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WoW Archaeologist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.8

The WoW Archaeologist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

Patch 0.8 was released to World of Warcraft beta servers in July 2004. The game was still taking shape at that point in time, but development of the base product had come far enough that Blizzard could finally start adding additional layers of complexity. Warriors and mages were the first classes to receive talent trees, and that happened in this patch.

Other notable additions in patch 0.8 include ...
  • Players who died in PvP against a player or PvP-flagged NPC had to wait in time-out for 2 minutes before they could resurrect via corpse retrieval.
  • The level cap was raised to 50.
  • Sunken Temple and Razorfen Downs were opened and itemized.
  • Rogues lost the ability to use bucklers (shields).
  • Tauren were given the Plainsrunning ability.
Follow us behind the cut for the full patch 0.8 patch notes and discussion of the highlights!

Beta Patch 0.8 Patch Notes
Auction Houses
  • Auctioneer NPCs have been placed in each major city (Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus, Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff and The Undercity). The Auctioneer's are faction specific, allowing Alliance characters to trade with other Alliance characters and Horde characters to trade with other Horde characters. Each city's Auction House is run independently; all Auctioneers that exist in the same city are all a part of the same Auction House.
  • One non-faction based Auction House is located in Booty Bay. The Booty Bay Auctioneer NPCs have the same functionality as the aforementioned faction based Auction Houses, with the additional capability of allowing trade between Horde and Alliance characters.
  • Sellers are able to place items up for auction, set a starting price, set the auction duration and include a buyout price by speaking with an Auctioneer.
  • All auctions will be initially charged a deposit fee; the deposit fee is refunded upon the successful sale of the item. All successful sales are charged an auction consignment fee which is extracted directly from the final sale price. All fees are higher in Booty Bay.
  • Buyers are able to search through items up for auction, place bids and purchase items that include buyout prices by speaking with the Auctioneer. Players are not able to place bids on items being sold by a character on their own account.
  • All items won at an Auction House will be delivered through the in-game mail system.
Talent System
  • Talents are now available for the Warrior and Mage classes! Players can open the talent interface by using the "Talents" button which resides next to the "Spellbook and Abilities" button, or by pressing the "N" default hotkey.
  • Talents will eventually be available for all classes.
PvP Changes
  • Players that die in PvP, either versus another player or versus a PvP-Flagged NPC must now wait 2 minutes before resurrecting at their corpse. This delay does not apply to players that are resurrected by other players or by using resurrection items.
  • Control types of spells such as Charm, Fear and Stun will now be subject to diminishing returns. This means that if a second spell of the same type is used against the same player within 15 seconds of the first effect wearing off, the second spell's duration will be reduced by 50%, the third's duration will be reduced by 75% and the player will be immune to the fourth casting.
Click to Move
  • A new option has been added under Video Options called Click to Move (by default this option is off). Players will need to turn it on to use this new functionality by clicking on Options, Video Options and then checking the radio box next to Click to Move.
  • Click to Move is an auto-interaction feature that will allow players to do several things by using their mouse. With Click to Move turned on, a player can do the following:
    • Right click on the ground to move to that location.
    • Right click on a creature to automatically move to that creature and initiate combat.
    • Cast a benefit spell and left click on a friendly player to automatically move within casting range and cast that spell.
    • Select monster and left click on a ranged weapon or spell icon to automatically move within shooting range and initiate combat by shooting the weapon or casting that spell.
    • We are aware of several problems with this new interface. Please use the /bug feedback form to submit any bugs that you find.
Rest State Changes
  • The Rest State system has undergone several changes. There are now two tiers of rest states: Rested = 200% experience and Normal = 100% experience.
