Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok commented today on a thread talking about some features of Azeroth (and Outland) past. Unlike other recent discussions on the forums, though, this doesn't relate to players bemoaning some removed aspect of a long-passed expansion. No, this relates to the World of Warcraft website, and its manifold features. The thread begins with a reference to the above map, which was part of the main site, and can still be found online. It's a pretty interactive map of what was, then, the world, allowing players to see various bits of information about the world, such as profession trainers, dungeon entrances, zone levels and the like. Why doesn't the same exist now?
Yeah! That map was cool. I don't think it got much traffic though. Having an updated map is one of those wishlist items, but the info is already out there on fansites and such, and even a lot of that info is in-game now compared to back then, not to mention quest flow and getting around is far more intuitive, so it's not a particularly high priority.
Would you like to see more maps and other items such as this? Or do fan sites and addons pretty much have it covered?
While we're here on the old WoW site, there are a couple more pages highlighted in the same thread that are worth a look. The world dungeons, for example, had a page which gave a brief insight into the zone and the lore, and a map location. Note the limit on player numbers!
And lastly, there's the old forums. The links don't work, it seems, but there is one fun thread title. The poster was obviously a seer of some sort...
Patch 5.1 introduced pets to the vanilla-era raids. Patch 4.3 introduced transmogrification, which brought old raids back. Before that, some players would solo or duo old raids just for the challenge giggles. Every new expansion has raised the level cap and opened another expansion to soloing.
Whether you're soloing for a look, for improved familiarity with your spell toolbox, or for bragging rights, warlock is definitely a great class to jump into soloing old raids. At level 90, even before you're decked out in tier 14, most of the Wrath of the Lich King raids are fairly easy. But let's start with the basics -- speccing and playstyle.
World of Warcraft is eight years old. Coincidentally, that's also the same age as one of my nephews, and it's really odd to think that when the kid was just a baby, I was taking my first baby steps in Azeroth. Eight years is an incredible amount of time, and Blizzard has put together the tribute video shown above as a thank you to all the players both past and present for the years of devotion.
It's a really well put together video that honestly sweeps me right back to day one of the game, when I stumbled through the night elf starting experience and delighted in the fact that my night elf sometimes flipped when she jumped. This led to years of compulsive jumping and several keyboards worth of play, all of which were totally worth it. And although I'm Horde now, I still remember those first months of frolicking as Alliance fondly.
Take a look at the video, and be sure to crank the music up -- the sweeping blend of soundtracks from vanilla to now is always worth a listen. And while you're at it, why don't you leave us a comment with your favorite or earliest memory?
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
I have to admit that I've spent a lengthy amount of time this week trying to understand why people hate daily quests with such unbridled passion. Leveling a character through zones and completing various quests has to be one of my favorite parts of the game -- but once you reach max level, you've done all there is, from a questing perspective. In vanilla, this resulted in an absolute drought of things to do once you'd hit level 60. When daily quests were introduced in Burning Crusade, they were lauded as an excellent way for players to make gold after they'd reached max level.
But the focus of daily quests has shifted since their introduction in the first expansion. No longer just a way to make gold after the well of quests to do has run dry, daily quests have morphed into a resource to gain both reputation and unique rewards. And oddly enough, daily quests have also evolved into what is slowly starting to look like an effective storytelling tool as well. But why do some dailies work, and others falter? What makes dailies palatable?
Are you lost in a sea of Warcraft games, expansions and patches? Not sure which came first, the orc or the egg? Wondering what happened in the patches you missed, or the expansions you didn't play through when they were current? Blizzard has just released The Story of Warcraft, a massive guide that goes through and explains the story of the Warcraft universe game by game, from Orcs and Humans all the way to Cataclysm's Hour of Twilight.
Each chapter of the story includes a synopsis of the events in each particular game or patch. In addition, the guide contains video trailers and key art for every chapter. If you've ever been wanting to get into the lore of Warcraft, but simply didn't know where to start, this guide is for you. According to Blizzard, more bonuses like wallpaper and character cards for various Azeroth heroes will be added at a later date.
This is a pretty amazing guide, and it's something Blizzard has desperately needed for a very long time. I'm glad we've got an outline out there for people to follow. Blizzard is also taking suggestions for future updates -- check out the official announcement post and leave your comments if you have any ideas to share.
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how, but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Before we begin, I feel I should point out that the screenshot above is one that I created for the purposes of an article I wrote detailing the possible wind-chime origins of everyone's favorite kaldorei deity. It was not real then, and it is no more real now, over two years later. That article pointed out the possible correlations between the goddess Elune, the holy Light, An'she, and what might have been naaru intervention instead of divine, as the night elves would have everyone believe.
