World of Warcraft has inspired two board games: World of Warcraft: The Board Game (including Shadow of War and The Burning Crusade expansions) and World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game, produced by Fantasy Flight Games. There is also a trading card game, and a collectible miniatures game on the market, both formerly produced by Upper Deck Entertainment, now produced by Cryptozoic Entertainment. Cryptozoic released an "Archives" set which contains foil reproductions of older cards produced by Upper Deck. In August 2012, Megabloks launched a licensed line of World of Warcraft 'building block' toys based on the game scenes, scenarios and characters. In March 2014, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft was released, which is a free-to-play digital card game based on the Warcraft universe, using classes similar to World of Warcraft.
Como en otros, los jugadores controlan un avatar dentro de un mundo en una vista de tercera persona (con la opción de jugar en primera persona) explorando el entorno, combatiendo contra varios monstruos y jugadores, completando misiones e interactuando con personajes no jugables (PNJ) u otros jugadores. El completar misiones ayudará a los jugadores a poder subir de nivel y de esta forma, podrán conseguir equipamiento que les ayudará más adelante a combatir a las distintas criaturas que vayan apareciendo en su camino.
In South Korea, there is no software package or CD key requirement to activate the account. However, to play the game, players must purchase time credits online. There are two kinds of time credits available: one where the player is billed based on the actual number of minutes that will be available, and one where the player can play the game for a number of days. In the former, time can be purchased in multiples of 5 hours or 30 hours, and in the latter, time can be purchased in multiples of 7 days, 1 month, or 3 months. As software packages are not required, expansion pack contents are available to all players on launch day.
In December 2015, Blizzard sold an in-game battle pet named Brightpaw for $10 with all proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This resulted in a new Blizzard record donation of over $1.7 million to Make-A-Wish. In December 2016, Blizzard again sold a battle pet named Mischief for $10; it helped raise more than 2.5 million for Make-A-Wish. In September 2017, Blizzard sold a battle pet named Shadow the fox for $10, with proceeds going to the Red Cross to help with disaster relief.
Draenor, el mundo de los orcos, está siendo destruido por una misteriosa fuerza llamada Vil. Un brujo orco llamado Gul'dan ha unido los clanes orcos en una Horda, creando un portal para pasar al mundo de Azeroth. Los orcos están utilizando la magia vil para absorber la vida de los draenei con el fin de alimentar el portal. Una vez abierto, Gul'dan lidera una pequeña avanzada para capturar prisioneros en Azeroth y sacrificarlos para poder traer al resto de la Horda a través del portal. A pesar de sus dudas, Durotan, jefe del clan Lobo Gélido, su esposa embarazada Draka y su mejor amigo Orgrimm Doomhammer se unen a esta avanzada. Mientras cruzan el portal, Draka entra en labor de parto. Cuando llegan a Azeroth, Gul'dan ayuda a Draka a dar a luz, pero el bebé aún es prematuro, por lo que Gul'dan drena la vida de un ciervo cercano y se la da al niño usando magia vil, al cual más tarde Durotan nombra Go'el.
Questing was described as an integral part of the game, often being used to continue a storyline or lead the player through the game. The high number of quests in each location was popular, as well as the rewards for completing them. It was felt that the range of quests removed the need for a player to "grind", or carry out repetitive tasks, to advance their character. Quests also require players to explore every section of the game world, potentially causing problems for social gamers or roleplayers seeking somewhere quiet. Quests that required the player to collect items from the corpses of creatures they had killed were also unpopular; the low "drop rate", or chance of finding the items, makes them feel repetitive as a high number of creatures need to be killed to complete the quest. A large number of new players in a particular area meant that there were often no creatures to kill, or that players would have to wait and take turns to kill a particular creature to complete a quest. Some critics mentioned that the lack of quests that required players to group up made the game feel as if it were designed for solo play. Others complained that some dungeon or instanced group quests were not friendly to new players, and could take several hours to complete. Upon release, a small number of quests had software bugs that made them impossible to complete.
Blizzard makes use of a system known as Warden on the Windows version of the game to detect third-party programs, such as botting software, allowing World of Warcraft to be played unattended. There has been some controversy as to the legality of Warden. Warden uses techniques similar to anti-virus software to analyze other running software on the players' PCs, as well as the file system. However, unlike most anti-virus software, it sends a portion of this information back to Blizzard, which caused privacy advocates to accuse it of being spyware. One example of the information Warden collects is the title of every window open on the system while WoW is running. On the other hand, many gamers responded positively to the development, stating that they supported the technology if it resulted in fewer cases of cheating. Blizzard's use of Warden was stated in the Terms of Agreement (TOA).
Some of the challenges in World of Warcraft require players to group together to complete them. These usually take place in dungeons—also known as "instances"—that a group of characters can enter together. The term "instance" comes from each group or party having a separate copy, or instance, of the dungeon, complete with their own enemies to defeat and their own treasure or rewards. This allows a group to explore areas and complete quests without others interfering. Dungeons are spread over the game world and are designed for characters of varying progression. A typical dungeon will allow up to five characters to enter as part of a group. Some dungeons require more players to group together and form a "raid" of up to forty players to face some of the most difficult challenges. As well as dungeon-based raid challenges, several creatures exist in the normal game environment that are designed for raids to attack.
El mapamundi de World of Warcraft es muy extenso, ya que cuenta (a partir de las expansiones) con CUATRO dimensiones o mundos: Azeroth, Terrallende, Draenor y Argus, que cada uno cuenta con continentes, numerosas regiones, ciudades y mazmorras que se pueden explorar. Las tierras incluidas con el juego básico son los Reinos del Este y Kalimdor. Después, con cada expansión se fue aumentando poco a poco el mapamundi añadiendo nuevas zonas a explorar, o remodelando las tierras anteriores, actualmente el juego base World of Warcraft Battlechest incluye contenido explorable hasta la expansión de Legion, incluyendo las dos tierras mencionadas anteriormente, Pandaria, Terrallende y Rasganorte.