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                                           World Of Warcraft Review

    World of Warcraft, WoW for short, is Blizzard Entertainment's epic 3D imagination MMORPG set in the Warcraft universe. The game was released on November 23, 2004, and quickly grew to become the most successful MMORPG in the world. The game peaked at over 12 million subscribers in October

    World of Warcraft
    2010 and, despite its age, still remains one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world. The success of WoW links Blizzard's reputation as a world-class game developer and publisher. With every major expansion, the game always reinvents itself to stay relevant. Even with more and more MMORPGs spill their subscriptions and going free-to-play, World of Warcraft has remained incredibly popular while rearing its subscription. With the mere amount of content in the game, World of Warcraft is easily worth the monthly fee. Those new to the game should placement in mind, at over 35GB, the game is quite massive. After downloading, installing, and patching, the player can start their journey in Azeroth.



    The Lore of Azeroth

    Set four years after the event of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, World of Warcraft features an unbelievable story with thousands of well-written quests and troves of lore expansion across Azeroth for players to discover. Blizzard Entertainment spent an important amount of effort into creating a truly immersive world that genuinely feels alive. Aside from some generic kill and fetch quest, World of Warcraft features long lore-rich quest for a chain that allows players to research and learn the history of Azeroth. Another quest like “The Lady's Necklace” allow players to interlude and learn more about iconic Warcraft characters like Lady Sylvanas. Completing the quest leads to Sylvanas singing an old Elven song that she remembers before she turned Undead at Arthas' hands. This is verbally one of the hundreds of truly great quests in the game. I think what makes the lore in World of Warcraft compelling is the game's full world. Azeroth is a dynamic, ever change the world that's easy to get caught up in. In fact, I think it's fair to detail World of Warcraft as a story-driven MMORPG because there's just so much storytelling in the game and it's masterfully exempted. Those who really want to delve into the game's lore can do so by completing every side-quest and pursue every nook and cranny of the world, while others can choose to skip it. There is something for everybody in WoW. I have long been a fan of Blizzard's storytelling well before WoW was even released. After playing WoW over the year, my respect for Blizzard's ability to craft unbelievable stories has only grown.

    World of Warcraft


    Starting Out

    Players begin their adventure in World of Warcraft many like any other MMORPG – in character creation. The game has two faction – Horde and association. When the game first launched, players were limited to only one faction per server, but this reaction has since been heaved, giving players the chance to mix Horde and association on a single server. With eleven playable classes and thirteen races, there's a lot more choice in WoW than most games. Aside from just visual differences, each race has its own unique Garcia traits. Blood Elves, for example, have Arcane Acuity (Bonus critical strikes), Arcane blow (PBAoE silence ability), Arcane Affinity (bonus to enchanting skill), and Magic Counteraction (bonus magic resistance). None of these ethnic traits are game-changing, so players are induced to pick whichever race they like. Not every race has access to every class though. Dwarf and Trolls are the most versatile, as they ever have access to every but one.

    After picking a race and class, players can customize various futurity of their character. With World of Warcraft being the most successful MMORPG in the world, the game's look customization options are actually rather lackluster. Players have a handful of skin color, face, hair style, hair color, and penetrating options. That's it. Weighed to newer games like Final Fantasy 14, it's definitely a bit disappointing. Luckily, look customization isn't that important as players can later differentiate themselves with equipment, mounts, pets and more.

    World of Warcraft


    Progression

    Every race in World of Warcraft has its own unique starting area and early search lines. These starting areas are not particular tutorial zones, they are a part of the game's large patient world. When players first enter the world, they are proclaimed to the game with a short voiced over the introduction and can then immediately begin their journey. Search in these starting areas is remarkably well paced and allow players to acclimate themselves with their class without being overwhelmed. Similar to other MMORPGs, Search in World of Warcraft have players traveling from one area to the next while things get progressively more and more challenging.


    What differentiates WoW from other MMORPGs though is its story-driven gameplay. Search is well written, witty, and full of interesting lore. Even for those that do not read the quest-text, WoW manages to differentiate itself by giving players multiple avenues of progression. Players do not need to go from Duskwood directly to Stranglethorn Vale. Instead, they can search and level in the Hinterlands, Arathi Highlands, or elsewhere. The point is, there are many zones to explore at any given level. WoW's map makes it easy to find areas worth checking out by marking each area on the map with an adequate level range.

    World of Warcraft


    Skills, Builds, and Customization

    Gameplay in WoW is similar to most MMORPGs. Players move with WSAD while Impact their hotkeys to use abilities. Every class has 3 specialization, which becomes available at level 10. These are not permanent and can be reset at any time. These specializations allow every class to be played in multiple different ways. For example, the pastor that prefer to deal damage can go “shadow” which gives them powerful offensive magic with limited healing capabilities. Warriors can be built as tanks or as harm dealers too. Aside from specialization, players can also customize their character by choosing from one of 3 available talents every 15 levels (and level 100). Players can further customize their characters by furnishing various different “Glyphs”, which provide their abilities with minor enhancements. Both talents and Glyphs can be reset using disappearance Powders and Tomes of Clear Mind, which are both inexpensive.

