A New Player’s Reaction to the Current State of World of Warcraft

With the yesterday’s announcement of World of Warcraft: Legion, it is a great time to be a new player in the World of Warcraft.  The universe is huge and sometimes daunting, but that is what many players are looking for when getting started in a new game.  The World of Warcraft is established and even though subscription numbers have dipped recently, it is still the most populated online mmo.  But with any game, it is not the number of people playing that matter, it is who you are playing with that keep you coming back for more.  And most likely your friends are playing WoW.  Even my girlfriend is playing World of Warcraft, as a level 3 Blood Elf Warlock!  Even I am a new player.  I leveled my Pandaran Monk, Bigfalcon to 63 before using my level 90 boost to send him to Draenor and it was the best decision I ever made.

The world in Warcraft is difficult to navigate.  One might be conflicted between exploring the world alone or having an initial guide to the difficulties associated with navigating a 10 year old game.  But World of Warcraft is not a 10 year old game.  It is a service that has been continually updated over the past decade and will continue to be updated in the foreseeable future.  I have found it useful to view the World of Warcraft as a series of sequels to the base game.

When the Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm and Mists of Panderia came out they introduced a large amount of new content to the existing base game.  However, in order to experience much of this new content new players had to play through the previous expansions content.  For some this may be the best way to explore the world and learn your character.  But let’s be honest, if you are starting in the World of Warcraft today, you are late to the party.  Much has happened since 2004 and many of the things will not be experienced again.  Or it is better understood that many of the events and content of WoW can not be experienced the same as when they were released.  The game you play today may be much different tomorrow, and will be much different upon the release of Legion.

Warlords of Draenor introduced the concept of the character boost to the game economy.  This is why I tend to think of the WoW expansions as sequels.  While they occupy the same universe, when you buy the newest expansion you can jump into the newest content and skip all of the old expansions.  I have accepted the fact that I missed some of WoW’s finest moments.  I wish I could go back and play around in Mists of Pandaria, but I realize that no one plays that content anymore.  Because the World of Warcraft is such a social game, you get the best experience playing with other people.  Sure you can go back with your level 90 Warrior and run old raids, but that is not why you are playing World of Warcraft.

Warlords of Draenor is a great expansion.  It is the only expansion I have played in any depth.  Maybe I should just say that the expansion is fun for me.  I really like the idea of a garrison and having everything confined to one continent.  Another reason I enjoy the current expansion is because it feels current.  The quests are very cinematic, the quests are well organized, gameplay is balanced to your level, and the environments are pretty good looking.  Leveling through the Burning Crusade does not feel the same.  The quests aren’t well organized, there are no cinematics, and I don’t feel connected to the story.  If I was playing in 2006 I would feel differently.

When I tell my story, I will say I started playing World of Warcraft during the Warlords of Draenor expansion and I love the pandarans.  There is still a lot more content coming to World of Warcraft and I am happy to be a part of it.  I am personally super excited to play a Demon Hunter, and I might even go on the alliance this time.  Also did you know that Durotan is Thrall’s father!>?!?! WHAT!  My last recommendation to any new player is to read up on the lore of the game.  There are so many interesting characters that all have a great backstory.  You should especially read up on Illidan’s connection to Gul’dan and Malfurion!

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