Have you ever wanted to escape from the boring 9 to 5 world to a place where you can do virtually anything your heart desires? Becoming a powerful magician, a fierce warrior, or a cunning and stealthy rogue is as easy as picking up a copy of World of Warcraft for your PC.
Why World of Warcraft?
Of the many titles available, World of Warcraft is the only one that offers players the opportunity to do virtually anything they can imagine. During the character creation phase, players can choose from one of eight different races of two opposing factions battling for control of the world, the Horde and the Alliance. Players can also choose from a total of nine different playable classes, and twelve professions to fit the style of virtually any role-playing fanatic.
Races of the Horde
Horde players can choose to play as the Forsaken, a race of undead zombie-like creatures whose capital city is located deep beneath the ruins of the ancient city of Lordaeron and seek to discover a new plague which will destroy their hated enemy, the Scourge, as well as all other living things in Azeroth. The Orcs, once slaves to the Burning Legion, now follow the war chief Thrall in their fight to survive in the world. The Tauren are large, cow-like beasts, who, after aiding the Orcs in their rebellion against the Burning Legion, now live to serve nature and maintain the balance between all living things. Trolls, after being exiled from their home in Stranglethorn Vale by the vile Murlocs, were rescued by Thrall and his Orcish followers. In return for this, they have sworn allegiance to the Horde.
Races of the Alliance
Alliance players can select from the Humans, who battle to defend their capital city of Stormwind from invasion, and to maintain the might and honor of humanity throughout Azeroth. Dwarves, who are renowned for their might in battle, as well as their storytelling and their preference for a good keg of Thunderbrew lager, recently learned that they were in fact created by the Titans, now search the world for more secrets of their heritage. The Gnomes are brilliant engineers who strive to retake their capital city of Gnomeregan from the invaders who currently occupy it. Lastly, Alliance players can choose the Night Elves, a race of immortal beings with strong magical powers, who unintentionally drew the Burning Legion into the world of Azeroth, now fight alongside other races of the Alliance to help reshape the world into a more peaceful, balanced place to live.
World of Warcraft heralds nine unique playable classes to choose from. Druids are masters of nature, with the ability to cure poisons and revive fallen allies even in the heat of battle, as well as shape shift into bear, cat, or sea lion form, gaining unique powers to help them with both combat and travel while in these forms.
Hunters are a versatile class, allowing players to take down enemies from a distance with the help of a guardian pet, tamed and trained from the wilds of Azeroth. They are skilled with bows and rifles, and also possess the ability to dual wield weapons and fight alongside their beasts in combat.
The mage is a powerful spell caster, blasting enemies with fire, frost, and arcane damage. They have the ability to freeze enemies in place, cancel enemy spell casting, or burn them with powerful fireballs. Mages can also increase their allies’ intelligence, remove curses, and conjure food and water for their allies, as well as opening mystic portals which allow for instantaneous travel from anywhere in the world of Azeroth back to one of three capital cities.
The noble paladins are a class that is able to wear the heaviest armor, making them a formidable foe in melee combat. They also have the ability to shield their allies, protecting them from harm, as well as heal and even resurrect their fallen comrades.
Priests are masters of holy magic, able to use the most powerful healing spells on their allies, increase their stamina, and bring them back to life. However, priests are also proficient with shadow magic, able to inflict huge amounts of damage to their foes, which makes them a very versatile class in any situation.
Stealthy rogues are able to slip unseen past their adversaries, then jump out of the shadows and deal massive damage extremely quickly. With the assistance of their poisons, they are able to cripple their enemies, reducing their casting time or movement speed. Rogues are also able to pick locked chests and doors, as well as disarming traps, making them very valuable to a group of adventurers.
The Shaman is a master of the elements, utilizing fire, frost, and lightning to blast their foes, while also able to use totems to boost their allies in combat, and the ability to heal and revive their fallen friends. Shamans are also one of the only classes available that becomes available to self-resurrect at high levels, making them invaluable to most parties.
Warlocks are powerful magicians, able to summon demons from the twisting nether to aid them in battle. Using shadow, fire, and demonic magic, warlocks are able to disease and curse their foes, and cause them to flee in terror while blasting them with spells. As mages can transport players from their location to a capital city, warlocks possess the unique ability to summon players from wherever they may be in the world of Azeroth to the warlock’s current location, making them highly useful for organizing large groups.
The warrior is capable of wearing plate armor, and can either be an unstoppable wall or an unstoppable killing machine. Able to withstand attacks from the mightiest enemies, warriors are invaluable at holding the attention of monsters while they are blasted by spell casters, and at the same time are capable of berserking and dealing massive amounts of damage to their foes.
