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World of Warcraft
WoW Box Art1.jpg
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment[1]
Designer(s) Rob Pardo, Jeff Kaplan, Tom Chilton
Series Warcraft
Version NA 3.3.2 (February 2, 2010)

EU 3.3.2 (February 3, 2010)

Platform(s) Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) AUS / NA November 23, 2004

EU February 11, 2005[2]

Genre(s) Fantasy, MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer online
Rating(s) ESRB: T
OFLC: M[3]
PEGI: 12+
Media 4 CDs (5 for the game of the year edition), 1 DVD, download
System requirements
Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
  • Mac OS X 10.4.11 or newer
  • 1600 MHz or higher G5, or Intel Core Duo processor
  • 1 GB RAM or higher
  • ATI or NVIDIA video card with 64 MB Video RAM or more
  • 15 GB free HD space
  • 4× CD-ROM drive
  • Broadband Internet connection[4]
Input methods Keyboard, mouse

World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994.[5] World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.[6] Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001.[7] The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise.

The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007.[8] The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008.[9] The third expansion set, Cataclysm, was announced at BlizzCon 2009.[10][11]

With more than 11.5 million (December 2008) monthly subscriptions,[12][13] World of Warcraft is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG[9][14][15] and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.[16][17][18][19] In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62 percent of the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) subscription market.[20]

Contents

Gameplay

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Starting a character or a play session

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. In common with many other MMORPGs, World of Warcraft requires the player to pay for a subscription, either by buying game cards for a pre-selected amount of playing time, or by using a credit or debit card to pay on a regular basis.[21]

To enter the game, the player must select a realm (or server). Each realm acts as an individual copy of the game world, and falls into one of four rule-set categories. Realms are either Player versus player (PvP), where open combat among players is more common, or Player versus environment (PvE), where the gameplay is more focused on defeating monsters and completing quests; roleplay (RP, RP-PVP) variants of both realm types are also available. Realms are also categorized by language, with in-game support in the language available.[22] Players can make new characters on all realms, and it is also possible to move already established characters between realms for a fee.[23]

To create a new character, in keeping with the storyline in the previous games in the Warcraft series, players must choose between the opposing factions of Alliance or Horde. Characters from the opposing factions can perform rudimentary communication, but only members of the same faction can speak, in-game mail, group, and share guilds. The player selects the new character's race (species), such as Orcs or Trolls for the Horde or Humans or Dwarves for the Alliance.[24] Players must also select the class for their character, with choices based on dealing damage (such as Mage, Hunter, and Rogue), tanking (such as Warrior or Death Knight), or healing (such as Priest or Shaman) with some classes able to specialize in more than one role using different talent trees. Druids and Paladins are available to fulfill each role.[25] All classes, except for "Hero classes" (currently the Death Knight), are limited to particular races.

Ongoing gameplay

As characters become more developed, they gain various talents and skills, requiring the player to further define the abilities of that character.[26] Professions such as tailoring, blacksmithing, and mining can be learned. The three secondary skills, cooking, fishing, and first-aid, can also be learned by characters.[27] Characters may also form or join guilds, allowing characters in the same guild unified communications, a shared guild name, and possibly identity, guild bank and dues.

Much of World of Warcraft play involves "questing". These quests, also called "tasks" or "missions", are usually available from non-player characters (NPCs).[28] Quests usually reward the player with experience points, items, and/or in-game money. It is also through quests that much of the game's story is told, both through the quest text and through scripted NPC actions.[29] Quests are linked by a common theme, with the next quest triggered by the completion of the previous, forming a quest chain. Quests commonly involve killing a number of creatures, gathering a certain number of resources, finding a difficult to locate object, speaking to various NPCs, visiting specific locations, interacting with objects in the world, or delivering an item from one place to another.

