World of Warcraft certainly has a wide appeal. One need only look at the motley crew assembled on this news blog to take notice of that. Along with such a vast fan base come varying ways to appreciate the game world.
Depending on who you ask, Watchmen is either a great piece of popular literature, a great graphic novel, or an overhyped piece of junk. If you talk to somebody who falls in one of the former camps, you're likely to hear that one of the key reasons for the novel's success are the small details. Throughout the novel, a minor backstory involving Soviet aggression and the escalating chances of nuclear war in Dr. Manhattan's wake plays out in the form of newspaper headlines. It's one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it plot points, but it really helps to create a sense of reality in the novel's dystopian alternate history.
Such minor details are often the key to success in most artistic media -- and gaming is no different. Look no further than WoW's famed arguing NPCs Asric and Jadaar, or on a smaller scale the shifty vendor Griftah, whose magical amulets prove a little less than spellbinding. Such small aspects of a game world so massive can often go overlooked, yet it is there that the game finds its heart. On the other hand, few game worlds are as expansive and in constant flux as Azeroth. With four continents to explore and a growing story that evolves every few months, it's hard to downplay the brilliant sense of scale and scope that Blizzard has brought to Azeroth.
What sells the game world for you -- the details, or the big picture?