World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

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Encyclopedia
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

 (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher founded on February 8, 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by three graduates of UCLA, Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham and Frank Pearce and currently owned by French company Activision Blizzard...

. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe
Warcraft Universe
Warcraft is a franchise of video games, novels, and other media originally created by Blizzard Entertainment. The series is made up of Four core games: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft...

, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994
1994 in video gaming
-Events:*Nintendo calls this year "1994: The Year of the Cartridge".*Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd, the Australian subsidiary of Nintendo Co., Ltd is established and opened by Hiroshi Yamauchi and effectively ends Mattel Australia's distribution of Nintendo's products throughout Australia.*"Project...

. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is a real-time strategy computer game developed for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the official expansion pack to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, requiring Reign of Chaos to play...

. Blizzard Entertainment announced World of Warcraft on September 2, 2001. The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise
Media franchise
A media franchise is an intellectual property involving the characters, setting and trademarks of an original work of media , such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. Generally, a whole series is made in a particular medium, along with merchandising and endorsements...

.

The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, often referred to as TBC or BC, is the first expansion pack for the MMORPG World of Warcraft...

, was released on January 16, 2007. The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, often referred to as WotLK, WLK or Wrath, is the second expansion set for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, following The Burning Crusade...

, was released on November 13, 2008. The third expansion set, Cataclysm
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the third expansion pack for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, following the last expansion Wrath of the Lich King. It was officially announced at BlizzCon on August 21, 2009, although dataminers and researchers discovered details...

, was released on December 7, 2010. At BlizzCon
BlizzCon
"BlizzCon" is an annual convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to celebrate their major franchises: Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo...

 in October 2010, lead producer J. Allen Brack announced that there would be a fourth expansion set for the game, though the developers did not yet know what it would be about. On October 21, 2011, the fourth expansion set of the game, Mists of Pandaria
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the fourth World of Warcraft expansion pack. It was announced on October 21, 2011 by Chris Metzen at BlizzCon 2011.-Overview:...

, was announced at Blizzcon 2011
BlizzCon
"BlizzCon" is an annual convention held by Blizzard Entertainment to celebrate their major franchises: Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo...

 by Chris Metzen
Chris Metzen
Christopher Vincent Metzen is an American game designer, artist, voice actor and author known for his work creating the fictional universes and scripts for Blizzard Entertainment's three major award-winning media franchises: Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft. On occasion, Metzen has published his art...

.

With 10.3 million subscribers , World of Warcraft is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.

Starting a character or play session


As with other MMORPGs, players control a character avatar
Avatar (computing)
In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. It can also refer to a text...

 (also referred to as a "toon") within a game world in third- or first-person
First person (video games)
In video games, first person refers to a graphical perspective rendered from the viewpoint of the player character. In many cases, this may be the viewpoint from the cockpit of a vehicle. Many different genres have made use of first-person perspectives, ranging from adventure games to flight...

 view, exploring the landscape, fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with non-player character
Non-player character
A non-player character , sometimes known as a non-person character or non-playable character, in a game is any fictional character not controlled by a player. In electronic games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer through artificial intelligence...

s (NPCs) or other players. Also similar to other MMORPGs, World of Warcraft requires the player to pay for a subscription, either by buying prepaid game cards for a selected amount of playing time, or by using a credit or debit card to pay on a regular basis.

To enter the game, the player must select a realm—sometimes referred to as a server
Game server
A game server is a remotely or locally run server used by game clients to play multiplayer video games. Most video games played over the Internet operate via a connection to a game server...

. Each realm acts as an individual copy of the game world, and falls into one of four categories. Realms are either player versus player
Player versus player
Player versus player, or PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer controlled opponents, which is correspondingly referred to as player versus environment...

 (PvP), where open combat among players is more common, or player versus environment
Player versus environment
Player versus environment, or PvE , is a term used in online games, particularly MMORPGs, CORPGs, MUDs, and other online role-playing video games, to refer to fighting computer-controlled enemies—in contrast to PvP .Usually a PvE mode can be played either alone, with human...

 (PvE), where the gameplay is more focused on defeating monsters and completing quests
Quest (gaming)
A quest in role-playing video games — including massively multiplayer online role-playing games and their predecessors, MUDs — is a task that a player-controlled character or group of characters may complete in order to gain a reward...

. Roleplay
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

 (RP) and roleplay-PvP (RP-PVP) variants of both primary realm types are also available. Realms are also categorized by language, with in-game support in the language available. Players can make new characters on all realms, and it is also possible to move already established characters between realms for a fee.

To create a new character, in keeping with the storyline of previous Warcraft series
Warcraft (series)
Warcraft is a franchise of video games, novels, and other media originally created by Blizzard Entertainment. The series is made up of Four core games: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft...

 games, players must choose between the opposing factions of Alliance or Horde. Characters from the opposing factions can perform rudimentary communication, but only members of the same faction can speak, mail, group, and share guilds. The player selects the new character's race, such as Orcs or Trolls for the Horde or Humans or Dwarves for the Alliance. Players must also select the class
Character class
In role-playing games, a common method of arbitrating the capabilities of different game characters is to assign each one to a character class. A character class aggregates several abilities and aptitudes, and may also sometimes detail aspects of background and social standing or impose behaviour...

 for the character, with choices such as mages, warriors, and priests available. Most classes, except for special "Hero classes," are limited to particular races.

