those PC gamers that have spent the last few years hidden under
a rock, in a cave, on mars, World of Warcraft is the highly
anticipated Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG)Which
continues the story of the Warcraft series. With so many MMORPG’s
in the market trying to get us to dip in to our pockets for
the monthly game fees, can WoW do enough to stand out? Read
on and all will be revealed.
Orcs and Humans
series has come a very long way since its 1994 release. The
series started as a Real Time Strategy gaming, pitting Orcs
against Humans. Over several sequels and a massively developed
plot the game has ended up in the form of a MMORPG. This did
seem an obvious choice, the game has a solid fan base and there’s
plenty of material and back story to develop into such a game.
The games races are split into two distinct groups, the Alliance
and the Horde. The Alliance represents the traditional side
of good including Humans, Elves and Dwarves. Whereas, the Horde
represents what we would normally consider as being evil such
as Trolls, The Undead and a variety of other beast humanoids.
playing the game you soon realize that this is not Good versus
Evil. Upon hearing the Hordes story you will soon see that the
Horde are not truly evil, just different. For example the Tauron,
a large beast creature that resemble bulls, are very in touch
with nature and their culture and society appears to have been
inspired by Native Americans.
race will have a number of classes that it has access to and
the Horde and Alliance have slight differences in the types
of class that they offer.
than everyone playing in the same game, WoW is divided into
a number of realms. This obviously reduces the number of players
you will meet but therefore reduces a number of problems you
would expect with a ridiculously high level of characters in
one area (such as lag or players killing all enemies in an area,
thus depriving you of the chance to be involved in combat),
also the realms have a general focus as to the type of gameplay
you will experience. There are currently three types of realm;
Normal, PvP and Roleplaying. On a normal server the focus is
removed form Player versus Player (PvP) combat and focuses more
on quest. PvP servers allow PvP combat to the full extent and
the Roleplaying servers are aimed at those who want to develop
the story and interactions of their character, rather than just
stabbing everything. If you are going to play with a friend
you must make sure that you choose the same realm, otherwise
you cannot meet up. Currently a number of realms have queues
so I would recommend choosing a realm with a lower population.
So What’s it All About?
game includes a variety of things for you to do. These are;
Quests, Professions, PvP and Exploration.
game has quite a strong focus towards quests. Quests are gained
from NPCs’ (Non-Player Characters) and will require you
to do something. A quest can be very easy (such as delivering
a message) or quite epic in its scale (taking on armies of enemies).
All these quests can be done solo or in a group and in your
quest screen the quest will be colour coded to show you the
relative difficulty of the quest to your character. The games
overall focus is towards quests, which gives it a very different
feel to other MMORPGs, such as Final Fantasy XI or Anarchy Online.
In fact at time the game feels almost linear (in a good way).
I have never found myself thinking ‘I’m not sure
what to do next’. Over time the quests will introduce
you to new game areas and have you traveling further a field
into more dangerous territory. The good news is that you don’t
have to follow the quests as they arrive, if you want to go
to a completely different game area and do the quests their,
you can. The game doesn’t railroad you down a set path,
true, low level characters are likely to be doing similar quests,
but this is jot forced upon you at all. In my opinion this quest
focused gameplay gives the game an addictive coherent quality
that many other MMORPGs often lack. Even if a quest is too difficult,
you can spend your time out in the wild gaining xp knowing what
your goal is eventually going to be.
character can take on a number of professions. There are three
types of profession; Gathering, Crafting and General. Of the
Gathering and Crafting Professions you can choose any two. For
example, you could choose skinning and leather working. This
would allow you to take the skin from fallen beasts and craft
armour from these skins. There are a wide range of these professions,
such as mining, herbalism, engineering and alchemy to name some
of the possibilities. Other characters often choose two gathering
skills, such as mining and skinning, rather than crafting goods
from the raw materials, they sell them to other crafters for
a premium. Crafters will often pay well above the going rate
for raw materials if they are crafting an item which demands
a massive material input. In addition you have access to the
three general professions (you can have all three of these);
Fishing, First Aid and Cooking. These basic skills are useful
to all characters, and although they can produce a profit for
your character they are most often used to support your characters
survival. The different professions have very different feels
which will affect how you play your character. Skinning is popular
because the raw materials can be found on many of the creatures
found in the game and so those people with this profession will
gather items as they go along. Herbalism requires you to find
your materials in various places, such as fields or under trees.
