Reviews: World Of Warcraft

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Wrath Of The Lich King
Not a review of the core game, just of the most recent expansion pack.

The latest expansion pack does a lot of things -right-. The villain is much more 'hands on' than the previous one, who you really had no reason to go ought and fight, other than the prospect of phat loots. Thanks to the phasing system, he player actually has an effect on the game-world, if only for his own version. This expansion pack is very story driven, and the player follows it through, and gets very involved in the events, rather than just "Go here because the monsters are three levels higher." Perhaps most importantly, the endgame content is being made more accessible— Rather than force players to raid four nights a week just to get strong enough to attempt to do ANY of the harder raids, the endgame gear is being made accessible via tokens dropped in the heroic versions of the 5-man dungeons which can be done daily.

That said, a few things are done wrong. In making the villain have a bigger role in the game and the quests, he seems less powerful and scary- Every time you see him, he doesn't just kill you on the spot, instead letting you live "this time." In addition, a lot of the Northrend gear looks... well, there's no two ways around it, the Northrend gear looks like bondage gear. Lots of masks and leather and spikes. Finally, in making the endgame raids more accessible, more players who didn't work their way through the easier raids have the gear to jump straight to the harder ones, but not the skill.

Of course, whether you like it or not, you're not really playing World Of Warcraft if you're not playing the most current version, so if you already have the game, you may as well buy the expansion packs anyway.
  comments: 3
The next step for MMORP Gs
World of Warcraft, as an MMORPG, is in many ways a more accessible and less tedious experience than its predecessors, enabling it to be a more popular and ultimately more fun game.

The story is relatively standard fantasy fare, with two factions that have a long history of bloodshed against one another facing mutual threats which, for the most part, do not motivate them to work together. The conflict is fueled by several zealous members on each side, and it's likely that you'll end up hating at least a few of the characters depending on where you stand. Despite this, the story has powerful moments, is interesting enough to drag you in more than the standard Excuse Plot and has well-done side plots.

There is no shortage of things to do in Azeroth, from quests to dungeons to fighting players to even special events at certain times of the year. Almost 2,000 achievements exist, and it will take even diligent players years to even get close to unlocking them all.

World of Warcraft is more forgiving in many regards than older MMMORPGs. Dying costs a relatively small amount of money rather than experience, aggressive monsters strong enough to slaughter players are the exception rather than the norm, and it's relatively easy to find groups.

The gameís difficulty, however, is a bit odd when you compare it to most single-player games. While people contend it is easier than it used to be, which is likely true, raiding requires players to conform to specific rotations and gear sets for acceptable results, and reading guides, rather than being seen as a crutch, is seen as a requirement to even begin. Depending on your group and gear level, you can often raid for weeks without seeing any progress. Many people will claim that itís easy, which unfortunately serves to trivialize your accomplishments if you succeed and makes you feel incompetent if you fail.

The player base varies in quality; while many people are obnoxious or incompetent, there are many others who are skilled, helpful and friendly. With the right guild, you can get a consistently good group for PVP or raids, and also make friends.

World of Warcraft has highs and lows, and involves quite a bit of hard work, but it is overall a very enjoyable experience.
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