Ongoing gameplay


As characters become more developed, they gain various talents and skills, requiring the player to further define the abilities of that character. Professions such as tailoring, blacksmithing, and mining can be learned. The three secondary skills, cooking, fishing, and first-aid, can also be learned by characters. On December 7, 2010, Archeology was added as a fourth skill characters could learn. Characters may also form and join guilds
Clan (computer gaming)
In computer and video gaming, a clan or guild is an organised group of players that regularly play together in a particular multiplayer games. These games range from groups of a few friends to 1000-person organizations, with a broad range of structures, goals and members. The lifespan of a clan...

, allowing characters within the guild access to the guild's chat channel, the guild name and optionally allowing other features, including a guild tabard, guild bank, and dues.

Much of World of Warcraft play involves "questing
Quest (gaming)
A quest in role-playing video games — including massively multiplayer online role-playing games and their predecessors, MUDs — is a task that a player-controlled character or group of characters may complete in order to gain a reward...

". These quests, also called "tasks" or "missions", are usually available from NPCs. Quests usually reward the player with some combination of experience points, items, and in-game money. Quests also allow characters to gain access to new skills and abilities, and explore new areas. It is also through quests that much of the game's story is told, both through the quest's text and through scripted NPC actions. Quests are linked by a common theme, with each consecutive quest triggered by the completion of the previous, forming a quest chain. Quests commonly involve killing a number of creatures, gathering a certain number of resources, finding a difficult to locate object, speaking to various NPCs, visiting specific locations, interacting with objects in the world, or delivering an item from one place to another.

While a character can be played on its own(solo), players can also group with others to tackle more challenging content. Most end-game challenges are designed in a way that they can only be overcome while in a group. In this way, character classes are used in specific roles within a group. World of Warcraft uses a "rested bonus" system, increasing the rate that a character can gain experience points after the player has spent time away from the game. When a character dies, it becomes a ghost—or wisp
Will-o'-the-wisp
A will-o'-the-wisp or ignis fatuus , also called a "will-o'-wisp", "jack-o'-lantern" , "hinkypunk", "corpse candle", "ghost-light", "spook-light", "fairy light", "friar's lantern", "hobby lantern", "ghost orb", or simply "wisp", is a ghostly light or lights sometimes seen at night or twilight over...

 for Night Elf characters—at a nearby graveyard. Characters can be resurrected by other characters that have the ability, or can self-resurrect by moving from the graveyard to the place where they died. If a character is past level ten and they resurrect at a graveyard, the items equipped by the character degrade, requiring in-game money and a specialist NPC to repair them. Items that have degraded heavily become unusable until they are repaired. If the location of the character's body is unreachable, they can use a special "spirit healer" NPC to resurrect at the graveyard. When the spirit healer revives a character, items equipped by the character at that time are further degraded, and the character is significantly weakened by what is in-game called "resurrection sickness" for up to ten minutes, depending on the character's level. This "resurrection sickness" does not occur and item degradation is less severe if the character revives by locating its body, or is resurrected by another player through special items or spells.

World of Warcraft contains a variety of mechanisms for PvP
Player versus player
Player versus player, or PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer controlled opponents, which is correspondingly referred to as player versus environment...

 play. Players on PvE
Player versus environment
Player versus environment, or PvE , is a term used in online games, particularly MMORPGs, CORPGs, MUDs, and other online role-playing video games, to refer to fighting computer-controlled enemies—in contrast to PvP .Usually a PvE mode can be played either alone, with human...

 servers can opt to "flag" themselves, making themselves attackable to players of the opposite faction. Depending on the mode of the realm, PvP
Player versus player
Player versus player, or PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer controlled opponents, which is correspondingly referred to as player versus environment...

 combat between members of opposing factions is possible at almost any time or location in the game world—the only exception being the starting zones, where the PvP
Player versus player
Player versus player, or PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer controlled opponents, which is correspondingly referred to as player versus environment...

 "flag" must be enabled by the player wishing to fight against players of the opposite faction. PvE
Player versus environment
Player versus environment, or PvE , is a term used in online games, particularly MMORPGs, CORPGs, MUDs, and other online role-playing video games, to refer to fighting computer-controlled enemies—in contrast to PvP .Usually a PvE mode can be played either alone, with human...

 (called normal or RP) servers, by contrast, allow a player to choose whether or not to engage in combat against other players. On both server types, there are special areas of the world where free-for-all combat is permitted. Battlegrounds, for example, are similar to dungeons: only a set number of characters can enter a single battleground, but additional copies of the battleground can be made to accommodate additional players. Each battleground has a set objective, such as capturing a flag or defeating an opposing general, that must be completed in order to win the battleground. Competing in battlegrounds rewards the character with tokens and honor points that can be used to buy armor, weapons, and other general items that can aid a player in many areas of the game. Winners get more honor and tokens than losers. However, players also earn honor when they or nearby teammates kill players in a battleground.

