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World of Warcraft
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Console: IBM PC
Region:U
Year: 2004
RFG ID #: U-016-S-03560-A
Part #:
UPC: 020626722124
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Rating:
T (ESRB): Blood , Suggestive Themes , Use of Alcohol , Violence

Genre: RPG
Sub-genre: Massively Multiplayer Online
Players: 1-???
Controller: Mouse and Keyboard
Media Format: CD-ROM x5
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Collection Stats:

  • 116 of 7433 collectors (1.5%) have this game in their collection
  • 1 of 7433 collectors (0%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7433 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.
Overview:

From the back of the box:

Descend into the World of Warcraft and join thousands of mighty heroes in an online world of myth, magic and limitless adventure. Jagged snow peaks, mountain fortresses, harsh winding canyons. Zeppelins flying over smoldering battlefields, epic seiges – an infinity of experiences await. So what are you waiting for?

Review:

It's the biggest, the baddest, the nastiest, the most time-consuming game anyone you know is playing. To those on the outside, it's like some kind of insidious cult. They're everywhere. They're talking about AB's and HP's and crit rates, and you don't have a clue what any of it means. That's right. I'm talking about World of Warcraft, and it's the subject of today's review.

When the big men first approached me about writing a WoW review, I was a little weary. Reviewing a MMORPG is no simple task. We're talking about something that doesn't even fit the definition of a video game all that well. But it's here. It has pixels. It has AI. I figure it's close enough. On to WoW.

World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role playing game. That's where we get the acronym MMORPG. It's a fairly recent genre within video gaming, and although WoW was preceeded by Everquest, Ultima Online, Meridian 59, and a host of MUDS in the 80's, it is easily the most well known of all those games, and can be held accountable for the popularity of the genre.

What's the objective of a MMORPG? No one really knows. That's why calling it a video game is disputable. Games have objectives. You can win a game. Although MMORPGs often involve objectives, they are always set by the player, and there is no final objective. You can't win. There is no end. This is a major hurdle for some people's mental capacity. Other people view it as the ultimate in non-linear gameplay. What's the point of the game? Do whatever you want.

Well, not really. Blizzard entertainment has done a fine job creating a large environment for players to explore. There are a ton of in-game weapons, armor, and items to gear up your characters. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of quests to complete. That in mind, we are still dealing with a T rated video game, so there isn't any visible nudity or gratuitous violence. In that respect, the game is more limited than say, Grand Theft Auto. There's still a lot more to see than GTA. The world size is much larger, although not the size of Everquest(even before EQ's 5,000 expansion packs). Never mind the multiplayer component.

In WoW, players can interact with thousands of other players to sell or trade items, fight monsters, fight each other, complete quests, dance, get married, get drunk, or whatever. The sheer number of other players within the persistent virtual world is impressive. It's not uncommon to see random battles break out between a few dozen players, and some of the higher level content actually requires 40 or more players just to get off the ground. Alterac Valley, one of the game's player versus player battlegrounds, is a 40 vs. 40 battleground. That's 80 players duking it out in the same place. If you don't have a hefty video card, don't go there.

Speaking of graphics, they aren't bad. Up close, the characters look pretty cartoony. Realism isn't necessarily the goal of WoW's graphics engine. There are some impressive draw distances though, and there are often a huge number of polygons and textures on screen because of all the characters running around. The magical effects are usually pretty neat. Watching the Queen of the Black Dragonflight stomp a raid group is always stunning. But enough of the broad overviewing. Let's talk about the RPG part of this MMORPG.

WoW has an effective gameplay system. I wouldn't say it's awesome. I wouldn't say it's for everybody. I'll just say it's effective. Combat is in real time in WoW, and physics play some role. Quick reactions are a part of combat, but not a large part. Beyond that, the systems are largely dependent on numbers. Want to see if you hit the monster? It's a roll of the dice (unless you are out of range or some other obvious factor). Better gear will tilt those numbers in your favor. Better strategy will tilt them even more in your favor. The numbers are key. From that fact springs the games biggest weakness.

