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There's More to WoW than PvP/Raiding
With over 11 million subscribers, World of Warcraft (WoW) is obviously a game that appeals to many different types of video game/MMO players. They have entire player-vs-player (PvP) realms for those who enjoy that aspect, and player-vs-environment (PvE) realms for those who don't. There are dungeons and raids throughout the various levels of the game, with some even having hard modes or special circumstances in which players can get achievements/recognition for their skill.
There are also achievements and aspects of the game that offer plenty to do without ever stepping foot inside a raid, or dueling another player. What this means is that WoW is not exclusively a raiding MMO or a PvP MMO, and anyone who tries to say otherwise clearly hasn't played the game enough. If you're trying to decide whether or not to pick up a copy of WoW, or if you've started to play and your interests lie outside PvP/raiding, then this article will help you discover what else is out there for you.
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The Argent Tournament - Perfect for Non-Raiders
One of the great new additions to the WoW universe has been the Argent Tournament. Located in Icecrown, this area is known as a quest hub, offering a series of new quests that can help a player earn faction reputation, earn gold, and get exclusive new pets, items and mounts, as well as a chance to experience more "vehicle" quests that are so abundant in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
What I enjoy about the Argent Tournament area, is that some of the quests are a lot more interesting when compared to the leveling/grinding quests from levels 1 - 60. For one thing, you can do jousting quests! For anyone who loves a little medieval flare in an MMO, this is really right up your alley. You get a lance, a cool vehicle mount, and some special moves. You get to practice on stationary targets first, and then work your way up to higher level NPCs. And since this isn't PvP, you don't have to worry about your opponent talking trash about you in trade channel if you lose.
As I mentioned earlier, this area is also great for working on your city faction reputation. It will also help you knock out some achievements. If you're still working towards gathering more vanity pets and mounts, this is a great way to increase your totals. (Personally, I'm a big fan of the white skeletal warhorse mount!) For a comprehensive guide to the tournament area, be sure to consult our Argent Tournament Guide.
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Role-Playing is always an option.
As great as the Argent Tournament is, it's only an option if your character is at max level (which is currently set at 80). Role-playing (RP) in WoW is a aspect of the game that can be enjoyed at all levels. In fact, WoW actually offers entire "RP" realms (both PvE and PvP). Characters must have a name that fits within the WoW universe (no "Icanhazcheezebrgr" allowed), and you are expected to behave in the game as your character would, were they actually living in that universe.
RP in WoW allows for a more immersive experience than pen and paper RPs, or forum based RPs. You can actually see your character, visit the cities, interact with other players and NPCs, etc. While you certainly can engage in PvP or raiding while role-playing, the game is so massive that you certainly don't have to in order to enjoy it.
If you're interested in the RP aspect of WoW, WoW Insider offers a wonderfully helpful series of articles called "All the World's a Stage" which provides detailed insight on how to accurately role-play the various races and classes in the game. It is definitely worth a look.
Unfortunately, role play in World of Warcraft tends to be pretty sparse and role players are often looked down upon or ridiculed by other players. If role play is your think, you might want to look for a game designed for it specifically. For example, role playing is Threshold RPG's speciality.
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Non-PvP and Non-Raid Based Achievements
Another brilliant addition to WoW via Wrath of the Lich King was the achievement system. It gave players all new challenges and feats to aim for. While there are a lot of achievements that are based on PvP and raiding, there are just as many that aren't. You could pursue achievements based on exploration, professions, pets and mounts, holiday participation, and more. You can even earn titles and exclusive pets as rewards.
For example, you could pursue the achievement "World Explorer," which means you would have visited all of the designated places on the three continents and Outland. While some may call it easy achievement, it is certainly a time investment that requires patience and diligence to complete. You can earn the title "The Explorer" for completing it.
The profession related achievements can also be fun alternatives to raiding and PvP. The game offers fishing and cooking as side professions (with their own special achievements), which can be a nice relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of the game.
No matter what you enjoy about MMO gaming, it's a pretty good bet the World of Warcraft can be fulfilling for you: whether it's PvP, raiding, role-playing, questing, earning achievements, or just exploring this lore rich world. If you're still debating, go ahead and sign up for the free trial, and give it a shot. What have you got to lose?