Setting


World of Warcraft shares the Warcraft title with the Warcraft
Warcraft (series)
Warcraft is a franchise of video games, novels, and other media originally created by Blizzard Entertainment. The series is made up of Four core games: Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft...

 series of real-time strategy
Real-time strategy
Real-time strategy is a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns. Brett Sperry is credited with coining the term to market Dune II....

 games, is set in that series' world of Azeroth, and has similar art direction. World of Warcraft contains traditional fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 elements, such as gryphons, dragons, and elves; steam-powered automata and extreme engineering typical of steampunk
Steampunk
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain or "Wild West"-era United...

; zombies, vampires, and other undead typical of horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

; as well as time travel
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

, spaceships, and alien worlds typical of science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

.

World of Warcraft takes place in a 3D
Three-dimensional space
Three-dimensional space is a geometric 3-parameters model of the physical universe in which we live. These three dimensions are commonly called length, width, and depth , although any three directions can be chosen, provided that they do not lie in the same plane.In physics and mathematics, a...

 representation of the Warcraft universe that players can interact with through their characters. The game world initially consisted of the two continents in Azeroth: Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Two separate expansions later added to the game's playable area the realm of Outland and the continent of Northrend. As a player explores new locations, different routes and means of transportion become available. Players can access "flight masters" in newly discovered locations to fly to previously discovered locations in other parts of the world. Players can also use boats, zeppelins, or portals to move from one continent to another. Although the game world remains relatively similar from day to day, seasonal events reflecting real world events—such as Halloween, Christmas, Children's Week, Easter, and Midsummer—have been represented in the game world. Locations also have variable weather including, among other things, rain, snow, and dust storms.

A number of facilities are available for characters while in towns and cities. In each major city, characters can access a bank in order to deposit items, such as treasure or crafted items. Each character has access to personal bank storage with the option to purchase additional storage space using in-game gold. Additionally, guild banks are available for use by members of a guild with restrictions being set by the guild leader. Auction houses are also available for players to buy and sell items to others in a similar way to online auction sites such as eBay. Players can also use mailboxes, which can be found in almost every town. Mailboxes are used to collect items won at auction, and to send messages, items, and in-game money to other characters.

Some of the challenges in World of Warcraft require players to group together to complete them. These usually take place in dungeons—also known as "instances"—that a group of characters can enter together. The term "instance" comes from each group or party having a separate copy, or instance, of the dungeon, complete with their own enemies to defeat and their own treasure or rewards. This allows a group to explore areas and complete quests without others interfering. Dungeons are spread over the game world and are designed for characters of varying progression. A typical dungeon will allow up to five characters to enter as part of a group. Some dungeons require more players to group together and form a "raid" of up to forty players to face some of the most difficult challenges. As well as dungeon-based raid challenges, several creatures exist in the normal game environment that are designed for raids to attack.

Subscription


World of Warcraft requires a subscription fee to be paid to allow continued play, with options to pay in one month, three month or six month blocks, although timecards of varying length are available both online and from traditional retailers. Expansion packs are also available online, and are also available from traditional retailers. As the game client is the same regardless of the version of World of Warcraft the user owns, the option to purchase the expansion online was added as it allowed for a quick upgrade.

Starter Edition


World of Warcraft is available as a free Starter Edition, which is free to play for an unlimited amount of time. Starter Edition characters are unable to gain experience after reaching level 20, and there are other restrictions are in effect for Starter Edition accounts, including the inability to trade, use public chat channels, join guilds, or amass more than ten gold.

Development



World of Warcraft was first announced by Blizzard at the ECTS
European Computer Trade Show
The European Computer Trade Show, commonly known as ECTS, was an annual trade show for the European computer and video game industry, which first ran in 1988, with the last event occurring in 2004....

 trade show in September 2001. Development of the game took roughly 4–5 years, and included extensive testing. The 3-D graphics in WoW use elements of the proprietary graphics engine originally used in Warcraft III. The game was designed to be an open environment where players are allowed to do what they please. Quests are optional and were designed to help guide players, allow character development, and to spread characters across different zones to try to avoid what developers called player collision. The game interface allows players to customize appearance and controls, and to install add-ons and other modifications.

World of Warcraft runs natively on both Macintosh
Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

 and Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 platforms. Boxed copies of the game use a hybrid CD
Hybrid CD
A Hybrid disc is a CD-ROM with additional types of data stored on it.It may contain:* Multiple file systems such as for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh based operating systems.* Additional security measures* Audio CD with added data tracks...

 to install the game, eliminating the need for separate Mac and Windows retail products. The game allows all users to play together, regardless of their operating system
Operating system
An operating system is a set of programs that manage computer hardware resources and provide common services for application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system...

. Although there is no official version for any other platform, support for World of Warcraft is present in Windows API
Application programming interface
An application programming interface is a source code based specification intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other...

 implementations Wine
Wine (software)
Wine is a free software application that aims to allow computer programs written for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems. Wine also provides a software library, known as Winelib, against which developers can compile Windows applications to help port them to Unix-like...

 and CrossOver
Crossover
-Fiction and media:* Fictional crossover, a storyline combining characters or settings from separate fictional properties** Fictional crossovers in video games* Crossover , a 2002 documentary by Justin Lin...

 allowing the game to be played under Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 and FreeBSD
FreeBSD
FreeBSD is a free Unix-like operating system descended from AT&T UNIX via BSD UNIX. Although for legal reasons FreeBSD cannot be called “UNIX”, as the direct descendant of BSD UNIX , FreeBSD’s internals and system APIs are UNIX-compliant...

