on September 15, 2004
This game is, quite simply, the best Fantasy MMORPG I have ever encountered. Having played during the entire 11 day Stress Test, I can honestly say it will probably be around even longer than EverQuest. This work of art has all the magic of EQ, without the many frustrations that finally caused me to give up on EQ (such as extreme grind, a very punitive death penalty, and being forced to group at high levels).
The graphics in WoW are awesome. Some people complain about the "cartoonish" colors, etc. I find these graphics to be very pleasing to the eye, and extremely well detailed and arranged. Guess this just shows that it isn't possible to please everyone, particularly those who go out of their way to find a flaw in other people's creations. To me, it is just right.
I won't elaborate on the basics of the game, such as the 8 races and 9 classes. Others have already covered them. Rather, I will focus on some other areas that are important to older players (I will soon be 60 years old, and no longer have the lightning-fast hand to eye coordination and sharp vision I once enjoyed).
There appeared to be no need for extremely quick reflexes in this game, but instead a player needs to use strategy and planning to avoid getting in over one's head. The wonderful hotkey bar across the entire bottom of the screen was very helpful and well thought out. Kudos to Blizzard for making such a great interface. The screen is not all cluttered up like it is in most games.
The game runs on a 24-hour clock, so it is dark nearly half the time. Blizzard wisely chose to not make the game black as night in most locations. It is possible to play effectively in caves and other usually extremely dark areas, without benefit of an external light. I thought this was a very wise decision and really enjoyed playing in those locations for the first time ever in an MMORPG. Some players complain that it is too bright. I would say to them: Turn down your Gamma control in the game if you like. Many of us do not have your young night-vision, and we are paying customers too. I think that Blizzard got this part just right.
The quest system in this game is better than I have ever seen. I actually liked doing quests, something I haven't previously enjoyed. Also, quests give lots of experience, and since they can usually be done on a casual basis, they don't require the same level of one-track focus that they do in other games I have played.
During this "way too short" Stress Test, I decided to try a variety of different characters and locations, so played the following characters: Night Elf Druid, lvl 12; Tauren Hunter, lvl 13; Human Mage, lvl 8; Human Warlock, lvl 6; Gnome Warlock, lvl 6; Troll Shaman, lvl 6. Unfortunately, I have a full-time job and could only devote about 40 hours a week to the game. The initial leveling rate is quite quick, with it slowing down a lot at about level 12. Just about right, IMO.
The game is bug-free, for the most part. It is way more bug-free than SWG is even today. I would be willing to pay a subscription now, if it would "get me my game back!". There are only two problems I see with this game:
1. Even though the Stress Test ended at 6pm Sunday evening, three days later I am still going through withdrawal and still have no desire to play on my two City of Heroes and three SWG accounts.
2. World of Warcraft is still not out, so my pre-ordered copy hasn't arrived, nor do I know when that will happen. The sooner, the better, IMO. There is no doubt in my mind that this game will be way more popular that EQ2, which I also plan to try. Hopefully WoW will arrive first.
I for one really appreciate these Reviews that Amazon has. I find them very helpful. The only problem I see with them is that there are only FIVE stars in the rating system. This is a shame, for World of Warcraft certainly deserves a TEN.
on September 14, 2004
I just spent the last week playing the World of Warcraft Stress Test Beta, and I can tell you that it was better than I expected. Even though the game wasn't finished, it still has many features that make it head and shoulders above every other MMORPG I've played.
Now, I, like many others, have been waiting in ancicipation for this game to come out, and when I had the chance to play the stress test, I was elated. Considering the majority of my MMOG experience is in EverQuest, I will list a few of the improvements (at least what I see as improvements) over the MMORPG "norm."
1) Experience from completing quests is noticable, and the rewards from completing them are worthwhile. I was always frustrated with EverQuest's quest structure, and the only reason to do a quest was for the item quested for, not for the experience gain. In WoW, it is possible to gain more experience from completing a quest than from killing a monster.
2) Experience progress is anything but vague. Every time a character kills a monster or completes a quest, the experience points are clearly given, and a meter with the character's progress within a level is clearly marked with numbers. So it's impossible not to tell how much experience killing a monster was worth. No more questionable meters with random values.
