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World of Warcraft is a Massive multiplayer Online Game. It has an audience of nearly 4 million players. It is a subscription based pay system, which means you pay to play the game on a monthly basis. The game’s graphics have held up pretty well, since it was released 7 years ago. It is set in a fantasy setting with magic, dwarfs, elves, and other things from the fantasy world. The game play itself is somewhat fun. You start out by choosing which faction you want to start on, Alliance or Hoard. Choosing one of these factions will decide on which races you are allowed to play. For example; if you choose Alliance, considered the protagonists, one of your choose-able races are the humans. If you choose the Hoard, considered the antagonists, then one of your choose-able races are the Orcs. After you choose a race, you are asked to select your powers and skills. These skills are going to be your main attacks, when you enter the game. You are then put into the game world at a starting point, where you start a tutorial, which are disguised as quests. After completing the tutorial quests, you are given relatively free rein of the expansive virtual world of Azeroth, the name of the world given to the land you play in. Let me back up a minute and explain main part of the game, which are the different quests. After you leave the starting area, you can explore Azeroth more freely. Along your way you will find the main part of the game will be completing adventures and tasks that are dubbed quests. Quests are scattered across Azeroth in many shapes and forms. Sometimes, you will stumble onto a trigger for a quest, like finding and item or a location, but most of the time you will find NPC’s, Non-Playable Characters, who will give you quests. Most of these NPC’S will be marked by big yellow arrows floating above their heads. These quests can range from catching a certain number of fish to storming a stronghold and defeating the enemies within. Of course, there are more things to do other than quests. There are also arenas, where the Hord and Alliance can participate in PvP, Player versus Player, combat. Of course, they can fight in the main world as well, but these arenas have special goals integrated in them. Game modes in the arena include capture the flag and capture the point. There are also quest-lines, a bunch of quests put together to tell a story, that will take you through much of the world of Azeroth. Throughout your adventures, there will be items, weapons, and armor you will obtain. These items are separated into different level classes. A level class dictates what level you must be in, in order to wear or use the items you obtain. You can also sell or trade any items you do not wish to have in the in-game markets and trading centers. I believe, I have summed up the gameplay as much as I can. I will now describe the graphics. I would normally explain about in-game music as well, but I have not heard any of it. As for the graphics, I have actually seen them and can say, they hold up very well for the seven years, since the game was released. The textures are basically pleasing to a gamer’s eye. They are relatively smooth and well-colored. I am told that the “water graphics are amazing” (See podcast to hear the quote). Now I will get into the part of the review many of you were waiting for. First I will talk about the maturity content of the game. While this game is about fighting and winning battles, there is no blood shown in the game, apart for green goo that is shown when one of the giant spiders are slain. The combat against aggressive NPCs end with either the NPCs “dying” and falling to the ground, where their bodies disappear a short time later, or you “die” and your body falls to the ground. When you “die” you respawn, come back to life essentially, in a safe town. Part of your gold, your currency in-game, and possible some of your items will be taken away from you as a result of your death. The deaths aren’t graphic like in other game however, I would still be careful when thinking about allowing your children to play this because death is still death. I would personally say a child should be ready to play this game at about the age 13-14. Keep in mind, the real factor, when it comes to these decisions, is rarely age but maturity. What I am saying here is parents know your kids maturity level. It will play a bigger part in deciding which games are good and bad for your child then age does. Now WoW(World of Warcraft) has a lot of good qualities as well. It is a good team builder, it has the potential to teach Internet etiquette, and it can also be a family game. I know many people may scoffat me saying this, but WoW is a really good game to play as a family. It is easy to learn for the parents and the, for the kids, it’s a fun game. Also the community in WoW is a really good one. Not only do people really give out help when needed but any bad eggs in the community are quickly silenced with the WoWchat filters. Currently, you can subscribe for a WoW account for $15 a month, which is less than most magazine subscriptions. Also, there is a free play version of WoW that allows you to play the full game for free, until you reach level 20. I would recommend trying this method before you subscribe. If not only to test the game for yourself but to also test your computer and internet connection to see if you can even run the game. Other than remember to watch your child’s time when he/she plays the game. The Dear Gamer staff will also be posting WoW videos on YouTube shortly after this column goes up. So remember to check out the channel to see the game for yourself. Also if you have the time, I would strongly recommend playing WoW using the free to play method. It is much better than watching a video. Thank you to the people who actually made it to the bottom of the page. I will see you in 2 weeks where I will talk about Assassins Creed.
ESRB RATING: Teen
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