.

Regional variations


In the United States, Canada, and Europe, Blizzard distributes World of Warcraft via retail software
Retail software
Retail software is computer software sold to end consumers, usually under restricted licenses. Until the emergence of the Internet, retail software represented, until the 2000s, the vast majority of all end consumer software used and was referred to as shrinkware because software almost always...

 packages. The software package includes 30 days of gameplay for no additional cost. In order to continue playing after the initial 30 days, additional play time must be purchased using a credit card or prepaid game card. The minimum gameplay duration that a player can purchase is 30 days using a credit card, or 60 using a prepaid game card. A player also has the option of purchasing three or six months of gameplay at once for a 6–15% discount. In Australia, the United States, and many European countries, video game stores commonly stock the trial version of World of Warcraft in DVD form, which includes the game and 20 levels of gameplay, after which the player would have to upgrade to a retail account by supplying a valid credit card, or purchasing a game card as well as a retail copy of the game.

In South Korea, there is no software package or CD key requirement to activate the account. In order to play the game, however, players need to purchase time credits online via credit card or the ARS billing system. There are two kinds of time credits available: one where the player is billed based on the actual number of minutes that will be available, and one where the player can play the game for a number of days. In the former, time can be purchased in multiples of 5 hours or 30 hours, and in the latter, time can be purchased in multiples of 7 days, 1 month, or 3 months. As software packages are not required, expansion pack contents are available to all players on launch day.

In China, because a large number of the players do not own the computer they use to play games (e.g. Internet cafe
Internet cafe
An Internet café or cybercafé is a place which provides internet access to the public, usually for a fee. These businesses usually provide snacks and drinks, hence the café in the name...

s), the CD keys required to create an account can be purchased independently of the software package. In order to play the game, players must also purchase prepaid game cards that can be played for 66 hours and 40 minutes. A monthly fee model is not available to players of this region. The Chinese government and NetEase
NetEase
NetEase is a Chinese internet company that operates 163.com, a popular web portal which received over 546 million page views in June of 2005. The company has grown rapidly since its founding in June 1997, thanks in part to its investment in search engine technology and massively multiplayer...

, the licensee for World of Warcraft in China, have imposed a modification on Chinese versions of the game which places flesh on bare-boned skeletons and transforms dead character corpses into tidy graves. These changes were imposed by the Chinese government in an attempt to "promote a healthy and harmonious
River crab (Internet slang)
River crab and Harmonious/Harmonize/Harmonization are Internet slangs created by Chinese netizens in reference to Internet censorship or the other censorship of China...

 online game environment" in World of Warcraft. The Chinese government has also delayed release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, due to what it feels is objectionable content. NetEase took over licensing of World of Warcraft from The9
The9
The9 Limited corporation is a Shanghai-based online game operator which had the exclusive license to operate and distribute World of Warcraft in China , a license they secured after successfully aiding Webzen Games in distributing Mu Online in China...

 in June 2009 following the expiration of The9's contract, and were able to secure a launch for Wrath of the Lich King on August 31, 2010, nearly two years after its Western release.

Post-launch development



The World of Warcraft Launcher (referred to in press releases and the menu bar as the "Blizzard Launcher") is a program designed to act as a starting point for World of Warcraft players. It provides a way to launch World of Warcraft and starts the Blizzard updater. It was first included with the version 1.8.3 patch. The 2.1.0 patch allowed for an option to bypass the use of the launcher. Features of the launcher include news and updates for World of Warcraft players, access to World of Warcrafts support website, access to the test version of World of Warcraft when it is available to test upcoming patches, updates to Warden, and updates to the updater itself. The 3.0.8 patch redesigned the launcher and added the ability to change the game settings from the launcher itself..

Patch
Patch (computing)
A patch is a piece of software designed to fix problems with, or update a computer program or its supporting data. This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, and improving the usability or performance...

 1.9.3 added native support for Intel-powered Macs, making World of Warcraft a universal application
Universal binary
A universal binary is, in Apple parlance, an executable file or application bundle that runs natively on either PowerPC or Intel-manufactured IA-32 or Intel 64-based Macintosh computers; it is an implementation of the concept more generally known as a fat binary.With the release of Mac OS X Snow...

. As a result of this, the minimum supported Mac OS X version has been changed to 10.3.9; World of Warcraft version 1.9.3 and later will not launch on older versions of Mac OS X.

When new content is added to the game, official system requirements may change. In version 1.12.0 the requirements for Windows were increased from requiring 256 MB to 512 MB of RAM. Official Windows 98
Windows 98
Windows 98 is a graphical operating system by Microsoft. It is the second major release in the Windows 9x line of operating systems. It was released to manufacturing on 15 May 1998 and to retail on 25 June 1998. Windows 98 is the successor to Windows 95. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid...

 technical support was dropped, but the game continued to run there until version 2.2.3.

Expansions



Three optional expansions are currently available: World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, often referred to as TBC or BC, is the first expansion pack for the MMORPG World of Warcraft...

