Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: November 2004, PC CD and Online
Genre Keywords: Fantasy, Massive, Multiplayer, Online, MMORPG
Note (August 2015): Legion has been announced and will be released in 2016.
Note (August 2014): Warlords of Draenor is released, allowing characters to advance to level 100.
Note (September 2012): Mists of Pandaria is released, allowing characters to advance to level 90.
Note (December 2010): Cataclysm is released, allowing characters to advance to level 85.
Note (June 2010): Wrath of the Lich King has been out for a while now, and as with every expansion Blizzard has added a ton of content and new ways to play. Quests have been streamlined and provided with map directions and notes on how to complete; dungeon finding has been automated to be nearly effortless for the solo player; dual talents have been introduced letting you play the way you want (at a cost of 1000 gold); an equipment manager has been introduced so you can swap out between sets with a single button; mounts are now available at level 20 and 40 for the regular and fast speeds respectively; and many more. I can no longer say that the game isn't solo-friendly. However, I stand by my (now very old) assertion that it is a collection of mini-games (some not so mini anymore) that try to pull in as many player types as possible. There is now highly streamlined questing, dungeon running, PvP, crafting, raiding, exploring, and lots more - and all of it now easily accessible to the solo player.
Note (November 2007): Patch 2.3 (the major post-Burning Crusade patch) has done a lot of things to streamline the leveling experience and put newbie players on par with the veterans. Among the major changes were: making a lot of world Elite enemies non-Elite; cutting XP needed to level by 33%; increasing quest XP by 33%; improving questing in the high 30-low 40 level range by adding over 60 quests in that area; revamping dungeon levels to appropriate level ranges. This has only made the game more soloable, but otherwise the write-up remains unchanged. See World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade for more info on latest changes.
Note (10/04/06): Updated the Paladin class description as it was incorrectly formed; updated my "creds" to raise all classes/races played to "middle twenties" rather than "late teens"; added links to the few dungeons I've enjoyed (and written up). Everything else remains unchanged (shock!).
Disclaimer's disclaimer (6/19/06): After resisting the lure for 1.5 years, I have finally succumbed to WoW's LCD appeal. Despite this, I don't have much to add to the below write-up, except maybe that the Auction House is a pretty good addition. I will add the following insights as well:
- WoW is really a collection of really smooth minigames (XP, Money, Auction House, Crafting, PvP, Exploration, Quests) that all result in palpable improvements to your character.
- If you're looking to make a global impact on the game, don't bother. WoW's world is, and shall remain, static.
- The game is incredibly soloable - so much so that it is a wonder that at level 60 the only way to advance (until Burning Crusade, the first WoW expansion comes out) is to completely and utterly change your playing style (repeatable, 40-man raids are the antithesis of soloing).
Disclaimer: I'm what's considered a casual player. I don't discriminate between high-end and low-end game; if a game is not fun from the start, no sale - I will most likely not ever see the high-end anyway, and don't consider it a "reward" for suffering through mind-numbing low-end gameplay. I will focus here on simple pros and cons, from a casual gamer's perspective.
Secondly, I've leveled nearly all races and classes to mid twenties (except the Paladin); as such, I haven't even seen the so-called "high level" content. This may be enough to dissuade you from reading the rest - that's okay, my w/u is probably not for you. See above, re "casual".
My data comes from accompanying higher levels around, grilling higher level characters about their experience and surfing the beta forums. At those levels I've traveled across the world and tried other races' quests - I'm not really keen on staying in one spot for any length of time. That's that for my credentials...
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The popular buzz in the gaming world is that Blizzard doesn't innovate; they steal, perfect, and release. The impending release of World of Warcraft (hereafter WoW) should do nothing to dispel this buzz. It is indeed a highly polished, slick, graphically nice (with that quirky Warcraft of yore art - zug zug!) looking, interface-friendly and overall easy-to-play ... basic grind MMO (see leveling treadmill).
Now that the unpleasant intro is behind us, let's get into the meat of the World.
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online game crafted (ah-ha) by Blizzard Entertainment. It relies on the rich mythology of Warcraft, as created in the games Warcraft, Warcraft II, Warcraft III and the Frozen Throne expansion. The world of Azeroth is quite well-defined, and the games' history is chronological, with WoW coming last in the sequence of events. Warcraft III is recommended prerequisite lecture, but not required. After the (oddly enough) war of Warcraft III, the eight races have achieved an uneasy truce while they recover and rebuild; border skirmishes continue and remnants of the Burning Legion (the Big Boss Enemy du jour) infest the land. It is your task, as a newly (insert adjective like raised/elevated/knighted/graduated) (insert 2 nouns, containing race and class type) to help in this effort.
