A major event in the MMORPG world took place yesterday at the time of this writing. At 00:01 AM as the European servers braced themselves for an intense stress-test, thousands of players discovered the new contents of the fifth World Of Warcraft expansion to date. To those of you who lived under a rock for the last ten years or so, World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game and in fact, it is the biggest and most successful one that’s ever existed. Boasting a huge player base of 7.4 million players across the world, World Of Warcraft (or WoW for short) is simply the MMORPG of the last decade and you have probably heard of it at least once in your life. The game is actively developed by videogame industry giant Blizzard Entertainment and has been subject to numerous enhancements throughout the years since its debut back in 2004.
With this new expansion, Blizzard hopes to draw more players (back) into the Warcraft universe and counter the steady decline in population that it underwent as a result of fresher MMORPGs being graced upon avid gamers recently. To this effect and certainly not to everyone’s satisfaction, Blizzard has already made several changes in the past such as Free-to-Play™ content until level 20, oversimplified game mechanics compared to early versions, better graphics and reduced difficulty in general. Warlords Of Draenor follows the trend as it reduces the number of skills available to characters, raises the level cap to 100, brings more balance to the game and introduces a whole new continent and more detailed character models.
It is probably too early to speculate on whether WoD will be a success or a letdown, but judging by the previews and early feedback that I could collect, and the oversized marketing campaign led by Blizzard, it seems that the odds are on the company’s side this time. Nevertheless, and to be perfectly honest, I haven’t played WoW in a long time and when I last did, it was around version 1.12 (current version is 6.0.3). Back then the game was a real challenge and you took pride in battling your way to level 60, which could take up to several months. Nowadays with instant level 90, automatic dungeon finder and insane damage figures, one could legitimately wonder what’s left of the challenge there once was in this mythical game.
Wait and see…