3) The world is easy to get around in. And it doesn't take an hour to get where you need to be, if you know where you're going. This was one of my biggest problems with EverQuest, because, as a semi-casual player, sometimes I don't have the time to run for an hour to complete a quest, or, in some cases, die, then have to make a corpse run and take twice as long as it originally was supposed to take. Which leads me to my next point.
4) Death is reasonable. If your character dies, its ghost spawns at the NEAREST graveyard, so there is no need to manually bind your character somewhere. Also, there is no XP loss if you choose to run your character over to its corpse. In my opinion, the death system is one of the best, as you can choose to lose XP by ressurecting right at the graveyard, or just run to your character's corpse and revive there with no experience loss. And before you can ressurect your character in a graveyard, it will let you know exactly how much XP will be lost. This replaces the 3 hours of grinding time needed to replace the lost XP.
5) An XP grind is perfectly possible, but not necessary. It is very possible to level up consistently without having to play for 5-7 hours a day. Between XP from killing monsters and the great quest completion XP, I was able to level a character to 17 in 3 days of semi-casual play. Now granted, those were the first 17 and the easiest, but it's also possible to gain a level a day, almost unheard of in EverQuest.
To make a long story short, this will be a great game, but there is still a lot of work needed to make it release-ready. Since there is no official word yet on its release, I wouldn't hold my breath, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on.
on September 19, 2004
I've played by subscription or beta tested ten MMO's now, and I was very shocked to find that World of Warcraft blew them all out of the water. I seriously only checked the game out at first because a friend of mine was going to play, but the more I read into it, I was hooked (so much so, that I now work of the Stratics staff for this game!). I was lucky enough to get into the stress test, and I do not believe I am exagerating when I say that every other MMO out there is going to have a serious run for its money.
Even in Beta, this is the single most stable, lag-free game I have ever played, and I am on a three-year old gaming system. I did find the learning curve a little steep for first timers, but I think that will be rectified with a manual. The questing system is so far beyond any other game, it is truely in a class by itself. Grouping is optional, and does need some work (its actually harder to get XP in a group than soloing) but the implementation of all group members receiving quest items practically eliminates the need to camp an area to get your quest drop, if everyone in the area is smart enough to group up, that is! And as items only drop if you have the quest, there's no people hanging around just to make money.
The PvP system is INCREDIBLE, and this is coming from someone who completely avoids PvP unless there is a true point to it. WoW has implemented a full ranking system with real rewards, such as special mounts, titles, weapons, even elite barracks for high-ranking PvPers. There's even a useful honor system, where you are punished in rank for killing people below your level, or non-violent NPC's. You're a jerk? No goodies for you!
This one will be very worth checking out. A word of warning, the newbie zones get very crowded when a new phase starts and its easy to give up at first based on that. If you are planning on checking this game out in open Beta, wait two days, THEN log in if you think this will be an issue. You will get a much truer population level to play with at that point.
on January 31, 2006
In 2004, this game was advertised as 'being for the casual gamer' but also having content in which the 'hardcore gamer' could strive for. Anyone who did not have 14 hours a day to sit and play video games could have a lot of fun with this game in both PvE (player versus environment - you against the computer's monsters) or PvP (player versus player - players going head to head against one another). Originally the content was meant to be such that 'casual gamers could experience the full richness of the game and hardcore gamers would get a little bit extra out of the game, but the differences would be small.' On levels 1 - 59, this remains the case. However, upon reaching level 60 (which doesn't take anywhere near as long as other games, but is still a lengthy journey), the story completely changes. Hardcore gamers are rewarded with items which allow them to kill another player with just 1 swing / magic spell / shot, and armor that makes them so powerful that fighting them becomes like 'fighting a tank with a toothpick.' The developers of this game have effectively stopped releasing content for the "casual gamers" one year ago - and now spend the majority of their time catering to the "hardcore" players - which by the way, accounts for approximately 8% of their player base.
Levels 1 - 59 can go solo or fight in 5 man groups fighting quests or doing instances (dungeons in which only members of their party can enter) to get items or to level up. At level 60, to get the "hardcore" items which allow superior status, one must join 40 person "raids" (a raid is a combined coordinated collection of 2 or more groups, in this case, 8 groups) to fight the "hardcore" instances - which can take 6 - 14 hours ... or more.
