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World of Warcraft Achievements - Eight Years On

26. November, 2012Tags: MMO Blog, MMO Industry, World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft Achievements in 8 years
World of Warcraft turned eight years old
last week, a milestone that most MMOs will simply never know. The most amazing fact about this is just how popular it remains. This is no retro game, kept online for people who want a slice of nostalgia. World of Warcraft was and remains THE MMO to beat, with millions of people logging in each month. I found out this week that, collectively, World of Warcraft has been played for longer than the time since we evolved from apes. If that isn’t a huge achievement, I’m not sure what is.


This week, instead of our usual article, I thought we’d look back at this and similar World of Warcraft achievements. This is THE MMO for a reason, and some of those reasons are listed below. If we’ve missed any, don’t forget to join in in the comments and share some of your own.

World of Warcraft Achievements – Filling Time

World of Warcraft has been played collectively for more than 5.93 million years.  This is for longer than humans have been split off from apes and nearly 30 times as long as Homo Sapiens have been around. That means that for every year of World of Warcraft's existence, 741,250 years have been played collectively.

• That means that every day sees over 2000 years of gameplay, taking us back to before our switch from BC to AD. That’s over 84 years per hour. Holy hell, people play this game an awful lot.

World of Warcraft

• There’s more to this than that though. That figure – 5.93 million years – is actually from 2010, so really these numbers are much higher. Nearly a million years’ worth of gameplay a year. If the numbers kept going at that rate, it’s safe to presume nearly 8 million years of gameplay is the total at the minute, allowing for over 2500 years a day since its release.

• Despite the sheer amount of users playing World of Warcraft, and the massive amount of time and energy they have put into the game, League of Legends has managed to outdo it this year. Good god, it makes you wonder why the community is so bitter.

• 2500 years a day sounds like a ridiculous amount – until you visit the XFire and Raptr communities and see how much people actually play this game. 25,000+ hours are logged every day using XFire, that’s the equivalent of 3 years, JUST from the people who care enough to have XFire loaded.

• Some players on XFire have logged more than 15,000 hours on World of Warcraft and most of them still play more than fifty hours a week. I don’t hold much belief in gaming addiction, but if ever there were proof for an addiction, I think we’ve found it.

• The biggest example I could find on short notice is a user named Tolo. Tolo has played World of Warcraft for 15,271 hours – that’s nearly two years’ worth of playtime on an account that was opened in November 2004. For the average person – a person who spends a third of their day sleeping, another third of their day working and some of their day travelling – this would mean Tolo plays World of Warcraft in ALL of his free time. There would be hardly any time for food, socializing or even basic hygiene. I guess when you’re a top level MMO player, something has to give, and it’s the unimportant stuff first.

World of Warcraft Horde Field Camp

World of Warcraft Achievements – I’m an Achiever

• According to Raptr, more than 95% of the users who start to play World of Warcraft while running the service have reached level 10. This drops to 91% for level 20, 87% for level 30 and 84% for level 40. 81% will make it to level 50 and 78% hit level 60. That means that - if Raptr is a decent sample of the game overall – the vast majority will level their character up to the original max level for the game and, more importantly, if you make it to level 30, you’re pretty likely to make it to level 60.

• This probably means almost everybody plays the game for at least 15 hours. Up to 75% of people will probably play it for over 100 hours.

• Aside from levelling, the most achieved World of Warcraft achievement involves learning to ride mounts. So does the second.

• Of the 2293 achievements in the game, over 100 have been earned by less than 1% of the Raptr community. 31 have been earned by so few people that they actually register as less than 0.01% and one hasn’t been unlocked by the Raptr community at all.

• The average amount of achievements earned by the Raptr community is 307. That’s a little under 13.5%.

World of Warcraft – Facts and Figures

• In 2010, it costed Blizzard $136,986 to keep the servers up and running every single day. That’s practically $50 million a year. Was it all worth it though? Blizzard makes $800 million dollars in revenue a year – from EU and US players alone. Nearly 50% of players are in Asia.

Stormstout Brewery - World of Warcraft

• One in five players is apparently female. They’re usually found playing as Night Elves. By the time of publication this has been well known for at least two years, and the chances are the “girl” you’re talking to is probably a well-versed young man.

• Although the female portion of the WoW community seem to love Night Elves, the community as a whole is less exciting. A whopping 19% of players will choose to play as a human at the beginning of the game. Of thirteen selectable races, that’s pretty damn impressive.

• Since 2004, the fastest selling PC games of all time have always been World of Warcraft or one of its expansions. This was true until this year, when it was overtaken by Diablo 3, the latest in the Diablo series and also a Blizzard game.


World of Warcraft was the game that put the MMO genre on the map for hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, and in the time since release millions of people have journeyed into Azeroth for the first time. Most of them stay there or have fond memories of their game time. As these stats show, it’s not only been a noteworthy video game in terms of the amount of people playing it, but in the way they’ve played, the way they’ve found friendships, love interests, the achievements they’ve earned and the stories they’ve told.

World of Warcraft has had a fantastic 8 years, and although multiple “WoW-killers” have come along during those 8 years, nothing has managed to topple the king. And with that many people playing, nothing ever will. Here’s wishing the continued best of luck to everybody working on the game, and here’s hoping I get to update this article for the 16th anniversary of the game.

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