World of Warcraft by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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World of Warcraft
Summary * History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters
Blizzard has a history of not being the first to bring out a genre. Blizzard quietly sits back and observes other companies who jump into the fray. Blizzard has the distinction of being gamers first and designers last. They are interested in eliminating the pain of gaming and replacing it with clear succinct design which provides fun.
Warcraft was one of these breakthrough titles that trumped Westwood with real time strategy games that not only were fun to play but were funny. A sense of humor goes a long way to converting the tedium of killing just another monster to a new experience.
The game is available for PCs and Macs. World of Warcraft or WOW is an example of Blizzard's insight into the game industry and represents Blizzard's effort to eliminate the tedium of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMPOG) with a product that is fun to play.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT® SHATTERS DAY-ONE SALES RECORDS
Blizzard's newest title becomes North America's fastest-selling PC game ever, with record number of accounts created and concurrent players in first 24 hours IRVINE, Calif. - December 1, 2004 - Blizzard Entertainment® today confirmed that World of Warcraft® has broken day-one sales records in North America, making it the most successful PC game launch ever. World of Warcraft, the company's subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), sold through to over 240,000 customers at retailers in North America on Tuesday, November 23, selling more in its first 24 hours than any other PC game in history.*
In addition to shattering sales records, World of Warcraft also broke peak concurrency and account creation records for a MMORPG. Within the first day, over 200,000 players created World of Warcraft accounts. By 5:00 p.m. PST, over 100,000 were playing the game concurrently. These two record-breaking numbers made World of Warcraft the fastest-growing MMORPG in history. Within a single day, all original 40+ World of Warcraft servers were filled to capacity, and by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, more than 40 additional servers were deployed to meet the rapidly growing player base, as the number of new accounts and concurrent users continued to grow.
"We were all extremely pleased with the success of World of Warcraft on its first day of launch," said Mike Morhaime, president of Blizzard Entertainment. "Once we saw the numbers for the first day, we knew that we had to immediately increase capacity to accommodate the huge numbers of players joining our game. We're glad so many people are enjoying World of Warcraft, and we are dedicated to supporting a fun and smooth game experience for everyone."
Retailers across North America reported that the World of Warcraft launch was unequivocally their biggest day-one sales in PC gaming history. Leading industry retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, EB, and GameStop, all reported that hundreds of their stores sold out of World of Warcraft within the first day.
"World of Warcraft has once again shown that Blizzard consistently delivers the best games in the industry," said Robert McKenzie, vice president of merchandising at GameStop. "It sold better than any other PC game this year - in fact, World of Warcraft enjoyed the best day-one sell-through GameStop has ever seen on a PC title!"
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, players continued to buy World of Warcraft in record numbers, with a total of over 350,000* copies of the game selling through. Blizzard Entertainment and its retail partners expect the remaining supplies of World of Warcraft to sell out soon. Blizzard is currently evaluating its ability to ship additional games to retailers, given the unexpectedly high demand on the servers. The company continues to increase server capacity to accommodate the growing number of players connecting to the game. As the additional servers are brought online and proven stable, additional copies of World of Warcraft will be made available at retail. Blizzard will announce the availability of those additional games as soon as they are on shelves.
About World of Warcraft In World of Warcraft, players assume the roles of legendary heroes and interact with thousands of other players online as they explore and adventure across a vast world. Whether journeying together or questing on their own, players will engage in heroic battles, develop friendships, forge alliances, and compete with enemies for power and glory. The game features customizable character classes with thousands of weapons, spells, and abilities. With an innovative, easy-to-use interface, an action-packed combat system, and thousands of quests that build an immersive storyline, World of Warcraft offers a MMORPG experience that will appeal to both veteran and casual players alike. For more information on the game, visit www.worldofwarcraft.com.
About Blizzard Entertainment Best known for their series Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo®, Blizzard Entertainment (www.blizzard.com, a division of Vivendi Universal Games) is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating many of the industry's most critically acclaimed games. The company's free Internet gaming service Battle.net® provides a forum in which owners of Blizzard's games can play in a multiplayer mode remotely across the Internet and against other gamers from around the world.
The real game play advantage in WOW is the time element. Very little time is wasted on corpse retrieval, getting to dungeons or healing your character.
Three types of servers are devoted to different types of play style with different rules: normal, player vs. player, and role playing.
