I first began playing World of Warcraft when I set up a 10-day trial account for the game on November 17th, 2007. A teacher at the school district where I substitute had brought up WoW in a conversation about video games, and asked me if I played it. When I told him I didn’t, he suggested that I try it sometime to see if I’d like it. I had been a fan of StarCraft since I got it for my birthday in 1998, so I knew that Blizzard made great games, but I was a bit hesitant to try WoW. In addition to hearing stories of how addicting it was, I wasn’t sure if my computer at the time could run WoW, and as much as I appreciated Blizzard’s reputation for quality, I seriously doubted that any game could be good enough to be worth paying a monthly subscription fee to play.
Once I started playing World of Warcraft, however, any doubts I had about it went right out the window. I enjoyed WoW enough to buy a full retail copy of the core game several days before my trial period ended, as well as a copy of the expansion The Burning Crusade shortly thereafter. Almost five years & two expansions–Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm–later, I’m still playing the game, and with the release of the new expansion Mists of Pandaria coming up on September 25th, I have no plans to stop playing World of Warcraft any time soon.
Some reading this may ask, “Why? Why such strong fan loyalty to this game? Why are you willing to pay a subscription fee to play it?” I wouldn’t presume to speak for all people who play the game, but for my part, I have four reasons why I’m a loyal fan of World of Warcraft.
First, World of Warcraft provides players with a wide variety of ways to create exactly the kind of character they want to play, with two very distinct main factions to join (the Alliance and the Horde), thirteen playable races to choose from, and eleven character classes (each of which can be customized to a specific play style).
Second, the range of activities available to players in World of Warcraft is incredibly varied. From simple & fun solo quests, to five-person dungeon instances, to complex & challenging 10-person & 25-person raids, to Player versus Player Arenas & Battlegrounds and beyond, there is no shortage of fun activities in WoW. With the new Mists of Pandaria expansion, this range of activities will expand even further with such new features as PvE Scenarios, Challenge Mode Dungeons, and the Pet Battle System.
Third, World of Warcraft–indeed, the Warcraft franchise as a whole–has an incredibly deep and rich story which has been carefully crafted over time by the remarkably talented minds at Blizzard. Not limited to the games themselves, the mythos of Warcraft has also been explored in an extensive series of novels, as well as comic books and manga. There are even plans in the works to adapt Warcraft‘s story into a feature film!
Finally, I am a fan of World of Warcraft because of Blizzard Entertainment’s dedicated support of this game and sincere appreciation of its fans. Blizzard diligently performs regular maintenance on WoW and its massive network infrastructure to make sure the game stays in good working order. They also provide a range of different options for players to contact them for account and technical support, whether by E-mail, telephone, message boards, or even in-game support from the ever-helpful Game Masters. Blizzard also has a dedicated team of Community Managers such as “Zarhym,” “Bashiok,” and “Nethaera,” who regularly address the comments, questions, and concerns of fans on the official message boards and on Twitter. World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street (a.k.a. “Ghostcrawler“) regularly communicates with fans as well, and fans are even able to contact Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime and Senior VP of Creative Development Chris Metzen on Twitter. In a world where it can be very easy for customers of large companies to feel like nothing more than a number, it is extremely gratifying to see Blizzard put so much effort into maintaining lines of communication with fans of their games.
For all these reasons, I am very happy to say that I am a fan of World of Warcraft, and I will continue to be for years to come. 🙂
If you’d like to know more about World of Warcraft, check out the game’s official website here. If you decide to take the plunge into the game and would like some additional guidance for how to get started with your adventures in the world of Azeroth, check out my beginners’ World of Warcraft guide here!