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WoW Archivist: 7 ways vanilla Wailing Caverns baffled us

Mutanus the Devourer
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?

We've come a long, long way, haven't we, since the days of Wailing Caverns? The dungeons of Pandaria are gorgeous, vivid, and varied. The bosses are dynamic and engaging. The best way to appreciate what Blizzard is doing now is to look back at what they were doing eight years ago.

Vanilla WoW's dungeons were not always so expertly crafted. Some dungeons, like Deadmines or Stratholme, were a big hit. Others, like Razorfen Downs, were not so warmly embraced. The popularity of vanilla's Wailing Caverns is not easy to nail down. For some, especially old school Horde players, they have fond memories of the place as the first real dungeon they experienced in WoW. For others, memories of endless hours wandering its unforgiving maze haunt them to this day.

One thing is certain: vanilla Wailing Caverns runs led to a lot of questions -- questions that we no longer have to ask today when we step into a dungeon. Here are seven of them!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 4.1: New Wailing Caverns layout unveiled

Earlier in the patch 4.1 PTR cycle, Blizzard updated the PTR patch notes with an item indicating that the layout of Wailing Caverns would be streamlined. Certainly, without logging onto the PTR and running the instance, it was difficult to form an image of just how it had been streamlined.

With today's PTR patch, Wailing Caverns has been given a new map to reflect the changes. The entire maze-like structure on the eastern side of the instance has been removed -- completely scooped out, with the bosses therein relocated in the dungeon. This will eliminate a lot of needless back-and-forth through the instance, as well as the infamous leap in the maze that caused the demise of countless PUGs. You know what I'm talking about: The tank misses the jump, immediately gets lost, other members of the party jump down to help and then they get lost ... and then your party is no more.

[via Wowhead]

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Arcane Brilliance: Lowbie instances and the upwardly mobile Mage

Each week Arcane Brilliance endeavors to deliver a brief glimpse into the flame and sheep-filled (and sometimes flaming sheep-filled) world of Mages. Today we focus on the younger students of sorcery, those of us still growing into our robes and pointy-hats, because we here at Arcane Brilliance hold firmly to the motto that even the tiniest ball of flame is important, and still a freaking ball of flame.

So for some reason, be it temporary insanity, an unhealthy obsession with dresses, or just an irrepressible urge to be completely awesome, you've rolled Mage.

You've fried a few raptors, frozen a couple of furbolgs, completed a few quests, and probably died horribly at the hands of a Rogue or two, or maybe after stubbing your toe on a rock, I don't know, Mages don't get a lot of hit points. You're ready to step beyond the first zone and out into the wide world beyond. You hike up your robes so you don't trip over them and cross the bridge into The Barrens, where you discover that there are a lot of other people doing quests, and killing raptors, and asking inane questions like "where i find mankrik wife?" and "wat is stolen silver at?" and "Who would win if Chuck Norris fought Santa?"

Frankly, I think the answer to that last one is "nobody." If those two fight, we all lose.

After some low-grade emotional scarring your psyche will never truly recover from, you'll learn to tune most of it out. Once your mind learns to filter the madness that flows through that chat channel, you'll see that certain questions are not inane, and may actually be important. Most of these will be variations of the same thing: "Looking for group, Wailing Caverns."

Following some brief negotiation, you may find your new Mage in a party of five, deep within an instanced dungeon, losing loot rolls to a Warlock. You will level at high speeds, and find gear in a hue that is decidedly bluer than you may be used to.

After the jump: I'll spotlight two low level instances that are perfect for Mages, the best caster loot that drops therein, and the bosses you need to hunt down to get it.

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Filed under: Mage, Priest, Warlock, Items, Instances, Leveling, Classes, Alts, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

It came from the Blog: Into the portals we go wrap-up!

If you missed last week's guild instance-stravaganza in It came from the Blog on Zangarmarsh, you missed out on some real fun. Most of us are pretty low level still and many of us are playing unfamiliar classes -- but I have to say we had a blast storming Ragefire Chasm and the Deadmines in all-guild groups. (And when things broke up, some of us took the party into Warsong Gulch.) But even if you missed out, you can experience some of the fun vicariously through our event screenshots. (I know looking through them brings back memories of many a nostalgic Deadmines run for me!)

And even if you haven't yet joined us on Zangarmarsh, you're still welcome to hop on for some good times -- there's no level requirements and no class restrictions and whatever you want to play, we'd be happy to have you. Our next event is coming up this Saturday, at 10:00 AM server time, when we're going to be playing hide and seek in the Undercity. (And after that? Who knows!)

Filed under: Instances, Galleries, It Came from the Blog

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