The Power of Notoriety
To this day, no game of its kind has ever been as successful as the infamous World of Warcraft. The game has generated so much attention over the years that it has been out, that you know of it, whether you are a gamer or not. World of Warcraft has defined the style of MMO gaming that we as gamers have grown accustomed too. It’s nearly impossible to find a game now days that does not have at least a couple components that were largely introduced by the biggest MMO ever in existence. Of course, many will argue that WoW is overrated, and it is a pointless waste of time, but is it really? I ask myself, how could the most industry changing game to ever hit the shelves be overrated? Perhaps it’s not.
A Story for the Ancients
What many people forget about when playing in the World of Warcraft, is that it actually stemmed from a very popular RTS series called Warcraft. While many know this, and love the series, many people are in the dark about exactly how it influenced the course of WoW’s existence. Almost all of the characters you see in WoW were featured in the Warcraft series. The classics such as Thrall, Arthas, Illidan, even Deathwing has a reference. The fact of the matter is that every boss, raid, dungeon, zone, and character was pulled from the lore created by Warcraft.
World of Warcraft is a continuation of such a long tale. It’s another chance to see Azeroth’s endless conflicts unfold into a true masterpiece of storytelling. In every expansion pack players get to see old and new characters enter the fray as many unfinished conflicts attempt to resolve themselves. If you take a look at other MMORPGs, WoW takes the cake when it comes to lore and plot progression.
PvE Takes a Turn for the Worst
World of Warcraft used to be a game of challenge and teamwork. Defeating a powerful new raid boss was only completed by the best of the best, and the others had to wait in line. Was this a truly good PvE model? The WoW developers obviously asked that question, because what followed changed the audience of the game forever.
Nowadays, World of Warcraft operates off of simple mechanics that make the game easier for everybody. New players find it easier to quest and level up, while old players find it easier to get new gear and such. What this has done is made a great casual experience for players, but is that WoW’s problem? What WoW’s biggest flaw is today is that it has stopped catering to the hardcore players that want to invest time to really accomplish something. With gear being easier to get, the line between hardcore and casual has blurred, and casual players can take on the same challenges that hardcore players try to strive for. While many players think this is good, many also find it poor in judgment. Blizzard tried to find the line between giving the new players and casual gamers a full experience, and alienating players that did not want to dedicate their whole efforts to trying to achieve something that was genuinely challenging.
World of Warcraft PvP…Nuff Said
When talking in terms of MMORPGs, PvP is by far one of the most disputed gaming concepts ever to be created. I have yet to play a game where there was not some issue with the PvP, whether it is about balancing, lack of PvP content, or just plain boring. When I think of PvP and World of Warcraft, all I can think of saying is one thing, and that’s to stop whining. WoW PvPers have been incredibly spoiled to the point where if they are countered by another class then suddenly they are overpowered and need a nerf. Of all PvP I have ever played, WoW is the most balanced out of all of them. Yes, a class can get a bit overpowered here and there, but that’s inevitable when you have a whole set of different classes that each have completely unique abilities. If you truly want balanced PvP, then make a game where everybody is a guy with a sword and they all have the same abilities and do a set amount of damage. That sounds fun.
Where the true fault lies with Blizzard is the state of non-arena PvP, such as battlegrounds. Back when the game was first released, battleground and world PvP was all that the game had, and it worked. Battlegrounds were much more intense, and the World PvP would spawn server events that changed the game. It was an honestly epic experience. But then as Arena was released, the game focused less on those and began to focus more on small scale PvP. While I love the WoW arena and find it immensely entertaining, the fact that the larger scale PvP that brought the game together was suddenly cast down makes me resent Blizzard. Not only was PvP hit, but PvE lost their 40 man raids, and was reduced to 25 and 10 man raids, for reasons not quite clear to me. Why would a game abandon a formula that worked so well? I guess we all have our reasons.
With World of Warcraft and all of its flaws, I still believe that it is truly a game that can rightfully take its spot on the throne as the greatest MMO to hit the shelves. There will always be people that see WoW as a bandwagon, and that any that play it are sell-outs, but that’s just because they refuse to try it themselves. I know a couple people who hate WoW, but have not even logged into the game once. It’s quite unfair to judge a game when you haven’t even tried it, wouldn’t you say?
-What do you think? Do you think WoW is too popular? Are you sick of all the people that complain about it? Post comments below and tell us what you think.