It appears that it is time for me to branch out from my usual silly antics here on WoW Insider, and take a moment to flex my writing skills instead of my artistic ones. Today I would like to speak to you about some of the long history of WoW, but not in the "Know Your Lore" sense of history. WoW Insider reader Tim wrote in to request some information on the evolution of World of Warcraft, from its infancy in beta to launch and beyond and I, having been here through the majority of it, decided that I should put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?) and share what I know and what I have witnessed along the way.
Are you aware (and I'm sure some of you are) that at one point in World of Warcraft, there was an experience penalty suffered when you were slain? Indeed, even though the lack of experience loss is one of the things that sets current WoW apart from other MMOs, back in its infancy the death penalty was practically the same as what you would find in EverQuest or Final Fantasy XI, though without the de-leveling found in the latter.
Let us take a moment to sit down, pull up a cup of your favorite socially acceptable beverage, and go over a handful of the many changes that WoW has gone through since Blizzard introduced it to a select number of beta testers back in 2004.