|The game's beautifully rendered locations are filled with small details, such as flying birds and flowing water.|
The game looks magnificent. There's plenty of detail and variety to the landscapes and interiors, and the artwork has a refreshingly playful style. There's not a lot of variety in the character creation process, but with all the skills and proficiencies to combine in the game, World of Warcraft focuses its customisation not on the appearance of your character but rather on the character of your character. The game lets you adopt any two trade skills, regardless of character race or class, and combine those skills in useful ways. If you choose skinning and leatherworking, for example, you can fashion bags from the carcasses of monsters you defeat, which will allow you to carry even more inventory items.
You can sell the items you make, find, and loot through a variety of outlets. Like any role-playing game, World of Warcraft has merchants who will buy your cast-off items for fixed prices, but you can also sell to other players at your own price through in-game chat or by leaving it with one of the auction houses located across the map. This virtual free market is a game within the game, like Monopoly somehow inserted into the middle of Chess. You can even send items C.O.D. to other players via the game's mail system.
In other online role-playing games, starting players have to invest dozens of hours whacking at small prey and doing other odd jobs one at a time to gradually "level up" to more interesting challenges. World of Warcraft lets players accept a variety of quests -- up to 20 at a time without penalty for abandoning any of them before they're complete. The makers boast 2,000 existing quests with more being added, many of them noncombat in nature. Where some games only grant experience through battle, World of Warcraft grants experience for exploring and fulfilling quests too.
A Level Playing Field
There's also a built-in handicap for casual players where your character enters a rest state when you log off from the game. The longer you're logged off (up to a week), the bigger the experience bonus you'll get when you return to battle. An enemy tagging feature -- the player who lands the first attack on an enemy claims the loot for himself or his party -- prevents onlookers from swooping in and pilfering items from a monster that you brought down. That resolves a common complaint of other titles.
|Icons and pop-ups help put complex controls easily within reach.|
All of this makes for a very complicated game, but the well-designed interface puts all the game's elements into icons either visible framing the action or within a simple keystroke. The enemy's artificial intelligence is quite strong too: Monsters will join nearby fights to aid their comrades, switch targets strategically mid-battle, and ambush players. The map system fills in details on places you've visited, so you always know where you are and where you've been.
Overall, World of Warcraft is a game that's easy to learn, challenging to master, beautiful to watch, and tons of fun to play. --Porter B. Hall
|Operating System||PC: Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista (with latest Service Packs) |
Mac: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or newer
|CPU||PC: Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+ |
Mac: PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz or Intel Core Duo processor
|PC: Dual-core processor, such as Intel Pentium D or AmD Athlon 64 X2 |
Mac: Intel 1.8 GHz processor or better
|Graphics Hardware||PC: 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transfor and Lighting with 32 MB VRAM, such as an ATI Radeon 7200 or NVIDIA GeForce2 class card or better |
Mac: 3D graphics processor with Hardware Transform and Lighting with 64 MB VRAM, such as ATI Radeon 9600 or NVIDIA GeForce Ti 4600 class card or better
|PC: 3D Graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capabilities with 128 MB VRAM, such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT class card or better |
Mac: 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM, such as ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA 7600 class card or better.
|Memory||PC: 512 MB (1 GB for Vista) |
Mac: 1 GB
|PC: 1 GB (2 GB for Vista) |
Mac: 2 GB
|Hard Drive Space||15 GB of free space|
|All Platform Requirements||Keyboard and mouse, required for controls. Other input devices not supported. Active broadband Internet connection required to play.|
World of Warcraft is a massive multi-player, online role-playing game set in the Warcraft universe. In it, thousands of players will be able to adventure together with a new, in-depth perspective on familiar lands, former battlefields and heroes from the legendary universe. In addition, World of Warcraft will introduce new, uncharted territories and new deadly foes.
World of Warcraft takes place four years following the aftermath of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, where a great tension has settled over the ravaged world of Azeroth. As the various races begin to rebuild their shattered kingdoms, new threats, both ancient and terrifying, have arisen to plague the world once again. Players must explore the lands of Azeroth, forge fellowships with other players and build their strength in order to prevail.
An action-packed combat system delivers fast, furious combat against multiple opponents, while minimising delays between battles to keep players on the move. A rich, evolving story and questing system will keep players engrossed as the world is regularly updated with new content.
Fully customisable character classes, innovative races, and thousands of weapons allow for a truly diverse gameplay experience that will appeal to both hard-core and novice gamers alike. A simple, intuitive user interface will allow players of various skill levels to easily join the adventure. World of Warcraft also features support for advanced graphics hardware, giving the player superlative graphical enhancements, as well as a sophisticated, massively multiplayer network architecture capable of supporting thousands of players in a world simultaneously.
I am a veteran of Star Wars Galaxies and Everquest 2, and World of Warcraft beats them both hands down.
Galaxies was basically just plain boring, not enough content, too much of a grind, and Developers who just didn't care about their players, World of Warcraft has none of those complaints.
Everquest 2 was too much of a system hog (VERY high end system required just to run the game on medium settings), too elitist according to player grouping, and basically just too serious for it's own good, it kind of felt like Everquest 2 was a second job rather than a game. Once again World of Warcraft has none of these complaints.
Warcraft runs fantastic on a medium spec system, and it's absolutely flawless on mine (1GB ram, 128MB Geforce FX5700 ultra, and a 512k B/B connection) there is no lag whatsoever, and no slowdown even when many players are gathered together spellcasting and fighting etc.
The game is colourful, amazingly well drawn (the scenery is literally breathtaking at times) the quests are fun and actually yield good rewards for your chosen class (no 3 hour questing for something you can't even use and can only sell for 2 copper coins in this game!).
All in all a brilliant game, and the best MMORPG I have ever played.
Kudos to Blizzard on this one!
This game is, in a word, amazing. I have played Morrowind but quickly got bored - with all the tedious touches (fatigue etc) which some may find "realistic" but i found to be a waste of time...
This game suffers from none of these little niggles. It is very easy to pick up and play - finding quests and knowing where to go to complete them is done so in a very streamlined way so u dont spend ages running around trying to find out where to go...again making for an enjoyable gaming experience.
The graphics are beautifull. Everything is smooth and is rarely repetitive...and the sound is nice and crisp. Addiction is a problem! This game has one of the rare ingredients that made old games like Tie fighter ledgendry - a must have "gotta have more go goddamit" feel...and u feel rewarded for the time you put in.
People complain about a monthly fee...well it depends on how you view that. Unlike many games, you do get what you pay for with this game, so in my opinion (setting aside the issue of "is it right to have to may a monthly supplement") the money is well spent. I would rather spend money playing a game i know i like than to pay less for a game i do not like.
I do have 2 niggles with the game, and hence why i gave it 4 stars, is the social aspect of the game - many quests that offer the greatest rewards must be done by a large group of people - it is not possible to do them without, which some people may be put off by. But teaming up with characters that are helpful makes the good experience of the game soar and is very enjoyable. Forming groups is easy (as is leaving them!) and works very well and should not be viewed as a drawback to this game.
The other issue is that of time! This game will take up a lot of your time...believe me...no game has had me as hooked as this game in my entire life...it is possible to spend over 6 hours playing and notbe bored at all, such is the appeal of the game.
My advice to those considering this as their next gaming purchase is to buy it - the first month is free and every pre-conceived worry you may have with online only RPS's (long loading times, lag etc) will be quickly swept aside when you start playing. It is one of the best games i have played and i know that i will be playing this for some time to come!
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