World of Warcraft: 10 Things We All Love About This Epic Game
Millions Of Players Still Play This Epic Game, And Here Is Why
Ah, World of Warcraft. So many things could be written on it. One of the world's biggest MMOPGs has changed a lot over the years and while many claim the magic of its first years has long since faded, we're still drawn to it.
We keep playing it, or we take breaks then come back again, and we wonder just what is it that makes us want still more World of Warcraft. It's probably because few things are as unique and enchanting, as filled to the brim with nostalgia and challenges as this game.
1. The Familiar Setting
You built this, remember?
World of Warcraft continues the story where Warcraft III left it at. For the first time, players were able to experience the forests of Ashenvale, Durotar and the kingdom of Stormwid from a unique point of view: this time, they were someone who lived in that world and saw it through their eyes.
The real meaning behind the game's name becomes clear the moment you set foot in Azeroth: Warcraft is no longer a series of maps in a campaign. It takes place in a seamless world of epic proportions, living and breathing.
You can see traces of everything you experienced in Warcraft. Here and there, hints and details reveal the past events that you, the player, played a part in during Warcraft. Orgrimmar? You were the one who built it. Stormwind? You were the one who protected it. Mount Hyjal? This is where you defeated Archimonde.
This world that you cherished is now yours to live in and protect. This is what drew people to World of Warcraft back when it first released, and keeps fascinating them even now.
The trailer that started it all.
2. The Rich Lore
The rich lore that goes way back is one of the franchise's selling points.
Among fantasy worlds, Warcraft's universe is arguably among those with the richest, deepest lore. The basic premise from which started in 1994 Orcs and Humans was progressively expanded and enriched, and by the time Warcraft III hit, the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor were home to numerous factions with a history spanning thousands of years.
There was still much left to be said, and a lot more to be imagined. World of Warcraft gave Blizzard's writers a new, unprecedented freedom to tell their stories. With their help, our characters uncovered intricate plots, solved age-old mysteries, discovered new lands and civilizations.
Every quest line mattered in the grand scheme of things and told us more about the universe that out characters lived in. Playing World of Warcraft is like reading a book whose authors managed to unfold a fascinating story before our eyes – and this story is far from being over yet.
Wrath of the Lich King gave a closure to one of Warcraft's most emblematic storylines.
3. The Memorable Characters
Whether they hate him or love him, everyone knows this guy.
The world of Warcraft has seen a lot of memorable characters appear throughout the years. We discovered many of them during the RTS series' epic campaigns, but many also made their first appearance in World of Warcraft itself.
Their actions have shaped the world as we know it now and continue doing so. They impress, they excite our imagination, their decisions and actions fuel debates.
Because we can see and interact with them in Wold of Warcraft, it feels like we're participating in the making of history. Who has never dreamed of saluting Thrall, conversing with Jaina or avenge Lordaeron by fighting against the Lich King?
Even the humblest NPC can have a fascinating backstory, and we remember it fondly, especially if they reappear later on. How can you ever forget the poor Mankrik?
And then there are those who we had high hopes for, but they turned out to be villains.
4. The Impressive Environments
The Twilight Highlands are a very atmospheric zone.
The world of Azeroth is both incredibly vast and incredibly detailed. Each and every zone is unique, with its own theme and atmosphere.
One thing that makes a lasting impression on the players is just how real the world looks. A lot of thought was put into each zone's topography. The placement of valleys and rivers, of beaches and mountains makes them all seem like they were really naturally formed over the course of millenia.
Exploring every nook and cranny of the world takes real dedication. There are just so many passageways, caves and ruins. You can always come across something new even in places that you thought you knew by heart.
The Cataclysm is one of the events that forever changed the world of Azeroth.
5. The Conflict Between Factions
Fighting for the domination of Outland.
A lot of people are drawn in by the age-old conflict between the two main factions in World of Warcraft, the Alliance and the Horde.
Well beyond a symbolic conflict between a “red side” and a “blue side”, many feel a real attachment to their faction and a sense of belonging, and when they take up arms against their enemy, it is with the conviction that they're fighting for the ideals their side believes in.
One of the main sellins points of Orcs and Humans back then was that for the first time, you could play as “the villains”. You were not only playing as the noble heroes who fought to save their world, but could also experience the other side of the conflict, and see it through the eyes of your enemies.
