With its impending Nov. 13 release date just over the horizon, the newest “World of Warcraft” expansion, “Warlords of Draenor,” is becoming increasingly sought after by some Azeroth gamers and dreaded by others.
Game designers are targeting busier players, including students consumed with classes and work, with their new content and in-game buffs to get them through current quest lines, along with preorder bonuses to get returning and new players on their feet.
Among the steps Blizzard is taking to help focus their massively multiplayer online role-playing game on busier individuals are level 90 boosts. This allows those who purchase the new expansion, or the boost itself from the in-game store, to instantly level any character to the current max level.
Sophomore English writing major Samantha Schwasinger believes that the level 90 boosts are a good way to entice new players wanting to jump right into the new “Warlords of Draenor” content without having to put in significant hours to level a character first.
She also found that the boosts help encourage old players that have since quit playing the game and want to come back to the game without having to play catch up. This happened with one of her older friends.
“Since he has a full-time job, he was able to avoid potentially weeks of questing, grinding, and raiding, and could complete max-level content with me in only a week or two,” she said.
Schwasinger felt that students playing “World of Warcraft” are especially able to jump back into the action, specifically if they participated in the World of Warcraft franchise in its earliest stages back in junior and senior high school and had quit upon getting busy with school. The new expansion and the route Blizzard is taking with it allows these students to come back to the new content without having to spend the time they originally tried to save by quitting the game leveling and cultivating a character.
Some old players of the game feel that Blizzard is taking the MMO in a far-too-casual direction. Former “World of Warcraft” player and full-time mother Danita Espindula agrees with this viewpoint.
“They are catering to casuals,” Espindula said. “Casuals play maybe once or twice a month, but still pay that full subscription . . . It’s nothing like the WoW I grew up with, but they have made a game for people with jobs, kids, and school, a game that lets you feel accomplished with minimal effort because that is all the effort they have time for.”
Some players feel like the buffs, small stat or collection boosts for their characters, like the “Gaze of the Black Prince” make the game easier to play. This buff in particular helps players more quickly finish a legendary quest line to obtain a powerful cloak.
“These buffs definitely get lazy players motivated and provide hardcore players with the means to quickly gear up an [alternate character],” Schwasinger said.
Schwasinger approves of the changes being made to the game in terms of how much easier it is for her to accomplish things within the MMO without having to take too much time out of her school schedule.
“It makes it easier for me to succeed in the game,” she concluded.