World of Warcraft

'World of Warcraft' Cinematic Trailer

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WoW Icon 16x16.gif World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) set in the Warcraft universe. It is developed by Blizzard Entertainment and contains multiple expansions. The initial release is now sometimes known as "vanilla WoW" or "classic WoW".

As of 2010, World of Warcraft had more than 12 million monthly subscribers,[1] and still holds the Guinness World Record for the world's largest and most popular MMORPG since 2009.[2] It also continues its further story development throughout its franchising, other than online media, such as Warcraft novels, comics, manga, RPG books, TCG, board games, and the Warcraft movie. Characters from the franchise have been included in other Blizzard games, including Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm.

John Hight was announced as the Executive Producer of World of Warcraft at the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2018, presumably taking over for J. Allen Brack.



Note the following have pre-expansion details separated from expansion details:

  • Uses and expands the storyline from the Warcraft series of RTS games.
  • Players create characters by first choosing their faction (Alliance or Horde), race, and class. Once in the game, they may later choose what professions to pursue. Note that, while all classes are now represented by both factions, class availability is ultimately tied to race. The Talents and Wrath-Logo-Small.png Glyphs system allows further customization of the character's skills and stats.


World of Warcraft in general offers a casual-friendly character progression system up to a point. Quests occur frequently, and being offline (resting) increases experience point gain. Legion-Logo-Small.png Legion introduced World quests in the Broken Isles that changed daily, and Battle-Logo-Small.png Battle for Azeroth added Island Expeditions.

To support player interaction within the game, Blizzard offers many options, including text chat and built-in Voice chat, while players may utilize in-game trading and mail and auction systems.

There are currently four server types: Normal (PvE), RP, PvP, and RPPvP. Announced at BlizzCon 2017 and expected to occur at or near the release of Battle-Logo-Small.png Battle for Azeroth, PvP servers will no longer exist. Players will instead be able to opt-in while they are playing, receiving perks such as boosted experience.

PvE systems

For players who are interested in PvE, the game consists of thousands of quests, with dozens of instanced dungeons and raids ranging from Blackfathom Deeps to Zul'Aman with more added in later content patches and expansions. Mists-Logo-Small.png Mists of Pandaria added 1-3 player Scenarios in Pandaria, while Warlords-Logo-Small.png Warlords of Draenor introduced Bonus Objective areas in Draenor and Legion-Logo-Small.png Legion added Broken Isles Legion Assaults.

PvP systems

PvP revolves around an Honor system in which players may combat one another in battlegrounds, World PvP, or the Arena (2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 intense, small area combat).

World of Warcraft offered three initial Battlegrounds - Alterac Valley, Arathi Basin, Warsong Gulch - and others were later added.


World of Warcraft does not include player housing in the sense that players can enter an area and construct a house or dwelling from materials they can then "live" in. Instead, players are introduced to a garrisons in Warlords-Logo-Small.png Warlords of Draenor and Order Halls in Legion-Logo-Small.png Legion.

Garrisons were the first iteration of "housing", allowing players to establish a home within two pre-built faction-themed areas. This basic garrison could then be outfitted with different buildings depending on the player's need and would essentially "level up" to a different appearance as time went on.

This concept was later added to the Order Halls, though these weren't phased to individual players as were garrisons. Order Halls were intended for all players of a particular class, regardless of faction, and so much of the individualization present in garrisons was not carried over.


In addition to normal and world quests, players may also participate a variety of World Events including that typically involve themed quests of their own, albeit for a limited period of time. Most of these reward a variety of cosmetic items, though none are needed to progress a character. Some of these events include the Darkmoon Faire (monthly), Children's Week, Midsummer Fire Festival, Hallow's End, and Feast of Winter Veil. Many coincide with real-life holidays.

Legion-Logo-Small.png Legion added Micro-holidays, more frequent in-game events not tied to any particular holiday.


  • Oceania (English - Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand)
  • North America (English - US & Canada)
  • Europe (English-UK, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian)
  • South Korea
  • China (Simplified and Traditional Chinese; including Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau)
  • Latin America[3] (Spanish, English?)

Classic/Vanilla servers

At BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard announced the inclusion of a new server that would run the "classic" or "vanilla" version of World of Warcraft, dubbed World of Warcraft: Classic. Further details have yet to be released, including whether this version would include all the old bugs or updated character models.

Prior to this, on April 25, 2016, Blizz.gif Nethaera put a blue post up written by Blizz.gif J. Allen Brack that discussed how the issue of a retro or vanilla realms within the company (not speaking to emulated or private servers directly) has been debated.[4] The summary version of the response was this:[4] 1) private servers need to be shut down to protect intellectual property rights, 2) maintaining a set of vanilla-style servers is more technically difficult than people outside the company think (no specifics), and 3) the closest thing Blizzard might offer would be a "pristine realm" version of the game with all progression and XP acceleration elements as well as group finder turned off plus no access to cross realm zones.





  • World of Warcraft is the only computer game featured in the Computer History Museum's Make Software: Change the World! exhibit.
  • World of Warcraft is able to be customized with AddOns and Interface with some game commands support.
  • Client seamlessly supports both Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
    • Linux users can play via Wine (MS Windows emulation), however this is not supported and can be buggy at times.


  • The original World of Warcraft (Patch 1.n) is sometimes referred to as "vanilla World of Warcraft," "pre Burning Crusade (Pre BC)," or "classic World of Warcraft".


  1. ^ Brett Molina 2010-10-07. 'World of Warcraft' hits 12 million subscribers. USA Today.
  2. ^ Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition - Records - PC Gaming. Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved on 2009-10-17.
  3. ^ Blizzard Entertainment® to Release World of Warcraft® in Latin America
  4. ^ ab Blizz.gif Nethaera 2016-04-26. To the WoW Community -. Official WoW Community > General Discussion forum (US).

See also

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