The two sides of the War were the Alliance and the Horde. As you may expect, the Alliance contains beings of elegance - graceful and imposing Night Elves, noble and sturdy Dwarves, proud-limbed Humans and the um, ah, short Gnomes. The Horde contains creatures of chaos - grim and dark Undead, raging cro magnon Orcs, wily Trolls and massive Taurens. In an intriguing twist however, the light side is rather murky and the dark is ... not so dark. More on this as we get into the races...
Starting the game
Select a race, a class, and some minor character customisation. WoW does not thrill here; there are no choices of player build (fat, thin, bulky, tall, short, muscular, athletic ... all these are sadly missing), and few faces to pick from. Compared to Star Wars Galaxies and especially City of Heroes, the choices are meager indeed - the items you obtain later will mitigate this slightly, however. Your most outstanding and visible feature at the start will be your hair style and color, so choose well. Let's see what you get to choose from (male or female for each gender).
Races - Alliance
- As usual, chiseled and muscular (or buxom and curvy) humans are your well-rounded character class. They inhabit the medieval-themed city of Stormwind, hub of commerce and education for most of the Alliance. King Arthur wouldn't be embarrassed to rule Stormwind. Its approach is lined with massive statues of fallen heroes of past Warcrafts. Humans can choose just about any class: Warlock, Warrior, Mage, Paladin, Priest and Rogue are all available. Human special abilities include heightened stealth detection, a natural boost in Spirit, a bonus to faction gain (since they're so goshdarned likable), and an inborn skill with the sword.
- Stout (and, well, stout) Dwarven warriors and crafty Dwarf engineers live in snow-capped Khaz Modan. The Dwarven stronghold of Ironforge burrows deep into the mountains, channeling heat and fire of the earth for dwarven forges. As handy with a battleaxe as they are with fine tools, dwarves can become Hunters, Warriors, Paladins, Priests or Rogues. Master creators or despoilers of the land, the dwarven lust for rare earths is now augmented by a desire to seek out relics of their past ... even if it may prove to be their undoing. As part of their heritage, Dwarves can briefly become immune to poison, disease, and bleed and have a natural resistance to cold. They can also detect treasure like no one else, and have an innate skill with guns.
- Not to be bested on the race to destruction, the statuesque Night Elves have not only managed to bring the Burning Legion into the world, but also lost their immortality through their prideful use of magic. Not even that catastrophe was enough to stop them, they have created a new world tree far away from all inhabited lands. Darnassus now stands tall, but even it is infected by the remnants of the Legion. The Night Elves classes include Hunter, Warrior, Priest, Rogue, and are the only Alliance race to have Druids in their midst. Night Elves can become hidden in the shadows while stationary, and have quicker reflexes, letting them dodge easily. They are also more resistant to nature effects. And stepping out of character for a moment, just because I can't explain death and rebirth with in-game terms, they are faster in death - Night Elves transform to a wisp upon death and can travel faster.
- The ill-fated Gnomes' home city of Gnomeragan was wiped out when an unknown menace erupted from deep within the earth during the Legion wars. A lot of the Gnome population was lost, and the remains of the race fled to their cousins' stronghold, the nearby Ironforge. The Gnomes' engineering skills are now being put to ridding Azeroth of the scourge. Gnomes can be Warriors, Rogues, Mages or Warlocks. Gnomes' small size lets them get out of snare effects easily, and their penchant for tinkering lends them a natural intelligence boost. They also have a natural Engineering skill, and resist Arcane effects better.
Races - Horde
- The Orcs, once noble and proud, have been corrupted by the Burning Legion to be prolific, mindless brutes intent only on slaughter. As the tide turned against the Legion, the Orcs overthrew their demonic masters and are well on their way to restoring their shamanistic, noble past. Strength and honor! The Orcs can become Hunters, Warlocks, Warriors, Shamen or Rogues in their quest to regain their race's place in the world. Their natural strength lends them the ability to increase Strength when enraged, and grants them resistance to stun and knockout effects. Orc pets are hardier than most, so their damage is increased as well. Finally, Orcs are handy with axes...