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.[28][30] World of Warcraft uses a "rested bonus" system, increasing the rate that a character can gain experience points after the player has spent time away from the game.[26] When a character dies, it becomes a ghost (or wisp for Night Elf characters) at a nearby graveyard.[31] 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. When a character dies, the items equipped by the character degrade, requiring in-game money and a specialist NPC to repair them. Items that have degraded heavily become unusable until they are repaired. If the location of the character's body is unreachable, they can use a special NPC known as a spirit healer to resurrect at the graveyard. When the spirit healer revives a character, items equipped by the character at that time suffer increased degradation, and the character is significantly weakened for ten minutes. This "Resurrection Sickness" does not occur and item degradation is less severe if the character revives by locating its body, or is resurrected by another player, through special items or spells.[32][33]

World of Warcraft contains a variety of mechanisms for player-versus-player (PvP) play. Some realms allow player-versus-player combat almost anywhere in the game world, at any time. In these environments, members of opposing factions can attack each other at almost any time or location. Player-versus-environment (PvE) servers, by contrast, allows a player to choose whether or not to engage in combat against other players. On both server types, there are special areas of the world where free-for-all combat is permitted. Players on PvE servers can also opt to "flag" themselves, making them attackable targets to players of the opposite faction.[34] Battlegrounds, for example, are similar to dungeons: only a set number of characters can enter a single battleground, but additional copies of the battleground can be made to accommodate additional players.[35] Each battleground has a set objective, such as capturing a flag or defeating an opposing general, that must be completed in order to win the battleground. Competing in battlegrounds rewards the character with tokens and honor points that can be used to buy armour and weapons.[34]

Setting

World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. In addition to sharing the "Warcraft" name with the real-time strategy games in the Warcraft series, it is set in the world of Azeroth and has similar art direction.[21]

World of Warcraft takes place in a 3D representation of the Warcraft universe that players can interact with through their characters. The game world initially features two continents of Azeroth (Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms), with two separate expansions adding the realm of Outlands and the continent of Northrend adding to the playable area. In this game world, players use their characters to explore locations, defeat creatures, and complete quests, among other activities. Doing these, characters gain experience that allows them to attain higher levels, gain access to new skills and abilities, explore new areas, and attempt new quests.[31] As a player explores new locations, different routes and means of transportion become available. Players can access "flight masters" in newly discovered locations to fly to previously discovered locations in other parts of the world.[36] Players can also use boats, zeppelins, or portals to move from one continent to another. Although the game world remains reasonably similar from day to day, seasonal events reflecting real world events such as Halloween,[37] Christmas, Children's Week,[34] Easter and Midsummer have been added. Locations also have variable weather including, among other things, rain, snow, and dust storms.[36]

A number of facilities are available for characters while in towns and cities. In each major city characters can access a bank in order to deposit items, such as treasure or crafted items. Each character has access to personal bank storage with the option to purchase additional storage space using in-game gold.[38] Additionally, guild banks are available for use by members of a guild with restrictions being set by the guild leader.[39] Auction houses are also available for players to buy and sell items to others in a similar way to online auction sites such as eBay.[40] Players can also use mailboxes, which can be found in almost every town. The mailbox can be used to collect items won at auction and also to send messages, items and even in-game money to other characters.[26]

Some of the harder challenges in World of Warcraft require players to group together to defeat them. These usually take place in dungeons, also known as instances, that a group of characters can enter together. The term comes from each group or party having a separate copy or instance of the dungeon, complete with their own enemies to defeat and their own treasure or rewards.[41] This allows players to explore areas and complete quests without other players outside the group interfering. Dungeons are spread over the game world and are designed for characters of varying progression. A typical dungeon will allow up to five characters to enter as part of a group. Some dungeons require more players to group together and form a raid of limited size (up to forty players) to face some of the most difficult challenges.[42] As well as dungeon-based raid challenges, several creatures exist in the normal game environment that are designed for raids to attack.[37][43]

Development

World of Warcraft was first announced by Blizzard at the ECTS trade show in September 2001.[44] Development of the game took roughly 4–5 years, and included extensive testing. The 3-D graphics in WoW use elements of the proprietary graphics engine originally used in Warcraft III.[44] The game was designed to be an open environment where players are allowed to do what they please.[45] Quests are optional and were designed to help guide players, allow character development, and to spread characters across different zones to try to avoid what developers called 'player collision'.[46] The game interface allows players to customize appearance and controls, and to install add-ons and other modifications.[47]

World of Warcraft runs natively on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. Boxed copies of the game use a hybrid CD to install the game, eliminating the need for separate Mac and Windows retail products. The game allows all users to play together, regardless of their operating system. Although there is no official version for any other platform, support for World of Warcraft is present in Windows API implementations Wine and Cedega, allowing the game to be played under Linux and FreeBSD.[48]

