World of WarCraft – My Week in Draenor

I’ve been a player of World of Warcraft since the early days. I played every expansion pack, even raided during Wrath of the Lich King and reviewed Cataclysm when it dropped. Cataclysm was when I stopped playing regularly. I started with friends at University in my first couple of years, switching to a different server and to Alliance (For the Horde!) for them. We got too busy and I just stopped. Then, before Warlords of Draenor hit, I decided to get into Mists of Pandaria when it was on sale. I played for a few weeks, didn’t finish the content and then stopped completely for about the 5th time. Then, last week, Blizzard sent my an email. They had upgraded my account to the newest expansion, and offered a free week of game time. It was hard to resist.

Enter, Draenor. After a little bit of mopping up in Pandaria, I jumped into the storyline through the new continent, which is really the old continent of Outland but back in time before it was all blown up. Or whatever happened in the lore of WarCraft, because I’m lost at this point. It’s grand in scale, and it’s engaging enough that I kept playing for the entire week whenever I had a chance.

What kept me going the most was the Garrison system Blizzard implemented. Essentially, you set up base on this other planet. This base, is yours, not anyone else’s on the server. You choose what buildings are built, and even the types of outposts you put in other regions. It’s your home base, and it evolves as your adventures do, eventually leading to followers that you can send out to do missions, a dock, and even profession buildings that can help you grow your skills in pretty much everything.

It’s a system that I had been craving for years. A place to call my own, that adapts to how I want it and even helps gain some of that sweet gold. It’s an interesting way to add in player housing to the Warcraft, and it does succeed in my eyes. To me, it encourages me to keep busy, and not once have I felt like there wasn’t anything to do, and it’s all because of my Garrison.

Horde-Garrison

Even when I was done with all the zone’s quest-lines (which have some pretty top notch in-game cinematics, considering how old the engine is) there was the option to buy Treasure Maps for each zone. These treasures you find gave you precious Garrison resources, and often lead to Rare creatures that gave not only these resources, but some rare gear too.

I also happened to jump back in at a great time, as a Timewalking event was running. This particular event allowed you to run through older dungeons (in this case from The Burning Crusade) that could drop gear from that dungeon, but levelled for your character. It was interesting going through the old dungeons that I found familiar, but actually getting something beneficial from it. Nostalgia ran hard throughout my entire week, but it all felt new and exciting at the same time.

I’ve never found myself with nothing to do. Whether it’s trying to make money, continuing with the max level questlines or even just doing daily quests. Everything has it’s own variety, and I’m never doing the same thing over and over again, as much as it is feeling a bit grindy trying to make enough gold to buy the new WoW Token so I can essentially buy game time with in-game currencies.

My experience back in the World of Warcraft has been a fantastic one, and it’s one that reminded me of why I got into the game so much in the first place. It’s less the social aspect, which is there when I do dungeons or other things requiring other people (as I’ve not played with any of my friends quite yet.) It’s more of the feeling of going through new places in a world I used to be so familar with. Everything seems new but old at the same time, a little prod in the side saying “Hey, remember when?” and making me recall some times past. At the same time, the new experiences are fulfilling, and I’m eager to jump back in.

Disclaimer: Starting soon, I will be streaming the Draenor experience on the free Level 90 boosted character I received with the upgrade to Warlords of Draenor, so keep an eye out on social media for when I go live! If you miss it, I will upload the videos at a later date.

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