Nearly 16 years ago, Blizzard graced us with one of the most iconic video games the gaming industry has ever seen; World of Warcraft.
This gem of a game caused millions of players to spend endless hours farming, PvP-ing, questing, dungeons, and raiding. Not only that, but WoW was a release of a completely new genre of video games. This was the genre of MMORPGs, and WoW was the grandfather that kept beating the younglings.
World of Warcraft can definitely be described as a revolutionary game that created the fundamentals of which MMOs would be played. The MMO genre was super hot after the release of WoW, but very few if any managed to captivate the audience the same way WoW managed.
After Blizzard’s award-winning MMORPG hit the market, it wasn’t possible for another game in the genre to exist without taking some elements from World of Warcraft.
So, to celebrate how Blizzard managed to do just that, we’ve pieced together the X ways WoW changed the gaming industry.
1. The WoW Factor
No pun intended, but the WoW factor was the single thing that players were attracted to when buying this game.
To put it simply, the colors, the humor, the visuals, the cinematic’s, everything was special with this game. It was something that the industry had never seen before, and they called it the WoW factor.
WoW gave players something they had never experienced before. Colors that were never before seen, visual representations of events that they didn’t know was possible to create, and stunning cinematic’s that would make Hollywood ashamed.
The game was designed to create something never before seen and entertain like no other before, all through an excellent level of detail.
But Blizzard also managed to humor the player through the game. Blizzard has always been known for having excellent writers, and they defiantly showed their quality through the NPS dialogs.
You could even say that Marvel was inspired by this. So much that humor is the single most relatable thing with the Marvel cinematic universe.
2. Game Mechanics
One of Blizzard’s most praised innovations in the gaming industry is how the game questing and leveling mechanics worked.
Previously, leveling and questing went hand in hand. A player would kill a monster and in return get an XP reward. But what Blizzard did was not change that, only make it better.
Previously, you’d had to wait in your spot so that mobs would spawn. What was even worse was the fact that anyone could steal your kill, and ultimately your quest. This only made it harder for players to finish their quest; something that many took issue with.
What Blizzard did was a game mechanic called “tagging” the monsters so others couldn’t steal the kill. This was revolutionary as the issue of stealing was no more.
What’s even more interesting is that Blizzard completely changed the narrative of how you would quest. Instead of running around the map for mobs to kill, Blizzard introduced towns in the form of questing hubs. A player would teleport to a particular hub, accept the quests, and go on from there.
While questing has become something repetitive over the years, it is still a necessary game feature that everyone has to go through. This can be very frustrating especially when a new expansion would come out.
The latest is the Shadowlands expansion and there are ways to avoid questing and leveling and actually enjoy the game from the get-go. With legionfarm, you can get your WoW Shadowlands carry and have it level and quest for you so you can enjoy the expansion without needing to spend endless hours on it.
Instances were definitely a feature that changed the gaming industry. After Word of Warcraft, nearly every MMO maker had instances in their game.
Instances refer to dungeon runs that were very tedious. Before this feature, dungeons were only holes in the ground, abandoned castles, and scare places where monsters spawned. They were separated from the game so they would give the player something to do.
In most cases, dungeons would drop the best loot but there was a very real problem with them. Namely, the number of players that would join a dungeon was uncontrolled. That would mean that dozens of players would all queue for the same dungeon, resulting in havoc.
That not only took the fun away from it, but players didn’t feel anything while doing it. If a particular dungeon needs 5 players to make it challenging, what’s the point of having 20 players do it instead?
So, to solve this inconvenient problem, Blizzard introduced the instance system. Instances would eliminate the player count issue and make it possible for a group of players to do it instead.
It brought back the fun factor, but it also forced groups to come up with a plan; a complicated and well-thought-out plan to beat it.
This turned the dungeons into co-op challenges that players couldn’t resist but solve it in the least amount of time and taking the least amount of casualties. You could even say that WoW’s eSports scene revolves around dungeon runs.
Okay, Blizzard isn’t solely to thank for this feature, but they placed the rules as to how large groups would raid in the MMO genre. First off, Blizzard made an entirely new game with the introduction of the raids.
Raids work similarly to instances, in a way that it takes planning and cunning to succeed. At the end of the raid, only a randomly select few would get the main rewards, leaving the rest with nothing.
Blizzard changed that with the introduction of raid points, which essentially guaranteed the player would eventually get some sweet gear.
While there is far more to it than what we’ve given credit, raids were definitely a game-changing mechanic that made the game a lot more meaningful to the player. It allowed the player to strategize as to how the group would approach the raid, how the raid would pan out, and how the final boss would be fought.