World of Warcraft is a game that brought the masses in by its appeal from casual gamers and the differences that set it apart from EverQuest, whose end-game content also required very long "raids".
A recent New York Times article author recently described "casual" (generally non-raiding) gamers as being 'lazy, having no skill and not having partying (grouping) skill', to which the lead designer of the content of World of Warcraft effectively agreed.
Be warned about this "raid or die" mentality before you make the purchase of World of Warcraft.
Next - don't think that if you purchase the game that you will be able to play with your friends or family members. Blizzard's success with World of Warcraft has brought them far more subscribers than they bargained for, leaving them with game servers that have filled up to the max, leaving players with large amounts of lag and *long* waits to even log into the game. Blizzard's "queue" system sets a maximum number of players on each server, so if you try to log on at peak times when the server has reached its maximum number of players, you may have to wait - up to 2 hours - to play. To attempt to solve this problem, they have instituted a ban on all new character creations on certain servers for people who do not already have a character on that certain server (so if you don't already have a character on say, server "Dalaran", then you can't make a new character, you have to pick another server). If all of your friends or family are already playing on one of those servers, then you are out of luck. You will be playing all alone on a server in which you know nobody while the people you wanted to group with are on another server. Blizzard has been tightlipped about as to whether or not this new 'character creation ban' will be temporary or permanent. Thousands of people have bought this game since mid-December of 2005 and have been extremely irate by this issue. If someone bought this game under the assumption that he or she would be able to play online with friends and that person can't - that person ned not expect a refund from Blizzard. Their reply to this - "Working as intended. Cancel your account if you don't like it."
Combine this horrible customer service with the fact that almost all the servers have queue lines, many of them even during non-peak hours. Servers with huge loads of players experience unreasonable amounts of lag which hinders even basic movement throughout the game, much less talking to quest givers, getting loot from dead monsters and any other trivial task attempted to be undertaken. One thing that will really make any gamer mad is to be running through the forest, be lagged so badly as that it appears nothing around you is moving, then for the game to catch up 3 minutes later and you find yourself dead from monsters you couldn't see. This customer service has left many fans and players of World of Warcraft with their heads spinning, wondering where their $15 monthly subsciption fee goes.
This game was absolutely wonderful a year ago, and the content from levels 1 - 59, and the first few hours of level 60 is marvelous. The casual gamer can have lots of fun getting up to level 60, but once level 60 is attained, very little content exists for the "casual" gamer. This game is beautiful, has wonderful sounds / music, fun action and even requires thinking on the most basic "hack and slash" warrior by using abilities which must be planned and strategized versus just using one or two buttons for every fight. However, word has it that all the initial designers have long since left, leaving new designers which have changed the direction of the game.
My rating for World of Warcraft would be 5 for fun and 5 overall were it not for the terrible customer service, horrible server structure, new character creation ban and complete lack of end game 'non-raiding' content (it feels really bad to put many many hours of online play into a character only to have to abandon it simply because there is nothing else to do if you aren't a hardcore raider gamer). However, there is no fun at all when you have to wait 1 to 2 hours looking at a computer screen that says "Position in queue: 952. Estimated wait time: 1 hour 43 minutes" only to come back 10 minutes later to see the "Estimated wait time" at "1 hour 44 minutes." Some queues have even gotten up into the 1500s.
Please consider this before buying this product or referring this to a friend. Please go to the World of Warcraft website and look at their "general" forums. Then make a decision.
on December 3, 2004
World of Warcraft is simply put, the best MMORPG ever created. Blizzard spent a good amount of time creating and testing this masterpiece, and it shows off. No matter what type of games you like to play, you'll like playing WoW. Even if your PC isn't blazing fast, you'll get perfect quality out of WoW. Everything in the game just feels right.
Let me split my review into sections;
The graphics in WoW are a splendor to behold. The textures and geometry are excellent and really show how much detail Blizzard put into this game. The visuals aren't DOOM 3 or Half-Life 2 in extreme quality, but this is a MMO with quite a bit of people and low system requirements. The shadows, weather and particle effects, and 'bonus' graphical work (such as footprints in the snow, etc) are above average. With all the visual settings maxed out, along with my graphic card's hardware AA/AF maxed, the game does not stutter, even on my mid-range PC. I'm amazed I can have everything maxed, having my screen look gorgeous, and have perfect v-sync frame rates constantly.
