The WoW Archivist 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.
After the break last week to explore the Karazhan Crypts, we're digging into patch notes of old again this week. This week, we'll examine beta patch 0.10, from way back in September 2004. When reading through these changes, note that this beta patch was released just two months before the launch of the game. As of beta patch 0.10, Blizzard was still making massive, sweeping systems changes -- not unlike the expansions betas. The game's being distressingly far from "finished" in the eyes of players has never necessarily reflected "finished" in the eyes of Blizzard, not even from the beginning.
Some highlights from patch 0.10:
The professions, skills, and trade skills system was completely revamped.
High-end content such as Stratholme, Blackrock Spire, and the outdoor zones that contain them were implemented.
The Deeprun Tram opened.
Gemology was removed.
Dwarf mages were removed.
Let's take a look, shall we?
High End Locations added
Two new high-level instance dungeons - Stratholme and Blackrock Spire - and three exterior zones - Winterspring, Western Plaguelands, and Eastern Plaguelands - have been introduced to Azeroth.
Stratholme is geared toward level 55-60 players and is located in the northern part of Eastern Plaguelands.
Blackrock Spire is a 53-60 dungeon located within Blackrock Mountain that lies between Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes. Roughly 80% of the dungeon is tuned for a single group of level 55-60 players. The top 20% of the dungeon is tuned for a very "uber" group of five, or more likely 10, level 60 players.
Winterspring is exterior level 55-60 zone to the East/Northeast of Felwood through Timbermaw Hold. The goblin city of Everlook is located in Winterspring.
Western and Eastern Plaguelands have also been added. The city of Andorhal, the origin of the plague is located in Western Plaguelands.
Quests and monsters are near completion for Winterspring and Western Plaguelands. Eastern Plaguelands is still undergoing further work.
Raid group functionality is now available. Raid groups will be able to fight together in instance dungeons and work together to accomplish tasks too difficult for five member groups. Once a group reaches five members, it can be converted into a raid group. Raid groups can support up to 40 members and can be accessed by opening the Raid group tab in the Social window. Not all raid group functionality is complete. However, we encourage our players to try it out and give us feedback on the new feature through the /suggest function.
The Deeprun Tram opens!
The Gnomish Engineering Corps has been hard at work building a subway to connect the great cities of Ironforge and Stormwind City. Final work on this new mass transit system was completed recently, allowing us to announce the Grand Opening of the Deeprun Tram! Two trains make round trip runs between Stormwind City and Ironforge regularly, allowing quick and easy access to all your shopping and training needs. If you happen to miss a train, you only need to wait a few minutes for a new one to appear. We only ask that you be careful during your trip as the run out of the tunnel can be long and uneventful should you happen to fall off the tram during transit.
Trade Skills become Professions
Most trade skills are being renamed to "professions," and the way in which players acquire and learn them is changing. You will no longer learn different professions by paying for them with skill points. You'll still learn them by speaking to the appropriate profession trainer. However, players will now be restricted to learning two professions. We decided to change the skill system to make it simpler, balanced, and more intuitive. The new system should allow everyone to participate in one to two professions, and create a much more vibrant market for goods generated from professions. The professions are: alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, herbalism, mining, leatherworking, skinning, and tailoring. Several old trade skills are being turned into secondary skills. These do not count toward your two-profession limit, so players can learn all three secondary skills, in addition to their two professions, without restriction. The survival skill is being removed and campfires have been folded into the cooking profession. The secondary skills are: cooking, fishing, and first aid.
No More Skill Points
With the changes to trade skills, skill points (SP) will be removed from the game, and currency will be used instead to train skills formerly based on SP. Mount trainers will now require you to have a certain level of reputation with their respective city in order to acquire a mount. Characters that had trained in more than two professions have had excess professions randomly removed to meet the two profession restriction. Level Cap Raised The level cap has been increased to 60. Some new zones, quests, items, and content have been added to accommodate the level increase.
Druid and Shaman talents are now available. Druids and Shamans can now utilize the talent interface by pressing the "Talents" button next to the "Spellbook and Abilities" button, or by pressing the "N" default hotkey. Talents become available (to classes that currently have talents) to players starting at level 10.
A substantial number of talents have been modified in a variety of ways:
Certain talents have had their potency increased or decreased.
Locations of talents in the talent trees have changed.
Functionality of certain talents has been modified.
New talents have been added to some of the existing talent trees.
Other Changes Professions:
The level requirements for the Gnome and Goblin engineering quests have been adjusted downward.
