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Review: World of Warcraft

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the any-game-with-mechanical-squirrels-has-to-be-good dept.

602

Announced at the European Computer Trade Show in September of 2001, before Warcraft III had even reached retail shelves, Blizzard's Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game has commanded attention for years. World of Warcraft is a fantasy game like no other, with a unique spin on the genre and an intense attention to detail. The game was released last week after a six month long beta test capped off with a tremendous 500,000 person open testing period. Read on for my impressions of World of Warcraft as the game stands at Launch.

  • Title: World of Warcraft
  • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 10/10
Expectations for this game, as for many of the games released late this year, ran very high during the years leading up to game's launch. No group of fanbois can obsess like Massively Multiplayer Gamers, and every aspect of the game was poked, prodded, and analyzed by the legions of would-be players. Once the Beta began, a line was thrown up between the lucky gamers who had the opportunity to participate and those who didn't. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Battle.net forums, and expectations ran even higher for those on the outside looking in. The game has been released and in many ways it's a lot like other Massively Multiplayer games. Characters have levels, you gain experience to gain levels, and your equipment is an integral part of your character's stats. Despite all the similarities to previous games, Blizzard did this one right. If you have been eagerly anticipating this game you have a lot to be happy about. Blizzard has released a remarkable game, and unless you expect World of Warcraft to solve your problems with the opposite sex you're not likely to be disappointed.

* That said, in the interests of disclosure I should state that I've been playing the game since the first round of Beta invitations in March of this year. I've seen the good and the bad as the game's final form took shape, and I've rode all of them out with a high degree of satisfaction. Before I was snagged to be an editor here, I wrote for a site dedicated to Massively Multiplayer games. I've played over a dozen of them, and I follow Massive gaming news with an intense personal interest. As you read my review, keep my level of commitment to the game and the genre in mind.

Character creation is a straightforward process. Once your account is created and you're into the game proper, your first choice is going to be what server to play on. Currently the game has been released to North America, South Korea, and Australia. The rest of the world is officially on hold as the European launch of the game moves forward. If you have associates in the Old World who you plan on playing with, be aware that Blizzard's current plan is to enforce continental segregation. Apart from what continent you're on, Blizzard has recognized that the "flyover states" are more than just places you see in movies when a plot has to reference a train accident. Servers are available in the four time zones represented on the North American continent. They have also taken the step of classifying servers into different rules-sets. The normal rules-set only allows Player vs. Player (PvP) combat on a voluntary basis. PvP servers also exist which allow any player to attack any other player, a no-holds barred environment between the two major factions. Finally, there are roleplaying (RP) servers, essentially "normal" servers with extra GM support to provide an atmosphere conducive to roleplaying. There are only a few RP servers, but there are more than enough Normal and PvP servers to go around. Deciding between the two is literally this simple: Do you plan on participating in Player Vs. Player combat on a regular basis? If the answer is yes, you know where to go.

Once you're on a server, you have a number of choices to make. There are currently eight races available to choose from, and each race has between three and five character classes open to them. On one side you have the members of the Alliance. Brought together by the Humans, the Alliance represents the forces of the Human nation of Stormwind, the Dwarven nation of Ironforge, the Night Elf nation of Darnassus, and the remains of the Gnomish civilization. Primarily based on the continent of Azeroth, the forces of "good" face down their enemy among the Horde across a vast sea. The races of the Horde, primarily based on the continent of Kalimdor, represent the tenuous group brought together under the leadership of the Orcs. The Horde represents the Orcs of Orgrimmar, the Tauren of Thunder Bluff, the Undead followers of Sylvanas Windrunner located in the Undercity below Lordaeron, and the jungle Trolls who have allied themselves with the Orcish chieftain Thrall. Character classes are broken down to fit with established racial history (Night Elves can't be mages because their history is littered with magical disasters) and fantasy tropes (Dwarves can't be mages because they can't).

The actual character classes presented in the game cover all of the fantasy basics, with each class actually having a useful role to play in a group. There are only nine available, but the lack of extreme diversification means that each class can really live into the role they have to play within the game. The standards are all available: The combat machine is the Warrior, the long distance spellcaster is the Mage, the stealthy high damage character is the Rogue, and the healer is the Priest. There are a few multipurpose classes you'll likely recognize from other games. The Paladin (an Alliance-only class) combines combat abilities with healing and backup resurrection duties. The Warlock is a dark caster that has spells but primarily relies on summoned entities to fight and interact with his enemies. Because it's Blizzard, there are also a few classes that may have titles you're familiar with, but have a very different flavour to them. The Druid is the "nature" version of the Paladin, with spellcasting and combat abilities, but their primary role is to become group glue. Druids have the ability to take on various animal forms, enabling them to take on the roles of combat-intensive classes if needed. Their bear form is a nice fill-in for a Warrior, while the jungle cat slashes and claws like a rogue. Shaman (a Horde-only class) are elemental based spellcasters, tapping into the four aspects of the wilderness to produce unique effects within range of their totems. Finally, the Hunter is a crack shot with bows, thrown axes, and guns (yes, guns). Hunters have the ability to train animals from the wilds to be their companions, with everything from bears and wolves to crocodiles and velociraptors being available as pets.

* Once you've gotten your race, class, and name picked out, you're introduced to your race's struggle within the World of Warcraft through a brief panning shot inside the game engine. The camera pans over most of the starting area you'll be exploring and a voiceover intones a brief backstory of the problems facing your race.

When it comes to advanced graphics technology, World of Warcraft is not the top dog. If you want to give your graphics card a workout, the normal settings on World of Warcraft aren't going to fulfill your needs. The upshot of this is that the game scales amazingly well. 256 megs of ram and a GeForce 2 really will run this game well enough to have an excellent gameplay experience. The visual presentation of the game actually takes advantage of this. As you can see from the screenshots, World of Warcraft is a stunning place to explore. Instead of aiming for a hyper-realistic approach Blizzard has actually accentuated the unreality of the gameworld, endowing the Night Elves with long pointed ears, the Gnomes with large, limpid eyes, and the Undead with horrible clawlike manipulators. Characters have an almost anime quality, while beasts and monsters wear new interpretations that accentuate their most vivid characters. Moving through the landscape is more like walking through a painting than playing a game. Particularly picturesque landscapes such as the snowy Dwarven home of Dun Morogh or the sweltering jungle of Stranglethorn Vale require real pauses to stop and drink them in.

The visual quality of the world and the introductory voiceover at your character's creation begins the process of drawing you into the game world, a task which World of Warcraft does more meticulously than any other Massive game I've had the opportunity to play. Each race faces specific challenges, bourn out by the quests you receive immediately upon entering the game world. Non-Player Characters (NPCs) with quests for you appear with a yellow exclamation point above their heads, and speaking with them prompts a short vocal interaction and the possibility to add a quest to your log. Each quest is a miniature story unto itself, just waiting for you to carry it through to completion. Quest goals are clearly marked, as are the rewards you will receive from completing the quest. All quests have an experience reward (making questing an integral part of level advancement), but the rewards displayed include the amount of coin you'll receive and any items. Many quests give you the option of choosing your reward from among a few different items, allowing you to customize your character's loot set from NPC quests. Beyond simply providing you an impetus for getting out into the world, these quests are the hook that allows you to stop being just some person wandering around killing monsters and allows you to actually become a hero. From the start, you're participating in events that are keeping your fellow countrymen safe and secure. Beyond just simple "go here and kill the thingie" quests, there are endless opportunities to become involved in the lives of your people. Here, you take a note to an important official notifying him of how a pest eradication campaign goes, while there you collect the pieces necessary for a powerful potion. Your actions have consequences as well, as the NPCs begin to treat you with greater and greater respect (and remember you when you return to them), allowing you deeper into their lives and into the story of the world around you. In some places, questing even pays off in lucrative gains as vendors offer you discounts because of your service to their cause.

* Beyond the ways that you interact directly with the world, Azeroth does it's own thing quite well without you. Guardsman patrol the streets of the major cities, keeping the populace safe (and answering any questions that wayward adventurers might have). Children are at play in houses or gardens, and hilarious conversations play out between the folks wandering through the avenues of the racial strongholds. Far from a static world on which you leave your mark, the World of Warcraft is a place littered with it's own history and peopled by individuals with motivations and stories.

This inclusive experience extends beyond just the visuals and the storyline. World of Warcraft has the richest sound environment I've yet experienced in a MMOG. Music, often the most frustrating aspect of a Massive game's soundtrack, is incredibly well produced and judiciously used. There is no "combat music". When you enter combat the only sounds you'll experience are the harsh clash of weaponry and armor. Musical scores are cued based on location, with each city and wilderness area having their own themes. The music isn't constantly on at a consistent volume. Swelling music announces your arrival at a new area, and then fades back into the background to allow you to enjoy the music without overwhelming you with it. In the spare manner in which it's used, the musical score completes the atmosphere that World of Warcraft attempts to create.

Sound effects are also well tended to. Weapon noises and spell effects are very satisfying, with grunts and clashes making combatants incredibly aware of the danger they're in. Tiny audio clues also keep a player aware of his surroundings. Tiny "clinks" announce personal messages from fellow players, and an small explosion of sound announces your arrival at a higher level. Beyond the normal text and animated emotes common to many games, Blizzard has also included voice emotes. The emotes, which are combinations of animations and voices that get across a particular emotion, are very similar to the clicky-conversations you can have with your units in Warcraft III. I especially like the male Dwarf's flirt emotes.

Beyond the game's excellent presentation, Blizzard's reputation for making intuitive game interfaces is upheld. A simple quick-launch bar is available at the foot of the screen, with numerous other bars available with a combination of the shift and middle mouse buttons. Right clicking is the default "do stuff" button, and the action taken changes in context to what you're clicking on. Items are easy to examine, as each features a small portrait next to it's name. This portrait, when moused over, displays a popup detailing the statistics associated with the item. Simple color coding indicates the rarity of the item (green for magic, purple for rares, etc.), and the display lists a level requirement. Every item has a level requirement, which a character has to meet or exceed in order to equip or use the item. Items which are not useable by your race or class have portraits tinged with red. This intuitive interface extends to quests and tradeskills as well. The quest log displays all the information given out by the originating NPC and color codes quests based on the difficulty of the quest in relation to your character's level.

Tradeskills are often the red headed stepchildren of a Massive game because of poor documentation and a high barrier to entry. WoW's approach to tradeskilling allows even the most casual player to get involved, and ensures that every crafter knows where they stand as regards possible crafted items. Each character is allowed to train in two tradeskills, which are called professions. Some options, such as Tailoring and Enchanting are viable thanks to specialized equipment or scavenged goods. Others, such as Herbalism and Blacksmithing, have a counterpart "gathering" Profession that allows materials to be collected from the environment. Mining allows a character to obtain ore, which can be melted down via Blacksmithing for use in Arms and Armor. Training in a Profession is as simple as finding a trainer and saying "sign me up". You are then presented with a list of recipes that you currently have access to. Each recipe has a materials requirement for completion. To create an item, you have to have the required materials present in your inventory, and then hit the "create" button while a recipe is selected. There is no margin for error here. Every attempt to create an item using a recipe is successful. As you create items your skill in your chosen Profession goes up. Recipes are color coded (like items and quests), and as your skill goes up recipes begin to become relatively "easier". Once you've created your hundredth tunic, you've got it cold. As such, new recipes become available for purchase from the trainer, allowing you access to better and more challenging items. Skills without gathering requirements are extremely easy to get into, and even Blacksmithing only requires that you keep an eye out once in a while for a mineral deposit. The Mining Profession even provides you with an ability that makes mineral deposits show up on your local mini-map.

* This is, of course, a Roleplaying Game and RPGs are nothing if not fighting intensive. Combat has been as carefully considered as all other elements of the game. The most striking thing about the combat is the interactivity. Combat is a very fluid experience in World of Warcraft. Every class has abilities and spells that allow it to contribute to a fight, with the typical Massive Gaming roles (such as the Tank and the Healer) being filled by overlapping classes. Grouping casually is not a cause for worry, and almost any combination of classes can form a valid hunting party. The actual act of combat follows many other games' patterns. You activate an "autoattack" mode, where your character swings his or her weapon or weapons as often as she can every few seconds. The difference is that, unless you utilize the abilities at your disposal you're likely to lose in a fight between yourself and an enemy of equal level. Constant use of spells and abilities to keep your opponent on their toes is required to ensure that a fight goes your way, and finding the rhythm to your class's combat style is one of the most engaging parts of the game. And if you die?

You don't lose experience. I'm going to say that again, because it's so important. You don't lose experience when you die. There's no debt, there's no recriminations, nothing. You reappear as a ghost in the nearest graveyard to the point where you died, with the world outlined in white and a spooky soundscape playing around you. You just jog back to your body and click the button that says "Resurrect". You reappear with about 75% of your health and mana intact, and go on from there. Many characters can just hop right back into combat. If you're in a group, a friendly Priest or Paladin can raise you on the spot. If you don't want to jog back to your body or don't have a Priest in your pocket, you can speak to an NPC located in each graveyard and resurrect in the graveyard. You're penalized for taking this option by reducing the durability of your items by 25%. Items with reduced durability eventually stop working and must be repaired, so taking the easy way out costs you money but no experience. You will never be penalized experience for your death.

With a good group at your back and a level head, you can tear through levels at a brisk pace. Character advancement in World of Warcraft is anything but a grind. And if you die, who cares? A minor annoyance, and you're back into the thick of things. Leveling up is anything but a chore with the combination of enjoyable combat and risk free death. In fact combining the experience you get from combat with the XP received from questing, and you'll regularly find yourself honestly surprised when you gain a level. And leveling up is definitely enjoyable. In addition to improving your basic attributes, at even levels you're given access to new abilities or spells. These are trained up by speaking to a class trainer. At the trainer you will be given a list of the abilities available for you to learn, with two or three new abilities opening up every other level. Every ability has a monetary cost associated with it, but once you have a new ability or spell in your hands it's incredibly satisfying to try them out. Once you reach level ten you'll begin working on your Talents, as well. Talents are how you take your character and really make him your own. As opposed to being just another Mage or Warrior, you're given three "trees" in which to allocate Talent points. The three trees each correspond to a facet of your character class. Each new level starting at ten allows you access to a Talent point. As opposed to the instant gratification of Abilities, Talents allow you to specialize your character over time. Mages, for example, can choose to specialize in Fire or Frost spells, and their talents allow them to reduce casting time, improve damage, and generally tweak their relationship with a chosen field of abilities. Warriors, in turn, can focus on defensive, offensive, or weapon skills.

Combat, questing, graphics, backstory, and game design are what bring a player to a Massive game. What keeps him there is the community. While the actual community you find yourself in is highly variable (there's a reason the ESRB sticker says "Game Experience May Change During Online Play") the tools Blizzard has provided for getting into the community around you are very robust. The game has a very versatile "/who" command, allowing you to see the level, name, class, and group status of everyone around you. Finding folks who might be interested in grouping is a snap, and contact ing them is as well. There is a flexible chat system that allows players to congregate as they desire based on their interests. Guilds, always an important aspect of an online game, get a great deal of respect from the Blizzard developers. A charter is required to begin a Guild, ensuring that one person Guilds don't clutter up the Guild namespace. Once the Guild has been formed, a permanent chat channel is formed that connects every member of the group. Guild members that want to show their pride can purchase a tabard, which go into an equipment slot that isn't used for anything else. The Guild leader decides on the tabard design, and every tabard bears the same color and design. Guild pride is something these designers understood. Beyond simple communication, mercantile exchange is promoted through Auction Houses. These locations (one per continent), allow players to put items up for sale and reap monetary rewards through the in-game mail system. Filling an equipment hole that quests haven't taken care of yet is easy and convenient.

World of Warcraft, then, is a remarkable achievement. It has both depth and breadth, allowing old hands at online games to feel right at home while inviting new players into the genre. The game's backstory is easily accessible via the questing system, and the interactive combat system ensures that you're never bored while exploring the vast world you inhabit. Beautiful done graphics combine with a carefully constructed soundscape to transport you to another place. From a game design standpoint World of Warcraft is an accomplishment to be proud of. In my mind, though, what pushes this game from a nine to a ten are the little things. The Blizzard polish that resulted in the endlessly clickable strategy game units has expressed itself as a world that always has something new to reveal to the curious player. Books lie on desks, waiting to be opened and their stories read. Crystal balls allow you to peer beyond a Wizards tower across half a continent. A woman in a shop asks you to deliver a sewing kit to her son. Someone else needs your help convincing a tavern-keep to carry his brew. Blizzard has somehow found the happy medium between an online world and an online game, and the results are satisfying beyond measure. Every gamer who is tired of shooting zombies or killing rats deserves to try this game. I highly recommend it to every gamer, every MMOG player, and everyone who's ever picked up a fantasy book and gone "I wonder what I would do in their shoes?" World of Warcraft is your chance to find out.

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zug zug! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966379)

fp

Slashdot sucks and I can prove it (-1, Flamebait)

Ass, Ltd. Ho! (714400) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966389)

Slashdot, especially its readership, sucks.

Linux this, warcraft that... blah blah SHUT UP

What a bunch of fucking dorks!

FIRST POST BITCHES

gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966398)

gay

Some Review (-1, Troll)

jon855 (803537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966414)

I own the game, spare me the in-depth review! Who doesn't owes one can't be a Slashdot reader... You know who you are, disgrace yourself!

Re:Some Review (4, Interesting)

theVP (835556) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966542)

sorry, with their subscription fee at around 150 bucks a year, I'll just keep playing archaic games that don't require subscription fees.

Re:Some Review (1)

Fig, formerly A.C. (543042) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966745)

You got modded as Flamebait, but I totally agree with you. I just don't like "Pay to Play" games. Once I plunk down my money for the game, I want to be able to play for free.

If Blizz wants to charge for a "Premium World", so be it... But they should also allow for free, user hosted shards. THAT would pique my interest.

Outdated already! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966418)

In Korea, World of Warcraft is for old people.

Hello Kitty multiplayer online role playing game [sanriotown.com] is all the rage!

Farking AT&T (0, Offtopic)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966426)

I wouldn't know... I can't use the client since AT&T installed Sandvine here in IL and started blocking bittorrent.

more info here [dslreports.com]

Re:Farking AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966567)

When will people learn to use port 80 for all applications and quit being so clever.

Re:Farking AT&T (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966580)

And you havent sued why? You bought a game and can't use it, legal software because of "censorship", and that's not just exxageration.

I skimmed the first page of that thread and it's terrible that they're doing that, so I suggest you do as someone mentioned in the thread of the release of WoW:

1) Get the .torrent out of the exe somehow, it's probably available somewhere
2) Use a real client (Az, ABC, what ever) to connect via a different port.

If I recall proper, their server is run on a port in the 3000's, so you should be able to bypass the "BitTorrent doesnt work" problem, yet it'll still probably be hella slow.

As another suggestion, why not complain to blizzard that you can't download their patches because of this problem? I believe they could drop it on a hidden location somewhere for "special customers", or you could get a friend to host it/send it to you.

Re:Farking AT&T (1)

OrthodonticJake (624565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966751)

Why was this post modded down? If it is helpful, why not just leave it at 1?

Re:Farking AT&T (1)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966637)

maybe OT but...

not sure where you're at in IL, but here in chicago, a couple of my friends and I have SBC/Yahoo DSL and we haven't had any problems with the client or playing WoW... not yet anyway :)

Re:Farking AT&T (1)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966818)

right, that's SBC... I'm referring to AT&T Broadband installing this stuff on their upstream for Insight, Mediacom, and a few others

Re:Farking AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966764)

I can't use the client since AT&T installed Sandvine

Hopefully AT&T dosn't have a monloploy on BroadBand in your area. Maybe after reading this the breakup of the juggernot wasn't so bad.

MMORPG's (4, Insightful)

LiNKz (257629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966427)

Though I expect WoW to be rather nice, I can't seem to get into 3d mmorpg's. I don't know if its the fact that I hate seeing a 3d world but having such crap control of it.

I know I'll probably get laughed at for this, but FPS's have build a very nice way of controling your players.. and usually its rather smooth movements. Games i've played, like Lineage 2, FFXI, these games make me use my mouse to move my character around.. and I don't like it.. Aim, swing, I could see that for my mouse.. But moving, I would far rather use fingers.

Just my two cents.

Re:MMORPG's (2, Informative)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966453)

You can use WASD to move around, if that's your favorite flavor... although you'll end up running enough that you'll be using the autorun quite a bit.

Re:MMORPG's (1)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966765)

Also of note, that if you turn on "click-to-move" option in your game control panel, you can just right click on any point and the game will move in a straight line until you reach it. Might still have to revert back to keyboard navigation if there are fences or whatnot in the way, but on open plains (ala Westfall), you can simply right click on a point in the sky and wait until you get where you want to be.

-9mm-

Re:MMORPG's (1)

VvScythevV (796270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966464)

World of Warcraft uses the mouse for camera control (looking around) and WASD for movement/turning and you can strafe with Q and E I believe. I like their system, I was able to understand it instantly.

Re:MMORPG's (1)

OrthodonticJake (624565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966835)

If I remember my beta experience correctly, the movement control scheme changes depending on which mouse button you hit to walk. With one of them, the mouse simply looks around, independant of the actual walking. With the other, the direction of the walking will change depending on where you look.
It was useful for long straight-line journeys and repeatedly glancing at the shaders on the ground.

Re:MMORPG's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966471)

They don't require you to use your mouse at all. You can use your keyboard just as effectively. Maybe you should rtfm or check the options.

Re:MMORPG's (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966474)

You should try WoW.

You move your character with WASD and control the camera and "steer" your character's facing with the mouse.

I agree, it's far better. Took some getting used to compared to lineage II, but i like it much more now.

Re:MMORPG's (2)

oexeo (816786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966506)

Maybe you just need to clean the inside of your mouse?

Re:MMORPG's (0, Flamebait)

cakefool (801210) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966592)

Its optical you insensitive clod!

Re:MMORPG's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966859)

optical mice can get clogged also you insensitive clod!

Re:MMORPG's (1)

luisa081 (806833) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966546)

there are a couple different way of controling movement in FFXI i personally use num pad for character movement, arrows for camera movement, rarely use mouse for anything but you can also use WASD or mouse to stere or use mouse to click move (i think?)

Re:MMORPG's (1)

gatsu (781783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966588)

Of all the MMORPGs I have played (I guess it's not that many), none strictly required you to use your mouse for movement. They all had keyboard controls, and you could customize it to use the standard WADS for movement, and usually had some sort of camera control with the mouse.

Re:MMORPG's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966614)

There is a click to move feature in the interface settings.

You use a mouse for FFXI? (1)

Morrisguy (731956) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966739)

Games i've played, like Lineage 2, FFXI, these games make me use my mouse to move my character around.. and I don't like it..

As an avid FFXI player, I will tell you that since the game was designed for a PS2 pad in mind, the mouse is completly optional. In fact, I believe you can control the game better without one. All my playing on that game is done entirely on keyboard. (numpad for movement, arrows for menu selection, SHIFT+arrows for camera control, F keys for targeting)

Re:MMORPG's (3, Informative)

Arkhan (240130) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966752)

This is actually one of my favorite bits -- the standard control scheme for World of Warcraft is the FPS scheme. My old Quake/UT skills transferred perfectly.

(I use ASDX to move straight left, forward, right, backward. WASD works fine, too, of course. Hold right mouse button to mouselook, aim up or down, turn, etc, with mouse. Number keys to use special abilities, spells, weapons, etc. Space to jump, etc.)

The control scheme is, in short, nice.

Re:MMORPG's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966857)

Wrong, with FFXI you can select Compact keyboard type and use WSAD to move and the arrow keys to move the camera. This is what I do, I hardly even touch the mouse.

North America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966445)

I was always under the impression, living in Canada, that Canada was part of North America. Guess I was wrong. They always report the truth here, right?

Re:North America (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966479)

I don't live in America or Canada, and know nothing on the subject. I'm not qualified to help, sorry.

Ladies and gentlemen, (2, Insightful)

Jakhel (808204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966456)

LET THE ADDICTION BEGIN!!!

Re:Ladies and gentlemen, (1)

H3lldr0p (40304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966645)

With that sentiment firmly in hand, I'd like to declare that WoW is going to be the d20 version of MMORPGs. Just you watch.

Damn you WoW! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966460)

On at least three mailing lists for open source projects, key coders have announced they won't be available for the time being due to WoW.

As Daniel Foesch from PearPC put it "I"ve hit a nearly impenetrable roadblock in development at this time. It is called, World of Warcraft Open Beta."

I suppose even developers are human after all!

Re:Damn you WoW! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966673)

I suppose even developers are human after all!

Though most of the more serious developers play Horde.

How many more games like this? (5, Insightful)

dcarey (321183) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966482)

My apologies to the WoW fanbois as I'm sure this is a good game ... but is it a GREAT game in the LONG term?

I played Lineage 2 for a while and it ran out of steam for me. Same with Star Wars Galaxies. So what are the delineating factors for a game that I'd be interested in NOW?

My personal opinion is that snazzy graphics, while interesting, can only go so far. If you've played a game of the a particular genre for so long (oh lets say fantasy - Lineage, EQ, WoW), and there comes along a new game which has --- ooo -- better graphics, does this REALLY keep you in the game very long? Sure, buy the $50 game, snag a few months of subscriptions, then ... oh the grind ... and the same type of fantasy genre again ... uh, why'd I buy this ...

My opinion is that playability outlasts graphics. Graphics are an immediately gratifying factor, but in the long term, I think peoeple are sick of the fantasy and or sci-fi genre. So what's next? I dunno ... something completely out of the box.

Re:How many more games like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966617)

If you actually paid money for and played L2 and SWG for more than 2 days, then this may not be the game for you; it is too well-designed and pain-free.

Re:How many more games like this? (3, Interesting)

op51n (544058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966786)

Well. I am playing a 10 day trial I got off my friend, who is wholey addicted to it, and it is very nice. I am not sure whether I can afford both time and money wise to get into it though. But as far as MMO's go, it is probably by far the finest yet.
Lineage 2 is not a good MMO to judge others by, and I'm fairly tempted to say the same of Galaxies, though maybe it's just a matter of taste. My friend and I spent a good few months playing AC2, but stopped when we pretty much hit a level cap and had other things to do anyway. However, we both have several characters on WoW, as it is actually fun to try out all the variations. They are all, well, variant.

Basically, out of all the MMO's I've played (AC2, FFXI, Lineage 2, DaoC, Eve Online, Neocron and Anarchy) WoW is the one I would choose to play. It has all the best features of the others, done better.
If you have a friend who bought the CE, see if you can get the 10 day free trial from them and check it out.

Re:How many more games like this? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966795)

> My opinion is that playability outlasts graphics. Graphics are an immediately gratifying factor, but in the long term, I think peoeple are sick of the fantasy and or sci-fi genre. So what's next? I dunno ... something completely out of the box.

Yeah. As for the comment about how graphics and gameplay draw players in, it's the community that makes them stay...

Today's UserFriendly is a perfect illustration of why, for me, it's the community [userfriendly.org] that drives me away from MMORPGs.

I had more fun in three months of Morrowind out-of-the-box (a near-MMORPG-sized environment My opinion is that playability outlasts graphics. Graphics are an immediately gratifying factor, but in the long term, I think peoeple are sick of the fantasy and or sci-fi genre. So what's next? I dunno ... something completely out of the box. marred only by a combat system that looked like... well, MMORPG combat) than I did in any MMORPG I've tried.

Re:How many more games like this? (5, Interesting)

psychokitten (819123) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966840)

" but is it a GREAT game in the LONG term?" Not particularly. After a week or so, you'll be tired of the fact that every single character o fany race looks pretty much the same - the environments, while pretty, all have an eerie sort of 'sameness' to them. About this time, you'll also discover that beneath the pretty cartoon graphics, the game itself is pretty hollow and lacking. There's really little to do beyond the same quests you've been doing for dozens of levels, and you don't even get to the semi-nifty instanced dungeons until you've reached a fairly high level, so until then, it's often like pulling teeth performing the most basic of tasks thanks to camping. No, the game itself has absolutely no long-term staying power, but then, what MMO does? All MMOs are, honestly, pretty piss poor games, what makes or breaks any MMO is the people. I've met some -really- great people on the RP servers that I have a blast playing with, both for the most part? The quality of the WoW player base seems to be slightly below that of EQ -- one of the worst I've found in an MMO yet. As with any MMO, having good people to play with is what makes the game fun, not the game itself. It's a shame that the majority of the game is geared towards solo play.

Indeed, a damn good game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966483)

I played the open beta and just bought the game yesterday, without a doubt the best MMO I've played.

Grind (0, Troll)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966491)

I betaed the game. Good graphics, but it didn't seem like there was much to do than a hopeless level grind.

No monthly events.

No property ownership and kingdom duels like warcraft.

No end game.

No adventures or campaigns.

Given I only played to level 20. I either did a quest to deliver, kill, or meet. Or I just went out killing mobs in the field (boring).

I'm waiting for the MMORPG that isn't just non stop mindless click and kill. Sure WOW has some 'special skills', but you just mash some random keys during combat at its just the same as clicking one button in another MMORPG.

Maybe I'm missing out though. Is there stuff to do other than massive level grinding and sight seeing?

Re:Grind (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966626)

Yes, it's extremely odd that there is no "end game" present as yet at level 20. They should definitely have included an instanced dungeon for the Great Big Fluffy Bunny of DOOM. :-p

Re:Grind (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966682)

They had that in Asheron's Call. It was funny, before they leashed him, you could aggro it, and have it chase you back to town. Then it'd launch into bunny fury and kill the 50 or so occupants there in one blast.

Re:Grind (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966720)

It's kinda hard to have a monthly event when the game has only been out for a week, ya know?

North North America? (2, Funny)

attonitus (533238) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966492)

Currently the game has been released to North America, Canada, ...

Two languages, two releases eh?

Cool! (2, Funny)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966493)

500,000 beta testers!.... Wow!.... The only problem I can see, is, just as a city becomes more lonely the greater the population, I only hope these super MMORPG games don't loose the magic of meeting, and making friends with people you meet time and time again.


Worlds fastest Java GUI. iMessage [kicks-ass.net] (Java Webstart Required).

Re:Cool! (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966649)

It's not that much of an issue as they introduce new and distinct worlds to scale with the number of players. Each world has a soft cap of simultaneous players. A really big aspect of the success of an online game is the success of its social structure. People get addicted sometimes for no other reason than that they don't want to say goodbye to their friends.

So ultimately the social structure isn't hurt by a game having 80,000,000 players versus 25,000.

from the WTF? dept. (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966505)

from the any-game-with-mechanical-squirrels-has-to-be-good dept.

Um... yeah... OK...

Re:from the WTF? dept. (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966593)

One of the crafting skills is "Engineer" that allows you to create gadgets. One of these gadgets is a mechanical squirrel. It's a "pet" - you can "summon" it and it will follow you around.

It serves no other purpose than that. It just follows you, it's always level 1, it can't attack or anything. Only for show.

If only it were available on consoles (1, Interesting)

amrust (686727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966508)

I'd be all over this, if it were available on PS2. I'm not criticizing the graphics, but it would seem that the PS2 sould be able to handle WoW, with the HDD carrying the textures. Any other console gamers that would like to see WoW ported to Xbox/PS2?

Re:If only it were available on consoles (1)

Dop (123) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966583)

It's a 4 CD install. Good luck porting that to PS2.

Re:If only it were available on consoles (1)

Blimey85 (609949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966771)

Yea there is no way you can fit 4 cd's on to a single dvd... wait... what?

Re:If only it were available on consoles (1)

HardwareLust (454846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966783)

4 CD's is less than 1 DVD. What's the problem?

I'd rather see it ported to xbox. It would look better on the TV. Plus, it's a much easier port for them to do, since every xbox has a HD. (Not to mention the fact I no longer own a PS2. Temporary condition, though!)

PS2's may have a larger installed base of RPG fans, but face it; there just ain't that many HD kits installed, esp. now that they've basically made them obsolete with the new thin PS2.

Re:If only it were available on consoles (1)

jhutch2000 (801707) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966625)

While I can agree with wanting this... It just ain't gonna happen. Textures have to be held in memory. The HDD just ain't fast enough to spool textures. And the memory just flat out isn't large enough to hold them.

