Recently, I started back playing World of Warcraft (WoW) after skipping almost two expansions (plus some years) in content. In 2018, is WoW more than worth it again for brand new or returning players? Let's take a glance.
WoW is usually a game that is certainly near and dear to my heart. I have played it don and doff for almost 13 years, starting out in the first game (generally known as vanilla or classic), all the way up up to now, the seventh expansion, dubbed "Legion."
An expansion can be an odd method to describe World of Warcraft's huge fully-priced content drops, that contain hundreds, possibly 1000s of hours in juicy gameplay, dwarfing the definition of "expansion" to be sure it in other games (thinking about you Destiny 2). Of course, World of Warcraft is funded by way of a subscription-based model, with around ten million players paying $15 a month for the right to get into the gargantuan open worlds define the land of Azeroth plus the game's other planets (yes, planets).
World of Warcraft has lots of imitators (and WoW itself borrowed heavily using their company MMOs that preceded it), but few have were able to achieve Blizzard's amount of execution. WoW is undoubtedly an action RPG that is certainly responsive, exciting, and quite honestly, somehow gorgeous despite rocking a motor room fire that's greater decade old. WoW will be from strength to strength, and even though the previous two expansions, Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor gave the impression to contribute within a steep leave in players, Legion has gotten many millions of players flocking back, but why?
I'm likely to run through a few of my findings both leveling new characters, and enjoying WoW's new end game content after weeks of non-stop play, and explain why I'm yet again fully addicted after many years away from Blizzard's flagship title.
The levelling experience
I have experience wanting to persuade many friends and family to get involved with WoW, so I know lots of the common complaints. Sadly, Blizzard hasn't done a great improve the experience for newcomers, although the situation is getting better.
World of Warcraft is definitely an old game, plus the bulk of Blizzard's resources go towards monetizing and incentivizing its veteran playerbase, presents itself the level cap. For new players, World of Warcraft is usually a bit of any mess, with outdated content intersecting and overlapping with new content, and also a leveling system tuned to speed you in the end game, instead of fun.
Indeed, one of the primary complaints I've gotten attempting to get younger siblings or older peers into WoW is the fact it's just too damn possible for newcomers. Most monsters (mobs) might be killed in one or two hits, making low level play an overall total snoozefest. At the very least, you'd anticipate to get the opportunity to use several of your other abilities, if for no reason at all other than to understand them, but sadly this is simply not the case.
Blizzard is introducing a different level scaling system through an upcoming patch, that may ensure that mobs are usually on an equal footing along level-wise. I are actually testing it on Blizzard's Public Test Realm (PTR), and finding that still, you will one to two shot mobs by spamming one key, whack-a-mole style. It makes general low-level gameplay incredibly dull and disengaging, also it even extends to the game's dungeons, which, despite being scaled up in difficulty for 5-player teams, remains way too easy to be truly fun with the average gamer. What's the point of those levels and receiving gear upgrades if you think super powerful from level 1?
WoW compensates for its patronizingly easy low-level combat in alternative methods, however. Levels 1 to 60 were completely revamped recently, earning many new voiced quests, new storylines, and much more fun and unique game mechanics to generate questing more interesting.
The level scaling patch being released early 2018 will likely ensure you don't "out-level" a zone before completing its story, this means you might find yourself more engaged with all the characters and plot associated with a given area, get the job done low-level 1-hit-1-kill combat doesn't entice you.
More problems arise whenever you hit level 60, however, since the particular level 60 to 80 content articles are not only pretty outdated, however it takes place in a very different timeline to the extent 1 to 60 content. Not only is this somewhat confusing for newcomers, it's probably quite confusing for veterans too, who is probably not familiar while using story.
The level scaling patch enables you greater treatments for where and what expansions you utilize to level. In a few weeks, it is possible to choose to skip The Burning Crusade expansion altogether, and level 60 to 80 using Wrath with the Lich King zones, as an example. It'll be entirely under your control which storylines you have, though the overarching plot of WoW can be increasingly challenging to follow after all this – if you are interested in it. This is tuned to assist veterans speed from the game leveling side characters (called "alts"). It would be cool if Blizzard could somehow make these older zones highly relevant to the game's modern story, nonetheless it would call for a significant amount of investment.
