Posted Tue, Jun 12, 2012 by Messiah
A little while ago out very own Xerin wrote an article about Why SWOTR Rocks, in it he looked at his top 5 reasons that he loved the game and what set it apart. I figured I would take my own stab at it, but looking at my favourite game, World of Warcraft.
It’s a little bit of a different look, as certain things just can’t even be considered. For example, one of his reasons was the graphics in SWOTR. Well, even though I love the look of WoW, I will be the last one to argue that it has amazing graphics, I mean it wasn’t even a best looking game when it was launched 7 years ago. The graphic style suits it and it has aged better than most games this old, but it is by no stretch of the imagination a beauty queen.
So what is it about WoW that really sets it apart, why is it still such a huge hit after all these years, and why do people still play it. In short, Why does WoW rock?
Reason #1 – The Social Aspects
One of the great things about an MMO is that to be successful in it and complete much of the content you have to participate in the social aspect. I admit that a lot of this has become less important due to the LFG and LFR tools, but it is still a critical part if you want to succeed in much of the game (raids and arenas for example). The social aspect is a such a big part of any MMO and WoW especially since it has such a huge player base and therefore more opportunity for being social. Part of the joy of playing the game is to make friends online and to have a reason to sign in and play the game other than just because of the game.
I have made many friends over the time I have played WoW, and even though some of them I have never met, they are real friends. Some of them I have now played WoW with for the whole time that it has been around. Others have left the game and have moved onto other games, but guess what, we all still jump into Ventrillo and chat, we all still email back and forth, and some of us have even met up at BlizzCon and other gaming events.
Any game that has that kind of impact on your real life and friendships is a game that is worth playing.
Reason #2 – There is always something to do
In World of Warcraft it is almost impossible to get bored. After all unless you spend every waking moment in the game you are extremely unlikely to be able to finish everything there is to do in the game. Every which way you turn there is something new to do. Just a partial list of the many different things available to do in the game include:
Even if you were to only focus on a few of those things, they would keep you busy for a long time.
I have played WoW from the start and have yet to finish even ½ of what I believe there is to do in the game, and it may be closer to ¼ of the game. That is saying something, since I play quite a bit, and am involved in a lot of the different aspects. That to me shows that there is a lot going on in the game that after 7 years I still look forward to doing different things in the game.
One of the really big reasons that there is always something to do in WoW is that it has 10 classes currently (11 once Mists of Pandaria launches and Monks are introduced), and each class has 3 different specs that offer different play styles. This gives the game a whole lot of re-playability, and a whole lot of things to keep you interested.
Sure over time it is possible to get bored with a character, but then you flip over to an alternate and to quote the old Batman TV show “BIFF! BANG! KA-POW!” it’s a whole new game.
Reason #3 - Raiding
I know this one is mentioned above, but really it deserves it’s own spot as it is such a core piece of WoW for anyone who puts in serious time and effort into the game.
While raiding is a core part of almost every MMO game out there, I can not think of any that have offered as much of it as WoW has. Over the years there have been so many memorable raids and fights, that it would be hard to narrow down even a top 5 fights.
Many of the raids were created with imagery that brilliantly fit the bosses and lore behind the raid. The bosses and fight mechanics have evolved over time to constantly try and offer something new, different, and more challenging than the last raid.
That brings me to the best part of raiding, the challenge. Sure over time raids have gotten easier and shorter. However there is still a huge amount of challenge left in raiding, as long as you are not considering the LFR tool raiding (although you could consider it a challenge given some of the players that join into it sometimes!).
Even though the percentage numbers have gone up for players completing the normal and heroic mode raids since WotLK, the new raids have still been difficult, and we are still talking about only the top 5-10% of players finishing the raids at the highest difficulty level. Doing that shows dedication, skill, and just a little bit of insanity.
Reason #4 - Storyline and Plot
Blizzard games have some of the best storylines and plots out there. While sometimes simple and straightforward, they really bring you into the game. There is a reason you need to explore that new zone, a reason to go to the new dungeon, or a reason to help out in that raid.
I know that over time, a lot of that is lost, as by our 3rd character most of us go click, click, click past all the quest text and skip all the interactive scenes. However, it is there and when you are first playing through, that is a key reason to keep going, to find out what happens next.
While WoW makes less use of cut scenes than other Blizzard titles like Starcraft and Diablo it still does make use of them sometimes, and the compelling story line are there always if you choose to read them. Before anyone comments, yes I know that “Go kill 10 boars” isn’t a very compelling storyline, and that not every quest can be. However, viewed as a whole game, there are numerous interesting, compelling, and entertaining stories that unfold.
Reason #5 – Constant changes and additions
Sure, we all like to complain when Blizzard goes and changes something, and I am one to complain load and long about changes that I don’t like. However for the most part, the changes are for the betterment of the game, even if I can only say that after having time to get used to the changes.
Beyond three great expansions that have already been released and another on the way, there have been numerous patches. While patches for many games just solve ongoing issues or provide minor game play enhancements, for WoW that has rarely been the case. Most WoW patches are huge affairs, adding in tons of new content or changing the game dramatically. There has been more content added to or changed with WoW than almost any other game I can think of (EQ1 being an obvious exception having run for so long).
Think of the content that has been added in via the patch system, such as whole new raids, new instances, and new quest chains. In addition to obvious content added in patches there has been many things added that we simply take for granted now such as: new battle grounds, the queuing system for raids, instances, and battlegrounds, daily quests, profession changes, arenas, far sweeping zone changes, class refreshes, and much more.
The Messiah’s Last Word
So, those are my top five reasons why I currently believe WoW is a great game. Over time they obviously change and I am sure there are many different opinions out there about why the game is great. Why don’t you chime in and share your ideas of why WoW rocks.