Review by XenoPersona

"A game that starts out so good ends up disappointing due to problems Blizzard itself created."

World of Warcraft…a game that many gamers have hailed as one of the best and received game of the year. Blizzard has made many top selling games and last summer I started playing their games…Diablo specifically. After that, I played Starcraft and Warcraft 3, and decided to get WoW over the summer. I started May 9th and now, twenty-two days later, I am done with this game for quite some time. There are many problems in this game that need to be addressed.

Graphics: 9
They did a good job with creating an immersive game. Giant forests, crowded cities, abandoned mines, etc. It's quite a gorgeous game and very easy on the eyes with all of the different colors. Yes, many have complained that the game is ‘too cartoony', but it did not bother me at all. I actually like it compared to the realistic games, which many said games lack good gameplay because the devs spent too much time dedicated to the look and not the feel.

Controls: 7.75
The controls could have been better…to be specific, I am not talking about the actual keys, but rather the interface for which you perform actions. You end up having too many icons on the screen at once, which becomes rather confusing when trying to battle a difficult enemy. I do believe, however, that this particular interface works well despite the confusion of hot-keys, spells, inventory, etc.

Sound: 7
The music is decent; it does its job and creates a feeling that works well with the environments. That's about it. The music is just there, no real complaints here. The ambience is quite pleasing and helps create a good mood, just like the music. Sound effects are also quite good and sound as they should.

Gameplay: 3.75
I really hate to give this a low score, but that is exactly how I feel. The game starts out very fresh and new compared to other games that have come out within the last two years. I created my first character, an undead warrior, and began my journey in a small village. My first quest was to defeat some mobs (the enemies) and collect x amount of an item. Well, two days later, I found myself continuing to get similar quests and some point in time I began to wonder what exactly was so great about this game. Well, in my opinion, this game is not nearly as good as Diablo. Perhaps it's because I play single player and hate multiplayer in just about every game. But then I reminded myself that the game would probably not be much different offline than it is online, save for the fact that if the game was offline, we wouldn't have to put up with the incredulous Tuesday maintenance…which can last from six hours to all day. This is unacceptable given that six million people play this game. What they should do is have server maintenance every weekday for three hours early in the morning (perhaps 6:00 am-9:00 am?). This would diminish the need for such long server maintenance on only Tuesdays and may even help the game fix many of its bugs.

The content is quite dull, especially since I read that many people that have hit the level cap (lvl 60) have quit this game due to being bored with it. Many have stated that the game is too raid-oriented near the end. Raids consist of 5-40 people at once, in instances (high level dungeons that reset every week) fighting mobs that drop rare items. The problem? Certain instances require certain rare armor for players to even enter them at all. In addition, everyone in the raid has to ‘roll' on this rare equipment, meaning that you may or may not ever get it. This really isolates the community from ever seeing all of Blizzards content that they put in this game. Even then, who wants to team up with 40 different people at once? The screen would become so cluttered that you would have a hard time finding your own character. Not everyone likes raids and most of the end game material is acquired from only raids. So basically, the game consists of mundane, repetitive quests from lvl 1-59 and running the same instances repeatedly hoping to gain a rare drop at lvl 60. This isn't how Diablo worked. In Diablo, once you beat it, you went to the next level of difficulty with harder monsters and equipment that was more rare.

The people at Blizzard stated that WoW was supposed to be for all kinds of players and even stated that you would be able to play solo. That is a load of bull. The game is so obviously revolved around huge parties defeating epic bosses. Once you hit ~lvl 20, you will notice that many of the quests become elite, dungeon, or instance. Most of the mobs also start becoming too hard for anyone to solo and you are then forced to play the way everyone else does. Too many classes seem the same and some are even boring to play as depending on your style of gameplay. What's the difference between an undead warlock and a human warlock? One or two boring skills? Why did Blizzard choose to do this? Many of the areas start becoming repetitive after a while also. Many characters even go to the exact same areas as other completely different characters. The game starts out good, but eventually most will see that they are just doing the same thing in different areas.

I watched my friend do all this end game stuff a few days ago and I was put off by it. One of the biggest problems with playing online with others is that many players can be asses and ruin the fun for everyone else, and WoW is no exception. This game is absolutely not about creating an environment in which all kinds of players can be entertained…it's really about getting together about one hundred 1337 players going to MC to get phat lootorz to show off to their ‘fiends'. Near the end of the game, that is just about the only thing you'll do…if you can even do that at all. This really alienates those who wish to play by themselves and next to nothing is offered to solo players when compared to raiders. With all of the requirements, rare equipment, annoying roll system, raids, and instances, many lvl 60 players become bored and ultimately leave disappointed while the 160+ person guilds filled with high level players armed with the best armor sets in the game have fun PvP'ing each other and going to MC every week to show off to the new players. It is quite disheartening when all of these leet players go around strutting their stuff when you can barely find blue equipment and your guild does not let you take part in the raids.

Replayability: 3.5
I will not finish the game and many will never see most end game material due to how Blizzard chose to make this game. It's sad really, they used to be such a great company and now, along with many others, they are beginning to fall. This game had so much potential, but wasted a lot of it when they decided to give 15% of the community most of the new content. Content...that almost no one will ever see. I will not be contributing to Blizzard's ever growing pocket of money. As of right now, I am canceling my subscription only twenty-two days after I subscribed. The game is far too boring and will not last me all summer like I had planned it to. I can't even get any of my characters past lvl 20 due to the fact that everything becomes too boring and repetitive.

Overall: 6/10
I really wanted to like this game. I had never expected this from Blizzard considering their previous contributions to the gaming community. This is quite a lackluster effort coming from the makers of games like Diablo and Starcraft. The game is so boring that I could see the number of players dropping rapidly within the next year or so. Even when the expansion comes, it may not be enough to keep people in. We want content for everyone, not just raiders. This game could have been one of the greatest in history, but it will most likely be remembered for its many customers, buggy servers, Tuesdays, and raid centric content that most of their efforts are going into, along with nerfing and buffing characters so often that they lose their once creative originality and become like everything else. I hope that the expansion makes this game better, but I'm going to wait and see what happens before I go out and get it. What happened to you, Blizzard?

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/01/06

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