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westeros
real time strategy games
tides of darkness
real time strategy
rts games
epic fantasy
fantasy books
world of warcraft
game of thrones
Wow Vs Wow (world Of Westeros Vs World Of Warcraft)!
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Wow Vs Wow (world Of Westeros Vs World Of Warcraft)!

Don't misunderstand me, I won't write about how would orcs fare against The Others. What I want is to compare my favored MMORPG against my favored epic fantasy books. They are both largely popular today, but for those from another galaxy, World of Warcraft is MMORPG (Massively Multiplayed Online Role Playing Game), based on the characters and world derived from series of RTS (Real Time Strategy) games by Blizzard studios. World of Westeros is place in which all of A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy books events occur.

First book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire - A Game of Thrones was published in 1996, about the same time as Warcraft II - Tides of Darkness. Great book and a great game around the same time! I was reading a book, and than playing the game, and it all somehow blended in. In the book you could identify with the characters, and in the game you could control the events.

However, as more and more fantasy based RTS games were published, Warcraft lost some of its uniqueness, while in the same time, A Song of Ice and Fire remained a sole example how good fantasy should be written.

And then, in 2004, a World of Warcraft was published. Pearl from the Blizzard, best MMORPG until today. At first glance I was thrilled, to be able to build your avatar in fantasy world, and duke it out with other similar minded people was too good to be true. And from beginning there was Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens in WoW.

Then came the long wait for the A Dance with Dragons, book that took Martin too long to write. Luckily those were the golden days for WoW, and I was able to get my daily dose of fantasy in regular bases, and world around was a little bit easier to bare.

What makes Westeros and Warcraft worlds similar? Warcraft is packed full with fantastical creatures, while in the Westeros they are all but extinct. In Warcraft magic is the lifeblood of action, while in Westeros it exists only in traces. Well all that is just the makeup, what really makes them similar is under the surface.

One might think that when WoW was published, everyone would join Alliance - after all isn't it the Horde what we fought against in all of Warcraft games? But it wasn't so, Blizzard understood well that WoW shouldn't give its players choices like "Are you good or evil?", because people aren't. We are both, although we like to think about ourselves as good, in some situations another side of our personality reminds us that there is thin line between the two.

So they did exactly the same thing Martin did in his books. They neither made Alliance "good", nor they made the Horde "bad". So the players could decide for themselves what are they, a Night Elf with mean streak in their character, or a goodhearted Orc. As in the books, nobody is classified as good or bad, leaving to players to build their avatar as see fit.

Another thing similar is limit in capabilities. Although I believe Blizzard had much more selfish motive (limit in capabilities meant that players must cooperate and thus - more players), the result is the same. Both in the books and in the game, characters are not almighty and capable of doing wonders, but must cooperate with others, even sometimes with those they don't like, to reach some common goal.

And finally the essence, in books Martin is portraying inner thoughts and actions of his characters in such way that you can see when someone is lying, cheating or doing some other sort of deceit in order to gain something. And, thanks to the master storytelling of Martin, you feel it as justified. In WoW, players can be who they want. In real world some bald, middle aged clerk has avatar in WoW two meters tall, hair to the waist, wielding war hammer heavier than himself. And you could call that cheating, but feel it justified. He is not hurting anyone, just living a dream he cannot in real world.

Driving force of both worlds, in the end, is the same. Our need to be someone else, someone we cannot in this world and this time. WoW is making that possible trough the modern technologies and the Internet, while world of Westeros is in imagination of the reader. But they both give us justice, in the sense that they don't force us to be "that way" or "another". Every one can choose, and know that his choice will not hurt him or someone else. So feel free to build avatarin WoW as undead sorcerer, or like Cersei Lannister in the books - in both worlds, nobody will judge you!


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