World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
|World of Warcraft:
Warlords of Draenor
Craig Stuart Garfinkle
|Release date(s)||November 13, 2014|
|Genre(s)||Massively multiplayer online role-playing game|
|Distribution||DVD DL, digital distribution|
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, often referred to as Warlords or WoD, is the fifth expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, following Mists of Pandaria. It was announced on November 8, 2013 at BlizzCon 2013, The expansion released on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at exactly midnight (PST).
The expansion raised the existing level cap from 90 to 100 and introduced player-built, upgradeable garrisons, as well as upgraded player character models of those races released prior to Cataclysm.
Plot and setting
The expansion is set after the events of Mists of Pandaria and takes place in an alternate universe on the world of Draenor, the original homeworld of the orcs as it appeared in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, prior to its destruction in the ending of that game and the creation of Outland as featured in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Legendary characters of Warcraft 's past, such as Grom Hellscream, Ner'zhul, Gul'dan, and Blackhand, will appear.
At the end of Mists of Pandaria, Garrosh Hellscream is overthrown as Warchief of the Horde by a combined Alliance-Horde force and taken into custody by the Pandaren so that he can stand trial for the atrocities he committed in Pandaria. However, before he can be judged, Garrosh escapes captivity with the aid of a renegade bronze dragon, and travels to an alternate timeline, to the orcish homeworld of Draenor prior to the rise of the Horde. Once there, he prevents the orcish clans from drinking the blood of the demon lord Mannoroth, which led to their corruption by the Burning Legion and played a major role in the events of the first three games. The clans unite into an "Iron Horde", using technology Garrosh brought from his reality, and begin a war of conquest on Draenor, which also leads to the building of a Dark Portal that would allow them to travel through time and lay siege to the Azeroth of the present era.
The expansion allows players to level up to 100 from the previous cap of 90. It also includes new dungeons and raids, and introduced a new difficulty of raids called Mythic, which became the hardest version of the raid system. Players are able to build and upgrade their own garrison, a personal area in which they can recruit non-player characters (or NPC's) to carry out missions to earn them items. The garrison is assembled from the individual buildings like stables or armories, increasing their size and modifying their appearance.
The development team made a number of changes to the player versus player (PvP) aspects of the game. They altered the way that PvP items behave when players fight, reducing crowd control abilities, and added a new PvP-focused island area called Ashran containing various objectives and battles for players to participate in.
For this expansion the development team changed the file format used by the game, moving from the MPQ file format used previously to a new file format called CASC. The game will also contain updated character models with improved textures and a higher polygon count; the developers have said they want to "keep the soul of the original characters" while upgrading them to the quality of the Pandaren race released in the previous expansion, and the Worgen and Goblin races released in Cataclysm. Game performance has been taken into account with this expansion, with the developers saying that there will be no big drop in performance as a result of the models and that there will be no reduction in the amount of visuals on screen during large fights.
Warlords of Draenor was playable at PAX East and entered alpha testing in April 2014. Blizzard invited players to enter the beta in June 2014. Players who pre-order the game receive a free level 90 boost for one character. Subsequent boosts may be purchased for $60 each. Blizzard said they made the price high because they did not want to devalue the experience of leveling a character.
With this expansion, Blizzard has once again shown desire to begin creating expansions at a more frequent rate, as often as once per year.
During the launch, players attempting to log in experienced long queue times and issues with latency. Blizzard noted that they had experienced DDoS attacks during the launch day as well as unexpected issues from the high concentrations of players in various locations. Players received five days of subscription time as compensation for the issues.
Warlords of Draenor received positive ratings since its release. It currently holds a rating of 85 on Metacritic.
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- Official website (U.S.)
- Official website (E.U.)
- World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor at the Internet Movie Database