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SummaryVaelor made some good points, but there are redeeming factors
The GoodWorld of Warcraft's world is simply gigantic with many different areas. I personally think the game was at it's best before the expansion packs because all the areas feel so great, when I used to walk around in Elwynn Forest it felt so peaceful while the "Undercity" feels very chaotic and aggressive. This gives the world a nice balance, if you ever get sick of the destruction and death of the Badlands you can always go back to Loch Modan to rest for a while.
When you take the title of RPG, I think it's important to live up to the title "Role-playing game" and World of Warcraft does that very well. There are servers where you can make a character and you have to act like him or her. This means talking to people like you're having a real conversation and joining a guild that offers the kind of job you want your character to have. I decided to have my character join the Stormwind city-guard and I had a great time patrolling the city and following orders.
Fighting the monsters in instances and raids was really awesome and succeeding felt like a real achievement. I always loved it when we had a group of forty people and managed to take down a monster, it just made us look so organized and skilled. I did dislike it when the expansions decreased the number of player in a raid to twenty-five, but in the end I did agree that the raids were way too hard sometimes and keeping a total of forty people alive was nearly impossible.
World of Warcraft is full of wonderful experiences that I count among some of the best I have ever had in a video game. My days as a role-player are still very dear to me and stand-out between the rest, but there was also a guild called "The Brotherhood of Wisdom" which I created myself and which grew to become the biggest guild on the server. We had a lot of fun and some of the most stupid events ever (like a snowball-war or races). I still have contact with a few people that were in our guild and we love nothing better than to talk about "the days of the Brotherhood".
The music is very good and often even awesome. While most songs are not that great, there are a few that still manage to make me feel like the hero the game wants me to be. One of my favorite examples is the Stormwind theme which I swear has to be one of the best songs in video game history. The title screen music is also pretty nice and the music in the Night-Elf lands are pretty sweet as well (they mix nicely with the forest). It's too bad that they couldn't have every song be as awesome, but there is still not enough to complain about.
The story is amazing and that is mostly due to the army of RTS-games that preceded this game. The "Warcraft" series form the background for this game and some characters even make appearances (The Night Elf priest and Thrall for example). I have to give Blizzard credit for taking a very popular franchise and taking such a massive risk with it, in the end they created every Warcraft-fan's dream and I am sure a lot of people love Blizzard for this.
The game is very easy to control and gradually builds-up the difficulty. It's unlikely that you will die at the start of the game and there are barely any enemies that attack you on sight, but soon there will be more enemies that do and you will have to pay attention to your surroundings. The game also starts with a very limited library of spells and attacks, but nearing level thirty you already got a few pages full of them and you have to decide which ones you want to bind to to the keys.
The BadLike Vaelor pointed-out already: World of Warcraft has one of the worst communities ever. Take the Halo 3 community, multiply that by the youtube trolls and then multiply that by the people who make jokes about disasters and you're almost close. The worst thing is probably that Blizzard doesn't take any action whatsoever, there is literally an entire city where everybody acts like assholes on roleplay servers, but nobody ever even tried to ban people there. It would take five minutes! The worst memory is when my cat died and I told my guild about it and someone actually started making fun of me and laughing. Blizzard's advice?, just ignore him...
There isn't a lot of roleplay to be found on the servers that are made specifically for that kind of playing. Unless you join a guild or always check the forums for events, there is a good chance you won't ever find any roleplay. This makes it very hard for new people to join these servers and since the first city they run into is the earlier mentioned place where all the assholes hang-out... If the new people don't fall prey to that city, they mostly end up joining the huge army guilds which have as much soul as bricks, this always causes smaller guilds with more daring themes to die due to the lack of members.
The quests used to be a big grindfest, but now that has been partially fixed. There is still a gigantic barrel of grinding, but there are also other quests which require you to perform tasks that actually change the world around you. The quests that didn't get this treatment are as boring as ever and make you feel like a factory machine. The worst thing is that it's incredibly addictive and that is NOT a good thing, in fact it's terrible because the game charges you fifteen dollars a month for this. This is a problem I have with a lot of services, I bought the game, so why does it still charge me to play it. Xbox Live comes to mind, but at least you can offline for free, here you can only play offline and there is no 1-man option for dungeons.
The Bottom LineWorld of Warcraft is a great game, but it has some terrible problems that are mostly the fault of Blizzard. The story is great, the game has a nice difficulty curve, you can have a lot of amazing experiences and the roleplaying in this game in unmatched, but Blizzard is just way too passive when it comes to helping the players.
The roleplay servers are overrun with douchebags who ruin it for everybody, a large part of the community is acting like the absolute lowest a human being can sink and they take massive advantage of people's addictions. After so many years and with so many active players, the least they could do is give the people more. If you buy the game you only get one free month which is barely enough to get you going. I would suggest asking five dollars a month or giving two months for the same fifteen dollars.