Regional variations

In the United States, Canada and Europe, Blizzard distributes World of Warcraft via retail software packages.[49] The software package includes 30 days of gameplay for no additional cost. In order to continue playing after the initial 30 days, additional play time must be purchased using a credit card or prepaid game card. The minimum gameplay duration that a player can purchase is 30 days using a credit card, or 60 using a prepaid game card. A player also has the option of purchasing three or six months of gameplay at once for a slight (6% to 15%) discount.[50] In Australia, the United States, and many European countries, video game stores commonly stock the trial version of World of Warcraft in DVD form, which include the game and 14 days of gameplay, after which the player would have to upgrade to a retail account by supplying a valid credit card, or purchasing a game card as well as a retail copy of the game.

In South Korea, there is no software package or CD key requirement to activate the account. In order to play the game, however, players need to purchase time credits online via credit card or the ARS billing system. There are two kinds of time credits available, one where the player is billed based on the actual number of minutes that will be available, and one where the player can play the game for a number of days. In the former, time can be purchased in multiples of 5 hours or 30 hours, and in the latter, time can be purchased in multiples of 7 days, 1 month, or 3 months.[51] As software packages are not required, expansion pack contents are available to all players on launch day.

In China, because a large number of the players do not own the computer they use to play games (e.g. Internet cafes), the CD keys required to create an account can be purchased independently of the software package. In order to play the game, players must also purchase prepaid game cards that can be played for 66 hours and 40 minutes.[52] A monthly fee model is not available to players of this region. The Chinese government and NetEase, the licensee for World of Warcraft in China, have imposed a modification on Chinese versions of the game which places flesh on bare-boned skeletons and transforms dead character corpses into tidy graves. These changes were imposed by the Chinese government in an attempt to "promote a healthy and harmonious online game environment" in World of Warcraft.[53] The Chinese government has also delayed release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, due to what it feels is objectionable content.[54] NetEase took over licensing of World of Warcraft from The9 in June 2009 following the expiration of The9's contract.[55]

Post-launch development

The World of Warcraft Launcher (referred to in press releases and the menu bar as the "Blizzard Launcher") is a program designed to act as a starting point for World of Warcraft players. It provides a way to launch World of Warcraft and starts the blizzard updater. It was first included with the version 1.8.3 patch. The 2.1.0 patch allowed for an option to bypass the use of the launcher. Features of the launcher include news and updates for World of Warcraft players, access to World of Warcraft's support website, access to the test version of World of Warcraft when it is available to test upcoming patches, updates to Warden,[56] and updates to the updater itself. The 3.0.8 patch redesigned the launcher and added the ability to change the game settings from the launcher itself..

Patch 1.9.3 added native support for Intel-powered Macs, making World of Warcraft a Universal application. As a result of this, the minimum supported Mac OS X version has been changed to 10.3.9; World of Warcraft version 1.9.3 and later will not launch on older versions of Mac OS X.[57]

When new content is added to the game, official system requirements may change. In version 1.12.0 the requirements for Windows were increased from requiring 256 MB to 512 MB of RAM. Official Windows 98 technical support was dropped, but the game continued to run there until version 2.2.3.[58]

Audio

The soundtrack for World of Warcraft was composed and arranged by Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke and Glenn Stafford. It was released on November 23, 2004 together with the Collectors edition of the game. It is also sold separately on 1 CD, in the MP3 format.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 92%[59]
Metacritic 93%[60]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com A[61]
Edge 9 out of 10[62]
Eurogamer 8 out of 10[63]
Game Informer 9.5 out of 10[64]
GamePro 4.5 out of 5[65]
GamesMaster 93%[62]
GameSpot 9.5 out of 10[21]
GameSpy 5/5 stars[29]
IGN 9.1 out of 10[31]
PC Gamer UK 94%[62]

World of Warcraft was almost universally praised by critics[60] upon release, following a period of high anticipation before launch.[66] Although the game follows a similar model to others in the genre[21] and was noted for having many familiar concepts from roleplaying games,[61] the new approaches to reduce pauses between game encounters was well liked.[29] A common example was the new approach to character death; in previous MMORPGs a player would suffer a high penalty for character death, while in WoW a player would be able to recover and start playing quickly.[21] Combat was another area where "downtime" or pauses between play were reduced. By allowing all character types to recover from damage taken, players could return to combat quickly.[29] It was felt that these changes in pacing would make the genre more accessible to casual players, who would be able to play for short periods and still achieve something,[29] while still having a depth of game that would attract players at all levels of interest in the genre.[31] The concept of a "rested bonus", or increasing the rate at which a player's character gains experience was also welcomed as a way for players to quickly catch up with their friends[21]

