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Posts with tag wow-legends

WoW Archivist: Talisman of Binding Shard, the lost legendary

This edition of WoW Archivist was originally published May 24, 2011. Given Blizzard's recent retrospective on Molten Core, we felt the piece of Warcraft history was worth another look. All references to time, space, and current content should be viewed through the lens of this piece's initial date of publication.

Last week, we finally escaped the morass of World of Warcraft's beta to discuss patch 1.2, the first major content patch of the post-release game. We're going to take a break from patches for a while to examine some other myths and legends that arose in vanilla WoW. Today, we're going to look back to one of the legends of Molten Core.

Molten Core is rather unique in that it's the home of more than one legendary item. Both Thunderfury and Sulfuras have their roots in Molten Core, though one does require items from Blackwing Lair to complete; Blackwing Lair hadn't even been implemented yet when players started receiving the first pieces of these legendary items.

Everybody knows about Thunderfury and Sulfuras, though. Not as many people know Molten Core once had a third legendary.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 1.9, The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj

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 mentioned a couple of weeks ago, patch 1.8 did not include a brand new raid tier. Players thought nothing of it at the time. It was perfectly normal. What patch 1.8 did was lay the groundwork for the following patch. It revamped Silithus, and that revamp was utilized in patch 1.9 with the opening of Ahn'Qiraj and the massive world event surrounding the parting of the gates.

In addition to the opening of the Ahn'Qiraj gates, patch 1.9 also includes:
  • Linked auction houses
  • Raid lockout revamp
  • Paladin class review
Follow along, won't you?

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The Emerald Dream, Outland, and other Z-axis secrets

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?

This week's edition of the Archivist will be a little different than what you may be used to seeing. Rather than exploring a specific event in World of Warcraft's history, we're going to look at a bit of antiquated game design. Specifically, we will be looking at one of Blizzard's old development practices: trying to hide content development in progress on live realms.

Before I begin, I want to note that to my knowledge, none of the hidden locations outlined in this article are accessible anymore. If there are still ways of accessing them on live realms, I want to request that none of you discuss the methods of entering these places on our site. Blizzard hid these places for a reason, even if it didn't do it very well.

Follow along for a look at the Emerald Dream, an early Outland testing ground, and other Z-axis shortcuts and secrets.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, 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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: The legacy of Leeroy Jenkins

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?

Leeroy Jenkins is easily the most recognizable name in all World of Warcraft. It isn't Thrall, it isn't Arthas, it isn't Chris Metzen or Ghostcrawler. It's Leeroy Jenkins. Leeroy has transcended the realm of geekdom in a way that no other aspect of World of Warcraft can.

While World of Warcraft may have made appearances in shows such as Stargate Atlantis, Leeroy has found a place on How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl, Scrubs, and beyond -- he has become a genre and a trope unto himself. Leeroy Jenkins has been mentioned and plugged so many times in pop culture that the days of his being a World of Warcraft reference are in decline and we're coming to a point that most of the world has no idea of the origin of the joke. It's just a funny thing that exists, disembodied from its nerdy, video game roots.

So who is this Leeroy Jenkins fellow, and why is he so gosh-darn funny?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: World of Warcraft patch 1.4

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?

Onwards we go through the tomes of World of Warcraft history. Today we come to patch 1.4, released May 2005, a short two months after patch 1.3. Patch 1.4 was the sort of patch we would be shocked to see nowadays: it contained no raid zones and no instances. It wasn't bare of content, though. Some highlights from this patch are:
  • The implementation of the earliest iteration of the honor system
  • Sweeping itemization changes in high end 5-man dungeons and raid zones
  • The outdoor area of Andorhal was revamped from, quite literally, the ground up
  • And the most controversial classic WoW change of them all: the succubus model was updated
Let's dig in. Just like our patch 1.3 discussion, our first page will be the patch notes (which are always massive) and the second page will be our in-depth look at the highlights.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Memories of Dire Maul

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?

Last week I said we'd be visiting Dire Maul in-depth this week, and we're going to do exactly that. Dire Maul was added in World of Warcraft patch 1.3 all the way back in March 2005. As I pointed out last week, Dire Maul attempted a great number of things that Blizzard has never tried to do since. It was also one of the few instances that was given a lasting relevance throughout an entire expansion phase of the game's life -- from the day it was implemented in patch 1.3 to the final day prior to the launch of The Burning Crusade, players had a reason to venture into the three wings of Dire Maul that wasn't simply grinding for currency.

Dire Maul was one of the last bastions of adventure and discovery in our dungeons. That isn't to say all instances afterwards were bad, that's not true at all, but never again did we have a 5-man dungeon that you were free to explore and discover the secrets hidden away in its dark corners. It's a style of dungeon we haven't seen since, and with the prominence of the dungeon finder in World of Warcraft these days, it's one we're unlikely to see ever again.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Indalamar the Warrior

The WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? What secrets does the game still hold? If you enjoyed Patches of Yesteryear, you're going to love this.

I have a confession to make. I lied about Archivist being done with events from WoW's beta. Last week, we discussed the Talisman of Binding Shard, an item that dropped six months into World of Warcraft's lifespan on live realms. What we are going to discuss today goes back again in the final stages of the beta.

Remember last week how I told all of you to make a note of the guild name Nurfed because it was going to come up again? Today, you will meet Indalamar the Warrior with a capital "W."

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

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