Review by Wewt Wewt
"Addicting and fun!"
I'll be the first to admit that I have very little experience in MMORPGs. The only online RPGs I've played thoroughly are Ragnarok and the Diablo series (if you even count that as an RPG). I've always loved Blizzard games and I bought World of Warcraft hoping that it would be another spectacular game.
Graphics - 8 (out of a possible 10)
Obviously, the graphics are not revolutionary. They maintain the "cartoony," fantasy feel of the Warcraft series. They are pretty good, but not spectacular like Half-Life 2. The game was made to appeal to average computer users as well as hardcore overclockers; thus, it runs on lower end machines quite well. At my 1280x1024 resolution, the graphics look good although textures could use some work. However, I understand Blizzard's desire to cater to a wide audience. If you're looking for graphics, Everquest 2 and, from what I gather from screenshots, Guild Wars' are better, but that's not what WoW is all about.
Sound - 7 (out of a possible 10)
Pretty standard fare here. Exactly what you'd expect from swords clashing, magic spells firing, and people talking.
Gameplay - 10 (out of a possible 10)
Levelling up in WoW is at a good pace; faster than most MMORPGs, but still slow enough to keep you busy. I have no complaints or suggestions for the quest system. The profession system is pretty good as well: you can choose two major professions from a selection including mining, skinning, blacksmithing, leatherworking, and more. It's a good way to both make money and gear for yourself.
To me, PvP (Player vs. Player) is where the game shines. You're either on the Alliance or the Horde and spend much of your time battling the other faction. As you reach higher levels, you'll cross paths with them more often and you can ignroe them, combat them, ambush them, or get ambushed. It's very frustrating to get ganked during a quest, but it is a war after all. You can organize raid parties of large amounts of people and slaughter enemies in either contested or enemy territories. However, even better is the fact that Blizzard plans to implement Battlegrounds, which, in short, places your character on a Warcraft battlefield, complete with mounted battles, gryphon raids, etc. The future looks promising.
Story - 9 (out of a possible 10)
The Warcraft story is surprisingly detailed and good. However, so far, the game has not really done much to advance the plot. There is room for it, though; for example, in previous games, the city of Dalaran was destroyed by the Scourge. Currently, it is being rebuilt. In the future, it will probably become open again. Besides this, there is an immense amount of backstory found the books and tablets you find in the game. If you take the time to read quests, some tie in directly with the plot (one, called the Missing Diplomat, deals with the kidnapping of the king of Stormwind).
What I consider to be my first serious MMORPG experience has been a good one. Right now, my trial month is nearing its end and I plan on playing for months to come. The game does have a few faults, however. Blizzard doesn't completely know how to run an MMORPG yet and there are unexpected server maintenances and other small, annoying errors. However, they have been working hard to resolve these since day one and I expect them to continue improving their product for us.
FINAL SCORE: 10/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/03/05
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