Welcome to my review in progress for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Blizzard’s nostalgic return to Warcraft’s roots. For the next two weeks I’ll be exploring Draenor, writing down my adventures and impressions on a daily basis. I’ll also be streaming my entire playthrough on our Twitch channel too, which is embedded below.
Be sure to check back regularly for my latest thoughts, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions in the comments section.
I've updated the review in progress with my level 100 endgame antics, and what there's to do in Draenor at max level.
Levels 98-100: the beginning of the endgame
So I’ve just dinged level 100. Thanks to augmenting of Garrison missions and dungeons throughout my time in Warlords of Draenor, I’ve actually hit max level in the middle of the second to last leveling zone. Usually when this occurs - and it has many a times in other expansions - I drop what I’m doing and head straight for the max level zone, and focus on upgrading my gear.
I won’t be doing that this time around.
Why? Well for a start, I still have to finish the main quest line that’s been holding my hand throughout Draenor’s zones. I’m truly invested in it, more so than any other expansion; even beating out Wrath of the Lich King’s teasing relationship with Arthas and his multiple appearances throughout the questline.
Blizzard’s narrative this time around has been exceptional; I’ve been completely absorbed by Draenor’s story. It’s been a rollercoaster ride - we’ve beaten the odds, lost dear friends and uncovered more threats to all life on Azeroth (and Draenor for that matter) than just Grommash and his Iron Horde. What this will hopefully translate to is unique and exciting content patches between now and the next expansion; it won’t be just “Deal with the Iron Horde” over and over.
So I’ll be hanging around and finishing up the areas still before me, even if they’re largely irrelevant to further my gear progression.
Well, that’s actually not entirely true, and you can blame Garrisons, again.
Thanks to the War Mill building, which doubles your chances at rolling quest rewards to rare, and even epic quality, I can hopefully gain a head start when it comes to gearing up for heroic dungeons and raids. The area of Nagrand, which I’m still yet to visit, is filled with level 98-100 quest rewards. If I can get lucky and roll some of them to epic quality, I’ll have a much easier time kiting myself out and increasing my item level.
Here’s something cool too: your Garrison followers can go on raids for you. I’m serious - and you can get actual raid tier gear if they’re successful. Naturally, these missions are quite rare and difficult; you’ll need not only a crew of level 100 followers, but they’ll need their own gear too. Thankfully, yet again, the War Mill provides a way to obtain follower weapons and armour at the cost of some precious Garrison resources.
This won’t replace raiding completely either - instead it’ll augment your progress, and help folks who are behind catch up.
So apart from completing the main questline, what else is on my endgame itinerary?
This is the map for Nagrand, the zone I mentioned earlier. Every single icon represents either hidden treasure, rare elites or Garrison resources to find and collect. It’s like this in every zone - there’s a lot to do; the blue skulls in particular denote level 100 rare elite enemies that will drop rare-epic items.
While I’m going around hunting those, I’ll be queuing up for dungeons and their heroic brethren. There are eight in total, offering a variety of different enemies and environments to battle through; Grimrail Depot takes place upon a moving Iron Horde train, while The Everbloom lies in the heart of the Goregond jungle. I’ve only attempted these two heroic dungeons - my assumptions that they’d be difficult were also 100% true; you need to bring your A-game to these fights and communication is a must.
And if I ever get tired of doing dungeons, there’s Ashran: a level 100 instanced-cross-realm world PVP zone. It’s similar to Wintergrasp in Wrath of the Lich King - 100 players on both Horde and Alliance sides, duke it out over control of the zone. It’s interesting because there’s not really a “win” state where the PVP halts for a few hours. Instead when one faction depletes the enemies reinforcements to zero, there’s only a brief break until the next battle begins.
Players who like controlled but open world PVP can eat their heart out.
This will be my final entry in this review in progress. I’ll be playing for a couple more days as I explore any last morsels, before writing up my final review and verdict. Since a lot of the content I’ve still yet to experience requires grouping up, I invite you to team up with me. If you’re on an EU realm and are a member of the horde, add my battletag, Archernick#2970, and let me know you came from the website. We can do dungeons, heroics, world content, the lot!
Be sure to follow us on our Twitch channel, where you’ll be notified when I go live with some more Warlords of Draenor; which will continue on past the reviews conclusion.