Wednesday 5 March, 2008
One of the most important and diverse elements of the game is its reward system. In World of Warcraft you can gain rewards through many different means. The main means by which you get rewards is their standard level up system, as players progress through the game by killing monsters and such they end up gaining levels. The game, including the expansion, has a total of 70 levels in it. By gaining levels players are rewarded with access to new abilities, gear, and content. This modivates players to continue playing the game all the way to the maximum level. However once reaching maximum level, Blizzard needed some way to keep their players playing the game. One of the ways that they accomplished this is by rewarding players with better gear the more they continued to play the game. This is done mainly through 2 different ways. Players can either progress through additional PvE content which is exclusively availible to level 70 players. By defeating dungeons and obtaining new gear, players can move onto the next dungeon where they can obtain even better gear. The second method is through PvP arenas. This is a new system which is pretty much unique to World of Warcraft, however more games which are in development are starting to boast PvP reward systems as well. In the arena system players can compete with eachother in small groups, at the end of each week players are compared against eachother. Although all teams get some arena points, those who preform better get more and are able to obtain their rewards faster.
The last aspect I want to touch on, due the the fact that this game is a MMORPG, its community and how it has effected gameplay. This is one of the things that I believe has helped put blizzard far above any of its competitors. Blizzard has the game split up so that there are many different servers for a player to choose from when starting the game, once a character is made on a server they can only be used on that server (though you can pay money to transfer them to another server once a month). Each of these servers only has a few thousand players at most, which is strangely not that large given that around 10 million players are subscribbed world wide. What this does is actualy create small communities of players within the game, each server has its own unique feel which is made up by its own community. Some servers even develope their own slang words that are not seen on other servers. These small effectable communities give you a feel that you are actualy a part of their world, and that your actions can actualy make a difference in the world.
What would you change about the game? What was frustrating?
One of the main things I find frusterating about the game is how it unfairly favors group play over individual play. In order to obtain most of the high level gear in the game you have to spend endless hours with groups of other people. Granted that it is a MMORPG and the point is that you are playing online with thousands of other players, sometimes its nice to be able to do your own thing the way you want to do it. The way I would change the game is by adding more individual content, from individual PvP, to instances which can have a scalable difficulty depending on how many players are participating. Though you can play as an idividual in PvP by joining battleground through solo queueing, this often puts you up against groups of players which have been organized to play as a group. This results in unbalanced gameplay which is often not enjoyable. Even so, these battlegrounds do not give you access to the best rewards in the game which still require you to play as a group. I think the key to a good MMORPG is giving players the option to play alone with everyone. :P
What is the tone of the gameworld? How does the game create this tone?
Because World of Warcraft is actualy a continuation of their previous strategy game line, Warcraft, Warcraft II, and Warcraft III, it keeps the same tone that was in those games. The Warcraft as a world in itself has a tone of being an exciting land full of adventure, mystical creatues, with an air of humor and fun. Much of this is obtained through the look and feel of the game. The game has a very cartoon look to it, the colors are bright and characters features are exagerated. A lot of the game also has a very humorous underpinning. As players interact with different quests, they are sent on some crazy quests which often have references to our culture. An example of this would be that there is a quest called "Finding A-Me" A-Me is a robot and has nothing to do with the popular novel of "Finding Amy", however references such as this pop up all over the game and will often lead you to laugh a bit while you play.