Music in WoW is, of course, spectacular. Blizzard is known for having awesome scores that are dynamic and suiting. There's a ton of different scores that dynamically change depending on where you are and what's going on, and they're all near-godly and memorable. The sound design is also great: each individual sound effect and voice sounds like what it should. No complaints in the sound department.
Blizzard has a good amount of servers setup. Quite a lot of them, in fact. Not only that, but there's specific servers for PvP, so you can be on one of those if you enjoy dueling. PvE servers can have PvP game play as well, but both parties need to agree beforehand. The servers are lightning fast and I've yet to have downtime.
So far, I've experienced a nice community in-game. I've played three different races and the communities in each of them (almost each race has its own starting location in the world of the game) have been very nice, considerate, and helpful. Granted, not everyone acts as they should, but I've had an enjoyable time with the community so far.
I really can't think up a way Blizzard could improve WoW's interface. It's mildly complex and takes a bit to get used to, but once you get over those first minutes it feels like second nature. Chatting is simple and fun, with numerous functions. Everything about the game is clearly described, explained, labeled, and shown in the manual and in-game. There are also tips that help you with just about everything as you experience it the first time.
The most important part of a game and WoW does it great. There's so much to do in the GIGANTIC world that you won't want to stop. Just a few of the 'professions' you can do: cooking, fishing, mining, blacksmithing, first aid, and alchemy. Besides all those you can just do the 2000+ quests, level up your character, join groups, create or join a guild, and more. It really is like an online world, and it's addicting. The quests range from extremely simple to very advanced, with plenty to choose from. The races are distinct but balanced, and each one has its own feel and flavor. The classes are well balanced also (except for Warrior, which is pretty underpowered, but Blizzard has said they're already working on it for the next patch). There's enough classes and races to suit anyone's taste, and there's definitely enough so that you can have multiple, different characters without feeling bored. The pace of the game feels just right; not too fast, not too slow. Death isn't a huge hassle, quest rewards are actually rewarding, the races are cool and different, the classes are exciting and aren't disappointments or unbalanced, the game is as simple or nearly-overwhelmingly complex as YOU want it to be, Blizzard's support is fantastic, and there isn't a single feature left out of the game. In a word: perfection.
All in all, WoW is definitely one of the best gaming experiences I've had, and I haven't even come close to experiencing it all. If you like Blizzard's previous games, role-playing games, and/or other MMOs, you'll love WoW for sure. Even if you don't like those, there's still a very high chance of you falling in love with it, since it's just so damn fun to play.
The monthly fee is well worth the countless hours of bliss you'll receive, and they provide discounts when you pay in bulk, like 3-months and 6-months.
I recommend buying the strategy guide (more like strategy tome, it's over 400 pages!) if you're new to MMOs, since there's a lot to learn. The game's manual is thick too, and there's plenty of in-game and online resources available.
If you can find it, purchase the Collector's Edition since for $30 more you get quite a lot (the game on 4 CDs, the game on 1 DVD, the soundtrack, a large making-of book, an exclusive in-game 'pet,' and more).
World of Warcraft is a game I very highly recommend for everyone to buy and experience, even gamers who don't like online play.
GET WORLD OF WARCRAFT NOW!
on November 22, 2004
I casually stumbled upon the open beta while surfing the web at work one day. I signed up for an account and waited for the 2.7 gigabyte download to complete (yikes!). I had an expectation about MMORPGs that they were addictive (and thus "wrong"), but I wanted to try one anyway.
I customized the look of my character and decided to be a Tauren Hunter (as far as I could tell later on, all the races/classes are meticulously balanced, and ALL can solo!). I then entered the world. The first thing I noticed were little "!" icons on the bottom of my screen giving me help and telling me what to do. Later on they appear less and less and you can turn them off if you want. They (in conjunction with looking at the manual occasionally) were extremely helpful in getting me started. The user interface was very intuitive considering how much it was capable of.
My first few quests were easy, fun, and short. As I quested I noticed the game was absolutely beautiful. It had such atmosphere and detail. Blizzard has raised the bar for "big" games. I am used to "big" games meaning "vast tracts of empty land".
