back to article World of Warcraft then and now: From Orcs and Humans to Warlords of Draenor

As The Dark Portal opens in the new World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor, and all manner of beasties descend upon Orgrimmar, Stormwind and Ashran, I think it’s about time to revisit the RTS game that spawned the franchise, Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. World of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans Prepared to be WoWed New …

  1. ThatGuy
    Flame

    What you talkin bout Lewis?

    First of all, WoW subscriptions are not flagging, in the months preceding the expansion there was an marked increase in number of players, and the expansion pushed it over 10 million. Secondly, everyone I know loves WoD. The lack of a new class means nothing compared to the great story, the much improved questing and the added dimension brought on by the garrison. Also, the voice of Megatron!

    1. Greg Williams

      Re: What you talkin bout Lewis?

      Subscriptions always peak around new expansions, this time was no different, and the fall off shortly afterwards will be no different either.

      On average, subscriptions ARE flagging - no doubt about it.

      1. MrCairo

        Re: What you talkin bout Lewis?

        they still have many million subscribers, Imagine what 7-8 million subscribers all paying £10 a month would do to your bank account

        1. Clamps Silver badge

          Re: What you talkin bout Lewis?

          It'd put 70-80 million quid a month in! no flies on me!

      2. Fibbles

        Re: What you talkin bout Lewis?

        Subscriptions always peak around new expansions, this time was no different, and the fall off shortly afterwards will be no different either.

        On average, subscriptions ARE flagging - no doubt about it.

        In the 2 months before the release of Cataclysm subscriptions remained flat. In the 2 months before the release of Pandaria subscriptions rose by 900,000. In the 2 months before the release of WoD subscriptions rose by 2.6 million.

        I'll grant you that overall subscriptions have been on a downward trend for the last 2 expansions but that's in a large part because Cataclysm was regarded as an awful expansion and the Kung-Fu Panda / Disney feel of Pandaria drove away a lot of the original players. WoD meanwhile is all about old-school Warcraft nostalgia and it seems to be very popular. Disastrous server stability issues aside I'd yet to see anything but praise for the new expansion until I read this reg article.

    2. Pamplemoose

      Re: What you talkin bout Lewis?

      Agreed.

      I know a whole host of people who skipped the last expansion entirely but have come back to the game for WoD. Sure, none of us are going to be in a hardcore raid team like the last time we played (due to real jobs/partners/children now) but we're all having a blast.

      The lack of new class/race has really allowed Blizzard to focus on making the 90-100 quests amazing and I for one applaud it. WoW doesn't need any more classes (hardly anyone plays Monks) and I don't really see what another race would bring to the table at this point.

  2. Shane8

    no new class but what about them garrisons...will keep you playing all you toons for hours on end!

  3. AMBxx Silver badge
    Coat

    I miss

    I miss the simplicity of some of these old games. Early C&C, Civ, SimCity were great fun, just too complex and fiddly now.

    Perhaps this is why mobile games are taking off?

    Maybe I'm just too old :(

    1. Stuart Elliott
      Holmes

      Re: I miss

      "Maybe I'm just too old :("

      Yep, nostalgia ain't how it used to be.

      1. Shane8

        Re: I miss

        For nostalgia they redid molten core! Ahhh memories.

        1. John70

          Re: I miss

          Shame they didn't update the original loot to the new item level.

          Instead all bosses except Ragnaros gave gold and everyone got a helmet from Raggy plus a new mount.

        2. Fibbles
          Unhappy

          Re: I miss

          For nostalgia they redid molten core! Ahhh memories.

          Then they nerfed it because the majority of today's playerbase is incapable of basic crowd control.

    2. Amorous Cowherder
      Pint

      Re: I miss

      To a certain extent I agree but my reasons are that when I was spotty 17 year old I had way too much time and could memorise the keyboard layout to every Microprose sim. These days, kids, job, family, hobbies, yadda, yadda, I'm looking for quick to learn gaming thrills. I can't play Fallout or Skyrim when my kids are about, as they're quite violent games. So I play games with my kids that they like such as Minecraft for example.

      So yes it's about age but not directly because you are "too old".

  4. malle-herbert Silver badge

    I always loved the cheatcodes for this game...

    "there can be only one"

    "sally shears"

    "every little thing she does"

  5. Moosh
    Happy

    WoD is one of the best Expansions to date

    While it is entirely probably that yes, the B team is now working on WoW, the Warlords expansion, despite its god awful launch (it wasn't playable for the first few days and it took about a week for garrison functionality to actually work reliably for most people) feels like the most "warcraft" expansion since Wrath of the Lich King. The new character models are a vast improvement, and Blizzard are still managing to tune their art style so that the utterly lacklustre resolutions and tech specs still look good even compared to more high end releases.

    I have had the most fun questing and levelling out of any expansion to date. And thanks to the implementation of Timeless Isle style rares, group dailies, mega HP easy to farm "rares", 100% guaranteed mount drop Timeless Proto Drake style rares, et al, there is a genuine spark of community being reignited. Go over to Nagrand and you constantly see people reporting on rares being up or asking for groups for quests and such. People seem to have started actually talking in dungeons again (especially in the redesigned UBRS), and even some building specific garrison building achievements (such as mount in training kills with the garn tooth necklace) promote grouping, and the absence of flying mounts means you actually encounter people when you're out and about in the game world now.

    That said, there are some massive negatives. Firstly, the Garrison is the antithesis of community. It is an instanced city that you and you alone inhabit.

    Secondly, EVERYTHING is gated now. Professions have been completely neutered.

    Other than that, it's very enjoyable, and I even quite liked the tuned for 100 40 man MC LFR event (once I found a group that wasn't full of morons).