If the numbers are key, and better gear tilts the numbers in your favor, then the people who have the time to get the better gear will usually beat those who don't, even if they're terrible players. This is an obvious problem because it means the game is less about skill and more about time investment. Spend more time playing WoW and you'll be "better" at it, regardless of your actual knowledge of the game mechanics. You may be a totally worthless n00b, but your Helm of Endless Rage or your Ironbark staff gives you such an unfair advantage that you'll kill other players with ease every time. Essentially, WoW is scrub gaming to the extreme.

One could argue (and I often have) that RPGs are scrub gaming by their very nature. After all, what is "leveling up" but a completely artificial advantage? Being level 99 in Final Fantasy doesn't prove you have the slightest clue how to play the game. It just means you had 80 hours to spend killing the same wimpy monster thousands of times over again.

That brings me to another of the game's weaknesses; repetition. There's a lot of it. Most quests require you to kill X many monsters, or collect X many items. Depending on the number and the scarcity of X, you might spend hours, days, or weeks doing the same thing over and over again to collect them. That whole time, your chances of becoming a 40-year-old virgin are exponentially increasing. That's not good at all.

As much as that sucks, WoW is fun to play sometimes. And it does have a huge amount of depth if you look in the right places. The in-game economy is very expansive. There are numerous ways to make money in WoW, as well as various ways to cheat other players out of theirs. Role playing can be interesting (even though it makes you a total nerd). Harassing other players as an invisible rogue is more fun than a barrel of monkeys every time, especially if they're a much lower level than you.

When it comes down to an overall score, I always ask myself if a game is fun. That's what it's all about. Is WoW fun? I suppose that depends on what you decide to do in the game. Some people will find something in there that's an absolute blast. Other people will scratch their heads and return to playing Madden '07. The ultimate irony is that fantasy life, just like real life, is what you make of it. To each his own. That's all I've got.

Sauza12 writes:

"Butters go buy World of Warcraft, install it on your computer, and join the online sensation before we all murder you." – Eric Cartman, South Park

World of Warcraft was released on November 23rd, 2004 and since then has become one of the most successful games of all time. With over 7 million subscribers it has taken the entire massively multiplier online RPG genre to a whole new level. While it wasn't the first entry into the genre, it has certainly become the most popular. Can that many people be wrong? Thankfully, in this case the old clich stands up as World of Warcraft delivers a solid game with few glaring errors.

The game can be viewed from two different perspectives; Player vs. Environment (PvE), and Player vs. Player (PvP). Each side of the game offers its own unique experience that is both deep yet still accessible for new players.

There are two different avenues in which you can participate in PvP battles. World PvP which consists of the everyday griefing that MMORPG veterans have come to know and sometimes love, as well as a few instances of world PvP events, which generally consist of one side taking over another side's base. While both can be fun (or if you are the victim of a lopsided surprise attack, extremely annoying), these are not the best way to enjoy PvP battle.

The second avenue for PvP battle is in the specially designated battlegrounds. In these battlegrounds, players will play one of three game types: Capture the Flag (located in Warsong Gultch), Land Grab (located in Arathi Basin), and a race between the two teams to kill enemy non-playable characters (located in Alterac Valley). These battlegrounds are, simply put, a blast to play. It adds a bit of strategy outside of "hit that guy until he's dead". In the latest patch as of this writing (patch 2.01) arena battles have been put in that allow teams of 2, 3, 4, or 5 to fight head-to-head. Unfortunately as of this review, the arena battles were not working properly.

The PvE portion of the game is what really makes World of Warcraft shine. A seemingly unending stream of quests keeps the game fresh and interesting. While many can be tackled by a solo player, the dungeons that are spread throughout the game forces you to team up with other players to conquer the much stronger enemies that reside within. These dungeons start from the lowly 5-man instances and lead all the way up to epic 40-man raid instances that can take several hours to complete. The dungeons encourage your group to come up with detailed strategies to get past difficult fights. In addition to this, during these encounters every class in the game has a certain job that must be played correctly to keep the group alive.

