Alternate Title: WoW
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
PvP: Arenas, Battlegrounds, Skirmishes, Open-world PvP, Island Expeditions
PvE: World Quests, Dungeons, Raids, Warfronts
World of Warcraft Review - Is It Worth Playing?
Yup, I’ve finally decided to do a video on World of Warcraft. And this is going to be a long one.
I guess, before beginning this video, allow me to.. elaborate on my credentials. I like to call myself a Warcraft fan. I played through Warcraft III, then again through The Frozen Throne.
I never played Vanilla WoW nor did I have the chance to play through Burning Crusade. Unfortunately my family was far too poor to afford WoW, let alone pay a monthly sub to something like a video game.
By the time Wrath of the Lich King came out I had a job and could therefore finally afford to delve into the magic that I had experienced throughout Warcraft III.
Back when I played, leveling was much more difficult than it is right now in Battle for Azeroth. As a Ret I couldn’t go around in Heirlooms pulling 10-12 monsters for my quest and AoEing them all dead before I took any form of substantial damage.
I recall dying underneath Dalaran to too many monsters when I was fully decked out in Wrathful PvP gear trying to chase someone down.
I remember the tedious journey to level up different weapon skills, class quests, not having my hand held throughout the questing process.
There are so many differences between Wrath of the Lich King and Battle for Azeroth that it almost feels redundant listing them here.
Suffice it to say, it was a very different game back then.
Now, ever since I bought the game I’ve had an active subscription. That’s around 11 years now, since I began back in 2008 I believe.
I have played every expansion, normally for several months per year.
I loved Wrath. It, to this day, is still my favorite WoW experience. Cataclysm changed the Warrior, which I mained, and the story of Deathwing was kind of.. lackluster compared to what I’d experienced in Wrath.
Then Mists of Pandaria hit and I was thrilled. My Warrior was back in tip-top condition, Bloodbath+Bladestorming everything with Second Wind – being an unkillable beyblade of death.
And even though Pandaria seemed very slow, or at least the questing system did, I enjoyed the light-hearted theme of the Pandaren. Granted, it was at times a little over the top but I enjoyed myself.
Then Warlords of Draenor hit and made Discipline Priests the bane of every melee’s existence, lest you play Frost DK, and even then.
The story, also, was complete filler, but the zones were beautiful, especially by WoW standards.
Then Legion released, and improved drastically on the story, the characters, and made the game look better than I ever thought possible.
Plus they allowed us to use Legendary Artifact weapons that, although grindy, were a significant improvement over the Azerite RNG system in place right now.
I have participated in every raid during every expansion, albeit on different characters over different accounts.
I have never cleared a current Mythic raid because I’ve never been dedicated enough for that. The furthest I got was I believe Heroic Siege of Orgrimmar.
But I have cleared everything else on normal as they were current content.
I’ve done my fair share of PvP: Thousands of Battlegrounds, I made it to 1900 rating in 2s, 2100 rating in 3s and I never knew enough people to participate in 5s or Rated Battlegrounds.
While I may not have been that great at PvP, I’d like to say that I was at least alright at it.
So, basically, I’ve always participated in as much of every expansion as I could. I’ve never been competitive enough to push the most difficult content but I’ve always been content having accomplished everything each expansion had to offer.
The same applies to Battle for Azeroth.
I started the expansion 2-3 months ago with my wife, Adrienne. She’s never played WoW before, so this was a completely new experience for her.
Her experience with MMOs came from Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Blade and Soul, Rift and Riders of Icarus. So she was used to.. I guess, at least concerning base WoW and probably up until Mists of Pandaria.. prettier looking games.
I assured her that the game begins to look a lot better and the dungeons begin to require additional skill and mechanics the further we make it through the game.
Naturally, when I started with my wife I opted to re-roll a new character to level with her. I was also joined by my sister, Wiggy, and her boyfriend Ev.