And while it connected a lot of dots, it was not true. It was simple theory and speculation. However, recent Ask a Cdev answers have once again brought the question of Elune's origins into play, and player reaction has been less than enthusiastic about the supposed confirmation. Most complain that making Elune a mere naaru is basically homogenizing night elf culture and history, something that plenty of players are apparently really passionate about.
Do you have a friend interested in World of Warcraft? Would you like a second account to fill with gleeful pandaren come Mists? Now's the time to get your hands on the game. Blizzard just announced that all WoW expansions are on sale this week only. The Battle Chest is $5, Wrath of the Lich King is $5, and to top it off, Cataclysm is only $10. That's $20 for the complete set, making this an excellent time to bring your friends in for the start of Mists of Pandaria -- or for you to stash a set of games for a secondary account.
Keep in mind that recruiting yourself via Recruit-A-Friend will still net you that sweet Obsidian Nightwing mount!
Prepare for Pandaria with epic savings! This week only, you can get the World of Warcraft Battle Chest for $5, Wrath of the Lich King for $5, and Cataclysm for $10 when you buy directly from Blizzard. That's 75% off the regular prices, making this a great time to set yourself up for the imminent launch of Mists of Pandaria... or to invite a friend to join you in Azeroth.
Hurry, this offer ends August 27, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
In the early days of vanilla WoW, I had a friend who spent hours upon hours killing ghosts near and around Karazhan. This was odd, to say the least, considering there was absolutely nothing to do in that area at that point and time in the game. I asked him what exactly he was doing, and he said he was collecting Scourgestones. Apparently, the ghosts in the area inexplicably gave reputation for the Argent Dawn. Bewildered, I asked him why he was doing so. The Argent Dawn didn't offer any real rewards at that point.
"Because it's there," he replied. "I like seeing the bars go green. I want to make them all green."
For him, I suppose, it was enough. I understand his fascination more these days, as I make it a point to max out every reputation I have at exalted because I can't stand to see a bar that isn't fully green. Call it vaguely OCD if you will, but if I'm going to go exalted, I'll make sure it's 999/999.
These days, WoW offers a heck of a lot more options for filling up that little green bar -- but where did it all begin?
It's nowhere near Christmas, but GameStop and Best Buy are doing their best to make it feel that way. Both are running a huge sale on World of Warcraft this week. The World of Warcraft Battlechest, which includes both the original game and The Burning Crusade expansion, is only $4.99. If you want to add Wrath of the Lich King, that's $4.99 as well. And if you want to pick up Cataclysm, it's only $9.99 more -- which brings the grand total for all expansions to a cheap $20.
Not only is this great for anyone looking to give the gift of WoW, it also comes in handy for those looking to get the Obsidian Nightwing through the Recruit-A-Friend program. You can either recruit your friends and get them the games, or you can grab the games and open up a second account for yourself. Either way, $20 is a steal.
Check out either GameStop or Best Buy for online ordering, or check with your local store to see if they're carrying the games in stock.
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history?What secrets does the game still hold?
Released on Jan. 7, 2007, patch 2.0.3 set the stage for WoW's very first expansion. One week later, The Burning Crusade officially went live. During that week, Blizzard unveiled the game's first pre-expansion event, known as The Dark Portal Opens (or Highlord Kruul Unleashed in Europe).
While perhaps not as ambitious as later in-game events, the Dark Portal offered some memorable moments -- and some valuable lessons for the game's developers. Let's take a look back!
Players expecting the Cenarion Circle to show up in Hyjal might have been a little surprised to find the Guardians of Hyjal patrolling around up there instead in Cataclysm. These defenders of the world tree Nordrassil aren't actually the Cenarion Circle at all. While some may be members of the Cenarion Circle, the Guardians of Hyjal are their own organization in their own right. This is why you'll see druids roaming around as well as warriors in full plate standing guard at Nordrassil's roots.
The Guardians of Hyjal are actually a collaboration between the druids of the Cenarion Circle and the Green Dragonflight. They've banded together to protect Hyjal from any would-be villains and to ensure Nordrassil's survival. With the uprising of Ragnaros in the region, it would seem that the group is sorely needed -- and as a faction in Cataclysm, players can join up with these guys and cash in on reputation rewards.
And if you really like the look of Hyjal's plate defenders, it's actually pretty easy to replicate it with transmogrification!
