Opinion: Now is the time to get back into Warcraft

With the release of the latest expansion pack, Cataclysm, this is probably the best time for lapsed Warcraft players to come back to the world of Azeroth. Also, those that have never tried Warcraft before will find an experience that is nothing like it used to be. Leveling a new character has become far more fun that it was before with the questing experience given an overhaul by removing much of the tedium and giving an epic experience with some truly unique quest lines. The dungeons have even been given a treatment as well to make them faster and more interesting.

Now I know that some people look down on Warcraft and scoff at it based on their experiences from playing it in the past (I’m looking at you Nachos) but what you remember Warcraft as being hasn’t been like that for a long time. If you never played during Wrath of the Lich King, you will remember the game as a tedious grind to get to level 60 (or 70) then an even longer grind to get enough gear to raid or PvP. Much of that was removed in Wrath of the Lich King to make the game friendlier for casual players.

Back during Burning Crusade, I played pretty much every day for a minimum of five hours just to be able to be successful as a high end raider. During Wrath, I could log in three days a week to raid and that was pretty much it. A raid night would be four hours or so and outside of that it wasn’t necessary to do much of anything else. You could do other things if you liked but I got to see all the content, kill all the bosses and even clear the hard mode versions of the encounters on three days a week of playing.

With Cataclysm, this pattern will not change. Raiding and running dungeons will be slightly harder than it was in Wrath as Blizzard has seen that they swung the difficulty it a little too far in the wrong direction to appease the casuals. However, even with a minimum amount of time investment, you will still be able to experience the entire content and have a bucket load of fun doing it.

I recently started levelling a Mage to try out the new quest lines and dungeons and after only three days I am already at level 30, and that is only playing about three hours a day. The amount of experience points you get from questing and running dungeons is so over the top that getting a new character to maximum level will take no time at all. The new questing experience is epic with some of the most memorable and hilarious quests the game has ever seen.

I got limited time on the beta for Cataclysm but I did get to run each of the new 5-man dungeons on heroic mode. The entire group was premade level 85 characters wearing tier 11 raiding gear and the 5-mans were still quite challenging, some even wiping the group so much that people would give up. Some of the 5-mans are ridiculously easy like Vortex Pinnacle and the Lost City of the Tol’vir but on the other side of the scale, the first boss in The Stone Core will make you want to claw your eyes out in frustration. I’m sure once they have been out a while and people learn the fights properly it will be a little easier but as they stand now, it is a massive improvement over the dungeons we saw in Wrath of the Lich King. Also, the bosses in the five man dungeons only drop superior quality gear, no epics. If you want epics, you will need to raid.

Cataclysm has not only brought a redesigned world but there is a slew of features to look forward to as well. There are two new races, the Worgen for the Alliance and Goblins for the Horde. There are three raiding dungeons at launch and nine 5-man dungeons including heroic versions of The Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep. You will also be able to use flying mounts anywhere in Azeroth and there is a new profession to level called Archaeology. Stormwind and Orgimmar have been redesigned and given a massive graphics boost making them truly remarkable cities now. Also, the graphics, on the whole, have been given a boost with a new water system and support for Direct X 11. People on lower end machines can still play just as they always have but if your PC has more grunt, you will definitely notice the difference and get a much more attractive world to explore.

If you hated Warcraft years ago when you played it, chances are the issues you had with it are no longer there. It has gained a reputation as a wasteful time sink and prior to Wrath of the Lich King, I would have completely agreed with that assessment but this an evolving game and it has reached a point where you don’t have to invest your life into it just feel like you are accomplishing something. Sure, for those that feel the need to have the best of the best of everything, all the rare items and every achievement, there are still many things you can waste your time on but if you are looking for a fairly cheap form of entertainment, there is always something fun to do in Warcraft, even for extremely casual players.

Perhaps now is the time to put aside those old hatreds and give Warcraft another shot, chances are it will surprise you how much it has changed.

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  • The Chad

    I want Warcraft 4…