My wife saw the Nightborne and instantly wanted to play the Allied Race. I told her that that was an impossibility due to her not having ever played in the past and Blizz gating the new Allied Races behind reputation gains.
She was gutted, as was I honestly, as the Nightborne are a beautiful race. But then again I have always mained Alliance, so.. not like I would’ve really played it either way.
She and Wiggy both settled on Draenei because they were the most aesthetically pleasing to them and the Gift of Naaru racial made sense as a PvE heal for tank and healer, which both of them went, respectively.
Leveling to 110 wasn’t too difficult.
My wife enjoys dungeons, so we made sure to run through every dungeon at least once on the way to max level.
While leveling we did notice something that had changed, however, and that was that A.) zones now scale to your level, and B.) dungeons now scale to your level as well.
Granted, both zones and dungeons have a level cap on them, allowing you to queue up or gain XP in areas until you reach the cap for the respective expansions content before moving you on to the next expansions dungeons and zones.
This was a surprise for me as I haven’t kept up-to-date with WoW-news and didn’t even know they had this planned.
Honestly I feel like this is both a good and bad move: It’s good for giving players the freedom to level how and where they want, but at the same time most players opt to go the fastest route, ignoring the vast majority of zones that you would otherwise visit.
Then came War Mode.
I love PvP, especially open-world PvP. My wife on the other hand, while leveling and learning her character she prefers to avoid being ganked by level 120 no-lifers that gank lowbies for shits and giggles.
Thus, we rolled onto Stormrage, one of the largest Alliance-dominated PvE servers.
Or, it used to be one of the largest Alliance PvE servers, until I learned that PvP and PvE servers no longer existed, instead, the two have more or less been consolidated into one with the option of turning PvP on or off.
War Mode was appealing because it increased all our XP rewards by 30%, making the leveling experience much less of a chore, especially since we leveled before Blizz rolled out their nerf to XP requirements.
Alas, I’d forgotten that max level players have nothing better to do than to fly over leveling zones and swoop in to 1-shot you then camp you until you give up and log out or forcibly respawn at a Spirit Healer. Which isn’t much better.
I know I can turn War Mode off, and we did occasionally, but I see something fundamentally wrong with the War Mode system, and that is that it forces players, players that play primarily PvE, to turn it on.
Otherwise, you won’t get increased Azerite Power, you won’t be able to do faction killing quests, one of which recently gave Alliance players an item level 400 piece for killing 25 Horde and more.
This means that in essence, if you don’t have War Mode turned on, you’ll be at a disadvantage over players that do have it turned on.
Their necklace will level faster than yours, you’ll miss out on potentially better gear… like, I know Blizz thought that removing PvP servers was a good idea, but I know a lot of people that don’t turn War Mode on, ever, other than to participate in the Against Overwhelming Odds quest and Call to Arms quests each week.
Then they sit there, repeatedly getting killed, participating in content that they never would have had to in the past, merely to attempt to remain competitive.
Talking about remaining competitive, what were Blizz thinking with the Azerite armor system?
The Artifact weapon could be frustrating; not the talents you’d get on your weapon, no. Those were fine. Leveling your artifact weapon was a huge chore.
So what did they do? They introduced the ability to grind out and level your Azerite necklace in the same way as the Artifact weapon, and instead of giving you the talents you’d been working hard towards… you’re given RNG crap that is worse than what you had.
Like, my wife, as an example, had an Azerite head piece that had Enduring Luminescence, Blessed Portents and Resounding Protection. That’s almost as good as you can get as as Discipline Priest from what I can tell.
Then she got a piece 15 item levels higher that gave her Depth of the Shadows, Woundbinder and Vampiric Speed… like are you for real? I had the same exact thing happen on my Fury Warrior, repeatedly getting Gemhide on my gear.
Gemhide. Because I need that bonus avoidance as a Fury Warrior in PvE and PvP when I’m not taking damage.
Speaking of which, PvP gear… I know Legion removed the traditional PvP gearing system that we’d used up until that point.
