World of Warcraft

Rate

Total votes: 13
80

Upon entering Azeroth for the first time, the fictional setting for World of WarCraft, the differences between Blizzard's massive multiplayer roleplaying game and the rest of the competition was abundantly clear. As I guided my female Night Elf Hunter through the initial steps, who did indeed get me mistaken quite often as a chick regardless of my speech, I witness some of the most impressive settings, gameplay structure, presentation and execution to date.

Looks like this might be an unfair fight...The difference inWorld of WarCraft's gameplay structure comes in the way the game unfolds before you. After progression through character creation, where you can choose from a number of different traits to make a fairly unique in-game avatar, you begin in an introductory area where you'll do quests that get you into the flow of the game. While killing eight wolves or collecting spider legs might not be the most epic of tasks, their inclusion seems right in the mindset that no one is going to trust some neophyte conscript with vastly more important tasks.

This allows for almost no down time in terms of progression, as you're able to get up to 20 quests in your log, and plenty of non-player characters are willing to take advantage of the newer inhabitants for the menial tasks they'd rather not perform. Also, the fact you earn experience for completing these tasks makes it worthwhile.

The rest system also helps in this area. It's a simple system that rewards well-rested players by giving them a bonus, where they earn 200% experience for creature kills. Eventually you'll reach the normal state where you earn base experience. Apparently there is another stage after that where you earn under 100% experience, but after playing marathon sessions without dropping out of normal, I'd have to say this is more of a myth than anything else. This also rewards those who take the time to logout in inns and towns, instead of just stopping in the middle of a forest. Those who are in town will be able to earn back the coveted rested status and earn some bonus experience when they get back online.

From the first time you visit your class trainer, you'll be able to learn at least one ability, assuming you have the funds. These abilities run the gamut from passive to active, physical to magical and everything in between. Also, various classes have different race related traits that they start with. Elves get the ability to go into stealth mode if still, turn into a wisp when they die and get a 50% speed bonus, and other various traits. If you're worried that there isn't a balance to this, it's okay - there is. Dwarves are inherently better with guns and get a bonus for that, as well as the ability to locate nearby treasure. Of course, those aren't all the skills you can get. On top of intrinsic abilities and learned attacks, players also have access to profession.

Professions, available extremely early on, add more depth to character creation and also make it so that players need each other. After taking up tailoring and skinning, I was in a prime position to make bags, which increase your item storage capacity by at least six slots. Of course, I wasn't completely self sufficient. Sure, I was able to make bags, but if I wanted leather armor or to have that same leather armor enchanted, I was going to need some serious help. It's almost like Blizzard encourages cooperation with other players this way, as you can only learn two of the many skills on top of cooking, first aid and fishing.

Not all of these profession-based skills are instantly accessible. Miners need to find their copper and tin before they start hammering away with their pick. Skinners need dead animal carcasses before they can bust out their skinning knife. Enchanters need some rather expensive ingredients before they can start really making items that people want to wear better. This is one of the various checks the game has, so that you need to gain experience in your profession before attempting to create some of the more impressive items.

As you explore the world to both complete these quests, level and increase your proficiency with your secondary skills, you'll bear witness to the beautiful world created for you and hundreds of thousands of your closest friends. The scenery is just gorgeous in various places, and it makes running along great expanses of land or swimming around the coast to reach your friends extremely enjoyable. There are times I've physically stopped leveling and questing to enjoy a particular part of the environment, with one of my favorites so far being Iron Forge and the land of Dun Morogh. The Dwarven city and land are just a great contrast and are only an inkling of what's really out there in that big world.

Nothing like a good drink after a hearty adventure.There are a few minor glitches present in the game, such as corpses that run in place and herbs that lock you into position, requiring a logout to undo the damage. For the most part though, Blizzard kept up with their amazing standard of polish present in their previous games with World of WarCraft. It's not a completely bug free gaming experience. It's more like a nearly devoid of bugs gaming experience.

