"Iron Horde will attack on November 13, 2014" - this message shows up for me every day when I launch the battle.net app. Blizzard has created a great cinematic and is already spinning up a marketing campaign for the new World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Old players are coming back, and new players? Exactly! What about the new ones? Is it worth to start playing in Azeroth at all?
Once, when I was sitting with a friend on Skype, he showed me a video from IGN (I won't give you the link, because I don't remember the name of the video :/). One of the readers of the site asked the editor whether it's worth to start playing WoW. The man from IGN replied that it wasn't. He stated that this MMO is slowly coming to an end and most of all - that it's already very old. The game will soon celebrate its 10th birthday and during this time the game mechanics haven't evolved in a special way. The combat system is still based on the same, questing may not seem that fresh anymore and the engine itself doesn't allow for much. The graphics have changed for the better since 2004, but they still fall far short of those of Guild Wars 2, although I must admit that the cell-shading orcs have their own charm. I have to agree with the editor here, unfortunately. Azeroth may have changed after the Cataclysm, but the fun is still the same.
Well, despite appearances it's very easy to get into WoW these days. Blizzard has been maniacally making all its games more accessible lately. A lot of things have changed in Diablo III compared to the second one. For better or worse, it's a matter of taste, but most players found the gameplay easier. Mostly because a lot of the mechanics have been cut in such a way that we focus only on hitting monsters and collecting items, and don't care about anything else. Effectiveness is what matters, less the RPG aspect. World of Warcraft has the same syndrome, although the execution is a bit different. On the way to level 90 (soon to be 100), you don't have to worry about a lot of things. You don't have to go to trainers for skills, it's easier to get to all the locations, there are no huge talent trees... and I could go on for hours. The entry threshold is smaller, which makes it much easier to start playing.
Recently I managed to convince some friends to play. They all had minimal or no contact with WoW or were complete opponents. It was enough to take them to a private server and once they tasted the magic of this MMO, they changed their minds and were completely absorbed. They have already grabbed their Battlechests cheaply, are playing on the official server, and are thinking about submitting a subscription by the way.
Just why am I mentioning all this? Since the topic of the post is the sentence "Is it worth starting to play World of Warcraft?", I wanted to convince you first that it's easy to enter Azeroth. Even though many of the old-timers are leaving, there is also a large group of newcomers. WoW isn't dying, as I mentioned once before. I'm sure you all know that I'm about to say that it's worth a longer visit to Azeroth. But what can attract you there for longer? First of all, there is a lot of content waiting for everyone. Raids, PvP, lots of quests with an interesting story to learn. Fans of Warcraft universe strategy will also be surprised how much the world has changed since the first or second war. There are so many things to do here that the word "World" in the name reflects the immensity of the activities.
World of Warcraft can compete with the competition only with the content and its quality, as well as with its seniority on the market. If you've been playing other MMOs for the same number of years, you'd probably feel quite bored. Blizzard continues to release new additions to the game, and even if they stop doing so, the production world will not simply die out. The creators will certainly try to support it, and you don't even have to worry about the future of this title. An investment in WoW is an investment for a long time. You'll be playing here for months, if not years. No other production can provide you with that. Regardless of when you enter the game, it will always be worth it. You just have to find out if this type of game suits your taste. But that's why you have infinite trial, where you can reach level 20 of experience, or private servers, where you can warm up before entering the official server. Besides, after Warlords of Draenor there will be a breath of fresh air in the form of renewed graphics, including new character models. It won't be some CryEngine 3, but the weary will probably be slightly satiated.
I started playing with World of Warcraft a long time ago, I've played a lot and I'm still playing with a few breaks. As a veteran I say it's worth it. I would certainly say the same a few years ago.