Last week, Tom Chilton revealed that Mists would have no dedicated world PvP zone like Wintergrasp or Tol Barad. Instead, Blizzard wants to encourage a more natural style of world PvP. It wants players to duke it out in actual questing zones. On PvP realms, it wants players to be free to attack towns and cities without overwhelming NPC intervention.
Since we're reviving WoW Archivist here at WoW Insider after a seven-month hiatus, now seemed like a good time to revisit the earliest days of world PvP.
It's no secret that world PvP has had a rough journey throughout WoW's history. Blizzard did all it could to discourage the wild Southshore vs. Tarren Mill clashes that made Hillsbrad Foothills a laggy, unplayable mess, often crashing the Eastern Kingdoms servers entirely. In patch 1.12, the developers gave us new objectives to fight over in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands, far away from where new players were leveling.
Ultimately, those objectives failed to capture much interest. Players mocked the Silithyst PvP objective as "sandlol." Further experiments in The Burning Crusade were only moderately more successful. In Wrath, Blizzard added the Wintergrasp PvP zone, and that has been the company's primary world PvP model through the last two expansions.
Before all of that, however, when the game was still so young that the vast majority of the playerbase hadn't yet reached level 60, there were raids on the Crossroads, in the heart of the infamous Barrens. And they were glorious.