World of Warcraft celebrates its 19 birthday this year. This long-running MMO has built a cult following and mostly a steady fan base through the years. Even though it’s cited as „the greatest MMORPG of all times“ It did have its ups and downs. Some expansions were a bust, and some were more popular and brought back tons of old and new players. Regular content updates are just one of the factors that keep it alive and burning. But how is WoW on new players? How forgiving are its core mechanics, strategies, and activities? What if you’re returning player who missed the last couple of expansions? Is it worth getting into World of Warcraft now?
World of Warcraft is objectively worth playing in 2023. Unlike tons of other MMOs, it has great catch-up mechanics meaning that both new and returning players can comfortably play and even thrive in its environment. Its player base is more or less steady (peaking during new expansion releases) and even 18 years after release it still has regular content updates.
Now that we’ve covered the basics it’s time for an in-depth analysis of the matter. So, keep reading!
Evolution of World of Warcraft
Chances are great that at some point in time, you’ve played WoW or tried getting into playing WoW. If you’ve ever played any other MMORPG besides WoW you are also probably aware of the fact that a lot of systems, mechanics, and concepts are „borrowed“ from WoW. Numerous MMORPGs were called both “WoW clones“ and “WoW killers“ and nearly all of them failed. They were either abandoned by developers or their player base. And yet WoW still stands, reigns, and continues to be one of the most popular games.
From the first Vanilla version to Dragonflight WoW has implemented massive changes, reworked the continents, and implemented various new item systems, and endgame systems. It added loads of end-game activities, collectibles, etc. Its 18 years long history might feel a bit overwhelming for both new and returning players. But is it really overwhelming and difficult to catch up?
State of World of Warcraft in 2023
Dragonflight is the latest World of Warcraft expansion, the expansion was released on November 28, 2022. It introduced new zones, new features, an updated leveling system, an updated gear system, a new race, and a new class. There are plenty of new features in the game in an attempt to rectify what has been done to the game with the previous two expansions that somewhat alienated the players. Objectively leveling got easier for new/returning players that missed a few expansions.
The class system got better (well, balanced out). PvP is still a sorry affair, especially for new players. Even though much work has been done to revamp the talent trees, some specializations still struggle to be viable and balancing problems are still present.
New continent and zones were introduced in Dragonflight
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight introduced us to a whole new continent, the Dragon Isles. As you can assume, the Dragon Isles are a home of a new race and the home of the Dragonflight of Azeroth. The isles went dormant after the Great Sundering, but as the isles slowly awaken, so will awaken the dangers long-buried and long-forgotten. Luckily, the classes are mightier than ever, so the players can take on whatever cosmic threat Blizzard has coming our way.
A new expansion release is nothing without new leveling zones, so Dragoflight introduced five of them in total. Continuing the tradition of vibrant and cartoonish worlds, the new zones in Dragonflight are likewise gorgeous.
The news zones in Dragonflight are as follows:
- The Waking Shores – home of the red Dragonflight, Alexstrasza invited the heroes to the Waking Shores pleading with them to help her in expunging the ancient evil.
- Ohna’aharan Plains – Fertile grassland, home to the Maruuk Centaur Tribe and green Dragonflight.
- The Azure Span – Home of the blue Dragonflight. The land itself holds many magical secrets and serves as an eternal archive for magically-inclined dragons.
- Thaldraszus – Capital of dragon Kingdom and a seat of power for dragon aspects.
- Forbidden Reach – Base of Nelhatrion the Eart-Warder. This heavenly stretch of land served as a training ground for his soldiers, the Dracthyr.
When it comes to leveling, the new leveling cap in Dragonflight is 70. With a huge continent added to the game and five new zones in total players will have plenty of time to discover new and reworked talents as well as many newly introduced mechanics and features.
New race and class have been added to Dragonflight
Along with a new continent, Dragonflight added a new race to explore it with. Dragon Isles are an ancestral home of the Dracthyr race. This interesting new race has a draconic heritage, and with the recent development of events, it seems that their ancient enemy is stirring, and there’s plenty of fighting to be done. Dracthyrs can choose whether they will place their loyalties in Horde or Alliance, as there is no pre-set choice for the race.
Along with the new race, there is a new class to explore as well, Evoker. Only Dracthyr can, for now, play as this Hero class, and you will not be able to choose it with any other race. Evokers utilize the powers of Dragonflight to aid them in combat.
Like with previous Hero classes such as Death Knight and Demon Hunter, Evokers do not start with level 1. Freshly created Evoker starts at level 58.
New Interactive Mobility System: Dragonriding
One new feature that players were looking forward to was Dragonriding. It’s a new reformed, and reworked system of aerial flight that requires certain skills and masteries in order to prove successful. You are able to lose control of your aerial mount, and other Dragonriders can easily dismount you in the air. New mounts are fully customizable.
All in all World of Warcraft is worth playing in 2023 especially if you are a new player joining the ranks of either Horde or Alliance. Most of the negative feedback online is ultimately generated by old hardcore veterans who are nostalgic about some of the features that WoW left behind during the years. It’s still an objectively great MMO, with a great, engaging, fun storyline and addictive features.
Often time it will feel like a chore, but if you keep it casual and remember to have fun first and foremost you shouldn’t have any problems at all.