Early Impressions

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Zirilius

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#1  Edited By Zirilius

Well it's not a WoW launch without some sort of server issues, lag, or disconnects. All of which I experienced after spending almost 2 hours in a queue to get into my server. Launch issues aside though I'm really enjoying what I got to play.

I'm starting off leveling my Blood Elf Paladin and as soon as you start the Draenor quest you are immediately thrust into the thick of action. While it is a bit over the top and corny, something about it is just very charming. The first hour or so has you do a variety of MMO styled quests but there is nothing long or drawn out about them. Probably cause I'm way over geared the quests don't pose any sort of challenge but I think that's the point. Blizzard want you to feel powerful and that you are truly doing something to affect this world and I do.

Within the first hour or so you meet all the Warlords in a very Borderlands inspired intro for each one, begin the creation of your Garrison, and IMO feel like you have a personal stake in the conflict that is going on. It's great that Thrall and other heroes refer to you as commander. I also like that as a "hero" in the world you begin fighting side by side with the iconic heroes themselves.

I wish there was a little bit more exposition of why Horde and Alliance are fighting side by side in the game. I know the lore of why it's happening but I can see that being very confusing for someone who doesn't keep up on it.

Didn't get a chance to play this morning due to Unscheduled maintenance but I'm hoping to get some quality time this weekend with it. Got to say I haven't had this much fun playing an expansion since Burning Crusade or Lich King.

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Mcfart

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#2  Edited By Mcfart

Soo it's more WoW?

Garrisons sound dumb, as they're instanced except for your party that you wanna show it off to. Pokemon Emereld on the GBA had the same thing (called a Secret Base) and that was on the GBA, and that was released in 2002!

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cloudymusic

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I thought the intro sequence was a little bit too cheesy and "Saturday morning" for my tastes, and beardless Khadgar is weird. Having fun so far, though.

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Jorbit

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I don't care as much about the server issues as I do about the fact that Blizzard did not design these quests to be done by hundreds of players at once and thus launch day was a complete nightmare of everyone standing around clicking on things over and over until they got credit.

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takayamasama

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#5  Edited By takayamasama

As someone who has played for every expansion at launch, this one rates as my all time favorite.

The world seems massive and super neat. I really like how it's less "Quest Grind" then previous expansions, and tries to encourage explorations, discovery of bonus objectives, rare spawns that drop neat items (many of which have good flavor text), etc.

Garrisons are amazing. Pure and simply amazing. I stayed away from the beta and all things spoiler before WoD, so I knew next to nothing about them. It's a fun, deep feature that adds a new level of depth to the game, more things to do, and finally makes our characters feel important. From the get go we are show respect, given ownership of land as the Garrisons 'Commander", and entrusted with a small army. It's a nice change to feel like more then just a "hero of the horde" in name, and I feel like this is the right path to take for player characters that have slayed Old Gods, stopped the Lich King, destroyed Deathwing, etc.

The story thus far is super awesome, though I'm not sure how the average person would take it. I have read most all the books, so many of these names and places are throwbacks, either to the extended universe of Warcraft media, or to little things from The Burning Crusade expansion, and that is really making me giddy. I am working on Nagrand now, and half a level from 100. Server issues are the only reason I didn't hit 100 hours ago, but even then this is a lot more smooth then Burning Crusade or Lich King. Those expansions had days of ALL servers being down, so much that Blizzard comped all the players some free game time.

I can't wait to see what Herioc Dungeons are like, for Highmaul and the Blackrock Foundry raid to open up, to further my addiction of collecting mounts, pets, and now toys (235 mounts, 620ish unique battle pets, 115 toys or so) and try to break 21k Achievement points. All while hanging out with friends in the guild, and seeing more of a new-old world. I really hope they start doing some crazy timeline stuff, but we shall see where the story progresses in future content patches. Hoping to get my horde guild on Burning Legion ready for raids as close as we can be when they come out. If anyone is interested in trying to raid Normal and Herioc, with hopes set on Mythic, hit me up.