Of course, everything I've written so far only scratches the surface of what this game has to offer. While the game is extremely complex, the interface and learning curve do an excellent job of helping new players adjust to everything. One of these things includes the deep and rewarding character customization options. Every time you level up, you are given ability points which you can put into one of three ability trees that let you customize your game play. Want your Priest to be more than a heal bot for the other players? Invest heavily into the shadow tree. Want your warrior to be the defender that takes the brunt of the enemy's attacks away from your other party members? Invest in the protection tree. The options are as deep as you can imagine.

However, no game can be perfect. Every game has its flaws and World of Warcraft is no exception. Despite recent patches, the looking for group system is horrible at best. From a drop down menu, you can select if you are looking for a group for a dungeon, a particular quest you are on, a certain zone, etc. However, you are limited control over what type of player you can look for. If you are looking for someone to heal for your party, you cannot specify that you would like a priest. You could end up with a Druid, Paladin, or Shaman despite the fact that they don't have the type of healing abilities you would like for the party.

The story in the game is also nearly non-existent, which is a common problem with any game that is as open as this. Even given that, much more could be done to expand the story. The quests which they use to keep the lore flowing often are no more than the "kill 10 of these enemies". While I like slaughtering murlocs as much as the next guy, I would like more of a reason to do it other than there have been increasing reports of murloc activities. Some of the more complex dungeons do have a rather intriguing story to go along with them (The Uldaman dungeon springs to mind), but they are few and far between. Does anybody really remember the purpose of going to Maraudon?

Overall, World of Warcraft has become almost more than a game. As our good friend Cartman so accurately pointed out, it has become a sensation which you don't want to miss. With complex, yet easy to navigate game play, extensive character interaction, and an almost ridiculously large world, World of Warcraft is one online sensation that you'll want to be a part of.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go mind control this Troll off of a very large cliff.

Extra Media:

Inside Flap
Inner Inside Flap Left
Inner Inside Flap Right
Product Catalog
Product Catalog Back
Manual Back
Guest Pass
Game Discs Case
Game Discs Case Back
Disc 1 Sleeve
Disc 2 Sleeve
Disc 3 Sleeve
Disc 4 Sleeve
Disc 5 Sleeve
Disc Sleeve Back
Variations:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
IBM PC United Kingdom S World of Warcraft Blizzard Entertainment 2004 RPG
IBM PC U S World of Warcraft [Over 7Mil Online] Blizzard Entertainment 2006 RPG
IBM PC E S World of Warcraft [Battle Chest - No UPC] Blizzard Entertainment 2012 Compilation
IBM PC United Kingdom S World of Warcraft [Battle Chest] Blizzard Entertainment 2012 RPG
IBM PC E S World of Warcraft [Battle Chest] Blizzard Entertainment 2008 RPG
IBM PC United Kingdom S World of Warcraft [Collector's Edition] Blizzard Entertainment 2005 RPG
IBM PC United Kingdom S World of Warcraft [DVD Rerelease] Blizzard Entertainment 2007 RPG
IBM PC United Kingdom S World of Warcraft [14 Day Trial Version] The Times 2006 RPG
IBM PC United Kingdom S World of Warcraft [English, Outside UK Version] Blizzard Entertainment 2004 RPG
IBM PC U S World of Warcraft [14-Day Trial Edition] Blizzard Entertainment 2006 RPG
Page Credits:

Michael Collins: Page design, HTML code.
Eddie Herrmann: Perl script.
Anthony Terzi: Title addition
Kyle Niday: Scans
TheEvilLeon: Review
Sauza12: Review, Overview
Zenki: upc, media format, rating, Scans, Photos
Flee: Scans, Extra Media Edit, Photos

Last Updated: 2016-06-08 01:14:34
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