Well met, champion!
Have you heard about Blizzard Entertainment? If you consider yourself a gamer, then you should have tried to play at least one of their creations. Be careful when you’re hardcore because it might eat you alive! 😂
After spending thousands of hours playing, I think it’s time for me to share my experience as Chiliflavor (my battle tag) and to contribute insights about my favorite Blizzard game—World of Warcraft.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. was established in 1991. Since then, most of their games require you to buy the license for you to be able to play with other gamers all over the world. I’ve had the chance to play some of it—thanks to my cousins, when I was nine years old, specifically, Warcraft III: Frozen Throne and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
HOW TO INSTALL BLIZZARD GAMES
First, you have to sign up and download the Blizzard Battle.net desktop application. This platform serves as the game client for all Blizzard games. Battle.net, or simply “BNet,” mainly connects all the players and manages the installation or updates of your games. Through BNet, you can add or message your friends, watch Blizzard’s tournaments, stream your game via Facebook Live, browse Blizzard’s shop, and read upcoming changes in the games you play.
What’s nice with BNet is that it has a mobile application to ensure the safety of your account. Upon first logging in, it will ask you to choose what region do you want to sign in; it’s best to select the ones they recommend. Just be careful when purchasing a game since it will only be playable in the region you have selected.
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Type: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
Year Released: 2004
Initial Cost: $14.99
World of Warcraft, or commonly known as “WoW,” is one of the most successful MMORPG of all time. For fifteen years, millions of players have ventured in Azeroth—Warcraft’s world, to mainly fight for what they believe. WoW’s story line is a sequel to the game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne; it’s part of the Warcraft series which started and revolved around the conflict between two factions: the Horde and the Alliance.
Note that, you need to pay $14.99 per month to play WoW. This is the only game of Blizzard that requires a monthly subscription. With this payment, you’ll be able to play the contents of the current and earlier expansions. It’s surprising that I’ve encountered players of different ages, ranging from 9 to 60 years old. Most of them are professionals in real life and have their own families; while others, well, are online all day and just enjoying life. 😂
After installing WoW, it’s time to create your first character! Consequently, you have to select your “realm.” Realms act as servers in WoW and differ in population as well as the ratio between the Horde and the Alliance. You can choose any realm you want as long as your latency is good in that server. Shown below is thecharacter creation interface where you’ll choose what faction, race, and class do you want to play.
In my case, I’m playing a Nightborne Warrior which can be a tank or a damage dealer.
Races: Human, Orc, Dwarf, Undead, Night Elf, Tauren, Gnome, Troll, Draenei, Blood Elf, Worgen, Goblin, Pandaren, Allied Races (needs to be unlocked)
Classes: Warrior, Paladin, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Shaman, Mage, Warlock, Monk, Druid, Demon Hunter, Death Knight
Note that you can only communicate verbally with players that belong to the same faction. For example, if you’re an Alliance and you came across a Horde player somewhere in the open world, they won’t be able to understand what you have typed. There are two options in this scenario: run or duel him—I always choose the latter. 😂
Blizzard’s games are well-known for its end-game content, that is, the real grinding begins after reaching maximum level!
Let’s take a look at some activities that you can do in Azeroth.
1) Questing / Leveling
“Loremaster” is a title given only to those players who were able to complete all the main quests in the story line of World of Warcraft. Believe it or not, many players play because of the story. It’s one of the reasons why millions of gamers come back to WoW. Yes, some may have quit the game for a couple of months or years but when a new expansion was announced, for sure, most of them will subscribe again to at least check it out.
If you’re new, leveling your first character from Lvl. 1 to Lvl. 120 would be overwhelming. Even though it’s challenging, it would be the greatest time to slowly learn WoW’s gameplay and to familiarize yourself with your chosen class. If you can’t reach max level, then clearly, “you are not prepared!” 😂
Running a dungeon is the usual leveling activity in WoW especially for veterans. To smoothly clear a dungeon, you need to have a party that is composed of five players where each member fulfills their designated role: a tank, three damage dealers and a healer.
These dungeons are instances with different difficulty levels (Normal, Heroic, Mythic, Mythic+) and it’s where you can get experience as well as item upgrades.
If you’re thinking that this can be completed by randomly spamming buttons to kill monsters, you’re absolutely wrong. The timing of the abilities to be used and the team’s coordination is indeed required. In the end-game content, each dungeon—with its mobs, usual three mini-bosses, and a final boss—has its own mechanics to be followed in order to finish.
It may sound complicated but you don’t have to worry at all. Thanks to Blizzard, we have the so-called Adventure Guide. This in-game menu explains every boss’s mechanics that you need to do. Do we really need to study the dungeon? Yes, unless you want to spend 4 hours doing a single dungeon that was supposed to be cleared under 40 minutes. 😂
Raid is the hardest but one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in World of Warcraft.
Raids, like dungeons, are part of the story and have different difficulties, mechanics, and higher item upgrades as well. But, instead of five players, the party is composed of at least 10 to 40 players. Coordination, individual skill, and perseverance of the group are needed to clear a raid.
If you plan to do some raiding, you must study its mechanics wholeheartedly. Otherwise, you’ll be the reason why your guild keeps attempting to defeat the same boss for months; you don’t want your guild to blame you, do you? 😂
Usually, Blizzard releases five raids per expansion depending on the progress of its story. As soon as the new raid opens, top guilds are competing to be the World’s First guild. Besides from high level items, what do they get from being included in the top 100 guilds over all realms? It’s none other than glory—every gamer’s desire which a non-gamer would never ever understand. 😁
4) Player Versus Player (PVP)
The reason why I bought WoW in the first place: Battlegrounds.
The reason why I kept playing WoW (until real life responsibilities struck me 😂): Arena.
What I loved the most in World of Warcraft is the Player VS Player or “PVP” feature. Queuing through the premade group or in quick play tab, whether you’re solo or with friends, will put you in a battlefield against the opposing faction. Isn’t it nice to just smash everything that’s on your way after a tiring day at school or work? Luckily, we can do this in Azeroth—not in your home, please!
Like in other games nowadays, you can queue in ranked or unrankedmodes of PVP. There are three types of PVP: Open World PVP, Battlegrounds and Arena.
The Open World PVP is what I’ve mentioned in the character creation interface, that is, you can go to war with the other faction by attacking them while they are busy doing their thing or vice-versa.
Meanwhile, in ranked version, Battlegrounds is a 10 versus 10 type of PVP (for unranked it’s 15v15 or 40v40) where you win by doing certain objectives which differ depending on the map. Since your opponent needs to do the same, it matters how you’ll defend your base while attacking theirs.
Lastly, an Arena, the one I played the most, can either be 2v2 or 3v3 and has only one objective: defeat the enemy.
As long as you have a good rating, nicer item upgrades can be obtained from PVP too. For battlegrounds, if the season ended and your rating belongs to the top 0.5% of all PVP players, the titles “Hero of the Horde” or “Hero of the Alliance” will be rewarded to your character. While in arenas, the title “Gladiator” is the counterpart of being a Hero. This is my main goal in WoW: to be a gladiator. Unfortunately, I’m still working on it. 😅
5) Gold Making
More than half of my total playing hours in World of Warcraft was dedicated in making gold. I was so addicted to it up to the point that I was giving away subscriptions and other games to my friends using Blizzard Balance. 😂
What are the benefits of having so much gold?
First, you can pay your monthly subscription by buying a WoW Token which is approximately 159,034 gold (as of February 2020) from the auction house. Secondly, you can buy items such as crafting materials, battle potions, foods, equipment, toys, pets, mounts, etc., for all of your characters. Thirdly, you can purchase other Blizzard games and its goodies by converting WoW Tokens to Blizzard Balance.
