Friday

This is what the World (of Warcraft) looked like in 2003.



You know, I don't really look at those screenshots and think "Man, those graphics suck". I mean, they are obviously outdated. But when I look at screenshots from PC games I played 10 years ago, all I can think is how outdated everything looks.

I really do like WoW's artstyle. It aged fairly well. Sure it's dated but it has stood up to the test of time far better than all other MMO's out there.

I remember getting my old boss addicted to it back in 2006 or so after I raved how good the Alpha/Beta/Release was .. he was able to play the thing on a 64mb graphics card with little problem (and these were BAD bargain bin graphics cards) and it still looked respectable.

Login Screen





You enter your account information before the game is launched.

Characters

Human males had different run and moving animations, you can see he is standing slightly different too - notice it also says they get bonus skill points as a racial bonus

Characters

dwarves, animations are different, looks awkward

Characters

still same animations that exist in the present game

Characters

ridiculous hairstyle / facial hair were available for gnomes, moreso than exist right now

Characters

different standing animations - the model itself is exactly the same as it appears in game today - that's a 10+ year old model!

Characters

more bones showing in arms / legs

Characters

different movement and standing animations, again it looks awkward compared to the current animations

Characters

more different animations, trolls arguably had the worst animations, their current iterations are worlds better

Characters

animations are different as with most others

Characters

more relaxed looking standing animations

Characters

exact same animations / model that exists today

Characters

you have the ability to make gnome females look increasingly frightening during creation, this is a toned down combination in my opinion

Characters

mostly the same animations, slightly tweaked it felt

Characters

i didn't notice many differences from the live models / animations

Characters

more awkward animations, although not much better than current female tauren animations in game today

Characters

this is above and beyond the worst model / animation that existed in the game at this point, blizzard went out of their way to make female trolls hideous and awful looking

World Map

The unfinished world map

Silithus

this is what turned in to the scarab gate, except there's nothing stopping you from just walking in for this version

Silithus

view from the other side of the "gate"

Silithus

I figured this is the first iteration of the ruins of ahn'qiraj - uninstanced

Silithus

closer view from the ground

Silithus
inside the ruins walls

Silithus

view from inside the structure, looks very ominous

Silithus

the ground is paved inside

Silithus

what appeared to me to be one of the first iterations of the temple of ahn'qiraj, again it's uninstanced in the south of silithus

Silithus

temple view from high up

Silithus

underneath the temple, just a template silithid hive

Silithus

underneath the temple, just a template silithid hive

Silithus

from just inside the entrance to the temple, you can see in to what would become c'thun's room

Silithus

stairs from the entrance towards c'thun's room

Silithus

the room that would come to house C'thun

Silithus

structure by itself nearby the other qiraji ruins

Silithus
temple view from the side

Silithus

the swarming pillar - now with less swarming!

Silithus

this is the northwest corner of silithus, no area for thunderaan existed yet

Thousand Needles

highperch, more tree like things here it seemed

Dustwallow Marsh

theramore - some modified textures, these looked much more crisp

Mulgore

the Bael'gun digsite, it's much smaller than what ended up happening with it

Dustwallow Marsh

Onyxia's lair - hasn't been added yet

Desolace

strange rock tree thing looking towards thunder axe fortress

Desolace

missing creature skeleton in the south of desolace

Dun Morogh

entrance to ironforge with the bindstone

Ironforge

walking through the entrance halls - feels unfamiliar - no big entry lobby or auction house / bank area

Ironforge


Ironforge

this is right in front of the split entrance way from dun morogh

Ironforge

moving towards the magic area where some trainers are located in the present game

Ironforge

area is raised up, bridges connect the sides

Ironforge

view from on top of a bridge

Ironforge

inside the training area

Ironforge


Ironforge

view from the top of the trainers area

Ironforge

this is actually where the library of ironforge is now

Ironforge

flight path location was in front of the library

Ironforge

another high up shot

Ironforge

library to the right, flight path to the left

Ironforge

moving to the center of the city, ramps down

Ironforge

feels cramped

Ironforge


Ironforge

another ramp down, the center is to the left

Ironforge

welcome to the center of ironforge - still feels unusually cramped though

Ironforge

view around the middle

Ironforge

below the molten center-piece in the middle room

Ironforge

a room connecting the center of the city to an elevator going down even further

Ironforge

elevator lets off here

Ironforge

tram pick up / drop off for ironfroge

Ironforge

another of the tramway

Ironforge

one more of the tram

Ironforge

deeper down the track

Ironforge

at the military quarter

Ironforge

view from military quarter bridge

Ironforge

military quarter area - where the present games battleground queue NPCs are located

Ironforge

inside, layout is still the same

Ironforge

looped around to the entrance to the city

Mulgore

Thunder Bluff - not much different than now, there were those divider walls between the middle bluff's various levels though

Mulgore

another view of thunderbluff and it's bindstone

Ashenvale

missing mannoroth's spear

Deadwind Pass

entrance to deadwind pass

Deadwind Pass


Deadwind Pass

continuing inside

Deadwind Pass


Deadwind Pass

lots of fog here, reduced view distance

Deadwind Pass

silhouette of the original incarnation of karazhan

Deadwind Pass

another shot of karazhan

Deadwind Pass

starting to get a sense of the scale of the tower

Deadwind Pass

the tower is two separate pieces connected higher up, both are suspended on jagged mountains, there is no way to actually cross on to it, there are deep valley's preventing access between the regular road/path and the tower.