I leveled up very quickly. I was at level 10 in just a few hours! I noticed this game rewards beginners very well. You start to level slower as you get higher up, but this game continually rewards you. You can be a casual, 2 hours at a time gamer who likes to play by yourself and you will do *just fine* in this game. I never played for an hour stretch during which I did not gain or experience something cool. I introduced my wife to it (she being a very casual gamer) and she likes it so much we're getting a new computer just so we can duo together.
The world is very big but travel is rarely a problem. There are dragons and zepellins that are willing to fly you to major locations, as well as a "hearthstone" that transports you to the innkeeper you spoke with last. Later on in the game I hear you can get mounts of your own to ride.
The gameplay is very diverse. I never felt bored because there was always an opportunity to go do something I hadn't done before. There are many tradeskills and these tradeskills are also easy to level up. For instance, to max out the fishing tradeskill, it requires about 275 skill points. After 30 minutes of fishing, I had about 30-40 skill points, had caught a bunch of nice fish to eat, and a few nice items too! Perfect for the casual gamer who does not want to spend their whole life playing a single game to master it!
Death in this game is handled superbly. You are transported as a ghost to the *nearest* graveyard. In ghost form, everything has a white glow to it (check out the sky!), you can run very fast, and to resurrect all you have to do is find your corpse (helpfully marked on your map). If you died in an extremely bad area that you don't want to revive in, there is a "spirit healer" at the graveyard who can revive you for a slight experience penalty (you will not lose any levels) and 25% item durability penalty (a mere token of money to repair). Your corpse cannot be looted or exploited in any way. The game makes sure you don't actually want to die, because it can take 2-3 minutes to get to your corpse, but otherwise prevents you from being frustrated.
All enemies are helpfully marked with a name and the level they are next to them, so you don't accidently try and take on a level 21 Kodo Barrens Beast when you're only level 11. Also, if an enemy is enormously strong for its level, it will be marked as "elite", as in a "Level 21 Elite" Kodo Barrens Beast. Watch out for elites! :-)
The game is in "real-time" depending on your time zone so if you only play the game at night, it will always be night in the game. This can be good or bad. I personally loved it. I would get up early in the morning to play the game so I could watch the sunrise. And then in the evenings I might play to watch the sunset.
My system is an Athlon XP 2200+, 768 megs of ram, and an ATi Radeon 9200 videocard. The game ran very smooth at medium detail and only slightly stuttery on the highest detail settings. If you have an ATI 9000+ videocard (or 5200+, for those with nVidia Geforce cards), your main bottleneck will be your RAM. The official requirement is 256 megs. I played with this much before I bought a 512 stick. If you have 256 megs you have to turn down all your detail settings and avoid crowds of people because otherwise your computer will constantly be loading textures from the hard drive. With 768 megs of ram the game runs seamlessly and there is no great noticeable loading of anything anywhere! It's all one big world (except for major dungeons, which load separately).
The game mentioned it had "dynamic weather" but I did not notice any in the areas I played. I did not notice the absence until someone else mentioned it. Perhaps it was turned off for beta purposes. The game was sunny everywhere I went, although sometimes with fog or partial clouds.
Overall, one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had. It looks like Blizzard has another game of the year on their hands. See you there!
on June 11, 2006
Loved this game until I hit 60, then it all fell apart.
This game requires that you make it the number one priority of your life. It's also true that you don't have to, but you won't have fun when you hit 60. As a casual gamer, I found post-60 to be depressing.
The battlegrounds suck, and on the server I played on, be prepared to wait at least an hour before you can even get in.
The rank system is a joke, and be prepared to spend at least a couple hours every night to maintain your current rank (if you don't play pvp you'll drop rank so it takes time in the bg's to even maintain the current rank you have).
Guilds are a joke. If you don't belong to a high-end raid guild then be prepared to join one, unless you want slaughtered by someone with epic gear/weapons. Be prepared for elitism, a $ $ kissing, and for your gameplay to be dictated by a guild leader with a god complex. Also be prepared to spend 3-4 hours a night at the very, very, minimum to satisfy your guild. You also have to get DKP points to even be eligable to go on a raid, so you're enslaved to your guild (otherwise there isn't any point being in it, and the point of being in a guild is to get top end items).
