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]
El pacífico reino de Azeroth está a punto de entrar en guerra para enfrentarse a unos terribles invasores: orcos guerreros que han dejado su destruido mundo para colonizar otro. Al abrirse un portal que conecta ambos mundos, un ejército se enfrenta a la destrucción, y el otro, a la extinción. Dos héroes, uno en cada bando, están a punto de chocar en un enfrentamiento que cambiará el destino de su familia, su pueblo y su hogar. Así empieza una espectacular saga de poder y sacrificio donde se descubren las numerosas caras de la guerra y donde cada uno lucha por lo suyo. Adaptación del popular videojuego homónimo. (FILMAFFINITY)
^ Larabel, Michael (January 26, 2011). "Blizzard Still Has a World of Warcraft Linux Client". Phoronix. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. It turns out that this appears to still be the case that internally they have a Linux build of World of Warcraft but as of yet they have decided against releasing it to the public.
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.[54] As software packages are not required, expansion pack contents are available to all players on launch day.

World of Warcraft contains a variety of mechanisms for player versus player (PvP) play. Players on player versus environment (PvE) servers can opt to "flag" themselves, making themselves attackable to players of the opposite faction.[25] Depending on the mode of the realm, PvP combat between members of opposing factions is possible at almost any time or location in the game world—the only exception being the starting zones, where the PvP "flag" must be enabled by the player wishing to fight against players of the opposite faction. PvE (called normal or RP) servers, by contrast, allow a player to choose whether or not to engage in combat against other players. On both server types, there are special areas of the world where free-for-all combat is permitted. Battlegrounds, for example, are similar to dungeons: only a set number of characters can enter a single battleground, but additional copies of the battleground can be made to accommodate additional players.[26] Each battleground has a set objective, such as capturing a flag or defeating an opposing general, that must be completed to win the battleground. Competing in battlegrounds rewards the character with tokens and honor points that can be used to buy armor, weapons, and other general items that can aid a player in many areas of the game. Winning a battleground awards more honor and tokens than losing. In addition, players also earn honor when they or nearby teammates kill players in a battleground.[25]
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]
When players create World of Warcraft accounts, they are asked to choose a username and password. Afterward, whenever they play World of Warcraft, they are asked to supply the same username and password in full. This is also the case when using account management facilities online. This type of authentication is vulnerable to keystroke logging. While this is not unique to World of Warcraft and is common to many MMORPGs, the game has been directly targeted with trojans being specifically crafted to capture account login details.[112] Attacks have been reported as early as May 2006 and may extend as far back as July 30, 2005.[113] The game does, however, allow players to save their account name to the program to allow the player to only have to type their password.[114]
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.