Having exhausted all the newer machinima that I cared to post, I decided to go digging deep into the WoW Insider archives for something really ancient that hadn't seen the light of day in a while. Serendipitously, the first thing I found ended up leading me to something we've never actually posted on the site before. Convenient, huh? It would seem that back in 2008, we posted a trailer for a feature-length machinima called The Hunt, but when the final version was released in August 2011, it was off our radar and never got published. Three and a half years will do that, I suppose!
Before we get started, please note that the video has some cursing, graphic violence, and a very short sex scene (less than 2 seconds) that you may not want your small children or boss to see or hear. That said, the whole thing runs 60 minutes long, so you'll probably want to sit down to this like a movie when you're at home anyway.
So overall, I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised by The Hunt. It's very different from the other narrative story machinima I've seen, using modern storytelling techniques, music, and even modern dialogue. The result is a simultaneously epic and ridiculous movie that's a whole lot of fun to watch, provided you're able to let yourself go with it.
I say that last bit because I do expect some of you to hate this machinima. Some of you will hate it for its unpolished voice acting, while others will hate it for the liberties it takes with the Warcraft lore. Now, I can't really help you if you're a lore buff, but concerning the voice acting, I've got a thing or two to say. First, yes, I'll admit that it's not the best -- but personally, I do think it works. The whole movie is a sort of genre parody, mixing serious fantasy story elements with comedy (think The Princess Bride), and within that world, goofy, over-the-top voices aren't out of place. The real complaint to be had with the voice acting is simply that there are only three voice actors for all the characters, and at times, some of the characters just sound too similar.
I started playing World of Warcraft with no real idea of the Warcraft universe. I'd played a lot of RPGs, but I wasn't a big RTS player and I was generally more into tabletop play. My gateway drugs for the MMO genre were games like Planescape: Torment. (Man, I loved Planescape.)
As a result, my first time through the game, I barely paid attention to what I was doing, who I was fighting or why. It wasn't until I got to Molten Core that I started really thinking about what was going on. How did Thaurissan summon Ragnaros when he clearly had not intended to, and what was the Firelord up to? At the time, Ragnaros seemed astonishing to me, an entity of pure fire older than the whole world. The war between his Dark Iron servants and the dragons and orcs atop the Blackrock Spire became a central part of my game as I moved on to Blackwing Lair. I started paying a lot more attention to the dungeons and quests I was running.
Once we hit Outland and I got to Shadowmoon Valley, I ran the Cipher of Damnation quest line (a quest that is all I could hope for in a long quest chain, frankly), and the end of that quest line raised so many questions that I often point to it as the beginning of my lore nerd status.
What is the Cipher of Damnation? If it's the spell Kil'jaeden taught to Gul'dan that he used to raise the Hand of Gul'dan and sever the connection between the orcs and the elements, it's clearly not all it can do. Since using it summons Cyrukh the Firelord and since Oronok Torn-heart says it has been used "in the history of our worlds," I am now convinced that the Cipher is the spell that Thaurissan used to summon Ragnaros. But where did he learn it? It was also the spell Kael'thas used to try and summon Kil'jaeden through the Sunwell, which continued past Kael's death in Magister's Terrace.
The above video is a bit lengthy, but it's well worth the watch simply because it does raise a few valid points along the line. And lest you think this is yet another player whining about the endless hardcore vs. casual debate, it's not -- this is simply a player who is incredibly passionate about the game we all play. In that passion, he's decided to talk about the direction that raiding in WoW has taken and how it has gone downhill, in his opinion.
On the one hand, he has a point. There is a stark difference between the feel of raiding back in the days of vanilla, The Burning Crusade, and now. There's a stark difference in numbers, which any graph can illustrate. More and more people can complete raids now from one degree or another, which leaves people barreling through content at light speed and doesn't really give that same feeling that raiding had in years past.
On the other, is changing the difficulty in WoW really the way to accomplish that goal? I don't think so.
I was a smart kid. You remember those kids from school who were always the first to turn a test in and the ones to get the best grades? The ones who never seemed to put any effort into studying but always managed to get an A? That was me. You'd think that being a smart kid would make life incredibly easy, but it did exactly the opposite. Of course you had the endless students who hated you or made fun of you because you were smart, but there was something much harder to deal with than that.
See, in public schools (in America, at least), teachers generally teach at the speed of the slowest kid in class. This is absolutely appropriate, because you don't want anyone to fall behind. For the slowest kid, this meant that subjects were presented in a way that they could understand, and they'd learn the lessons even if it took a little extra time. But for the smartest kid in the class, it meant that classrooms were places of exquisite torture where information flowed at a snail's pace, and most of the information presented were things the smart kid already knew.
It made school an excruciatingly boring place to be.