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Posts with tag nostalgia

The children of Wrath

Starman over at Casual Raid Leader (is that the same Starman that does World of Warcast?) has a great idea. Right around college graduation every year, there's a study that gets nostalgic about what this year's students will never experience -- i.e. since this year's graduates were born in 1986, they've never known a time without Super Mario Bros., and so on. Starman suggests we do the same thing with incoming newbies and the new expansion -- the "children of Wrath" will never know a time when Onyxia was in the Stormwind throne room.

Larisa has a few more: Children of Wrath will never have to go back and do old instances just for the achievement, or have to decide between keeping that noncombat pet or getting the extra bag space back. She was actually a "BC baby," and as she says, she's never tried to run 40 people through Molten Core, or known a time when there weren't any quest chains in Silithus.

What else will the children of Wrath have missed out on? And are there really that many? I imagine that there are still quite a few vanilla players around, and it doesn't surprise me at all that there are plenty of BC babies (I recruited a few people during BC), but how many new players are really coming in to Wrath for the first time? Are there going to be that many people who don't remember when you had to run once instance over and over for rep, rather than just champion it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Bosses, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

New continent, old friends

We're waist deep in the content of Wrath by now, and despite the newness of the strange land, it all feels so familiar, too. Not only have we gone back to the gothic (yet sparkly) style of Old Azeroth, but we've been followed to Northrend by a whole lot of old friends.

I've been having a lot of fun bumping into 'old' NPCs and quest givers that I've helping out on my journey from 10 to 60, or 61 to 70. They add a real sense of progression and continuity to the world. I solved their problems years ago, and that's allowed them to move on in life, for better or for worse. It's also strangely heartwarming to see people I did quests for so long ago, like a little slice of nostalgia.

I've heard a few people hating on how many old world NPCs you run into in Northrend, complaining that Blizzard is just recycling old content. I quite seriously disagree in this case. Seeing NPCs progress in the world alongside us gives a much greater feeling of the world being a story, and as we go up in level, the world moves forward. I like it a lot, and I hope it continues into the next expansion, too.

We have an old gallery sitting around of some of the returning faces you'll see in Northrend, so you can check it out if you want. Be warned, there are some minor spoilers inside.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

The Colosseum: Retrospective and Analysis, pt. I

The Colosseum takes us inside the world of the Gladiator (Brutal, Vengeful, Merciless, and otherwise), to interview some of the top Arena fighters in the battlegroups. Our goal is to bring a better understanding of the strategy, makeup, and work that goes into dueling it out for fame, fortune, and Netherdrakes.

Season 4 ended some time ago, and Wrath is only a few weeks away. While we don't have official word about when Season 5 will start, it probably won't be until Blizzard's finished balancing the classes. Right now, the Arena is a sort of blasted land, filled with teams taking advantage of the relatively unrated play to experiment with new compositions, new talents, and new strategies.

We're going to take advantage of the break ourselves, by looking at the collective of interviews we've gathered in our three months of the Colosseum. There are definitely common themes across what each Arena fighter had to say, and it'd be helpful to take some time and understand what those common themes are, and what they say about the Arena.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Interviews, Arena, The Colosseum

WoW Insider finds familiar faces in Wrath of the Lich King

While Northrend is a distant and strange land, there are a few friendly and familiar faces in Wrath to ease our pain. These range from joke appearances to lighten the mood, or more serious storylines being continued from WoW Classic and the Burning Crusade.

These familiar faces are spread all throughout Northrend, and we've collected a lot of them in a gallery for you to look through. A few of the returning characters are missing from the gallery for various reasons (like turning in an unfinished quest despawning all NPCs in the area) but we'll get those when we can, too. There's plenty of spoilers in this gallery, though not many of them are massive plot points. Still, if you want everything to remain a secret, I'd be careful.

Oh, before all of you spam the comments about it, no I did not forget 'the Scourge.' I thought that was a little obvious. Also, there are two massive zones and numerous dungeons not yet implemented. There are probably way, way more to come. We haven't seen Sylvanas yet.

Filed under: Expansions, Screenshots, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: The fate of Outland

Once Wrath of the Lich King is released, we will have a whole new end-game continent. Just like how we got a whole new planet in the Burning Crusade. Since the first expansion was released many areas in the old world have been largely unused. There is very little World PvP going on in Eastern Plaguelands, most pre-sixty instances lay dormant except for quick runs with high level characters, and Onyxia lurks alone until someone nostalgic for original WoW until someone comes to slay her.

