Hellscream's Last Stand
The Rebellion becomes Total War
The Final Battle has arrived with the armies of the Alliance sweeping across the Great Sea and the Horde Seperatists led by Vol'jin. Garrosh Hellscream stands resolute, preparing to defend the capital of the horde, Orgrimmar against the rebels and hated Alliance, but will ultimately fail and the Horde Loyalists will crumble. So it is the end of all things, and within this review you will see how World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria has finally redeemed itself and become a true expansion to the shell game.
When Mists of Pandaria began, many fans were skeptical, how could Blizzard follow up the Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm.. with Pandas? It was a horrificly puzzling question that seared many and infamed the community like nothing else, but in the end it was set in stone. From day one we knew that Garrosh Hellscream would be the final boss of the expansion and throughout this expansion we have seen his fall from a proud orc to a sha infused minion of the Old Gods.
Garrosh has become a villian, a true villian, clad in infamy to the likes that only Arthas, Sargeras, and Illidan only know. Well maybe not to the levels of Sargeras, but you get the picture. Garrosh has become a pretty bad guy and holds tremendous power. He commands the mighty Orcs who have ravanged Azeroth since their arrival from the Dark Portal.
If the Horde had remained a unified force then Garrosh might have won the Alliance-Horde War and utterly destroyed the forces of justice, light, and good, but luckily for the Alliance he didn't. One being, a troll named Vol'jin proved instrumental in bringing about the seperatist, rebels, and sparked open rebellion against the master of the Horde, Garrosh.
The Final Battle
We know that the final battle will usher in an end for the Horde Loyalists and end with the death of Hellscream. All patch's end with the death of the final raid boss and Garrosh is destined to be looted. So, what do we have to look forward in this expansion ending patch? Well quite a few things will be introduced to make the final battle between the Horde and the Alliance worthy and perhaps you will return to World of Warcraft to grab a second look at the new features.
The features being introduced in 5.4 are game changing. Hopefully, they will bring new life to the game as it is starting to die, but that is a story for another time. Let's run over the new features.
- Final Raid: 5.4 Siege of Orgrimmar
- New Heirloom Loot
- Timeless Isle
- Proving Grounds
- Flex Raids
- Zone Update: Destruction of the Vale
- Connected Realms
- And More!
Patch 5.4 promises an extensive list of features and as of 9/10 the patch is live, but before we end this review, let's dissect the featuers and examine what has changed since Patch 5.0 Mists of Pandaria. In truth, this review is as much about the shell expansion as it is about the final patch.
Mists of Pandaria
MOP was very dissapointing in the beginning. We braved the fires of Hellfire Peninsula, traveled to the artic shores of Northrend and then battled across the wartorn plains of Azeroth to end up on a little continent in the South Seas named Pandaria. A continent full of Pandarian and Moguls. If you know your history then this may remind you of the ancient Chinese and Mongels, but let's not delve too far into ancient history.
Mists of Pandaria was a dissapointment to many people because it was childish, vain, and an openhanded appeal to Blizzard's biggest national expansion, China. In my opinion the expansion was not successful and is the reason why Blizzard has lost almost four million subscribers. However, Blizzard did do something unexpected. They made the game better. Each patch built on the story of the previous patch. The Alliance and Horde fought in 5.1 and Dalaran returned to the alliance. 5.2 had us defeat the Thunder King and 5.3 built the reasons for war and showed Vol'jin become a true leader for the Horde.
5.4 allows us to fight Garrosh and finally allows the Alliance to have their revenge after numerous Horde victories in Catacylsm. The Alliance finally get's to storm the Horde capital and kill it's leader. Chriz Metzen refered to this as a fist bumping moment. For those of you who don't know Chris Metzen is the lore guru for Blizzard and the master of all thing's Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft. So, the Siege will be excellent and redeems the expansion for it's failures in 5.0.
The Timeless Isle is an experiment in the forgotten realm of "Sandbox" Sandbox allows the players to experience an open ended world for themselves. The island will have many events and you the player will get to experience them in the order you choose. There will be rare drops and oppurtunities to attack rare bosses. This seems to be a better, updated, version of the Thunder Isle.
Finally, we will have the chance to optimize raids to our guilds. Flex raids will allow your guild to have more than ten people and even more than twenty five people. The raid will adjust to the amount of people in your group and well it will adjust the loot drops for your group.
Want to try a new spec? Well you will have the ability in 5.4 Siege of Orgimmar. Proving Grounds lets you try your current or a new spec out against a horde of NPC's. Like Challenge Modes for Dungeons this feature will allow you to challenge yourself (Solo) for rewards and bragging rights. The final difficulty level in this is endless and enemies will keep emerging until you die. So, how long can you survive?
Connected Realms is building upon Cross Realm which is feature that Blizzard introduced in MoP and will hopefully bring new life back to old realms like my old realm of Boulderfist. It will allow people from different realms to share auction houses which should bolt the economy and chat channels will be shared which should cause an increase in trolling.. but that is fine at least people will be talking again.
Destruction of the Vale
Many people who actually enjoyed MoP are going to be upset by this one, but I am actually thrilled. The opening salvo to 5.4 will have Garrosh contaminate the Vale, a region of Pandaria for those of you who don't know, with the rotting heart of an Old God. This physically destroys the Vale and the zone is updated to reflect the horrors of the Sha, Old Gods, and well it is destroyed.
I am pleased with the end of this expansion, but I only wish that it would have been this good and exciting the whole way through. I also wish that the Alliance go something permanent out of the siege like the destruction of Orgimmar and the dismantling of the Horde as a faction, but this is an MMORPG and Blizzard can't destroy a faction (Unfortunately). The future is open for World of Warcraft and it is possible that this expansion will see a rise in subscriptions, but it only matters if they can roll out a new expansion quickly that is actually intersting. Personally, I am hoping for a return to Northrend as I love Death Knights and the Undead, but that isn't going to happen. I would be satisfied with a Burning Legion expansion, but that seems less likely as rumors are circulating about an expansion called, "The Dark Below". We will see what pans out, but I recommend that you return to World of Warcraft for your chance to kill the tyrant Garrosh!
World of Warcraft
Shadows of the Horde
Amazon Price: $26.00 $15.05 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 13, 2013)