- Traditionally, the cruel and superstitious Trolls have little regard for other races. Their warlike ways led to their near-extinction, save for Orc chieftain Thrall's intercession. The grateful Darkspear clan (the only one remaining) of mystics swore allegiance to the Horde, and made its home in Durotar, nearby the Orc encampments. A troll can become a Hunter, Warrior, Shaman, Rogue, Priest or Mage. The trolls are natural berserkers, able to fight faster when wounded; they also regenerate wounds faster. They're handy with all sorts of thrown weaponry, and their beastlore lets them target animal enemies with utmost efficiency.
- The massive bull-like tribal Taurens serve nature, holding the balance between the elements and the wild things of Azeroth. In tune with the land, the otherwise peaceful Taurens allied themselves with the Orcs during the war with the Burning Legion. They fight to maintain their racial dignity. They can become Hunter, Druid, Warrior or Shamen. Tauren's massive size lets them stun their opponents with a mighty thundering stomp; they also have excellent constitution. Their proximity to nature makes them excellent herb-gatherers, and increases their resistance to Nature effects.
- The separatist sect of the undead, the Forsaken, only recently freed from the grasp of the Lich King, fight for free will and eradication of all humanity. Their alliance with the Horde is one of convenience only. These ghastly humanoids can be Warriors, Warlocks, Mages, Rogues and Priests. Not much frightens you when you're already dead - the Forsaken can become immune to fear, sleep, and charm effects, and are more resistant to Shadow effects. Their need for air is minimal, so they can stay underwater 3 times as long as living races. Finally, the undead eat BRAINS! and are able to regenerate faster when doing so. (Note that Blizzard has determined that undead aren't really undead anymore - before a recent patch, the Forsaken were ALWAYS immune to fear, sleep and charm, and could stay underwater indefinitely. Pity.)
You got your race, now pick your class. These will be short overviews.
- Warrior - The basic melee + lots of hitpoints class. Successful attacks and damage taken increase your Rage bar; spend Rage to use combat abilities. Can use all armor, all weapons, has no self-healing though. Can vary stances to act as cautious damage-dealer, defensive tanker, or berserker (does more damage, takes more damage).
- Mage - Damage spells. Lots and lots of ranged damage. Wears only cloth, low hitpoints. Uses mana for combat, can create food and drink to replenish own (and that of others') health and mana. Can use Teleport in later levels for quick transit between hubs (major cities). Has a few more utility spells like polymorph (changes enemy to sheep, get a breather), and feather fall (safe descent from heights.
- Paladin - The Paladin is a heavily armored priest. Can wear the strongest of armors and wield quite a few weapons, as well as cast lots of powerful assorted friendly spells on herself and other party members. Auras provide protection for the entire party, but only one can be active at a time. There's a few offensive spells in there, too. The Paladin's damage output is low and of of tertiary import to her ability to protect party members and herself.
- Priest - The healing class. Wears cloth only, and is restricted to few weapons, but has LOTS and lots of healing and a few protection spells. Some damage is in there too, but priests are wiser to save their mana for healing duty. Priests can also choose the ever-popular path of darkness, allowing them to dish out considerable damage and still remain viable healers.
- Rogue - A very interesting class. Uses Energy and Combo points to execute special moves; Energy can't be regenerated, but costs of moves can be reduced. The more hits land, the more combo points earned - combo points directly correspond to the efficacy of special moves. Uses daggers primarily, but can be trained to many others. Wears cloth or leather only. Uses stealth to become near-invisible - this aids in getting to places other classes can't, and to use abilities like backstab without drawing enemies' attention. Uses melee otherwise.
- Hunter - Another non-standard class, the Hunter wears anything up to Mail armor and uses a combination of melee and ranged weaponry. While opening up with ranged and finishing off an enemy with melee works, the Hunter truly comes into their own when they gain the ability to tame and train beasts. The beast then acts as a companion, fighting alongside the Hunter and effectively doubling their damage output. The Hunter uses traps and bestial aspects to gain temporary combat abilities.
- Warlock - The other pet-centric class, the Warlock summons its companion from THE BOWELS OF HELL! (ahem) Like the Mage, the Warlocks use mana and have little physical endurance - they can only wear cloth armor as well. Unlike the mage however, their spells are more of a utilitarian nature; a warlock can summon players, funnel life, curse enemies, scout out the land invisibly ... all sorts of weird funky things, to keep this short. A lot of Warlock abilities require a Soul Shard - you get them by casting a spell on dying critters.