, released in January 2007, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, often referred to as WotLK, WLK or Wrath, is the second expansion set for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, following The Burning Crusade...

, released in November 2008, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the third expansion pack for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, following the last expansion Wrath of the Lich King. It was officially announced at BlizzCon on August 21, 2009, although dataminers and researchers discovered details...

, released in December 2010. Players are not required to purchase the expansions to continue play. However, the expansion packs allow further leveling of characters beyond level 60 and access to newer content and areas. Characters cannot enter the additional regions without their respective expansion packs.

On June 28, 2011, The Burning Crusade was automatically applied to all previous Warcraft accounts, and all new Warcraft accounts created in the future will have BC applied at no additional cost. Therefore, all BC content is now effectively part of the original game.

Audio


The soundtrack for World of Warcraft was composed and arranged by Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush
Tracy W. Bush
Tracy W. Bush is a video game music composer, sound designer and a foley artist. He is known for composing music for the popular games Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, World of Warcraft, StarCraft , and StarCraft: Brood War , and for sound design on Diablo II and...

, Derek Duke, and Glenn Stafford. It was released on November 23, 2004, together with the collector's edition of the game. It is also sold separately on one CD in the MP3
MP3
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

 format.
January 12, 2011, Alfred Publishing produced an officially licensed sheet music series for vocalists, pianists, strings, and other instruments, "World of Warcraft Sheet Music Anthology" in solo and accompaniment formats with CD included: A Call to Arms; Garden of Life; Gates of the Black Temple; Intro Movie: Seasons of War; Invincible; Karazhan; Lament of the Highborne; Lion's Pride; Mountains of Thunder; Pig and Whistle; The Shaping of the World; Totems of the Grizzlemaw; And, Wrath of the Lich King (Main Title). Theses works also included four pages of collectable artwork, and vary by number of songs included.

Reception


World of Warcraft was almost universally praised by critics upon release, following a period of high anticipation before launch. Although the game follows a similar model to—and was noted for using many familiar concepts from—the roleplaying genre, the new approaches to reducing pauses between game encounters were well liked. A common example was the approach to character death. In some previous MMORPGs, a player would suffer a high penalty for character death; in World of Warcraft, a player is able to recover and start playing quickly. Combat was another area where "downtime", or pauses between play, was reduced. By allowing all character types to recover from damage taken, players can return to combat quickly. Reviewers felt that these changes in pacing would make the genre more accessible to casual players—those who play for short periods of time— while still having "deep" gameplay that would attract players of all levels of interest. The concept of a "rested bonus", or increasing the rate at which a player's character gains experience, was also welcomed as a way for players to quickly catch up with their friends in progression.

Questing
Quest (gaming)
A quest in role-playing video games — including massively multiplayer online role-playing games and their predecessors, MUDs — is a task that a player-controlled character or group of characters may complete in order to gain a reward...

 was described as an integral part of the game, often being used to continue a storyline or lead the player through the game. The high number of quests in each location was popular, as well as the rewards for completing them. It was felt that the range of quests removed the need for a player to "grind", or carry out repetitive tasks, in order to advance their character. Quests also require players to explore every section of the game world, potentially causing problems for social gamers or roleplayers seeking somewhere quiet. Quests that required the player to collect items from the corpses of creatures they had killed were also unpopular; the low "drop rate", or chance of finding the items, makes them feel repetitive as a high number of creatures need to be killed to complete the quest. The large number of new players in a particular area meant that there were often no creatures to kill, or that players would have to wait and take turns to kill a particular creature in order to complete a quest. Some critics mentioned that the lack of quests that required players to group made the game feel as if it were designed for solo play. Others complained that some dungeon or instanced group quests were not friendly to new players, and could take several hours to complete. Upon release, a small number of quests had software bugs
Software bug
A software bug is the common term used to describe an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways. Most bugs arise from mistakes and errors made by people in either a program's...

 that made them impossible to complete.

Characters were felt to be implemented well, with each class appearing "viable and interesting", having unique and different mechanisms, and each of the races having a distinct look and feel. Character development was also liked, with the talent mechanism offering choice to players, and profession options being praised. Character customization options were felt to be low, but the detail of character models was praised.

The appearance of the game world was praised by critics. Most popular was the fact that a player could run from one end of the continent to the other without having to pause at a "loading screen" while part of the game is retrieved from storage. The environment was described as "breathtaking". Players found it difficult to become lost, and each area in the game world had a distinct look that blended from one to the next. Critics described the environment as "a careful blend of cartoon, fantasy art, and realism". The game was found to run smoothly on a range of computer systems, although some described it as basic, and mentioned that the bloom
Bloom (shader effect)
Bloom is a computer graphics effect used in computer games, demos and high dynamic range rendering to reproduce an imaging artifact of real-world cameras. The effect produces fringes of light around very bright objects in an image, obscuring fine details...

 light rendering effect can blur things. One reviewer described the ability to fly over long stretches of scenery as "very atmospheric". The user interface was liked, being described as "simple", with tooltip
Tooltip
The tooltip or infotip is a common graphical user interface element. It is used in conjunction with a cursor, usually a mouse pointer. The user hovers the cursor over an item, without clicking it, and a tooltip may appear—a small "hover box" with information about the item being hovered...

s helping to get the player started.

