Feature

Busting Up Boredom: Warlords Of Draenor's Quest Success

by Daniel Tack on Nov 19, 2014 at 05:25 AM

The World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor leveling loop is the best we’ve seen in the game so far, designed to keep the player continually engaged while participating in the same style of quest the game has had for years. The revolution isn’t in the form of standard quests – they’re still kill ten blobs or collect seven widgets, but the way zones are designed with new features creates a compelling reward loop that makes the sometimes grindy task of questing feel consistently fresh and fun.

One of the major systems behind this is the inclusion of “silver” rare monsters in Draenor. There are a lot of them, and they’ll often show up on the minimap when you’re headed off to kill some bees or orcs. These monsters have fast respawn timers, drop special loot and garrison resources, and are shared kills, so anyone that hits them is going to get a kill and loot credit. Each character can only get credit for the special kill once, then they are just a regular monster. This keeps you craving a bit of exploration when you’re moving through the humdrum “standard” quests, because you never quite know what you’re going to run into.

These rare monsters combine well with the Treasures of Draenor – hundreds of secret items hiding in plain sight or in other hard to get to areas around the new zones. There might be clues, like dropped notes or a suspicious buoy in the water, or the map might just lead your brain to exploring a trail that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. From overturned carts to optional chests, these treasures also drop special loot and garrison resources, and reward a watchful eye. If you want to do something other than just run in blasting 1-2-3 and cleaning up monster after monster, keeping a curious eye open on your environment can yield significant rewards.

Both of these systems play into one of the biggest changes to questing in Warlords of Draenor: the chance to get your quest rewards (and special monster and treasure) randomly upgraded to blue or purple gear. It makes even the most routine task an exciting prospect. There’s a garrison building that will up your chances to make this happen, and there’s not much better than seeing a solid blue weapon turn into an epic discovery when you finish off a big quest chain. This is actually a viable way to get geared up for heroic dungeon content by punching out many of the quests in Nagrand. There’s a good chance you’ll be iLvl 610 or higher with a few lucky quest upgrades and your legendary ring from Khadgar when you hit level 100. This has happened to me on two characters already. Building a War Mill and punching out Nagrand quests while you hunt rare monsters and treasure may actually be a better way to gear up than doing normal level 100 dungeons.

These three aspects you’ll be engaging in while you level up in Warlords of Draenor make the questing experience fluid and constantly fresh. It’s never, “Oh yawn, I need to go kill some bugs over here,” it’s “Oh, while I’m killing these bugs I noticed there’s a sweet stash under this rock and there’s a giant monster over there that’s going to drop something cool. And when I turn in this bug quest, I might actually get a serious upgrade on top!” The loop stays solid for all 10 levels of Warlords of Draenor, and successfully battles the boredom that can be associated with the leveling doldrums.