A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion for the massively multiplayer online game. As it's an expansion pack, players will need all the other games in the franchise to fully access all the content the world of Azeroth has to offer. The game also requires an Internet connection and a monthly subscription fee to participate. In addition, there's an online store in which players use real-world money to purchase everything from items for mounts to the ability to level up characters. Violence is a key part of the game and is usually how quests are resolved. Players use a variety of weapons and special abilities to destroy creatures across the land and can dismember or blow up enemies. Players also can fight other players in special areas. Characters can get drunk, causing visuals to get blurry until they "sober up." Parents also should be aware that some characters can flirt and behave in a suggestive manner, with some female characters being scantily clothed. Words such as "ass," "bitch," and "bastard" are used by game characters, but, as this is an MMO, parents should know that there's lots of unmoderated commentary other players can provide during the game.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
In WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WARLORDS OF DRAENOR, the Iron Horde, a union of great orc clans, is on the march through Draenor. They pull war machines along and decimate all that stands in their path. If Draenor falls, then the lands of Azeroth will be next. Gameplay takes place in Draenor, which is accessed through a portal. Since all monsters and creatures there are level 90 and up, Warlords of Draenor allows players to level a character up to level 90 automatically to begin the quest and story lines. New to the game are garrisons, player-created fortresses that are totally customizable. There are seven new zones to explore, classic heroes and villains to meet, and new graphics and animations for the character races.
Is it any good?
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor could be considered one of the best game expansions. It totally reinvigorates the WoW universe, creates excitement and challenge, and merges the history of the game with the foundations of a bright future. For players who enjoy the WoW mythos, be prepared for cut scenes that bring the story alive and teeter on the edge of jaw-dropping. Player-vs.-player fans will love the option to take on new 100-on-100 battles, which bring a massive amount of chaos and fun to combat. But the garrisons are the gem in this crown, and it's easy to drop a lot of real-world money into creating and customizing them.
If there is a downside to the game, it's that the garrison innovation can isolate the single player more from the mainstream-player community. Remember the days when auction houses in major cities were so overcrowded that it felt like wading through quicksand would be faster? Garrisons allow for auction houses, banks, stables, and vendors to be part of the player's fortress, so you no longer have to interact with these large crowds. Garrisons also require constant upgrades, so players may become hermits who only tend to their keeps. But player interaction, thanks to dungeons, is still a very viable part of the game, drawing many people to fight alongside others with a redesigned drop rate for rare items with common quest enemies. Overall, Warlords of Draenor increases the fun in WoW immensely and hits on all cylinders.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Warlords of Draenor. Do you need to use violence to resolve every quest? Should nonviolent solutions be available in the game, or would that not work in this combat-focused MMO?
Talk about Internet safety. How can you protect personal and account information from strangers?
Discuss responsible time limits on games. Why is it important to take time for real-world activities instead of sitting at a screen all the time?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid (The game costs $49.99, and has a monthly subscription of $14.99/month.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release date: November 13, 2014
- Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- ESRB rating: T for Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence.
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.