That’s right! We’re jumping back into World of Warcraft after a long hiatus for the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion!
“Why?” You ask?
I’ve been sentimental about my Restoration Shaman ever since Mists of Pandaria came out. There’s just something great about being a giant cow that tosses out massive Chain Heals that auto-target the best recipients that makes me feel powerful. I love that using Riptide on my team mates feels like I’m tossing water balloons at them.
It was hard to look at WoW during Cataclysm. The models were incredibly dated, the textures were a bit too close to that same old stuff from vanilla WoW, and watching the clunky animations whenever my friends tried to get me to come back never sold it very well.
When I saw the video demo on Blizzard’s developer blog of all the new models and animations, I was instantly intrigued. I decided to take advantage of a free 30-day pass I had to check out the 5.4 patch at the very end of the Mists of Pandaria expansion I never tried.
Mists of Pandaria raised the bar really nicely. The textures and models on the Pandaria continent were breathtaking. Grinding from 80 to 85 through the [still] garbage Cataclysm zones was trying, but once I got to Pandaria I was hooked again.
Warlords of Draenor is taking this even farther. The 3D Models, Textures, and animations of every race have been upgraded to a new standard that brings them more in line with modern stylized MMOs. I’m especially happy about the animation work they’ve done.
New Content (duh)
We’ll be traveling to a new time and place in Warlords of Draenor. Some things may be familiar if you’ve spent anytime in Burning Crusade, but many will be entirely new.
It doesn’t look quite as artistically flavorful as Mists of Pandaria does, but I’m hoping it will be once they reveal more.
Mists of Pandaria introduced Flex Raiding, which I really love. Flex raids allow you to have fewer than the full amount of players needed to run a raid instance. Then, if more people join it will increase the difficulty of the dungeon to suit the new roster. The same goes for if you get a raider that leaves before you finish the dungeon. The difficulty will decrease to compensate, and — as long as you still have enough tanks and healers — you can keep raiding!
Warlords of Draenor takes Flex Raids and expands them to higher tier dungeons. Now, you can play as casually or seriously as you want until you want to run Mythics, instead of tagging along with a Guild (one you may not really like) just to be able to raid.
When I pre-ordered the expansion (shortly after enjoying Mists of Pandaria), they gave me a free boost to level 90 for one of my many characters. At first I didn’t know why they wanted to let me skip content, but then I realized I could use this on one of my alts so I wouldn’t have to run the same Cataclysm crap all over again!
Plus, it also boosts your trade skills to cap if your character is over level 60! So I chose my Protection Warrior with the most expensive trades to skill-up of all my alts: Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting. This way I could level my favorite character (my Shaman) naturally and fully appreciate Mists of Pandaria on my way to 90 until November 13th.
Whether you’re joining World of Warcraft for the first time, or are a returning veteran for the Warlords of Draenor expansion… We want you! We have uprooted ourselves from our old servers and guilds to combine into a new one on the high-population Blackrock PvP server.
I’m really excited for Warlords of Draenor’s release on Novermber 13th, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys there too!