I’m tired of Warlords of Draenor. No, I’m not tired of playing it – I still have plenty of things to work on and plenty to keep me busy. I’m tired of all the complaints over it. Some say it’s terrible because there isn’t enough to do at max level. Some say it’s terrible because garrison management across alts is a pain. At least over the summer everyone had one common complaint: There’s no new content! Now, especially with the subscription numbers back up, it seems that everyone has their opinions and while everyone seems to agree that Warlords is flawed, no one can agree upon the manner in which it is flawed.
One of the best aspects to Mists of Pandaria was the bounty of activities available to level 90 characters. At max level, there were several reputations to work on, with assorted rewards (some of which being further reputations to work on). Blizzard scaled back their daily quests significantly, but there is still plenty to work on at max level. For those interested in reputation grinds, the Arrokoa and Frostwolf (for Horde) or Exarch (for Alliance) reputations will take an effort to complete. Questing will only get players to revered status, and with mobs that about 10 reputation per kill, grinding to exalted is a time sink.
Furthermore, various garrison buildings offer an assortment of activities. The inn gives daily dungeon quests. The stables gives a series of quests to earn some mounts with achievements that reward even more mounts. The barracks allows for five bodyguards, each with their own reputation grind requiring 2000 kills. The level 3 fishing shack requires catching 600 enormous fish. And the coliseum unlocks PVP quests. There’s also the open-world PVP of Ashran, and pet battles for those who are interested in that. And of course my much beloved assault quests (and the occasional garrison invasion they trigger). Once questing is done in Nagrand, Warlords of Draenor still has plenty to offer.
The problem is though that many players may have completed several of these tasks. There are only 20 inn quests to cycle through, and after the first six mounts are earned from the stables the subsequent achievements can be done fairly quickly. The end result is that players can find themselves left in their garrison with nothing to do but queue for dungeons or raids, and if garrison management isn’t fun, then those players won’t enjoy Warlords of Draenor. Leveling alts is easier this expansion since there aren’t as many reputations to worry about, but each alt now brings along another garrison to manage. Depending on your viewpoint of garrisons, this is either a significant improvement over or an utter disaster from Blizzard’s treatment of alts in Mists. Plus, with many garrison-related achievements account bound (like the inn quests or stable mounts), there is less pressure to repeat some of the most time intensive activities on additional characters.
Ultimately, Blizzard provided us with content. Warlords has been out for slightly over a month, and all we know about patch 6.1 is that it will be on the PTR soon. The problem with Warlords of Draenor is the problem that Blizzard always has with their player base: people play too damn fast. There are players who rushed to level 100 within the day that Warlords came out. Mythic Highmaul was defeated in five days. Admittedly, these are bleeding edge cases, but players are too inclined to gorge on content and then complain when it has been exhausted. We just survived a fourteen month content drought, after an expansion when Blizzard openly had characters advising players to “slow down.” As much as people like to criticize Blizzard’s tendency to over-correct, in this case the player base fails to correct at all.
There is no need to rush. We are going to be experiencing Draenor for a year, if not longer. Given that WoW has a monthly subscription (for now), I could understand rushing to get as much done in a month before unsubscribing, but the players who complain about lack of content are the type to play until they quit out of anger or boredom. Players in the game for the long haul need to act like it. There is nothing wrong with logging in for 15 minutes some days to just check your garrisons and log out. There is nothing wrong with not logging in at all some days. People have complained that they feel like Blizzard doesn’t want them to play the game, and to a degree, that may be true. They did add a tip to the loading screen that advises meeting up with your friends outside of WoW. Even the resting experience buff was designed to discourage long play sessions back in vanilla.
It is each player’s responsibility to budget their World of Warcraft time accordingly. Complaining about a lack of content six weeks after an expansion came out is not Blizzard’s fault, but it will be perceived as such. Until players can learn to properly manage their time. Blizzard will never be able to put out content fast enough. We know it takes two years to get an expansion out. We may well get the next expansion in a quicker time frame, but it is literally going to cost us a raid tier. We need to stop racing through everything and just enjoy what Blizzard gives us for as long as we can.
And once we no longer enjoy it, we don’t need to ask Blizzard for more, or complain about how we burned through it. That’s when we need to step away from the game and do something else. Azeroth and Draenor will still be here. And Blizzard will be here, ready to listen to all the complaints about how there is nothing to do when everyone blows through patch 6.1 in a day or two.
Happy Winter’s Veil and Merry Christmas!