Warlords Beta: Second Impressions?

Okay, so I’ve been playing the beta for a while now, so here’s a follow-up to my “first impressions” blog post.


NPCs know you. They’ve heard of your exploits. They call you commander, and salute as you walk past them in your garrison. I love this. It makes me feel like my character has a place in the world. In prior expansions, it felt a little bit like NPCs were “who the bugger are you? Go and kill some crappy elementals, you NOBODY.” Mists improved this a lot, we were summoned by the king himself to go into Pandaria and investigate! Warlords takes this to the next level. You’re a respected commander in the Alliance army (or whatver the Horde equivalent is), and the game wants you to know it.


I’ve been playing as a Demonology warlock recently. This is not only because of the instant cast spells which allow me to tag mobs easier, but also because I want to try out the new Grimoire of Synergy talent. I haven’t got around to it yet, as I’m still doing regular questing, so I have Grimoire of Supremacy, but here are my current thoughts on the spec:

  • The cast time of Shadow Bolt feels… almost oppressive. That being said, I only have 6.63% haste, so I’m hoping that improves dramatically when I get better gear. If it doesn’t… then yeah. For a cast time to be comparable to that of Chaos Bolt,but with it not BEING Chaos Bolt seems a little extreme.
  • It’s a lot easier to tap mobs with Corruption/Doom/Touch of Chaos/Hand of Gul’dan. Mob tapping has become a slightly fraught issue in recent days, but Demonology definitely has it better than Destruction. As Destro, I was being beaten to mobs EASILY by hunters and rogues when I had no charges of Conflagrate. Why not save charges? Because my mind is programmed to hit that spell on cooldown as soon as a charge is generated!
  • The Wrathguard hits like a TRUCK once you get the Improved Demons Draenor perk (+20% demon damage). He is also a LOT better than the Voidlord at grabbing aggro off of you from more than 1 enemy at a time.
  • It’s also a lot easier to sustain said pet, as Destruction no longer has access to Health Funnel for unknown reasons. It’s gone from our spellbooks, yet has not been documented in patch notes, or mentioned by devs on Twitter. Thankfully Demonology and Affliction still have it.
  • Glyph of Imp Swarm is broken. Not working. I tend to have more imps around me than the glyph would summon though, so it’s probably a wasted slot at the moment.


Garrisons. When I’m out questing, I’m looking forward to the time when I get new followers. They’ve all been females so far. Sadly no pandas. When my followers complete a mission, I will literally drop EVERYTHING and go back to the base and see how they did. When one of my followers failed, I said (out loud!) “aw don’t worry, you did your best!”

Either this is one of the signs I am going slightly mad, or this whole garrison thing might be more engrossing than I had thought.

When I got the plans for the alchemy building, I actually let out a little yelp of joy. Finally, a new building! I practically skipped the whole way back.

Introductory quests to each zone seem to involve you building an outpost in that location, and gives you a choice between two structures, each with a different function, each one taking you on a different path through the zone. And yes, at level 100 you can  change your mind, tear the bastard down and build the other structure if you like.


I’m enjoying the free-form approach to questing. There are quest hubs, to be sure, but you’re not going from hub A to hub B then hub C, and then set-piece in hub D. You can go to C first, then B, then have the big event at D, then take a trip back to A.

Bonus objectives are very rewarding. They always give a large chunk of experience and a wedge of gold, and they aren’t difficult to do either, usually amounting to “Kill # of X, collect # of Y, and kill Giant Enemy Z.”

There’s also plenty of rare spawns on relatively short respawn timers. Once they drop their rare quality item for you, they don’t drop it again, so it discouraged farming, and encourages others to kill them too. Not only that, but some of them are fairly challenging!

Tanaan Jungle is a bit of a boring experience though. It’s the same between both factions, and we seemingly have to do it on EVERY 90. Hopefully when it goes live, this’ll be restricted to only boost characters, but I doubt that sadly.


Character models look fantastic. They’re so expressive! They’re such a massive improvement on the old models.

Raenah struttin' her funky stuff.

Raenah struttin’ her funky stuff.

This is especially good news for me as I like taking pictures of my characters, and the better they look, the better the picture! It’s why I like Pandaren pictures, they look so amazing.


As with any highly populated area, there’s a lot of competition for kills. As mentioned before, some classes/specs have it easier than others to tap and kill mobs, and this can mean frustration for people. One of the methods Blizzard uses to alleviate this is to increase the spawn rate of enemies based on how many people are there, but this leads into its own problems. Some enemies will literally respawn as soon as they die, not allowing you to drop out of combat. This is particularly egregious in the quests leading up to you establishing your garrison. You have to kill a load of ravens, and they WILL respawn very quickly. It’s annoying more than anything.

What can be done? A lot of people (myself included) advocate an “open tap” system, whereby you help kill something, then you get quest credit for it as well as the other(s). The devs think that not allowing this would force people into more social situations, create groups and whatnot, but in my experience it doesn’t, it breeds hostility and rudeness instead. Still, there’s probably a compromise to be had.

My idea? Allow open tap in the patch a zone is introduced, as this is the time these areas’ll be busiest. Turn it off when new areas are introduced, and open it up in them instead. There’s probably a load of kinks to work out with that idea, but it’s something at least!

Well, that’s my second impressions. Warlords is shaping up to be a damn good expansion so far, and I hope to see you all in Draenor!

I do NOT wanna meet the owner of an axe as big as I am!

I do NOT wanna meet the owner of an axe as big as I am!

#warlordbeta #wow #warlock


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