PvP is a joke. If you join a PvP server and go into contested territory (which is something you will find yourself in the majority of the time) be prepared to get ganked by higher levels alot. Stranglethorn Vale anyone?
The Community is a joke. This is by far the worst community I've ever seen. If you're new and ask any question, or if you're a vet and ask any question, be prepared to suffer the consequences. The elites of WoW were born with knowledge of how to play this game encrypted into their DNA, and anyone who dares ask a question is a "noob". Oh and learn your acronyms!!!!
You also have thousands who stand around and don't want to group, and those that do usually bail after THEY complete what THEY have to do. This game is full of self-absorbed, greedy, little babies.
Grinding sums this game up perfectly. All you do is grind, grind xp, grind honor, grind faction, grind for gear, grind your life away. With all the time this game requires to learn a virtual skill, you could pick up a real life skill and be somewhat proficient at it, or at least to a good start. Whatever you practice at 3 hours a day, most every day, you'll become good at, and it's a real-life, tangible skill.
But the bottom line is that this game REQUIRES you to spend hours a week, to the detriment of your love life (unless you can't get one), your job, and your social life. Don't get hooked, pass on this one.
on November 27, 2005
Well I'm sure this has been covered a bazillion times, and I could go on and on and on and on and on about why I love this game (I've been playing since beta), but I'll just list why I like this game over other mmorpgs.
1. NO EXPERIENCE LOSS WHEN YOU DIE! - Omg I love this. I've played mmorpgs where you lose a level or multiple levels, or almost a level whenever you die, in addition to ressurection sickness. You can go and get killed a billion times and not lose a single point of experience. The only thing you DO lose, is armor and weapon durability, which you can get repaired for fairly cheap.
2. Death system - Oh I like this a lot too. In most other mmorpgs, when you die, you get resurrection sickness, which reduces your power by a lot until the timer is gone for the sickness, or you might have to run naked to your body, or...something else horrible. In World of Warcraft, when you die, you have the option to stay put for 6 minutes (before you are auto-released) or release your spirit to a spirit healer (normally located at a small graveyard in each zone). From there, you can either follow the red and yellow arrow back to your body and revive yourself (with only half your hp and mp) or you can revive yourself at the spirit healer and take 25% armor damage to your armor (not permanent) and suffer resurrection sickness. Its important to know you do not get resurrection sickness until about lv 11 I believe - not that it matters though since its only 10 minutes long and you don't lose experience points anyways :).
3. Experience points - I didn't learn about this until I started playing the release version of this game (I probably would have made lv 60 a LOT faster if I did). Anyways there are two forms of experience points gain, rested and normal. Normal is when you get well...normal amounts of experience that you'd normally get from the monsters. You gain rested experience by having your character at a main city, or ESPECIALLY AT AN INN. While your character is sitting at an inn, your experience bar will turn from purple to blue and you will start storing imaginary experience points (up till about 1.5 levels worth of experience). What this does is, whenever you kill a monster, you will gain a lot of extra experience for killing it while you are rested. This makes for a much faster leveling-up process than other mmorpgs, and makes it quite important to log your character out at an inn (yes the rested experience bonus grows while you aren't even playing the game! For only 1.5 levels though :)
4. Priest class - Ahh, how I love thee. I've played quite a few mmorpgs, EQ, EQ2, AO, AC, AC2, UO, RO, FFXI, etc etc, and every single one had a "healer class". Obviously you need a healer to do those long dungeons (or multiple healers for the level 60 ones). The BIGGEST difference between a priest in World of Warcraft, and a priest in just about any other mmorpg, is that they can kick ass. I don't mean kicking ass like healing a group really well, I mean like killing monsters and players with a variety of damage and control spells by themselves. Now how many other games do you know of where the healers are not totally defenseless and can kick some serious butt?
5. Multiple healing class - Oh this is great too. You don't HAVE to sit around and wait for ONLY a priest while trying to do dungeons, you can also look for a druid or a paladin or a shaman, since they can heal too. People will always pick a priest over other healers, however you can always have two druids or a paladin and a druid or something of that nature for main heals and backup heals, and whatever else you want the secondary healer to do. I remember having to WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT AND WAIT in Final Fantasy Online for HOURS trying to find a white mage so I could get something accomplished.