The professions available to World of Warcraft players are divided into three subgroups: Gathering, Production and Service. Gathering professions supplement the production professions, and are used to acquire raw materials needed to craft items. The four gathering professions in World of Warcraft are: Mining, Skinning, Herbalism, and Fishing. Mining allows players to dig up ore from the earth and smelt it into bars of metal used by Blacksmiths and Engineers. Skinning lets players remove the leather from corpses of beasts they have slain and use them in crafting leather goods. Herbalism is the gathering of herbs, which are then used by skilled Alchemists to craft potions, elixirs, and the more powerful Flasks. Lastly is fishing, which, in addition to being relaxing, rewards players with food to eat to regain their health, as well as a few exotic species of fish used by Alchemists, and also the occasional treasure is reeled in on your fishing line.
Next up we have the six production professions available in World of Warcraft: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, and Tailoring. Alchemists are able to craft potions which boost their health, mana, swim speed, or allow them to breathe underwater, as well as many others. Blacksmiths are able to craft weapons and armor from metals mined throughout Azeroth. Cooking will enhance foods that are both fished up or gathered from the corpses of creatures throughout the World of Warcraft, causing them to restore more health than if they are left uncooked, and even provide players with a temporary stamina and spirit increase if they become “well fed”. Engineers are able to produce powerful gadgets and trinkets, as well as guns, explosives, and even mechanical guardians to fight alongside them in battle. Skilled leatherworkers are able to produce armor of both leather and some mail items, crafted from leather and the scales of certain beasts of Azeroth, and armor patches to permanently increase the armor value of existing items. A tailor will use cloth gathered from humanoid monsters throughout the world to craft robes and armor for many of the spell casting classes, as well as being able to craft stylish shirts, keeping their fellow players up to date on the hottest fashion trends, and bags, which allow players to hold more items in their inventory and often fetch a high price at the auction house.
Lastly are World of Warcraft’s service professions: Enchanting and First Aid. Enchanting allows players to disenchant magical items to extract the magical components, and then use those components to enhance existing weapons and armor making them even more powerful. First Aid is used to craft bandages to heal yourself after battle, and powerful anti-venoms to remove poisons.
Pros of World of Warcraft versus Other RPGs
I personally have played many different online role-playing games, so why choose World of Warcraft? Of all the games out there, World of Warcraft, or “WoW” as it is lovingly called by the millions of players already inhabiting the land of Azeroth, is the only game out there that allows players to do virtually anything they can imagine. From battling hordes of monsters, to sitting on a dock quietly fishing, to sewing clothes to sell to their fellow players, World of Warcraft gives you a place where anything is possible. Players can form a group and complete any of hundreds of quests with their fellow adventurers, or for the loner types there are more than enough things to do solo. World of Warcraft also allows you to form a guild, an online “family” of friends, who can hold meetings, grant promotions within the guild, and quest and raid dungeons together. With the ability to raid in groups ranging in size from 2 people to 40, virtually anything is possible. Player interaction is also highly encouraged and well implemented within the World of Warcraft. Players of the same faction are able to securely trade money and items between themselves with a very well thought out user interface, sell items at the auction house, send in-game emails with attachments available for both gold and items, participate in a two person friendly duel to compare skills, or all out Player Versus Player action in one of three Battlegrounds against players of the opposing faction, or in an arena with Free For All PVP. There have also been many recent additions, such as two world PVP events, one in the Eastern Plaguelands and one in Silithus, in which anyone can freely participate, and Blizzard Entertainment is constantly reviewing ideas from both their technical staff and player submissions to update and make the world a more enjoyable place for everyone in Azeroth. With the huge variety of activities available, players can always find something to do, if they have only a few minutes to play or an all weekend long energy-drink induced gaming binge.
From a technical standpoint, many other games often have an extremely long loading time between areas. Most areas in World of Warcraft have absolutely NO loading time between them, with the exception of traveling from one continent to the other via zeppelin or boat, but even these load times are minimal, usually lasting only 10-20 seconds in my experience, versus the 10-20 MINUTES I have experienced while playing some other online games. Also, the in-game customer support is some of the best I have ever encountered. With a friendly staff of Game Masters available at just a few clicks of the mouse, players have access to knowledgeable people who are willing and able to assist them with just about any concern or issues they may have, and the wait time for a ticket to be answered is usually much shorter than with other games.
Cons of World of Warcraft versus Other RPGs
So with all the pros I’ve talked about for World of Warcraft, what are the cons? The drawbacks to playing World of Warcraft are far outweighed by the advantages, but here are some considerations. The World of Warcraft service requires a monthly subscription fee and online access to play, but the subscription fee is comparable to most other online RPGs, and even has discount rates available if multiple months of service are purchased at the same time. Also, Tuesdays are the scheduled maintenance day for all World of Warcraft game servers, at least currently, so from around 3AM PDT to 11AM, the game servers are unavailable because they have been taken offline for maintenance. But, the scheduled maintenances help to fix latency issues with the servers, as well as other problems that are necessary to be resolved to keep everyone happy.
With the huge variety of activities available to players of World of Warcraft, as well as a fully customizable user interface, it’s no wonder that it’s the best online RPG on the market today. From players with only a small amount of free time to people who can play for hours at a time, World of Warcraft offers something for everyone. With millions of players and growing every day, don’t you think it’s time you joined the World of Warcraft?