Deadwind Pass

the general feel of this zone is even less inviting than it's present version

Deadwind Pass

a view of karazhan

Deadwind Pass

looking down from the near top of karazhan - view distance is max (777 in the alpha)

Deadwind Pass

the top of the tower

Deadwind Pass

another view in to what surrounds karazhan - no walkable paths

Deadwind Pass

a far view almost from inside stranglethorn vale - fog density decreased as I entered STV

Deadwind Pass

another shot of it

Deadwind Pass


Deadwind Pass

a view of the second piece where the two connect

Deadwind Pass

looking up at the second piece - it's really hard to stress how absolutely enormous this tower is, even in present game with flying mounts it would be gigantic

Redridge Mountains

lakeshire with it's bindstone

Redridge Mountains

lakeshire again - not much different

Tirisfal Glades

Brill and its bindstone

Wetlands

Menethil harbor - the harbor is much smaller than what it ended up being

Wetlands

another shot of the harbor

Searing Gorge

searing gorge - looks more like orcish pits than dwarven as they are presently in game

Searing Gorge

another view from above

Searing Gorge

orc towers instead of dwarven

Searing Gorge

view from inside the pit

Searing Gorge

a regular cave entrance instead of the mines we're used to

Searing Gorge


Searing Gorge

entrance to black rock mountain - still a work in progress at this point, no entrance inside the mountain

Badlands

kargath and the bindpoint

Badlands
inside a stronghold, different steamtonk models

Arathi Highlands

refuge pointe - no battleground's yet, very sparse

Arathi Highlands

another view of refuge pointe

Blasted Lands

a view of what would become nethergarde keep

Blasted Lands

view of the entrance to blasted lands from swamp of sorrows

Blasted Lands
another high view

Blasted Lands


Blasted Lands

inside the city

Blasted Lands

the dark portal - somewhat unimpressive now

Blasted Lands

higher up view of the portal

Blasted Lands

Blasted Lands

cave inside the tainted scar

Blasted Lands


Swamp of Sorrows

inside sunken temple - textures feel different

Swamp of Sorrows

further inside, same layout exactly

Swamp of Sorrows

missing model

Swamp of Sorrows

frightening looking decaying troll corpse

Swamp of Sorrows

another view of the corpse

Western Plaguelands

this is caer darrow - and that is the dark portal

Eastern Plaguelands

this is right where you enter present day dead side of stratholme - you can go inside the building here(it's untextured and very difficult to find you way though), other than this piece everything in stratholme is virtually identical nowadays

Eastern Plaguelands

unfinished naxxramas at the end of dead side stratholme?

Eastern Plaguelands

light's hope chapel - underwhelming

Eastern Plaguelands

Tyr's hand temple, blue instead of red

Elwynn Forest

entering stormwind, griffon area extends farther out

Elwynn Forest

view from the trade district, that's stormwind keep in the distance

Elwynn Forest

view between the canals

Elwynn Forest
from the outside of the cathedral district - a view of the mages quarter tower in the distance

Elwynn Forest

closer view of the mage quarter's tower

Elwynn Forest
another view of the tower

Elwynn Forest

looking from near the mage quarter towards stormwind keep

Elwynn Forest

stormwind keep - the tower behind it is gigantic in scale - the keep itself wasn't any larger inside than it is in game now really

Elwynn Forest

deeprun tram - missing in action at this point in time

Elwynn Forest

this is where SI:7 is located in game now

Elwynn Forest

other wing looks the same

Elwynn Forest

view from trade district - the mages tower in the distance again

Hillsbrad Foothills

Tarren Mill with it's bindpoint, not much different from when the game launched

Hillsbrad Foothills

Southshore and the bindpoint here - pretty much the same as it was at launch

Hinterlands

Seradane - much more cramped in here than what it turned out to become

Loch Modan

Stonewrought damn - very uninspired looking

Loch Modan

another of the damn, it's larger than what ended up at launch

Island of Doctor Lapidis

this is off the coast to the west of stranglethorn vale, quite a distance, it was a work in progress at best