While the Horde of World of Warcraft is no longer the “evil side”, most of the races that it consists of still give off that barbaric, savage and somewhat monstrous feel. They are not your usual “pretty races” that can be found everywhere, including in the Alliance, and a lot of those who choose the Horde do so because they enjoy this primalistic, powerful feel and look.
Each faction's ideals and set of values are also different and appeal to different gamers. Both the Horde and the Alliance create a sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people who band together for a common cause – whether it be in the virtual world or in the real one.
6. The Epic Raiding
The first obstacle between the heroes of Azeroth and the Lich King.
It would probably not be incorrect to say that the lore of World of Warcraft culminates with raids. In these epic encounters, players fight against the forces that threaten to destroy their world, but also uncover their true motivations, meet key characters and witness epic dialogue and confrontations.
Raids are loved and enjoyed by many. They feature the most powerful foes Azeroth has to offer and completing them can represent a real challenge.
Many enjoy the difficulty that progressively goes up as they participate in ever harder modes that put to the test their skills and reflexes. Others find raiding to be a perfect time to bond with their friends with whom they share these epic adventures together. Some also enjoy the rewards they get for slaying bosses, and are on a perpetual quest for that elusive best in slot piece of gear.
The lore behind each raid dungeon is very interesting.
7. The Competitive Scene
World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational Grand Finals.
A lot of people thrive on competition. Luckily, World of Warcraft provides a lot of opportunities for them to test their mettle against other players.
Whether it be the race to world first boss kills or domination in the arena or battlegrounds, competition is ever-present at the higher levels of play. The competitive landscape is constantly evolving, and players must adapt their playstyle and come up with new strategies to win.
As a ranked player versus player environment, the arenas are where most of the competition is at. They attract the e-sport community and Blizzard even organizes world championships that give the opportunity to the world's best players to fight against each other in official matches and win prizes.
This does not mean, however, that these competitions are only for the elite. The small format of an arena team means that it is also an activity you can casually enjoy with one or two friends on those days when you just feel like cleaving some skulls in half.
8. The Sheer Amount Of Things To Do
The Enchanted Fey Dragon is a beautiful mount, but it is only one of the hundreds you can own.
There are so many things to collect in World of Warcraft that at times the game feels like a completionist's paradise. Over the course of its existence, the amount of mounts and companions you can own, of the pets you can tame if you're a hunter and of all the entertaining toys you can get has grown to hundreds.
And all the achievements your character can unlock! Even if you are not an active raider or PvP player, World of Warcraft has something to offer to everyone.
You could want to learn every recipe for your professions, or hunt rare pets and mounts in remote places. Maybe you're a fashionista and want to collect every item that makes your character look cool, or maybe you enjoy being liked by everyone and spend hours working on improving your standing with the various factions that call Azeroth home.
Ten years worth of content are really hard to beat. Even though veteran players have already seen most of it, there is still always something left to discover or to do.
The Mists of Pandaria expansion introduced a lot of new sorts of content.
9. The Community That Brings Us All Together
Yet raiding, or PvP, or lore is not what makes most of us stay. Let's be honest here: over the course of the years we've been playing World of Warcraft, we've forged a lot of precious relationships.
By bringing together players during all sorts of events and activities, the game made us make strong bonds with others. We like calling our raid and guild members friends, we care about them, we share good and bad times alike.
Often those bonds carry over to the real life. We go to meetings with our gaming buddies, enjoy a night out at an internet cafe. The social aspect of an MMO is every bit as important as the content it has to offer.
Very often people complain that the sense of community has been diluted in World of Warcraft because the direction the game is taking does not specifically encourage playing with others. Yet many of us continue to log into the game just to chat with our friends, catch up with the latest news and generally have a good time together.
For some of us, this is what truly keeps bringing us back – the people who we ended up having so much in common with.
10. And The Awesome Music
Every expansion, we hear the same thing. “This and that could really be improved, but if there's something Blizzard always does right, it's the music”.
And we can only agree. The music has always been incredibly beautiful, atmospheric, and fit perfectly the locations where it played. Blizzard has awesome musicians, and they never fail to deliver.
And you know well how it happens... You start listening to a song, then two, then you listen to an entire soundtrack. Finally, you sigh and reinstall World of Warcraft, whispering “I really just want to see that zone again”.
Do you love World of Warcraft as much as we do? Leave your impressions of the game in the comments below.
How knowledgeable are you about World of Warcraft? Read about these 15 Things You’ll Understand Only If You've Played World of Warcraft.