6. TANKS ARE NOT A BORING CLASS! REALLY! - EVery other game I played online, warriors,tanks, whatever, were very, very boring. All you'd do is run around and taunt everything. The only time you ever have to taunt really, is while doing a dungeon. Warriors (the main tanks of world of warcraft), can hold their own very very well with some truly NASTY abilites. They never used to be that great before, but since all the patches and updates now, they have gotten a whole lot more powerful. With a really powerful two handed weapon and a high percentage to get critical hits, warriors can actually outdamage mages and rogues at the higher levels (and at the lower levels too!) I've seen it!
7. IT IS POSSIBLE TO SOLO YOUR CHARACTER ALL THE WAY TO 60!
Sounds impossible? Its not! Does this take forever? Not really. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of quests in this game, and thousands of monsters, its just a matter of find ing the right monsters quests around your level. Keep in mind you CAN solo your character all the way to level 60, it is not very fun. Plus, running through dungeons always drops good armor/weapons for certain classes that will make you more powerful, killing monsters over and over and over and over for levels will give you weapons and armor, but they are quite rare to find good stuff off regular monsters. The best part, is that prior to level 60, if you don't want to do a dungeon, you don't have to! Just go find some monsters and quests around your own level and start killing. Even a class that can't heal themselves with spells or abilities can solo to level 60 (with bandages or food or potions of course).
8. The game world does not take forever to navigate. True, at first you have to WALK everywhere you want to go, but even then if you know where you are going, it really doesn't take that long to get from one location to another, or one continent to another. In just about every zone, there are flight paths where you can ride flying mounts for a certain fee, if you have unlocked the flight path through a rider master that has the connecting route. Horde and alliance cannot use the same flying mounts, or talk to the same person to fly around, however there is a difference to which spots that each side can go to and you'll have to find that out on your own :). Other than using flying mounts, when you hit lv 40 you can purchase a mount to make you move about 60% faster on foot, and one at level 60 to make you 100% faster on foot. So it really doesn't take long at all to go from one point to another.
9. Crafting - When I first started playing this game, I just could not BELIEVE how fast i was leveling up my crafting skills! It was just amazing. 100x faster than any other mmorpg I've ever played. Obviously the higher you go, the faster it is, but still, I haven't played a game ANYWHERE that lets you level your crafting skills up as fast as this one. The only thing about crafting that kinda sucks is that a lot of the things you make aren't really needed by other classes. Now don't get me wrong, there are a TON of things that other classes can use that you might be able to make, but there are A LOT MORE items that come from quests, monsters and bosses that are always going to be more useful than anything that is crafted, and thats a fact. My advice if you are on a pvp server, for crafting is to take either engineering, alchemy or grab two gathering professions such as skinning, mining, herbalism. Leatherworking/tailoring/blacksmithing/enchanting are kind of a waste in my opinion, since you can find better items out there, but others may argue that these are important to making money to buy things...so pick whichever one you want I guess :). I personally went gnomish engineering/mining with most of my characters and alchemy/herbalism for the others for pvp purposes.
Well thats basically it. I could write a 10 page report about all the things I like about World of Warcraft, and a list of the things I don't like about it, but then I think back to how I used to play those older mmorpgs and I keep coming back to this one.
I gave it a 5/5 overall because the game is just hands-down fun. When I get bored with a particular character class, I just switch to another one. The graphics are pretty good, not spectacular, but pretty good anyways. Seems like they finally got mmorpgs almost right. I just hope Blizzard or another company comes along and puts a lot of the things that this game offers in that future game, otherwise I might not play any other ones :).
on May 6, 2005
WOW is definitely one of the better MMORPGs out there, and I've played quite a few...
What I liked:
1. Lots of quests that give valuable experience and items.
2. My characte was NOT nerfed.
3. You get a rest "bonus" for time spent OFFLINE. Which means if you don't play a character, once you do log back on, you will experience a significant bonus to the experience you gain for a significant block of time. This benefits the casual player who thus has less difficulty staying level with his friends. It also benefits the hard core gamer whose alt characters get the bonus while he's on his main and vice versa--I wish ALL MMORPGs had this.
