The World of Warcraft Exposed series is a very in-depth review of World of Warcraft from 2004 until present, examining it’s life and development. This review includes all expansions! WoW is the game that started it all for millions of gamers around the world, and while a review is odd for any MMO due to their persistent nature it’s definitely time for a thoughtful glance into the rear view mirror. This game has done a lot for gaming, entertainment, and culture. The series attempts to understand those things within the context of the game and the communities it’s helped foster.
This idea all started as a weeklong series in which I’d write review some simple aspects of World of Warcraft that I adored from the start. It’s turned into a critical analysis of how the game has changed, how players may have adapted, and the impacts of this change on the community.
A closer look at the game is important for at least a dozen reasons, but mine are actually much more specific. For the most part, I no longer subscribe to the game though I sometimes return for a short while with friends. The game has changed too much for me and in a lot of ways, it hasn’t changed for the best. This doesn’t mean the game is bad — far from it. It just means …the game has changed. How have those changes come over the years?
Does the game do anything better today than it did yesterday? Of course it does! But there are also things which it did better with in the past. World of Warcraft Exposed series is my little effort to talk about those things which have made the game great …and which continue to make it an MMORPG for all others to aspire to.
The main goals of the series are the give the game a proper review which talks about it’s strengths, weaknesses, and development. I also want to analyze how those things have shaped and molded it’s vast and diverse player community and what World of Warcraft has done for the genre, even the gaming industry. I wonder a lot about the games impact and what it’s meant for games. WoW has definitely changed how I play games and how I judge them. It’s such a huge game with many aspects to consder. In fact, when I originally began writing the series it’s scope was changing daily. expanding and becoming much bigger than I had intended. But can you do? a game which is nearly a decade old which has seen so many additions and changes probably can’t be easily summed up. Hence, this series.
The game I’m examining claims to be an MMORPG, so I will critique on it’s merits as an MMO-RPG. This means that the target audience would be players who enjoy the RPG genre. In that demographic, there are even more types of RPG gamers with different tastes — within the scope of RPG gameplay features. For example, some players enjoy exploring diplomacy in RPGs, others crafting, and still others competitive combat. I want to explore how WoW delivered rich gameplay options for these players. I will *not* be exploring how WoW should/did/does appeal to players who like Call of Duty and Habbo Hotel. Hopefully the reasoning is obvious, but if not let me know and I’ll clarify.
Finally, game designers read player feedback. It’s my hope to make my criticisms of the game as clear, credible, uniform (where there’s agreement), and sincere as possible, but my voice isn’t alone. There’s lots of gamers who share my experience of World of Warcraft and I hope that I can amplify our voices with this series.
Also, for posterity, the original series remains untouched as an archive. This is to preserve the comments and discussions it sparked. You may browse them at the following links.
- Tag Search: WoW Exposed (Entire series)
- Part I: Social Gaming
- Part II: Adventure & Economics
- Part III: Levels, Quests, & Immersion
- Part IV: Progression & Community
- Part V: Triviality v. Accessibility
- Part VI: Itemization
- Part VII: The World
- Part VIII: The Importance of Farming
- Part IX: The Thing it Does Best