World of WarCraft doesn't so much usher in a new style of MMORPGs, but rather address issues that plagued others and corrects them. While there are many changes that improve the quality of gameplay tremendously, such as the quest driven system as well as the need for cooperation between players to accomplish various tasks, are all bundled in an extremely well put together world that has a visual style worth upgrading to enjoy even more. World of WarCraft will keep you enthralled for hours upon end, saying my now favorite phrase: "Yeah, I'll do that after one more quest."

The Score:
+ Visual style is extremely vibrant, and even looks great on computers running near minimum requirements
+ Game doesn't ever approach boring, with plenty of quests to undertake and professions to learn
+ With the rest system, leveling with even a limited amount of time a day becomes rewarding
+ Soundtrack has a wide variety of tracks that you might find yourself humming eventually
+/- Initially servers were having issues with the load, but that has been all but corrected
+/- World is massive, and while this is a great thing most of the time, it can make getting to your friends at lower levels a bit of a problem

Bottom Line:
If you were waiting for masses to weigh in on World of WarCraft before taking the plunge, you need to hop in those trunks post haste because the water is neither frigid nor blistering, but a perfect 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The game balances the accessibility to new players and challenge for veterans quite well, offering up a bevy of quests, professions and other activities to get involved in. At present, there isn't a better MMORPG on the market. Blizzard has done it again, creating another masterpiece for all gamers to enjoy.

Reviewed by Daniel Dormer

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Comments

World of Warcraft

Ok. I've played WoW, EQ2, SW:G, Guild Wars, City of Heroes, and Lineage 2. All of them are good games in their own way. EQ2 has incredible graphics and a good control scheme, but I found the gameplay to be not to my personal liking. Same with Lineage 2. SW:G has possibly the worst control scheme ever designed by a blind and drunken programmer (sorry, personal opinion there!). WoW is GORGEOUS... cartoony, but beautiful. Gameplay was good, the game was entertaining. My personal favorite MMORPG is City of Heroes for ease of immersion, even tho' the "door" missions occasionally get boring. I play Guild Wars 'cuz it's free, and it does look good and play well. If I had the money to play a second pay-for-play MMORPG, I'd be playing World of Warcraft. :-)

World of Warcraft

The one who wrote my name and said the exact words:'Forget my last posts. I'm just a homo who's lost in life. Someone help me plz?'is just... gay and lame! Man get a life instead of making fake posts.Really! Show pity to your family at least...

World of Warcraft

DUPLICATING GUILD WARS ACCESS KEY.My friend figured out an algorithm to double your guild wars access key. When you register with your account you only get a maximum of 4 characters for your account. But when you double your key you get TWO keys in your account, which gives you a maximum of 8 characters for your account. My friends and I have tried it and it WORKS! Unfortunately it works only on an unregistered key because you have to activate the duplicated key before the original one. There is a way to work it on a registered key but the method is quite complicated, as you have to connect to the server externally from the client.Note:Make sure you are using an unregistered original guild wars key found on your box, not some randomly generated one.Instruction:1) Write down your access key on a notepad, or another similar typing program.2) There are five parts to the key. Ie XXXXX(1st part)-XXXXX(2nd part)-XXXXX(3rd)-XXXXX(4th)-XXXXX(5th).3) For the first part of the key where there are numbers add 2 (two) onto them eg. 66SDF = 88SDF. If it turns to a two-digit number take the last number of the two digits. Find all the letters and replace the letters with letters 5 down the alphabet. Ie. If it is A = F or B = G and so on. If the letter is greater than U just go count down 5 and then back to the start of the alphabet. Ie. Y = D4) For the second part add 4 to all the numbers. And again replace all letters 5 alphabets down.5) In the middle part leave it as the same DO NOT change it.6) The fourth part is the same procedure as the second part.7) The last part is also the same procedure as the first part so it is like a mirror image.That’s it you have created a new unregistered access key to double your characters limit for your account. REMEMBER you HAVE to register the DUPLICATED key first! If you registered your original then your duplicated key it WILL NOT WORK.Don’t email me saying it does not work if you’re using a n

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