The World of Warcraft Townhall/FAQ

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This article is a copy of "The World of Warcraft FAQ", an official article by Blizzard Entertainment. The original article did not survive the overhaul of the World of Warcraft Official Website, but can still be viewed through online archives (see below).

General

What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). In World of Warcraft, thousands of players will have the opportunity to adventure together in an enormous, persistent game world, forming friendships, slaying monsters, and engaging in epic quests that can span days or weeks.

What is an MMORPG?

MMORPG stands for massively multiplayer online role-playing game. In an MMORPG, thousands of players exist in the same game world at the same time. This creates an incredibly rich and active environment in which interesting things are constantly taking place. MMORPGs provide thousands of hours of game play, with a nearly infinite variety of goals to achieve across a vast world covering miles of land and sea. For World of Warcraft, we will also be adding new content on a regular basis, thus ensuring that there will always be new adventures, new locations, new creatures, and new items to discover.

When will the game be released?

We have not yet announced a release date for World of Warcraft. MMORPGs are vast and complex; we want to make sure that we take the time necessary to develop a game that will meet the high standards that our developers and fans have come to expect from Blizzard games.

How will World of Warcraft differ from other MMORPGs?

World of Warcraft will differ from other MMORPGs in many ways. One of our main goals is to ensure that players can enjoy World of Warcraft without having to invest huge amounts of playtime. Players will be able to complete quests and experience the world at their own pace-whether it be a few hours here and there, or week-long adventuring marathons. Additionally, our quest system will provide an enormous variety of captivating quests with story elements, dynamic events, and flexible reward systems. World of Warcraft will also feature a faster style of play, with less downtime and an emphasis on combat and tactics against multiple opponents. We also plan to incorporate several unique features, which we'll disclose throughout the course of development.

Will there be monthly fee to play the game?

Yes; however, we are still investigating our business model and have not yet determined what the fee will be.

Why isn't World of Warcraft free?

World of Warcraft will require a fee to play. This fee will be used to support the costs associated with the high-quality levels of service, support, and ongoing content creation that we are planning for World of Warcraft.

Will there be multiple methods of payment besides just credit cards?

Yes, we plan to support a range of payment methods. However, we are still working out our business model, so the specifics on which payment methods will be available have not been finalized.

How will the game be distributed or sold?

Gamers will be able to purchase World of Warcraft at retail outlets, online sites, or directly from Blizzard Entertainment. However, in order to play you will need to sign up for a monthly account.

What will you do to prevent cheating?

The development team is currently doing everything it can to eliminate the possibility of cheating. Also, because the game requires gamers to have a personal account to play, we will be able to identify and track cheaters much more closely. World of Warcraft has many features specifically designed to detect, identify and prevent cheating and hacking in the game. Additional resources - particularly the implementation of a live team of Gamemasters to monitor play - will provide security far beyond what we can currently offer for Battle.net®. As always, we will constantly look for ways to make the experience of our customers better and more secure, and as we continue to find new methods of doing so, we will certainly pursue and implement them.

Features

Will there be Cinematic sequences in the game?

Yes. The Blizzard Film Department will create cinematic sequences for World of Warcraft. We do not anticipate, however, that the game will have as many as our previous games due to the nature of Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games. You can see the first cinematic for World of Warcraft on the movies page.

What are cities like in World of Warcraft?

The cities in World of Warcraft are large, sprawling areas, each with their own distinctive architecture and style. Cities are where players go to train in their professions, shop for rare goods at local vendors, develop their trade skills, obtain new and exciting quests, buy and sell goods with other players, construct and maintain their personal dwellings, and sometimes, even participate in unique city adventures.

Will clans and guilds be formally supported in the game?

Yes. We fully intend to support a full-featured community. Specific details regarding clans and guilds will be released in the months ahead.

How do guilds work? Players can band together to form guilds, which are large social groups, in order to help each other progress in the game. Players get to choose an emblem and color combination unique to their guild, embroidered on special guild tabards that players can display proudly over their characters' armor.

Will there be a Buddy or Friend list?

World of Warcraft will include a full-featured Friends interface with a number of different features for managing your interaction with the online community.

Will there be player housing?

We would like to include player housing, but it is too early to determine whether doing so would be plausible.

Will there be a bank? How much will it hold?

Yes, there will be a bank with ample storage space to hold multiple player items. This option will allow players to store as many items as they need without requiring them to create additional characters to store surplus items.

Will there be a Hardcore Mode?

No. Hardcore Mode is a feature in the Diablo universe.

World

When in the timeline does World of Warcraft take place?

World of Warcraft takes place four years following the aftermath of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, when a great tension has settled over the ravaged world of Azeroth.

What continents are in World of Warcraft? Will they be familiar to fans of the Warcraft RTS series?

Currently, players will be able to explore the lands of Azeroth, Khaz Modan, Lordaeron, and the newly discovered lands of Kalimdor. Players familiar with the Warcraft series will find that we have depicted nearly every location from the Warcraft universe in World of Warcraft.

How many continents/islands will there be? How big will the world be?

World of Warcraft will be vastly larger than any other universe found in previous Blizzard games. In World of Warcraft, players can expect to journey through the familiar lands of Azeroth, Khaz Modan, and Lordaeron, to name a few. The game will also feature several uncharted and exotic new lands. We are expanding the Warcraft universe because we believe that a critical part of the MMORPG experience is the ability to journey through robust new lands. Our goal is to create a vast new world filled with adventure and excitement, while keeping the game fully populated to support a strong sense of community.

Will World of Warcraft mix with Warcraft III? If there are new foes, do they include the Undead or Burning Legion?

