The basic idea of high entropy alloys (HEAs): to produce alloys without choosing one major component, adding alloying elements, is really innovative. The unusual properties and the extreme stability of these multicomponent solid solutions are reality and suggest these alloys will have a positive impact in alloy design from now on. The initial explanation for these unusual properties, however, has found considerable skepticism. The present work reviews results of ab initio simulations in model HEAs with the BCC structure, using the cluster variation method in the irregular tetrahedron approximation. It is shown that these properties can be attributed to a high value of short-range order (SRO) parameters caused by the competition between conflicting interactions, and not to the maximum configurational entropy of the multicomponent alloy. Since entropy plays only a minor role in these properties, it is evident that there is no reason to remain at the equimolar composition.