BlizzCon Quick Reactions

First off, let me state unequivocally that I am extremely excited for Warlords of Draenor.

I had seen some leaked information beforehand, from reliable sources, that gave a bulletpoint list of stuff that was going to happen, but without the pitch from Metzen, and without the announcement trailer, it all fell flat. Nothing about it seemed appealing and I felt like the game was headed for a fall.

But now? After that pitch? THAT TRAILER? And everything else that’s been revealed? I’m so hyped, friends. SO hyped.

Sadly, I can’t go into big detail here, as I’ve got to pass out and get some sleep after an exhausting day, and tomorrow is going to be filled with the long-form wedding & reception that prevented me from being in-person at BlizzCon to begin with. Basically it’s going to be a couple days before I can get my proper reactions up here, but let’s just do a couple quick lists:

PROS:

  • Old Draenor looks amazing.
  • Reminding everyone that the orcs were always a badass male power fantasy is actually pretty awesome.
  • Huge new potential with Draenor as a location (a whole ogre empire continent off the map? perfect.)
  • Buckets of new lore on the Draenei, the arakkoa, in addition to other new races on the planet.
  • Garrisons and all the connected subsystems (this is easily my favorite system addition, so expect a big post about it).
  • The raid paradigm changes.
  • Inventory improvements.
  • The “instant 90” token.
  • The gronn are siege weapons. THE GRONN ARE SIEGE WEAPONS.

CONS:

  • The story isn’t bad at face-value (not enough is known about it yet to judge) but the premise takes a non-trivial amount of effort to explain: Garrosh gets sent back into time to stop the orc leaders from drinking the demon blood and instead forges them into the Iron Horde, which then builds the Dark Portal to invade Azeroth… but the Dark Portal is connected to present-day Azeroth. So essentially there’s an alternate-timeline, paradox-free set-up, but for a lot of people, it’s going to make them cross-eyed pretty fast.
  • I appreciate that it’s Warcraft and it’s Orcs vs. Humans, but man, we just got done killing a LOT of orcs in SoO and Battlefield: Barrens.
  • And while I don’t want to shortchange the story before I get the chance to experience it fully, the sense that MoP was sold as “the calm before the storm” and now WoD is being set-up as “rolling into the following expansion” is giving me the sense that Blizzard is just breadcrumbing the story forward. If the expansions are coming out more quickly, then maybe that’s okay, but the bottom line here is that I’m interested in getting a sense of resolution out of this expansion, and that’s not really being explicitly offered at this point.

So yeah: definitely a lot more to come tomorrow and in the following weeks, but if you had any doubt about Warlords of Draenor, doubt no more; the Alliance is going through the Dark Portal to whoop some ass, just like the good old days. ^_^

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