Dazknight of EU-Lightning's blade posed the question, what will happen to Burning Crusade content once Wrath comes out. If Blizzard continues to work only on the latest endgame content, it's likely that Outland, The Isle of Quel'Danas, dailies, and everything we currently experience will be largely forgotten. Noxmortum of EU-Kilrogg believes that Outland will be the province of characters leveling from 58 to 68, full of Death Knights for the first few weeks and then more of a ghost land than the Ghostlands. Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley will quite probably become very lonely, indeed.

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

WoW Insider Show Episode 34: Blizzard's listening in

Q: How many Warlocks does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Just one, but he needs two other people to click on it.

Yes, that's the kind of quality humor that you'll hear on this week's podcast (and the best joke is right at the end of the show). It's now available for listening on WoW Radio and also in iTunes. This past Saturday, Turpster joined me, Eliah Hecht, and Matthew Rossi for a little discussion about all things WoW in the past week. We got in some good discussion about speccing as a mage and lots of other reader emails, as well as:
Plus of course instant feedback from the IRC channel, and the usual wackiness. If you liked the show or have a comment for us, feel free to send along a note to, and we might even read it next week live on the virtual air. Thanks for listening, enjoy the show.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Humor, WoW Insider Show

Challenging Chilton on old world PvP nostalgia

Players are reacting to (quite a few things, actually, in) the Tom Chilton interview we linked to earlier, but one of them is rubbing a lot of older players the wrong way -- when Gamespy asks Chilton about world PvP, like the kind that took place between Tarren Mill and Southshore, he called any fondness for that "nostalgia" -- he says that people didn't really like it at the time, they only want to go back to that because they're nostalgic for it.

Fortunately, we here at WoW Insider keep all of our old archives online, and as you can see, most people did actually enjoy the old Xroads and SS/TM world PvP -- I have fond memories of fighting in Ashenvale as well. But Chilton isn't wrong that there was complaining (isn't there always?): it was usually just complaining that those were the only places any real PvP happened. Nowadays, we've got BGs and Arenas, and actual rewards for world PvP, but it's still a little hard to come across one of those all-out battles that used to rage in Xroads or south of Tarren Mill. Most of the time, the only reason those battles were going on was because, well, what else did you do besides raiding at 70? Now that there's more choices, no level 70 would waste their time fighting lowbies in SS -- there are much more epic rewards doing dailies or fighting in the Arenas.

There's no question that nostalgia definitely makes things better, but Chilton is wrong to dismiss any wishes for SS/TM-esque world PvP as simple nostalgia. Blizzard has a tough line to walk here -- they're being asked to encourage, by careful planning, something that always happened spontaneously in the past (and mostly because PvPers didn't have much else to do). It's not nostalgic to think that it was fun (it was fun), but nowadays we've got choices that are fun and give epic rewards, so old world PvP just doesn't compare for most players.

Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP

Breakfast Topic: Does WoW ever make you feel old?

So much has changed in the game of late. The acceleration to experience has some grumbling "I remember when you had to grind your levels," a la Grandpa Simpson. In fact, for those who have been playing the game for a couple of years, nostalgia not only kicks in, but a little dementia as well. The_ivorytower recently posted on the WoW LJ about this very topic, about all those moments that add up in WoW to just make you feel just plain old.

Among the things she brings up are those times in long past when spells like Consecration and Evocation were talents. Or how about the Unending Breath that never actually ended, allowing the Undead to sit underwater untouchable by their opponents? She mentions also Mor'Ladim and his insane aggro radius; he would basically run straight at you once you set foot in Raven Hill. And the Sons of Arugal that would descend in a pack to pick your bones clean in Silverpine before you even knew they were there.

Because this game has changed so very much since launch, often times you can date yourself from the elements you remember before they were removed. Plains Running anyone?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Ye olde loot drama

Andrek posted an interesting thought on the forums: remember loot drama? Sure, there's still loot drama floating around-- as long as there is more players than loot at each boss drop, there will always be loot drama. And maybe this is just nostalgia rearing its ugly head, but it seems like Andrek is right-- Molten Core was home to far more loot drama (Rogue weapon! No, Warrior weapon! No, Hunter weap!) than Outland's raids have been.

There's a few reasons for this. As players note later in the thread, Blizzard is much, much better at itemization now than they were back when we were raiding Ragnaros. And we're all in 10 and 25 man groups rather than 40 man-- fewer people means fewer arguments about who gets what. Not to mention that there's so much more loot now (and so many more ways to get it), that even if you lose that roll to a Hunter, you still get Heroic badges to turn in, or you've still got your Arena rating to count on.

