Create your own unique fantasy character and dive into the World of Warcraft!
Join the Horde, or fight for the Alliance!
Choose from many different types of races and classes to make a character uniquely you!
Ok realistically it's 1 per account, and you can join groups of 5
It has an enormous world to explore, including an entirely different dimension
A near endless amount of content
A wide variety of classes and races that each play differently from one another
Graphics are either hit or miss
It costs $20 for the base game, then another $50 for the current expansion, then another $15 a month to play
Very little immersion, the game becomes very technical very fast, which can alienate a lot of players
World of Warcraft (or WoW) is easily one of the most recognized games, almost everyone has heard of it even if they aren’t a gamer. World of Warcraft is famous for being the king of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), with over 10 million subscribers as of November 2014, but with 5 expansions and I can only assume more on the way, people tend to forget to look at World of Warcraft as a game, and only look at what the new expansion brings to the table. So this is a review of the World of Warcraft, as a game as it is right now.
Graphics and Sounds
Graphically, WoW has never impressed me, it’s always been very simple. The world itself has a wide variety of environments that all stand out from one another, but the graphics themselves pale in comparison to many modern games, and it’s not that the graphics are necessarily bad, but they’re extremely underwhelming for how big this game is. It’s almost like, when the game first came out, they worked with what they had, based on the limitations of the time, but now these somewhat outdated graphics have almost become iconic with the game, and that changing it would change the tone of the game, something they wouldn’t necessarily want to do.
In terms of music, the game has wide variety of epic music to play throughout your quest, it’s very exciting to feel this background music bring life to your journey. With that being said, I’d be lying if I felt the music didn’t start to blend together after a while. If you look at the epic music individually, sure it’s great, but I’ve never really found the music of the game to be especially memorable.
Being an MMO, World of Warcraft has nearly and endless amount of stories, from the thousands of quests, the hundreds of dungeons and raids, and the occasional campaign and expansion plot, World of Warcraft has more story in it then it knows what to do with. I actually rarely got into the story myself, only during dungeons and raids did I really feel apart of the story, but with individual quests, I rarely even read the bulk of the quest text, just the task, and the reward. The main campaign stories are actually pretty cool, especially in the Cataclysm expansion, when a doomsday dragon physically changed the world forever, destroying certain areas, and creating new ones. What was really cool, was during the build up for Cataclysm, I remember there being occasional earthquakes in the game, to show something big was coming.
There is arguably (at least) 2 different parts to playing WoW, before you reach max level, and after you reach max level. When you first start a new character, it’s a pretty exciting experience, you’re choosing a race, a class, you’re building your character how you want to play them, you’re personalizing the character to fit your play style, and you experience the game through their eyes. As far as actually playing goes, the game is incredibly fun, each race and class has unique options to make your experience exciting. Unfortunately, around the time you reach level 70 (out of a max 100 in the current expansion) the game starts to lose a lot of it’s charm.
Around this point in the game, and especially after you reach the level cap, the tone of the game changes drastically. It no longer becomes about exploring a world, it becomes a monotonous grind for whatever armor you don’t have, for specific armor sets that look badass, and doing raids with 20+ people to get gold, mounts, weapons, armor, and achievements. Any sense of exploration is gone, your character only changes aesthetically from this point on, and it’s an entirely different game.
One thing I love about about the World of Warcraft, is the community. I’ve never seen such a generous and helpful community of gamers who are all looking out for each other. Obviously it has it’s fair share of trolls, there has to be when there are 10 million players, but in my experience playing, I met some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered in a gaming community. I’ve met players who help newer players, players who will willingly give other players gold for nothing in exchange, the entire guild system lets players make very close friends much easier than any other game I’ve played. And being treated nicely, made me want to return the favor to new players myself.
One thing I hate about the World of Warcraft, are the quests, and how the game takes out any real sense of immersion. Quests are the most monotonous thing, in the entire game. When you make a new character, you take every quest you can to level up and gain money faster. But at a certain point, questing becomes a chore, it’s something you have to do, but it’s not something you want to do. Long before I even reached the half way point to the level cap, I stopped reading the bulk of quest text, I would simply read what the reward was, how much effort was required to put into it, and whether or not that effort is worth that reward. Daily Quests especially take away immersion, because they’re literally quests you have to do every day to get the same reward, until you’ve gotten enough of whatever that reward is. Creating and growing with your character is really the only sense of immersion this game has to offer, and that really doesn’t last anywhere near as long as you want it to. The game becomes less about you as a character exploring a world, to a system, memorizing the best combo of attacks and abilities. You almost lose your identity as a player, you’re either a healer, a tank, or a DPS (damage per second) attacker, and if you’re playing with other people, and you’re not doing your role correctly, then it makes you feel like you’re playing the game wrong.
World of Warcraft is easily one of the best MMOs out there, it not only sets a standard for other games to strive to be, but it consistently grows in size. It has an enormous world and an even bigger community. Anyone just starting will almost certainly enjoy themselves for a very long time even without being a big gamer, but at a certain point, WoW really only appeals to a certain type of gamer, the type who enjoys grinding for the best gear to be the best player. It becomes much more technical than many players would enjoy, let alone have time for. Even when the level cap increases by another 10-15 levels with each expansion, it doesn’t add immersion to the game, it only raises the amount of grinding you have to do to keep up with the best.
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