Blacksmithing recipes added up to skill 300. There are no recipes on the trainer past skill 250. You need to do quests or find drops to get those recipes.
Additional blacksmithing specializations added. Weaponsmiths can become Swordsmiths, Axesmiths, or Hammersmiths.
Players who already have either blacksmithing specialization, weaponsmith or armorsmith, will continue to be able to make those recipes that they already know. However, to learn further recipes in those specializations, they will need to complete the weaponsmith or armorsmith quest, respectively.
Time required to make high-end profession items significantly reduced
Essences, dusts and shards have had their vendor sell price set to zero.
Bandaging operates differently than it used to. Bandages now are channel cast and heal over time. If the player bandaging or the player being bandaged is struck in combat, the bandaging effect ends. Either way the target still gets the "recently bandaged" debuff.
Enchanters can now enchant leather and thorium (needed for some high-end blacksmithing recipes and soon other high-end recipes in other professions).
Alchemists can now transmute thorium and arcane crystals into arcanite. This is the only way to acquire this rare material.
Stats on a number of tailored items have been improved
A number of new higher level cooking recipes added
Merchant purchase/sale price of herbs significantly increased
Alchemist's Stone has become Philosophers' Stone.
Tailoring recipes improved or reagents required reduce for many recipes.
UI added to professions to allow making of multiple profession items at once
Cindercloth robe fixed so it now requires Heart of Fire instead of Essence of Fire
Stoneshield potion significantly improved.
If you attempt to learn a recipe you already know, you will now see a message that says you already know it.
A number of engineering devices did not have the correct bind type set and are now bind on equip or bind on acquire.
Stats on the Smoking Heart of the Mountain changed
Spears cannot be enchanted with 2H Weapon-only enchantments
The Gnomish engineering Net-o-Matic will now fail more often and in a new way as well.
A number of engineering items had tools/anvil required to create them (fixing bugs)
Scorpid Scale drops for leatherworking increased (Drop rate doubled)
Wastewanders in Tanaris now have a much higher chance of dropping the Scorpid Leather recipes.
A number of new uncommon weapons/armors have been added to vendors around the world
New daggers have been added to blacksmithing
Dreamless Sleep potion added to alchemy
Reagents required for some alchemy potions changed.
Reagents for some blacksmithing items changed.
Old enchanting reagents removed from vendors (they should have been removed last push).
Gemology has been removed (with hopes it will make a return someday).
Factions and Reputation:
The Horde and Alliance are each considered a team, and the four races comprising each team are considered factions. The four starting racial factions for each team should be displayed under the appropriate team's header.
Factions are now displayed with appropriate headers in the Reputation UI. Factions that do not fall into the category of a team are labeled as "Other."
The factions of the opposing team are always at the lowest reputation level of Hated, and are always locked in the "At War" state.
Players have a bonus to their starting reputation with their own race's faction.
Forsaken players have lower-than-normal starting reputation with their team's Troll, Tauren, and Orc factions.
Troll, Tauren, and Orc players have lower than normal starting reputation with their team's Forsaken faction.
You cannot declare war on any of your own team's factions.
The layouts of the Orgrimmar and Ironforge auction houses have changed slightly.
The auction house in Booty Bay has been moved to Gadgetzan.
Range weapons have been added as quest rewards for newbie zones that Hunters can start out in.
Several new blacksmithing quests have been added.
The quest *Death from Below* in Arathi Highlands was temporarily disabled.
Several new epic item quests have been added.
Dungeon quest rewards have been revamped. Quests that involve the more difficult encounters of a given dungeon have had their rewards boosted.
Added a third Sparklematic 5200 to Gnomeregan, and fixed the issue that had both previous ones animating at the same time.
Lowered the cost of improving the Brilliant Gold Ring in the "Return of the Ring" quest series. The improved ring should also now be strictly better than the Brilliant Gold Ring.
Removed the random spawn location of Scrimshank's surveying gear in "The Scrimshank Redemption."
Players should no longer receive the option to take part once more in the "Essence of Eranikus" quest line once they have started on it.
Cenarion Circle Caches no longer give a coin award.
Evergreen Pouches, not Packets of Tharlendris Seeds, are now the device used to make Morrowgrain. Using a pouch creates an Evergreen Herb Casing, which when opened reveals what herb is made.
Evergreen Pouches now require that you have a Packet of Tharlendris Seeds and two Un'Goro Soil samples to use.
Evergreen Pouches have a cooldown time of 10 minutes on usage.
