I recently got on the "team" that is helping to test Blizzard's new MMORPG World of Warcraft. I must say that I'm pleasantly impressed. Not only is it colorful and easy to get into. There is a deceptive amount of depth to the game. The fact that it's also a part of the Warcraft Universe is a definite plus as well. I've been beta-testing EverQuest 2 for the past few weeks and have enjoyed myself but I found it a little difficult to get into (though less so than the original). The environments were big and beautiful, the quests were plentiful and there were always plenty of monsters to kill to build your characters up. One of the things that I really don't like about it is the fact that when you die you lose some experience that was, most likely, quite difficult to earn in the first place. When you're trying to complete what is supposed to be a simple quest and you keep getting killed because you're being forced into an area that you, as a low-level character, just shouldn't have to go into it gets a little frustrating. World of Warcraft, on the other hand, does not penalize you for taking risks. If you die you become a ghost and have to find your body. Other than that you can pretty much go anywhere without fear of losing some of your hard work. Another great thing about World of Warcraft is that you don't have to play it 24/7 to get anywhere. Most MMORPGs pretty much require that you're playing around the clock to compete with everybody else that's playing. In World of Warcraft you get experience bonuses for taking a rest every now and then. In other words sit still in the game or actually logoff. As a result of playing pretty much all day yesterday I've decided to preorder the game. It's very open-ended, it's easy to get into and it's not overly frustrating. As a casual MMORPG player I needed a game like this to come along. Hopefully the monthly fees won't be too expensive!