Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag world-of-warcraft-history

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.0.1, Before the Storm

The 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?

Patch 2.0.1 was, according to a large chunk of players, quite possibly one of the best patches to come out of vanilla WoW. It had nothing to do with the introduction of the new talent trees in preparation for The Burning Crusade's looming launch. It had nothing to do with the new, bulky, and rarely used first iteration of the looking for group tool. There were no launch events with this patch, just a heck of a lot of data that needed to be implemented in preparation for the launch of the first expansion.

But what had players either cheering fervently or cursing forever had nothing to do with the imminent approach of The Burning Crusade. It had everything to do with PVP and the removal of the honor system as we knew it in vanilla. What's so special about that, you ask? Let's take a journey back in time and look at the good and bad of the old honor system. If you think today's Arena grinds are difficult, well ... you're in for one heck of an eye-opener.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.12, Drums of War

The 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?

I'm not ashamed to admit when I've made a mistake. Which is good, because today's Archivist would be awkward otherwise. Last week's classic WoW recap was a smidge premature. I haven't covered patch 1.12 yet. Why? Because I thought patch 1.12 was patch 2.0. Patch 2.0 would go with the Burning Crusade-era patches. Patch 1.12 isn't patch 2.0, however, so we're mired in classic WoW for one more week.

Patch 1.12, Drums of War, released in August of 2006. It contained the feature that has set the standard for all group content in World of Warcraft: cross-realm Battlegrounds. In addition to cross-realm Battlegrounds, patch 1.12 also included sanctioned world PVP (which didn't work) and a number of UI improvements that you probably take for granted all these years later.

Let's dive in, shall we?

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Recapping classic World of Warcraft

original world of warcraft logo
The 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?

The Archivist has come a long way. We've just about wrapped up the chronological history of classic World of Warcraft. Sure, there are still bits and bobs that have gone unexplored for now ("The Ashbringer ...") but we've covered every single major patch from the World of Warcraft from prerelease all the way up through the final raid tier of level 60 content. The next time we tackle a set of patch notes, we'll be firmly in The Burning Crusade territory. Exciting, isn't it?

Before we leap into that sweet, sweet Burning Crusade, let's recap what we've covered already, starting way back in July 2009.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.11, Shadow of the Necropolis

The 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?

In last week's Archivist, we looked at patch 1.11's April Fool's Day patch notes, but this week we're digging into the real deal. Patch 1.11 included the original 40-man version of Naxxramas, which was the final raid zone of classic World of Warcraft. The game had seen no expansions yet. While we all knew it was coming, the idea was still foreign and nebulous to players who had limited prior experience with MMOs. "Green is the new purple" was something nobody grasped yet. Naxxramas was seen as the true pinnacle of raiding in classic WoW ... and in some ways, it's still seen that way by WoW's raiding veterans.

The trailer for Shadow of the Necropolis is probably the first patch trailer I remember in vivid detail, as it's one of the first patch trailers in which Blizzard tried to tell a story. Previous patch trailers showed off new bosses and new environments completely without commentary, merely showing off pretty pictures set to new music from the patch's soundtrack. Shadow of the Necropolis slowed things down a bit, showing you some of who Kel'Thuzad was in life and how he came to be lich lord of Naxxramas. Patch trailers have continued to build on what patch 1.11 started.

Let's take a look at what else this patch held, shall we? As usual, we'll first look at the patch notes and then we'll get into commentary.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.11 for fools

The 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?

Today's Archivist topic would have been a grand one to save for the next April Fools' Day, but that's half a year away! Sticking strictly to chronological patch order, what the heck, let's just tackle it today. In the early months of 2006, World of Warcraft players were eagerly anticipating patch 1.11, Shadow of the Necropolis, which would implement the original 40-man version of the Naxxramas raid. On April 1, 2006, former Blizzard community manager Caydiem decided to go fishing for trolls: She posted what is known as Evil Patch Notes.

Some of the false patch notes released for patch 1.11 on April Fools' are timeless, immediately obvious jokes that just click, even five years later. Others are relics of their time, references to popular complaints and hatreds of 2005 and 2006. Players who have only just started playing World of Warcraft in the last year or two may not understand them at all. Others, years later, are closer to the truth than Caydiem may have ever expected.

Patch 1.11's Evil Patch Notes will now be presented in full, where they may speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Scepter of the Shifting Sands

The 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?

It is sad to me that it seems the only players who have access to truly epic quest lines these days are the ones on the receiving ends of legendaries -- Shadowmourne and now Dragonwrath. If we turn back the clock to vanilla, we'd come across perhaps the most epic quest line of them all. Monstrous in its time commitment, material needs, and far more random and diverse than the chain for Thunderfury, it was the mother of all quests. Not only did it require the participation of an entire realm in order to be able to complete it, but it took the effort of at least one raid team of 40 (if not more) to coordinate and organize the energy needed to get a very small handful of people very rare and very special rewards that have yet to be duplicated by Blizzard.

