As with other MMORPGs, players control a character avatar within a game world in third- or first-person view, exploring the landscape, fighting various monsters, completing quests, and interacting with non-player characters (NPCs) or other players. Also similar to other MMORPGs, World of War craft requires the player to pay for a subscription, either by buying prepaid game cards for a selected amount of playing time, or by using a credit or debit card to pay on a regular basis.
To enter the game, the player must select a realm—sometimes referred to as a server. Each realm acts as an individual copy of the game world, and falls into one of four categories. Realms are either player versus player (player vs. player), where open combat among players is more common, or player versus environment, where the game play is more focused on defeating monsters and completing quests. Role play (RP) and Role play player vs. player variants of both primary realm types are also available. Realms are also categorized by language, with in-game support in the language available. Players can make new characters on all realms, and it is also possible to move already established characters between realms for a fee.
To create a new character, in keeping with the storyline of previous War craft series games, players must choose between the opposing factions of Alliance or Horde. Characters from the opposing factions can perform rudimentary communication, but only members of the same faction can speak, email, group, and share guilds. The player selects the new character’s race, such as Orcs or Trolls for the Horde or Humans or Dwarves for the Alliance. Players must also select the class for the character, with choices such as magic persons, warriors and priests available. All classes, except for special “Hero classes”, are limited to particular races.