World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor - Recensione
Warlords of Draenor is an important expansion for the Warcraft universe: not only celebrating the tenth anniversary of one of the most popular MMO games ever, but on it lie the strong expectations of a community that remains among the most impressive in the field paid MMORPGs. After the not splendid performance of Mists of Pandaria, which paid a long period of absence of content (almost a year) and some questionable game design choices, also marking a not inconsiderable loss of users, Blizzard is playing two cards for this expansion important: a plot that brings the players back to their origins, on Draenor, the home planet of the orcs and the last refuge of the Draenei, before its destruction (the Outlands of our timeline), as well as an unprecedented mechanic ... the garrison, thus aiming to celebrate the link between Warcraft and World of Warcraft.
In fact, if Cataclysm was also born with the intention of attracting new users, "renewing" the clothes in Azeroth, while Pandaria winked at the oriental public, Warlords of Draenor has the difficult task of titillating historical Warcraft fans ( after all, this year 20 years have passed since the publication of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans), recalling the old players. And to do this, Blizzard takes us back to a past era, disturbing iconic figures from the Warcraft universe (Ner'zul, Grommash, Velen, Durotan, Garona), introducing mechanics vaguely from RTS (such as the management of Garrison resources) , as well as offering the possibility to take advantage of an already level 90 character ready to start playing the new contents directly, an advantage designed specifically for those who want to return to play after years or start now for the first time.
The news, in part already introduced with the 6.0 patch which as usual precedes the launch of the new expansion by a few weeks, and those that await the players beyond the portal, go to introduce substantial changes in the game and it will be interesting to see the impact that they will have not only on the game itself but also in its community.
Furthermore, already with patch 6.0, the graphic revamp of the breeds has been introduced to finally bring them to a higher resolution, a feauture that characterizes this expansion, but which has given fluctuating results: if in fact some breeds have benefited from it (dwarves, trolls) , orcs), for others it worked less (Night elves, male humans, female draenei). Beyond the subjective "beautiful / ugly", some breeds have undergone changes that have somewhat betrayed the promise / premise of keeping the personality and spirit of the characters unaltered, sometimes with results between exhilarating and depressing, this for some faces have taken on distressed expressions which they originally did not have. More than a revamp, in some cases it looks more like a transition to the cosmetic surgeon.
But the real star of this expansion, which we all can't wait to try, is the Garrison: not a banal housing system, but an entire outpost to be built and managed, whose structure is strongly intertwined with the game itself.
Needless to emphasize, therefore, how, after a year without content and waiting artfully assembled by Blizzard, with the animated series that so admirably introduced us to the "Warlords", the comics that showed us how Garrosh convinced his father to refuse the Mannoroth's "gift", the novel that acts as an accord between the events of Pandaria and Draenor, there was great excitement on the eve of the publication of the fifth expansion of World of Warcraft.
And therefore, exactly as it happened seven years ago for the launch of The Burning Crusade, here we are piled up in front of the same portal, which, instead of taking us to the Outlands, this time will make us travel backwards in time, guided by the archmage Khadgar, through a short introductory session in the jungle of Tanaan (a sort of tutorial for new players who take advantage of the already level 90 character), and will finally bring the Horde players to Frostfire Ridge while the Alliance will arrive in Shadowmoon Valley.
Unfortunately, not everything went smoothly. With results not very different from then, indeed perhaps worse, given that in recent years the experience should have helped Blizzard to prevent certain problems, the servers have not held up, and there are still serious discomforts due to continuous disconnections and lag. Rarely, during a launch of an online title of this size, everything goes smoothly, but this time the problems seem even heavier than the usual ones. A sign of renewed enthusiasm on the part of the WoW people? We hope so. But above all, we hope that this initial phase will pass soon, because we want to continue playing!