Teenagers sure are a fickle bunch. Loaded with hormones and opinions, their greatest intent seems to be making their mark on a world they don’t yet fully understand. But one among them is wise, refined. This teenager has seen the trappings and misgivings of this world and emerged in 2018 a much better entity. This teenager, of course, is the World of Warcraft, and it recently celebrated its thirteenth birthday.
Ranking the expansions is surely going to be a practice in subjectivity, because different people found different things to like about each one, and admittedly, all of them were quite fantastic. But we’ll do our best, implementing a thorough system of raid quality, reaction to newly added mechanics, fan interaction and retention, and darts thrown at the wall. For the Alliance? For the Horde? It matters not because this article is for you, brave warrior of Azeroth.
6. Warlords of Draenor
This expansion cops a fair bit of flak for being the one that ‘lost the fans.’ Though its release showed an initial spike in subscribers, it quickly collapsed to a nine-year low, with many blaming its tepid patches and an overall lack of content. Indeed, if you point to the major inclusions introduced in each edition of WoW (many of which add new classes, races or sometimes both), Warlords of Draenor’s calling card was its alternative take on the Outlands, and garrisons that acted as a sort of hub for players. Its time-traveling tale did allow longtime fans to see some old favorites that had bitten the dust years ago, and as many of the lands had not yet been devastated by the orcs, particular zones looked familiar, yet refreshed.
Where this expansion is at its best, however, is in its raids, considered by some to be the most important aspect of the game. Blackrock Foundry’s multiple wings and epic final boss definitely made an impression on its players. Unfortunately, the fact that Blizzard chose to do a price hike on this expansion, despite its shortcomings, most definitely made a much stronger impression…