It’s a shame I didn’t participate in every topic suggested, but I would write about this one for sure! The question sounds like this:
Why do you love WoW and what makes you keep coming back to it?
First, I need to clear “coming back” thing. Of course I may have a small break due to life circumstances like when I’m travelling, or hanging out, or have things to do at home, or just too tired to play. But generally WoW is one of my top-3 major hobbies. I never quit as in “quit”, and I don’t feel that I need a deliberate break from the game, so I just see no reason to do so.
Now, let’s see the reasons it’s in my top-3 life hobbies :)
Lore is a major attraction for me. I remember how I played Warcraft II when it was CURRENT content in 90s, and I was enthralled by it. It was very much like Lord of the Rings universe, but with its own very distinctive flavor- totally not a rip-off.
Warcraft III opened a whole new dimension: the world was not black and white anymore, it had different angles, different forces within one faction, and well, the story appeared to be much more epic than it seemed. There was a big bad (Legion) behind the Orc bloodlust, and the orcs evolved from villains to heroes.
Blizzard’s storytelling has always been awesome. It’s amazing how they make you switch sides immediately: only one mission ago you were desperately wanting to put an end to the effing dreadlord, struggling for survival… and after half an hour your meat wagons are bombarding these human villages you’ve just protected. They are throwing corpses at them, you sow plague and grief, and you like it. And then you switch to Night Elves, and you hate the undead again for destroying your precious woods.
My computer and internet were pretty bad when vanilla launched, and I was able to begin playing WoW only since Lich King. I was positively amazed how big of a world this is – and that felt right. I enjoyed the quests which made the world alive: every zone had its own problems, from simple helping peasant Romeo and Juliet to unveiling the most epic and mischievous schemes of Defias Brotherhood.
I won’t even mention the big figures like Lady Vashj, the biggest lore asshole Arthas or my favorite Jaina – their stories continued, and it is cool to learn what happened to them after the RTS plot ended. Hell, I can even walk to a lore character and talk to them!
And Blizzard is also very capable of growing new cool characters, and do it fast: Yrel in WoD or Valtrois in Legion are simply awesome. It’s all in their hands if they want to make them play a bigger role or just leave it as a passing episode in the big picture.
I’ll be playing WoW until the end – I want to know how the big story ends.
Loremaster has never been my chore: it’s always been my primary goal, and it’s always a pleasure to replay questlines on alts.
Game designers in Blizzard do their job top-notch. From Lost Vikings and Rock’n’Roll Racing – to SCII, WoW, Overwatch, Hearthstone and HotS – every aspect is done perfectly. Music, visuals and gameplay combo have little to no competition among other games.
There’s two distinctive points here I’d like to mention.
First, it’s trademark cartoon stylistics. I just like the colorful grotesque styles, I’m watching many cartoons, and I would prefer WoW style to more realistic grey colors of LotR.
Besides, this cartoon style helps the game feel relevant even when technologies leap forward. While other games could be struggling every year for more realistic depiction of skin, or grass, or water – WoW could linger for 5 years or more before implying some major changes to graphics.
Second, it’s visual designs and world interaction designs which make it easy to play. I could launch Wildstar (an awesome game, btw) or some other MMORPG, and in an hour my eyes would start to itch, and I would end my game session. When I launch WoW on weekend, I may remember about having a little break after 3 hours of playing. Nothing distracts you from the universe of Azeroth. You’re not struggling with reading quest briefings, dealing with interface or interacting with the world. You just step in and start to live in it.
Blizzard love the game and the players. It may seem otherwise sometimes, but they really do.
You can’t even notice how much more convenient it’s becoming with every expansion. And they are adding new features now and then.
Some changes are welcomed and very quickly taken as granted, some changes appear not that successful and cause rants (and then require improvements or even cancellations), but you can’t deny that developers are in constant search of ideas to expand the game or improve what we already have.
High Fantasy Setting
Sometimes my soul just craves for a space opera, a steampunk, or other completely different setting, but all in all I like high fantasy most.
WoW is definitely the best setting in high fantasy, walking hand in hand with Middle Earth. And this is why.
Not only the stories are good written, the world itself is well developed and has no blank spots uncovered. It’s a living, thriving, developing world.
WoW allows itself to be different: epic, terrifying, light-hearted, gothic, playful, grim dark, heroic or just funny.
And, like all good stories, it relies on characters, not functions. That is why cinematics are so cool.
You see a cinematic intro to Mists of Pandaria, and you not only want to travel to the continent. You want to learn who these three guys are, you want to talk and interact with them in game, and see their story.
You didn’t lose King of Humans at the Broken Shore – you lost Varian. You didn’t put an end to an evil head warlock – you put an end to Gul’dan.
Feel the difference.