World of Warcraft coming Nov. 23

Blizzard Entertainment on Thursday confirmed earlier speculation that its long-anticipated massively multiplayer online role playing game World of Warcraft will be released this month. Blizzard expects World of Warcraft to be available in stores on November 23, 2004, released simultaneously for Mac OS X and Windows.

World of Warcraft brings players to the war-torn fantasy world of Azeroth, scene of countless conflicts that have raged in past Warcraft games. Players become legendary heroes of the various races represented in the game, Alliance species like Humans, Dwarves and Night Elves, or Horde species like Orcs, Tauren and the Undead. Players create customized characters, each with unique physical attributes and character class associations. The game sports thousands of weapons, spells and abilities to master, as players go on quests that build the story.

After the free one-month subscription included with both versions of the game, World of Warcraft is, like many MMORPGs, available to play for an additional fee. A month-to-month subscription plan costs $14.99 per month; a three-month plan costs $13.99 per month; and a six-month plan costs $12.99 per month. Players can use credit cards, pre-paid game cards and PayPal for their subscriptions.

Final system requirements for World of Warcraft were not given in the press release announcing the release date, but Blizzard's current "stress test" release calls for a G4/933MHz or faster, 512MB RAM, ATI or Nvidia graphics with at least 32MB VRAM, 4GB hard disk space, a 56K or faster Internet connection, and a multi-button mouse recommended.

And if you'd like to see more of the game, Apple has posted an "Exclusive QuickTime World of Warcraft Intro Cinematic."

Updated 11/04/04 5:55 PM: Link to Apple QuickTime feature added.

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