Edit: I forgot to give a nod to the soundtrack. I feel like it is out of the park for Warlords. If you play this game, keep the game music turned up.

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DeeGee

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@mcfart: Yeah, having a pathetically small room to put a Pikachu rug and a doll of Clefairy is the exact same thing as a Garrison.

I remember fondly going to my Secret Bases in Emerald and building an upgrade that allows me to essentially have a third profession, or all those quests I got from my Clefairy doll, or that cool time I had my own portals installed. It was great how that game made Secret Bases feel like a huge part of the world.

Great times.

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Karkarov

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Other than server instability and the usual WoW nonsense it is okay. I am sort of mystified about all the cheesy name drops and intro's going down. "Yeah I know who that is.... funny he is stronger now somehow I killed him 3 expansions ago" is something I said to myself many many times in the first hour or two. The only call back I was generally fond of or thought was good was where you fight Kelidan the Breaker or however you spell his name. He even had the same yells and calls out he did way back in BC as a 5 man boss. Then I found out Zangarmarsh is now just an ocean and I pulled this face ... :(

So far it is okay, certainly better than the start of Pandaria. It still can't help but feel like it is more of the same though, I get the impression this expansion was aimed at newbies mostly.

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Zirilius

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@lunnington: This is nothing compared to TBC or Vanilla launch. Least we can actually play the game instead of having entire world servers go down for hours at a time. The latency was noticeable but only caught me once or twice in a bad situation. I think the did mess up by not having two starting zones like Lich King or Cataclysm.

I know flying was a bit of a controversy for this expansion but I honestly don't miss it. Riding around and taking in the scenery has been a pleasant change and they've done a pretty good job of not making you venture out too far to do the quests. The soundtrack so far has definitely been great as well.

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EXTomar

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#9  Edited By EXTomar

So far works great....except that DDoS attack that was interfering with players. I skipped out on the beta but so far the Garrison feature is pretty cool. I hope they continue to add buildings and other NPCs to "collect" as the expansion goes through major releases!

As for "no flying in the expansion", I'm kind of "meh" about it. It is clearly done as a "mechanical" way to force players to traverse the zone in a linear manner instead of skipping around by flying over chunks of it where I don't care as long general "no-fly zones" are sensible.

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Mcfart

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#10  Edited By Mcfart

@deegee said:

@mcfart: Yeah, having a pathetically small room to put a Pikachu rug and a doll of Clefairy is the exact same thing as a Garrison.

I remember fondly going to my Secret Bases in Emerald and building an upgrade that allows me to essentially have a third profession, or all those quests I got from my Clefairy doll, or that cool time I had my own portals installed. It was great how that game made Secret Bases feel like a huge part of the world.

Great times.

In Pokemon you could connect to friends via GBA Link Cable and "download" their secret base and fight AI versions of them in their secret base ala Red in Mount Silver.

http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Secret_Base

If a player mixes records with other Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald game cartridges, Secret Bases will copy over between them (even those from other players who have previously mixed records). Inside of Secret Bases that do not belong to the player, an NPC can be found to represent the person that took that Secret Base as their own. After the Elite Four have been defeated, the player can battle the NPC, who will have the party of the person who owns that Secret Base as of the time of record mixing. These battles award money, experience, and all other things that normal battles with NPCs do, but they can only occur once per day, with the time resetting at midnight, and items stolen from the NPC's Pokémon using Thief are not kept afterwards. Should the NPC win, the player will not "black out" and return to the last visited Pokémon Center, nor lose any money.

You can't make yourself a world boss in WoW, so Pokemon>Wow.

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deactivated-5c26fd6917af0

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I've liked what I've gotten to play so far, but playing on Stormrage what I've gotten to play is relatively little. I've probably spent more time getting dc'd and in queues than actually in the game.

I haven't really formed a full opinion on Garrisons yet. I kind of wish they had an app that let you manage it so I didn't have to log in to do it. Some of the call backs they do with the followers is really neat, though. I'm not ashamed that I freaked out when I saw Image of Archmage Vargoth was one of the followers you could get.