  • At level one, players will all start in the normal tier. When a player rests be it in a city or at an inn they will gain rest bonus at a very slow rate. Eight hours of rest will be needed for a player to gain one "bubble" of rest bonus. At any given time, players will be able to accumulate a maximum of 30 "bubbles" worth of rest bonus which translates into approximately 1.5 levels worth of rested play (before your character returns to normal rest state).
  • The changes to the Rest State have been made with the understanding that most players will be in the Normal experience tier most of the time. The Rested tier is primarily intended for players that take a day or more off from playing or are very casual with their play schedules. This has enabled us to greatly reduce the experience necessary for all players to level regardless of which rest state tier they play under.
New Guard System
  • A new guard system has been added. This new system will enable NPCs to call for guards when they see an enemy as well as when they are attacked. The guards will chase players and then return to the NPC that called for help once they lose track of, or kill the player. If a guard is killed, another guard will be called to take its place. There is a limit to how many guards each town can have which will recharge over time. The cities that currently have the new Guard System in place are: Astranaar, Auberdine, Bloodhoof Village, Brill, Crossroads, Goldshire, Razor Hill, Sen'jin Village, Sentinel Hill, Sepulcher and Thelsamar. The Guard System will be implemented in other cities in future patches.
Level Cap Raised
  • The level cap has been increased to 50. New zones, quests, items and content have been added to accommodate the level increase.
Class Changes
  • General Spells/Abilities
  • Players can use the Function keys to cast spells on party members once the spell has been selected.
  • All melee abilities now require the target to be in front of the attacker.
  • Druid
    • Man Tracking has been renamed to Track Humanoid.
    • Sneak: Renamed to Prowl.
    • Feline Fury: Renamed to Tiger's Fury.
  • Mage
    • Frost Nova: Cooldown slightly increased.
    • Polymorph: New spell added. Polymorph transforms the enemy into a sheep, forcing it to wander around for the duration of the spell. While wandering, the sheep can not attack or cast spells and will regenerate health very quickly. Any damage will transform the target back into its normal form. Only one target can be Polymorphed at a time. Polymorph will only work on Beasts, Dragons, Giants, Humanoids and Critters.
    • Sleep: Sleep is being changed to Polymorph.
    • New Portal Spells have been added for each major city.
  • Paladin
    • Divine Favor: Renamed to Divine Protection.
    • Fist of Justice: Renamed to Hammer of Justice.
    • Might Aura: Renamed to Dominance Aura.
    • Seal of Sacrifice: Can no longer be cast on self.
    • Seal of Wrath: Renamed to Seal of Reckoning.
  • Rogue
    • Rogues will no longer get an icon for traps that they do not have the skill to disarm.
    • Block: Ability removed.
    • Expose: Renamed to Expose Armor.
  • Warlock
    • Life Drain: Renamed to Drain Life.
    • Life Tap: Life Tap no longer causes threat.
    • Nightmare: Getting attacked or damaged will no longer dismount the Warlock from the Nightmare.
    • Siphon Mana: Renamed to Drain Mana.
    • Summoned pets now regenerate at a slower rate when not in combat.
  • Warrior
    • Hamstring: Duration reduced.
Cities/Zones
  • Azshara, The Blasted Lands and Searing Gorge are now opened and itemized.
  • New points of interest have been added to Shimmering Flats.
Dungeons
  • The Sunken Temple and Razorfen Downs are now opened and itemized.
  • The Altar of the Keepers and Altar of Archaedas now require three players to activate them.
  • Instance areas should now be easier to enter and leave.
Tauren
  • Plains Running has been added; look for a level 40 quest in Thunder Bluff. The current Plains Running quest is a place holder until the actual quest is added.
Items
  • Bucklers have been removed from the game. Shamans now have the ability to use shields; Rogues and Hunters can no longer use shields. All existing bucklers have been turned into shields.
  • Wands can now be used by all classes that possess the Wand Proficiency; fire, frost and shadow skills are no longer necessary.
  • Healing and Mana potions have improved.
  • Rage potions have been made slightly weaker.
  • The Guardian Talisman has been fixed. The armor effect now lasts for 15 seconds.
Tradeskills
  • General
    • Breath of Wind and Heart of Fire are easier to find in this patch.
