Last Monday, Battle for Azeroth, the seventh expansion for World of Warcraft, was released. The popular MMORPG from Blizzard has a been a fan favorite since its release in 2005. This latest expansion brings the fight between the Horde and Alliance front and center while they focus on recruiting allies to aid their cause. With the expansion just released last week a lot of this information going forward might be considered spoilers so please tread carefully. If you have gotten a chance to play or don’t care about such silly things please read on!
Battle for Azeroth Pros
Going into Battle for Azeroth, I had really high hopes for the growth in storyline and character development. After seeing the Warbringers and Old Solider cinematic, I could see that this expansion was heading in the right direction. For the Alliance, we are getting to watch as Jaina Proudmoore, voiced by Laura Bailey, heads home after years of being branded a traitor. On the other side, the Horde seek out help from the Zandalari trolls and their loa. They are also dealing with issues from within as many members question Sylvanas’ decisions during the battle at the World Tree.
We have been introduced to new places in the past (Outland, Pandaria, Northrend, The Broken Isles) but I haven’t loved any of those as much as I have loved Kul Tiras and Zandalar. Each zone has it’s own identity while also connecting well with the main hubs. The music fits in well, giving each zone an immersive feel that’s just fun to sit in and listen. What was really impressive is every once in awhile you hear Kul Tirans singing “Daughter of the Sea” as you run by, connecting Jaina’s cinematic to the game. The other in-game cinematic scenes also add a new level of immersion in the game. If I knew a scene was coming up I made sure my transmog looked real good for it.
The overall gameplay for this expansion has been well constructed and thought out. To me the quests never seemed too hard or over the top. Of course there are quite a few kill and collect quests, but they are mixed in just enough that you don’t quite notice them. The storyline really links the questing zones together well, giving you a reason to enter different zones and follow side quests. The dungeons each have their own own unique feel and appeal. They connect well with the storyline, bringing a satisfying close to each zone.
Battle for Azeroth Cons
The great thing about World of Warcraft in general is that over time the developers make changes to almost everything. If a boss is just too hard, they will go in and adjust it. If a quest has bugs in it, they will fix it. This means that many things that might upset me now, may change in the future. However somethings can’t be changed and one of those was the launch. While I did not have any real issues (smart me leveling my one character on a small population server) my dearest husband was the victim of being disconnected over and over again. They even shut down high population servers in order to try and fix the situation. This left quite a bad impression on some players while others just kept moving on.
I have successfully hit 120 on my main character and while the storyline and quests were extremely enjoyable, I have to say it will be tough having to do it on my other characters. In Legion there was a heavy focus on class identity and each one had it’s own quest lines. This gave a lot of variance to the normal level grinding. Without this in Battle for Azeroth, we will be completing the same quest line over and over again. Hopefully as the expansion continues to roll out we will get additional things so we have some variety. This will also be a bit easier once the PVP (player vs. player) season starts and we can get some aggression out on each other.
I have played the release of four expansions previous to this, and I feel like Battle for Azeroth is by far my favorite yet. It could really be because I love Jaina’s character and we are finally getting to see her in action or it could be that the zones are just amazingly flushed out. Of course without spoiling anything I would have to say that I am torn between the Stormsong Valley and Drustvur as my absolute favorite zones. What I really love is there is still a lot to do even after you hit max level. By having each faction in their own zone, it leaves a lot of story to be told through warfronts and finding a way to slowly knock down the enemy faction. The unsung hero of this expansion right now? The Scrapper! This nifty thing lets you to destroy all the gear you would normally sell and instead get materials to build other things with!
If you haven’t gotten a chance to play the new expansion or haven’t played World of Warcraft at all, what are you waiting for? This is a great expansion to start with if you want to boost a character to 110 and start from there. Or start from the beginning and enjoy the glory of striking down your foes, collecting items, and completing thousands of quests. Either way you are in for a world of amazement! You can find the game here for PC!
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