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The World of World of Warcraft

Diesen Artickel einschätzen World of Warcraft is one of the biggest MMO games out there. This article will run through some of the reasons why. MMO Anlage - The World of World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft (WoW) has been one of the dominant forces in MMO Gaming for over 8 years now, and in this article we will try to explain some of the reasons why it is still played by over 8 million people worldwide.

Within this world, known as Azeroth to its inhabitants, there are thousands of creatures, non-player characters and places to explore. And while visiting these places you end up either helping, killing or stealing from many of them, along with the many, varied and often dangerous politics of two huge factions at war with themselves, and each other. Throw into this mix great dragons, and demons hell bent on destroying the very world you stand on, it makes for a compelling game.

One of the first things you notice about any game is the graphics, the beauty in the world you explore. WoW's philosophy from the start was based in bringing the art styles of the strategy game into the MMO, and at first glance WoW appears to be a little cartoonish. But when you start looking at the details, and some of the amazing artwork produced you begin to get a feel for it. Your character stands proud and polished in the middle of the screen, and the ground sweeps away into the far distance. Creatures, objects and other players blend in seamlessly. Whole cities with their own populations sit on massive continents, each of these containing five or six playing zones, with the original continents holding up to fifteen different zones.

Each one is a unique landscape, often blending between each other, and crossing over them is as smooth as walking. Each set of monsters, buildings and quests is specific to the zone that you are in, even the flora and fauna has unique colours, shapes and sizes. This creates a huge variety within the world, making time just to explore rewarding. There are also many little jokes and references to popular culture hidden (and not so hidden) to be found.

The main play of the game centers around leveling your character to the maximum level, at the time of writing this thats level ninety. Its a daunting high number, but achieving it is relatively easy to do. From when you first open the game, there are quests, hints and tips on how to play and level your character. Character progression flows easily, and often you have multiple zones to level in, and you can often progress without completing any given zone to the fullest.

As you level up, you feel and find more and more of the story of Azeroth. The rich history of the races, how they came to be on the side they are, and what their goals are. But its goes much deeper than that, whole zones are centered on the war between factions, but other zones story lines are dedicated to undoing the harm caused by demon invasions, or from the very world itself erupting. There are neutral organisations, from greedy, ruthless merchant cartels, to environment activists trying to save the animals.

World of Warcraft is aptly named, Azeroth is a place of constant warfare, with diminishing resources and two factions trying to make the most of what's left. On ones side, you have the Alliance, a unity of Humans, Night Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, these races banded together to fight of the encroaching demons, and their Possessed Orc's in a war that lasted for years. Following the leadership of the Human King, they prevailed and remained allies through what should have been a peaceful time. Then the arcship, of an alien race known as Draenei crashed on Azeroth, an honourable and light following race, they joined in the Alliance, and helped the Allied races fight off yet another demon incursion. The final race of the Alliance are both human, and not. Sealed away behind huge walls for decades, the people of Gilneas were fighting a terrible affliction, and then all at once it became a nightmare that was barely controlled. For the people of Gilneas bear the curse of lycanthropy, making them werewolves, known to the world as Worgen. Being creatures that retained their humanity, and following an invasion of their land by the Forsaken of the Horde the Worgen joined the ranks of the Alliance, bringing the playable Alliance Faction races to six.

On the other side you have the Horde, intended as a brotherhood for those that were exiled, or unwanted. Founded by the Orc's and Troll's. The honourable Tauren and undead Forsaken joined to form an army to match that of the Alliance. They also fought against the rise of demons and their dark possessed brethren. It was after this war, when the demons resurfaced and tried to destroy Azeroth that the Blood Elves were forced out from their homeland, and into the protection of the Orc's , where they swore vengeance on those that wronged them and signed on to fight the second demon war. When the great dragon Deathwing sundered the world on his escape from prison he destroyed the home of a cartel of Goblins, once more the gates of the Orc cities welcomed those that were displaced, and soon put the ingenious Goblins to work for the benefit of the Horde, making up the six playable races for the Horde Faction.