This quest chain is the Scepter of the Shifting Sands.

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.8, Dragons of Nightmare

The 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?

Who says every content patch needs a new raid tier? Patch 1.8, released Oct. 10, 2005 (just slightly under one month after patch 1.7), laughs at your raid tiers. It was actually quite a small patch as far as content goes, and there wasn't anything particularly world-shattering in it, but it still did something interesting: It built up future content. Patch 1.8 implemented the following:
  • The Dragons of Nightmare world bosses
  • A revamp of Silithus
  • The groundwork for holidays such as Hallow's End and Winter Veil
None of these things, on their own, were very large events. They were cool pieces of content, but they weren't supported by a raid or dungeon. Quite the opposite -- they laid the groundwork that would herald a raid coming in a later patch.

Let's dig in, shall we? First the patch notes in full, then the analysis.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The Corrupted Blood plague

The 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?

In late September of 2005, the world was struck with a terrible, virulent plague. In the early days of this plague, it was believed to be well under control. Casualties were few and far between, constrained to indoor quarantine zones, protecting the outside world from the violent malady. These quarantine zones did not last long. Common vermin and pets acted as carriers, delivering this plague out to the greater world.

Men, women and children were all infected. The young died instantly. The old were forced to weather a tortured, wasting existence prior to their death. Innocent bystanders acted as unknowing carriers, delivering the plague from one victim to the next. The death toll rose high enough that major city centers had been almost completely killed off, leaving only piles of corpses to rot in the streets.

We're not talking about the Black Death or a modern pandemic like SARS or H1N1. We're talking about Corrupted Blood, a disastrous plague that struck within the virtual world of Azeroth, hurtling World of Warcraft into the public eye and placing it under scientific scrutiny.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.7, Rise of the Blood God

The 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?

As we go through the patches of classic World of Warcraft, you've seen all along that Cataclysm is essentially a sequel to the original game. Everything in Cataclysm ties into things that began all those years ago. The Twilight's Hammer, Ragnaros and the other elemental lords, Nefarian and Onyxia ... all of those things hearken back to the Azeroth of 2004 and 2005. It isn't just the main plot of this expansion that ties back into the original game either -- oh, no. The little side stories we experience and investigate tie back into the original game, too.

Today, we're looking at patch 1.7 from September 2005. It is the patch that introduced us to Zul'Gurub and the Blood God Hakkar, both of which made their return just months ago.

In addition, patch 1.7 includes:
  • Arathi Basin
  • Stranglethorn Vale's fishing event
  • Implementation of the dressing room
  • Debuff limit raised from eight to 16
Let's explore, hm?

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.6

The 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?

Patch 1.6 has probably one of the worst patch trailers in the entirety of World of Warcraft's history. It's not just that there are no fancy custom animations in the trailer; such things came way later -- machinima was in its infancy, so Blizzard itself saw no reason utilize those techniques or perhaps didn't have the resources. No, it's not just that. It's that there is a token effort somewhere in the video to build drama and epic suspense, but it is all shattered by the image of a member of the QA team leaping about like a spaz in the background while a Judgement-donning paladin tries to set a serious tone. It just isn't happening. How good or bad the trailer was didn't matter back in 2005, though. Back then, it was the most exciting thing in the world.

Interestingly, the trailer is surprisingly difficult to find at all in places like YouTube or other video hosts nowadays, seemingly moreso than other patch trailers from around the same time period. Patch 1.5 and patch 1.7 have sources aplenty floating around, but patch 1.6? It just seems lost and forgotten.

In addition to Blackwing Lair, patch 1.6 also delivered:
  • The Darkmoon Faire
  • Battlemasters to ease battleground queues
  • The implementation (and complete disuse) of a Silvermoon Remnant faction, high elves loyal to the Alliance, aggressive to the Horde -- and never used for anything of note.
Join me on a magical journey through the Warcraft library!

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.5

The 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?

It's back to patch notes in this week's Archivist, where we'll be looking at the lovely little details of patch 1.5, released back in June of 2005 just one month after patch 1.4. Patch 1.4 implemented the bare bones of World of Warcraft's first honor system, but it was patch 1.5 that brought us the part players cared about: battlegrounds -- specifically, Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley. The patch also included ...
  • Another early attempt at building the Dungeon Finder
  • A dishonor system
  • More effort to build upon Molten Core
Follow along, won't you?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events

Event Date
WoW's 10th Anniversary 11/21 - 1/5
Pilgrim's Bounty 11/24 - 12/1
Darkmoon Faire 12/7 - 12/14
Feast of Winter Veil 12/16 - 1/2

Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories