I’ve been bitten by the Blizzard bug again. This time it’s the latest entry in the WarCraft saga: the two-month-new World of Warcraft, a huge four-CD massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG for short. The predecessor, Warcraft III, never gelled with me, mainly due to its complexity and less-than-interesting playing, but WoW is a fun, engaging, and addictive timewaster.
Installation is tedious; it took well over an hour to install the four CDs. Worried about privacy issues? Assuming you can live with the fact that World of Warcraft is a purely online game and they can pull the plug at any time of their choosing, accepting the terms of service also allows Blizzard the right to scan your computer’s components, including “your computer’s random access memory, video card, central processing unit, etc.” While presumably added to help prevent players from installing modifications that would provide them an unfair advantage, you have to assume that Blizzard at any time can read any part of your system’s memory.
Game play is purely RPG. You start as a level 1 character of the race, gender, profession, and look of your choosing. Quests abound, and it’s easy to establish a group of players all completing the same goals. Conquering various beasts and villains, as well as completing quests, produces gains in experience. It is not long before the level 1 wolves near your starting gate (assuming you start out as a member of the human race) become mere pests and hardly a challenge. So far, I’ve not run across any real idiots, but I’m also consciously avoiding the player-versus-player aspects of the game, preferring to stick with the normal quest-based mode. On the contrary, it is more often that I run across a warlock or priest who casts a heal spell or enhancement over me. In return, as I’ve gathered strength, I’ve helped a newbie or two (hard to be more of a newbie than I am at this early point!) to complete a quest or regain health.
Great graphics. Almost no lag (except in highly populated areas such as the auction house). Interesting goals and quests. A huge map to explore.
I have never payed a subscription to play an online game, so $15 per month seems steep to me, but I have a feeling I’ll be sticking around for a while. But, hey, the first month is free anyway. Isn’t that how a drug addiction usually starts? The first one is always free, and then you become addicted for life. Welcome to the World of WarCrack!
Actually, having played the game for the past several weeks, I have come to the conclusion that WoW is highly populated with idiots.