World of Warcraft has been around for years now, and many of us like me could try and argue that it takes a lot of skill to play; then there are those who argue that that it takes no skill. A friend of mine always bickered with me saying that WoW was a game of knowledge, and, although not easy, after a bit of practice, almost anyone can learn it. I did try to stick up for the game, but the truth is that, in every aspect of the game — Player vs. Player, Raids, Heroics, quest, killing NPC — all of it is just an immense amount of memorization. Now, I am not saying that everyone has the capability to play the game and that they can get the requisite timing correct, but WoW is a game of knowledge and having the right timing.
I’d first like to discuss characterization and timing. With whatever class you choose, you need to learn certain aspects about that character. You need to learn how you can do the most damage and best way you can survive. Furthermore, you also need to learn how to counter. For example: you’re a mage battling an NPC healer. You notice that character is dying and trying to heal himself; therefore, you should know that you have to silence him. After you understand how to use your character, all you need then is the right gear to be a skilled player.
Quests are are a fundamental feature of WoW, whether you’re leveling your character or just doing some end-gaming. Once you complete a quest, no matter how specific it is, the skill of questing becomes easier and easier to do in the future. You learn where to go and how to do whatever is asked of you. Let’s be honest: those of us who have played the game for a while now know how to get to level thirty without even looking at the quest log.
Simply put: ranging from regular dungeons to endgame raids, the game’s features require a lot of memorization. Do you remember completing Sunken Temple? Where there was a specific order in which you had to kill the bosses to continue the instance, and, furthermore, there was no indication where to go next between moments. Raiding is all about knowledge. First you have to know how many of each class you have to have in the groups. For instance, once you realize that you’re missing a healer in the group, you know that the whole raid can just end up failing. Subsequently, you also need to have the boss fights memorized; knowing when the boss is going to be enraged or when he looses agro on the tank are vital to the group’s success. Then, it’s just a matter of mastering the timing of the conflict.
World of Warcraft is not a game of skill; rather it is a game of knowledge, patience, and timing. This does not detract from the game, however; it still requires elite mastery of requisite gaming skills in order to attain ultimate success. Just as you must perfect your hair-trigger thumb for Modern Warfare 2, you must retain knowledge and execute the timing necessary to prosper in Azeroth.