The Beginning: Part one of four posts on the World of Warcraft
The following is my personal thoughts and knowledge of this thing called Warcraft. Most of the pictures and info I got about the beginning of the game I learned from Wikipedia and if I got anything wrong – oh well, we know what a wonderful source that is.
I think it was four years ago when I finally gave into the friends begging me to try World of Warcraft, including my stepdaughter. I played it carefully at first, only taking the ten day free trial, before digging in full force. I was drawn into it like a hypnotic dream; traveling to the world of Azeroth was all I thought of.
I found the game slightly difficult and if you never heard of it before here is a little information I gathered just from playing. Azeroth is a world created by the fantastic minds at Blizzard Entertainment . Lush with history that goes back thousands of years this place is inhabited by Humans, Drawfs, Orcs, Night Elves, Blood Elves, Goblins, Trolls, Gnomes and creatures you can only think of in your wildest nightmares, and in some of your most disgusting. There are two separate fractions fighting for control of this world, the Alliance and the Horde. Of course the good looking races belong to the Alliance and the ugly ones are on the other side….Okay, I’m sorry – that wasn’t politically correct. Humans, Dwarfs and Night Elves gathered to form the Alliance and the Orcs, Trolls and Blood Elves formed the Horde. They would constantly battle for a grasp on the two continents- each progressing a little at a time.
Blizzard first introduced the world to the universe of Warcraft with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in November of 1994 as a real-time strategy game (RTS) where you could play either single or multiplayer. The game play was simple yet hard, two players (or one and an AI) trying to build an army to conguer the world – one Orc, one Human.
The sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, came out in 1995 for the desk top computers and won enough awards that they decided to do an expansion pack, Beyond the Dark Portal. It was still a RTS game, same as above and sold over 2 million copies.
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos was released in 2002 – this version was still RTS and sold over 4.5 million games (one million in the first month). I think they made versions for all the game consoles at this time too. It also won Game of the Year from six different sources. As an idea of how far we have come in shrinking things, and a lot of you are very aware of this, the recommended system requirements on a PC to play this game was a 400 MHz processor and 256 megabytes of Ram. My cell phone has 14.8 gigabytes, that’s a lot of bytes. There was also an expansion pack on this one too – The Frozen Throne. These also introduced the Undead and the Draenei as well as the Naga.
On November 23rd, 2004 – ten years after the release of the first game – Blizzard released World of Warcraft, a Massive Multi-player On-line Role Playing Game, MMORPG. This was not your run of the mill computer game – and I know it wasn’t the first – but it was the first I ever played. Here, you didn’t have just one little section of the world to explore, you had all of Azeroth – and you were not alone. You didn’t compete against just one player or an AI – you competed against other player controlled characters, toons, and non-player characters, NPC’s. Since then, three expansion packs have been added to the game, The Burning Crusade in 2007 (which is where I think I came in) that took you past level 60 and to a different world to get to level 70. The Wrath of the Lich King in 2008 took you up to level 80 and the latest is Cataclysm, which lets you climb all the way to level 85, and fly everywhere – for a price.
I was drawn into this game like a spaceship circling a black hole. I would play it from the time I woke up, never admitting that I woke up three hours before I had to work just to play a game, and continued playing once I came home until I went to bed. I would play in my office until the wife got home and stop, at first. Then I would sit down in the living room with my laptop and play as we watched TV. I would cease and do a few things, like fix dinner, let out the dogs, use the rest room – but that was it. The questing is what I loved the most, having to go kill bad NPC’s for the good guys – I started on the side of the Alliance and spent most of my time there. Tried the Horde every once in a while and found all the story lines as enticing and almost as original as the alliance story lines. I even went so far as to try pvp, player versus player, but it was very hard to level when every one you met was trying to kill you.
Please come back tomorrow for part two. I know I don’t like reading long posts either.