Why is World of Warcraft So Popular?
It's a question almost as old as the game itself, but we're gonna answer it anyways!
World of Warcraft is once again at the helm in the world of MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game), though we think it never left the seat in the first place. After two months of release of it’s latest expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, more and more people start joining the bandwagon as reports state the game has already reached 12 million subscribers.
Yes, we are aware that the question has been asked since forever, but its relevance never dies especially to non-WoW players and non-Blizzard developers out there: “What makes World of Warcraft so popular?” Despite the game having a monthly fee, not so amazing graphics plus the plethora of available and FREE MMORPGs around there, what does World of Warcraft have that makes the players keep playing even after 6 freakin’ years of existence?
World of Warcraft. The goal is simple, save Azeroth ultimately from destruction from relentless assaults by demons, zombies, cultists, and whatever evil doer you can think of in a fantasy setting, the list just never ends. We can say that the game already had a fanbase right before it was even released thanks its RTS (real-time strategy) spawns, the Warcraft series. So when World of Warcraft was announced, we already heard the battle cries of millions of Warcraft players, whether be it good or bad battle cries. During its inception, there were already existent MMORPGs available such as Ultima Online and Final Fantasy XI.
One of the things that made World of Warcraft stand out was the vastness of its world and the depth of the lore which are carefully explained by doing simple tasks or quests. Each quest-giving NPC (non-playable character) had a story behind them that allowed you to become emotionally invested in a certain; whether you’re just gathering 10 hams for Billy McLure or collect a pendant lost in a sea of raging furlbogs for a random Night Elf, the life and soul of Azeroth reaveals itself infront of your eyes by doing these menial tasks.
World of Warcraft’s gameplay and progression was a definitive experience that also allowed you to be immersed in the tremendous world of Azeroth; and all it took was a large floating exclamation point or a question mark on top of quest giver/receiver’s head. The problem with Final Fantasy XI Online and other MMORPGs at that time was that you have to guess which NPC (non-playable character) is a quest giver, which was REALLY frustrating. Basically Blizzard gave you a set of training wheels in the first 10 to 20 or even 30 levels of your character. And with the generous level cap, the THOUSANDS of quests available, the raids and dungeon instances and the Professions system, there’s ALWAYS something to do in Azeroth. The only time when you’re not doing anything is when you’re AFK because you’re eating or needed to take a dump.
Finally, but not ultimately, is the game allows you to play even from low-end computers. With its system requirements that don’t require you to invest hundreds of dollars just to set the visuals to maximum or acceptable settings, you can still continue your plight in the world of Azeroth without the hassle of game lags or crashes (although it might happen in raiding instances).
World of Warcraft has definitely set the standard of MMORPG. Heck it might even be the definition of MMORPG, which leads to alot of controversy but let’s not touch that subject. Several new MMORGPs took off from the ideas and system that World of Warcraft invested on throughout the years, but unfortunately, it seems the magic only belongs to the spawn of Blizzard. If you’re not a player of World of Warcraft yet and still skeptical about its popularity, then we urge you to avail of the free trial and check it out for yourself. You’ll never regret it (although you might later on once you’ve spent you’re entire life playing it.).
This is World of Warcraft and this is MMORPG at its best.