Questing was described as an integral part, often being used to continue a storyline or lead the player through the game.[29] The high number of quests in each location was popular, as well as the rewards for completing them.[21] It was felt that the range of quests removed the need for a player to "grind" or carry out repetitive tasks in order to advance their character.[31] Quests also seemed to require players to explore every section of the game world, potentially causing problems for social gamers or roleplayers seeking somewhere quiet.[29] Quests that required the player to collect items from the corpses of creatures they had killed were also unpopular, with a low "drop rate" or chance of finding the items required making them feel repetitive as a high number of creatures would need to be killed in order to complete the quest.[31] Some critics mentioned a lack of quests that required players to group up made the game feel as if it was designed for solo play,[63] while others complained that some dungeon or instance-based group quests were not friendly to new players and could take several hours to complete.[31] Upon release, a small number of quests had errors or bugs that would make them impossible to complete,[21] while the large number of new players in a particular area meant that there were often no creatures to kill,[29] or that players would have to wait and take turns to kill a particular creature in order to complete a quest.[21]

Characters were felt to be implemented well, with each class option appearing "viable and interesting", having unique and different mechanisms,[63] and each of the races having a distinct look and feel.[21] Character development was also liked, with the talent mechanism offering choice to players[61] and profession options being praised.[21] Character customization options were felt to be low,[31] but the detail of character models was praised.[66]

The appearance of the game world was praised by critics. Most popular was the feature that a player could run from one end of the continent to the other without having to pause at a "loading screen" while part of the game is retrieved from storage.[66] The environment was described as "breathtaking", with players finding it difficult to become lost and each area in the game world having a distinct look that blends from one to the next.[29] Critics described the environment as "a careful blend of cartoon, fantasy art, and realism".[61] The game was found to run smoothly on a range of systems,[21] although some described it as basic[29] and mentioned that the bloom graphics effect can blur things.[31] Having said that, one reviewer described being able to fly over long stretches of scenery as "very atmospheric".[63] The user interface was liked, being described as "simple", with tooltips helping to get the player started.[21]

The audio was well received, particularly the background music. By assigning music to different areas of the game world, reviewers felt that the fantasy style added to immersion[61] and that the replay value was increased.[31] The sounds and voices used by characters and NPCs, as well as the overall sound effects were felt to add a "personality" to the game.[61]

World of Warcraft won several awards from critics upon release, including Editor's Choice awards.[21][31] In addition, it won several annual awards from the media, being described as the best game in the RPG and MMORPG class.[67] The graphics and audio were also praised in the annual awards, with the cartoonish style[68] and overall sound makeup[69] being noted. The game was also awarded Best Mac OS X Entertainment Product at the 2005 Apple Design Awards.[70] Finally, World of Warcraft was recognised at the 2005 Spike TV Video Game Awards, where it won Best PC Game, Best Multiplayer Game, Best RPG and Most Addictive Game.[71] In 2008, World of Warcraft was honoured (along with Neverwinter Nights and EverQuest) at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the art form of MMORPG games.[72] In 2009, Game Informer put World of Warcraft 11th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time".[73]

World of Warcraft was the best-selling PC game of 2005 and 2006.[74] As of January 22, 2008, World of Warcraft has surpassed 10 million subscribers worldwide, with more than 2 million subscribers in Europe, more than 2.5 million in North America, and about 5.5 million in Asia.[75]

After beginning operation of WoW in China on September 19, 2009, NetEase was ordered after less than 2 months of operation to immediately stop charging players and to cease accepting registrations.[76][77] A press estimate indicates that if World of Warcraft is shut down in China, it could result in projected earnings of 60 cents per share, rather than 65 cents per share, for Activision Blizzard, as the firm would stand to lose their subscribers there.[76]

Corrupted Blood plague incident

The Corrupted Blood plague incident was one of the first events to affect entire servers. Patch 1.7 saw the opening of Zul'Gurub, the game's first 20-player raid dungeon where players faced off against a tribe of trolls under the sway of the god Hakkar the Soulflayer. Upon engaging Hakkar, players were stricken by a debuff called "Corrupted Blood" which would periodically sap their life. The disease was also passed on to other players simply by being near infected players. Originally this malady was confined within the Zul'Gurub instance but made its way into the outside world by way of hunter pets or warlock minions that contracted the disease.