On the other hand, you may sell a token too which costs $20 at the Battle.net shop to obtain the same amount of gold as shown from above. If you’re busy with work, family, business or whatever hobby you’re doing but wanted to play World of Warcraft, you can just sell tokens so that you won’t have to worry about the tedious process of farming gold.
Each of your characters can learn at most two professions like blacksmith, alchemy, mining, inscription, etc. Items that you have gathered or crafted can be vended in the auction house and this is where most of your gold will come from. If you happen to play WoW and struggling to farm gold, I recommend that you try to see my post in reddit which was a story about how did I reach gold cap (10 million) in less than a year.
6) Hunting, Socialization, and Tools
Mounts, achievements, pets, toys, and costumes are the commonly hunted items in World of Warcraft. I’ll be honest, you can’t acquire it all in months; it would take years to complete it since some items have very low drop rate and can be farmed only once a week.
As a bonus, there are also limited edition collectibles rewarded to those players that willingly support Blizzard. More often than not, I’d be spending my game time “competing” and bumming around Orgrimmar with other players that show off their collection. 😁
6.2) Guilds / Communities / “Trade Chat”
Guilds, communities and the “trade chat” are important features of World of Warcraft. Without in-game socialization, I doubt that one would keep playing WoW. Guilds are groups in each realm; note that you can only join one guild at a time. On the other hand, communities can have members across different realms and you can join multiple communities at once.
A guild is more solid and has its own achievement progress, storage, shared gold, and can compete in mythic raiding (World’s First). Even though communities don’t have the characteristics mentioned, both have the same goal: to build camaraderie.
Trade chat, well, is where the “trolls” hangout. 😂
6.3) Addons and Macros
Before I played WoW, of course as a gamer, I did some research about its gameplay. At first, I didn’t like its graphics since most of the MMORPGs today have nicer video effects. But, as I get to know its story and all the things I’ve mentioned above, World of Warcraft’s graphics perfectly fits its nature—the Warcraft universe.
In line with that, you can also customize the game’s interface using Addons. WoW’s addons can be installed via Twitch and will be helpful throughout your journey in Azeroth. Some examples of addons are Skada (to track your damage, healing, etc.), TradeSkillMaster (used for gold making), Deadly Boss Mods (used for dungeon and raid mechanics), and ElvUI (used for changing the user interface).
In the world of competitive gaming, every second matters. If you weren’t able to click one button or counter an incoming attack, you could be instantly defeated. The good news is we have Macros. It’s a set of codes, bound to your desired key, that executes multiple commands in a single click to save time and to react instantaneously. Note that, you don’t need to be a programmer to actually write a macro—Google has it all. 😂
7) Role Playing
Role Playing (RP) is a unique aspect of World of Warcraft. It’s literally living in the game—acting out what you feel. The definition and attributes of your toon (character) are all up to you. As simple as creating a background story of your toon, a lifelong mission why you need to traverse Azeroth, or anything else that you can think of that could happen in the Warcraft Universe, are considered Role Playing. You may also use emotes (e.g. /cry, /poke, /lol, /wink, /slap, etc.) and dialogues to interact with other role players.
Here is a hilarious encounter of a curious player, Sekushar, and an experienced role player, Wojo.
What made me fond of RP is that anyone can be whoever he wants. Honestly, I’m still learning about it—starting with character development. If you’re new to this kind of gaming and would like to know more about it, you can freely ask guidance from the veterans at Blizzard forums. They’re very helpful especially to newbies. 😊
WHICH SIDE WILL YOU CHOOSE?
(Logos created by Atriace)
With World of Warcraft’s content and gameplay, I’d give it a rating of 9.5 out of 10. I believe that each game has its own room for improvement. It’s a game for all ages and any kind of player, that is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a noob, a casual player, or even a hardcore gamer. 😂
Even though WoW isn’t free, I assure you that every cent of yours will be worth it. Also, WoW isn’t a “pay to win” game—you can’t be a top player by spending real money. Therefore, This game relies purely on the player’s skill.
Moreover, according to my former guild master, playing WoW is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It’s not how fast can you progress but how long can you last.