  • Alchemy
    • Free Action potions now have a 30 second duration.
    • Healing & Mana potions have improved. Rage potions have been made slightly weaker.
    • Transmute abilities are now cancelled by movement.
    • Transmute Mithril to Truesilver now has a two-day cooldown.
  • Blacksmithing
    • Ornate Mithril items have been improved.
    • Good quality items have had their gem ingredients reduced.
    • Changes have been made to several Blacksmithing recipes
    • A few new recipes have been added.
    • Truesilver Gauntlets have been changed to Plate.
  • Engineering
    • New recipes added up to skill 250.
    • Goblin Rocket Boots have been temporarily removed and will reappear once the Goblin Engineering Line is added.
    • Engineering may have a slower skill-up rate than it did previously.
    • The Mechanical Squirrel has a new mechanical graphic and requires malachite to make.
  • Fishing
    • The skill-up rate for fishing has been increased.
  • Herbalism
    • Artisan Herbalism has been added.
    • Stranglekelp has been reduced to Herbalism skill 85.
  • Leatherworking
    • Elemental items are now plus agility instead of spirit to balance out the amount of tradeskilled Rogue items.
  • Mining
    • Smelting bronze now requires one copper and one tin to produce two bronze bars.
  • Skinning
    • The skill-up rate for skinning has been increased
  • Survival
    • Crackling sounds have been added to player created campfires.
  • Tailoring
    • Artisan Tailoring has been added.
    • New high level Tailoring recipes have been added.
    • Recipes requiring leather have had their leather requirements and other special ingredients significantly reduced.
    • Shirts no longer have a minimum level requirement to wear.
  • Tracking
    • Humanoid Tracking has been removed as a secondary skill.
Combat
  • Players who are feared can no longer use items, cast spells or use abilities until fear wears off.
Quests
  • Quest experience has been modified to be more in line with previous patches.
  • New quests added in The Barrens.
  • Many changes have been made to the existing quests in The Barrens.
  • New quests added for Azshara, The Blasted Lands, Razorfen Downs, Searing Gorge and The Sunken Temple.
  • The obsidian golem shard requirement for "Uldaman Reagent Run" has been removed.
  • A side quest has been added for players who have lost their phial of scrying in the "Shattered Necklace" quest series.
  • "Researching the Corruption" now requires 10 stems instead of 30.
  • "Poor Old Blanchy" now requires 2 handfuls of oats instead of 8.
  • "The Coast Isn't Clear" now requires players to kill 7 Tidehunters, 7 Warriors, 7 Oracles and 7 Coastrunners.
  • Two low-level quests have been added to Anvilmar.
  • One low-level quest has been added to Red Cloud Mesa.
NPCs/Creatures/Spawns
  • In lower level areas, monsters will no longer immediately attack players as they spawn.
  • Vendors selling Tradeskill recipes will now sell them more often.
  • Low level creatures will now do less damage with spells and ranged weapons.
  • Resistances have been added to many creatures.
Death
  • New Death graphics have been added.
  • Player corpses now turn into race-specific skeletons as they decay.
Macintosh Specific
  • Changes already implemented in mini-patches since the preceding patch notes: Several small repairs were introduced to fix frame rate.
Sound
  • New music has been added to the desert region of Tanaris.
  • Crackling sounds have been added to player created campfires.
Bugs
  • Detection of stealthed creatures and players has been fixed.
  • The bug which allowed players to do bonus damage versus elite monsters has been fixed.
Misc
  • Non-combative pets have been added to the Horde areas.
  • Non-combative pets are now level one.
  • The non-combative owl pet has been added to a vendor in Darnassus.
  • Creatures can no longer be selected through walls and doors.
  • Flowers no longer have a minimum level requirement to equip.
  • Conjured items can no longer be sent through the mail.
  • Alt-F4 will no longer instantly log players out of the world.
  • The "zone under attack" messages are now in two separate chat channels. By default they are both off; to join either type /join LocalDefense and /join WorldDefense.
  • Mount speeds have been significantly increased.
  • Improved speed due to memory and texture optimizations.
  • Purchasing multiple items from a vendor will no longer produce the "object is busy" error message.
  • It is now easier to target humanoid creatures and players on mounts.
  • Players will no longer get stuck when walking up steps, over door jams, over branches etc.