Within hours Corrupted Blood had completely infected major cities because of their high player concentrations. Low-level players were killed in seconds by the high-damage disease. Eventually Blizzard fixed the issue so that the plague could not exist outside of Zul'Gurub.

The corrupted blood plague so closely resembled the outbreak of real-world epidemics that scientists are currently looking at ways MMORPGs or other massively distributed systems can model human behavior during outbreaks. The reaction of players to the plague closely resembled previously hard-to-model aspects of human behavior that may allow researchers to more accurately predict how diseases and outbreaks spread amongst a population.[78]

Security concerns

When a player creates a World of Warcraft account, they are asked to choose a username and password. Whenever that player then plays World of Warcraft, they are asked to supply the same username and password in full. This is also the case when using account management facilities online. This type of authentication is vulnerable to keystroke logging. While this is not unique to World of Warcraft and is common to many MMORPGs, the game has been directly targeted with trojans being specifically crafted to capture account login details.[79] Attacks have been reported as early as May 2006, although they may extend as far back as July 30, 2005.[80] The game does however allow players to save their account name to the program to allow the player to only have to type their password.

In September 2006, reports emerged of spoof World of Warcraft game advice websites that contained malware. Vulnerable computers would be infected through their web browser, downloading a program that would then relay back account information. Blizzard's account support teams experienced high demand during this episode, stating that many users had been affected. Claims were also made that telephone support was closed for isolated periods due to the volume of calls and resulting queues.[81] In April 2007, attacks evolved to take advantage of further exploits involving animated cursors, with multiple websites being used.[82][83] Security researcher group Symantec released a report stating that a compromised World of Warcraft account was worth US$10 on the black market, compared to US$6 to US$12 for a compromised computer (correct as of March 2007).[84] In February 2008, phishing emails were distributed requesting that users validate their account information using a fake version of the World of Warcraft account management pages.[85] In June 2008, Blizzard announced the Blizzard Authenticator, a hardware security token that provides two factor security. The token generates a one-time password based code that the player supplies when logging on. The password is only valid for a limited time, thus providing extra security against keylogging malware.[86]

In the United Kingdom in February 2008, the Halifax Bank claimed that stolen credit card details were regularly being used to fraudulently pay for World of Warcraft accounts.[87] A statement from the bank read that a "significant number of fraudulent transactions through Blizzard's gaming sites" had been observed. As a result, the Bank had stated that transactions with Blizzard would be blocked by default, requesting that customers contact them directly to authorise payments. However, in the Autumn of 2008 this was no longer the case and Halifax accepted that the majority of transactions were legitimate and removed the default ban.[citation needed]

Blizzard makes use of a system known as Warden on the Windows version of the game in order to detect third-party programs, such as botting software, allowing World of Warcraft to be played unattended. There has been some controversy as to the legality of Warden. Warden uses techniques similar to anti-virus software in order to analyse other running software on the players' PCs, as well as the file system. However, unlike most anti-virus software, it sends a portion of this information back to Blizzard, which caused privacy advocates to accuse it of being spyware.[88] One example of the information Warden collects is the title of every window open on the system while WoW is running.[89] Blizzard has not stated what information is passed by Warden over the Internet, or if that information is encrypted, so it is entirely possible this information is passed over the Internet back to Blizzard. On balance, many gamers responded positively about the development, stating that they supported the technology if it resulted in fewer cases of cheating. Blizzard's use of Warden was stated in the Terms of Agreement (TOA).[90]

The Warden's existence was acknowledged in March 2008, during the opening legal proceedings against MDY Industries.[91] The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Arizona, and also listed Michael Donnelly as a defendant. Donnelly was included in the suit as the creator of MMO Glider, software that can automatically play many tasks in the game. Blizzard claimed the software is an infringement of its copyright and software license agreement, stating that "Glider use severely harms the WoW gaming experience for other players by altering the balance of play, disrupting the social and immersive aspects of the game, and undermining the in-game economy". Donnelly claims to have sold 100,000 copies of the $25 software.[92]

