August is a busy month for students at Eastern. Whether it is organizing their schedule, moving into a new dorm or scurrying to find a parking spot, the beginning of the semester can feel a bit overwhelming.
Luckily, students who are familiar with Blizzard Entertainment have a safe haven to escape the chaos. This month marks the release of World of Warcraft Legion, the newest expansion in the World of Warcraft (WoW) series. WoW is a massive multiplayer online game, a type of game where players can interact with others and are encouraged to play with other gamers.
You can play with your roommate sitting right next to you, or you can play with someone from China.
“What really grasped me into WoW, after playing the first time, were all the character choices and abilities you can attain within those characters,” said Kacy Coldiron, a junior history major from Harlan. “It is actually a pretty complex game until you get the hang of everything.”
Simply put, the objective in WoW is to reach the max level, now 110 with the release of Legion, and then begin doing endgame content. Endgame content has two different forms. Player versus player (PVP) battleground, where members of the two opposing factions (the Horde and the Alliance) battle each other for glory and rewards. The other form of endgame content is player versus environment (PVE). PVE consist of massive raids where you and anywhere from 5 to 40 players team up to take down powerful boss characters to gain even greater rewards. Those players who want to be considered top tier, however, will have to plan on sinking quite a bit of time into Legion.
If you want to compete, you have to put in some time.”
For many, this means learning how to balance school work and gaming time. The more competitive you want to be in WoW the more time you’ll have to spend online. The more successful you want to be in class, the more time you have to spend studying. If gamers don’t want their grades to fall, they’ll have to find that perfect balance.
“I pretty much play WoW in my downtime at the apartment,” Coldiron said. “If I have homework completed or nothing to do, I’ll start playing. I’m usually pretty good at not procrastinating, so WoW doesn’t get in the way of school.”
The release of Legion brings new bosses, new PVE content and new storyline content to the WoW universe. Legion is the sixth expansion to WoW and comes 12 years after the release of the original game. With a $15 per month subscriber fee and a player base that has fluctuated between two and nine million, Blizzard has gotten their money’s worth from the Warcraft franchise.
WoW also spawned a spin off card game called Hearthstone that Blizzard has seen massive success with on mobile platforms, as well as on Mac and PC. Legion’s release comes shortly after the summer release of the Warcraft film based in the same universe as the video game, so it’s safe to say World of Warcraft has made itself quite a comfortable bed in this generation’s culture.