According to most dictionaries, “wow” is defined as an expression of surprise. However, if you asked around 10 million obsessed teens and young people to define the word, they would come up with something completely different; World Of Warcraft!
“WoW” means World of Warcraft! World of Warcraft, commonly known as WoW, is an award-winning video game from a company called Blizzard. Blizzard has managed to convince the equivalent population of Belgium (around 10 million) into paying them around US$15 per month to play this game. The game was released back in 2004, and with a second expansion soon to come.
WoW is what is termed an “MMORPG” (massive multiplayer online role-playing game). It’s essentially Dungeons and Dragons in an online virtual world, where you play as a wizard, fighter or other character to slay monsters and complete quests. Another common online nickname for WoW is “World of War-crack”, as the game is said to be more addictive than the drug.
You create your character/alter-ego from the startup screen. There is a whole raft of different choices for what abilities your character will have and how they’ll look, and you’ll also have to pick between the “good” alliance or the “evil” horde. Once this is dispensed with, you can charge out among the denizens of Blizzard’s online fantasy world “Azeroth”, and quest/explore/battle other people or computer-controlled monsters to your heart’s content.
The world that Blizzard has created for the game is truly enormous, majestic, exotic and it does not skimp on the detail. Blizzard keeps their online world up to date via regular patches and maintenance, sometimes adding new content. The loading times are remarkably quick for such a huge game and the simplistic interface and smooth controls mask the huge complexity of the game. World of Warcraft is so successful because it constantly keeps rewarding players for time spent in the world. Obviously the more time spent, the greater the rewards will be.
For those just starting out in the game, the goal is to increase the level of your character, which lets you explore more lands and harder dungeons. Ultimately you will hit level 70 and will be able to do experience most of the content. In World of Warcraft life begins at level 70. It is here that you can experience the toughest content, explore the deepest and darkest dungeons. Generally this requires a heck of a lot of work, and you will need the support and help of a whole bunch of players to do the more advanced quests.
This is where your Guild will come in. Somewhere along the way you should have joined a guild.
The ability to constantly improve your character and to attempt increasingly harder challenges or events is sometimes the only part of the reason that people keep on paying their subscription fees. The main part is the social interaction between people like the postings online in forums daily, watching videos (some funny, some tactical) about WoW in general or your own characters’ role in the game, and chatting on voice programs with your guild-mates. To some people it has far more influence than any video game should, with husband-wife teams common in game, and events like IRL (in real life) guild BBQs taking place every weekend around the world.
An average player will need to spend anywhere from 1-5 months leveling up your character in order to play some of the more challenging and rewarding areas of the game. The other option is to purchase an account from somewhere like TradeMe and take advantage of someone else’s hard work (this is definitely outside of the terms and conditions, but it does happen).