Entering battlegrounds and earning Honor to purchase Honor gear and entering Arenas to earn Conquest Points for your Conquest gear.
But that system… allowing players to purchase the pieces they wanted, that was part of what made PvP worth continuing.
The system in Battle for Azeroth? You earn 20-30 conquest per Arena and upon reaching your weekly cap, are given the item listed.. which could be much worse, or not even for your spec.
Or at least you were until one of the most recent patches. Now we’re at least given the option to choose between a small selection of same-slot items.
Gone are the days where you could work towards the piece you were missing. Now, we’re all given a pre-determined piece of gear with the chance of obtaining additional pieces from winning matches.
That’s just… no. That’s a terrible system. I don’t want a pre-determined selection of gear pieces that I have no control over. I want to be able to purchase the pieces I want.
I recall when I used to do raids and had a slot with a particularly bad item level gear piece on it.
I could do some Arena and replace it with a conquest piece that is much higher than anything I’d likely get for a while, upping my overall DPS and making me that much more useful to my group.
There are just so many things wrong with the new PvP gearing system right now, but I’ll leave that there as I don’t want it to come off ranty.
PvP on the other hand… well, with War Mode came a plethora of issues.
As an Alliance player on a server with a population larger than most you’d expect there to be a decent representation of your faction out and about in the open world.
However, at least on Stormrage, regardless of where you go, regardless of what “shard” you end up on, regardless of when you play… there are always ridiculously large groups of Horde going around ganking Alliance players.
Now I’m not saying that this is the case for every server, as I’ve read reports of Horde being outnumbered on Horde servers as well, but what this shows is a large imbalance in the PvP population.
An imbalance that Blizz thinks they can fix by introducing something like the Against Overwhelming Odds quest that gave Alliance players an item level 400 piece and not Horde.
An imbalance that Blizz thinks they can fix by giving Alliance players a larger bonus from War Mode.
Seriously, doing Tortollan World Quests is probably one of the worst things in the game. If the Alliance aren’t camping the area with 200 people, the Horde are.
Yes, it makes for some open-world PvP but let’s be real here… 200 people ganking a few people of the opposite faction while they try and do their quest isn’t really what I envision open-world PvP to be.
I remember fighting over spawns of monsters. Repelling Horde that would come to our lowbie zones and terrorize our lowbies trying to level.
PvP now is just zerg after zerg of the dominating side at that moment. Most the Horde I saw by themselves in the open world wouldn’t even look twice at me. Same with the Alliance if they saw a Horde.
Nobody cares about fighting one another, everyone seems to just want to do their shit then get out.
I’m not going to say PvP in WoW is dead, but I will say that it’s in a pretty stale state.
Gearing in Battle for Azeroth is… unique. I can’t say I dislike the new way of gearing myself but I can see how it could be cause for concern for a lot of players.
We have so many ways of gearing now: World Quests, World Bosses, Daily Emissaries, Faction Incursions, Warfronts, Warfront Rares, Normal, Heroic, Mythic and Mythic+ Dungeons, Raids, Battlegrounds, Arenas, and naturally, questing itself.
I’m currently item level 394 on my main and my wife is item level 399. We have yet to push past Heroic Uldir and we’re currently getting ready to move into Heroic Dazar’alor but the rewards we get from both of them… are still inferior to the gear we have.
This is where I find potential fault: Raiding has traditionally been the way players go about getting the highest tier of gear in the game. In every game. But with the introduction of Mythic+ dungeons, raiding seems all but obselete.
The furthest I’ve made it was through a Mythic+12 Atal’Dazar. I’m not good enough to push any higher than that right now but nevertheless I managed to get various item level 400 pieces and 410 pieces from my weekly chest.
So if I’m capable of running Mythic+10’s that reward me item level 400-425 gear if they titanforge, and Heroic Dazar’alor gives me item level 400 gear… why would I run it? Hell, Mythic Dazar’alor only provides item level 415 gear.