The game's audio was well received, particularly the background music. By assigning music to different areas of the game world, reviewers felt that the fantasy style added to the player's immersion, and that the replay value was increased. The sounds and voices used by characters and NPCs, as well as the overall sound effects, were felt to add a "personality" to the game.

World of Warcraft won several awards from critics upon release, including Editor's Choice awards. In addition, it won several annual awards from the media, being described as the best game in the role-playing and MMORPG genres. The graphics and audio were also praised in the annual awards, with the cartoonish style and overall sound makeup being noted. The game was also awarded Best Mac OS X Entertainment Product at the 2005 Apple Design Awards. World of Warcraft was recognised at the 2005 Spike TV Video Game Awards where it won Best PC Game, Best Multiplayer Game, Best RPG, and Most Addictive Game. In 2008, World of Warcraft was honoured—along with Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights (AOL game)
Neverwinter Nights was the first multiplayer online role-playing game to display graphics, and ran from 1991 to 1997 on AOL.-Gameplay:Neverwinter Nights was developed to be played similarly to the Gold Box series of games...

 and EverQuest
EverQuest
EverQuest, often shortened to EQ, is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was released on the 16th of March, 1999. The original design is credited to Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost...

—at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Award
Technology & Engineering Emmy Award
A Technology and Engineering Emmy Award is given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievement in technical or engineering development...

s for advancing the art form of MMORPG games. In 2009, Game Informer
Game Informer
Game Informer is an American-based monthly magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of popular video games and associated consoles. It was formed in August 1991, when FuncoLand started publishing a six-page magazine, free in all its retail locations...

 ranked World of Warcraft 11th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time".

World of Warcraft was the best-selling PC game of 2005 and 2006. As of January 22, 2008, World of Warcraft has more than 10 million subscribers worldwide, with more than 2 million subscribers in Europe, more than 2.5 million in North America, and about 5.5 million in Asia.

Less than two months after beginning operation of World of Warcraft in China on September 19, 2009, NetEase
NetEase
NetEase is a Chinese internet company that operates 163.com, a popular web portal which received over 546 million page views in June of 2005. The company has grown rapidly since its founding in June 1997, thanks in part to its investment in search engine technology and massively multiplayer...

 was ordered to immediately stop charging players and to cease accepting registrations. A press estimate indicated that if World of Warcraft were shut down in China, the loss of subscribers would have caused Activision Blizzard's earnings to fall from 65 cents per share to 60 cents per share. In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62 percent of the MMORPG subscription market.

Corrupted Blood plague incident



The Corrupted Blood plague incident was one of the first events to affect entire servers. Patch 1.7 saw the opening of Zul'Gurub, the game's first 20-player raid dungeon where players faced off against a tribe of trolls under the sway of the god Hakkar the Soulflayer. Upon engaging Hakkar, players were stricken by a debuff called "Corrupted Blood" which would periodically sap their life. The disease was also passed on to other players simply by being near infected players. Originally this malady was confined within the Zul'Gurub instance, but it made its way into the outside world by way of hunter pets or warlock minions that contracted the disease.

Within hours, Corrupted Blood had completely infected major cities because of their high player concentrations. Low-level players were killed in seconds by the high-damage disease. Eventually Blizzard fixed the issue so that the plague could not exist outside of Zul'Gurub.

The Corrupted Blood plague so closely resembled the outbreak
Outbreak
Outbreak is a term used in epidemiology to describe an occurrence of disease greater than would otherwise be expected at a particular time and place. It may affect a small and localized group or impact upon thousands of people across an entire continent. Two linked cases of a rare infectious...

 of real-world epidemic
Epidemic
In epidemiology, an epidemic , occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience...

s that scientists are currently looking at ways MMORPGs or other massively distributed systems can model human behavior during outbreaks. The reaction of players to the plague closely resembled previously hard-to-model aspects of human behavior that may allow researchers to more accurately predict how diseases and outbreaks spread amongst a population.

Security concerns


When players create World of Warcraft accounts, they are asked to choose a username and password. Afterward, whenever they play World of Warcraft, they are asked to supply the same username and password in full. This is also the case when using account management facilities online. This type of authentication is vulnerable to keystroke logging
Keystroke logging
Keystroke logging is the action of tracking the keys struck on a keyboard, typically in a covert manner so that the person using the keyboard is unaware that their actions are being monitored...

. While this is not unique to World of Warcraft and is common to many MMORPG
MMORPG
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

s, the game has been directly targeted with trojans
Trojan horse (computing)
A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but steals information or harms the system. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.-Malware:A destructive program that masquerades as a benign...

 being specifically crafted to capture account login details. Attacks have been reported as early as May 2006, and may extend as far back as July 30, 2005. The game does, however, allow players to save their account name to the program to allow the player to only have to type their password.

In September 2006, reports emerged of spoof World of Warcraft game advice websites that contained malware
Malware
Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming that is designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, or gain unauthorized access to system resources, or that otherwise exhibits abusive behavior...

