WoW patch 6.2 improves but fails to fix

By Grant Meyer l @GrantMeyerDe l Daily Egyptian

The genre of massive multiplayer online role playing games has seen drastic changes during the past decade. 

Originally, most of them had a subscription fee where customers would pay a monthly fee for regular content updates. 

In the past five or so years, the genre has seen a massive shift towards a free-to-play model. Game companies are supported through a variety of other income methods other than subscriptions. 

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Only one game has survived this trend, “World of Warcaft.”

Created by Blizzard Entertainment, “World of Warcraft,” more commonly known as WoW, is the largest massive multiplayer online role playing game on the planet.

The genre has a player create a character with a specific class, each class having its own set of abilities. The goal of the game is to level up a character and his or her equipment through exploring, questing and competing with or against other players.

The game was originally released in November 2004, and since has had five expansion packs, each releasing every couple years.

The most recent expansion, “World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor,” was released on Nov. 13 with good reviews. It saw a massive increase in WoW subscribers, or consumers who pay the monthly fee to play the game.

This was short lived and followed by a drop of nearly 3 million users, the largest decrease in WoW subscribers in the game’s history. After spending a little time with the game, players soon realized many flaws in this addition to the Warcraft series.

Currency systems were poorly implemented, the need to venture to a large social space was removed and content for the highest level users was repetitive and boring.

“Fury of Hellfire: Patch 6.2” was released on June 23 and attempted to mend some of those issues. It succeeds in some ways but fails in others.

The best addition to this patch is the new area to explore, Tanaan Jungle. This area provides new activities such as daily questing, earning reputation with factions and hunting rare enemies. New mounts, equipment and cosmetic items can all be earned by doing these activities. Exploring Tanaan Jungle and its events will be the bulk of what players will be doing in this patch.

Tanaan Jungle also continues the storyline started at the beginning of the expansion. Not much story content is given, but often times these patches have little to no story at all. “Fury of Hellfire: Patch 6.2” has a small series of quests expanding the narrative and setting up the context for other portions of the game.

The biggest disappointment is the addition of shipyards and naval missions.

At the start of this expansion, the player is given their own garrison to control. This is a big fort which can be customized with different buildings, providing benefits to the player.

Included with the garrison is a random assortment of followers, which can be sent on missions and reward the player. Each follower has a few abilities making them better at certain missions and increasing their chances of a successful mission. If the followers fail a mission, they return to the player’s command but without the rewards.

The shipyard is the same concept but with ships. Ten ships can be owned and they act the same way as followers. There are five ships in all: transport, destroyer, battleship, submarine and carrier. The big issue the ships have, unlike companions, is if they fail their mission they have a chance to be destroyed, making them lost permanently.

Having some consequence in game design usually is not a bad thing. In this instance, however, it is tedious and makes it unenjoyable. Furthermore, the shipyard is required if the player wants to complete other aspects of the game, forcing the player to do something not fun. If a player was to be very serious about maximizing their chances of success with naval missions, they would be spending a very large portion of their in game resources depleting them very quickly and hurting other aspects of the game.

This patch also adds a new raid to the game. Raids, which are activities that groups of players work on together to take down extremely challenging foes called bosses, are the most rewarding and often most difficult challenges in the game. It requires a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 30 players to complete the content.

The raid, Hellfire Citadel, meets the standard of what is expected of a typical WoW raid. It contains 13 new bosses to defeat for the best items in the game. It adds some fun new gameplay mechanics but nothing too innovative. Overall it is a solid raid.

Finally, the patch tweaks and balances multiple different aspects of the pre-existing game such as player classes, professions and events.

Overall, “Fury of Hellfire: Patch 6.2” has some fun new additions but does not succeed to fix the problems of this expansion. Tanaan Jungle and Hellfire Citadel help keep fans entertained, but the shipyard feature does nothing but frustrate and hurt the enjoyment of the game.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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