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Default WoW: WotLK - Review @ PC Zone

December 1st, 2008, 09:55
A not so gleaming review by Ed Zitron though still prasied with a score of 8.6/10.
This makes scoring this expansion rather painful. There is so much love for the lands, the lore, and the characters in the Warcraft universe, and so many fantastic ideas that exist to go into the Northrend Saga. Somehow, Blizzard managed to take potentially the least interesting idea in history - an entire continent made of ice - and lace it with fascinating ideas, quests, and areas to explore. The problem is that these ideas aren't held together very well, and players have to push through more ho-hum content than we've yet seen from a Blizzard product. I hasten to add that it isn't bad content, but we're now four long years into WOW.

If you're on that boat, and want to continue playing a game that is enjoyable and addictive yet, ultimately, doing the same bloody thing it did on its release, then be my guest. You will love Wrath of the Lich King, because it does exactly what many want it to - it elongates a successful game model in a pleasing, easy-to-consume package, much like each year's new FIFA and Football Manager games. The instanced content is excellent, the Death Knight is a well-balanced war machine that looks good in black, and the storyline - once you hunt it down and wring it out of Northrend - is crafted well enough to sate even the most die-hard lore nut.

But by any standard, this far into the development of an MMO, and with two years since your last expansion, the envelope should be pushed a little. Blizzard could've shaken up the genre here. Wrath of the Lich King has had two years to innovate, build and refresh WOW, but all it seems to have done is prolong the same experience that people have been waiting to continue for years. Whether or not that's a bad thing is up to you.
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December 1st, 2008, 09:55
Yeah. Why risk the change to piss off 11 million subscribers? I wouldn't. The new content is the best content they have put out since release and since I haven't played for close to a year, I am enjoying the expansion as much as I was enjoying Redridge Mountains for the first time.
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December 1st, 2008, 15:06
"You ever wanted to play the Witch-King of Angmar ? Come on, to WOW !"

I could strongly imagine this marketing blurb.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 1st, 2008, 15:49
Blizzard could've shaken up the genre here. Wrath of the Lich King has had two years to innovate, build and refresh WOW, but all it seems to have done is prolong the same experience that people have been waiting to continue for years.
Addons that are just "more of the same" are good if they get over 80%. Its quite rare for such addon to get over 90%.

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December 2nd, 2008, 14:07
It's true that the "more" of this "more of the same" is of excellent quality. They did try to make things a little more interesting. The quest diversity has gone up considerably. Phased zones is an interesting new concept. They have pre-rendered cut-scenes at the end of some quest chains now! I mean, come on. What did he expect from an expansion? Game changing new mechanics? Hardly.
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December 2nd, 2008, 17:17
And if nothing else, Northrend is for the most part filled with things that aren't generic Tolkien-shit derivatives (instead you have Viking-derivatives, complete with valkyries and an avatar of Freya), if you don't count Peter Jackson's Eye of Sauron done in blue and the fact that Arthas appears to have hired the architect and interior decorator who did Mordor. Shooting down said Eye was pretty funny. Now you know where he went to after those pesky hobbits trashed his epic ring.

Phasing is fantastic. You actually can now pretend you have a real impact on the gameworld and advance the plotline, which is not something I expected from an MMO ever (hell, some singleplayer RPGs don't even let you affect the world much). The reviewer has a point, though, that much of the new content is tedious: not for nothing do people call the Borean Tundra the Boring Tundra.
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December 2nd, 2008, 20:58
I've not been to the Borean Tundra, but I've heard it said that the Howling Fjords are much more fun. If that's true, it is a bit disappointing that the amount of quality wasn't equally divided between both starting areas. Then again, tastes are different and some will tip the other way.
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December 2nd, 2008, 22:29
Prefered Howling Fjord aswell.
But I think its more of a taste than anything.
I find some of the later zones much more interesting. Storm Peaks expecially, which I had low expectations too. But that really surprised me.
And then the link between Grizzly Hills and Zuldrak is really nicely made. Have to do a specific quest chain that ends in DrakTharon Keep. But it binds those 2 zones really well.

Also like the phasing so far and also the constant reminder that Arthas is having an influence on so many things. Something they have improved alot over TBC, to have the main villain be alot more visible throughout the game.
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December 2nd, 2008, 23:25
Yes, the overarching storylines in quest chains are pretty neat. A pleasant surprise, although there was a bizarro moment, as I did Zul'drak before that Drak'tharon Keep quest. So, uh, Drakuru "deceives" me even though I already know he's a servant of Arthas. Whom I've already tricked and killed. Awkward.

I've to say the whole "lol you can't fly until 77" restriction was silly. Yes, yes, I know Blizz wants us to see the content and the scenery, but being earthbound again after having spent so long on the back of an epic flyer sucked something stinky. Also, does anyone notice how ridiculously weak quest elites in Northrend tend to be? I can solo nearly anything, including quests that are supposed to require five people. Same with instances, which I can't quite solo but which are so easy it's almost insulting. You can spec 0/0/0 and probably burn through anything on normal, and heroics are fairly simple too. Tank and spank for nearly everything.
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