World of Warcraft is the godfather of the massively multiplayer gaming universe. This MMORPG is a high-fantasy MMO that was first launched in November 2004 and has been a mainstay of the genre ever since. There have been six expansion packs since the original launch of the game, all adding physical expansion to the game world itself, but also introducing lots of new content and new character options as well. These expansions, most recently ‘Battle of Azeroth,’ are added every couple of years, and the game is still updated as much as any new game, keeping it up to date for long-term veterans of the title, while also inviting new users to join, even 15 years after its launch.
WoW is made by Blizzard and is accessible through Battle.net – the Blizzard game launcher. There is a subscription fee to play the game, however, in recent years they have become more noob-friendly – they have now finally created a ‘Starter Edition’ which allows all players who have a free Battle.net account to play WoW until level 20. The starter edition is one of three account tiers which are currently available.
To level beyond 20, you must subscribe to WoW, at a rate which can be paid through either real-world money or in-game gold – and beyond the subscriber tier, you can buy the new expansion, which increases the level cap to 120, ten higher than a regular subscriber. Subscribing will allow you access to all of the content from the base game and every previous expansion before the BoA update.
After selecting your realm – the server you’ll play on – which will be either a normal realm or a role-playing realm, it’s time to make your character. In the current form of the game, there are a total of 13 main starting races and 11 classes. There are two factions, which divide the races: The Alliance, and The Horde.
Be aware that if you are a member of the Alliance faction, you can only play with players of that faction, and against the Horde faction – this will be very important if you wish to play with friends, as is selecting the realm. Finally, Pandaren, the race added in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, is neutral, but will swiftly select their allegiance after their starting zone. Not all races can be a member of every class, and there are some subtle racial abilities/differences, but the main drive of your gameplay will be your class.
The classes – which range from a standard Warrior or Mage build to a Shaman or Death Knight – will change how your character engages in combat, which is a crucial part to both leveling yourself up, and then the endgame content.
PvP is present in the game world through newly introduced ‘War Mode,’ in which you gain boosted XP and rewards, as well as a more challenging open-world gameplay. You can also take part in queued Player vs Player through the game’s Alliance vs Horde battles, which can be both ranked and unranked and in epic Battlegrounds and smaller-sided Arena matches.
World of Warcraft is an MMORPG suited to both the casual role-playing enthusiast, who have servers specifically for them, and the grind-thirsty PvP loving MMO players who want to get to the maximum level cap and create multiple top-tier dominant characters.