As one of the biggest MMORPGs on the market, WoW has a very diverse and oftentimes opinionated playerbase. This makes the vetting critiques of expansions especially tough. Each expansion’s aim is to improve the game based on both feedback and what players want without compromising much of the devs’ vision. It’s a tough balancing act with a lot of noise floating about. As such, World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth has been met with mixed responses.
That isn’t to say, however, that the year and a half long expansion didn’t have its good aspects. Say what you will about Azerite gear and the story direction, Battle for Azeroth brought in a whole lot of good to WoW.
The World in WoW is one of the game’s most important elements. It’s where a lot of players spend what could practically be seen as a second life. Making it look both great and full of life has been shown time and time again to be one of Blizzard’s top priorities.
World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth is no different. The tumultuous expansion has arguably delivered some of the MMO behemoth’s best-looking zones to date. Zuldazar, for instance, has some of the best Troll architecture with immense pyramids. Its emphasis on gold accents makes it seem rich like it’s been ripped out of the story of El Dorado.
Every zone has a clear theme, enhanced through the quest stories told by its denizens. The little hidden details make each zone of BfA feel like they’re a character in and of themselves.
Azerite gear may have been a controversial aspect of World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth. The system was clearly rushed as it forces players to make extremely hard choices about their specs. The 8.2 enhancements and recent final changes felt too little too late. There’s no denying, however, that Azerite and Essences both achieved something that few expansions have been able to come close to: making healing roles more appealing.
Thanks to these two new systems, healers can finally do more than just play Healthbar Whack-a-mole. Depending on the way they set up their gear and abilities, healers in BfA are able to either contribute to overall damage or help out with clearing adds. While the “healbot” is far from dead, it’s without a doubt that being a healer became a better experience in BfA.
This may seem like a big “duh” to some as WoW has always had some of the best-pre-rendered cutscenes in gaming history. World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth, however, kicks all of that up a notch. Particularly the scenes in the siege of Orgrimmar feel epic beyond proportion. Every character is at a level of detail that would make even the latest CG movie effects blush.
That’s not to say that the in-game cutscenes fall short, either, as the new model engine employed by Blizzard a couple of expansions ago has certainly shined during BfA. Facial expressions, in particular, look amazing and work to deliver the high emotions of every scene perfectly.
World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth won’t go down in history as the best WoW expansion. It certainly, though, brought a lot of good stuff to the table that we hope to see in the upcoming Shadowlands expansion.