Sale of virtual goods in the real world

As with other MMORPGs, companies have emerged offering to sell virtual gold and associated services. After Blizzard started offering free trial game-play accounts, players noticed an increase in spam from bots advertising these services.[93] One study shows that this problem is particularly prevalent on the European realms, with gold being over 14 times more expensive to buy on US realms than their European counterparts.[94]

In patch 2.1, Blizzard responded to this by adding additional anti-spam mechanics including whisper throttling and the report spam function. Additionally, trial accounts are prevented from speaking in the public chat channels (although they may speak to players within range or whisper to other players that have first whispered them), participating in-game trades, using the Auction House and the mail feature and several other limitations.

In May 2007, Blizzard filed a complaint against In Game Dollar LLC (trading as peons4hire) in US federal court. In February 2008, the parties filed a consent decree in which In Game Dollar agreed to refrain from using any World of Warcraft chat or communication to advertise any business or sell any services relating to World of Warcraft.[95]

As characters progress in World of Warcraft and take on some of the toughest challenges, many of the rewards received are bound to that character and cannot be traded, generating a market for the trading of accounts with well-equipped characters. The highest noted World of Warcraft account trade was for £5000 (€7000, $9,900 USD) in early September 2007.[96]

The practice of buying or selling gold in World of Warcraft has generated significant controversy.[97] On February 21, 2008, Blizzard released a statement concerning the consequences of buying gold. Blizzard reported that an "alarmingly high" proportion of all gold bought originates from "hacked" accounts. The article also stated that customers who had paid for character leveling services had found their accounts compromised months later, with all items stripped and sold for virtual gold. The article noted that leveling service companies often used "disruptive hacks ... which can cause realm performance and stability issues".[98]

Community

In addition to playing the game itself and conversing on discussion forums provided by Blizzard, World of Warcraft players often participate in the virtual community in creative ways, including fan artwork[99] and comic strip style storytelling.[100]

Blizzard garnered criticism for its decision in January 2006 to ban guilds from advertising sexual orientation preferences. The incident occurred after several players were cited for "harassment" after advocating a group for gay-straight alliance.[101][102] Blizzard later reversed the decision to issue warnings to players promoting LGBT-friendly guilds.

In other media

World of Warcraft has inspired artists to satirize and/or acknowledge its mark in popular culture. One example is the Emmy Award winning South Park episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft".[103][104]

The game has also been used to advertise unrelated products, such as Toyota trucks.[105]

In late 2007, a series of television commercials for the game began airing featuring pop culture celebrities such as Mr. T, William Shatner, and Verne Troyer discussing the virtues of the character classes they play in the game.[106] A Spanish commercial featuring Guillermo Toledo, and a French commercial featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, were also televised.[107] Two more were shown in November 2008, featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Steve Van Zandt.[108]

World of Warcraft has inspired two board games, World of Warcraft: The Board Game (including Shadow of War and The Burning Crusade expansions)[109] and World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game,[110][111] produced by Fantasy Flight Games. There is also a trading card game[112] and a collectible miniatures game[113] on the market, both produced by Upper Deck Entertainment.

In November 2007, DC Comics published the first issue of the ongoing World of Warcraft comic under their Wildstorm imprint.[114]

References

  1. ^ "The Activision/Blizzard Merger: Five Key Points". Industry News. gamasutra.com. December 3, 2007. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16458. Retrieved 2009-02-24. "One of the intriguing things about the old Vivendi structure was that, even when Martin Tremblay joined to run Vivendi's publishing, it was specified: "World Of Warcraft creator Blizzard Entertainment has been designated a stand-alone division reporting to VU Games' CEO, and is not part of Tremblay's product development mandate." 
  2. ^ "Blizzard Entertainment announces World Of Warcraft European street date – February 11, 2005". Blizzard Entertainment. 2005-02-02. Archived from the original on 2005-02-07. http://web.archive.org/web/20050207114532/http://www.blizzard.co.uk/press/050202.shtml. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  3. ^ "OLFC Classification Database". Commonwealth of Australia. September 16, 2009. http://www.oflc.gov.au/www/cob/find.nsf/d853f429dd038ae1ca25759b0003557c/48956c07ee5ccdecca257671007869cd!OpenDocument. Retrieved February 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Technology F.A.Q.". Blizzard Entertainment. http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/faq/technology.html. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  5. ^ This excludes expansion packs and the cancelled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans.
  6. ^ "FICTION TIMELINE". Blizzard Entertainment. 2009-03-09. http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/story/timeline.html. 
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External links


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

World of Warcraft consists of 9 playable classes - Warrior, Druid, Mage, Warlock, Priest, Hunter, Rogue, Paladin and Shaman. Each class has special talents and spells which give them all a unique purpose in the game.

