A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that World of Warcraft: Tides of Vengeance is a free downloadable content update for the blockbuster MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) World of Warcraft on Windows PCs and Macs. It requires the base game (which is free), as well as The Battle for Azeroth expansion (which costs $50) and a paid subscription at $14.99/month. The update provides mostly high-level content for experienced players. Like the base game, the update contains a high degree of fantasy violence as characters use hand to hand, ranged weapons, as well as magic and special abilities to defeat monsters and other human players in battle. There's also occasional mild profanity, (words like “damn” or “hell”) some scantily-clad female characters and flirty dialog, as well as references to and alcohol (characters can drink until drunk and drunk effects include blurry screen, unsteady movement, and vomiting.) Kids can be exposed to inappropriate language and conversations via voice and text chat, though profanity filters and “ignore” functionality allows them to block some of this. An online shop tempts kids to spend money on tons of cool vanity items like armor, pets, and mounts.
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What's it about?
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: TIDES OF VENGEANCE is a free content update that builds on the popular fantasy MMORPG World of Warcraft. It puts players at the forefront of the continued War Campaign between the Alliance and the Horde as betrayals mount and battle lines become more entrenched. Players fight for their factions, earning new armor, weapons, and cosmetic upgrades from a new Darkshore Warfront and new quests, Island Expeditions, and high-level raids. New players get a leg up on reaching this high end content with a new 25% reduction in leveling requirements. Players wanting to test their pets' mettle can explore the new Gnomeregan Battle Pet Dungeon, and lore-hounds left on edge from The Battle of Azeroth expansion finally get some answers.
Is it any good?
This is an impactful update, with a new Warfront and two new Raids that really adds a lot of content for veteran gamers of this long running franchise. In World of Warcraft: Tides of Vengeance, a new darkness covers Azeroth as the Alliance and Horde battle for control of the former Night Elf region called Darkshore and the Zandalari city of Zuldazar. Former frenemies once again are all-out foes in a story-rich update that offers experienced players some serious fun. The new Warfront, Battle for Darkshore, is a nod to real-time strategy games and lets you try to capture (or hold) Darkshore by fighting and collecting and managing resources. It's chaotic cooperative fun and mostly free of player-to-player drama. If drama's OK with you though, the new 20-player raid, Battle of Dazar'alor, has your name all over it. This epic three-act dungeon's set in the Zandalari troll city of Zuldazar, pits players against some varied -- and seriously staggering -- bosses. The raid boasts some shocking reveals among its heroes and sets the stage for what promises to be an epic showdown between Alliance and Horde. As they say in the movies: “Now it's personal.”
While the new raids and new Warfront are the centerpiece of the update, Blizzard hasn't neglected the other areas of the game. Countless changes have been made to to skills, classes, rewards, and more, and battle pet fans will squeal with delight at the new Gnomeregan Battle Pet Dungeon. But there's a downside. To enjoy Tides of Vengeance (or in fact, even access it), your characters have to be very high level, so new players have a lot to learn and do before they can experience it for themselves. Fortunately, Blizzard's commitment to helping new players progress with the free base game download, free play to level 20, and the newly-implemented leveling speed increase should help them along. The downside for experienced players is the release schedule. Blizzard's decision to release the update piecemeal over a couple of months instead of all at once hasn't been popular; even so, time (and levels) pass quickly, so no matter what level you are now, World of Warcraft: Tides of Vengeance has quality gameplay in store for you.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the risks of using third-party MMO add-ons. Do your kids understand these tools could put your PC or personal information at risk?
Can low monthly fees for ongoing multiplayer online role-playing games add up to an unexpectedly large overall cost?
When it comes to entertainment, do your kids follow peer consensus or come to their own conclusions?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Pricing structure: Free (Requires free base game World of Warcraft, but also requires purchase of paid expansion, The Battle for Azeroth @ $49.99.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Release date: January 22, 2019
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Alcohol, Mildly Suggestive Content
- Last updated: December 16, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.