It seems like loot actually means a little less now than it used to, and that's a great change. It's too bad that the old "hunter weapon" joke might actually be becoming obsolete, but less loot drama means more fun, and no guildleader will argue with that one.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding

Five is the new eight

Bornakk has pretty much laid down the law. Eight piece armor sets are dead as we know them. Despite Claymore from Medivh's call to bring them back, Blizzard is happy with the way the five piece tier sets are working out, and that's the way they're planning to keep it.

Kind of a shame, because as Claymore says, seeing someone with a full eight piece set was pretty epic. It took a lot to pick up every since piece, and some of the eight piece bonuses were pretty cool for their time. But just like the 40 man raids, there were lots of problems with eight piece sets as well. I never completed mine, just because my guild had moved on from where the gear was dropping before I was able to pick all the pieces up. And five piece sets give a lot more options as to customization-- with the extra, non-set pieces, players can choose to focus on a certain stat over others, which couldn't be done with the full eight piece sets.

So in general, it's a good move-- bigger is not always better. Nostalgics may long for the days of Bloodfang and Giantstalker, but five piece armor sets are here to stay.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding

Getting nostalgic about old player favorites

Minkyminky kicks it off on the forums: there's a lot of things that have disappeared from the game that players really loved, and it's pretty nostalgic to think about what we used to have, and have since lost.
  • Plainsrunning was a Tauren racial ability that was in the game before Blizzard implemented Kodos. After a quest, the cows got an aura (canceled with combat, underwater, or indoors, just like a normal mount) that let them move faster and faster up to a certain speed.
  • Swirly ball was what the Rogue's Detect traps ability used to be-- a castable 3 minute buff that showed an annoying swirly ball that could be used to detect lag or just make noise.
  • The old Hunter's Mark (as you all should know, this one wasn't long ago) was just an arrow, not the fancy schmancy (garish, if you ask me) deal we've got now.
  • Baron Geddon's Living Bomb debuff used to be able to hit pets. Hunters would then dismiss their pets-- and resummon them in the Auction House to create carnage.
  • The Hakkar virus was another debuff, this one from Hakkar, that did damage to anyone standing around the player. The debuff hit everyone in an AoE based on the target for a few hundred damage every few seconds for a few minutes, and passed on the plague. So players beat Hakkar, ported back to IF, and spread the disease around the world. This one actually made it to the media, and was used as a study for how disease spreads in a virtual environment.
  • Captain Placeholder (my personal favorite) was a placeholder who went up while the ships between the continents were bugged. Don't miss the Lament of Captain Placeholder.
  • Trolls used to have a "keel two dwarves in the mornin'" emote that got removed from the game, either for violence or drug references, depending on who you ask.
Unfortunately, as cool as all of these things are, there's not much chance we'll ever seen any of them in the game again-- most of them are graphics that got updated to something Blizzard thought was cooler, or just simply bugs or placeholders that got "fixed" for good.

But the other interesting thing is that almost all of them are clear examples of emergent gameplay-- the devs didn't plan for this stuff to be popular, it just became so. If nothing else, they can learn from what happened with these, and (as with world events) bring them back in other forms. And that's a really interesting thought-- a game designed by the players themselves.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, Buffs

I remember how useless Silithus was

I don't have much to add to this "I've been around so long I've seen" thread-- it's a pretty good read on its own. But even though I haven't been around that long, relatively speaking, I will say that I've been around so long that...

... I remember when Warsong was just a hunting camp, and not a graveyard for millions of PVPers.
... I had to ask a guildie in Ironforge to help me find a group for ZF when I was in Tanaris.
... I know there was a time when you could queue for a battleground at 19, and level to 21 before you joined the instance.
... I remember when dying actually cost you experience points (no, wait, that was back in Dark Age of Camelot)
... I remember when Chuck Norris was just a guy on a TV show, and not a supreme Godlike being.

Ok, maybe that last one was never true. Nickelplate (a player who posts on page 4) gets it right when he says he remembers "when people lived life at a slower pace and the idea of feeling nostalgia for things that happened only 2 years ago was laughable," but a little nostalgia for nostalgia's sake never hurt anybody, Nickel. This game has changed a lot over the past few years, and considering it's all going to change again pretty soon here (when the next patch, and, soon, the expansion gets released), now's a good a time as any to take a look backwards.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard

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