Contents

Druid

Male Night Elf Druid wearing Dreamwalker item set

Druids in World of Warcraft are able to take on multiple roles within one class and to transform into various animal forms to suit a variety of tasks.

  • In caster form, Druids can cast damage spells and healing spells, as well as various offensive and defensive support spells. The druid can also resurrect other players in combat.
  • In Bear form, the Druid can act as a Tank. When shifting to bear form, Druids gain an increase to their armor and health.
  • In Cat form, the Druid acts as a melee DPS class. Using their boosted attack power and various Energy skills.
  • The Moonkin(an owlbear-like creature) form gives the Druid more armor and an aura that is beneficial to near by party members. In this form, the Druid can only cast Balance spells which are two schools of magic - Nature and Arcane.
  • Druids may also learn to take on the form of a cheetah and sea lion, giving a speed bonus on land and water respectively.
  • In the upcoming expansion set "The Burning Crusade" Druids will be able take on a Flight form at level 68 and travel in the sky. This flight form will only be usable in Outland.
  • In the upcoming expansion set The Burning Crusade, Druids will be able to take on a Tree of Life form and all party members will gain a boost to their healing spells. Mobility will be limited.

Hunter

Orc Male Hunter.

The Hunter class is based on the beast master and ranger classes seen in traditional role playing games. A unique class, their primary source of damage comes from ranged weapons such as guns, bows, and crossbows. As a hunter levels up they may learn how to track nearly any type of friend or foe.

The hunter may learn to tame beasts as pets to assist them in battle. Most pets are unique and can learn a variety of different abilities.

The hunter also has Aspects. These allow the player to passively improve their skills or talents by taking on bestial traits from animals such as cheetah, monkey and hawk. Hunters can also lay traps to freeze an enemy, slow several down, do additional damage to a single target or multiple targets via an area of effect when triggered.

Mage

Gnomish Female Mage.

Mages are a magic-using class who focus on elemental and arcane spells. Although they can deal large amounts of damage in a short period of time, survival is difficult due to their low hit points and limitation of only wearing cloth.

Only mages can conjure food and water, allowing for quick regeneration of hit points and mana out of combat. A mage may also conjure a mana crystal that provides the creator with a one-time mana boost similar to a Mana Potion. Mages also have the ability to teleport themselves to any of their faction's major cities. Mages can create portals to teleport their entire party to a major faction city.

Mages have spells available from three schools of magic: Fire, Frost, and Arcane. Mages can also polymorph their target rendering it unable to act for a short period of time.

Mages may use staves and learn one-handed swords and daggers as well as off-hand items. Mages, along with the Priest and Warlock classes, may also use wands for ranged attacks.

Paladin

Human Male Paladin as seen in World of Warcraft.

The Paladin is a supportive, hybrid melee fighter. Paladins use an assortment of spells, auras and blessings to aid themselves and others. Paladins also have powerful offensive spells against undead and demons.

The Paladin is currently only available to the Human and the Dwarf races of the Alliance. In the upcoming expansion, The Burning Crusade, paladins will be playable by both the Draenei and the Blood Elves. The latter belongs to the Horde, so Horde players will be able to create paladins for the first time. Similarly, the Draenei will be able to play as Shamans.

The Paladin is also able to heal others, magically augment themselves and their allies, and sustain large amounts of damage from enemies. Paladins, just like warlocks, are rewarded with a free class-specific mount and epic mount.

Priest

The priest possesses the most powerful healing spells of any character class in World of Warcraft as well as having the capability to resurrect fallen players and cast buffs to temporarily enhance the attributes of the party. Each race has two class specific spells unique to the priest class.

