World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was released in 2004 and still. keeps. going.
It was introduced as a counter to Everquest and other more intense MMOs – the graphic requirements were (and still are) low, so you didn’t need a fancy computer to play it. And the game is built for casual gamers, meaning you don’t have to raid every single week to be involved if you don’t want to.
World of Warcraft Gameplay
The game itself is an extension of three previous Warcraft games by Blizzard Entertainment, but the premise is simple enough – you have races on the Alliance side (like humans, Night Elves and Dwarves) and the Horde side (like Orcs, Trolls and Undead) that all work towards their own goals of completing quests, doing dungeons, leveling up their professions, exploring the environment and more.
It is a game that literally serves all of the Bartle types and the amount of content is also, quite literally, massive. It’s also a game that it’s not very hard to pick up but it’s very, very difficult and time-consuming to master – but mastery is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to something like an MMO.
An example of gameplay and how it’s changed over the past few decades (I feel old just typing this):
I’m on my third rendezvous with World of Warcraft, personally. I started playing in 2005 with my boyfriend in highschool, then left after that relationship ended. It felt very uncomfortable to be playing a game where I had spent so much time with someone – it was like going back to a restaurant we frequented and it made me unhappy.
In college when I was in a different relationship, I tried it again by creating a Horde character with my SO at that time but he was in a ridiculously toxic guild. It was a very bad experience overall.
I was very reluctant to consider playing again but fortunately, Cataclysm changed most everything about the landscape of the game and once I tried playing again in 2015 with Alex, it didn’t feel familiar at all anymore. I was finally able to get back into the World. Of Warcraft. And sincerely enjoy it again.
We’ve had ups and downs with this game. I’ll be writing other articles on how we’ve dealt with things as they’ve come up and communication issues we’ve worked through solely due to WoW, which has been an interesting learning experience. Running dungeons and doing raids comes down to a lot of teamwork and communication, which can start to feel like another job in its own way.
We’ve also spent a sad number of hours playing – something in the hundreds, potentially low thousands. Blizzard Entertainment is very, very good at making their games sticky, especially when you are playing with other people. However, it’s also a good game for just playing on your own or playing side-by-side if you both have different things you prefer to do. Sometimes, I’d just rather not think about the complexities of playing with other people and I’d like to go get mounts and pets, y’know?
It also tends to be the case that when we have a WoW subscription, we abandon most other games. This can be kind of good, kind of bad. If we’re looking for something to play in the evenings, it helps narrow down the “I dunno, what do you want to play?” discussion but it can also be easy for us to burn out relatively quickly.
Overall, it’s been a wonderful outlet for us during the times when we need something to focus on and can’t settle on a game. We’ve made mutual friends with people across the US within this game and absolutely grown as a couple in our communication thanks to actively playing an MMO together.
Overall score: 9/10
Title: World of Warcraft
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Game Type: Fantasy, MMORPG
Bartle Type: Killer, Achiever, Socializer, Explorer
Player Count: As many as you want, but 2-5 is a good range for groups within the game
Average Play Session Time: 60+ minutes
Type of Co-Op: Online