As characters progress in World of Warcraft and take on some of the toughest challenges, many of the rewards received are bound to that character and cannot be traded, generating a market for the trading of accounts with well-equipped characters. The highest noted World of Warcraft account trade was for £5000 (€7000, US$9,900) in early September 2007. The high price was due to the character possessing items that at the time were owned by only a handful out of the millions of active players, due to the difficulty in acquiring them. However, Blizzard banned the account five days after the purchase.[142]
World of Warcraft ha inspirado dos juegos de tablero: World of Warcraft: El Juego de Tablero (incluyendo las expansiones Shadow of War y The Burning Crusade)59​ y World of Warcraft: El Juego de Aventuras,60​61​ producidos por Fantasy Flight Games y editados en español por Devir. También existe un juego de cartas coleccionables, World of Warcraft Trading Card Game,62​ y un juego de miniaturas coleccionable63​ ambos producidos por Upper Deck Entertainment, a partir de marzo de 2010, cambió a Cryptozoic Entertainment.
In China, because a large number of players do not own the computer on which they play games (e.g. if they play in Internet cafés), the CD keys required to create an account can be purchased independently of the software package. To play the game, players must also purchase prepaid game cards that can be played for 66 hours and 40 minutes.[55] A monthly fee model is not available to players of this region. The Chinese government and NetEase, the licensee for World of Warcraft in China, have imposed a modification on Chinese versions of the game which places flesh on bare-boned skeletons and transforms dead character corpses into tidy graves. These changes were imposed by the Chinese government in an attempt to "promote a healthy and harmonious online game environment" in World of Warcraft.[56][57] The Chinese government delayed the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, due to what it deemed objectionable content.[58] NetEase took over licensing of World of Warcraft from The9 in June 2009 following the expiration of The9's contract,[59] and were able to secure a launch for Wrath of the Lich King on August 31, 2010, nearly two years after its Western release.
The Corrupted Blood plague so closely resembled the outbreak of real-world epidemics that scientists are currently looking at the ways MMORPGs or other massively distributed systems can model human behavior during outbreaks. The reaction of players to the plague closely resembled previously hard-to-model aspects of human behavior that may allow researchers to more accurately predict how diseases and outbreaks spread amongst a population.[149]
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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