World of Warcraft

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For the classic server option dedicated to emulate the original experience, see World of Warcraft: Classic.
World of Warcraft
WoWlogo.png
Developer(s)

Blizzard Entertainment
 After release: Team 2

Publisher(s)

Blizzard Entertaiment[1]

Designer(s)
Composer(s)
Platforms
Release

NA: November 23, 2004
EU: February 11, 2005
CN: June 7, 2006

Latest release

NA: 1.12.1
EU: 1.12.2
CN: 1.12.3

Genre(s)
Mode(s)

Multiplayer

Expansion packs chronology
World of Warcraft
(2004)
The Burning Crusade
(2007)

World of Warcraft, often abbreviated as WoW (or, when referring to the original game, vanilla, classic, or pre-BC), is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) developed by Blizzard Entertainment and released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise, three years after its announcement on September 2, 2001.[2] It is the fourth released game set in the Warcraft universe, and takes place four years after the events of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.[3]

Selected World of Warcraft articles


Plot

Four years after the Battle of Mount Hyjal, tensions between the Alliance and the Horde begin to arise once again.[4]

Intent on settling the arid region of Durotar, Thrall's new Horde expanded its ranks, inviting the undead Forsaken to join orcs, tauren, and trolls.

Meanwhile, dwarves, gnomes and the ancient night elves pledged their loyalties to a reinvigorated Alliance, guided by the human kingdom of Stormwind. After Stormwind's king, Varian Wrynn, mysteriously disappeared, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon served as Regent but his service was marred by the manipulations and mind control of the black dragon Onyxia, who ruled in disguise as a human noblewoman.

As heroes investigated Onyxia's manipulations, ancient foes surfaced in lands throughout the world to menace Horde and Alliance alike.[5]

Updates

The first World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007.[6] It was followed by Wrath of the Lich King on November 13, 2008.[7] Cataclysm on December 7, 2010.[8] Mists of Pandaria on September 25, 2012,[9] Warlords of Draenor on November 13, 2014,[10] and Legion on August 30, 2016.[11] The seventh expansion, announced on November 3, 2017 at BlizzCon 2017, is Battle for Azeroth. Blizzard also announced then that they were developing a "Classic" server option that provides a way to experience the game as it was before any expansions.[12]

With a peak of 12 million subscriptions in October 2010 and the final report of 5.5 million subscriptions in October 2015,[13] World of Warcraft remains the world's most popular MMORPG,[7][14] and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.[15][16][17][18] In January 2014, Blizzard announced that more than 100 million accounts had been created over the game's lifetime.[19]

Over time, the game's expansions have been integrated into the basic package. As of May 17, 2016, all World of Warcraft subscribers automatically have access to all of the content and features of The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor expansions at no additional cost.[20]

Further story development is also made throughout its franchising, via online media, novels, comics, manga, RPG books, Trading Card Game, and board games.

Features

Player Customization

The new digital edition of the World of Warcraft Battle Chest.
Game box alternate

Gameplay System

A original box cover for World of Warcraft
General System
PvE and PvP Systems
Events
Lore
  • Continues and expands the lore from the Warcraft universe.
  • Streamlined questlines and NPC-voiced storytelling.
User Interface and Customer Support
  • Customize AddOn and Interface with some game commands support.
  • Client seamlessly supports both Mac and Windows operating systems. Linux users can play via Wine, however this is not supported and can be buggy at times.

Availability

Standard WoW
  • North America (English-US - US & Canada)
    • Oceania (English-US - Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand)
    • Latin America (Spanish)
    • Brazil (Portuguese-Brazilian)
  • Europe (English-UK, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese-Brazilian, Italian)
  • South Korea
  • China (Simplified and Traditional Chinese; including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau)

Subscriber numbers

World of Warcraft Subscribers Chart.

World of Warcraft's subscriber numbers have fluctuated tremendously over the years. The game reached its peak in October, 2010 with 12 million monthly subscribers,[21] and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest and most popular MMORPG.[22] Though World of Warcraft had dropped to 7.4 million subscribers as of the release of Patch 6.0.2[23], when the Warlords of Draenor expansion released a few weeks later it briefly jumped all the way back up to 10 million[24] before settling back down to 7.1 million.[25]

In January 2014 it was announced that more than 100 million accounts and 500 million characters had been created over the game's lifetime, with players in 244 different countries.[26]

In November 2015 Blizzard announced that they would no longer give regular updates of subscriber numbers, as they felt there were better performance metrics they could use.[27] For a graphical representation of subscriber numbers up to November 2015, click here.