You'd probably need an Xbox with 512MB of ram instead of the 64MB is actually has (especially since the video card int he Xbox shares its memory space with the main memory, not dedicated like most computer video cards).

Re:If only it were available on consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966681)

Not to mention that the interface would likely have to be made to SUCK for a PC ala Morrowind to make it a console-compatible game.

Re:If only it were available on consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966708)

stupidest idea ever...

Great game (2, Informative)

xted (125437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966510)

It's probably one of the greatest games I've ever played. The attention to detail is amazing, and I would suggest giving the game a try.

I came from playing DAoC religiously for 3 years, and after having not played it for a few months, when I started to play WoW again i start slipping into my long nights of no sleep ;p

It's a great game, but it's still far too time consuming for the casual gamer.

"'tis too long." (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966515)

- Hamlet.

Seriously, couldn't you take the effort to write a shorter review?

Is that a challenge? (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966522)

> No group of fanbois can obsess like Massively Multiplayer Gamers,

"We're working on that..."
- Everyone on the pro- and anti-Steam sides of the HL2/Steam debate.

> and every aspect of the game was poked, prodded, and analyzed by the legions of would-be players. Once the Beta began, a line was thrown up between the lucky gamers who had the opportunity to participate and those who didn't. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the [developer's] forums, and expectations ran even higher for those on the outside looking in.

Hmm, maybe MMORPGs and FPSes aren't so different after all. *rimshot*

Solved my problems! (5, Funny)

macrom (537566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966523)

unless you expect World of Warcraft to solve your problems with the opposite sex you're not likely to be disappointed

I dunno -- my wife has been appearing late at night in my office begging me to come to bed, usually dressed in something rather scandalous. So, indeed, World of Warcraft satisfies more than just my gaming addiction!

Re:Solved my problems! (3, Funny)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966712)


"my wife has been appearing late at night in my office begging me to come to bed, usually dressed in something rather scandalous."

She drapes herself in loose-leaf copies of the federal tax code?

Re:Solved my problems! (1)

handorf (29768) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966817)

"my wife has been appearing late at night in my office begging me to come to bed, usually dressed in something rather scandalous."

She drapes herself in loose-leaf copies of the federal tax code?


More likely transcripts of speeches from the presidential campaign. The tax code is really more like a fantasy novel.

How's the play on an iBook...anyone? (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966526)

This sounds like something that I could get into while relaxing on the couch with my wireless iBook (12" G4/800 model with 32meg ATI Radeon Mobility chipset& 384 megs system DDR). The official web site specs the Mac version of WoW above my iBook, but this review indicates that the game is not too graphics intensive. Can someone give me the straight poop on how well this game would play on my little iBook?

Re:How's the play on an iBook...anyone? (2, Informative)

k_187 (61692) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966621)

I played the beta on an 800 ibook g3 and probably averaged 12 fps (it varied, in town it was worse running about better). I've got 640 megs of RAM though, and I believe your videocard is slightly better. So you might get 15 ;) From what I've gathered, performance is slightly worse on the mac, but even at 12 fps it was still playable, you just needed patience when there was a ton of stuff on screen (and that suprised me, usually getting less than 30 fps drives me nuts)

How do you convert Mac to PC? (2, Interesting)

Ohz (636875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966633)

I know the game is completely playable on this dated setup. 1.2Ghz Athlon TBird 256MB PC100 ATI Radeon 9000

Re:How do you convert Mac to PC? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966873)

"I know the game is completely playable on this dated setup. 1.2Ghz Athlon TBird 256MB PC100 ATI Radeon 9000"

That's a little below the specs of my PC laptop, which performs sort of on par with my iBook. Thanks :)

Re:How's the play on an iBook...anyone? (1)

Carrierwave (640525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966776)

I'm playing on a G4 dual proc. 800mhz with 640 megs of ram and an Nvidia GeForce 2MX and it plays well enough for me. Some times the animation gets a little choppy, but never out of the playable range.

Re:How's the play on an iBook...anyone? (1)

cipher chort (721069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966805)

My wife has an iBook 14"/1.2GHz, which I think has the same graphics card and has 384MB DDRam. It works well on her machine, but you do need to keep the clippling plane down at low (which is the default).

In my PowerBook 15"/1GHZ with a 64MB ATI card and 768MB DDRam, I could increase the clipping levels to "medium", but I did notice some frame rate degradation in areas with a lot of players or objects. I think the low bus speed on the laptops is probably the limiting factor.

Leveling up (4, Informative)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966531)

I'm not sure how many people here currently play Lineage II or USED to play it, but that was the last MMO I got into and I regret ever paying a dime for it. LII was ALL about GRIND. Kill enemy. Kill enemy. Kill enemy. Pick up gold. Kill enemy. Ad freakin nauseum.

WoW manages to break up this monotony admirably in several ways

first: Quests. Questing is the way ot level up, not killing things endlessly. The quests take you all arond the world and give you some interesting insight into what's going on in th game world at the time.

second: Loot. I expect to be jumped on by a horde of RP'ers admonishing me for liking my treasure but---well, it's exciting knowing that the creatures you're killing may possibly drop something you can use or sell for big bucks. In Lineage getting a useful drop was an extreme rarity--hell getting anything besides a handful of gold was an oddity enough. In short, having critters drop items more often, especially craft items and "trophies" makes the game more interesting.

third: WoW runs beautifully on my machine (oldish, GF3 and an athlon XP) compared to lineage. Granted LII might have had spiffier more realistic graphics but towns turned into slideshows...this is apparent in WoW in bigger towns but not as severe.

Re:Leveling up (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966568)

BTW:
East realm ,stormrage server, Roac the dwarven hunter at your service ;)

PvP servers... (3, Interesting)

Joust (788072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966717)

Don't forget the higher level quests take you into contested lands where players from the Alliance/Horde not only pvp each other openly, but compete to finish the quests that use the same components.

Re:PvP servers... (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966866)

Good point, but i'm only lvl 18 so that's not quite on my mind yet ;p

Great review of an excellent game... (1)

gatsu (781783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966555)

...you covered all of the points that came to mind about the game and some others that hadn't. I'm currently enjoying the game in short (1-2 hours at a time) sessions, and I find that it's great to be able to play with such a small time commitment and still advance. My previous MMORPG experiences "required" me to invest so much more time to advance that it felt like I was never advancing at all. Anyway, enjoy the game :)

Copied ideas from ProgressQuest (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966562)

Soundsn like their no-penalty-for-dying is one step closer to progressquest (the best MMPORG)

Great game but.. (1, Interesting)

Ohz (636875) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966582)

It's a truly beautiful game which improves on nearly every aspect of the standard EQish MMO but doesn't break much new ground.

