An analysis of World of Warcraft
Yep I know there has been a ton of Review’s, post-review done on this game but I felt I would throw take a look at how this game has came to its current success. Well if you haven’t heard of World of Warcraft it is a MMORPG which is basically a RPG game that is played Online with a lot of people. If you have never played a Massive Online game before World of warcraft wouldn’t be the worst place to start. This game has had huge success in the game industry and with a subscription base that goes into the many Millions it has set the standard for the genre. If you are new to these types of games unlike your standard offline games, these games require a monthly subscription and in the case of world of warcraft it will set you back $30 for 60 days game play, in addition to having to buy the game. While that might seem a lot to pay for a game the money is going towards the server’s, future development, customer support and to also earn Blizzard a nice profit.
As I have stated on the graphic field there are better games out however the graphics to the game are still good and on the high setting can still give impressive landscapes with good detail. But the trick with world of warcraft is I feel the graphics do the job of course it would also be nicer have much better graphics but that would require a much better computer to run it and while your computer might be able to how many of your online friends/guild members would be able to join you. Again high end graphics can be a double edged sword in that while they might bring in players due to the graphics, how many players you lose because their system can’t run the game. It is more than what you gain with the graphics this lack of population can lead to a games death. This is partly the reason why Blizzard has only made slight improvements to world of warcraft’s graphics when around them they have been gotten outdone but a lot of other games. As it has allowed more people to play the game it has in a way kept the game accessible to as large a player base while still having good graphics.
Graphic wise World of Warcraft is dated when compared to newer games like Age of Conan but the graphics still do their job. With its music again at times good at other times can leave a little to be desired. But to be honest an online game will always find it hard to compete in terms of Graphics when compared to offline counterparts. While the reason as to why people play Online games do vary for the most it does come down to playing with other people. This is something that is heavily in world of warcraft’s favour with even its low population servers having a good amount of players. These types of games tend to get broken down to different elements, their story element, PvE (player verses the Environment), PvP (player verses Player), Soloing, Role playing and their a few others. To be honest world of warcraft is master of none of these but it does do them to a good standard which in turn has helped build and grow its player base. The same base has in turn helped its future growth. I am going to discuss the main elements of the different types of game play. The story element of world of warcraft does come from a rich lore that was born from the 3 video games of the warcraft series. While this could be implemented much better in the game you do get a good feeling for it with the quests within the game. Next element is Player Verses the Environment and I do feel this is one of world of warcraft’ stronger points, when you are levelling your char up there a good amount of group quests to dungeons that you can group together, while the mid level raids you might find it hard to get groups at end level it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. On the player verses player it can be a mixed bag while the very concept of the game with the 2 factions alliance/horde does lend itself well to PvP and the game has its own servers for that end, there are some unbalance for the PvP and lack of a true death penalty might not be everyone’s taste that being said world of warcraft can offer a lot from battlegrounds/arena’s and city raiding to full pvp servers. For solo gamming again is another strong point with the game, it is possible to get to max level and do even some of the group quest on your own and while the game does have a slight learning curve it is nothing that should stop most new players and for experienced players starting and new char and getting it to max level isn’t a problem. Now onto the role playing side again this is probably the games weakest side and while it does have severs dedicated to role playing with extra rules to that effect the reality is what tends to happen is you have players who go there not role play and annoy the roleplayers, with a large section of the role playing community moaning about such players. That being said with the right group of players/guild it is possible to have some great fun doing role play events in the game; however it doesn’t lend itself well to the format. Well as you can see world of warcraft is hardly a master at any of the main elements to these types of games but it is a good jack of all trades which is partly what leads to its success.
While I am sure a large number of players will have a huge amount of complaints against world of warcraft’s customer support I do feel that while it can be a lot better it is still good when compared to the online gaming industry as a whole. You have a few options open to you for customer support; you have Blizzard call centres that are based in France. While it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to get through to them, this is something I feel should be improved again that kind of time isn’t uncommon for even large very professional companies. Have you ever tried to get through to the Microsoft or ebay customer support at times? A number of online games don’t even have such a means of support. Next we have is the ingame Gamesmasters these are people who can help with a wide range of problems from recovering deleted characters to helping with some slight bugs. Again their response time can vary but normally it will be a few hours to possibly the next day before a GM ticket will be answered. Again that might seem a long time but it’s rare that a problem needs a quick response and again a large number of games don’t have such ingame help. You also have forums and you have email. But with the different options open the game does have a good amount of customer support when compared to other games. As with most industry’s I do feel that the customer support could be better but if it was a choice between patch’s with improved game content or better support then I can live with waiting for a few hours for a GM reply.
To be honest what makes this game very successful is a number of reason that work well together. The dynamic player relationship between the horde and alliance does make for a good conflict and even PvP isn’t your gamming thing it does add interest to the overall game. The game is big and the graphics can help immerse you into the world. There is very little in the way of loading screens and with elements like flight paths (that see you flying through zones rather than just skipping past them) do help to put you into this gaming world. There are also some subtle elements such as the change from day to night based in real life server time and random weather like rain (again these things are only basic but to add to the game). With the character class’s there are some balancing issues but on the whole it isn’t as bad as some players would like to make out and most class’s have a role and can be played both soloing and in groups. The game might not be the master of any gaming area but does have a good amount of each to keep it varied allowing players to do pvp, pve some role playing or whatever you want. When you reach the top level there is still a great deal you can do and work at from the PvE elements such as raids to working on achievements. Another element to the game that shouldn’t be underestimated is the addons, these allow unofficial improvements/features and subtle changes to the game to be made that for the players can greatly enhance their playing experience. The biggest element also comes from the players and the amount of them, that might put some gamers off but most people while they might not like the average player do like a busy world. If you are playing in an empty world it does start to feel lonely and more becomes like a offline game. It is the combination of these elements that has helped to make world of warcraft a great and popular game and while they can be many improvements to the game it is likely be a very popular game for some time to come.