This year, World of Warcraft proudly celebrates its 15th anniversary online. From the moment the original servers were launched until today, the game has consistently been the greatest and most popular MMORPG in the world, and many players stuck around from the very beginning.
And whether it be retaining old players or attracting new ones, Blizzard definitely has the recipe for success. So today, we're sharing it with you. If you're wondering why this game is so successful after all these years, stick around for our list of the top 10 reasons behind World of Warcraft's popularity!
10 Everyone Can Play It
Now more than ever, World of Warcraft is an extremely welcoming and beginner-friendly games. Tutorials are now seamlessly integrated to guide you through the first few levels, and it's a piece of cake after that. The game is equally suitable for children, elderly, and hardcore gamers, as everyone will find plenty of content tailored to their needs. So, whether you like raiding, PvP, or simply questing through the world, the game allows you to master your class and gather gear through all of these means. In World of Warcraft, you choose the kind of game you want to play.
9 It's Constantly Updated
World of Warcraft is a game that feels alive. Once you start playing, the exploration never really ends, as new expansions arrive just when the old one starts to get boring, and with it, months of new fun. Not only does Blizzard make new additions to the current game, but they use captivating lore to change previous locations, allowing nostalgic players to return and re-experience them in a whole new way. World of Warcraft is constantly modernized by new content, zones, game mechanics, and graphics, and as such feels equally "new" to a veteran or a beginner.
8 Unique Lore
One of the things that separates World of Warcraft from other games in the MMORPG genre is the sheer amount of lore that backs it up. Blizzard has been renowned for their ability to create new and captivating worlds since the early '90s, and their models and ideas have given rise to numerous super-popular games such as Dota, League of Legends, Diablo, Starcraft, Overwatch, and Warcraft.
With dozens of books of lore behind World of Warcraft, the game's zones, characters, and story feel that much more real and that much more binding. This is a unique selling point that forever rose World of Warcraft above every other MMORPG.
7 Still The Largest MMORPG
This is a simple yet powerful reason many of us continue to play the game. World of Warcraft has the biggest and most diverse community of passionate gamers you'll find in any modern MMORPG. With this in mind, it's the obvious starting place for beginners looking to try their hand at the genre - most of which never leave. It is not limited to any specific area on the globe, and there are hundreds of realms dedicated to specific languages and countries, allowing people the option of playing with their fellow nationals.
6 It Successfully Retains Players
Blizzard has had the recipe for success since the very first World of Warcraft expansion. It delivered an excellent MMO with a challenging design and a rewarding gameplay experience. As such, most players have immediately fallen in love with the game. And, with every new expansion offering never before seen content with that same social element, most World of Warcraft fans have stuck around. The fact is, this is their first MMO and they have learned to love it, and it's also where all their friends are.
5 You Are Rewarded For How Long You Play
One of the reasons why players tend to stick with World of Warcraft for so long lies in the systems Blizzard implemented to reward veterans. The most obvious is the achievement system, which allows players to slowly gather achievement points that boost their sense of accomplishment. This is also something other players can see in-game, while the most experienced players are ranked on the game's website. Tied to achievements are in-game titles - perhaps the biggest bragging rights in World of Warcraft. So, whether you've been among the best arena players of the season or downed a final boss, you can put a title next to your name for everyone to see. Finally, there are the mounts. The rule is simple: the longer you play the more mounts you'll be able to obtain, and some of them are incredibly cool-looking and rare.
4 It's Not Heavy On The System
For a multiplayer game with decent graphics and an absolutely massive open world filled with thousands of players, WoW doesn't take that big of a toll on your system. Sure, you can't really run it on a potato, but any four-core processor from this decade paired with a dedicated graphics card will probably prove sufficient. In fact, one of the unique aspects of World of Warcraft, much like Minecraft, is that it relies on its charming, cartoonish graphics which never really get old. And though the scenery can be beautiful, truth be told, no one really plays it for the graphics anyway.
3 It Offers Endless Personalization Options
Another cool aspect of World of Warcraft is how unique your character can be. The game goes beyond just choosing your name and class; it lets you choose your faction, race, transportation, and even lets you wear the gear combination you want (thanks to transmogrification, you may change the appearance of your gear without changing its stats).
Due to this fact, some famous WoW players are not known by their real-life name but by the name and looks of their character - take Swifty for example, who's a famous Night Elf Warrior known for wearing a yellow armor.
2 Great Reward System
There are some really addictive games out there, but none compare to World of Warcraft. The monthly subscription business model should be indication enough that Blizzard has designed this game to keep you around forever. They achieve this with a carefully implemented system that provides you with just enough rewards (cool gear items, levels, or mounts) to keep you crawling back for more. And as long as micro-transactions don't play a big part in the game, and gear and achievements depend on effort, we're fine with it.
1 It Resembles Real Life
The last, and probably most important reason why people play World of Warcraft, is because it just feels so real. Imagine a fantastic world full of magical creatures and millions of people behind their favorite fictional race and class, talking to you and helping you conquer epic areas and fearsome enemies. Now combine this with a complex, real-life economy where professions and services are exchanged for gold and items. In World of Warcraft you can be anything you want, and there are a myriad of captivating stories and small quirks integrated into the game, such as books, pets, or even alcohol to entertain you. Every zone has a different climate, wildlife, and characters that make you forget all your woes and emerge into the fantasy. And that's fine, as long as you give the real world a chance as well.