VIDEOGAME REVIEW: World of Warcraft

Perfects an already great game

By  Marko Knezic

World of WarCraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Patch 3.3)

In early 2009 Blizzard Entertainment released World of WarCraft: Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). WotLK was the second expansion set to Blizzard’s immensely popular Massively-Multiplayer-Online (MMO) title, World of WarCraft (WoW). Since the release of WotLK Blizzard has periodically released free downloadable patches that fix bugs, adds new content, and can add changes to the game play, all in the name of end user happiness. The latest of these patches, v.3.3 is the latest and greatest that Blizzard has offered to this point. Blizzard got everything right in 3.3 and perfected a game that was all but perfect.

WoW is the flagship title in the Massively-Multiplayer-Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) genre. There are several titles from several developers in this category, but with tens of millions of subscribers Wow’s success is unparalleled.

WotLK follows the heroes of the land of Azeroth on their pursuit to destroy the greatest evil known to life, the Lich King. As in the previous WoW titles and expansions players have the choice of creating a character that belongs to one of two factions: Alliance or Horde. Each faction has several races and classes to choose from, each with specific talents and abilities.

If you had already owned WoW and the previous expansion WoW: The Burning Crusade (TBC), you saw the journey of your toon continue from the island of the Sun Well to the previously non-existent icy shores of Northrend.

In addition to the new Content, tens of new instances (5 man dungeons) and 4 new raids (10 or 25 man dungeons), WotLK allowed players to reach a maximum experience level of 80, increased from 70 in TBC.  

WotLK has a large amount of content and the release of periodic patches, continues to entertain millions daily. The latest patch, 3.3 has features that have made all of the game’s content far more accessible to all players than it has ever been.

The most outstanding feature in 3.3 is the addition of the dungeon finder tool. If you wanted to run an instance prior to 3.3 you either had to know 4 other people to fill specific roles in your party or spam messages in the general chat of the game’s major cities to fill the roles. Both of these things could be time consuming and aggravating. Prior to 3.3 I had personally spent more time trying to find a group than I had spent in the instances on several occasions. Dungeon finder alleviates both of those issues and the headaches that come with them.

With the push of a button, dungeon finder will automatically search all WoW servers for other players that are also looking to run an instance and find the specific roles and classes that are required to do so. All you have to do is click and wait for it to find you a group. This was one of the most drastic changes in 3.3 and also one of the best. Grouping has never been easier or more fun.

Before 3.3, another head ache came with getting all 5 members to a specific instance. If 4 people were on the other side of the world, you would have to wait for them to get to the instance before you could start. This could also be very aggravating and time consuming. Dungeon finder automatically ports all members to the entrance of any instance regardless of where the party members or the instance is located. The only downfall to this system is that it makes grouping up so simple, that it is harder than ever to tear yourself away from the computer and do something non WoW-related.

The other biggest addition in 3.3 was that all of the endgame content in Ice Crown Citadel, the final raid where the Lich King resides, was released and is now available to play and be conquered. This is the moment WoW subscribers have been waiting for since last year when the original WotLK expansion was released.

Blizzard wanted all users to be able to see the game’s content at some point, so they also made changes to how one can acquire gear. Now bosses in 5 man instances drop badges that allow players to buy gear that was previously on acquirable by killing raid bosses. So, now people who do not belong to a guild or don’t have time to raid (which usually takes 3 or 4 hours per night, twice a week, every week) can still some of the game’s best gear simply by using dungeon finder to randomly pair them with 5 man groups and beating the much easier, much less time consuming 5 man content.

WotLK patch 3.3 has simply made the game better. The content is more fun and more accessible than ever before. Blizzard hit it out of the park with 3.3 and left everyone in Azeroth salivating in excitement for the announcement  

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