So, it appears that the caps have been increased across the board for WoW. I was able to log in at about 9:30am EST without a queue. About 30 minutes later, based on chat, the queues were back. By noon, from a friend, Stormrage was back up to 4000. I logged off eventually and now, at 8:30pm, it’s around 5000. I do know Blizz is trying to expand on their instance tech. It’s annoying, but a few days isn’t the end of the world. And to be honest, I fully expect Blizz to provide some compensation when this is all said and done.
I wasn’t prepared for the sheer amount of garrison presence in the game. It’s piecemeal to start but as you move along it grows with you. I find that it really personalizes the game, making it more of a solo PvE experience than anything else. I really do like housing. This version though, with the size of it and various interactions but complete lack of customization puts it in a weird zone between instance and house. It’s good for what it is and what I’ve seen. Solid production values and all that. It isn’t housing, not close. And that’s a bummer.
In a rather interesting departure, the quests are really spread out and non-linear style and without traditional hubs. There’s a fair chunk of exploring and just pop up quests. The mechanics are blah. Kill X, collect Y, explore Z. But you do have hidden items that spawn enemies. Sub-zones that ask you to do a few things for some extra cash. Elite enemies seem to be all over. A group quest of all things. It’s a solid step forward, like the middle step between timeless isle and traditional WoW zones. It’s not open quests though, which seems like they’ve ignored 5 years of quest design progress.
No difference from pre-expansion. 1 zone in and only 1 mounted combat quest. So that’s an improvement.
I think this needed it’s own section because it’s a rather scripted event that has very high production values. It does a good job of introducing all the main enemies, the quests are interesting, the cinematics solid.
Two words. Orc fatigue. The tail end of MoP was all about the orcs. This entire expansion is all about orcs. I’m thinking about ESO a bit here, where every enemy is a humanoid. WoD is just full of orcs at every turn. There’s certain ly some spacing between, what with Shadowmoon being a nature reserve (which is an odd swap from BC SMV), but when everything revolves around a single enemy…it’s not terribly exciting. Even less so being a 30 year old enemy.
The one super positive item is the lack of flying and the clear design choices around that fact. MoP was very vertical, even while questing you knew a lot was going to be skipped. WoD has roads everywhere and paths to move between the high and low lands. But there are very few walls or cliffs. Everything is accessible. While seemingly every other game plays this way, it’s been a while to see WoW on this path. Fingers crossed they stick with it.