If there were a Nobel prize for an IT company that made the most noticeable contribution to preserving world peace, it would most definitely be Blizzard. The phenomena of WoW universe has broken hundreds of records and sparked thousands of research papers covering anything from social sciences all the way to statistics and economics. The most significant achievement that will forever stay (till it is beaten and surpassed) with World of Warcraft is the sole fact that 12 million people have been engaged in a bloodless conflict for Azerot.
Some critics express concerns for the price of participation in Alliance and Horde battles. Potential players not only have to pay for every single expansion (three released with two rumored to follow) but also have to make monthly payments. Luckily, the money seems to go just where the end users can really appreciate it. Blizzard constantly updates and maintains its servers and even some minor patches bring not only fixes but new content to explore.
Engineers deserve due credit as well. Those people who designed the basics of WoW game engine back in early 2000s made a remarkable job at making it as upgradable as possible. Constant upgrades of the graphics features allow this game to be as contemporary as any other competitor title. The downside to the above mentioned improvements is the increasing graphics card requirements.
Current contemporary graphics cards proved quite capable of handling the loads created by World of Warcraft game engine especially with the recently delivered DirectX 11 API support patch. There is no apparent need for you to go all in and spend a little fortune on Radeon HD 6990 or GeForce GTX 590 products. Even fastest single GPU Radeon HD 6970 and GeForce GTX 580 are overkill for this title.
Performance mainstream market has a number of products and from our investigation it is clear that any of the $200-$300 graphics cards will be adequate for the task at hand. In the end of the day, there is really little difference between GeForce GTX 570, GeForce GTX 560 Ti, Radeon HD 6950 or even Radeon HD 6850 as long as you stay away from the super-large screen resolutions.
Despite some situations when World of Warcraft could run on Intel integrated graphics for laptops, a discrete add-on graphics card is still a must for someone really interested in 25-man raiding and Arena team glory, even if he or she is on a budget. This is where entry-level graphics cards come into play. If the money is really tight, get yourself a used Radeon HD 5770. Its street price should be dropping rapidly, considering the recent replacement release, and since it is a genuine DirectX 11 piece of hardware, it will allow you to experience Azeroth the way Blizzard artists and designers envisioned it.
...and now, back to Azeroth, as the time for chaos has finally come!