a town hall to send your forces out on missions, a tailoring emporium, a mine and much more.

The Garrisons are the best touch in my opinion. The RP or Role-playing community was having a hay-day with this one thing they proclaimed World of Warcraft was missing—personalized homes or areas to call their own. This new feature could have been touchy, but it ended up being liked by all. Especially the Non-RP-ers, who thought it would be “too nerdy” or make the game “like Sims” to have our own Role-Playing areas. (You’re playing World of Warcraft, don’t talk about things getting “too nerdy”)

Your Garrison is the stronghold of Frostfire Ridge on the planet of Draenor, and many of your quests will start and end there.

A great new feature is the flexible and easy to follow questing system. To go through the story line, which will explain the Lore of Draenor, you must quest and help the heroes defeat the Iron Horde in multiple battles and missions.

The experience differs whether you are Alliance or Horde, and as an avid Horde player I can say I’m thrilled with every new feature given to me in this expansion pack.

 

5/5 stars

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‘Warlords’ brings old school feel for gamers