I'm also somewhat mixed on the bonus objectives in the zones. In a way its a neat way to get people to do something without linking it to the questline, but the reward is substantial enough that it seems like a waste to ignore them. The result (at least last night) was that the area was way overcamped compared to even some of the earlier areas. The quests themselves are really good, though. I like how they attempt to link everything to Garrisons (at least in Shadowmoon Valley). They also attempt (rather successfully) to give your character an identity in the world after 10 years of defeating global threats.

I don't know why no flying is controversial, however. In MoP while leveling you weren't allowed to fly and it was fine. If it doesn't seem like its working out they might patch in flying in a later patch. It also gives some more options for mounts with not needing a flying mount wherever you go. Warlocks seem to be the real winner in being able to ride their class mounts (with the glyph that lets them run on water).

Lastly, their art this patch is absolutely the best its ever been. I can't get over how beautiful Shadowmoon Valley looks. I haven't gotten a chance to see what Frostfire looks like on horde side, but its probably just as amazing.

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Nearly three hours into this server queue and watching my third giant bomb video. Snickering at Patrick's comment about 15 minute waits in Assassin's Creed: Unity coop. I'm still 2500th in line.

What I have played so far I really like. Questing is steamlined. It never feels like you're heading to a hub, exhausting its quests and moving to the next. You're constantly moving around the world and exploration is encouraged.

I went out to explore Shattrath, Nagrand and the Zangar SEA. Exploring these high level areas in the early hours of an expansion is pretty magical and a tradition at this point. My first death in Draenor was at the hands of a level 99 horde at the Throne of The Elements at 91.

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Zirilius

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#13  Edited By Zirilius

Looking like log in issues and general lag have been fixed by the Friday and Saturday maintenance. With that said I'm officially back in. Reached level 97 and just starting in the Spire of Arak which so far I'm liking. I really feel like the main story quests have been really good. Sure there is still a lot of go here and kill X amount of this but there have been a lot of quests where you are doing something with major characters.

I really liked the defense of Shattrath quest. Seeing Ogrim get killed killed by Blackhand and then Maraad sacrificing himself so that Yrel could live was awesome. Also seeing her with Avenger's Wrath wings brought a silly little grin to my face. Sure the story is cheesy and over the top but so is everything about WoW. I can't wait to see what happens in the other areas. I've also really liked the dugeons so far. They've all been super easy but I can already see the potential for their heroic mechanics.

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Zelyre

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Still having serious queue issues; having 3 hour waits when I have 2 hours to play sucks.
I wish you could send dudes off on missions on some kind of phone app, since the garrison feels like a more interactive iPad game.

I love the bonus objectives and rares. Since the 30 hours of WoW I played since release has been 27 hours of waiting in queues. I just hit 93 and explored all of the starting area, got all the bonus objectives, all the rares. The rewards are nice and the little events are fun.

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Zirilius

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@zelyre said:

Still having serious queue issues; having 3 hour waits when I have 2 hours to play sucks.

I wish you could send dudes off on missions on some kind of phone app, since the garrison feels like a more interactive iPad game.

I love the bonus objectives and rares. Since the 30 hours of WoW I played since release has been 27 hours of waiting in queues. I just hit 93 and explored all of the starting area, got all the bonus objectives, all the rares. The rewards are nice and the little events are fun.

What server are you on? Turalyon is a high pop US server and getting on during peak teams hasn't been much of an issue. Apparently EU servers were getting hit Saturday night though.

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MannyMAR

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This expansion gave me the itch to jump back in for another 3 months. I think I'll wait another month or so before plunging back in though.

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Zelyre

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@zirilius: Moon Guard. Thursday and Friday evenings were a wash, with a 6-9 hour wait at 6pm. Saturday morning, we got on shortly after the servers went up with just a half hour wait. My girlfriend and I queued up Sunday at around 11am.

