Monday, March 22

World of Warcraft - a trip down memory lane.

World of Warcraft, is the most popular MMORP ever made. The game was first announced on September 2, 2001. But the first time I heard about it, was when I watched the below video which came with the Warcraft III CD:

This was a preview of world of warcraft that was on the warcraft 3 collectors edition dvd. You can see it's really early alpha footage and how much that game has changed to what it was at release:

The game was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. The game had been in beta in about year in advanced, here are some early alpha video from about a year before the release. See how much has changed since 2003...

The Female troll model from Alpha a version:

The first expansion set of the game, The Burning Crusade, was released on January 16, 2007. The second expansion set, Wrath of the Lich King, was released on November 13, 2008. The third expansion set, Cataclysm, was announced at BlizzCon 2009.
With more than 11.5 million monthly subscriptions in December 2008, World of Warcraft is currently the world's most-subscribed MMORPG, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers. In April 2008, World of Warcraft was estimated to hold 62 percent of the MMORPG subscription market. Below is a look back on how things used to be, and how the game have evolved over the last 7 years:

  • During original WoW alpha, Scholomance was supposed to be an outdoor elite area (probably where sorrow hill is now), but the developers made it so big and good that they decided to make it an instance.
  • At the beginning, there were shields and bucklers. Rogues and hunters could use bucklers, but they later removed them, and rogues/hunters couldn't equip shields anymore. There are still bucklers in game, but they are labeled as "Shields".
  • Survival talents for hunters was the "melee" tree and they had a lacerate ability which dealt less than 100 damage at lvl 60.
  • Discipline tree for priests was supposed to be a "melee" tree (think of like monk), which is why Inner Fire increased attack power.
  • All of you know this already, but Dwarves could be Mages.
  • Hunters were using focus as their resource system, but it regenerated while standing still, and was very overpowered so they gave them mana instead.
  • Several classes had talents which increased stats by a raw number (for example 20/40/60/80/100 spell power (not percent but just 100 SP)), and they didnt scale at all with gear/level.
  • There was almost no Spell Damage on gear during early vanilla. It wasn't a strange thing to see a lvl 60 mage with less than 30 SP.
  • The reason why there are so many cloaks with exactly the same stats in the starting areas was because cloaks also had armor types (for example cloth/leather/mail/plate cloaks)
  • There were two big islands off the western coast of STV, which were removed, but if you go far enough with mount and water walking, you can reach the area where they were. You will see that you are zoning in Isle of Doctor Lapidis or Gillijim's Isle.
  • Elwynn Forest, Stormwind and Westfall were the first zones that blizzard made back before 2001. That is why they are crappier than other starting zones.
  • Azshara has very little quests because Blizzard has designed it with a terrible layout, and they realized that too late. They thought most people would hate it so much, so they just didn't bother and left it for future expansions (Cataclysm)
  • Their original design(back before alpha) was that horde and alliance each had only 100 quests in the game.(was said in a recent interview)
  • At release, there were no quests at all in Silithus(or anything important), and it was added in the AQ patch(or earlier I don't remember)
  • There were much less quests past level 50 at release, so players complained that they had to grind mobs in order to level, and Blizzard added more quests later.
  • Blackrock Spire, Stratholme and Scholomance were all tuned for 15 people raids, and they were still way too hard even with 15 people, which they later toned down to 5 players (except for UBRS which is 10 player)
  • Before TBC was released, you were able to blink through deadmines portal and glitch it, cast slow fall off an unfinished tunnel, and reach a very early version of Hellfire Peninsula. Here is a video of it:

  • Emerald Dream was supposed to be released in vanilla, as either zone/raid/continent. They scrapped it, but there are emerald dream zones in the game files, though not accessible in any way on official servers. You can also see it on Youtube.
  • T2 sets dropped in Molten Core, and had different graphics.
  • Epic Mounts at release were just recolored normal mounts without armor. They removed them and replaced with armored mounts later(R.I.P Ivory Raptor). Oh and Tauren didnt have a mount at all, they had a plainsrunning ability.
  • Ironforge was by miles the largest city in game, because it had two floors instead of one, and the one which exists today is smaller than before. The Great Forge was also visible in game. Here is a video of it:


  • Gnomeregan was supposed to be a city like all others, Ironforge had an elevator which led into Gnomeregan, but they turned it into an instance because it would create faction imbalance.
  • Undercity was even more complicated to navigate, so they removed the second floor (it is still accessible in game).
  • Humans and Orcs were the first Races Blizzard created in game.
  • Human females and Orc males used a slightly different model.
  • You would be scared if you saw how Female Trolls looked in alpha.
  • Goldshire was a lot bigger, and it resembled a real village. But Blizzard realized that they can't make other starting zone hubs that big, and they removed a lot of buildings in goldshire so it would be even for all zones.
  • Overall Graphics in WoW are definitely improved since it's release, but in alpha, the graphics looked more realistic(but lower quality than now), and they toned them down.
  • Naxxramas is still physically present in Eastern Plaguelands today. There is no way to enter it or see it(it is invisible). If you logged off your character in old naxx before wotlk was released, you would appear in EPL naxx with portals to northrend. Video:


  • Undead were able to communicate with the Alliance.
  • Undead were really Undead, so they could have been targeted by Exorcism and such spells(back when it only worked on undead and demons)
  • Will of the Forsaken was a passive buff which made you immune to sleep, polymorph and fear effects. That didn't last long.
  • Cloaks weren't visible at all until beta, due to player request.
  • CC effects didn't have reduced duration on pvp targets, so a rogue or mage could cc you up to 1 min(or more)
  • Mages had an invisibility spell earlier, but you could cast Pyroblast while still invisible. It was removed because of an outcry from other players.
  • There were no guards at neutral cities, so most of them were slaughter fests.
  • Maraudon was added in a content patch.
  • Warrior charge ability used to teleport you to your target instead of increasing your run speed.
  • Wands couldn't auto-shoot so you had to click it each time you wanted to hit.
  • Spell schools used to have a skill system similar to todays weapon skills. "Your skill in Fire has increased to 93"
  • There was only one flight path and graveyard in the Barrens. Ugh.
  • Warlock spell Banish had a 30 minute cooldown for some reason.
  • Rogues and Druids had "feign death" abilities before they were moved to the hunter class.
  • Mages had an ability called "Khadgar's Unlocking" which was like rogue pick lock spell.
  • The only enchanting trainer at higher level was in Uldaman.
  • Each major city had it's own special auction house, so Darnassus was pretty useless.
  • Although Azshara crater, a scrapped battleground, never appeared in game, it is in the game files.
  • All wings of Scarlet Monastery was once a single instance, but they have split it into four because it was too big.
  • The Black Morass instance(without the mobs and bosses) was in the game files since 2004.
  • Hellfire peninsula was supposed to be a 54-60 zone.
  • Andorhal in Western Plaguelands was a very hard elite area(MC geared players had problems with it). Araj the Summoner was tuned for 20+ people. It also had ruined wall around it's borders, which was later removed.
  • There are Programmer isle and designer isle in the game files but aren't accessible. 
  • As one reply reminded me, player housing was briefly tested and scrapped completely. Here is an interesting picture:


  • If you look at the beginning of the original wow cinematic, you'll notice half of Silithus is missing on the map. That's because it wasn't there at that time.
  • Here are some more realistic graphics I was talking about:

  • The original Hellfire Peninsula resembled the WCIII HFP a lot more. Here is a very old picture of it:

Blizzard definitely wasn't wrong when they said emerald dream was gonna look awesome: 

  • The very first legendary item that dropped was a necklace  that dropped off Baron Geddon. It was removed from the loot table, but the guy who got it was allowed to keep it. Here is his armory  (you can't actually see it because it shows an error).
  • Hunters were the last class to be introduced in beta.
  • Paladin Judgement had a cast time.
  • Shaman enhancement tree had a couple of tanking talents/spells, although they were never really able to tank anything other than occasional trash. 
  • Warlocks were able to summon people off cliffs, and mages/some other classes were able to cc people underwater and make them drown.
  • Warrior Recklessness used to reduce targets armor to 0.
  • On release, there was no PvP content at all. It was added some months later(battlegrounds and honor system).
  • Flight masters didn't summon mobs to help so they were sometimes camped constantly.
  • Many people don't know this, but there is a "click to move" option in WoW. You can click on the spot on the ground, and your character will move to that spot, like in RPG games.
  • Paladins had about a dozen seals removed, namely Seal of Fury, Seal of the Crusader, Seal of Sacrifice, Seal of Wrath and others. They also had Crusader Strike and Holy Strike in beta.
  • I'm not 100% sure on this, but when you died you lost a small amount of XP.
  • Warlock Felsteed mount was called "Nightmare".
  • Kick and other interrupts had a 75% chance to hit.
  • Mages had to spend 5 talent points in arcane tree to make Arcane Explosion instant. Evocation was a talent also.
  • Shamans had Magma Blast and Lightning Shock spells.
  • Since the vanilla definition of "Hybrid Class" really meant "Hybrid Class", the itemization was quite strange. Paladins/druids/shamans had all stats on their gear, and for some reason rogues, warriors and some other classes had spirit or some useless stat for them on their gear.
  • Though most people know this, Windfury weapon procs could proc off eachother. So theoretically shamans could one shot a raid boss if stars aligned.
  • Paladin reckoning talent could be stacked to infinite stacks. It was used to one shot Lord Kazzak, and it was hotfixed within 24 hours of that event.:


  • Mages and priests had a "Sleep" spell.
  • Eviscerate had a base damage that didn't scale, so a naked rogue would hit the same as a full T3 rogue.
  • The best lvl 60 warrior dps item was a level 44 mail gloves(Edgemaster's Gauntlets), because they had weapon skill bonuses.
  • Rogue and warrior mace specialization used to randomly stun people. They were changed to ARP bonuses in WotLK.
  • Mortal strike hit for 200% weapon damage, making 50% healing debuff almost useless because you would 1-2 shot cloth.
  • You weren't able to see buffs on enemy players, but mages had "Detect Magic" spell.
  • Deathwish and Enrage could stack for some scary DPS increase.(enrage was 40%)
  • There was a way to gain reputation with Wildhammer clan and Revantusk trolls, but they had no reward at all and they just removed it later.
  • Bosses had only 8 debuff slots, so warriors were sometimes kicked for speccing into deep wounds.
  • Hunter and warlock pets didn't scale with any stat at all.
  • Many players think that worst quest in vanilla was "Deep ocean,Vast sea...", because the breath timer was only 60 seconds and murlocs could move through walls. Ouch.
  • There was no arcane resistance, but there was holy resistance. Today it's vice-versa.
  • Hunter arcane shot scaled from spellpower, which is why hunter T2.5 sets have SP on them.
  • This was recent but, healing and spell damage were two separate stats. So leveling as a holy priest/paladin would be a suicide.
  • Mage arcane tree and priest discipline tree had talents that improved wand damage. This was removed in 3.0
  • Wound poison would stack to 5 for 10/20/30/40/50% healing debuff.
  • Dispelling poisons was actually a good tactic because it's application chance was much lower.
  • Although never confirmed, there is a rumor that Ironforge Airstation was supposed to be a gnome starting area.
  • Priests had racial spells, but some of them were turned into baseline priest spells and some other removed. (human-desperate prayer/troll-hex of weakness/undead-devouring plague)
  • There was a period in TBC when orcs had bugged shoulder size(2x smaller), and worst of all, it took Blizzard 2-3 months to fix it.
  • Undead had slightly bigger shoulder size than today.
  • Recently, in the Ulduar patch, a Gm accidentally mailed a player with Martin Fury. That is an artifact level shirt that has a "on use" effect that one shots everything. He used it to one shot Malygos, and couple of bosses in Ulduar. People noticed on his statistics tab that he had an abysmally high "Highest hit ever" number, and he got a permanent ban shortly after.
  • Female Tauren had a lot of doors/obstacles that they couldn't fit through. They still do, but much less.
  • Tauren not being able to fit through the MC entrance window(next to the high elf quest giver)
  • And the best one! instance servers being full, and 40 people jumping through the window of MC to zone in, inevitably falling into the lava, getting "Instance servers are full, try again later" message 
  • Trolls used to have a joke ( /silly emote) that said this "I kill two dwarves in da morning, I kill two dwarves at night,I kill two dwarves in the afternoon, and than I feel alrgiht.I kill two dwarves in time of peace and two in time of war,I kill two dwarves before I kill two dwarves, and then I kill two more." This was removed from the game, because it was a reference to smoking weed.
  • There is a very creepy crypt behind Karazhan which is currently inaccessible except for hunters/shamans chain farsighting/eagle eye. It is pretty well done, and was probably shaping to become something, but Blizzard abandoned it because the game is rated "12".
  • In alpha WoW, all instance portals used a "Dark Portal" model as a placeholder. There was one dark portal in underwater Azshara, which would lead to assume that there was supposed to be an instance in Azshara underwater. Maybe they just threw it there randomly, who knows. Pic:

  • Meeting stones weren't used for summoning other people, they were used so you can look for other people who queued for that instance.
  • Retaliation had no animation, and you couldn't see the buffs of your enemies, so warriors could pop it against rogues who had very little chance to notice it.
  • After a patch in vanilla, something got bugged and warriors received one extra talent point, which allowed them to spec 31/21/0 and be very overpowered.
  • People used to pay a lot for people that had a key to Upper Blackrock Spire.
  • The Unstoppable Force(AV exalted weapon) used to knock back players instead of stunning them.
  • There was a hunter that stacked spellpower gear(for mend pet) and soloed Azuregos.
  • The term "Globaled" which people oftenly say today when they get killed very fast, doesn't actually exist today. In vanilla, mages could actually really "Global" you, using PoM/pyro macro and double spelldamage trinket in one button.
  • Warlocks could kill people in duels. (and I really mean "kill")
  • There is an achievement called "Old School Ride". You need to have a first epic mounts that blizzard added at release(the ones without armor). Since it costed 1000g(that was really a lot of money back than), and was removed pretty shortly after release, very few people got that achievement.
  • Warriors oftenly fell through the world when using charge/intercept, and charge could be used in combat.
  • Walljumping allowed you to carry the flag in WSG to an unreachable spot, making you invulnerable. If both flag carriers did that, the game could last until the players log out/dc(which could be days).
  • Intellect increases the speed you gain weapon skills.
  • Warlock succubus pets used to have less clothes, but they added more later.
  • Druids couldn't cast for a few seconds after leaving a form. There was a talent to allow that.
  • Shamans had a talent that allowed them to equip two handed axes and maces.
  • Since there was no casting bars, shamans and druids used hearthstone to lure interrupts so they can heal.(they have the same casting animation).
  • There is an NPC next to Haris Pilton in shattrath city, that is only viewable by priests who have level 60 trinket equipped. (forgot it's name)
  • You could communicate cross-faction by using lines to make words( /,|,_,\)
  • Gurubashi catacombs was an arena that was supposed to be the first arena in TBC, but got scrapped. You can see it on wowwiki.
  • After feign death timer ended, hunters would really die.
  • There is a cloth blue item set that drops in Scholomance. For some reason, it's set bonus increases defense.
  • Hippogryphs in Azshara used to drop more money than any other mob in the game, so it was usually farmed by bots 24/7.
  • Sap was breaking stealth, and there was a talent that gave 90% chance to the rogue to remain in stealth after using sap. Sucks if it didn't work and get killed immediately in instances.
  • In TBC beta, there was a quest reward dagger in Netherstorm that dealt arcane damage instead of physical. It scaled with spellpower, so mages would hit really hard with it in melee. There is a video on youtube.
  • Balance druids were utterly useless at vanilla release. Than they added Moonkin form halfway through vanilla, but they still sucked.
  • Deeprun Tram was supposed to connect Stormwind and Darnassus.(not 100% sure on that one)
  • Baron Rivendare's mount had about 0.02 chance to drop, so anyone that had it was considered a god(especially alliance). Today it's 1% chance.
  • Rogue detect traps ability had a "Swirly Ball" animation. All rogues loved it and spammed it all the time, and there was a huge outcry when Blizzard removed it.
  • Undermine (Goblin capital city) was planed to be released here is a map of it:

some very interesting screenshots/videos!

During very early wow development, it wasn't a strange thing to see something like this:

Here is the old scholomance with placeholder Dark Portal entrance:

Guardian of Blizzard:

This was south of Silithus:

This is how Karazhan looked before:

I don't think this needs explanation:

This was the placeholder for the world tree in Hyjal:

A very very old picture, note the different human model:

This is a map of Emerald Dream(I linked an exploration video above):

An untextured an unfinished Naga Temple:

This is the art for it:

  • The rarest mount in game is Fluorescent Green Mechanostrider. 
  • There is a cave in Dun Morogh, and when you enter it, you enter Silithus general chat.
  • Rogues had a poison brewing profession, and poisons had stacks that were spent on attacking, and they had to refresh poisons on their weapons during bossfights.
  • Blizzard said in vanilla wow numerous time that Shadowfang Keep is their favorite instance, and the one they have spent most time on.
  • Orc racial Blood Fury only increased melee attack power by 25%, and when the effect expired, you lost 25% of your AP for 45 seconds. Also reduced healing by 50%. Overall it was useless for orc warlocks and resto/elemental shamans.
  • All Polearms were called Spears.
  • You could swap armor and weapons during combat(now its only weapons).
  • You didn't lose durability when dying, but you lost more durability during combat.
  • Hunters gained 2 attack power per 1 point of agility.
  • Hunters couldn't lay traps in combat. It was changed in TBC so you can do it, but with 2 second cast time.
  • A good one: Survival talent tree for Hunters had a different name - "Outdoormanship"
  • The paladin spell Holy Wrath was once named "Judgment"
  • There was no countdown on duels.
  • PvP trinkets were class specific, for example, warrior trinket broke only stuns or warlock only snares(don't remember exactly).
  • Healing spells had 30 yard range and classes had talents to increase its range.
  • Barkskin increased your cast time and slowed melee speed.
  • Enslave demon buff was dispellable, so the enslaved demon would attack the warlock.
  • Druids couldn't shapeshift to break polymorph.
  • Channeled spells (such as arcane missiles) couldn't be interrupted.
  • Upon release, boats(and zeppelins?) were very unstable and buggy, so they disabled them for a short time until they fixed it. They added an NPC called Captain Placeholder which teleported players for some money. He was so popular, that players made a lament for him.
  • Thrown weapons had charges, like todays ammo.
  • In the patch that introduced TBC talents in vanilla, it also introduced paladin/horde - shaman/alliance gear. Since there were no horde paladins and alliance shamans yet, those drops were just wasted.
  • Night elf guards in Darnassus and some other settlements are always female. Blood elf guards are always male.
  • Chinese people are still playing TBC because there is no WotLK in china.
  • There is no WoW in Japan at all.
  • Sylvanas in WoW had 3-4 different voice actor.
  • Draenei were announced as a playable race 6-7 months(I think) after TBC was announced.
  • Chris Metzen is the voice actor of Ragnaros/Nefarian/Thrall/Rexxar/Varian Wrynn/Deathbringer Saurfang/Algalon, and many more.
  • Azjol-nerub was supposed to be a raid instance/zone instead of ToC, but left behind as blizzard realized that it was too big, so they put all of what they have done in OK/AN instances(it really is big). They also said in a recent interview that their biggest disappointment about WotLK is not making AN a zone.
  • The longest instance corpse run was Crossroads-Razorfen Downs, because there was only one graveyard in barrens. The longest non-instance corpse run was probably in Blade's edge mountains before they fixed graveyards there.
  • Bind on pickup was called "Bind on Acquire".
  • Everyone could see Spirit Healers, including people who are alive.
  • There is a spirit healer west of crossroads that is named "Koiter". He is a memorial to Michael Koiter, a blizzard artist that died during the development of WoW.
  • Spirit healer whispers you hear when you die, say following things "Play World of Warcraft" "Give us your money". Of course they are very hard to hear, so very few people notice it.
  • Battleground groups weren't formed automatically upon joining the BG, so it was "INV PLZ" spamfest during the first minutes.
  • (Don't know if it's still possible) A death knight could death grip someone while standing on the booty bay boat, and that person would be sent flying across the continent, ending up below Alterac Mountains.
  • Hunters would usually go out of mana after 3 shots, so they were mostly auto shooting in PvP. However in PvE, you could FD+drink/swap gear.
  • Unfortunately, Moonkins would just go out of mana after 3 spells. They were mostly brought there for the /dance.
  • Paladin blessings lasted 5 minutes. So by the time you buffed 40 raid members, the first ones you buffed would have 2-3 minutes left on their blessings. So they were essentially just rebuffing the raid all the time.
  • Warlock Death Coil had 10 minute cooldown, and didn't cause any horror effect.
  • All mobs in the heavy-silithid areas in Silithus were elite. Also many other mobs in the game had elite status removed.
  • Warlocks were able to summon people into battlegrounds, including people who are higher/lower level than the level bracket.
  • The longest ever unkilled boss in WoW is Ouro the Sandworm(86 days after the first twin emperors kill), with C'thun and Onyxia just behind him. This is because he was very bugged at AQ release, and he is an optional boss.

2 kommentarer:

Anonymous said...

You were unable to see target's hitpoints. People have used addons calculating it during the fight.

Anonymous said...

For a long time in Vanilla, healing in battlegrounds wouldn't get you honour... so nobody healed. Players would either have PvP-dedicated characters, or spend large amounts of gold re-speccing for PvP.

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