You can skip doing this older, messy, and outdated content however by collecting the latest expansion, Legion, which grants a token to acquire a character straight away to level 100. Suddenly creating a level 100 character, full of all of their abilities and nuances, generally is a bit overwhelming for first time players too, and I'm unsure whether it would help the experience vs. playing with the game's older content (which despite being old, has a lot of fun quests and environments to educate yourself regarding).
The Legion experience
The latest expansion, dubbed Legion, involves a massive demonic invasion of Azeroth, kickstarted by an evil orc warlock named Gul'dan (who originally died in Warcraft 2, but has now found its way to Azeroth again via time travel... don't ask). And honestly, I find so that it is the best expansion WoW has ever offered to the abundance of content and end-game activities.
I have already been playing through Legion as my undead warlock, leveling over the game's utterly gorgeous zones, detailed with updated water tech, crazy details, and all-new spell effects. Indeed, most classes have received new animations and spell effects, that makes gameplay more fulfilling by itself (although warlock animations and spells still weren't updated... grr). Additionally, Legion adds an all-new class, the Demon hunter, which begins at level 98.
Demon hunters can be extremely agile, being the one class in WoW which could double (and triple) jump, playing a lot more like something I'd expect of Devil May Cry as opposed to World of Warcraft. Demon hunters are exceedingly fun damage dealing or defensive tanking class, according to spec, and worth a glance if you're a returning player seeking something fresh.
Demon hunters have their own very own starting zone and plot, flying insects you to their backstory. In fact, each class in WoW featuring a story campaign to adhere to, because expansion requires the accrual of special "artifact" weapons, many inspired by Warcraft's vast lore.
My warlock class campaign required across Azeroth searching for special weapons, generating a hidden base from the Hell-like Twisting Nether, and turning the demon's powers against them, fighting back from the expansion's eponymous antagonistic force, The Burning Legion.
Typically, to find the most out of WoW, you needed a guild or clan of lots of members to get your house the game's more rewarding and sophisticated raid content. WoW presently has hundreds of hours of content for both grouped and solo play – I've been playing completely alone, yet still found myself struggle to put the game down.
Once you have explain to you the game's new zones and storylines (which often there are many), yet more content opens your responsibility. Since Legion's launch, Blizzard added a total additional campaign quest zone dubbed The Broken Shore, which sees the forces of Azeroth assault the Legion's foothold on earth.
After that, you practice the fight on the planet Argus itself, that this Legion continues to be using like a de facto capital. After weeks of playing, I still barely touched either these zones, opting instead to perform the storylines on the expansion's launch zones.
As of writing, Legion has over the dozen 5-man dungeons, as well as some raids to finish, accessible either with random players with the game's "Looking For Raid" system, or through harder, organized versions with "Normal," "Heroic," and "Mythic" difficulty levels for 10 to 25 players.
However, even for anyone who is playing with a reduced group of friends, that you can do the game's Diablo-like Mythic+ keystone dungeons, which grants usage of increasingly difficult versions in the game's 5-man dungeons so they could earn increasingly powerful loot. There are all kinds of new approaches to play, and I think that I have barely scratched the top.
Blizzard was adament to keep players engaged throughout this expansion, enlisting an expanded World Quest system for players hitting level 110. In expansions past, WoW were built with a handful of "repeatable" quests for players hitting the amount cap, specifically made for grinding reputation numbers together with the game's various factions. These were also soul-crushingly boring and repetitive, with out doubt served to make many players faraway from the game during that time. In Legion, Blizzard has really ramped the quality and various dynamic quests open to end-game players, going from the few dozen repeatable quests to hundreds. They all contain a bit of voice acting and context too, and give far more powerful rewards than the earlier reputation grind-like daily quests of yesteryear.