Also, there are a few lingering problems in the mix...

-The "queue" system which restricts players from logging into their world (server) until a sufficient number of players have logged out is a ridiculous pain in the ass. I would think that the game would have been designed with scalability in mind to dynamically tackle these loads.

-The servers are restarted everyday.

-Several lag and high latency can be a problem on even least popular servers.

-Population balance, at a glance there appear to be roughly 3-5x more Alliance (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes) than Horde (Tauren, Orcs, Undead, Trolls) on any given server. This could be an issue as PVP becomes a larger factor in the later game.

Four time zones, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966585)

Let's see.... There's Aleutian, Alaskan, Pacific, Mountain,... Hey! You left out the Central time zone!

No wonder there's so much world hunger. (2, Funny)

Kiyooka (738862) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966590)

"The rest of the world is officially on hold as the European lunch of the game moves forward."

Is that necessary? It's just another meal, albeit a Blizzard-sponsored one.

Re:No wonder there's so much world hunger. (1)

torqer (538711) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966799)

The line before that is just as good...

"Currently the game has been released to North America, Canada, South Korea, and Australia. "

Last I checked Canada was a part of North America.

WoW Fanboy wouldn't give it 10/10 (2, Insightful)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966618)

Let me get this out of the way - I really, really enjoy WoW. I played in the first Stress Test up to ~25, I played in the Open Beta up to ~25, and I'm just reaching there now in Retail. What I have played of the game is damn near perfect.

But it's not *flawless* - and by rating something 10/10, you're basically saying that there is *no* room for improvement, and that *nothing* could be done better.

So far, the release has been a little shakey. Yeah, it has only just now been a week, but there has been significant problems for four of the servers, some lag issues, and some unexpected down times. Nothing really serious - it has been a pretty good launch - but nothing worthy of a *PERFECT* score.

It's definitely 9/10 material, 9.5 even, and I would highly recommend it to fans of Warcraft and the MMOG genre.

-lw

Re:WoW Fanboy wouldn't give it 10/10 (5, Informative)

Zonk (12082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966841)

I wrestled with what score to give the game for quite a while.

It basically came down to this: I think half scores are copping out. Gamespot gave the game a 9.5 but didn't have a single complaint in the review, as far as I could tell, that would merit half a point being taken off.

I was planning on giving it a 9 until, as I say at the end of the review, I considered the inordinate amount of polish this game has. The polish really brings the game above and beyond basically every other MMOG out there.

Don't take a 10/10 as "perfection". There is no perfect game. I gave it a 10 because to I simply couldn't think of anything to complain about, and I know it's just going to get better as they add more content.

I don't think that 10s should be used regularly, but if any game warrants it it's this one.

Could not have said it better. (1)

say__10 (768448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966638)

The game is a perfect 10. The only complaint is with the server lag and the amount of people in the servers, but thats alliviated by moving to a less populated one.

Does anyone know for sure if the rumor is true that Blizzard is going to be adding to the free month you got for purchasing the game cause of the down time and problems they have had?


And let's not forget... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966642)

... it runs on a Mac!

Re:And let's not forget... (1)

Retep Vosnul (663388) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966695)

Possibly several mac's.

korea ?

My obligatory gripe... (3, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966656)



There's just no way I'm going to pay $50 for a game that I can't even play unless I keep forking out more money. If they want $13 to $15 per month to play the game, then they should give the game away for free.

steve

Never liked MMORPGS... (1)

rufo (126104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966658)

I don't know if I'm really interested in WoW. I've tried several other MMORPGs, namely EverQuest and Anarchy Online (after the first few months of chaos) and while the idea intrigues me, I haven't really found one that grabs me. They all seem mostly like just running around engaging in boring combat. AO had an interesting backstory and unniverse but didn't really grab me gameplay wise.

I dunno, maybe WoW is different, but I'm not really inclined to spend $50 to play it for thirty days and find out I hate it. I'll wait for the free trial, or someone I live with to pick it up and play on their account.

Anyone else out there have any opinions on WoW for MMORPG-hating humans? Just curious to see what other people think.

Immersiveness (2, Interesting)

Mr_Engrish (705356) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966680)

I'm amazed at how much effort was put in to the believability of the world. The quests you do are actually meaningful - at least the FedEx-related quests are framed in a meaningful way.

I'm a level 14 priest right now, and there has been no grinding so far. I'm also amazed at the extent of solo'ing you can do, even as a priest. I thought I'd just be a lowly healer, but I can open a pretty good can of whoop-ass myself :)

An interesting note is my fiance got into the game before I did, and she was instantly hooked. Bought another account so we could play together - so no "appeasing the g/f" factor for me to worry about :)

hmm (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966683)

I used to MUD back in the day, and loved it.. but over the past 5 years or more I just rarely bother to play online games with people I don't already know, because, well, online gamers tend to either be a) 14 years old, or b) just act like it.

I've been intrigued by the MMORPG concept, but never really ventured in, but WoW is really tempting me, if only because I love Blizzard. I'm just wondering if there's any chance that this game won't lend further proof to the Internet Fuckwad Theory [penny-arcade.com] .

Re:hmm (1)

tricops (635353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966838)

Well, I did my share of mudding but bored of it after a few years. I tried out WoW in the open beta and enjoyed my brief time with it so I picked it up after it came out. I've enjoyed it so far. It's true that it doesn't really innovate too much over any of the others, but... what it does do is shine from how it's been polished. So far I've just found the whole experience smooth and enjoyable. It's still a mud with graphics thrown on, but it's quite well done and I look forward to getting to explore it further :)

Spot on (3, Interesting)

cipher chort (721069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966684)

This review pretty much sums it up.

The only things I'd add is that, based on my experience with the original Diablo (admittedly not an MMORPG per-se), Ultima Online, and Everquest this is by far the most fun game to play.

For instance, level advancement doesn't feel like a root canal gone horribly wrong (like it did in Everquest). One of the really clever things Blizzard did with the UI was make the "XP bar" take up about 90% of the width of your screen, so no matter how little XP you receive for an action, you can see it advance. The one little trick alone goes a long way to easing the frustration in other games, such as UO where you would practice a skill forever to get it to move 0.1 points, or in EQ where you could fight for hours without your XP bar moving by a single pixel (in EQ the XP bar was maybe 5% of the width of your screen).

