søndag den 8. november 2009

'N00bz!'- What is World of Warcraft anyway?

This post is basic facts about the game; for those who wish to learn about it, and/or havn't been filled in already: realtives and it's alike. I also found it to be useful to create a foundation for later purposes, and have exsperienced that exactly this particulair question, is the most common one among them all.

Should You, after reading it, by any means sit with the urge to utter: "Wtf is she talking about!?" or feel that there might still be something left in the dark; please, do add questions in the comment section, and I will answer.

- What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft (also known as WoW) is an online computergame, also known as a 'MMoRPG' (Massive Multi Online Role Playing Game); meaning that it allows players from all around world to interact with each other online, as long as they have connection to the internet and posesses a form of the game.

- Does it cost anything to play?

Yes. You pay a monthly fee for a subscription. Payment is available in the following ways:
- One-Month subscription by VISA/Electron-Visa/JCB/Mastercard/American Express.
- 60 Days prepaid Gamecard. (Can be purchased by anyone, in any store that sell music or computer/console games)
It is possible at ANY time, to cancel a subscription.

- What does a 'subscription' offer?

A subscription gives the player a personal account, that allows the player to create several fictional figures, who they can control/play in the World of Warcraft. A player can have additional accounts/subscriptions.

With a WoW-Subscription comes a personal Username and a Password, allowing only the owner of the account to access it. You can always access ANY World of Warcraft account, if you possess the Username and Password for it.

A subscription also allows the player to join chatboards and communities related to the game, where they can talk with other players and disguss subjects of interest.

- How many do actually play that game?

World of Warcraft have around 11.5 million players. According to the last research results I've been able to find (http://www.massively.com/2008/01/22/world-of-warcraft-hits-10-million-players/ ) in Europe alone, we have 2 million active players. Asia tops with 5.5 million.

This makes World of Warcraft the biggest online game in history.

- What is the game about and what do you do in it?

The game is about making your character stronger, by defeating various creatures and solve quests in the World of Warcraft. When you solve quests you get better to do several things and you get new gear/clothing, that makes your character more powerfull. Some creatures are stronger than others, and require that you have other people/characters to help you defeat them.

Most commonly you join a community(also called a Guild) in the World of Warcraft, where there are other people you can turn to, when you need help in the game. This is the social aspect of the game, and it functions like a chatboard. You can communicate with EVERY single person in the game, by the different chat functions World of Warcraft offers. You can also communicate with persons that is not in the same community as you.

The chat functions also offer the oppurtunity to Roleplay, which means it allow you to describe what your character feels or do, while interacting with other characters. You can conversate excatly as you would, should you meet someone on the walkingstreet downtown.

- Why do/can people keep playing?

Because World of Warcraft never ends. There will always be new content, as long as the game creators keeps sending out new parts of the game, and as long as people keep playing and paying.
When you close a 'normal' computer/console game, the game stops untill you chose to continue it. When you have played long enough, you have archived all there is to archive and the game is completed. You cannot complete World of Warcraft. As an online game, it differs to normal games in that way, that when you close the game, it continues. This leaves people with the need to come back, becuase they have to keep up with the others playing the game, so they wont fall behind.

To archieve EVERYTHING there is to archive in World of Warcaft, is nearly impossible. It requires an almost ridicolous amount of time, but none the less I have, personally, exsperienced people who have been very near.

-"Why do people keep playing?"

I'd like to discuss and vent my more personal thoughts on this part of the main question. My personal reason for always returning to the game, was the social aspect of it. I also returned, to improve my character and to join the others on new quests to become more powerfull and aquire new gear, but that became a minor after a while.

I made friends within the game, whom I had only known from the other side of a computerscreen, as pixels and text. But none the less I counted them as my friends; and at a time, they came to mean more to me and fill more than the people from the real world. And that is one of the things that the day today, frightens me the most.

Today, I often ask myself the question: "How could people I've never met or spend time with for real, come to mean so much to me, that I chose them over the 'real ones' in my life? Why did I come 'home', eveing after evening, to 'meet' them and hear how they were and what happened in their lives? (In danger of sounding prejudiced, a disturbing few of them actually had a life beside World of Warcraft.)"

I don't know for sure. But I do think that the reason for them having such a big impact on my daily life, was becuase after a while, I spend more time playing that game, than I did on my hobbies and interests. I never visited my friends, read books, went to parties, played Warmachine, Roleplay etc., and due to that, those online people became my new social circle. It is very common that as humans we seek to belong somewhere, so in a way you could say it was a logic and 'natural process'. At least, it makes sense to me.

All in all my answer to the question -based on personal exsperience- is, that people keep returning to the World of Warcraft, mainly becuase of the other people there, but also because of the new content the game offers.

- But the game must become borring at some point?!

It most certainly does, and some do stop playing it after a while. The game is highly repetitive. But no matter how sad it must be, I often saw that people always returned after a while. The most common reasoning was that they 'missed the persons in game' or that they 'just wanted to see what the new content had to offer'. My personal opinion is, that they simply couldn't let go.

There is something about that game, that as no other game seen up until now, sucks you in and refuse to let you out again.

- Is there anything you can do as realtives to a player, to prevent the game coming so far as it did for you and seemingly others?

My dear mother asked me this question a few days ago, and that will be the second-next (Self-made word. Gotta' love it!) subject at "Confessions of a WoW-Addict". A part of my own history will follow wednesday. Stay tuned!

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