World of Warcraft - Battle for Azeroth review

edited October 11 in Newsfeed

imageWorld of Warcraft - Battle for Azeroth review

I was all in from the moment I saw the cinematic trailer for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (BfA). I doubt I am alone in saying that I got chills when Sylvanas went banshee mode and screamed “FOR THE HORDE!” My guild and I waited patiently for the new content, still killing Argus every week,

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  • rittchard
    GT Member
    It's interesting reading the review above, and I think if I were to dissect it further, I could help explain what is, was and will probably always be WoW's greatest issue. Actually not just WoW, but any MMORPG for that matter. And that's finding the right balance of content to satisfy both "hardcore" and "casual" players, and/or everyone in between. By now it's fairly clear to me it's a pretty impossible task, and this expansion is a great example of it. As a semi-casual player, the things that the reviewer liked the most I never got to experience (mythics, raids). And the things she disliked the most were the parts I enjoyed and got the most out of, so let me address those.

    Expeditions: honestly I love them. These were clearly designed for casual players. They are the perfect time length for a casual session, you can go in solo and only need 3 people to do a "full" group. You get to do a quickened pace mix of "questing" and mob-killing, pseudo-PvP against NPCs and (eventually, I never got to do it) real PvP. You don't need to worry about putting together the perfect group, everyone just jumps in and goes full bore. The rewards are decent for a casual player. I can imagine that if you felt obligated to keep doing them over and over they could quickly become tiresome. But again, from a casual point of view that's generally not going to happen.

    Warfronts: clearly a work in progress, but for a casual player, it's really a fantastic start. For once, you get to participate in a raid-like environment and contribute as you see fit. You can focus on gathering stuff or combat, run to help others or try to make as big an impact on your own as you can. And early on, the rewards were overwhelmingly better than what you could get elsewhere, so it helped kickstart a casual player that couldn't do heroics/mythics. Unfortunately it gets a bit repetitive after the first couple of runs, and is probably just a bit too easy. For someone like me who is probably never going to see "real" raid content, though, this is a great addition to the game and a nice option that's different enough from the rest of the content.

    Azerite system: while I don't think it's great, I certainly didn't hate it the way it seems many did. In fact it's the first "endgame" system I've ever been able to make any halfway decent progress in. So again, I get the sense it was developed in an attempt to be more inclusive to casual players. It can still feel like a crazy grind, but at least they give you opportunities to gain the azerite in many different ways. And unlike others, I actually liked that you get to pick some weird random skill on your gear. Of course I never made it far enough in Legion to experience the artifact system, so I don't have much to compare it to. Again, this is/was the furthest I've ever gone in terms of playing "endgame" content.

    All that said, what's clear is that the focus on engaging casual players seems to have backfired in some sense, because it's turned off a lot of the hardcore folk. My guild used to be a raiding guild (which is one of the reasons I originally left the game) but this time around couldn't keep enough people interested to start a single raid night. All the hardcore members blasted through the content so fast (by my standards) it was insane. Most of them were doing heroics/mythics the first week and I had barely logged on once. By the time I hit 120 the majority of them had more or less quit playing, it was really quite sad.

    I guess I have to admit that if I really want to continue playing, I'm clearly in the wrong guild. I'm sure there must be others that play a little closer to my pace, or at least I'd hope so. I just hate the process of seeking out a new guild and I still have a couple of good old friends that I think are still playing.

    I don't know what the numbers are between hardcore/casual, but I'd imagine the predominant people playing now are mostly hardcore raiders, etc. This expansion actually does have the bones to keep casual players playing longer than they normally might, but I don't think it's worth it for them to lose their more devoted players.

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