The UI is more intuitive than others I've used, but I still found myself lost on a few occasions and that caused extreme frustration. If you turn off the tutorial pop-ups (which can be annoying), you'll have to hunt around to get the right screen for things like trade skills (professions). I certainly didn't expect to find them in my spellbook!

The quest system in this game is OUTSTANDING!!! I cannot believe the sheer volume of quests, and the thought that was put into them. None of the quests feel like after-thoughts and they all seem very natural to the flow of the game. Just when you start wondering how long until your next level up, you return to town and complete a few quests and BAM, next level!

The pace of the game is quite fast in other areas, too. Combat is very fast and furious, perhaps a bit too fast for my taste. I tend to like being deliberate in my actions, and since I don't have the nano-second twitch abilities of a console gamer, it takes me a little time to deliver the right sequence of skill uses (especially on a laptop keyboard). My wife also has trouble keeping up in combat because she's not used fast-paced computer games.

I will point out that this is the first MMORPG that she's ever been remotely interested in. She detested EQ and refused to play it, but she's been drawn right into WoW even so far as to pursue her in-game professions with great gusto. So fellow geeks, there is hope yet that your SO might join you in your addiction ;)

Nerds (-1, Troll)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966715)

me so horny me love you long time

"unique spin on the genre"? (5, Insightful)

THX-1139 (115741) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966726)

Nice review, but I'm going to have to disagree with this statement. I've played every MMORPG since Everquest, including WoW since Alpha, and EQ2. WoW is an excellent game, and Blizzard is to be credited with waiting until they had a polished product to release (unlike EQ2). But it contains no real advances in gameplay. The mechanics are pretty much exactly the same, albeit with an attractive and well-designed interface.

I played it extensively in pre-release, but ultimately decided I am not interested in a rerun of the experiences of the past. Unfortunately, the major MMORPGs all seem to be converging on a set of features, which involve structuring the players experience to maximize the little mini-rewards such as experience and loot. This takes away from the original appeal of the virtual world, with degrees of freedom allowing the player to seek his own goals and write his own story. Some of the things I've heard about Vanguard [vanguardsoh.com] have raised my hopes that this game on the horizon, designed by the original creators of Everquest, will both push the envelope in gameplay, and return some of the virtual adventure to the genre.

I'm not an addict baby... thats a lie (1)

KaiserZoze_860 (714450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966747)

This is the first game to get me to stop playing Battlefield 1942.

I was among the 500K that joined the open beta 2 weeks before launch, and I was then among the next horde of people to sprint out and buy the thing on opening day. The addiction has set in and I'm comfortable with that. My fiance is a different story all together.

There have been reports of server issues, characters getting stuck and other buggy-ness. I play from 2 different machines on 2 seperate networks and rarely experiance any major issues. Sometimes the animations do get stuck tho, but thats nothing logging out and back in can't fix.

The game rocks and I usually hate MMORPGs.

So if you're running through and you see a human warlock named Kaiser, wave. See you in-game.

-KS

Announced when? (1)

D'Arque Bishop (84624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966756)

Announced at the European Computer Trade Show in September of 2002, before Warcraft III had even reached retail shelves, Blizzard's Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game has commanded attention for years.

Uhm, just to nitpick... maybe you're thinking 2001, and not 2002. I played an alpha version of World of Warcraft at the 2002 E3. (And even back then I knew it was going to be a LOT better than EverQuest...)

Dammit (1)

Zate (687440) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966762)

I stood in my local game store less than a week ago with a copy of EQ2 and a copy of WoW in my hands.. desperate for ANYTHING to cure me of the extreme case of "WTF is wrong with you people??" I was suffering from regarding SWG:JTLS and SOE. I was tired of engless promises from the devs in SWG and the lack of overall content and was ready for something new. I bought EQ2. Maybe I chose wrong ?

i like eq2, but this makes me wonder if I should have gotten WoW instead ? Anyone played both and can comment on the pros/cons of both ?

multi-platform distribution (2, Interesting)

Phrack (9361) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966802)

Both Mac OS X and Windows versions in the same retail box, same CD key works for both.

It would be interesting to see client statistics to see how the host OS breaks out... whether it falls along market lines or has more or less penetration into a particular host market.

My take on WoW fromt eh Beta (2, Insightful)

Severious (826370) | more than 9 years ago | (#10966812)

I played the WoW beta from the beginning till around August.

Although it was fun it was also very repetitive and really not something you will want to play for the long haul without some major changes. Up until I left every character of the same class was essentially identical. My major problem with this game is that there is nothing in it that if fun for it's own sake. Grand Theft Auto is a game that is fun to play without the proverbial carrot always taunting you will that new skill/power/loot.
Another major problem with WoW is that you have no effect on the world you "live" in. This may have changed in the final months but when I left you could not even place items on the ground. This really destroys the feeling of living in a world when you have no way to affect any kind of change upon anything. I felt this was more of a game that people just happened to be playing at the same time instead of a really interactive experience. Anyway I got sick of the repetition.

I give it 7/10, decent but nothing great.

A massively multilayer Grand Theft Auto would be a game that would claim may a soul. It will happen eventually but not for a long time I think.

Great review. Here's what they didn't tell you. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966830)

The servers were overloaded like crazy at launch. That could be expected of most any mmorpg. Even with 2 stress test beta's, the servers were strained well beyond capacity.

To aleviate this strain they brought more realms online, hopeing to even out the population. Worked fairly well, but most of the early adopters who created characters in the first 3 days or so didn't bother to restart thier characters on a new server.

The databases were seriously strained. It is still common for looting an item off a dead mob to take 3 minutes or more. Its a fun scene when you walk into a mining town and see half the characters walking around bent over at the waist because they are still waiting to retrieve a piece of silver they mined a few minutes ago.

As a desperate effort to relieve the strain on the servers, queue's were installed to ensure too many people didn't log in at once. (If you want a not-too-far-from-the-truth queue simulator, check this [leagueofpirates.com] out.) Wait times of over 2 hours were common on many servers.

The client still crashes fairly often, mainly with numerous spells on the screen. The two most common crashes have been around since about 4 weeks before launch.

The servers crash at least once a day, generaly requiring the entire time zone to be taken down as well. They have instituted a 4am maintenance policy, which they try to follow but the frequency of the crashes make it hard to do so.

There have been a few exploits, again they can be expected. Unfortunately, to counter this they eliminated the entire upper half of the fishing secondary profession, and by proxy seriously damaged the upper half of the cooking profession.

All in all, it was better than most mmorpg launches, but if you want to enjoy a stress free game, wait to buy it for a couple months.

I look forward to reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10966863)

more stories of addiction along the lines of http://eqdailygrind.blogspot.com/

Enjoy flushing your lives down the toilet guys.
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