- Shaman - A fighter/mage hybrid, the Shaman can cast all sorts of party buffs (totems, which are stationary and can be targeted by enemies) to improve the party's fighting efficiency. In addition, the Shaman gets a lot of utility spells like fast travel, water-walking, water-breathing or recall. To counterbalance the sheer number of totems available, the Shaman can only wear cloth and leather (mail with training) armor.
- Druid - Ah, the cool class. Druids can heal, zap from a distance, and melee with staves, daggers and polearms. So far nothing to write home about, but at higher levels they get the ability to shapeshift. The bear form is a poor-man's warrior, and the cat form is a poor man's rogue; in addition there are land- and water-based traveling forms for fast transit. Although you can't use items while in animal form, this ability makes the Druid a very versatile class.
This will be even quicker, promise. Professions are the non-combat abilities your character can have. Everyone can get cooking, fishing and first aid - you can improve your food's healing powers, gather alternate food, and perform basic healing with those, respectively. For cooking you need a fire (and can make a campfire using wood and tinder); for fishing you need a fishing pole and later, lures; for basic first aid you need linen fabric, salvageable from most humanoid enemies (i.e., those that wear clothes).
You can have two main skills (in addition to the three default secondaries). Learning them doesn't cost anything; skill points no longer exist in the game. You can unlearn and learn professions at leisure. Assume that the higher the skill, the steeper the recipe requirements.
Gathering skills - these are mining, skinning, and herbalism. Pretty self-explanatory: the ability to mine rocks (need a pick and a mineable rock - these spawn on hills and mountains, and you get an ability to detect these lodes); the ability to skin beasties (need a skinning knife, but almost every beast is skinnable - this one's the easiest); and the ability to gather herbs (same as mining, except with plants). Higher levels in skinning allow you to skin higher level beasts successfully (otherwise you get leather scraps), higher mining lets you mine different ores, higher herbalism ditto for plants.
Tailoring - lets you make clothing items from linen. This is obviously a good skill for a mage or a warlock. Doesn't require gathering, since linen is a monster drop, but does require dyes, thread and various fabrics. Requires recipes purchased from a tailor, which are available at your appropriate tailoring level. Level is raised by making items, and the interface for this is slick just like everything else. Click on Tailoring (in your Skills Panel), click on the item you want to make, check the requirements (and the specs), and click Create. If you have more than one item to make, you can Create All - but you still have to wait for the "crafting" animation to finish (looks like twiddling thumbs, ironically enough).
Leatherworking - As above, but requires skins from animals. You can turn scraps into leather as well. Requires a few reagents as well (curing salt, dyes, thread again).
Smithing - Ditto. Slightly different as it requires not only a smithing hammer, it also requires you to be at a forge. Otherwise as above; substitute ores for leather/cloth. At superhigh levels, you can specialize in armor or weapon smithing
Engineering - Likewise, requires ores, spits out utility items. Guns, goggles, grenades, bombs, charges...all sorts of unusual stuff, but may also require uncommon ingredients.
Alchemy - Same again. Takes in herbs, spits out potions.
Enchanting - Requires magical reagents, and grants enchantments on items.
Can we get started please?
Ok, ok. So you got your race, your class, your "Welcome to Azeroth" quest, your "New Arrivals" village to try your hand at a few quests, and some basic equipment which sucks. What to do next?
Take a look around first. No matter where you started, you received a brief flyby of the area and a voice overview of "the way things are". Take in the scenery...
World of Warcraft is rendered in rich, vivid hues and exaggerated architectures and fauna. Every valley, mountain peak, world tree, foreboding keep, bandit outpost, gloomy barrow (etc) is crafted with loving attention to detail, and that near-cartoony graphics style first seen in Warcraft III. Snowy peaks feel positively frigid and remote, lush valleys thick and humid - Azeroth exudes atmosphere. Lake bottoms, hidden valleys and mines are no exception - you'll rarely find a brick out of place here. In a bump-mapped, hi-tech world where repetetive textures are the norm, Azeroth's architecture seems downright hand-wrought and rustic. Ambient sounds and soothing music completes each area's overarching mood.
