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What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft

As an MMORPG, World of Warcraft is a radical departure from the standard real-time strategy wargame style of the other Warcraft games. As with other MMORPGs such as EverQuest, players control a character avatar within a persistent gameworld, exploring the landscape, fighting monsters and performing quests on behalf of computer-controlled characters. The game rewards success through money, items, and experience which allow players' characters to improve in skill and power. In addition, players may opt to take part in battles against other players, including both duels and fights against player characters allied with an enemy faction.

A screenshot of the gameMany quests and monsters through the early and middle stages of game play can be conquered alone without the help of other players, particularly if the player's character is higher level than his opponents. Other portions of the game, such as its instanced dungeon areas, are designed to require players to work together for success. Dungeons are designed for parties ranging from two to five players, up to significantly more difficult "raids" (a term originating from EverQuest gameplay) requiring up to a maximum of 40 players. The highest level, most complex dungeons and encounters are designed to take raiding guilds months of playtime and many attempts before they succeed.

In particular, the World of Warcraft game areas designed specifically for level 60 characters are generally much more raid-dependent (and time-consuming) than the relatively more casual experience of advancing one's character from levels 1 to 60. The majority of World of Warcraft's endgame content (i.e., content specifically designed for level 60 characters) requires raiding, with raids making up the bulk of the game's development since release.

Because characters cannot currently progress in experience level beyond 60, gameplay focus at that level typically changes for players wishing to further improve their combat power and effectiveness. Since combat and quests at level 60 earn the character money and items, but no experience, World of Warcraft characters improve by continuing to upgrade their equipment.

With few exceptions, the most powerful gear in the game is earned either as PVP (Player vs Player) rewards in battlegrounds, or by fighting consistently over a long course of time in the highest difficulty raid instances. Large PvE (Player vs Environment) raids normally take a few hours to clear entire dungeons, such as Molten Core, Ahn'Qiraj, and Blackwing Lair. Because of the extreme damage monsters at this level of play can inflict, a common practice is to accouter with specialized equipment which protects against a particular element, such as equipping items with high fire resistance before facing a raid involving monsters that primarily deal fire damage. Therefore it is only one part of the high end content (more entertaining one) other part is endless farming of various stuff which need for participating in raid. Mostly it is about farming money for buying or herbs for making various potions such a "major healing/mana potion, greater resistant potions" and many others.

Overall it means if you want to participate in high end instance raiding with your guild, you have to spare a few hours for farming (how many depends on population at current server and how many farmers are in current place) and then a few hours in dungeon. Overall the gameplay is really quite amazing in World of Warcraft... and with an expansion pack debuting soon, it will only get better.