The potential herbs drawn from a Sealed Evergreen Pouch have been modified to include a broader range of herbs. As a result, players will not be getting high-end herbs as often on pouch usages.
Scalding Mornbrew is now removed from the inventory five minutes after receiving it.
Two new Warlock class quest series added for players in their mid 30s ending with two very nice items.
The Barrens has had more rework done on their quests to make the area more player-friendly and to elaborate on the story behind the area.
Thousand Needles has had more quests and zone rework done. Horde players should find this a much healthier alternative to Hillsbrad Foothills to explore and do more quests.
Desolace has also had a facelift and should be getting more quests soon.
Two new crypts have been added to Ravenhill Cemetery.
Ironbeard's Tomb in Wetlands is now a one room, Dwarven-built mausoleum.
More quests added to Felwood and Darkshore.
New Flight Paths
Alliance Flight Path from Auberdine to Moonglade
Alliance Flight Path from Moonglade to Winterspring
Horde Flight Path from Azshara to Winterspring
The Horde flight path node in Desolace has been moved to Shadowprey Village in the southwest of the zone.
New World Travel
Alliance Boat from Menethil to Theramore and back
Alliance Boat from Menethil to Auberdine and back
Alliance Boat from Rut'theran Village at the base of Teldrassil to Auberdine
Because of these changes, players now do not start with any flight node other than their starting city. On the Alliance side, Night Elves get Auberdine, Dwarves and Gnomes get Ironforge, and Humans get Stormwind. On the Horde side, Tauren get Thunder Bluff, Orcs and Trolls get Orgrimmar, and Undead get Undercity.
Pets that are dead when you log out do not come back when you log in.
Beasts that are tamed will respawn normally.
The Arena in Stranglethorn is now flagged for Free For All PvP.
You can heal PvP flagged NPCs, and you will be flagged for PvP.
Party members participating in PvP have light green names.
Pets and totems will no longer attack PvP-flagged players if you're not in PvP.
Casting spells against higher-level players will have significantly reduced chances to be resisted (better chance for the spell to succeed).
You can now use jump in water to swim upwards.
Vendor shopping tool tips - when you tool tip over an item you will get the item tool tip AND the tool tip of your currently equipped item of the same type.
Buyback from vendors has been implemented. If you accidentally sell an item you had not intended, you can now buy it back for the same price it was sold. You can only buyback the last item you vendored.
Functionality to equip items by right-clicking them from your inventory has been added.
Talent UI has been updated in a few ways. Note: The "greyed-out" versions of talent buttons are using temporary "greyed-out" art.
Autoloot is in. Just Shift-Right Click on a corpse or chest to autoloot it. This will NOT autoloot bind-on-acquire items.
When mini-map arrows are stacked on top of each other, you will now see the tool tips for everything there. (When four party members are all at the same location, you will see all four of their names).
Cower no longer generates a combo point; energy cost reduced.
Demoralizing Roar effect reduced at higher ranks.
Track Humanoids now lasts until canceled, like other tracking abilities.
Pets have increased stats, damage, and armor.
Tamed elite mobs no longer deal extra damage.
Pets now properly scale to appropriate sizes.
Creatures in the world know a few new pet abilities. You can learn them by taming certain beasts and letting them use such abilities. Once you learn them, you can teach them to other pets.
Concussive Shot duration has been increased.
Beast Taming has been renamed to Tame Beast.
Feed Pet is now an ability, not a spell.
Viper Sting mana damage has been increased.
Arcane Intellect INT boost decreased to offset the increased mana pool per INT point. (Effectiveness will remain the same.)
Counterspell interrupt duration has been reduced.
Dwarves can no longer be mages, however all existing Dwarf mages in beta can remain.
Auras now appear above the hotkey bar.
Holy Word: Fortitude stamina boost has been increased slightly; no longer scales with level.
Divine Spirit spirit boost has been increased. (This is a talent.)
Feint energy cost has been reduced.
Kick interrupt duration has been reduced.
Flametongue Weapon now always procs, but damage depends on weapon speed.
Flametongue Totem moved to level 28, now always procs, but damage depends on weapon speed.
Frostbrand Weapon: Levels at which each rank can be learned have been changed; now procs equally frequently for all weapon speeds.
Magma Totem moved to level 26.
Rockbiter Weapon: Levels at which each rank can be learned have been changed.
Stoneskin Totem effect slightly reduced.
Windfury Weapon: Levels at which each rank can be learned have been changed.
Windfury Totem: Levels at which each rank can be learned have been changed.