The interface is so obvious and easy to use I won't even bother describing it. Powers on the bottom left, inventories (you can have multiple satchels and bags along with your backpack) on the bottom right, status effects and map top right, your health and mana bar (and that of your pets + party, if existing) top left. Transparent chat pane hovers in the lower left, over your spells. You can view up to 2 subpanels on the screen, and they're also very well-defined and easy to use. One thing they could do is let me eliminate useless spells (weak versions, no longer in use) from the spellbook.
There should be a guide standing nearby; you can identify him (or her) by the big yellow exclamation mark floating over his head. That mark will always identify someone who has a task for you. A silver exclamation mark means that you don't qualify for a task yet...but will soon. Finally, a yellow question mark indicates a person who will accept your completed task and hand out a reward. Now go talk to your guide.
Your guide will direct you to the headman of the nearby village (keep/castle/den, what have you). S/he will then proceed to gently point out that well, you're not very mighty - but they might be able to make use of you. You will then be promptly turned around and marched off to pest control duty (Kill 10 of whatever rodent infests your starting village). On the way out, you may find one or two other folks who have missions for you - go ahead and talk to them. Then head out and start killing!
Not very inspiring, is it? Get used to it, because in essence, this and the assorted "Bring item X to person Y" is what the rest of the game's quests will consist of. No, seriously, other than crafting stuff for yourself (because you won't be able to sell it, see below) and friends, this is all the game consists of.
Eventually, at high levels you will be able to hold your own against other human players (the PvP factor), and whack them instead of the game's monsters. But the core of the game is whacking X numbers of monsters; not trade, not becoming an economic power; not having a monopoly on something coveted; not becoming ruler of a contested territory...nah, none of that. This should surprise no one, but it would have been nice if it was different, wouldn't it? Especially considering that the original Warcraft was a game of territorial conquest and control...
Why is this fun?
- The combat is fast-paced, intuitive, and has some neat options. For example, the mage can turn baddies into sheep, the warlock can sic his fire imps, the hunter runs around, shoots, and melees all the while his pet is savaging his quarry.
- Grouping introduces new dynamics, and instanced dungeons provide different challenges in tailored, often awe-inspiring environments.
- The loot flows constantly. Whether it's animal innards, or a rare weapon from a tough foe, or just coinage, you're always getting something. Even if it's crap, it's still sellable for cash as merchants will buy everything.
- The carrot of higher level abilities. The higher up you are, the neater the choices that open up to you. For example, Druids receive a VIP pass to a Druid-only area of Azeroth in their teens, and Hunters get a very useful 30% running speed boost at level 20.
- The carrot of higher level loot. Since the character generator is pathetically weak, all of the player customization has to be done via items - armor and weaponry. Some of the high end stuff is decently imposing.
In these areas, WoW excels. It presents an easy to use, intuitive, coherent and pretty world to you, with tons of carrots for advancement.
Sounds great! But in the beginning you sounded negative. Schizophrenic much?
No, no, I'm just warming up (kidding! not much more left). Here's what's bad about WoW.
- The combat, despite the various options, isn't all that visceral. After City of Heroes' rich physics (enemies and heroes get knocked down and tossed about by earth-shattering stomps and swings, there are animations for knockback-dealing hits, assorted paralysis "spells" and various, multi-enemy hit animations), WoW's single "Oof" animation feels lacking. Most classes' combat consists of standing in one place and hitting 2 of their main attacks. Finally, how can one feel epic when challenged by a single fluffy wolf?
- Spawn camping is a problem that occurs when the resource needed to complete a quest is vastly smaller than the number of questors - you end up with questors fighting with each other to find item Y or kill enemy X. Can there be anything more immersion breaking than arriving at the hideout of the Bandit Chief and finding that 12 other people want to kill him - upon his death, the rest wait patiently for him to rise from the grave...so he can be killed again. This is a game mechanic that was bad design when it first came around...and it's still around. There's no excuse for this (see City of Heroes again).
- Moneysinks. As a casual player, I have no use for these devices and their attempt to simulate a real economy via virtual "wear and tear" or obsolescence - all it means to me is that the power players will have all the money, and the casuals will be barely scraping by. This is a simple calculation: casual gamers cannot and WILL not play simply for monetary gains, but attempting to progress their character (which involves more risk/expenditure than gain), any given day. Any added maintenance-driven moneysinks only widen the gap, as there's now even less chance for me to save my cash, and character-advancing activities are even more risky, monetarily. Did you know that even though you'll be using ~3 attacks for a long, long time, you have to keep buying new, more powerful versions every few levels? Each costs increasingly more, too... It doesn't get more blatantly sink-y than Fireball, Fireball 2, Fireball 3...etc.