. Vulnerable computers would be infected through their web browser
Web browser
A web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier and may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content...

s, downloading a program that would then relay back account information. Blizzard's account support teams experienced high demand during this episode, stating that many users had been affected. Claims were also made that telephone support was closed for isolated periods due to the volume of calls and resulting queues. In April 2007, attacks evolved to take advantage of further exploits involving animated cursors, with multiple websites being used. Security researcher group Symantec
Symantec
Symantec Corporation is the largest maker of security software for computers. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and is a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500 stock market index.-History:...

 released a report stating that a compromised World of Warcraft account was worth US$10 on the black market, compared to US$6 to US$12 for a compromised computer (correct as of March 2007). In February 2008, phishing
Phishing
Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT...

 emails were distributed requesting that users validate their account information using a fake version of the World of Warcraft account management pages. In June 2008, Blizzard announced the Blizzard Authenticator, available as a hardware security token
Security token
A security token may be a physical device that an authorized user of computer services is given to ease authentication...

 or mobile application that provides two factor
Two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is an approach to authentication which requires the presentation of two different kinds of evidence that someone is who they say they are. It is a part of the broader family of multi-factor authentication, which is a defense in depth approach to security...

 security. The token generates a one-time password
One-time password
A one-time password is a password that is valid for only one login session or transaction. OTPs avoid a number of shortcomings that are associated with traditional passwords. The most important shortcoming that is addressed by OTPs is that, in contrast to static passwords, they are not vulnerable...

 based code that the player supplies when logging on. The password, used in addition to the user's own password, is only valid for a couple minutes, thus providing extra security against keylogging malware
Malware
Malware, short for malicious software, consists of programming that is designed to disrupt or deny operation, gather information that leads to loss of privacy or exploitation, or gain unauthorized access to system resources, or that otherwise exhibits abusive behavior...

.

Blizzard makes use of a system known as Warden on the Windows version of the game in order to detect third-party
Third-party software component
In computer programming, a third-party software component is a reusable software component developed to be either freely distributed or sold by an entity other than the original vendor of the development platform...

 programs, such as botting
Internet bot
Internet bots, also known as web robots, WWW robots or simply bots, are software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone...

 software, allowing World of Warcraft to be played unattended. There has been some controversy as to the legality of Warden. Warden uses techniques similar to anti-virus software in order to analyze other running software on the players' PCs, as well as the file system
File system
A file system is a means to organize data expected to be retained after a program terminates by providing procedures to store, retrieve and update data, as well as manage the available space on the device which contain it. A file system organizes data in an efficient manner and is tuned to the...

. However, unlike most anti-virus software, it sends a portion of this information back to Blizzard, which caused privacy advocates to accuse it of being spyware
Spyware
Spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on computers, and which collects small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's...

. One example of the information Warden collects is the title of every window open on the system while WoW is running. Blizzard has not stated what information is passed by Warden over the Internet, or if that information is encrypted, so it is entirely possible that this information is passed over the Internet back to Blizzard. On the other hand, many gamers responded positively to the development, stating that they supported the technology if it resulted in fewer cases of cheating. Blizzard's use of Warden was stated in the Terms of Agreement (TOA).

The Warden's existence was acknowledged in March 2008, during the opening legal proceedings against MDY Industries. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, and also listed Michael Donnelly as a defendant. Donnelly was included in the suit as the creator of MMO Glider
Glider (bot)
Glider, also known as WoWGlider or MMOGlider, was a bot created by MDY Industries, which interoperates with World of Warcraft. Glider automates and simplifies actions by the user through the use of scripting to perform repetitive tasks while the user is away from the computer...

, software that can automatically play many tasks in the game. Blizzard claimed the software is an infringement of its copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 and software license agreement
Software license agreement
A software license agreement is a contract between the "licensor" and purchaser of the right to use software. The license may define ways under which the copy can be used, in addition to the automatic rights of the buyer including the first sale doctrine and .Many form contracts are only contained...

, stating that "Glider use severely harms the WoW gaming experience for other players by altering the balance of play, disrupting the social and immersive aspects of the game, and undermining the in-game economy." Donnelly claims to have sold 100,000 copies of the $25 software.

Real ID


On July 6, 2010, Blizzard Entertainment announced that on its forums for all games, users' accounts will display their real names tied to their accounts. Blizzard announced the change following an agreement with Facebook to allow Facebook to connect persons who choose to become friends to share their real identity (Real ID, as Blizzard calls the feature). The integration of the feature to the forums on the Blizzard Entertainment sites has raised concerns amongst fans of the many game series Blizzard has created over the years.

In response to the concerns, Blizzard released an updated statement on July 9, 2010, announcing that the Real ID integration with the official forums was being canceled.

Sale of virtual goods in the real world


As with other MMORPG
MMORPG
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

s, companies have emerged offering to sell virtual gold and associated services.
After Blizzard started offering free trial gameplay accounts, players noticed an increase in spam
Spam (electronic)
Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately...

 from bot
Computer game bot
A bot, most prominently in the first-person shooter types , is a type of weak AI expert system software which for each instance of the program controls a player in deathmatch, team deathmatch and/or cooperative human player. Computer bots may play against other bots and/or human players in unison,...

s advertising these services.
One study shows that this problem is particularly prevalent on the European realms, with gold being over 14 times more expensive to buy on US realms than their European counterparts.

