Author:
Mike Adams
1/21/2009

Before I go into my review of World of Warcraft: WotLK, I must confess that I am not the most “hardcore” of WoW players. I’ve put in what seems to me, an ungodly amount of time into WoW, but I still barely know the difference between a Fury warrior and an Arms warrior, I haven’t touched the new Death Knight hero class, and I roll Alliance. I play a Night Elf Hunter whom I have leveled to 80. As of this writing, I am still working on getting him some more epic gear before tackling the Naxxramas raid. So while I am no expert, this does not deter me from giving my 2 cents about this expansion pack.

First, and foremost, I must say that the content included in WotLK is leaps and bounds ahead of what was included in Burning Crusade. For me, the questing in Northrend (the new continent in WotLK) does not feel like the grind fest that was the Burning Crusade. The flow and pacing of events is also much better laid out. You actually feel like you have an impact on the world around you. There is a now famous chain of quests in Dragonblight that you ABSOLUTELY must do. It was a definite “Oh my God” moment…and the world does actually change around you after the completion of these quests.

As far as PvP (Player vs Player), several new battlegrounds are available. First we have the Strand of the Ancients, the new BG. I have to admit, I am a fan of the new siege weapons in this BG. Hopping into one of these hulking monstrosities and tearing down a gate, or vice versa, jumping into a siege cannon to defend said gate is an absolute blast. Very chaotic, very fun.

The other new BG is the entire area of Northrend known as Wintergrasp. It is an incredibly large scale PvP with siege engine workshops, siege weapons, destructible environments (i.e. the fortress walls), and cannons. The area can be very confusing your first and even your second time there. But once you get the hang of it, the experience is pretty fun. They have the massive battles there once every 2 and a half hours. If you control the Wintergrasp fortress, you get the opportunity to run a 10-25 man raid called the Vault of Archevon. So even in the PvP areas you get a chance to do a PvE raid.

Besides the new content, the best thing about WotLK is the instances. In the past, your instances could take several hours to complete…and that’s with a good group. Blizzard has done something wonderful in the fact that with a good group, you could clear an instance in an hour…maybe two. I honestly do not know how to explain it, but they are infinitely more fun than any other instance I ran in the Burning Crusade. My favorite ones would have to be: The Nexus, Utgarde Keep, and Violet Hold. I can’t think of a single bad instance in WotLK.

All in all, I really can’t find too many faults with this expansion. The game is over 4 years old now, and I can’t believe that they can still make this game look this good. Blizzard really knows their engine. The fire effects of Utgarde Keep are pretty awesome, and the large scale battles that take place in the PvP look great as well. The only REAL fault I have with the game, the thing I have to call bull on, is the fact that you cannot fly in Northrend…at least until level 77…which sucks. Why is that? We just spent so much time and so much gold obtaining our flying mounts (and our epic flying mounts) at level 70, but now you are not even allowed to use them for a majority of your play time. Blizzard…that is horrible design. Way to punish your players! Also, while Dalaran is beautiful, the framerate starts to chug once I enter the city, and I have had a couple of framerate issues in other places and times as well.

Those are the only real gripes I have with the game though. I love the new continent, I love the new content, and I am totally reabsorbed into this incredible atmosphere. I may be level 80, but I still have so much to do. If you are on the fence at all about this one, take the plunge. Or try the 10 free WotLK trial that Blizzard has made available to everyone. Whatever the case, this game is fantastic.

Pros:

  • New content!
  • Level 80!
  • The content included not nearly as boring as that of BC (Burning Crusade).
  • The new, shorter instances are a LOT more fun to play, and feature what I feel are some of the best instances in all of WoW.
  • Massive PvP with siege weapons = cool.

Cons:

  • No flying til level 77 = bad!
  • Framerate issues abound, especially in large scale areas such as Dalaran, Wintergrasp (when in combat), etc.
  • Reaching level 80 occurs very quickly.
Advertisements