- Timesinks, ditto. I understand that you don't want an insta-teleport for everyone, or horsies for everyone right off. And yes, you do give a lot of options - free transportation (the goblin zeppelins, the automated boats), flight paths (for pay, but lots of flight paths), and class-dependent modes (druids' and shaman travel form, mages teleport, warlock summoning). Too bad a lot of those options come so very late. Your own horse at level 40? Ridiculous.
- Inability to group with friends. First there's that travel thing. Should you, heavens forbid, choose a different race from your friends, you'll have a long trek to visit them - then, of course, your own quests will be far away. Second, if you choose the same race, you will have the same quests and one of you will inevitably outlevel the other. Now the person ahead has the fun option of doing the same quests over again, and bring down the XP gained by both. Yay.
Ok, done! A few assorted complaints follow, but they're not horribly vital.
Inability to sell your crafted product other than spamming the Auction channel. Why not let me put stuff on commission, in shops? If it doesn't sell, it doesn't sell, but at least it has a chance to bring in more (if it does) than what the merchant buys it for! Alternately, new players get more options. ¹
Inability to instantly craft items. If I have 20 reagents, why can't I just click "Create All" and have all of them done? Instead, I have to wait for 20 iterations of the creation animation. Whom does this timesink benefit???
Like everything else, crafting is useless until high levels are reached - people are having a hard time giving away the goodies they make, simply because quest rewards are usually better, or they can craft the items themselves (which is doubly effective since it raises their skill at crafting, and provides them with the item itself). Alternately, joining a guild lets you power level your crafting sky high with very little effort - once again, the rich will have it all.
Real-time clock. This means that I will always play when it's evening in the game world. I can cross the world in 30 minutes, but it'll always be the same time. All the work put into making different times of day, completely wasted on me and many others who can only play at a certain time. This isn't really lack of innovation, it's just a very weird decision that benefits (who again?) those who play more.
Et cetera, et cetera. The bottom line is, Blizzard does not innovate here either. It borrows, polishes up so that all of the above is very easy to use (no manual required) and understand ... but in the end, it's hard to inject fun into game mechanics as old as Everquest.
So it's pretty, and slick...but bad? Is that it?
Close, yeah. I wouldn't say it's bad. It's:
- a little too determined to make you not stand out;
- it's a little too reliant on obsolete and infuriating game mechanics;
- it's a little too dedicated to grouping;
- it caters a bit too much to hardcore players (anyone with more than an hour per day, which is already quite a bit), more so with the recent changes.
- it doesn't know what to do with its endgame, and probably never will since what it has (raids) works.
This doesn't mean it can't change through future patches (there's two weeks until release as of writing, and of course an MMO is never done and all that. If any major changes occur a launch, I'll be one surprised gamer), but that's its state at the moment. And it just feels too much like work.
But it sure is pretty!
Thanks for softlinking leveling treadmill. I was looking for grind, but forgot its older name, "treadmill". A lot of my points are elaborated on in there, and most of them are valid for WoW.
¹ I'm a bit split on the efficacy of the Auction house. On one hand, it's an elegant centralized solution for all your selling needs. Gather Crap -> Craft a High Powered Item™ -> Sell at Auction house. On the other hand, this once again avails new and casual players little, as they have little time to traipse there. I suppose the penalty for being casual is that you only ever get to sell to vendors at a fraction of the price; but this issue can also be filed under Economy; Moneysinks and surely done better (see EVE Online; an "auction house" on almost every station, with the ability to scan by entire region - makes the buyer come to you, not the other way around).²
² Times have changed and it pays for even newbie players to visit the Auction House. That is because even their little teeny items will still be bought for ludicrous amounts of money to create so-called twinks - new characters financed by the same player's older, insanely rich characters. This is of course because the economy in WoW is not a real one, and the resources are infinite - but at least it creates a nice cash flow for new characters just starting out. Somehow, it all works out. (Ed. Feb 2008)
Other World of Warcraft destinations
Deadmines | Stockade | Gnomeregan | Shadowfang Keep | World of Warcraft Slang