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This article covers the features, gameplay and story as of the original World of Warcraft release. Additional features, improvements or changes made with subsequent expansions are detailed in those expansions.

World of Warcraft is a MMORPG released by Blizzard Entertainment in the fall of 2004. It continues the story of Blizzard's Warcraft universe, picking up where Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne left off.

There are a total of five released expansions for World of Warcraft and one currently in development. The first expansion, titled World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007. The second, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008. The third, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, was released on December 7, 2010. The fourth, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, was released on September 25, 2012. A fifth expansion, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor was released in North America on October 14, 2014 and in Europe on October 15, 2014. On August 6, 2015, a sixth expansion, World of Warcraft: Legion, was announced at Gamescom.

The playable factions are split into Alliance and Horde, each containing four initially-playable races and nine initial classes, one of which was unique to each faction.

Alliance

1188412058 Alliancecrest

The Alliance, previously called the Alliance of Lordaeron, was created as a direct response to the Orc destruction of the Kingdom of Azeroth. The Alliance initially encompassed the seven human kingdoms of Azeroth, Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Dalaran, Gilenas, Kul Tiras, and Alterac, as well as their immediate allies located in the Eastern Kingdoms, namely the Dwarves of the Wildhammer Clan, the High Elves of Quel'Thalas, the Dwarves of Ironforge, the Gnomes of Gnomeregan, and the human-controlled island of Tol Barad. Later on, the Alliance would also encompass the Night Elves of Teldrassil.

Humans

Humans are the most versatile Alliance race in terms of initial choice. They have been fighting the forces of the Horde (mostly Orcs) since the beginning of Warcraft history. The Humans are the most diverse race in World of Warcraft, many of them settling down as guards in Alliance cities. Others help by being medics, merchants, trainers, and civilian quest-givers. Humans start in Northshire Valley, and their capital city is Stormwind City, ruled by the child-king Anduin Wrynn.

They had the following class choices:

Dwarves

The stout, burly Dwarves of Dun Morogh are a very lore-based race. They come from Earthen elementals, also known as Titans, plagued by the Curse of Flesh. Modern dwarves have Scottish accents, and they love drinking any sort of alcoholic beverages. Dwarves are seen as brute forces against the Horde forces, specially Paladins and Warriors, they are known for their defense and strength. Dwarves start in Coldridge Valley, and their capital city is Ironforge. On original release of the game, Dwarves were listed as able to become Mages, however, this was not carried over into the release of the game, and only became possible in later expansions. The Dwarves are ruled by Madoran Bronzebeard.

They had the following class choices:

Gnomes

The bright, ingenious Gnomes of Gnomeregan have suffered many casualties as a result of the Trogg invasion of their home city. Most of the gnomes that didn't die either escaped, or are trapped in the mysterious halls of Gnomeregan. King Gelbin Mekkatorque had decided to open up the toxic gas, in order to diminsh the trogg population. While this was true, it also began killing more Gnomes; Gnomeregan subsequently became overrun by leper gnomes, Dark Iron dwarves, rampant machinery, and the exiled self-proclaimed Gnome King, Sicco Thermaplugg. Gnomes start in a small holdout room underneath Gnomeregan infected by leprosy, and eventually fight their way to the clean-o-matic that removes the disease. Once out of Gnomeregan, they have formed an outpost named New Tinkertown, and they share the capital city of Ironforge with their Dwarven cousins. Their current ruler is High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque.

They had the following class choices:

Night Elves

The Night Elves (previously called the Kaldorei) are very in-touch with nature, believe more in peace and tranquillity, than death and destruction. However, they are not afraid to defend their fellow Alliance members, as most have taken on the path of the Druid. Night Elves start in Nighthaven and their capital city is Darnassus. Night Elves were previously immortal, but lost that trait after the events of The Sundering. They are currently ruled by High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind.

They had the following class choices:

Horde

1188412041 HordeCrest

The Horde are an alliance of convenience between the Orcs, Tauren, Forsaken and Trolls, four races that banded together while the rest of the world united against them.

Orcs

Orcs are the fiercest fighters in the Horde, and make up the bulk of their infantry units. Previously from the planet Draenor, they invaded Azeroth during the First War. Their capital city is Orgrimmar, and they are led by Thrall, Son of Durotan.

Orcs could choose from the following classes:

Darkspear Trolls

The Darkspear Trolls turned their backs on the rest of the Troll tribes, instead embracing the Horde. They share the capital city of Orgrimmar with their Orc allies, and they are led by Vol'jin Darkspear.

Trolls could choose from the following classes:

Tauren

The Tauren share an affinity for the earth, and hold the Night Elves in high regard. They dominate the peaks of Thunder Bluff in Mulgore, and are led by Cairne Bloodhoof.

The Tauren could choose from the following classes:

Forsaken

The Forsaken are former members of the Scourge that have broken free of the Lich King's control. They occupy the sewers of the former Capital City of Lordaeron, which they have now called the Undercity. They are led by Sylvanas Windrunner, a former High Elf and Ranger-General of Silvermoon before her death at the hands of the then-Death Knight Arthas Menethil.

The Forsaken could choose from the following classes:

Player vs. Environment

One of the big features of World of Warcraft was levelling characters through Player vs. Environment interaction. Each zone has its own quests, with a particular story and theme. Quests can reward various things such as gear, money, reputation, experience, or vanity items.

Player vs. Player

Another major feature in World of Warcraft was the ability to fight against players of the opposing faction by banding together with their current faction. Once a character reaches level 10, they have the option to queue for any battleground that's available to them. When a player killed an enemy of the opposite faction, they earned Honor Points, which were used to buy gear better suited for PvP situations. Although 1-vs-1 dueling is an aspect in the game, there is no reward for winning and no penalty for losing.

It should also be noted that being killed by players of the opposite faction causes gear to not lose any durability.

World

Zones

The world is split between two continents; Kalimdor, and the Eastern Kingdoms

Eastern Kingdoms

Kalimdor

Dungeons

Some dungeons were included with the game at launch, and many others were included with various patches between the launch of World of Warcraft and it's first expansion, The Burning Crusade.

Dungeons
Level Range Dungeon Zone(s)
13-18 Ragefire Chasm Orgrimmar
17-24 Wailing Caverns The Barrens
17-24 The Deadmines Westfall
22-26 Shadowfang Keep Silverpine Forest
24-28 Blackfathom Deeps Ashenvale
24-28 Stormwind Stockades Stormwind
25-30 Razorfen Kraul The Barrens
29-38 Gnomeregan Dun Morogh
34-45 The Scarlet Monastery Tirisfal Glades
35-47 Uldaman Badlands
44-50 Zul'Farrak Tanaris
47-55 The Sunken Temple Swamp of Sorrows
45-50 Maraudon Desolace
52-60 Blackrock Depths Searing Gorge/Burning Steppes
55-60 Dire Maul Feralas
57-60 Scholomance Western Plaguelands
58-60 Stratholme Eastern Plaguelands
58-60 Blackrock Spire Searing Gorge/Burning Steppes

Raids

Like dungeons, some raids were present on release, with others being added over the course of the game via patches.

Instance Raids

Outdoor Raids

Battlegrounds

World of Warcraft: Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition of the original World of Warcraft release was more than just a pretty box. Anyone lucky enough to snatch this beauty up was greeted by copies of the game on both CD and DVD, a beautiful art book and soundtrack, and one of six in-game pets.

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