World of Warcraft is one of the paramount MMO’s that are currently at the top of the food chain. It has worked it’s way to the top of the list and is rarely contested by anything in popularity, however that does not automatically make it a great game. I have logged over 1,000 hours of Warcraft time myself, and, although I did find the game very entertaining, playing all that time showed me just how many errors there are in the game.
Gameplay – The game-play is similar to most MMO’s but it has a strange allure to it, the high levels never really seem that far away at first. In traditional MMO’s the level caps are very high and seem impossible to reach but as an initial impression WoW hits you with a level below 100. This seems very reachable even to new players. This game is jam-packed with quests although you may run into times where it is actually faster to grind your last few inches off that EXP bar than to actually quest it. The quests can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the difficulty. So sometimes rather than bother with quests grinding is a suitable alternative. Achievements add a bit of spice to playing as they give you something to accomplish when your bored, you can do easy ones that may take minutes and some patience, or hard ones that could take days, maybe even months.
Graphics – Graphics are not this games selling point which is not bad, considering graphics tend to bog down MMO capabilities. Your looking at some high-quality cartoon-ish graphics that are steadily improving as the baseline of graphics cards increases. This works in blizzards favor as it drastically reduced initial production costs as well as production time, also allowing for a smaller initial release.
World – Many people consider the size of the world to be the major selling point of WoW. It is full of interesting things to do and very vast, with coming expansions the size varies. Each expansion releases new content to explore as well as new goals to achieve which greatly increases the play value of the game. It has been measured however that both the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor combined however are not as large as they seem, both could fit neatly in the Island of Manhattan by estimation.
Guilds – Guilds are also a big part of WoW as it gives you a group to help and be helped by, many things in the game such as Raids can only really be accomplished by guilds, or accomplished best by guilds. However it is a bit lacking in the guild area though as a guild can not have a headquarters or anything of that nature, guilds can not claim territories or have wars, this could have been a critical selling point for WoW.
Monsters – One thing that plagues MMO’s in general is a lack of a variety of monsters, and while WoW does sport an array of monsters most are just re-textures and repaints of other mobs made to look slightly different. Which is perfectly acceptable as long as its not over done in the fashion WoW is doing it, even their expansion mobs are starting to look like re-textures and slight morphs.
Life – WoW really can consume your life if you are not careful, it is highly addictive which is actually a bad thing, when enough people start to notice that its like that it starts to get looked down upon. Many people I know look down on people who play WoW as if they need to get a life, which can be true, I have seen first hand people who have logged more than 10,000 hours of WoW in their life time. A game is meant to be enjoyed; not replace every day interaction. Although WoW does warn against excessive playing; it does not do much to prevent it. Since there are Raids in the game that can last more than 5 hours for an inexperienced guild; yet Blizzard recommends that you only play a few hours a day; why fill all your time with one event?
Overall Rating 6.9 out of 10
Core gamer recommendation – Definitely try it out. 14-day trials are available, but I recommend the full 30 days that comes with the game to really get a feel for it.
Casual gamer recommendation – The 14-day trial should be enough to tell you if you will enjoy this game.
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