Massive World of Warcraft expansion coming in 2014

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Warlords of Draenor sends you back in time to Draenor — home planet to the orcs and draenei — to fight with and against the game's legendary heroes.

(Credit: Blizzard)

World of Warcraft is gearing up to release its fifth expansion, following on from The Burning Crusade in January 2007, Wrath of the Lich King in November 2008, Cataclysm in December 2010 and Mists of Pandaria in September 2012. Warlords of Draenor focuses on the orcs and the draenei in the deep, dark past. Horde leader Garrosh Hellscream has time travelled to build up a new "Iron Horde" and create an alternate timeline.

Of course, this means a new world to explore, along with a new level cap — 100 — and new world events in which to participate; but, as with any expansion, there are a few really neat features to sweeten the pot.

Possibly the most exciting of these is player housing, a feature tested with the player-run farms in Mists of Pandaria. Instead of a single house, though, players will have access to their own garrisons, where you can build a multi-building base of operations — and recruit non-player character (NPC) followers to send on missions. Buildings include a town hall, barracks (to house followers), mine, stable (for pets and mounts) and profession-based buildings, such as alchemy labs or an engineering works. All buildings can be upgraded using blueprints that are found in the rest of the game's world, which can increase their capacity and output.

Followers can be recruited to send out to gather crafting materials or loot and can also be levelled up. A follower will take longer about this business than the player character, but using them can cut down significantly on time spent fishing, for example, or looking for ore deposits. You can also assign followers to buildings to perform tasks associated with those buildings.

The garrison will be instanced (but without having to travel through an instance portal), and you can invite other players to visit and hang out in your garrison.

The game will also have some significant UI improvements. We really like that you can craft or enchant using materials from your bank without having to physically visit the bank in game, and most items will stack up to 100. How bags are handled is changing significantly as well. Quest items will no longer take up bag space, instead being sent to the quest UI, and items can be auto sorted into the bags you assign them to.

Hit, expertise, dodge and parry will all be eradicated (tanks will still have dodge and parry but not as gear stats), and tertiary stats are being added to appear on gear. These include lifesteal, which gives you back health for every hit you land; avoidance, which reduces area of effect (AoE) damage; sturdiness, which means that a specific piece of gear doesn't lose durability; speed, which moves you faster; and cleave, which offers a chance of AoE on your attacks.

Gear will no longer be class specific, either. An item's stats (with the exception of jewellery, trinkets, cloaks and weapons) will change based on the class wearing it, even when you respec, which will mean that almost any raid loot drop should still be applicable to your character. This means no more carrying two lots of gear for dual-spec characters.

Some character models are getting an overhaul. On the Alliance side, humans (much needed), dwarfs, night elves and gnomes will be upgraded, and for the Horde, orcs, undead, tauren and trolls. There are no new playable races, which is a bummer — we've been wanting to play as the ethereals for years now.

Finally, each player will be able to level one character to 90 to start playing immediately, whether it's a new character or one previously rolled. It's an excellent opportunity to get to Draenor straight away without having to level up from the beginning, although one does feel apprehensive about the potential influx of high-level noobs.

Warlords of Draenor doesn't have an official release date yet, although the fact that you can sign up for the beta indicates it's not too far away — we estimate sometime around Q2-Q3 of next year. You can read more about the changes on the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor official website.

What do you think of the new expansion? Sound off in the comments below.

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Kaytee220 posted a comment   

The whole point of levelling to 90 is so through your experiences you learn your character! Death Knights jumping to 55 was bad enough, but 90? That's just ridiculous. Lots of high levelled toons running around, under-geared, inexperienced having no idea how to use their characters and jumping into raids.

And another thing, skipping to ninety will just decrease the amount of people in questing and levelling areas even more. WoW is desolate these days. Players in the same questing space are so rare. Places like silvermoon city are just simply deserted. The social construct of WoW needs to be adressed. The game is losing its social aspects, and very fast.

The notion of F2P sounds good, but I hate the fact that it could mean sell out advertising and in game shops. If it does become F2P however, there might be more people actually in the questing areas. Sigh. I miss the good old days where you got your first mount at fourty, the epic at 60 and there were no flyers. The game was so much more sociable and exciting. It's almost too easy now.


RevelationK posted a comment   

I agreed with the guy on the left about how easy and limited combat was, but later on it really opens up.

First impression is not it's strong suit, it took me getting to the second zone before I warmed up to it.


RevelationK posted a reply   

This is in reference to the video at the bottom not the article.


TammiZ posted a comment   

I totally agree. I'm tired of the gold sink the game has become.


starrweaver posted a comment   
United States

just wish that they'd go F2P like so many others. Cause there are so many other great MMO's out there, that the sub is killing it for Wow. Many that would play, but can't part with the cash will go to a F2P.
RIFT is a lot like Wow in ways, back in the cool years. Plus it's got some really great aspects of it's own too.
Neverwinter, LotROnline, Guild Wars 2, plus others are either free to buy/play or buy and free to play. Sure there are cash shops, but you don't "have" to use that option. Some of them let you earn in-game or in-game cash to "buy" items. Even Defiance and others are set up that way. I'm hoping that the subscription plans phase out all the way. There is more options and more games coming out all the time...


RevelationK posted a reply   

This is false. I am going back to WoW because there is nothing better out there. F2P games are horrible. If WoW goes F2P I will leave it.


N3V3R4L0N3 posted a comment   
United States

I like his expansion this sounds like the garrison thing will be a great implement for those of us who have to make a living a.k.a collect and sell goods and still want to play the game, however I feel the same way as @DanielS6 because it will be a real downer if they make garrisons at some rediculas unatainable gold amount.


JoshuaN posted a comment   

I mean I'm in a guild but I feel sorry for guys that pug raids I really do.


JoshuaN posted a comment   

I just don't like the free lvl 90 the rest seems great. A free lvl 90 is a bit much though there will be alot of high lvl noobs running around trying to get into pug raids with a character they don't know how to use and will waste everyones time having to find someone to replace them and possibly get another noob of the same statute.


DanielS6 posted a comment   

If they make the Garrison a near impossible thing to get (like making it cost a million gold etc.) I'll just stop playing. No more grinding to excess for me.

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