FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pressnews.biz (Press Release) Jan 8, 2015
-- For World of Warcraft, 100 is just the beginning.
Blizzard Entertainment’s massively multiplayer online title aspires to keeping gamers addicted — and playing — long after they reach the maximum character level.
Warlords of Draenor, the November expansion pack, lifted that level cap to 100 and added a host of new content for players who got there. GamesBeat did a comprehensive review of the game’s content when it first released. But now that it’s been on the market for over a month, how well is it keeping the attention of players who have hit the level cap?
We’ve created a report card for the game’s major areas to figure that out.
Garrison buildings grade: A
One clear max-level success in Draenor’s end game (other than the storyline, which we covered in GamesBeat’s original WoD review) is the new garrison system. Garrisons are player-owned towns where you can construct buildings, collect raw materials for tradeskills, defend against sieges, recruit followers to send on missions, and obtain quests for your own characters to complete.
The variety of gameplay options presented by garrison buildings and missions that are fully leveled up are immense. Each comes with its own mechanics and awards players specific bonuses if they continue to interact with the NPCs housed there. Some gamers joke they never leave their garrisons when playing.
Tradeskill buildings offer players the ability to craft materials, even if they don’t hold that particular skill. For example, the enchanting building allows non-enchanters to disenchant their gear, destroying it to create materials or new enchants — a very useful ability.
The building’s abilities rise at the top third level of upgrades, offering players the chance to convert materials into more valuable enchants and materials. Players can obtain the third level building plans when their characters reach the maximum level of 100 and they complete quests related to each building.
At the top level, the tavern awards players daily quests in the game’s 5-player dungeons and the ability to recruit one new follower a week with a specific skill you desire. The max-level barn allows you to trap high-level animals to harvest savage blood, a material used to upgrade high level gear. And so on. Each type of building feels different, and it’s pleasantly difficult to decide which buildings to construct on your limited plots.
It’s a fascinating system and one that absorbs much of the max-level player’s time, to happy effect.
Followers and follower missions grade: A+
As you quest while leveling, you meet characters in game who will, typically after you’ve completed some storyline with them, volunteer to follow you. Others will come to you via quests or achievements. These NPCs will hang around your garrison; you can assign them to work in your garrison buildings or go on missions to help themselves level up, collect gear for themselves, or collect gear or gold for you.
“Garrison missions are the most addictive feature of the game. They give me gear, they give me loot, they give me [experience points], they give me everything in the game and don’t really require much input,” the player Zarek said. He has a mage and a death knight at level 100. “It’s amazing, even if it feels like a cheap mobile app sometimes. It’s just nice to be able to play a minigame with good rewards.”
Not being able to fly at level 100 helps to encourage him to stay at the garrison rather than go out to quest or collect tradeskill items, he said. (He’s one of many players who complain that not being able to fly at maximum level, as they have in previous expansions, makes the game less rewarding.)
Your character can use up to 20 followers at a time (25 if you have a top-level barracks building), assigned to various tasks or missions. Followers display their own personalities as they wander your garrison, interacting with each other and with you. They salute and step out of the way as you pass, shout funny things at you, or hold conversations with each other. You’ll wander by and catch one fishing or another casting a spell on one of your buildings.
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