World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. As with other MMORPGs, players control a character avatar within a game world in third person view (with the option of playing in first person), exploring the landscape, fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with NPCs or other players.
World of Warcraft is perhaps one of the most well-known MMOs out there, and with nearly 11.5 million players, its hard to argue with it. The game's social interactions are incredible: there's nothing quite like joining a party and storming your way through a dungeon somewhere. Questing is the more solo aspect of the game, although when I was levelling, I had a friend along to prevent me from dying. Unlike Ragnarok Online, the gameplay is more advanced and incorperates a large range of features (professions and talents, to name a few). However, the game is fairly time consuming, requiring a fair bit of investment to enjoy fully. I've since quit WoW, leaving behind a level 80 mage, warlock, priest and paladin.
The game of World of Warcraft, or WoW, is set in a Azeroth and later extending to a further world called Outland. On November 14, 2008, Northrend, the frigid cap of Azeroth, was added. In it, players design a character to play based on a number of starting options, such as the race of character and its type or class. Gameplay primarily consists of completing quests and dungeon runs, and other in-game activities, in order to obtain rewards which will allow one to improve one's character and equipment in order to be able to complete the more difficult quests and dungeon runs. Players can also participate in player versus player combat, either in large groups or small team matches.
Depending on the faction and race chosen, a player then has ten character classes to choose from. The mechanics of each class vary, with some tending towards melee combat while others are more suited to attacking from range. Other classes have the ability to heal themselves and other characters, while a few are hybrids - able to perform multiple roles. Currently available classes are Druids, Hunters, Mages, Paladins, Priests, Rogues, Shamans, Warlocks, Warriors, and Death Knights. Death Knights are a hero class, which means the player needs a level 55 (at least) character and they are generally more powerful. While a character can be played on its own, players can also group up with others in order to tackle more challenging content. In this way, character classes are used in specific roles within a group Players are also able to customize their character through the use of talents, which are further abilities related to their character class.
Characters are also able to learn two primary professions from a list of ten. These can be gathering professions, such as mining, herb gathering, or animal skinning. Characters can also choose from crafting professions, such as armour crafting, weapon crafting, or enhancement professions such as enchanting or inscription. Professions are not directly linked to a character's class (e.g., Warriors can be alchemists, Mages can be animal skinners, etc.). However, some skills available to certain classes (e.g., the ability to track animals) are useful to certain professions. Characters can also learn secondary professions, such as cooking, fishing and first aid. In the Burning Crusade expansion, profession specialisations were added, allowing a character to gain new restricted techniques.
As well as banding together to form groups, players can also band together to form guilds. These structures allow players several benefits, such as easier communication and an identifying guild name and tabard. Guild members can also be given access to a central pool of resources known as a guild bank.
A large amount of World of Warcraft revolves around questing. These tasks or missions are usually available from non-player characters (NPCs). These are indicated by having yellow exclamation marks (!) above their heads, while yellow question marks (?) represent quests ready to hand back and complete. Quests usually reward the player with experience points and in-game money that the character can then spend on buying new skills and buying new equipment. Some quests offer a selection of quest rewards, allowing the player to choose what would suit his character best. Sometimes, quests of this nature are linked together by a common theme. Where one quest ends, another starts, forming a quest chain. A unique aspect of World of Warcraft is the use of a "rested bonus" system, increasing the rate that a character can gain experience points after the player has spent time away from the game.Q uests commonly involve killing a number of creatures, gathering a certain number of resources, finding a difficult to locate object, or delivering an item from one place to another. During this process, a character may get attacked and killed by a creature, becoming a ghost at a nearby graveyard. Characters can be resurrected by other characters that have the ability, or can self-resurrect by moving from the graveyard to the place where they died. If this location is unreachable, they can use a special NPC known as a spirit healer to resurrect at the graveyard. When a character dies the items being carried degrade, requiring in-game money and a specialist NPC to repair them. Items that degrade heavily can become unusable until they are repaired.