So to get specific materials you will have to go out of your
way to hunt down areas which are rich in that item. Mining requires
ore veins. These are often in high risk areas and so you’ll
have to specifically go on mining expeditions to track down
these valuable resources. Because of this the cost of raw materials
will be higher (and less likely to be available) for mining
ore than leather.
in this game works extremely well. It is possible to attack
people from the opposing side, but not in all circumstances.
If you are in an area that is home to your side you cannot be
attacked. In an neutral area you can be attacked and in an enemy
controlled area you can pretty much guarantee you will be attacked.
If you see an enemy in a safe area, as I’ve mentioned
they cannot attack you, though if you choose you can attack
them (which will then allow you to be attacked as you will be
given a PvP tag). This allows for lower level characters to
be safe in friendly areas, and higher level characters have
the option of taking on attackers. This system reduces griefing
and it works well. In the future an honour system will be introduced.
You will only gain honour and increase in PvP rank if you attack
enemies of a suitable level. High rank characters will get various
advantages over lower level characters, such as high powered
or cut price items.
the game will give you xp for finding new areas and you will
have a wide range of enemies to fight. It is very nice sometimes
to just have a bit of a wander.
games combat system is similar to most other MMORPGs. You click
an enemy to attack and then you can select to perform various
skills whilst in combat. The game is different to some others
in that combat varies between the different classes. For example,
the rogue class gains combo points when using skills, these
combo point can be used against the same enemy to use a devastating
attack. Warriors have a rage bar and magic users have mana.
This gives helps to emphasise the differences between the games
different classes. Skills don’t go up with time or use.
Instead you pay to increase your skills once you have reached
the requisite level. The penalties for death work quite well
in the game. If you die your ghost will appear at a preset point
on the games map. You then have the choice of either traveling
to your corpse and coming back to life without any penalties.The
alternative is to be immediately be resurrected, though you
will suffer from resurrection sickness which lowers yours stats
for a period of time plus your weapons will be damaged and therefore
it may be costly to have them repaired. I think this system
works extremely well.
MMORPGs recognize the importance of an in-game economy and WoW
is no exception. The game has a three auction houses plus the
ability to trade with other players. The issue I would raise
is the lack of chat trade channels in most areas. Normal channels
generally do not allow you to post a link to the items info,
so you don’t know whether its worth buying an item without
having to ask for all the stats. This issue could easily be
resolved and I’m sure it will be.
Gaining Levels and Progressing
is gained for killing enemies, completing quests and finding
new areas. If your character is rested (by spending time or
logging out at an in) you will gain double xp from creatures
for a while. To be honest level progression is a little too
simple for my liking. When you gain a level a few of your stats
go up, and that’s about it. Your character does get more
powerful, but there is very little in the way of customization.
Their isn’t currently a massive range of equipment for
each class. So its not unusual for two level 15 rogues to be
pretty much identical. Past level 10 you get access to talents.
Each level you gain you get given a talent point. Each class
has three talent paths. This allows you to develop your character
and give an emphasis in one specific diection or stay as a generalist.
This may seem to contradict my previous statement, but at the
moment it doesn’t seem to do enough. As the game develops
and more items are introduced that may change quite a lot. The
game does feel a little simple and stripped down at times though
I’m sure this will open the game up to more people, and
not everyone wants a system as complicated as the one found
in games like Anarchy Online.
Graphics and Sound
those of you that have read my previous reviews, you will know
that I don’t see graphics and sound as being very important.
This game did impress me though. The game doesn’t do anything
over the top, but there is quite a lot of detail in the environment
and character models. There is an absolutely massive range in
the games various areas and it gives a very impressive feel.
The game does suck you in very easily and a lot of this can
be attributed to the games graphics. The sound is also very
satisfying. There are all the sound effects you would expect
from a game with so much combat, and like all good games the
games musical score does a great job of sparking various emotions
as you go through the game.
game is a very satisfying MMORPG experience. There is a massive
amount of content for each of the games starting areas, and
the game feels very complete. My main issues are that the game
does feel a little shallow at times and can be a touch underwhelming.
As time goes by I’m certain more items and content will
be added which will drastically change how the game feels. The
PvP system also contributes towards the game and is far superior
to other games such as Anarchy Online. The game has made an
impact and I’m certain that its success will continue.