Priests normally focus on either healing or damage dealing spells. Priests are either classed "Holy" priests or a "Shadow" priests. Holy Priests are normally centered around healing. Shadow priests are better at doing damage and fighting.

Rogue

A Night elf male Rogue from World of Warcraft

Rogues are the "assassins" of World of Warcraft. Rogues are available to all races except for the Tauren and the Draenei in the upcoming expansion World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

Rogues rely on Energy for their abilities instead of Rage or Mana. They also use combination points to execute finishing moves. They can also Stealth. Stealth makes the rogue invisible to other player and non-player characters as long as the rogue maintains the required distance.

Rogues may wear cloth or leather armor. They can wield daggers, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, and fist weapons. They can also employ ranged weapons such as crossbows, bows, guns, and thrown weapons. Rogues can also learn to dual-wield, allowing one-handed weapons to be equipped in each hand. Rogues can create and apply poisons to their weapons, this is a skill unique to rogues and it can give either boost in damage output or for example deprive the opponent of movement speed.

Rogues also have the ability to unlock locked doors, chests, and boxes.

Shaman

Male tauren shaman wearing Tier 3 armor.

The Shaman is a healer, warrior and mage hybrid class, and as such, the Shaman is one of the most versatile classes in the game. They are designed to enhance all parts of a party while not being particularly focused on any one aspect of the game. Along with basic damage and healing spells, they have totem spells which can affect the area around the totem, usually positively, and "Shock" spells, instant cast damage spells with a secondary effect. Finally, they can augument their weapons with the elements, giving them an extra effect, including the ability to have a 20% chance hit 3 times.

The Shaman class is only available to three of the Horde races: Tauren, Orcs, and Trolls. It has been announced that in the upcoming expansion [urning Crusade, Draenei will be able to play as Shamans. Similarly, Blood Elves will be able to play as Paladins.

Warlock

Human Female Warlock with summoned Felhunter

Warlocks are Mages who have delved too deep in to dark magic. They are a spell casting class and their strengths lie in their summoned minions and their Damage over time spells.

Warlocks are able to directly summon four demons as pets, but may only have one pet summoned at a time. The pets available are the Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, Felhunter, Infernal and Doomguard. In the upcoming expansion to World of Warcraft, a seventh demon will be added, known as the Felguard. They also have a summonable mount which means that unlike most classes they do not have to pay for a mount and the ability to summon an Eye of Kilrogg - a fast scout which is incapable of attacking.

Warlocks can use the spell Enslave Demon to take control of a local demon as a pet. They can also banish a demon making it temporarily unable to attack.

Warlocks use Soul Shards. These shards are used to summon their minions, and are required for certain spells. Warlocks are also able to use a Soul Shard to start a Ritual of Summoning, using the power of two other party members to summon another party member to their current location.

Warrior

A powerfully equipped Human Warrior from World of Warcraft

A Warrior is a class in World of Warcraft that excels in melee combat and playing the role of a damage dealer or tank. Warriors are analogous to Fighters in other RPGs. Rather than drawing on Mana to power their abilities, Warriors use Rage which, like a Rogue’s Energy, has a maximum limit. Rage builds up as the warrior attacks.

Warriors can shift between several stances or combat modes. The Battle Stance is the normal stance, while they have the ability to also switch to the Defensive Stance and the Berserker Stance.

Class Info

Playable Races and Classes in World of Warcraft
  Races
Classes Human Night Elf Gnome Dwarf Draenei Troll Tauren Orc Undead Blood Elf
Druid No Yes No No No No Yes No No No
Hunter No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Mage Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Paladin Yes No No Yes Yes No No No No Yes
Priest Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
Rogue Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Shaman No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Warlock Yes No Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes
Warrior Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No


Warcraft universe
Warcraft - Warcraft II - Beyond the Dark Portal - Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos - The Frozen Throne
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
World of Warcraft | The Burning Crusade | Wrath of the Lich King | Cataclysm
Other games
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game - Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game
Classes & Races
Classes | Races |Humanoid races
Locations
Warcraft locations
Literature
Warcraft: Day of the Dragon Warcraft: Night of the Dragon • Warcraft: Lord of the Clans • Warcraft: Of Blood and Honor • Warcraft: The Last Guardian • Warcraft: War of the Ancients Trilogy • Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy • World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred • World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde

This article uses material from the "Classes in World of Warcraft" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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