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8-05-2009 @ 8:39PM
Yes, WoW has always been casual-friendly. The tricky part of this is remembering that the composition of the greater MMO playerbase and the definiition of "casual" have really changed over time, mostly BECAUSE of WoW's friendliness to less-hardcore players. When WoW launched, it had several features that were uncommon or new for an MMO and were all aimed at making the game easier and more user-friendly. The first ten off the top of my head:1) Questgivers who are clearly marked when they have a quest to offer.2) Quest return points that are clearly marked and marked differently when the quest is complete.3) Questing as the primary way of earning experience.4) Quests that try to provide rewards appropriate for players of different classes.5) Having discrete "hubs" of questgivers that the player is shepherded between when they reach the appropriate level to move on. ("Pearls on a string," as they say.)6) Grouping with others not being mandatory to reach the max level.7) Instanced dungeons.8) Having enough info available in-game that one could reach max level without using spoiler sites.9) A unified, rapid transit system.10) Healing classes that can specialize to do damage.Those all sound like "duh" stuff now, but there was a time when those were considered a revolutionary dumbing-down of the MMO genre.
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