Friday, June 10, 2005

WoW Review - Part 1

My thoughts on How to Review an MMO.

What do I want out of World of Warcraft(WoW)?

I want a casual, fun, and fast gaming experience. It should be easy to learn, but hard to master. I want an Alliance vs Horde conflict. There needs to be reason behind the conflict and balance in the battle. My actions need to have an effect on the world. Overall the game just needs to be fun and fun is the overriding factor that will keep me in WoW. I do not want another Everquest.

The Basics

Graphics - Excellent. The world has a very hand crafted feel to it that is unique to the Warcraft universe. From start to finish there is definite polish on everything in the world. The animations blend perfectly with the models. The environment is fleshed out with swaying trees, grass, bushes, and everything you expect to see when traveling into a forest, desert, or swamp. The graphics add to the immersion resulting in a very eye pleasing gaming experience.

Sound - The sound in WoW goes hand in hand with the graphics. It completes the immersion with excellent sound effects wherever you travel. The music is fitting to the feel of Warcraft. The sound will always keep you aware of your surroundings and the music will make those slower times feel much more alive.

Technical Performance - The lag has been up and down as much as the servers have been up and down. WoW has performed increasingly well and the server maintenance team seems to have their game faces on. Most problems have been fixed relatively quickly and aside from some known issues (mail box, AH, and big city lag) there is no negative effect from the technical performance. You will be playing WoW more than you will be staring at a log in screen.

Customer Service – Let’s not be shy. WoW has attracted a HUGE player base. The customer service(CS) is going to suffer because of this. However Blizzard has gone a long way to ensuring that your voice is heard when you have a valid complaint. Whether it’s in-game mail or out of game e-mail from the CS department you will get a reply to your request/inquiry. Also they are very public when they go ahead and ban a large group of players for cheating, hacking, or abusing exploits. A definite plus in my book.

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