Windwall Totem effect slightly reduced.
Curse of Tongues duration has been increased.
Curse of Weakness effect has been slightly reduced.
Eye of Killrogg change: The eye is now stealthed, moves slower, has 1 hp, and doesn't cause aggro for the warlock if it is detected.
Charge is no longer usable during combat. Stun duration component has been reduced, rage generation changes with each rank.
Demoralizing Shout effect is now reduced at higher ranks.
Pummel has had its interrupt duration reduced.
Shield Bash has had its interrupt duration reduced; cooldown timer has been increased.
Items that boost spell damage and healing will now affect each spell to varying degrees.
Food and drink has been rebalanced for the new mana and health recovery rates.
Item sets have been implemented. Wearing more pieces of an item set will convey more bonuses to your character. Only a very small number of item sets have been created for this push but there are more to come.
Many blue and purple items have had their level requirements changed.
Random properties have been added to several uncommon weapons and their fixed stats have been removed. Unfortunately, this means that several existing uncommon weapons have had their stats removed.
Several armor pieces have been upgraded from common to uncommon. This will greatly reduce the chance of obtaining a common item from a lockbox.
More uncommon store-bought items have been added to various vendors throughout the world.
Circle of Flame has been updated with a new effect.
Some weapons have had their damage reduced.
New cloak art has been added.
Some dungeon quest rewards have been significantly improved.
Glinting Scale items have been renamed to Lambent Scale to distinguish it from Glimmering Mail.
The Drakes in Sunken Temple have had their drop rates increased. New items have been added to their loot tables as well.
Linken's Boomerang has been updated with a new effect. It's really a boomerang now!
Flame Wrath has been updated with a new effect.
Uther's Strength is now a trinket.
Band of Thorns now has stats.
Added a wand reward to The People's Militia quest in Westfall.
Added a cloth reward to Red Leather Bandanas quest in Elwynn.
Added a cloth reward to Proof of Demise quest in Tirisfal Glades.
Items that increase damage to all magic schools now increase healing spell effectiveness as well.
Items that give attack power bonuses now give range attack power bonuses as well.
Items that increase defense have had their numbers increased.
Items that increase weapon skill have had their numbers reduced.
Items with "Chance On Hit" damage effects have been rebalanced. In most cases, their damage numbers have gone up.
Caster weapons (items with +int and +spirit) have had their damage reduced.
Trinkets have gone through a rebalance and polish pass.
Dragon's Call now summons one level-55 Emerald Dragon Whelp instead of three level-40 ones.
Skull of Impending Doom has been modified to be a right-click effect instead of a passive effect and the speed boost has been lowered.
Faintly Glowing Skull no longer casts Resurrection and now has a different effect.
The minimum system requirement for the Mac World of Warcraft client has been moved from OS X v10.3.4 to OS X v10.3.5. The game will not run on an earlier version of the operating system. Version 10.3.5 is a free online upgrade for the base 10.3 OS product. You can download the upgrade by selecting the Software Update menu option under the Apple menu. The change was made due to required GPU-driver fixes in the Mac OS version required by World of Warcraft.
Hit points gained from STA has been increased, while base hit points have been decreased. Overall, hit point pools should be roughly the same.
If you tell your pet to attack a creature, it won't be distracted unless taunted.
Mana and health regeneration gained from spirit has been improved.
Changes made to what mounts are available at vendors, and faster level-60 mounts have been added. Level-60 mounts are very expensive to purchase however.
Mounts now just cost money (not skill points to learn). To gain the ability to ride the mount of another race in your faction you need to improve your reputation with that race. However, the reputation part of the system is not fully completed.
Mana now does not regenerate for the five seconds after you cast a spell.
Mana pool per INT point has been increased. (this should result in an increase in mana pool size for most characters)
Food/drink effectiveness has been increased.
Lost Ones in Swamp of Sorrows can now be pickpocketed.
Raid groups of six players or more will not receive a group experience bonus.
Experience gain from instance dungeons has been increased.
Far sight and Eagle Eye can only be used outdoors.
You will now get bounty credit if you die and do not release your spirit. For example, if you are on the Leaders of the Fang Quest and die while fighting a Fang Leader, you will still get credit for the kill if your party kills the leader before you release your spirit.
Flip controls have been added so that you can quickly look behind your character in case you're being chased by monsters (bound to Y).
You will get a message if your fishing skill is too low to catch anything.
You can backstab fleeing creatures again.
It is easier to flee from groups of creatures.
