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WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft beta patch 0.11

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.

Last week, we took a break from patch notes to tackle a reader request: The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj. This week, it's back to patch notes, and we'll be looking at beta patch 0.11 from September 2004. The beta started to wind down at this point, but the game still wasn't quite feature complete -- even with the launch of the game only a month out.

Some highlights from this patch include:
  • Revamped model system
  • The addition of loot options that brought the group looting system mostly in line with what we have today
  • Undead players' ability to speak Common revoked, given Gutterspeak
Onward!

World of Warcraft beta patch 0.11
Major Changes

New Model & Animation System

There have been extensive changes made to the model and animation system in order to increase performance while playing in densely populated areas (such as cities and PvP encounters). Specifically, we have added hardware vertex shader support and a hardware cursor for those cards that support it. Because we are still transitioning to the new system you will experience some incomplete animation features or graphical glitches while playing this patch. Please report any issues you may find using the /bug command from within the game.

New Looting Methods
  • Group Loot
    • When an item equal to or above the threshold (details on threshold below) is on a monster that is killed, everyone gets a pop-up box on their screen with the item and pass or roll options and a timer. Anyone who rolls, displays a number between 1 and 100, the highest roller of all those who choose to roll automatically gets the item. Anyone who waits until the timer expires automatically passes. Items below the threshold are taken care of by normal round robin rules.
  • Need Before Greed
    • Same as group loot, except players who cannot use the item automatically pass.
  • Threshold
    • This just determines the level of items that are affected by the methods above. If a party wants to set the threshold to blue items and are in group loot mode, then green items that are found will be taken care of by the normal round robin rules.
Warlock Talents Added
Warlock talents have been partially implemented. Two talent trees, Destruction and Affliction, are now in the game. Changes continue to be made to Warlock talents, and include modification of the present talents and the addition of a third talent tree to be announced later. Warlocks 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.

