World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe.
The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007.
The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008.
The third expansion set, Cataclysm, was released on December 7, 2010.
The fourth expansion set, Mists of Pandaria, was released on September 25, 2012.
The fifth expansion set, Warlords of Draenor, was released on November 13, 2014.
The sixth expansion set, Legion, was announced at Gamescom 2015, on August 6, 2015.
As characters become more developed, they gain various talents and skills, requiring the player to further define the abilities of that character.
Characters can choose from a variety of professions, such as tailoring, blacksmithing, or mining.
Characters can learn four secondary skills: archeology, cooking, fishing, and first-aid.
Much of World of Warcraft play involves the completion of quests.
These quests, also called "tasks" or "missions", are usually available from NPCs.
Quests usually reward the player with some combination of experience points, items, and in-game money.
Quests allow characters to gain access to new skills and abilities, and explore new areas.
It is through quests that much of the game's story is told, both through the quest's text and through scripted NPC actions.
Quests are linked by a common theme, with each consecutive quest triggered by the completion of the previous, forming a quest chain.
Quests commonly involve killing a number of creatures, gathering a certain number of resources, finding a difficult to locate object, speaking to various NPCs, visiting specific locations, interacting with objects in the world, or delivering an item from one place to another to acquire experience and treasures.
While a character can be played on its own, players can group with others to tackle more challenging content.
Most end-game challenges are designed in a way that they can only be overcome while in a group.
In this way, character classes are used in specific roles within a group.
World of Warcraft uses a "rested bonus" system, increasing the rate that a character can gain experience points after the player has spent time away from the game.
When a character dies, it becomes a ghost—or wisp for Night Elf characters—at a nearby graveyard.
Characters can be resurrected by other characters that have the ability, or can self-resurrect by moving from the graveyard to the place where they died.
If a character is past level ten and they resurrect at a graveyard, the items equipped by the character degrade, requiring in-game money and a specialist NPC to repair them.
Items that have degraded heavily become unusable until they are repaired.
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