Date Subscribers
December 2004 400 thousand
March 2005 1.5 million
June 2005 3.25 million
September 2005 4.25 million
December 2005 5.6 million
March 2006 6.4 million
June 2006 6.6 million
September 2006 7 million
January 2007 8 million
March 2007 8.5 million
June 2007 8.8 million
December 2007 9.75 million
February 2008 10.2 million
October 2008 11 million
December 2008 11.5 million
March 2009 11.5 million
December 2009 11.5 million
October 2010 12 million
March 2011 11.4 million
June 2011 11.1 million
September 2011 10.3 million
December 2011 10.2 million
July 2012 9.1 million
September 2012 10 million
December 2012 9.6 million
March 2013 8.3 million
June 2013 7.7 million
September 2013 7.6 million
December 2013 7.8 million
March 2014 7.6 million
July 2014 6.8 million
October 2014 7.4 million
November 2014 10 million
December 2014 10 million
March 2015 7.1 million
July 2015 5.6 million
November 2015 5.5 million

Awards

Main article: Blizzard Entertainment

System requirements

Main article: System requirements

Development

See also: World of Warcraft evolution guide

Development of World of Warcraft was first announced in September 2001[28] at the ECTS tradeshow. There was little fanfare in the original announcement, and the original development team consisted of around fifty individuals.[29] Inspiration was taken from other MMOs such as Ultima Online and EverQuest, using the lore and characters of Warcraft as the basis for the setting. It would be a risky venture, as the company had grown used to games passing the 1 million sales mark, whereas EverQuest had peaked at the 500,000 subscriber mark. While a subscription fee would help recoup costs, there was unease as to whether the game's reception would be as positive as Blizzard's previous games,[30] and it was thought that the game would only appeal to pre-existing Warcraft fans.[29] Furthermore, few members of Blizzard had experience in developing MMOs, and while they enjoyed playing them, there was fears that the game would be overshadowed by Star Wars Galaxies and EverQuest 2. When the game was first announced, members of the press often asked Blizzard as such, seeing them as "the RTS company."[31]

By 2002, the game's visual design was being worked on.[32] There was initial pushback in Blizzard as to the Alliance/Horde faction divide, as some feared that some players wouldn't like it because they couldn't play with friends (if they chose different factions).[33]

The game released in late 2004. Surpassing expectations, the game had reached 5 million subscribers by the end of 2005. Blizzard had to develop tech and customer support on the fly in order to keep up with the demand.[30] In 2007, Blizzard predicted that the game would last for five more years, which spurred them to develop Titan as their successive MMO.[34]

As of 2014, Blizzard's intended development pattern is to keep content at a relatively steady pace—still producing expansions, but with shorter gaps between content implementation.[35] The game has been likened to a sandbox with content being added over time.[36]

On October 30, 2014, lead designer Ion Hazzikostas stated that World of Warcraft will still be around at its 20th anniversary, in 2024.[37]

As of June 2016 the World of Warcraft team comprises around 235 people.[38]

Creatures

World of Warcraft is inhabited by a large number of creatures.

The following creatures were added in Vanilla World of Warcraft before the release of expansions:

Humanoids
Giants
Beasts
Dragonkin
Demons
Undead
Mechanical
Elemental
Aberration

And many creatures are added in each World of Warcraft expansion:

