It can be a little confusing when you hear about Warcraft and start looking into it. If you look into it deep enough you find Warcraft, Warcraft II, Warcraft III and finally World of Warcraft. Then there are all the expansion packages. Whew! Let's discuss a little about what's available and the difference between all the different options.
To begin the Warcraft series 1-3 consist of PC based games by Blizzard Entertainment that are in the Real Time Strategy realm or RTS. Strategy games let you command units or armies consisting of different types such as infantry types or larger units such as ships or vehicles depending on the RTC. The RTC Warcraft Series is made up of the following games:
1. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans - released in 1994
2. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness - released in 1995
3. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos - released in 2002
Warcraft II and III both have additional expansion packs that add to the game play. In 1999 Blizzard released the first online version of Warcraft II, the Battle.net edition which allowed multiplayer support via Blizzard's online gaming service. From that point on, online gaming was an integral part of the games.
With the World of Warcraft, often referred to as WoW, Blizzard went a different direction creating a massively multiplayer online role playing game or MMORPG. The game was released in 2004 and currently is the world's most subscribed MMORPG. Each player controls just one character and interacts by guiding him or her through various quests and adventures. There are currently two expansion packs available. The Burning Crusade was released in 2007, and the Wrath of the Lich King was released in 2008. Unlike the original Warcraft RTS games, the WoW games are never ending games where the characters carry on lives of their own. Players can and do spend hours online developing their characters. The online versions of both Warcraft and WoW are subject to fees that are based upon the location of the gamer.
Both the Warcraft and World of Warcraft games have been hugely popular. The development and focus of Blizzard has been largely in the WoW realm; however, there have been whisperings of a possible Warcraft IV in the future. Both games are quality games that are worth exploring.
Self professed WoW addict RD White can be found most days online or working with his World of Warcraft blog, http://www.WoWGuideGold.com