We then went to get lunch. Went grocery shopping. Did 2 loads of laundry. Braised short ribs and made soup. Went out for coffee. Pulled all the dead pepper/tomato plants out of the garden. By the time we were free to play at 3pm, we only had another half hour wait in queue. We ate dinner at 7, which booted us out, and were able to log back in at 11pm to re-queue up our garrison stuff before going to bed.

It's a shame; it hasn't quite soured our experience. I played at launch, when looting that sweet 6 slot bag took 20-30 seconds, so I had lowered my expectations accordingly. But, if I were a returning player who'd picked it up in any of the prior expansions,taken a hiatus, and had to deal with this? I'd probably walk away and not look back.

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Zirilius

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@zelyre said:

@zirilius: Moon Guard. Thursday and Friday evenings were a wash, with a 6-9 hour wait at 6pm. Saturday morning, we got on shortly after the servers went up with just a half hour wait. My girlfriend and I queued up Sunday at around 11am.

We then went to get lunch. Went grocery shopping. Did 2 loads of laundry. Braised short ribs and made soup. Went out for coffee. Pulled all the dead pepper/tomato plants out of the garden. By the time we were free to play at 3pm, we only had another half hour wait in queue. We ate dinner at 7, which booted us out, and were able to log back in at 11pm to re-queue up our garrison stuff before going to bed.

It's a shame; it hasn't quite soured our experience. I played at launch, when looting that sweet 6 slot bag took 20-30 seconds, so I had lowered my expectations accordingly. But, if I were a returning player who'd picked it up in any of the prior expansions,taken a hiatus, and had to deal with this? I'd probably walk away and not look back.

Wow that's crazy! Only server I had heard any real issues after the Saturday maintenance was Lightbringer. I also played at launch and remember 24-48 server downtimes consistently and remember the endless loot lag. I talked a friend into coming back when I did and he gave me so much grief for queue times. Thankfully things on our server have eased up quite a bit and we are both enjoying our experience. Friday's queue time for me was get home, queue, cook and eat dinner, visit with family that dropped by, and then log in with my character.

Just saw this on mmo-champion (source)

Since the launch of Warlords of Draenor we’ve seen a large amount of positive reaction to the new content available in the expansion. Players have been enjoying building and managing their own Garrisons and exploring the new world. With many of the new changes that have been implemented over the past couple of days, we’ve seen a marked improvement in realm performance and stability. Thank you again to everyone for your patience while we have worked around the clock to address these issues.

As we previously posted the realms in Europe, the Americas, and Oceania had rolling restarts to pick up hotfixes to address some gameplay issues. During this time we also further extended the raised maximum realm population in these regions. While the increase in realm population has allowed more players access to the game, we continue to also see realm queues on heavily populated realms.

To address the queues for these realms we are currently working on expanding the instancing tech we deployed earlier which allowed for additional copies of Draenor. We are currently testing these improvements with the goal of deploying this tech more widely. To ensure the best possible in-game experience for players this implementation will require additional oversight and testing. We will be carefully scrutinizing and adjusting these modifications throughout the day to ensure that we don’t introduce additional stability and performance issues.

Hourly updates will resume when we have more information on the progress of these changes to share with you. If you use Twitter, we recommend following @BlizzardCS and @Warcraft for updates as well.

So hopefully those queues for people that are still having them will be getting better soon.

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mrblobby64

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If there's one problem I've had so far it's that I got to level 100 before I even finished up in Spires of Arak. I mean I've been doing every story beat and every bonus objective in each zone before I move on, so this may be that I'm in the minority of people who actually play like that.

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Zirilius

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#21  Edited By Zirilius

If there's one problem I've had so far it's that I got to level 100 before I even finished up in Spires of Arak. I mean I've been doing every story beat and every bonus objective in each zone before I move on, so this may be that I'm in the minority of people who actually play like that.

Nope that's exactly how I play. Level 99 as of this morning with 6/9 story progression through Arak. Man I really love that zone and I really wish the Arrakoa were a playable race.I forgot how much I liked them and learning about their history has been really cool.

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ElixirBronze

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@mcfart said:

Soo it's more WoW?

What else would it be? Did you expect them to completely revamp the entire premise 10 years in?

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