As well as gaining in-game money, items and experience points, many quests will also increase reputation with a faction. This may be one of the two main factions of Alliance or Horde, or another non-allied faction. It can also be possible for a player to improve their character's reputation with a faction by completing further quests or killing certain types of creatures. Enhancing a character's reputation can gain access to rare items, unique abilities and profession-based patterns and plans.
I've played a mage, warlock and priest in WoW, and recently finished a paladin Each class has a set of strengths and weaknesses. You may have noticed that I prefer caster-type classes. While capable of casting awesome spells, they can only don cloth armour and can take very little damage. Appropriately, during raids and in instances, my role was simply to sit back and spam spells or heal my allies. There is no right or wrong way to play WoW (and in fact, one of the things I really enjoyed was the exploration part). However, if you want to develop an effective character (that is, one suited to a particular role, such as a PvP or PvE), the following sites really help.
The mage is a DPS caster that specializes in burst damage and area of effect spells. Their primary role in a group at lower levels is damage dealing and crowd control through the use of Polymorph, temporarily changing humanoids and beasts into harmless critters. At end-game levels, mages' damage is supplemented with Counterspell, Remove Curse, and Spellsteal. Mages' utility spells also include conjuring food and drink and the ability to teleport to major cities and open portals for party members. In PvP, Mages deal ranged damage while using snare effects and Polymorph to control enemy players.
In a group or raid environment, mages are usually tasked with ranged DPS, AoE, Counterspell, Spellsteal, Crowd Control and finally Ritual of Refreshment. A build predominantly using the fire tree will usually contribute greater DPS in multiple-target encounters; those using a predominantly arcane tree will usually contribute greater DPS in single-target encounters; and finally, those using a predominantly frost tree will contribute a fair amount of control.
Warlocks were once arcanists - or shamans in the case of the orcs - who, in pursuit of ever-greater sources of power, abandoned their studies of the arcane or nature and delved into darker, fel-based shadow magic. Warlocks still retain their skills in the manipulation of the chaotic element of fire, although their focus is on delivering excruciating pain and drawing out the suffering of their victims. No longer do they aim to use the effective application of arcane energies to efficiently dispose of their targets from a safe distance, instead warlocks revel in their victim's pain while their fel minions engage their target.
Warlocks are taken to raids for their incredible dps and their raid utility. A warlock's abilities can bring a lot of support to parties, and they are usually biggest source of ranged DPS. Seed of Corruption, when properly used, makes a warlock extremely effective AoE DPS without putting the raid at risk. Soul Shards should be put to good use in order to summon late comers, conjure Soulstones for raid recovery, and distribute Healthstones. Warlocks are also well known for their unique CC abilities such as Fear, Banish, and Enslave Demon.
The priest is the master of healing and preservation, restoring his wounded allies, shielding them in battle and even resurrecting his fallen comrades from death. While he has a variety of protective and enhancement spells to bolster his allies, the priest can also wreak terrible vengeance on his enemies, using the grand powers of the Holy Light to smite and purge them or the devastating powers of the shadow to decimate their minds. The priest is a diverse and powerful class, highly desirable in any group and capable of fulfilling multiple roles.
The priest is perhaps the best healing class in the game with a surprisingly strong damage potential as well (should the player choose to enhance this aspect of the class). Their ability to heal and buff allies, avoid aggro, dispel buffs on enemies, dispel debuffs on their allies, and resurrect fallen comrades makes them an important member of any group, whether it's PvP or PvE. Due to this, priests are one of the most highly sought after classes for any group.
The paladin is a hybrid class with the ability to play a variety of different roles — including healing (holy), tanking (protection), and DPS (retribution). They have auras, blessings and seals that provide useful buffs for other players while withstanding heavy physical damage with plate armor and strong defensive abilities. Paladins are a very unique class that have the ability to perform all three major functions required in group or raid play depending on their spec; they can specialise in tanking, damage dealing or healing.