Using traps will not reduce XP awarded for kills.
Creatures with ranged weapons will keep shooting you after special shots.
You start resting when you take a flight path into cities.
You can now log out anytime you have control of your character.
You can't duel players you can attack normally.
Guard posts no longer send all their reinforcements at once.
Escorts and guards will now function more intelligently to protect players.
Drunkenness is saved when you log out and fades over 15 minutes.
You weave when you walk if you are drunk.
You are able to use out-of-combat abilities much more quickly after combat.
Items with procs are currently already using time-based procs. Their proc frequencies are entered as the number of desired procs per minute, and their actual per-swing proc chances are calculated from that using the weapon's speed.
Resurrection Sickness now correctly accounts for items and buffs.
Fixed a missing gossip text bug for Maybess Riverbreeze in Felwood.
A missing XP reward has been associated to the "Bring the Light" quest.
A number of capitalization errors in various Silithid quests have been corrected.
A number of quest items that were not unique have been made such.
The holograms in the treasure room of Uldaman should be functioning properly once more.
Fixed an erroneously copied description in the "Rescue OOX-22/FE!" quest.
The Thunder Bluff leatherworker trainer no longer introduces herself as the trainer for Darnassus. Silly trainer.
Creatures will stop chasing Hunters and Warlocks again.
Creatures will not attack the warlock that summons Eye Of Killrog.
Creatures that are immobilized or killed will stay on the ground.
Warriors won't get stuck if they are stunned while charging.
You can't Blink through doors.
You can't select units behind hills.
Creatures no longer despawn due to pathing failures.
Creatures will regenerate health and mana while evading.
Groups of creatures will no longer ambush you on their way back from combat.
Periodic healing spells generate the correct amount of threat.
Fixed a problem where your character would turn to the north when your camera was turned from the default view when right-clicking on game objects.
Astral Recall and Hearthstones no longer share the same cooldown.
Eye of Killrogg no longer should transfer aggro to caster.
Non-projectile items will no longer go into quivers.
Totem of Infliction, Girdle of Reprisal, and Vile Protector trigger 10% of the time instead of 100%.
Life drain effects have been fixed so that they hit one target.
Fixed a bug that was causing bags to drop at a much higher rate than they were supposed to.
Items that increase healing have been fixed so that they will actually increase the amount of healing a caster does.
Fixed a bug that made some items unusable when under the effect of Silence.
Items that increase crit percentage no longer stack.
One of the most common rumors you hear about the Deeprun Tram (besides Dwarven Hand Cannon references) is that the tram, once upon a time, ran between Ironforge and Darnassus instead of Ironforge and Stormwind. That's not true, and it never has been true. Maybe that was what Blizzard internally wanted to do with the tram, but it has never actually worked that way. As long as it has been on playable servers, it has always run between Ironforge and Stormwind.
Yes, you saw that correctly -- dwarf mages were disabled in patch 0.10. Six years later, they were added back into the game for Cataclysm. If any of you still have your World of Warcraft game manuals from the game's initial launch, you should dig it out and open it up. It still indicates that you can play dwarf mages, among other things that were disabled prior to launch. That's how late some of these decisions were made. The printed materials were already being produced and shipped while sweeping changes were still happening with the game's overall design.
... only to be one of the most anticipated features of the game's first expansion, The Burning Crusade.
Back in vanilla WoW, most of the high-end content was always done in a raid. Dungeons like Stratholme, Scholomance and Blackrock Spire were not locked to five players. Stratholme and Scholomance were usually run in a 10-man group, and Blackrock Spire was usually done in a 15-man group, regardless of Blizzard's actual group-size intentions.
This dynamic changed with the release of Dire Maul after launch. Dire Maul was the first high-end dungeon actually capped at five players, and it was something of a shock to the system. You can't cheese your way through it with twice as many players as the content was meant for!? My god, there's no way we can survive that!
Some of my fondest game memories were running those 5-mans with 10 players. Running Scholomance multiple times a day to get your guildmates their dungeon set hats felt great for guild solidarity. Weekly excursions into Blackrock Spire felt like training for Molten Core.
The game is a lot more structured nowadays, and Blizzard puts a lot of work into making effort and reward equal, but I do miss the freedoms we had with content back in vanilla WoW. The game is undeniably better now, but I've really come to appreciate the freedoms we had back then.
The WoW Archivist examines the WoW of old. Follow along while we discuss beta patch 0.8, beta patch 0.9, and hidden locations such as the crypts of Karazhan.