Warlords of Draenor has been something of a flop. Players are almost universally unsatisfied and subscription numbers have taken a huge dip. While the expansion had massive potential when it was first announced, it just didn't manage to pan out. Now, with a new expansion looming on the horizon, Warlords is winding down and we can set our gaze on the future of World of Warcraft.
You see, World of Warcraft: Legion is something of a precipice and we the players are hanging on the edge. Another failed expansion would be devastating for us, the developers, and the game, so this time things need to be done right. A lot of mistakes were made in Warlords, some bigger than others and they need to be avoided at all costs. Here are some of the big no-no's
Despite being an MMO, Warlords of Draenor left many of us feeling like we were playing a solo game. Garrisons, a you are the hero story line, and a lack of content to bring players together, all helped fuel this feeling. The worst culprit of these being the Garrison, our “home” base and cage of isolation. A great idea in concept, it ended up being one of the worst features in the expansion.
Let's face it, even players who prefer to mostly play on their own don't really enjoy feeling totally isolated. We are playing an MMO for a reason. We want to see other players, interact with them, feel like we are actually part of a larger community. Warlords of Draenor stifled all of that and Legion cannot afford to make the same mistake.
While we've seen very little of the Class Halls that are to play a big role in Legion, it does seem like they will be a bit better than the Garrison. From what we can tell, your entire class will be in and out of these bastions of class power, which will hopefully dismiss those feelings of loneliness. It might not be quite like the major cities of old, but it appears to be a step in the right direction.
Lack of Content
Compared to past expansions, Warlords was absolutely barren when it came to content. The initial release was mostly bare bones and it didn't get better from there. Patch 6.1 was a joke. Filled with inane items and fluff, this patch had no real content to flesh out the game. Of course, Patch 6.2 offered up some juicy content and felt like a real patch, but this stuff should have been added way back in 6.1.
Legion cannot make this same mistake. Legion needs content and more content and maybe even more content on top of that. An expansion cannot thrive without it. If there is nothing to keep the players interest, they will leave; Warlords is a testament to that. Legion needs to skip the selfie cameras and get back to raids, dungeons, zones, and other playable content that isn't just fluff.
Warlords of Dreanor's story line sounded pretty good, at least at first. However, it ended up feeling kind of...pointless. I think everyone enjoyed heading into the past and getting to see some pretty legendary people. Each time we ran into someone special (Gul'dan, Kilrogg, Durotan, etc), I got butterflies in my stomach.
However, after realizing that this is an alternate universe and these people are just shadows of the real ones, it became less cool. Knowing that everything we did in Draenor was happening in a past that would cease to exist if we succeeded, took a bit of joy out of the game. There was an obvious disconnect and our heroic deeds felt less heroic somehow.
In Legion we will get back into the here and now. We will be fighting against our old enemies, the Burning Legion, for our home. Hopefully, this will be enough to ignite the flames of passion players need to feel in this expansion. Players need to be invested in a story line or the expansion will fall short.
This one might surprise you for making the list. However, considering how big of a deal flying turned out to be, I think it deserved its own place. Flying in Draenor has been an utter disaster. Developers were slow to let us know if we would be able to fly and once they did, the community outrage was so strong they quickly changed their minds. Now, as the expansion is ending, flying is available.
The flying genie is out of the bottle and putting it back again is a task that may be impossible. Players have flying mounts, some purchased with real money that they want to use. Not to mention that flying is available in almost every zone in the game. While I don't personally care if flying is available or not, it does seem silly to suddenly decide that something we have had since Burning Crusade.
I firmly believe that better communication and a more timely decision could have stemmed some of the community outrage at no flying. If developers feel that flying is not something they want to do in Legion, they need to make it clear well before the expansion launches. Even more important, once the decision is made they need to stick with it. However, it would probably be easier to just allow flying like they have for the last several expansions.
Warlords of Draenor had a bit of a rocky start. In fact, as soon as servers went live all hell broke loose. Servers were unstable, bugs were rampant, and the game was basically unplayable for most players. Of course, no one expects there not to be problems when a new expansion launches. Until things go live, you can't really predict what will go wrong.
In fact, most of us go into an expansion expecting problems. With that being said, for a game that is 10 years old, it feels like things should run just a tad bit smoother. Everything that could go wrong did at the launch of Warlords and it left a bad taste in our mouth from the very start. Not a great way to start off an expansion.
A smooth launch for Legion would be a start off on the right foot. Hopefully learning from the disaster that was Warlords launch, developers can prevent many of the problems we saw during the first few weeks. This would give players confidence early on Legion and set a positive tone for the future, something this next expansion desperately needs.
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