4. Blizzard did a good job at balancing the different classes. ALthough some classes outdid others at pvp, it seemed there were good and bad pvpers in every class. Group dynamics worked very well in general.
5. Blizzard did a good job at getting rid of a lot of the annoyances in MMORPGs, such as cutting down travel time.
6. If you feel like it, you can solo quite a bit in this game.
What I didn't like:
1. LAG, LAG, LAG---because just one town featured an Auction House, it got so laggy that I couldn't move and routinely got disconnected. Alliance/horde raids were really too laggy to play well and to enjoy.
2. The professions were very unbalanced. Ore and skins are very plentiful but herbs are so rare that potions are either non existant or prohibitively expensive. Blacksmithing will bring you a bundle of cash, whereas many leathercrafters end up abandoning the trade. This needs reworking.
3. Not much to do after level 60. You need to raid instances to get "uber" equipment and these raids take WAY too long to organize and to run. If you're a priest or a mage you will be harrassed by raid invites, if you're a rogue or a hunter you will have to plead for an invite, gets old for both camps.
4. Recently, the honor system was put in place. Quite simply, you get rewarded with phat loot for killing a large number of players from the opposing faction. This is great for stimulating pvp. Unfortunately the easiest way to kill someone is to jump him while he's in the midst of a battle with a mob ("ganking"). Which means that with the current system it is very difficult to solo to gain levels without getting killed over and over. This is too bad because this was a very fun game to solo and many people are leaving because of this new honor system which rewards dishonerable acts.
I would still recommend this game. I had a lot of fun with it for 6 months. As a MMORPG vet I burn out faster than most and need to check out the next hot game :)
on February 15, 2005
I refused to play this game. Plain and simple. I was done with all the massively multiplayer games. Especially fantasy themed ones.
My girlfriend had been playing this one for a while though, so one day she decided to just pick up another copy for me so I could give it a try. Reluctantly, I decided to play it for a few minutes so I could say "see, it sucks, just like all the other ones!". But I haven't gotten to that yet, because I am still playing! My character just reached level 20 (after just over a week), and I am hooked!
What is so different about this game? Well, I am not really sure to be honest. For one, I like the quests a lot better than in other online games. None of them seem auto-generated, but instead, the game has some 2000 quests that you can do individually, one after the other. It is much more like playing an offline game than the stupid level grinding nonsense the other games make you go through.
The game does an excellent job of guiding you through the world. The first quests start out easy and you stay in your starting area. You level up quickly and get stronger. Then, you get your first quests that make you venture out a bit further. It seems that every time you just have seen enough of a certain part of the world, the game takes you by the hand and guides you into the next part of the world that is quite different than the one before.
Of course, you are free to go wherever you want and meet whomever you want to talk to. But every time you are about to get lost or do not know what to do, the game guides you into a new fun area. As I said: It is kind of like progressing through an offline game.
You also get a good sense of accomplishment. While in other online games you "are just there" and the greatest thing you accomplish is leveling up, here, you take care of more meaningful quests and move along in your story line. Where other games feel like glorified chat clients with a gaming element thrown in, this feels more like a game that happens to have other people whom you share the world with.
Well done, Blizzard!
So what's the catch? Well, there are some things I do not love. While I like the game world, I hate the UI. I challenge everyone to explain to me when you right-click and when to left-click. And I am a programmer myself for crying out loud! I should be able to figure it out. Of course, you can learn the UI and after a while, you won't mind, but still, it is not all that great.
There also are a few other problems. Graphics bugs, characters locking up, that sort of stuff. And they had their share of server problems, which strangely, nobody seems to give them much of a hard time about. I guess there is a certain bonus you have, when you are Blizzard.
And then there are a few game-play things I am not crazy about. Fighting monsters is a bit mathematical IMO. Sure, you influence a lot based on your spells and abilities and stats, but there are certain points, where you just can not win. If you happen to get into the middle of a few monsters (perhaps because they re-spawn right next to you), then you might as well kill yourself. Especially when you are a low-level character without any special speed-abilities, you don't even have the option to run away, because the monsters will always catch you. Not fun.
Overall, these are minor issues. If you like online games: You will love this one! If you hate online games: Give this one a try! You might change your mind...