World Of Warcraft Classic Review Pt. 2 (Level 10-18)
Before we begin, this is the second part of my review on World Of Warcraft Classic. If you would like to see my thoughts on the first ten levels of the game, be sure to check out part one of the World Of Warcraft Classic Review.
As a reminder, before starting this review, I have never played any version of WoW, so this review is aimed at people who have never touched the game before but were wondering if it holds up to today’s standards. This section will cover my game time from level 10 to level 18. A span of time that lasted me probably about eight hours.
At the end of my last review for WoW, I had just gained the ability to tame beasts, as the class I had chosen was Hunter. This new ability quickly became my favorite in the current status of my game. My pet I had tamed was a striged owl I named Screechinor. He was a couple levels below me, but the impact he made on my combat was instant, immediately doubling my damage output and making grinding for quest items that much quicker and more tolerable.
Pets will put out a certain percentage of their normal damage depending on how much food you give them. If they are unhappy, they put out 75%, but if they have happy, will put out 125%. Where I am now, I am not sure if this expands or not. Regardless, I am always ecstatic to have a pet partner by my side.
Having the extra firepower has made me a little overconfident at times. I died a couple times from getting into fights with multiple enemies that would end up with me or Screechinor dying. It’s another example like in the first part of the review where I need to learn to be more aware of the environment and pick my battles carefully. If your pet dies, you have a spell that will resurrect them at 15% health, and you will need to feed them. If you get too far from your pet but it hasn’t died there is another ability to instantly call it to your side. Once you tame your pet, it is yours for however long you want it, that is, unless you lose its loyalty. Finding food for a Strigid Owl seemed next to impossible for me and I ended up losing him. I would later tame a crab named Crabbypants and he has been my partner since.
While we are on the topic of how exactly the pets operate. As of now, my pet does not have any abilities of its own, but I am curious to find if there are some available. The limited commands you have for your pet is to follow you, stay, or attack, while the tendency of the pet can be set to be aggressive, defensive, or passive. Should you choose defensive, they will only attack enemies that attack you or them. Aggressive on the other hand can go a little overboard with its aggression. When I first set it to this, I figured he would attack enemies in my path. Instead, he will completely run off course of where I am going to fight someone off screen. It’s no big deal, you can easily set him to passive or defensive and he will come back, but it can be annoying for what I want during a mission where I have to take down specific enemies and my pet starts attacking the wrong thing.
After what seemed like forever, I finally got a chance to leave the island of the Night Elves and travel towards the mainline. This unlocked a new shop that trains hippogryphs, whose sole purpose is to transport you to towns you have already visited and talked to the hippogryph masters of. While I very much appreciate having this travel ability, once you get on the hippogryph, you are stuck waiting on it until it delivers you. No quick loading screen like a fast travel, it is all real time travel. Kind of pointless when all you are flying over is a sea, but luckily the first flight takes only about a minute I would guess, so not too outrageous, but it still takes you out of the game for a prolonged period of time.
In my time in Auberdine, the first village I arrive at when coming to the mainland, I instantly noticed how much different it was from the Night Elf land. Everything has a much darker tone to it. It is a fishing colony with different creatures than anything I had fought before. Arriving also allowed me to pick up a bundle of new quests that will involve more grinding and waiting. Yay.
One thing I really need to give WoW Classic some credit for is how beautiful it looks for such an old game. Maybe it is because of my growing up with games in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, but I am constantly being drawn into the environments and the character design of everything in the game so far. While the gameplay side of things has been mostly disappointing to me so far, the game looks great. The NPCs populate a world that feels believable in a fantasy sense and I am 100% for this aesthetic.
At this point, I would say I am closing in on about 14-16 hours of game time overall. You would expect when leaving a tutorial section that things would pick up in pace. However, with the kind of missions that WoW provides, it almost feels like the game has slowed down for me. Most missions are the same thing you deal with in the tutorial section. The quest giver will pinpoint an enemy type that holds a specific item you need to gather. You will be taking down multiple of the same enemy hoping that the RNG will work in your favor, where usually it doesn’t.