Travel is made easier by another of public faction specific and neutral conveyances divided into the aliance gryphons, hippogriphs, and deeprun tram, horde wyverns, bats and goblin zeplin, and neutral boats. Permanent transportation is purchased in the form of race specific mounts: human horses, elf nightsabers, dwarf rams, gnome mechano-striders, orc wolves, taureen kodos, undead steeds, and troll raptors. Two class specific mounts include the paladin warhorse and the warlock felsteeds.
There are three "huge" capital cities for each faction. The alliance has the human stormwind, the dwarf ironforge and night elf darnassus. The horde has the orc ogrimmar, taureen thunderbluff and the undead undercity.
"Players will come across two types of dungeons while playing World of Warcraft: micro dungeons and world dungeons. There are more than a hundred micro dungeons throughout the world of Azeroth, ranging in size from small to quite big. Micro dungeon locations will include tombs, haunted mines, ice caves, and sunken ships to name a few. The transition into and out of these dungeons will be seamless, and you'll be able to run into other players anywhere along the way."
2/15/2005: The inevitable nerfing has begun. Nerfing for any reason is bullshit/hogwash/rationalization. Now bear with me and hear me out.
I have no favorite class. Most nerfing is like looking for a person to blame for a mistake made by a group. You need sacrificial lambs to validate your own existance. The gods want victems so give them anyone -- anyone but me.
Nerfing is one of the manefestations of the seven deadly sins, but mostly greed and envy. Most nerfing arguements are divided into these categories. You nerfed me so nerf them, they deserve it (mob mentality also "misery loves company"). This is the subset of the "that class is too powerful," so for the sake of "game balance" (whatever that means -- only has meaning in my mind as the universal nerfing excuse) nerf that class (This is the envy category.). The other category is nerf everyone but me so that I can be the most powerful (greed category).
Another universal nerfing excuse is "we must correct a bug." Whatever the excuse is, it all comes down to this: something that once was a feature that made that class powerful is no longer a feature -- it becomes a non-feature -- and the game has weaker classes and classes become more powerful with time. If chance was working correctly, there should be an equal numbef of bugs that must be corrected by making characters more powerful. In the history of online gameing making characters more powerful because of a bug or game balance or some other excuse are far exceeded by the number of "bugs" that are corrected by making characters less powerful. Am I right? Do the math and get back to me.
You choose sides with one of two alliances of four races each in a war that mostly involves player vs player combat. The two aliances are clearly good, the Alliance, and evil, the Horde. The Alliance is made up of dwarves, gnomes, humans and night elves. The horde is composed of orcs, taureen, troll and undead. These familiar races are taken from those introduced in the Blizzard Warcraft real time strategy games.
Classes include both fighters, and artisans. The nine fighting classes include one tank class the warrior, three damage dealing classes: hunter, rogue, and mage, three hybrid classes: paladin, druid and shaman, one support class: priest, and one debuffing class: warlock. There are twelve artisan professions for those who love to craft items, which is an essential part of any MMPOG, and which are divided into gathering: herbalism, fishing, mining and skinning, production: alchemy, blacksmithing, cooking, engineering, leatherworking, and tailoring, and two service professions: enchanting and first aid.
The plot is composed of most wonderful quests. The quests are organized in bite sized pieces that lead to other quests. Each part of the quest rewards you.
The quests are so well done with humor and depth that one might say that Blizzard has done a perfect job. And while the job is near perfect, there is room for improvements. Some of the userinterface mods that are available have provided some improvments to the quest log and monitoring. One improvement that we would love to see, which is not in the mods, would be to permit the log to hold more than the current limit of 20 quests.
The game requires a 3D graphics card. We support a wide range of 3D cards that conform to the system requirement outlined above.
The game supports 1st- and 3rd-person camera perspectives. Players will be able to utilize the mouse wheel to adjust the camera angle as the situation dictates and switch between cameras on the fly.
The art is three dimensional but has its roots in cartoon-like two dimensional cartoons. The graphics are high quality characterizations with Blizzard quality and humor
During a recent update and maintenence downtime of the World of Warcraft servers Blizzard was seen doing the unthinkable. Blizzard credited players with a 24-hour play time extension for the 16 hours of downtime of their servers. Blizzard, as usual, is challenging the limits of gaming with this ground breaking game.
Blizzard is violently opposed to cheating and sees three behaviors already that it has defined as cheating. A speed hack was tetected that allowed player characters to move at many times the normal speed. Computerized macro programs have been detected that allow characters to play unattended in the game 24/7 (24hours a day - 7 days a week). Several people have been selling in game items on ebay and game sale sites. Blizzard is committing to banning people who are caught at any of these activities, and has already done so on at least two occasions.
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