And yet there is more, the enigmatic Pandaren have rejoined Azeroth, their island no longer shrouded in mists and hidden from view. Both the Horde and Alliance are vying for its resources, and recruiting to swell their ranks and gain the advantage over the other.

With the introduction of the Pandaren, a new class was added, the fist fighting Monk. This brings the total playable classes to eleven, they are Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior and finally the Deathknight. Each class has its own play style, from rampaging into the melee of combat, to picking off targets from long range there is something for everyone.

When they created the MMO Blizzard Entertainment took the step of making the two factions unable to communicate with each other, not only helping to create a sense of community. WoW is a game where Player vs Player (PvP) is allowed, in fact encouraged in the world, and you can not communicate with your opposite faction. But this also created a sense of unity within your own faction, not to mention the ability to surprise your enemy.

As much as this game can be played solo, it is an MMO, and the formation of social groups forms a huge part of what people find attractive, there are tools to allow you to do everything from small group activities of three players, all the way up to guilds with over one hundred members.

Every individual zone has its own chat channel, where you can talk to each other, ask for help or questions about the game in that given zone, there is also a global channel designed for finding a guild. In each of the major cities you can access dedicated channels that allow you to talk to other players in any of your faction's capital cities in Azeroth, as well as trade items or skills, anything from a simple flower all the way up to a full suit of armour and weapons. There is even the option for you to create and name your own, world wide channel, so you can chat to your friends from anywhere.

Then there are guilds, created by an individual player, often with a group of other players to assist as officers or in senior positions. Guilds form the core of the social dynamic of the game, they range from small, tight knit groups of friends, to huge leveling assistance guilds and everything in between. Guilds often focus on a specific aspect of the game, be that leveling, social, pvp or end game raid content. You choose the name of the guild, its numbers, and members. Once you are in a guild you can chat with any other member anywhere in the world, you can see what they have achieved, or what your guild as a group have achieved. There are benefits for membership too, items, and bonuses to leveling and crafting professions, as well as purely cosmetic items.

There are some guilds that were formed at the release of WoW, and for specialised guilds, there are world rankings to try and achieve, most publicly for the end game raid content. Some of the members of these guilds are also online stars and respected for their achievements in their own right. Outside of wow, there are fan pages, an extensive Wiki, forums, advice pages, guild pages and information sites. All dedicated to one single, or all aspects of WoW. Blizzard also run a comprehensive forum community, with incredible amounts of members, posts and feedback.

We have talked about the world, leveling, its factions and races, and the community it generates, but what do you do when you reach that coveted level ninety. This is where the majority of the player base is at, with one or more maximum level characters.

The main goal, and most well known part of the game is the end content raiding. Getting groups of ten or twenty five people together, to attack the castles of mad men, or bring down an evil abomination that has invaded a sanctuary. Each individual raid has a unique storyline, often with background available out in the world. They are specially tailored to their storyline, with dedicated artwork, themes, monsters and most importantly, the "boss" fights. The current generation of raids have between four and twelve bosses, each with a specialised fight tailored to suit its storyline and challenge the players trying to complete it.

The raids are divided into two types of creatures, the "trash" and the "boss". Trash mobs are often considered easy, and sometimes can be really good and engaging, or more often the case that they are regarded as something that is either dull or takes too long. The bosses are tough individual creatures, or groups of creatures that have a special set of mechanics. These mechanics are designed to test the players skills, and reward them with epic items for their characters. Players will need to devise the tactics to overcome these encounters, and this can often take weeks or months for most players, there are those elite players and guilds that can clear a raid within a week of its release, but the majority of the player base take much longer.

Having said that, there are many other options available to you when you reach level ninety including PvP, smaller group content with three or five players, there are new places to explore, many repeatable quests that can provide items for your character. Within the game there are professions that your character can take, making items. Many of the end level areas have specific materials, or monsters that drop specific parts to make these epic items, and then you can sell them to other players or use yourself.

WoW does not end there, Blizzard are constantly working on or releasing new content for the game, new places to explore, lore to find, raids to complete. And there will be in the future, another expansion, with fresh stories to tell, and even higher levels to achieve. And you can do it all alone, or with your friends.

An exciting, compelling and dangerous world awaits.

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