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World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor. © Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor is the last game released by Blizzard Entertainment in the World of Warcraft franchise. The fifth expansion is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and it hit the stores in November 2014, continuing the story of Mists of Pandaria. It marked the introduction of new features, such as upgradable garrisons, while raising the level cap to 100 up from 90.

Key facts about World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

  • World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor was aimed at bringing back the original design of the series and diversifying questing.
  • The introduction of custom garrisons added multiple hours of gameplay, while circumventing some of the existing professions.
  • World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor invites players to explore the continent more than previous sequels, by limiting flying.
  • Compared to the previous installments, this one encourages solo play more, by empowering players to complete quests by themselves.
  • World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor improved and updated the proving grounds which became mandatory for joining heroic dungeons.

The World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor games

Players control a single character and for the first time in the World of Warcraft series, players were presented with a chance of boosting their low level avatars to 100. All those who purchased the game and have subscribed have this option, while prospective players can test the game for up to 20 levels for free. Players need to choose a realm out of the two major options, with PVE and PVP servers both having the role-playing alternative.

Player versus player gaming pits players against NPC when questing, but their peers can also attack them in most areas. By comparison, a PvE server will provide more security to participants, as players can only be attacked if they accept the challenge. The role-playing servers have both these traits but those who choose them will need to behave and act in a manner that is in accord with RPG gaming. There are no restrictions to how many characters players can create or the number of servers to populate.

Players need to choose on the two warring factions and as they level up, many of the quests are intertwined. They also compete in battlegrounds and arenas, but overall World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor presents all participants with access to the same skills and abilities. The new expansion presents players with multiple options to customize the characters of choice, including their race, genre and also facial features and other details.

What is World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor is a MMORPG game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, the fifth expansion in the series. It partially continues the story of World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria, while inviting players to take the trip into the past to shape the fate of the Horde. Many of the features from the previous installments return, but new ones were also added, such as the garrisons.

Screenshot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor. © Blizzard Entertainment
Screenshot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor. © Blizzard Entertainment

Gameplay of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor introduced several new dungeons and initially two win raids and a plethora of new quests. By completing these missions, players accumulate experience points and level up from a starting level 90 to a maximum of 100. Subsequently, new dungeons were added and the raid difficulty was tweaked, to include the Mythic versions which are the most difficult events. These raids will require 20 players to participate, whereas the popular Looking For Raid events have returned.

When it comes to raids, players can opt in for the flexible version, in which up to 30 players can enter, but no fewer than 10. As in the previous installments, World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor added new abilities, which appear in the talents kill as players level up. Player versus player has also changed, with PvP items being tweaked to level the playing field and make the game more dependent on skill.

The upgradable garrisons are the most important additions to World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor and they provide players with a steady flux of revenue. On one hand, they were appreciated by players for simplifying their mission, on the other, they excessively emphasized solo gaming. Followers can now be sent into missions and depending on their success, players collect wearable loot as well as gold.

The challenge modes and the celebrated pet battle system were also tweaked, to scale with the newly introduced content. Proving grounds are more important in this expansion, as players will require a silver medal to sign up for heroic dungeons. Meanwhile, some of the popular stats were removed from items and the new weapons no longer feature hit, expertise, dodge and parry.

Screenshot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor. © Blizzard Entertainment
Screenshot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

Plot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor invites players to travel to a parallel universe and explore the original home planet of the orcs. The events unfolding take place before the destruction of the Dark Portal and fans of the franchise will get to interact with legendary characters such as Ner'zhul, Gul'dan and Grommash Hellscream among others.

The World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor plot picks up after the events of Mists of Pandaria, with Garrosh Hellscream on the run and hunted by fellow orcs. Players who enter Draenor through the dark portal, will take on the Iron Horde Vanguard and their newfound weaponry, while trying to prevent their return. Slowly but surely, they establishe a beachhead and consolidate their position on the new planet, while enlisting the support of local factions.

A new leader for the Horde

The confrontation with Garrosh Hellscream takes place in Nagrand, where a combined Alliance and Horde force corners the former warchief. An epic fight between Garrosh and Thrall begins and the powerful shaman eventually prevails and slays his enemy. Players continue their mission of dismantling the Iron Horde and enter Highmaul where they fight increasingly powerful enemies, all culminating with the menacing Sorcerer King Imperator Mar'Gok.

Warlord Blackhand also poses a serious threat to the security of the realm, so the combined army takes on him next. The decisive battle takes place at the Blackrock Foundry where the heroes destroying the most important pieces of the Iron Horde machinery before killing the leader. Meanwhile, Grommash resists Gul'dan but the latter some use him and his minions take refuge in the Hellfire Citadel, where the last and most difficult raid in the expansion takes place.

The World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor narrative culminates with the raid on the Citadel, where the heroes destroy Kilrogg and the ressurected Mannoroth. After they managed to free Grommash, the band of brothers takes on the most difficult foe yet, Archimonde. With his dying breath, he opens the portal to Azeroth and sends Gul'dan through it, to fulfill the prophecy and bring about the return of the Legion.

Screenshot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor. © Blizzard Entertainment
Screenshot of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor. © Blizzard Entertainment

Development of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

The World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor was announced one year after Mists of Pandaria and alpha testing began in April 2014. Players were invited to pre-purchase the game to benefit from a free level 90 boost on one of their low level characters. Later on, the same package would cost $60, so it comes as no surprise that many chose to preorder the game which sold above expectations.

Where can I download World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor?

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor as well as the previous installment World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria, the other expansions and the original World of Warcraft can be downloaded from the Blizzard website. The game developer has its own client that serves this purpose and once installed on a computer, players can use it to browse the entire collection of games including Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone and the StarCraft 2 Wings of Liberty trilogy.

What are others saying about World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor?

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor sent shockwaves among the fans of the series upon release and was well received by the critics. It sold in excess of 3 million copies within the first day, but over the next few months, the number of subscribers decreased. The game marked the decline of paying players with the lowest reported threshold being of $5.5 million. This was largely blamed on stripping the game of its social component and encouraging players to play mostly on their own.

Check out what Conan O'Brien has to say about World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor:

World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor tournaments

There are no World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor tournaments per se, but players can still put their skills to the test in arenas. Blizzard Entertainment promises to revamp PvP in its next expansion, but meanwhile, it presents players with a competitive gaming environment in Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, Overwatch and StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void.

My rating of World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor

I had been expecting World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor ever since Mists of Pandaria hit the stores and I wasn’t disappointed. Unfortunately, it was yet another instance in which my expectations were not exceeded and the expansion failed to reach its full potential. I don’t care much for garrisons and I really hope to see them gone from the next installment, but the questing part was fun. I was hoping to be able to give a higher review score to World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor, but anything about 8.5 would be excessive.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Score
8.5
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