World of Warcraft will be set in lands both familiar and new to long-time players of the series. It is difficult to discuss the World of Warcraft story without giving away the plot for Warcraft III. We can say that Azeroth will experience significant changes and be a very different world than Warcraft fans know today. And, while there will be plenty of recognizable characters and places to explore, we think that the balance between discovering what is known and what is different is something that players will really enjoy.

In regard to the inclusion of the Undead or Burning Legion, you will just have to wait and see...

Will there be "zones" in World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft will not feature "zones" in the traditional sense denoting loading screens between each area of gameplay. Our plan is to incorporate different regions of the world for players to explore, each with their own distinct look and theme. Questing through the majority of these regions will be seamless, however, certain regions may require a short load time.

Will you be able to visit the familiar locations from Warcraft, Warcraft II and so on?

Most definitely. Players will explore the ruins of old battles, interact with legendary heroes, and visit many of the locations that have made the Warcraft series so memorable.

Will there be water-based, interactive environments?

Yes.

Will there be advanced areas or dungeons for high-level players?

Yes. The game will feature a wide range of content suitable for all levels and types of players, allowing both casual and hardcore gamers to enjoy their gameplay experience.

Can you explain a little about how the dungeons work in World of Warcraft?

Players will come across two types of dungeons while playing the game: micro dungeons and world dungeons. There are more than a hundred micro dungeons throughout the world of Azeroth, ranging in relative size from small to quite big. Micro-dungeon locations will include tombs, haunted mines, ice caves, and sunken ships to name a few. The transition into and out of these dungeons will be seamless, and you'll be able to run into other players anywhere along the way.

World dungeons, which are grander in scale than micro dungeons, are specifically designed for more epic encounters. World dungeons include places such as Medivh's Tower, the Westfall Deadmines, and the Scarlet Monastery. All these locations have common areas where players can meet up and fight together. But, deeper in the dungeons are areas set up specifically for more private group (or sometimes guild) adventures. These private dungeon areas, called "instance zones," allow you and a group of friends to have a more personal experience, exploring, adventuring, or completing quests in your own private dungeon. You also have the ability to invite others into your instance zone to join you. This relieves many of the camping, kill-stealing, and farming issues that MMORPGs sometimes face. The monsters in instance zones are typically more powerful, so groups of players will have to work together to defeat them, but with greater dangers come greater rewards!

Races

What races can you play in World of Warcraft?

The game currently features:

  • Alliance: Humans, Dwarves, Night Elves, Gnomes
  • Horde: Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Undead.
Is there a chance we might see Ogres, Blood Elves, Naga, Pandaren, Goblins, or High Elves?

World of Warcraft is an enormous universe filled with many different races. All of those named above can be seen in the game as NPCs, but at this time, we can't announce any plans for future player races. The ones that we've announced so far--Humans, Orcs, Dwarves, Tauren, Night Elves, Undead, Gnomes, and Trolls--are the races that will be available for players to choose from when the game launches.

Why are the Undead allied with the Horde?

Led by the banshee-queen Sylvanas, the Forsaken are an Undead faction that split violently with the Scourge during the Third War. Knowing that no Human agency would ever give them shelter or aid against the Scourge, now their hated enemy, they turned to the savage Horde, based across the sea in the distant land of Kalimdor, for assistance. To convince the Horde to allow the Forsaken into their alliance, the Undead ambassadors claimed that they merely sought a cure for their degenerative condition, which they believed that only the powers of shamanism and the life-giving energies of the earth could provide. In exchange for the shamans' healing aid, the Forsaken vowed to support the Horde in all of its ventures throughout Lordaeron and Azeroth.

Having done battle with the Undead on many occasions, Orc warchief Thrall and Tauren chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof of the Horde were immediately suspicious of the Forsaken's motives. However, due to growing political tensions, the warriors acquiesced to a council of sages known as The Earthen Ring. The council argued that it was the Horde's duty to aid the Forsaken, who wrestled with inner demons just as the Orcs had for generations.

Though Thrall and Cairne secretly suspect the worst, it remains to be seen what Sylvanas and her fanatical Forsaken have planned....

What can you tell us about the Gnomes?

The eccentric, often-brilliant Gnomes, known throughout the world for their obsession with developing radical new technologies and constructing mind-bending marvels of engineering, served the alliance well during the Second War. However, during the recent invasion of the Burning Legion, the Gnomes refused to send any personnel to aid their allies. Though Gnomish designs helped turn the tide against the Legion, the Dwarves and Humans were shocked by the Gnomes' decision to withhold their courageous troops and pilots.

When the war ended, the Alliance discovered the reason behind the Gnomes' sudden withdrawal: an ancient, barbaric menace had emerged from the bowels of the earth and invaded the Gnomes' wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan. Knowing that their allies' priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the Gnomes decided to make their stand alone. They fought valiantly, but Gnomeregan was lost, and nearly half of the Gnomish race was wiped out.

Those Gnomes who survived fled to the safety of the Dwarven stronghold Ironforge, where they recommitted themselves to the Alliance's cause and also to devising strategies and weapons that would help them retake their ravaged city and build a brighter future for their people.

Who are the Tauren?

The Tauren are a mighty race of nomadic tribesmen who live on the dusty plains of a faraway land. These noble, bull-like hunters have lived in harmony for countless generations and are threatened only by the periodic raids of marauding centaur herds.

Are there male and female versions of all of the races?

Yes. Even Tauren!

Does each race have unique properties?

Yes. Each race in the game will have access to racial skills, abilities and equipment.

Will there be different starting locations?

Yes. Each race will have a unique start location.

References

The page can still be viewed here through the Wayback Machine.