World of Warcraft is a Mass Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game that released on November 23, 2004, and was based on the very popular Warcraft franchise by Blizzard Entertainment. WoW involved two different factions, the Horde and Alliance, who fought against one another.
In the game players can create their own specific characters, determining such things as their faction, race, their class, appearance, name, and so on. Once a person has their character created, they enter a virtual world with millions of other players to begin their journey. The object of the game is to make your character as powerful as possible and players are able to do this in different ways. First, they can make their own personal character more powerful by gaining additional levels, which opens further abilities and increase the characters stats. Players increase their level by gaining experience from either defeating opponents, completing quests, or profession activities such as picking flowers. Once a player obtains enough experience, they will gain a level, rinsing and repeating until they are max level. Earning levels is not the only way that players can make their character stronger, but they can also equip them with better and more powerful equipment that they can obtain during their adventures. Unlike your standard video game where you have an end goal, WoW is just like life – a continuous adventure!
WoW is one of the most influential MMORPG’s and video games to have ever been developed, period, with a player base still in the multi-millions. They are one of the few games that utilize a subscription-based model still at this point.
The subscription isn’t as bad as it sounds, it is USD 15 per month or USD 13 per month with an extended subscription. However, Blizzard made it so that players can utilize in-game virtual currency to pay for the subscription to World of Warcraft via WoW Tokens.
WoW tokens worked by allowing players to purchase a month of game time or add 15 dollars to their battle.net account up to $100 without an authenticator and $350.00 with one. The cost of the tokens would fluctuate based on supply and demand and could be from 20,000 gold to 220,000 gold+.
Players were also able to buy tokens themselves for $20.00 and sell them for the gold to other players if they have an abundance of actual money as opposed to virtual gold. Once the money is added to the Battle.net account, a person can purchase games, expansion packs, digital items, virtual tickets, etc.
The game itself has a massive following to this day with a very die-hard player community, even though subscription numbers aren’t at their peaks anymore. The game remains out in the forefront of the game world and is one of the most recognizable gaming titles to many.
Player versus Environment (PvE) – Solo Play – 1-5-man groups – 5-40-person raids
Player versus Environment is where players will fight against digitally created creatures known as NPCs and complete quests in order to become more powerful. The whole concept of PvE is the driving factor behind most MMORPG’s where players get together to take down a massive challenge, like a huge dragon.
That is the main RPG element of the game that draws players together, the entire goal being to make your character more powerful, so you can unite with others to take down huge challenges. Your goal is to get more powerful, find the next huge challenge, and defeat it.
That is the difference between a normal RPG and an MMORPG because once you defeat that big challenging monster, the game ends. In wow, there is always more. Whenever you finally defeat your challenge, there will always be a newer and larger challenge looming ahead for players to conquer.
Player versus Player (PvP) – 2-man groups – 3-man groups – 5-man groups – 10-man groups – 15-man groups – 40-man groups
Player versus Player is where people from all around the world will fight against one another in the virtual world of Azeroth. This happens in open world combat, instanced battlegrounds, arenas, skirmishes, and so on. Battlegrounds and arenas are the most structured PvP scenarios, with both rated and unrated versions.
The unrated battlegrounds award honor, items, gold, achievement progress, and so on, but do not give rating. The arena style practice otherwise known as skirmishes do the same thing and both of these PvP activities will match a player with random teammates.
The rated versions of arenas and battlegrounds will require the players to bring their own teams before they can play. For arenas, players must have either one other person or two others to compete in 2v2 or 3v3. For the Rated, Battlegrounds players must have 10 players before they can play.
By obtaining rating, players can get access to better gear from PvP, achievements, titles, mounts, and potential end of season rewards. The primary focus of PvP is the 3v3 arenas in which Blizzard utilizes that to determine class balancing.
BlizzCon – World Arena Championships
PVP – 3v3 Arenas
PvP wise, the 3v3 Arena Championships are where those who enjoy fighting other players reside, fighting for their chance to prove absolute superiority over their opponents. There was at one- time 2v2 and 5v5 arena championships, but those were removed from the esports scene, and only 3v3 remains.
3v3 arenas rely heavily upon teamwork and coordination to time perfect swaps and counters against opponents. The key is to figure out how to maintain a balance between offensive and defensive so that your team will end up outlasting the other or outright slaughtering them.
PvE – Mythic Dungeon Invitational
When it comes to PvE, there are some difficulties when it comes to implementing that portion of a game into the esports world because it is difficult to monitor competitive success. That doesn’t mean PvE doesn’t have a place within the esports world.
The 2017 BlizzCon saw the introduction of Mythic Dungeon runs where teams competed against one another to finish with the fastest time when completing a Mythic+ Keystone Dungeon. It was a relatively useful idea because the timed system was already in place and therefore easy to implement.
It was called the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, and it went over well at BlizzCon 2017 and potentially will remain a solid fixture within the competitive esports scene. Time can only tell if it will remain a staple within the esports community or be disregarded.