The great desert fortress of Ahn'Qiraj, long sealed behind the Scarab Wall, was home to the insectoid qiraji, a savage race that had once mounted an assault to devastate the continent of Kalimdor. But something far more sinister lurked behind Ahn'Qiraj's walls: the Old God C'Thun, an ancient entity whose pervasive evil had suffused Azeroth since time immemorial. As C'Thun incited the qiraji to frenzy, both the Alliance and Horde prepared for a massive war effort. A mixed force of Alliance and Horde soldiers, dubbed the Might of Kalimdor, opened the gates of Ahn'Qiraj under the command of the orc Varok Saurfang. The heroes laid siege to the ruins and temples of Ahn'Qiraj and vanquished C'Thun.
Warcraft es una marca comercial de Blizzard Entertainment que ha sido ampliamente difundida y diversificada a partir del videojuego Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994), uno de los primeros en su género. Por extensión también implica a la marca World of Warcraft, que nace del videojuego de rol multijugador masivo en línea -por sus siglas en inglés, MMORPG- del mismo nombre.1​El universo de Warcraft que se encuentra en ambas marcas está ambientado en una fantasía épica moderna propia de El Señor de los Anillos o Dungeons & Dragons y tiene su inspiración inicial en los juegos del universo de Warhammer Fantasy[cita requerida], representando combates entre el bando de los humanos y el de los orcos, los cuales son seres fantásticos adaptados de la mitología clásica europea a la fantasía actual, pero con una concepción y estilos muy propios.

Questing was described as an integral part of the game, often being used to continue a storyline or lead the player through the game.[21] The high number of quests in each location was popular, as well as the rewards for completing them.[10] 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.[20] Quests also require players to explore every section of the game world, potentially causing problems for social gamers or roleplayers seeking somewhere quiet.[21] 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.[20] A large number of new players in a particular area meant that there were often no creatures to kill,[21] or that players would have to wait and take turns to kill a particular creature to complete a quest.[10] 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.[83] Others complained that some dungeon or instanced group quests were not friendly to new players, and could take several hours to complete.[20] Upon release, a small number of quests had software bugs that made them impossible to complete.[10]


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.[32] 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.[33] As well as dungeon-based raid challenges, several creatures exist in the normal game environment that are designed for raids to attack.[28][34]
Years ago, in the ruined temple of Atal'Hakkar, loyal priests of the Blood God Hakkar the Soulflayer attempted to summon the wrathful deity's avatar into the world. But his followers, the Atal'ai priesthood, discovered that the Soulflayer could only be summoned within the Gurubashi tribe's ancient capital, Zul'Gurub. Newly reborn in this jungle fortress, Hakkar took control of the Gurubashi tribe and mortal champions of the trolls' mighty animal gods. The Soulflayer's dark influence was halted when the Zandalari tribe recruited heroes and invaded Zul'Gurub.

The appearance of the game world was praised by critics. Most popular was the fact that a player could run from one end of the continent to the other without having to pause at a "loading screen" while part of the game is retrieved from storage.[86] The environment was described as "breathtaking". Players found it difficult to become lost, and each area in the game world had a distinct look that blended from one to the next.[21] Critics described the environment as "a careful blend of cartoon, fantasy art, and realism".[81] The game was found to run smoothly on a range of computer systems,[10] although some described it as basic,[21] and mentioned that the bloom light rendering effect can blur things.[20] One reviewer described the ability to fly over long stretches of scenery as "very atmospheric".[83] The user interface was liked, being described as "simple", with tooltips helping to get the player started.[10]
In the United States, Canada, and Europe, Blizzard distributes World of Warcraft via retail software packages.[50] The software package includes 30 days of gameplay for no additional cost. To continue playing after the initial 30 days, additional play time must be purchased using a credit card or prepaid game card. The minimum gameplay duration that a player can purchase is 30 days using a credit card, or 60 using a prepaid game card. A player also has the option of purchasing three or six months of gameplay at once for a 6–15% discount.[51] In Australia, the United States, and many European countries, video game stores commonly stock the trial version of World of Warcraft in DVD form, which includes the game and 20 levels[52] of gameplay, after which the player would have to upgrade to a retail account by supplying a valid credit card, or purchasing a game card as well as a retail copy of the game.
The appearance of the game world was praised by critics. Most popular was the fact that a player could run from one end of the continent to the other without having to pause at a "loading screen" while part of the game is retrieved from storage.[86] The environment was described as "breathtaking". Players found it difficult to become lost, and each area in the game world had a distinct look that blended from one to the next.[21] Critics described the environment as "a careful blend of cartoon, fantasy art, and realism".[81] The game was found to run smoothly on a range of computer systems,[10] although some described it as basic,[21] and mentioned that the bloom light rendering effect can blur things.[20] One reviewer described the ability to fly over long stretches of scenery as "very atmospheric".[83] The user interface was liked, being described as "simple", with tooltips helping to get the player started.[10]
Han pasado cinco años desde los eventos narrados en Warcraft 3. La Alianza y la Nueva Horda viven en un estado de guerra fría, y mantienen una frágil y quebradiza paz, mientras reconstruyen sus reinos y tratan de recuperar su prosperidad. En Ventormenta, el rey Varian Wrynn ha desaparecido en circunstancias misteriosas mientras viajaba en misión diplomática a la isla de Theramore, por lo que en su ausencia, es nombrado rey su hijo Anduin Wrynn, todavía un niño, asumiendo la regencia lord Bolvar Fordragon y la misteriosa lady Katrana Prestor. En Orgrimmar, el jefe de guerra Thrall lucha por sacar adelante a la Nueva Horda.
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