Island of Doctor Lapidis

proof of the work in progress

Island of Doctor Lapidis

cave on the isle

Island of Doctor Lapidis

from the top of the beach

Island of Doctor Lapidis

moving down the beach, some ruins

Island of Doctor Lapidis

bottom of the beach

Island of Doctor Lapidis

looking up the beach

Island of Doctor Lapidis

another view looking up, some texture issues

Gilijim's Isle

this place must have been in the very early stages of development, hardly anything looked finished - this is south of the island of doctor lapidis, which itself is west of stranglethorn vale

Gilijim's Isle

rock waterfall

Gilijim's Isle

another of the rock waterfall

Gilijim's Isle

a lone caravan in the isle

Silverpine Forest

looking at shadowfang keep from pyrewood village

Silverpine Forest

looking at the dalaran bubble from within silverpine

Stranglethorn Vale

this was in the water off of jaguero isle, i doubt it was intended as a permanent

Stranglethorn Vale

entrance to zul'gurub, which at this point was still being developed it appeared

Stranglethorn Vale

behind the wall, entrance to zul'gurub

Stranglethorn Vale

stairs around the corner, unfinished landscape

Stranglethorn Vale

the general area that zul'gurub covered, barely started work here

Stranglethorn Vale

another view of zul'gurub terrain

Stranglethorn Vale

the water where hakkar's altar would come to stay

Stranglethorn Vale

another view of the water

Tirisfal Glades

entering the undercity from the elevator

Tirisfal Glades

where the bank is currently located, a hole in the center

Tirisfal Glades

this canal in the center is now stone you walk on, there was a lot more green 'acid' in the city than what ended up at launch

Tirisfal Glades

rampway to the upper level of the undercity

Tirisfal Glades

second level of the undercity

Tirisfal Glades

looking down to the internal canals - again this became stone and walkable, just ahead is where the auction house npc's are located in the present game

Tirisfal Glades

another view of the internal canals, you can see where auction npc's are located in present game

Tirisfal Glades

drapery among the undercity

Tirisfal Glades

scarlet monastery

Tirisfal Glades

different textures at scarlet monastery

Tirisfal Glades

a view around the side

Tirisfal Glades

very large tower at scarlet monastary

Wetlands

the loch modan damn, notice no dwarven faces on it

Stonetalon Mountains

this is sun-rock retreat - yep, nothing here but a bindstone and a cave

around the corner from sun-rock retreat, lumber mill

Azshara

a dark portal located underwater in the middle of azshara

The Barrens

Isle of giants looking more sparse

The Barrens

this is razorfen downs, it's basically a one track path directly to the instance portal, and it appears to be made out of a deceased, and very large creature's corpse

The Barrens

another view of the downs

The Barrens

ratchet, a little bit different, not much

The Barrens

other view of ratchet

Durotar

this is razor hill, notice it's missing the inn

Durotar

unfinished waters on the coast of durotar

Durotar

notice no zeppelin tower as it was at launch

Durotar

welcome to orgrimmar - much more tropical and sandy looking

Durotar
the windrider tower and an arched path of to the left

Durotar

this is where the auction house ended up being - nothing here now!

Durotar

entrance to the wind riders tower

Durotar

on top of the arched pathway

Durotar

the path that leads to the west exit of orgrimmar

Durotar

another view of the wind riders tower, notice that the upper piece is actually a seperate building, but is just scenery at this point - eventually it was removed to leave just the 'tusks' and no roof

Durotar

the drag - very cramped here

Durotar

the drag, leading to the valley of honor and the valley of wisdom, path forks off

Durotar
the cleft of shadow - missing ragefire chasm entrance

Durotar

a hut is located where RFC would come to be

Durotar

entrance to thralls barracks

Durotar

looking outward from thrall's barracks, notice no mannoroth trophies

Durotar

valley of honor, many more hills and archways here

Durotar

view of one of the archways in the valley of honor

Durotar

the orgrimmar arena

Durotar

early iteration of the orgrimmar bank

Tanaris

welcome to gadgetzan! it's lonely and underpopulated here!

Tanaris

another barren view of gadgetzan

Tanaris

view of gadgetzan arena

Tanaris

zul'farak, uninstanced, the whole area was relatively unchanged

Developer's Playground

an area likely used for testing by the developers - it did exist on the regular kalimdor map at launch - until players started finding their way over to it where npc's and other various items were located, it was moved off to an instanced map eventually, and I believe eventually removed entirely

Developer's Playground

drowned castle

Developer's Playground

underwater castle view

Developer's Playground

some underwater houses

Developer's Playground

path underwater

Developer's Playground

rows and rows of houses underwater, somewhat eerie

Developer's Playground

another view of the rows of houses underwater

Developer's Playground

a windswept desert

Developer's Playground

camp at a waterfall

Winterspring

winterspring was completely in development at this point, the whole zone looks like this

Hyjal

a statue in hyjal
 

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