Other Changes

General
  • Access to the console has been disabled. If you find that you have been regularly relying on the console to operate a certain function, please use the /suggest command to let us know so we can allow access to those functions without the use of the console.
  • Undead players no longer speak Common. They now speak Gutterspeak (Native) and Orcish (Horde Common).
  • Gnome Warriors and Rogues can now learn the Bows proficiency.
  • Night Elf Warriors, Hunters and Rogues can now learn the Guns proficiency.
  • Eastern and Western Plaguelands have been given several spawning improvements/adjustments.
  • More Rare Healing/Mana potion vendors placed around the world.
  • Gnomish Death Ray range shortened to 20 yards.
  • Your skill level with abilities that require an equipped weapon is equivalent to your skill level with that weapon.
  • Ashenvale has had a face lift, and will have new content soon.
  • Stonetalon is in the process of getting a face lift, with some work left to be done.
  • You can now chat with the auction window open. As a result, the enter key is no longer bound to the "search" button in the auction interface.
  • Several improvements to the Mail system have been made:
    • The mail interface no longer changes back to the inbox after sending a new mail (it remains in the send mail tab).
    • Mail that has been read is now greyed-out.
    • When all attachments from a mail have been removed (including text), the mail is automatically deleted.
    • There is now a confirmation box for accepting C.O.D mail.
    • There is now a confirmation box for deleting mail that has an item or money attached, when the delete option is available.
  • Several improvements to the Auction system have been made
    • Minimum bid increment has been changed to 5% of current sale price
    • The granularity of auction bids has increased for low-price auctions
    • Default starting prices have been reduced by 25% of their previous value
    • Auction notifications are now sent as system messages that can be filtered in the chat interface
Quests
  • Tremors of Earth and Broken Alliances quests reduced to level 50.
  • Fixed quest, 'The Name of the Beast.' Lord Arkkoroc should now be more amiable towards players.
  • Fixed an issue that was forcing the High Priestess of Thaurissan to spawn 100% of the time when only one person in a party had completed the Princess Bronzebeard rescue quest series (Alliance or Horde). Princess Bronzebeard will now be up for parties adventuring in Blackrock Depths UNLESS everyone in the party has done the questline - at which point the princess will be gone and the High Priestess will be in her place.
  • More Quests added to both Eastern and Western Plaguelands
Items
  • In an effort to have items stats feel more meaningful, items have been reworked. Most items will have changed in terms of stats. However, total amount of stat points you should receive from all your gear combined should not be significantly different.
  • Higher level healing and mana potions now drop in game.
  • Testament of Hope has been fixed.
  • Six Demon Bag will create a level appropriate felhound.
  • Items that increase percentages to block, dodge, crit, parry, and hit chance now stack.
  • There are no longer cloth, leather and mail cloaks. All cloaks can be worn by all classes.
  • Fixed a bug with Shadow Hunter Vosh'gajin's loot table.
Spells
  • Water walking won't work on lava or slime.
  • Casting Dispel Magic on a friend under the influence of charm will dispel the charm.
  • The new Spellbook is in (although not quite finished) and it should be much easier to use than the old spellbook style.
Warlock:
  • Due to some technical changes Soulstone will be broken this patch. It will return next patch. Note: The in game patch notes do not reflect the above change. Soulstones will not work this patch.
  • Seduction now has a short cast time. Cooldown timer has been removed.
  • New Spell: Curse of Shadow (Level 44).
  • New Spell: Create Spellstone (Level 36).
  • New Spell: Searing Pain (Level 18).
  • New Spell: Soul Fire (Level 48).
  • New Spell: Death Coil (Level 42).
  • New Spell (Voidwalker): Suffering (Level 24).
  • New Spell (Voidwalker): Consume Shadows (Level 18).
  • New Spell: Howl of Terror (Level 40).
  • New Spell: Create Firestone (Level 28).
  • Curse of the Elements changed. It now reduces Fire and Frost resistances.
  • Corruption - duration, damage, and mana cost reduced. Deals damage much faster.
  • Curse of Agony - duration, damage, and mana cost reduced. Deals damage much faster.
  • Hellfire - duration, damage, and mana cost increased and is now instant cast. This spell is now quite dangerous.
  • Immolate - duration, damage, and mana cost reduced. Deals damage faster.
  • The imp no longer runs away from melee attackers.
  • You can command your imp to cancel Blood Pact.
  • Most of the Warlock's Destruction and Affliction talents are now available.
Rogue:
  • Player vs. Player stealth detection range has been reduced.
  • Sap - targets now have a chance of waking up before the duration ends.
  • Sprint can now be used while stealthed.
Hunter:
  • Tame Beast no longer requires the Hunter or the target beast to be out of combat.
  • When a group member is attacked while buffed by Aspect of the Pack, the daze effect now applies to that member, not the Hunter who cast Aspect of the Pack.
Shaman:
  • Stoneclaw Totem has had its increased health increased.
Druid:
  • Dash can now be used while prowling.
Mage:
  • Portals - you must now right-click on portals to use them.
Pets:
  • Pet formation movement is much more responsive.
  • You no longer gain threat from the actions of your pet.
  • Pets take damage from lava and slime.
Non-Player Characters:
  • Starting NPCs now have their faction PvP crests.
  • You can no longer buff or heal enemy PvP-enabling NPCs. (NPCs with a shield icon in their portrait.)
  • Patrolling NPCs should stop less often on their paths.
  • Guard posts will send existing guards before creating new ones.
  • Creatures returning from combat move more smoothly.
  • Scattered NPC formation movement does not appear to stutter anymore.
Professions:
  • New Alchemy recipes are in the game, but you will not be able to make most of these recipes until the high level herbs are placed in a future patch.
  • All profession equipped items have had their stats tweaked to make them more desirable.
  • All zones now have fishing, with Artisan Fishing added to support the new zones. Some of the zones are going to be pretty hard to fish in and will require bait and a good fishing pole. *Note that some fish can only be caught at certain times of day.
  • New cooking recipes are now in to support the new fish types that you can catch. Artisan Cooking has been added to support these new recipes.
Miscellaneous:
  • Falling through the world is now fatal to your character, and you should page a GM if this happens to you.
  • If you alt-tab away from the game, your character now stops moving unless you are on auto-run.
  • Icon that indicates what you are tracking (Herbs, Minerals, Undead, etc) is now part of the mini-map.
  • You cannot enter Korean characters into numeric edit fields.
  • You can no longer logout while in combat.
  • The "+" from elite mobs UI elements has now been removed. Where applicable, the word Elite has been added.




New looting methods

This was one of the last features to be implemented in World of Warcraft's beta, and it was sorely needed. Earlier in the beta, loot was largely a free-for-all. Players had to stop and /roll 1-100 to determine who got to take the BoP loot prior to that. There were no measures in place to prevent ninjaing or anything of the sort. The Group Loot option formalized this /roll system and helped halt some of the rampant ninjaing. It didn't fix everything, of course -- ninjas gonna ninja.

There were some problems with the loot system early on in the game's life cycle. In fact, it was so buggy early on that a lot of servers took on a "pass on the loot box, then /roll" method of determining loot. Passing and then manually rolling lasted on some servers for years after the bugs in the loot system were ironed out. It caused a huge culture shock when cross-server instancing was implemented via the dungeon finder. Hitting the need or greed buttons on the group loot popup was ninjaing, rather than a solution to it. Eventually, using the popup became standard again across all servers

Gutterspeak

What is Gutterspeak? Why did the Forsaken forget how to speak Common when they died? The answer to those questions is that there is no lore for the existence of Gutterspeak. It has a purely mechanical existence. The Forsaken could speak Common in the beta, but cross-faction communication resulted in some ugly, ugly things. While being able to speak across factions was a lot of fun for some people and it allowed some interesting roleplay, it also enabled griefers (read: jerks) to say some really awful things to the other team.

Nobody likes being ganked by undead rogues. Imagine being ganked by an undead rogue who could then spam you with insults about your mother or the shameful dimensions of your genitals.

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.

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