In patch 2.1, Blizzard responded to this by adding additional anti-spam mechanics including whisper throttling and the report spam function. Additionally, trial accounts are prevented from speaking in the public chat channels (although they may speak to players within range or whisper to other players that have first whispered to them), participating in in-game trades, and using the Auction House and the mail feature, among other limitations.

In May 2007, Blizzard filed a complaint against In Game Dollar LLC (trading as peons4hire) in US federal court.
In February 2008, the parties filed a consent decree in which In Game Dollar agreed to refrain from using any World of Warcraft chat or communication to advertise any business or sell any services relating to World of Warcraft.

As characters progress in World of Warcraft and take on some of the toughest challenges, many of the rewards received are bound to that character and cannot be traded, generating a market for the trading of accounts with well-equipped characters. The highest noted World of Warcraft account trade was for £5000 (€7000, US$9,900) in early September 2007.

The practice of buying or selling gold in World of Warcraft has generated significant controversy. On February 21, 2008, Blizzard released a statement concerning the consequences of buying gold. Blizzard reported that an "alarmingly high" proportion of all gold bought originates from "hacked" accounts. The article also stated that customers who had paid for character leveling services had found their accounts compromised months later, with all items stripped and sold for virtual gold. The article noted that leveling service companies often used "disruptive hacks ... which can cause realm performance and stability issues".

Community


In addition to playing the game itself and conversing on discussion forums provided by Blizzard, World of Warcraft players often participate in the virtual community
Virtual community
A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific media, potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals...

 in creative ways, including fan artwork and comic strip style storytelling.

Blizzard garnered criticism for its decision in January 2006 to ban guilds from advertising sexual orientation preferences. The incident occurred after several players were cited for "harassment" after advocating a group that was a gay-straight alliance. Blizzard later reversed the decision to issue warnings to players promoting LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

-friendly guilds.

Since May 2011, the number of players playing had decreased by 10% from 11.4 million to 10.3 million. Blizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime said that the reason was probably due to a drop-off in the Eastern markets.

In other media


World of Warcraft has inspired artists to satirize it and acknowledge its mark in popular culture. One example is the Emmy Award winning South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

 episode "Make Love, Not Warcraft
Make Love, Not Warcraft
"Make Love, Not Warcraft" is the eighth episode of the tenth season of the animated television series South Park, and the 147th episode overall. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on October 4, 2006. In the episode, Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny enjoy playing the popular...

".

The game has also been used to advertise unrelated products, such as Toyota trucks.

In late 2007, a series of television commercials for the game began airing featuring pop culture celebrities such as Mr. T
Mr. T
Mr. T is an American actor known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team, as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III, and for his appearances as a professional wrestler. Mr. T is known for his trademark African Mandinka warrior hairstyle, his gold jewelry,...

, William Shatner
William Shatner
William Alan Shatner is a Canadian actor, musician, recording artist, and author. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T...

, and Verne Troyer
Verne Troyer
Verne J. Troyer is an American stand-up comedian, actor, stuntman and performer, best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series...

 discussing the virtues of the character classes they play in the game. A Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 commercial featuring Guillermo Toledo
Guillermo Toledo
Guillermo Toledo or Willy Toledo is a Spanish film and television actor.In 2008 he played in a Spanish commercial for the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, in a series of commercials that also featured Mr...

, and a French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 commercial featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg , professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme, is a Belgian martial artist and actor, best known for his martial arts action films, the most successful of which include Bloodsport , Kickboxer , Double Impact , Universal Soldier , Hard Target , Timecop ,...

, were also televised. Two more were shown in November 2008, featuring Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne
John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English vocalist, whose musical career has spanned over 40 years. Osbourne rose to prominence as lead singer of the pioneering English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, whose radically different, intentionally dark, harder sound helped spawn the heavy metal...

 and Steve Van Zandt.

World of Warcraft has inspired two board games: World of Warcraft: The Board Game (including Shadow of War and The Burning Crusade expansions) and World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game, produced by Fantasy Flight Games
Fantasy Flight Games
Fantasy Flight Games is a Roseville, Minnesota-based game company that creates and publishes role-playing, board, and card games. Fantasy Flight Publishing was founded in 1995 by its CEO, Christian T. Petersen. Since the release of its first game product in 1997, the company has been doing...

. There are also a trading card game
World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The game was announced by Upper Deck Entertainment on August 18, 2005, and released on October 25, 2006...

, and a collectible miniatures game on the market, both formerly produced by Upper Deck Entertainment, now produced by Cryptozoic Entertainment
Cryptozoic Entertainment
Cryptozoic Entertainment is an American-based publisher of games, comics, and magazines primarily based on popular culture. The company's flagship franchise is the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, a collectable card game based on the World of Warcraft online game from Blizzard Entertainment...

. Cryptozoic has indicated that they have no plans to continue producing sets produced earlier by Upper Deck, but has released an "Archives" set which contains foil reproductions of older cards.

In November 2007, DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 published the first issue of the World of Warcraft comic under their Wildstorm imprint
Imprint
In the publishing industry, an imprint can mean several different things:* As a piece of bibliographic information about a book, it refers to the name and address of the book's publisher and its date of publication as given at the foot or on the verso of its title page.* It can mean a trade name...

.

External links