Three Things to Look Forward To in Warlords of Draenor

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Posted October 3, 2014 by Cameron McFarland in Video Games

Believe it or not, the long-running MMO World of Warcraft will soon be celebrating its 10th birthday, and just in time for the latest expansion pack: Warlords of Draenor.  If you have been away for a while or are still a current player, you might be wondering what the next expansion holds.  Every new venture in Azeroth brings more, raids, dungeons, and skills, but at this point, those feel like more of the same.  Thankfully, there’s more to get excited about in this expansion.  Here are my top three important game changers coming with Warlords of Draenor.

 

Garrisons

It would not be fair to refer to the new “garrisons” feature as “player housing,” but in some regards, it does bring the same kinds of quality-of-life improvements to World of Warcraft.  Players will be given the opportunity to take charge in planning out a base of operations in Draenor to aid in the war effort.  This includes choosing what sorts of buildings should be built in your small town.

For example, one might erect a cozy inn to house additional NPC helpers who can be sent out on quests, or instead opt for the sparring arena to keep those NPC helpers in tip-top shape.

Additionally, players can build professional buildings for jobs their current character normally wouldn’t have access to.  Until now, player characters have been restricted to only two professions each, but in Warlords, players will now have the ability to construct buildings such as an alchemy lab to brew potions or a blacksmith to craft armor, opening up new possibilities to get more done with a single character.

Players will begin work on their garrison soon after their first steps into the new expansion, and the small town will grow and expand with players’ characters as they level up through the game.  It is both a fun novelty in something different to work towards besides the basic level grind as well as a useful tool for any player who wishes to be self-reliant and ready for the call to arms.

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Gear Stats

Some notable changes to gear are coming about in Warlords, but perhaps the most important tweak made by Blizzard is to fluid primary stats.  As the game stands at present, a druid who prefers transforming into a cat for combat will use only gear that has a lot of agility points on it;  however, if this player’s raid leader asks him to heal, he will now need to get a full set of gear with intellect points on it.  This has proven to be a tedious challenge for some and an impossible task for others.

It is great to hear that the days of carrying multiple sets of armor are now behind us.  In the expansion, our above druid need only activate his healing specialization and all the agility points on his current gear will become intellect.

Additionally, when attacked in the open world by another player, your gear will shift into a PvP set with stats better balanced for a more entertaining duel.

Without the need to manage two or three sets of armor per character, players can now focus on just getting the best stuff they can and then moving on to enjoy the game however they wish.  Hopefully taking out this frustrating element of the game will only serve to make it more accessible and less confusing for players who wish to get into end-game challenges, and I can only see that as a good thing.


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Graphics

I have never been much of a graphics snob.  In fact, I typically run World of Warcraft on fairly low settings simply for the smoother framerate.  However, the previous expansion Mists of Pandaria introduced the new Pandaren race for players to enjoy, and with the Pandaren came all new animations and better models.  Unsurprisingly, the new Pandaren really stood out when compared to the likes of Humans and Dwarves, whose models have been around for the last ten years.  You don’t even need to zoom in to count the number of polygons that make up a Dwarf’s nose.

Warlords has an answer to this problem with a new update to those old character models.  Humans, Dwarves, Night Elves, Gnomes, Draenei, Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, and Undead are each getting a makeover fitting of the year 2014.  Those tired, old emotionless faces can now smile, cry, and roar with fury as you charge the battlefield.  Each of these updated characters are getting new high-res updates to their textures and more bones to animate, making the world feel more alive and fresh as ever.

It is true that graphics are not necessarily the most important part of a game like World of Warcraft, but it never hurts to make a strong first impression, and the first time you see your veteran Orc warrior with his new high-res beard and anger-filled eyes, you will smile.  Like seeing an old friend that has grown up a little, you will welcome him with open arms as you start your march towards level 100.

Warlords of Draenor is set to release November 13th of this year.

 

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About the Author

Cameron McFarland

Cameron loves cartoons and bad movies almost as much as bad cartoon movies. He is also the world's best spaghetti-eater, so don't bring it up around him or he won't shut up about it. Author and Artist for world-reviled World of Warcraft fancomic, www.taurenitup.com