Monday, February 23, 2015

Three Weeks In Draenor

As Blizzard wraps up the first content patch of the Warlords of Draenor era, I'm marking something like 3 weeks in the expansion.  I'd say that overall it's a good expansion, but I'm not yet convinced of the staying power given that we are almost certainly at least a year from the next edition.

My tale thus far:

- Advanced my main from level 90 to level 100 in 9 days, including full clears of Shadowmoon Valley, Gorgrond, Talador, and portions of the Spires of Arak. 
- My garrison is currently as upgraded as possible given my late start, with all buildings at level 2 (if gated by an achievement I have yet to complete) or 3.  I've collected 30 followers, all of whom are level 100, and am rapidly working on upgrading them to purple quality and ilvl 630 gear.  I'm actually about to start tearing down some buildings where I have already obtained the best rewards. 
- Polished off Spires of Arak and cleared out Nagrand. 
- Captured all pets that can be battled in the wild in Draenor. 
- I'm advancing professions as quickly as the time-gates allowed.  One detour here - I'm continuing to farm the Pandaria farm for cloth, so I can make nearly free 28-slot bags every two weeks or so. 

At this point, I have some amount of stuff that I can loot for zero effort in about 20 minutes each day at my Garrison.  There's a daily quest that I've done once to go to a level 100 area and farm a relatively modest amount of an endgame currency - I can see this getting old pretty quickly.  Otherwise, I can level an alt (including the "free" instant 90 that came with the expansion box) for fun and additional garrisons.... or go do dungeons.  I don't know that I'm going to be sold on doing dungeons.

There is a lot to like in Draenor.  The world is pretty and does much more to encourage exploration than recent expansions have done.  There are constant little blips in the world for looting treasure, killing rare spawns, and even triggering events by just taking the time to kill mobs attacking a town without a quest to do so are in some ways a bigger innovation than anything Blizzard did in Pandaria.  The story is alright, though a bit focused on having major villains escape to go be raid bosses (perhaps appropriate for revisiting Draenor). 

But overall, I'm a month in with a month left on a 60 day time card and I'm not entirely sure what to do with that time.  Perhaps tomorrow's patch will shake things up, but this does not bode entirely well.