Let's analyze, shall we?

PvP combat evolves

PvP and Blizzard's understanding of how players handle PvP gameplay was clearly still in an extremely early state. The 2-minute time-out period after dying in PvP combat likely seemed like a wonderful idea at the time as a method of preventing corpse rushing in PvP, and it probably would be a perfect solution in a world of kind, friendly people -- but that's not how games work. In reality, that lengthy time-out period is a griefer's wet dream. Being able to lock your target out of playing for 2-minute chunks? Heck, yeah!

That time-out period also worked directly against legitimate world PvP. Would the legendary Southshore/Tarren Mill battles have ever happened if every death meant a time-out? One of the wonderful things about those battles was that you could leap into the fray over and over for good, clean, mindless fun. Extended time-outs for each death would have been a real bore.

This patch also introduced the guard system that the Southshore/Tarren Mill battles made infamous. Damn you, mushroom vendor! Damn you and your guard spam!

Shields and bucklers

Going through the class changes, you probably noticed the upheaval in shield mechanics. Once upon a time, shields and bucklers fell under two different item classifications. If you're not a weaponry dork and don't know what a buckler is, it's ... well, a smaller shield. In real life, bucklers weren't as good at deflecting missiles (arrows, hurled rocks) as full shields were, but they were very good at deflecting swords and swung, blunt objects.

The primary difference between a buckler and the more common vision of a shield is that the size and build of a buckler allowed more offensive options in its use. Yes, you can smack somebody with a shield, but the buckler could be used to tangle an opponent's weapon (and thus disarm them) or slid down over your hand to use as glorified brass knuckles. Go to your kitchen and grab the lid off an iron pot. Imagine strapping that over your fist and punching someone right in the face with it -- and then stabbing them in the ribs with a shortsword as a followup. It's nasty business.

Very early in WoW's development, that was a potential vision for rogues: sword and offensively-minded board. In patch 0.8, bucklers and shields were rolled together to simply be shields, and rogues lost the ability to wield them. They also lost the corresponding Block ability.

Polymorph and Sleep

This is that patch when mages were given the ability to Polymorph targets. Before Polymorph, mages had Sleep. Before mages had Sleep, the spell belonged to priests. Priests were originally the prime crowd controllers, not mages. That's why Whitemane in Scarlet Monastery was given an AOE sleep spell to use when resurrecting Mograine instead of, oh ... a souped-up Psychic Scream. Whitemane is a priest, and Sleep was a stock ability of the class back when Scarlet Monastery was first designed and scripted.

Rest state revamp

Patch 0.6 and patch 0.7 both had a rest state system, but it was nearly as punishing as it was rewarding. In both of those patches, you could accrue rested XP through not playing -- but you could also gain fatigue (and then exhaustion) by playing too much. You could go down as far as gaining only 25% XP from mob kills.

Thankfully, patch 0.8 eliminated the concept of fatigue and went to the reward-only system that we still use today. If you play the game regularly, you get no bonus. If you can't play on a daily basis, you get an XP boost so you can level the playing field. It's a good system, and it's interesting that this is one of the mechanical constants since the launch of the game. The system used in patch 0.8 back before launch in 2004 is more or less identical to what we're using now in 2011. How many other things in this game have stayed the same that long?

Tune in next week when we explore beta patch 0.9!

Filed under: Blizzard, WoW Archivist

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