Trivia

Video

Notes

Original logo

The gameplay video displayed is the first, released on November 23, 2004. Other videos were also made before the European release.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Activision/Blizzard Merger: Five Key Points. Industry News (2007-12-03). Archived from the original on 2008-12-21. Retrieved on 2018-03-05.
  2. ^ Blizzard Entertainment announces World of Warcraft. Games Fusion (2003-09-05). Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  3. ^ Fiction Timeline. Blizzard Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-12-04. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  4. ^ WoW official trailer
  5. ^ Story of Warcraft: chapter 8
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade shatters day-1 sales record. Blizzard Entertainment (2007-01-23). Archived from the original on 2007-01-26. Retrieved on 2018-03-05.
  7. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Shatters Day-1 Sales Record. Blizzard Entertainment (2008-01-23). Archived from the original on 2008-02-26. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  8. ^ World of Warcraftft®: Cataclysm™ In Stores Starting December 7. Blizzard Entertainment (2010-10-04). Retrieved on 2010-10-04.
  9. ^ Mists of Pandaria Launches September 25, 2012 – Pre-Sales NOW OPEN. Blizzard Entertainment (2012-07-25). Archived from the original on 2018-03-05. Retrieved on 2018-03-15.
  10. ^ Warlords of Draenor Launches 11/13—Watch the Cinematic & Lords of War: Part One Now!. Blizzard Entertainment (2014-08-14). Retrieved on 2018-03-05.
  11. ^ Andy Chalk 2016-04-19. World of Warcraft: Legion will arrive in August. PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  12. ^ Mike Minotti 2017-11-03. Blizzard is bringing back the vanilla World of Warcraft. Venture Beat. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  13. ^ Activision No Longer Has To Fear Declining 'World of Warcraft' Subscriptions. Forbes (2015-11-03). Archived from the original on 2015-11-03. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  14. ^ GigaOM Top 10 Most Popular MMOs. Gigaom (2007-06-13). Archived from the original on 2010-07-01. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  15. ^ [Craig]. Guinness World Records 2009, 241. ISBN 9780553592566. “Most popular MMORPG game(sic) In terms of the number of online subscribers, World of Warcraft is the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), with 10 million subscribers as of January 2008.” 
  16. ^ Becky Williams 2009-08-24. Video: Backstage at BlizzCon 2009:Thousands of World of Warcraft fans descend on southern California for Blizzard's epic gaming convention. The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  17. ^ Mark Langshaw 2009-06-06. Guinness announces gaming world records. Digital Spy Limited. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  18. ^ Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition – Records – PC Gaming. Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  19. ^ Blizzard reaches 100M lifetime World of Warcraft accounts. Polygon (2014-01-28). Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved on 2018-03-06.
  20. ^ Warlords of Draenor Added to the Base Game, Warcraft Movie Footage and Interview (2016-05-17)
  21. ^ WORLD OF WARCRAFT® SUBSCRIBER BASE REACHES 12 MILLION WORLDWIDE.
  22. ^ Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition - Records - PC Gaming. Retrieved on 2009-10-17.
  23. ^ WoW Up to 7.4 Million Subscribers. Retrieved on 2014-10-14.
  24. ^ WORLD OF WARCRAFT® SURPASSES 10 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS AS WARLORDS OF DRAENOR™ LAUNCH BEGINS. Retrieved on 2014-11-19.
  25. ^ WoW Down to 7.1 Million Subscribers. Retrieved on 2015-05-06.
  26. ^ World of Warcraft: Azeroth by the Numbers. Blizzard Entertainment (2014-01-28).
  27. ^ Blizzard Will No Longer Report World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers
  28. ^ Web Archive - Fusion NET: Blizzard Entertainment Announces World of Warcraft.
  29. ^ a b 2018-05-09, ‘WOW’ Devs On Project Titan, South Park & Accidentally Making an MMO Phenomenon. Wikia, retrieved on 2018-05-13
  30. ^ a b Phillip Kolar. The Three Lives of Blizzard Entertainment. Polygon. Retrieved on 2014-10-04.
  31. ^ 2018-05-16, Jeff Kaplan of Blizzard Entertainment. AIAS, retrieved on 2018-06-21
  32. ^ 2015-05-27, BlizzCon 2014 – Overwatch Origins Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2015-05-28
  33. ^ 2017-11-05, BEHIND BLIZZARD’S WORLDS PANEL. Blizzpro, retrieved on 2017-11-19
  34. ^ 2017-09-22, OVERWATCH: FROM CANCELLED PROJECT TO GAME OF THE YEAR - IGN EXPERT MODE EP. 3. IGN, retrieved on 2017-09-23
  35. ^ Blizzard on Revitalising World of Warcraft.
  36. ^ 2015-05-27, BlizzCon 2014 – Overwatch Origins Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2015-05-30
  37. ^ Colin Campbell 2014-10-30. Blizzard is planning on World of Warcraft still being around in 2024. Polygon. Retrieved on 2014-10-30.
  38. ^ Blizzard Talks World of Warcraft Legacy Servers And More (2016-06-10).
  39. ^ 2014-08-11, Blizzard Has Considered WoW 2 -- What Would You Like to See?. Gamespot, retrieved on 2014-08-16
  40. ^ 2015-08-13, GAMESCOM 2015: BLIZZARD ON THE POSSIBILITY OF WORLD OF WARCRAFT 2. IGN, retrieved on 2015-08-14

External links