My early missions had me passing by wild creatures and would often end in me being mauled to death by a bear or being ganged up on by a tauren-like creature. Even swimming in the water proved to be a dangerous task as a sea monster quickly took out my newest pet and nearly killed me before I got away.
Everything in this new area was overwhelming and seemed out of my league. It was time to start grinding levels so I could begin to progress. Everything I had done in the mainland to this point was met with death. One of these deaths resulted in me spawning in an area I had not traveled to yet which was odd. I was level 11 fighting level 13-14 enemies before, I had been transported to an area with level 18 beasts roaming the field. Regardless, this made for a frustrating experience of trying to return to a “safer” area when walking in any direction attracted enemies to me. Eventually, I finally made it to the area I was before.
The tougher enemies were not the only frustration I had to deal with. While I had a similar issue during my time in the first part of the review, I had a couple times where my quest giver would completely disappear. It was very annoying having to deal with my access for more XP not being available when XP was sorely what I needed to progress. Before, this issue did not affect me too much, only a couple quests could not be redeemed in the tutorial land, but this was beginning to feel to common for my taste. (Note: I have found out the issues I was having. The quest givers were no longer being pointed out with a “?” above their head like normal, but the Questie add-on helped point them out to me. No idea why this began happening out of nowhere). Another bug I eventually started running into was while my pet was set to aggressive, he would stop moving after defeating one enemy. Moving him to defensive would get him moving again, but outside of that he was constantly getting stuck on corpses.
After what felt like a few hours of grinding lower level enemies to give myself a chance to survive, I finally was able to handle some of the missions in the new area. However, even after putting time into ensuring I am a higher level; I always feel like I am underpowered. I am not sure if my equipment is the reason or what, but I am still failing very regularly. It is more frustrating because every shopkeeper I talk to does not have new weapons I can buy. Everything is beyond my proficiency and the game has not explained anyway for me to be able to acquire these at least at this point. I am at level 17 at the time I write this paragraph and I have been using the same dagger since probably level 12 because I can not find any weapons besides it and my bow. Armor on the other hand, I find in almost every other mission. Most of the time it is a reward for completing a quest and sometimes it even will drop with random enemies. I have yet to get a single drop for any weapons I can use.
I mostly think the stem of my problems come from trying too hard to play WoW solo. The longer I play, the more it is nailed home to me that this is meant to be a party game. I have had a few good experiences with random players inviting me to the parties, but there never seems to be anything where anyone wants to stick around long-term, which is fine but unfortunate for me. Partying up is great in a populated area, but too often you will be pursuing a quest in the middle of nowhere with no one available to help. It puts me in a situation where I feel I am constantly hitting my head against the wall. I go in alone, die, repeat until I get lucky enough for someone to walk by that I can ask for help.
17 levels and getting close to about 15 hours of gameplay and gameplay has yet to evolve. The only upgrades for my skills so far have been incremental bonuses to the damage of the abilities I already have. I am not learning any new things and I feel like I am barely (if at all) improving myself with the many enemies I take out. This adds even more to the slow nature of how the world expands. I figured when I left the starting island for the Night Elves that I would be seeing many new places and going on exciting, new quests. So far in the new area of Dark Shore (where I have spent at least six hours in), I have found two towns with about a ten-minute walk in-between them if you do not fight any enemies. In that long walk, you only see wooded area with the same bear and wildcat enemies. For a quicker travel, you can use the hippogryphs, but you are still waiting quite a while before you are given control again.
The previous two paragraphs perfectly incapsulate my frustrations with World Of Warcraft Classic. It’s slow, it’s too big for its own good, it is not rewarding, it’s not interesting, and worst of all, it’s boring at its worst moments. It is for these same reasons that I cannot in good consciousness recommend this game to anyone within the first 18 levels of the game. Until I get to a point where playing feels worth the time investment there is no way I can recommend a subscription for any new player to play WoW Classic unless you go in purely to see how things used to be. Simply put, I am not having a great time playing the game (as of yet).
Review Score For World Of Warcraft Classic levels 10-18: 4/10