    I'd say it's my favourite expansion yet.

    1. EddieD

      Re: WoD is one of the best Expansions to date

      "That said, there are some massive negatives. Firstly, the Garrison is the antithesis of community. It is an instanced city that you and you alone inhabit."

      As a party leader, anyone in the party can go to your Garrison - our guild (not a big one) had a Friday party there - all drinking, dancing - dropping in and out of rooms on TeamSpeak etc...

      If you're lonely in your garrison - invite a friend!

      I'm back after 3+ years, and I'm having a good time...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politics in WoW

    Why the snide reference to Ed Milliband in an article about WoW? Please leave your politics where they belong (Telegraph, Mail, Express...)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Randomly Generated Maps

    A game I used to play was Cheops Tomb on the ZX81 around 1981. That also featured heroes, monsters and a randomly generated 3D maze of rooms and tunnels set inside a pyramid. All in 16K of RAM. Anyone else remember it?

  8. MrCairo

    even if the subscription levels drop, Blizzard still rakes in a vast amount of money every month. People seem to think that 6-7 million subscribers is not good enough. Most developers would be ecstatic with those numbers

  9. Shrimpling

    First game I modded

    Warcraft was the first game I ever modded. All the sound files when you select a unit were stored as simple wav files. I recorded my own and gave the dwarves a (bad) Irish accent instead of Scottish!

    I also remember dragging my PC to a friends house so we could play against each other using a serial cable, although that may have been Warcraft 2.

  10. rogue-Element

    Repeatedly Prodding an Orc

    STOP POKING ME!!!!!

    1. Midnight

      Re: Repeatedly Prodding an Orc

      Me not that kind of orc!

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Devil

    Peons? Pfft!

    My fave was the Orc grunts - "Who you wan' me kill?"

    I reckon a good reboot (and reasonably simple one) would be a Warcraft RTS for iPhone/iPad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Peons? Pfft!

      I remember fondly the dryads in Warcraft III:

      "(I'm going to attract the enemy with my human mating call). I'm so wasted! I'm so wasted!"

  12. hlang

    I honestly hate warlords. There's nothing new or interesting here.

    Ouland again, Orcs again, Timetravel?!? Yawn. Jump the shark yawn.

    Most classes have been pruned down to mind numbing 3 button rotations. Skills that existed for 10 years have been removed. Reforging is gone. Professions are meaningless. Garrisons and followers are an ipad like minigame glued into Wow. All they needed to do is sell garrison resources for cash to make a standalone freemium game. Don't like battle pets? Well, too bad... now you have followers that are just as bad, and mandatory. And don't get me started on how little sense it makes to have everyone sitting in their instanced garrison and obsessing over it in an MMO.

    This expansion is 100% nostalgia. Which is why it's boring. Now if it had been "Warcraft: Return of the Titans", that I'd have been excited about.

    That said, I expect this expansion to be hugely successful. Wow players have proven they don't like anything different. It's always been about Orcs and Humans to them. And there's nothing really wrong with that. Meanwhile, I'll be working on my Steam backlog.

  13. Skymonrie
    Facepalm

    bitter disappointment

    I'm one of the many who revisited WoW for WoD after a 5 year gap and the experience has left me very bitter and vowing to never buy blizzard again, even if they reinvented jesus. I live in Hong Kong so played on oceanic servers and at launch, people would put their computer in a 10 hour queue only to discover the server was going down for maintenance.

    The game has been very buggy and need to daily reboots still, paying customers are actually beta testers. Whatever happened to QA? The cherry on the cake for me was that whenever I would try to go in to a dungeon or battleground would get 12 seconds lag. After contacting a Game Master, I was given the "you must be holding it wrong" response and unable to get a refund within 10 days because I played it.

    Blizzard don't give a shit. When stating these facts in a balanced manner on the forums, people went nuts defending blizzard, it really is like they are junkies and blizzard can put out whatever they like so long as they get their fix.

    Remember, Blizzard is just a company, not a religion

  14. JDX Gold badge

    Classic

    Forget this WoW crap, Warcraft was a great game and WC2 was a pure diamond of a game. I don't want to look now as I'll probably be dismayed, but at the time it was also very pretty, I loved the variation of forest and ice.

  15. Neil B

    This expansion has us practically racing up the stairs as soon as we get in from work. It's bloody brilliant.

  16. Thecowking

    Just another voice

    Saying that the expansion is actually _really_ fun. I had cancelled my sub and not played for months at the end of MoP but I succumbed to the expansion on Saturday morning in a moment of weakness.

    I am actually feeling like I want to play more again. I'm looking forward to raiding again. I am actually really liking the garrison mechanics and the perks it allows. Like a kind of external talent tree.

    I'll be playing tonight as well, I've got my war mill and I'm questing in Nagrand for some tasty epics.

  17. jason 7

    I tried playing it a few months ago.

    I'm a die hard Diablo 2/Torchlight/Morrowind fan and played Eve Online for about 6 years (even tried Anarchy Online years and years ago) so thought I'd give WoW a go.

    Hmmm.

    Well it looked okay and played okay. But I found there was no real way to tweak up my character and alter the stats. Gear was much of a muchness. Combat was just clicking three spell icons over and over till the attacker died. There was little interactive stuff in the surroundings. If you found a building there was nothing you could do with it or objects dotted around. Quests were just rather repetitive.

    If you went exploring again you couldn't interact with the surroundings and if you strayed into another area I found that was for higher level players and you just died so that was a no no. So a feeling of being boxed in was all too apparent.

    Overall it was just really disappointing from a single player perspective. I got to around level 40 and just walked away. I guess it just wasn't the game for my playing style.

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