World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor – Dressing an Old Game in New Drapes

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When you pit cool, flashy graphics against a drab and familiar background that runs on old systems, you might get bored quickly. However, supplant that with a good degree of storyline and gameplay, and add just a little dash of unfamiliar and a storyline that?s more fantasy than reality, and what you?ve got is a game that looks exactly like World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

That aside, it doesn?t look like Warlords of Draenor is a step ?above the rest. While past titles offered new worlds and new places to explore for players, Warlords of Draenor instead takes a step back…back in time, that is. It is set in a time before the demons corrupt the orcs, and this action may have rewritten the whole Warcraft storyline, as is the case with stories strongly connected to time-travel.

If this is all a surprising development to you, then, yes, this new game is a Draenor re-packaged. If you?re used to a ravaged and derelict Draenor, then you might marvel as you play this game. This is a Draenor before the coming of the Burning Legion. This, however, is a good thing. Nothing of the ?original? Draenor remains in this game and is replaced by a lush valley full of trees, grass, animals?of life. Long time players should see a few familiar sites like rock formations and the like, but everything is pain-stakingly re-packaged into something new.

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This has been Blizzard?s greatest strength. While other game studios are experimenting with new formulas and trying to distinguish themselves from game to game, Blizzard (and by extension, Warcraft) remains true to form, further enhancing what has worked in the past. Quests are done in the same fashion we?ve come to expect, and there are moments that are truly trademarked for Blizzard. Playing this game takes us back to those times, but in every facet, this is a true Blizzard game.

While this might appear to you, that with Blizzard, familiarity is king, this is in fact not the case. There are quite a lot of instances wherein Blizzard has actually taken the best points from other games and incorporated it subtly into their own. In-game, you might see something coming from Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. There?s a ?Garrisons? event that reminds one of rebuilding the city of Hytbold. Another quest requires you to assign followers while dragging them across missions, these NPCs, all the while, grabbing their necks and wriggling like they were being Force-choked.

The player models received an upgrade too, and it?s safe to say that some players may find this enough, for them to consider playing Warlords of Draenor in the long-term. This isn?t supposed to be the easiest part, though. While player model updates and various upgrades are enough to tide the game over or win players over, Blizzard definitely needs to improve on more dimensions within the game. For a game that?s ten-years old already, however, Warlords of Draenor seems to have found the right formula in familiarity.

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