Every new development that comes about in the gaming industry makes the pastime more interesting and more desirable to a greater number of people. But WoW really did revolutionize the industry. Quite simply, its effect became known as “the WoW factor.”
Indeed, the popularity of the game is so great that it has given rise to such distinctions as its own “pedia,” fan memorabilia, collectors’ items…even its original boxes are coveted among devotees. So what was it about this game in particular that caused such a splash? Let’s take a look at the history of gaming before WoW and what it was that Blizzard did differently to increase playership by more than 20 times over any earlier game.
The way to keep players engaged in a game is to create a scenario that is interesting for them. While other game creators managed to do this to some extent, WoW completely took creativity in storytelling to another level. Many games became predictable after a while; players knew what the next level would be if they passed a certain point in the game. While they were still motivated to win, games weren’t something unusual and unpredictable.
With WoW, new worlds are totally unique places that players can craft elements of themselves. You can create items to use as tools to gain points with through alchemy, enchanting, blacksmithing, and other functions. And you can buy WoW gold to buy weapons and armor from the armor house.
Also, the worlds that you go through as a player hold rich histories that lead into one another in complex and often bizarre ways. You might even come upon an even more ancient world than the ones you’d just been through, because you managed to unlock the route to it.
In addition to sophistication, Blizzard managed to create a world with Wow that allows players to complete all the levels without spending inordinate amounts of time playing. Many non-fanatics might be intimidated by the prospect of getting involved as the game’s jargon alone is enough to baffle most laypeople.
But WoW is different. Newcomers to gaming can get involved and immediately start making their way through the levels. Even kids can grasp the basics of the game to the point where they can experience its magic and benefit from it.
WoW also introduced new types of visuals into the gaming world. Many players recall having been initially disappointed by the simple-looking graphics of the game. But that all changes once you start playing. When you see the characters moving around the screen, you see that the block graphics take on their own special effect.
The appeal is somewhat similar to going back in time in art. Why would you want to make an artistic depiction less accurate, now that techniques are mastering the art of accuracy? Well, this is what postmodernism is all about, actually. As well as continued interest in older genres like impressionism and expressionism. The same is true in WoW. It’s unique block-style imagery captures players’ imaginations and transports them into the WoW world.
The graphics in WoW have been described as “chunky.” Indeed, the slightly exaggerated shapes contribute to the sense that images are jumping out, creating almost a 3-D style effect. Aside from shapes, Blizzard also added a range of textures to its graphics, further enhancing its visual effects. In addition, subtle movement (among such features as blades of grass blowing in the wind) also illustrates creators’ attention to detail.
Another advanced feature of WoW is its non-playable characters. While these exist in other games, WoW’s NPC stand out, quite literally, among the rest. WoW NPCs have a distinct look, with an exclamation mark over their heads. They are more prominent than in many other games, with Iron Colossus taking the top spot for his mammoth appearance.
WoW’s NPCs also have unique abilities. Players can fight them one-on-one, or in groups, and the NPCs also have the ability to fight each other if a player can be clever enough to maneuver it.
Questing is something that exists across the gaming spectrum, but WoW has taken it to a whole new level. Quests exist in various types, including gather quests, delivery quests, kill quests, hybrid quests, and others. WoW takes this idea to a completely different level, adding puzzles, mazes, varying levels of difficulty and danger, and rewarding players with such things as WoW gold for successful completion.
Even if WoW loses its status as the highest-ranking game out there, it will surely go down in history as having been the first of its kind in many respects. Just as Pac Man collectors’ items are continuing to increase in value as generations come to realize just how much that game revolutionized recreation, so too will WoW continue to retain its prominent place in the history of gaming.