That is the most difficult current-content there is, and I can all but ignore it in favor of Mythic+ dungeons that are much easier.
So while I do enjoy being able to gear myself competitively via dungeons, I do feel at the same time that it kinda removes the importance of Mythic raiding.
I leveled my Havoc Demon Hunter and Survival Hunter up to 120 and by the end of the week, they were both item level 370. By week two, they’re both sitting at item level 385-390.
This is through Mythic+ dungeons, Emissary quests and World Bosses.
Give it another month and they’ll likely both be upwards of item level 400 without ever having stepped into a raid.
Speaking of raids, they are normally heavily driven by story. Battle for Azeroth’s story has a lot of people finding issue with it.
Players are comparing the expansion itself to Warlords of Draenor, Blizz’s largest flop in terms of playerbase numbers and they’re crowning Sylvanas the new Garrosh: A leader that just a few years ago would’ve never enacted what she has this expansion.
Someone that would’ve been disgusted had someone attempt to do what she has currently done.
Now for me personally, I’m loving the focus on Jaina, Sylvanas and Talanji. And Bwomsandi is a truly fascinating character that I can’t wait to see get more time in the light.
However, unfortunately… that’s about it. The story revolves around Sylvanas being a bitch, using the Horde as pawns, the Alliance attacking Talanji and her people, going to war and… well as of right now, just fighting one another.
The story is fairly basic, there isn’t really all that much going on and a lot of people are of the opinion that the writers have no idea what they’re doing, with both the story and the characters.
To me, World of Warcraft was a second life.
I used to log in for hours every day. I felt like if I didn’t, I’d end up missing something big.
I spent countless hours helping other players gear via dungeons, battlegrounds, grinding gold, faction reputation, exploring, fighting Horde out in the open world, attempting and failing to climb the Arena ladder and just… enjoying myself.
However after only a couple months, I’m at a point where I log in to WoW, stand there for a few minutes and wonder what I should do. My wife is still having a blast doing raids but I already finished it.
So now what? Hit item level 400? Hit item level 410? Continue repeating the same World Quests, the same Emissary quests, the same Faction Incursions?
I dunno. World of Warcraft is a good game. Battle for Azeroth was a fun expansion… initially. But as you continue, after a few weeks you just kinda… have nothing left to do.
And with how little effort Blizz has been putting into this expansion, it’s a wonder why I’m still subscribed.
I don’t dislike this expansion, I just don’t have anything to do this expansion. That is gearing 3 separate characters. I can’t imagine how bad the monotony must be for players with only 1.
So in WoW’s current state, would I recommend people play it? I would. If you begin from level 1, you’ll likely get a solid month or two out of the game before running out of things to do.
Whether or not you can find things to retain your attention remains to be seen but nevertheless WoW is a good game. But like Warlords of Draenor, it’s just headed in the wrong direction right now.
It is definitely possible to fix the game like they did with Legion, and with WoW: Classic around the corner, they could potentially have more players than ever before.
I wouldn’t give up on WoW yet, nor would I recommend people not play the game in its current form. Things need fixed, yes. But is the entire game bad? Definitely not.
Should you play WoW? Yes. Should you come back if you played Battle for Azeroth at the beginning of the expansion? Probably not.
I truly hope that someone at Blizz watches this and takes a little away from it. WoW has always been my game, and even though I won’t cancel my sub… I’m not enjoying the game right now.
So until the game is fixed, whether that’s with the next large patch or the next expansion all together… see you all in Final Fantasy XIV.
Operating System: Windows XP / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600 / AMD Phenom X3 8750
Video Card: GeForce 8800 GT / Radeon HD 4850 / Intel HD 3000+
RAM: 2 GB (1 GB for Windows XP users)
Hard Disk Space: 35 GB
Operating System: Windows XP / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Core i5 2400 / AMD FX 4100+
Video Card: GeForce GTX 470 / Radeon HD 5870
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 35 GB