A game capable of attracting millions of players all over the world who religiously pay their monthly fee to play on World of Warcaft’s online servers is certainly worth reviewing. The story of Warcraft began in 1994 with the launch of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, a real-time strategy adventure. Ten years and a few sequels later the series took the leap onto the online world with World of Warcraft, which has nowadays become the world’s leading MMORPG.
Being a subscription-based and online-only title, the first thing you must do after installing the game is to open an account on Warcraft’s website and activate it with your credit card. Then launch the game, enter your username and password on the welcome screen and you’ll be ready to join the adventure.
Your first steps obviously include the creation of a character and the selection of the realm (that is, the server) where you’re going to play. These are both important choices, as they will define the way you play WoW. For instance, playing as a warrior, who can withstand the most powerful attacks, is certainly not the same as playing as a priest, who specializes in healing other players. Also, if you choose a PVP server (rather than a PVE one) you must be ready to fight other players as well as computer-controlled monsters. This is just the reflection of the battle between Alliance and Horde, the two warring factions in WoW.
Once your character appears on Azeroth, the game’s imaginary universe, you’re free to move around, explore the land or talk to other players, making use of the game’s extensive social component. Your main goal in the game is to raise your character from level 1 up to level 70, earning experience points by killing monsters and doing quests which may range from gathering a few flowers to killing a fearsome dragon hidden in its den. The higher the level, the better the game objects (weapons, armor, spells, etc.) you can use. Eventually you’ll be able to buy the most expensive items, like a flying mount, and enter the most dangerous raids, some of which can only be successfully finished with a very well organized team of 40 players.
If you don’t like the levelling race, you can also enjoy other ways of playing: engage in capture-the-flag competitions between Alliance and Horde in the so called Battlegrounds, earn WoW money by selling game objects in the Auction House or achieve the Artisan level in whichever profession you choose for your character, like skinning, herbalism, cooking or jewelcrafting.
As for graphics, the game displays extraordinary landscapes ranging from the snow-covered slopes of Dun Morogh to the jungle-like lands of Strangleton Vale or the desert plains of Tanaris. The atmosphere is enriched by natural sounds and excellent background music.
In short, World of Warcraft is a great adventure which can be played in many different ways. This may precisely be the reason why it appeals to so many players, from teenagers to grown-ups, all over the world.