    There so much content in WoW, it's hard to cover everything. The game has a robust crafting system as well with professions like blacksmithing, enchanting, and even more exotic ones like antiquities. These improve with use and dominate any one of them can take quite a bit of time. Completionists will have a blast playing WoW, as there is so much to do, including a robust feat system with over 2400 achievements (more being added regularly!).

    World of Warcraft


    The World of Warcraft contribute so much to the modern day MMORPG. So much so, that entire games are label as WoW clones. World of Warcraft was the first game to popular instanced dungeons. Some people perhaps think instancing removes immersion, but I remember back when I used to play every search, I fought my way through a non-instanced dungeon one time only to see another group literatim camping the boss. I had to leave and come back later because that area was already assumed. Instancing actually work really well within MMORPGs and WoW has a great balance between persistent world and instanced content.

    PvP – World, Arenas, and Battlegrounds

    The World of Warcraft has a variety of PvP option, Something for everyone. First, the game's open world PvP is only obtainable on the PvP server. On this PvP server, Horde and look can fight members of the opposing faction anywhere in the game world. Killing an opponent rewards player’s honor, which can be used as currency to unlock various pieces of PvP gear. Honor is also earned in battlegrounds and lists. Unfortunately, WoW's World PvP is rather disappointing, as almost every server is either almost completely horde or alliance. The Illidan server, for example, has 16,000 look players and 370,000 horde players. Stormrage has 350,000 looks and 15,000 hordes. There are a few servers that have a close to the 1-1 ratio between faction, but most servers are heavily tilted to one faction.

    World of Warcraft



    Lists in World of Warcraft allow players to compete in either 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 battles in a small enclosed space. 2v2 and 3v3 lists are significantly more popular than 5v5 matches. The game has a built-in matchmaking system based on a player's “rating” to confirm fair matches. Players that achieve high ratings are rewarded at the end of the season with different goodies (2K+ rating). PvP is fast-paced, competitive, and fun. It is nearly impossible to climb the ladder with random partners and good communication (voice chat) is indispensable.

    With World PvP largely discursive on most servers and Arena extremely competitive, more casual players can enjoy PvP in WoW's battlegrounds. Battlegrounds are instanced zones where two teams compete to complete an objective. Objectives vary by map and fall within 3 range – Resource Race (Capture resource points and disrupt your enemy), Capture the Flag (self-explanatory), and Warfare (MOBA style battle. Win by pushing towers and taking objectives).

    Convenience

    Since the days of vanillin World of Warcraft, Blizzard streamlined much of the tediousness to make the game more intuitional and convenient. Instead of manually running to every dungeon and raid, players could simply plait up for these dungeons through the game's interface. Simply select what role you like to fill (DPS, Tank, or physician) and you'll automatically be matched with a group of players. Search NPCs are placed at the start of the dungeon too, so players can quickly accept every search relating to that dungeon on the fly. Aside from just dungeons, players can search up for late game raids too with pickup groups through the “Looking for Raid” menu. Players require a definite item level (ilvl) before being able to search up to some of these raids to maximize the odds of success. Being able to search up for raids makes acquiring late game epics much easier than before and allows effectively everyone to access the end-game content. Those looking for a more hardcore experience can join progression guilds and complete raids on “heroic” mode, which is infinitely more difficult than the standard “looking for raid” mode.

    World of Warcraft


    Cash Shop

    Despite being a subscription-based MMORPG, World of Warcraft has a micro-transaction based cash shop. The store largely sells mounts, pets, and other cosmetology that have no direct impact on gameplay. The only real agitated item available for purchase is a level 90 boost, which boasts a player to level 90 right away. Anyone who bought the Warlords of Draenor expansion got one of these level 90 boosts for free, but those who want another can buy them in the store. They're $60 a pop as of this review, but I am suspicious the price will come down over the years. Blizzard's reasoning behind making this item available is that they want players to intelligent the level 90+ content right away. After all, the level 1-90 experience is more of a grind than a challenge the anyway. I personally think veterans who want to make alt could save a lot of time by buying one of this boost, but new players should avoid it. The leveling intelligent in World of Warcraft, although easy, is still quite fun. The level boost in World of Warcraft is constantly being permanent so it's always 10 levels away from the cap.

    As of April 7th, 2015 with the launch of Patch 6.1.2, players can exchange in-game gold for “tokens” which can be used to stretch a player's game time. This allows enthusiastic players to pay for their subscription entirely with in-game currency. Tokens also allow players to buy in-game gold within World of Warcraft without relying on incomplete, and illegal (as per the terms of service), third party gold websites. I actually think the WoW token system is an excellent amalgamation to the game. It's not exactly unique though, as Eve Online has had an in-game market for game time years before World of Warcraft proposed their system.

    Final Verdict – Excellent

    World of Warcraft is, however, the gold-standard of MMORPGs. The game has an extraordinary amount of content, top-notch production value, and fun gameplay. Despite its age, there is truly something for everyone in World of Warcraft. The game does an amazing job of catering to both hardcore and casual audiences alike. World of Warcraft will likely continue to dominate the MMORPG view for the foreseeable future.

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