Review by NeoWeird
"A good game to jump into, and definitely worth the time"
World of Warcraft is a warm welcome in comparison to many of the other MMORPGs that are out there. WoW does not have a severe learning curve, nor does it force you to tediously trail along through quest after quest just to try and continue on with your game. While Questing is still a very big part of the game, there is so much more that is available at a very early time that you will not mind doing the quests, because at any point you can wander off and just play, something MMORPGs seem to have forgotten about.
While the game play is incredibly fun, I found that it was sometimes lacking in major areas. In particular, when fighting the same enemy over and over, the routine became redundant; however the second you go after a different enemy, you forget all about the original routine and need to learn it all over again. This was very nicely counter balanced by the near countless quests in each area. The quests also offered nice rewards in the form of money, items that were most of the time useful, or added skills/spells. A unique aspect of the quests with item rewards was that you usually received a choice on what item to get; there may be a shield, boots, or a knife to choose from and almost always someone from any class could use one of the items. A nice little trait of items in the game is that all non-normal items become "Soulbound" once worn, where only the original character who equipped it may hold and use it. This will make rarer items stay rare since they can not be worn and then resold later. Once you have found better than what you got, that is it, you can sell them to a vendor or use them in some other way (ie: trade skills). On top of the 8 races and 9 classes, there are also professions that enable you to use trade skills. There is a total of 12 professions, 9 Primary and 3 secondary, of which you can have two primary and as many secondaries as you want. These range from Tailoring to Alchemy. Needless to say there is quite a bit on your plate to do with this game, but that doesn't mean time necessarily. The great feature about WoW is that while grouping is encouraged, it is not required to play. Also, leveling does not take insanely long to do. If someone were to set out and play properly, they could easily level a couple times an hour at start, and then consistently gain a level every hour or so until they get quite high up. This allows players to go at their own pace, and once they don't feel like leveling they can go use their items of spend money on their professions, and when they are done there they can quest. All in all, there is more than enough to keep you occupied at all times, and you don't need to focus on anything in particular, because it all sort of just happens is blissful harmony that makes the game pass by naturally instead of being a tedious venture into money spending.
The music was neither good nor bad in my opinion, while there was no bad music, there wasn't exactly good music either. There was very little 'trademark' music that made you think of a certain place or situation when you heard it, and 'mood' music that made you want to do something special(like go out and just speed cast on every single thing that moved). This does however act as a double edged blade, and I will admit that there was no music that got old or out played. The music was nice and flowing and seemed to fit the areas nicely for a nice fantasy adventure. While that is good, it would have been nice to have something a bit more from time to time.
This is where the game starts to fail. Character control is simple and near flawless. So why then the 5? Simple: the camera. The camera can be perfectly aimed one moment, then you step in some deep water and you have to reposition it. While there are a handful of set positions that can be moved to very quickly, the true movement is actually done by the player by holding down a mouse button and moving the mouse. The main problem with the camera angles lies in it's stubbornness to correct itself. If you have the camera looking down on your character from a 45 degree angle from far away, and you walk to a hillside, it stays there so all you see if ground. Then as you walk up the hill, instead of correcting itself to be at a 45 degree angle in relation to the hill, it stays at its original angle. This makes walking up hills a pain, since you can't see anything at first and it makes getting aggressive monster attacks very easy. Add in that some actions, like getting in shallow water, corrected the angle of the camera, which made it be re-corrected. The main gripe would be that you will NEVER have a camera angle that works for everything and you will most likely have to correct it every couple minutes or so at best. While it seems bad, again all it takes is a movement of the mouse, so after a short while it becomes almost second nature and can be done without even thinking. All in all, the problem with the camera is the worst aspect of the game, which isn't that big a deal at all.
While it has minor problems here and there (which game doesn't?), it is overall a GREAT game. It may not be a game you play for years to come, but it will definitely hold your interest for quite a while. It is also easy enough for young and new players to get a hold of, while still having depth that will keep the attention of the oldest gamers. With a range of servers like Normal Play, PvP, and RP you can guarantee to find players who are playing for the same reason you are. The game is nicely paced and balanced to allow players to play in groups, or to wander of and be the might adventurer they want to be. Give it a try and I doubt you will be disappointed, in all probability you will most likely be surprised by a truly great and well though out game focusing on the game itself and not how to prolong play to earn more money.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/27/04
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