World of warcraft is what is known as a MMORPG( Massive multiplayer online role playing game). For those not familiar, it is as follows:
- Massive: Well, self explanatory. It means large, many.
- Multi player: This isn't a console game, you interact with many other players, sometimes referred to as PC's( Players Characters). You can chat, trade, group with, and even "kill" them.
- Online: The main software is installed on your pc, but you connect to Blizzards servers and play online.
- RPG: Role playing game. You take on the character you are playing, be it gnome, dwarf, tauren, etc. You attempt to become that character. Some take it further and create backstories for their characters.
Warcraft started out as aRTS game, and lived through three versions, and a couple of expansion packs. The warcraft universe is rich in lore. A few years ago, blizzard decided to turn their popular loved RTS into a MMORPG. The success was more then they could hope for. It was released in november of 2004. I remember launch day very well, server crashes, massive lag, the demand was far higher then what they expected, and it took a few days to be able to play. Nobody predicted the popularity of this game. Blizzard added new servers as fast as they could.
The game recently went through an expansion at the end of 2006, opening the dark portal and allowing players to enter outland, the original home of the orcs. More lore, history and in depth explanations can be found at the offical WoW sight, or Wow wiki.