World of Warcraft Adventure Game Review

World of Warcraft board game in play

The time has finally come for me to review World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game (yeah, that just means I finally got around to playing it again).

In the World of Warcraft Adventure Game, each player takes on the role of a fledgling Hero that is attempting to make a name for themselves by completing quests. Quests gain you victory points, and you play until someone has acquired 8 victory points. The quests may involve defeating Overlords, traveling to different places, or even knocking out your opponents in combat. On a given turn, a player will get to roll a movement die (which determines both how many spaces a player can go and how much "Energy" they have to spend), then they can have some sort of exploration, where they can heal, discover items, draw ability cards, etc. Next, a player will normally have an encounter with a monster, and finally the character will be able to equip any new items and collect his quest tokens.

The only "new" concept to me for the Warcraft Adventure Game was the concept of "Energy". When rolling the movement die, the more movement you get, the less Energy you get and vice versa. This Energy is used to be able to play your ability cards and to initiate some character powers ("at the beginning of movement spend 2 energy to...").

Overall, I did not like the Warcraft Adventure Game, and I have had a difficult time deciding exactly what it was about it that I did not like. Because of this, the "cons" section of this review may be more of a rambling monologue than anything else, but here it goes anyway...

Warcraft's leveling system (how to gain levels) was not very good. Whereas in most games in the role playing genre, you get experience points for defeating monsters and turn in the experience later to level in some way, in Warcraft defeating monsters gives you items, many of which you can't use because your Hero does not meet the equipping restrictions on the item you gained (Magicians can't carry the giant axe, Orcs can't use the magic wand, etc). When this happens, you just spent a turn that in no way advanced the game. In fact, to level up, you must go to a certain location and defeat a special encounter. However, if you fail, you will have just wasted another turn, which leads to the next problem...

Warcraft uses a 6-sided die to determine combat results. I much prefer the 20-sided die, because it allows you to have luck involved but to a much lower degree. In Warcraft, it seems like all of the combat is complete luck as to whether you successfully defeat your encounter or opponent instead of actually based on what your character's stats are. The character I used had an attack of 1 (even at the higher levels), which meant that for her to defeat someone with a defense of 6, I had to roll a 5 or higher - even when I had leveled up several times! Speaking of the pointlessness of leveling...

Leveling was not especially useful. Here's an example - I leveled up from Level 1 to Level 2 (there are only 4 possible levels), and I gained one hit point. I gained no bonus to my attack, defense, or damage dealt. At this rate, your character's stats will be almost the same at the maximum level as at the beginning level. The main thing that gaining levels allows you to do is enter areas that require a higher level (you cannot enter a "Red" area until your character is at the "Red" level), which makes me thing of another frustration...

The Heroes don't have much depth and there aren't very many of them.  Whereas most role playing games give you several different characters that you can use for replayability, the basic game of Warcraft only gives you 4, which means that they are all in play if you are playing with the maximum number of players (I think that they have expansions which you can buy to get more Heroes).  Also, where most role playing games have several stats, such as mental, melee, and ranged, and you fight or defend against your opponents in each of these, Warcraft only has Attack and Defense.  (They do have the concept of Ranged versus Melee attacks, but this only factors into when the damage is dealt.  Essentially, a character with a Ranged Attack has "First Strike.")

The next problem that Warcraft had was related to how movement works. Since so many of your quests relate to getting somewhere, you will often want to simply spend your turn moving as far as you can. Unfortunately, you are completely at the mercy of your die roll for this. I realize that this was designed so that you would either get to have lots of movement or lots of Energy, it winds up not working out well. When all you are trying to do is move 8 spaces and don't need energy for anything, and you repeatedly roll a 1 that also has 3 Energy markers on it, your turns get frustrating very quickly.

Overall, the mechanics of World of Warcraft the Adventure Game "work" (though I did not like several of them), so I will give it a 5.0/10. Some people may enjoy this game, but to me it quickly turned into drudgery. My recommendation: go play Runebound instead.

If World of Warcraft sounds interesting, then you might also check out Talisman 4th Edition, Dungeon Lords, and Legend of Drizzt.

No comments:

Post a Comment