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[Column] World of Warcraft: Fond Memories of World of Warcraft’s Early Days

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126

For me, my 2004 game was World of Warcraft. I eagerly awaited both EQ2 and WoW, but after getting into the Closed Beta for the latter, my fate was sealed. Everything about those early  Azerothian days seems great in hindsight… until I remember why I quit the first time (lack of level 60 content).  But today, I thought I’d pull out one of my fondest Azerothian memories from the fall and winter of 2004, when we were all noobs slinging Chuck Norris jokes in General Chat.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Fond Memories of World of Warcraft's Early Days.

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The Wicker Man burns!


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


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Comments

  • TanemundTanemund Member UncommonPosts: 153

    World of Warcraft nostalgia articles?  Isn't that one of the signs of the End of Days?  Someone check to make sure the seven seals are still intact.

     

    I too played WoW during those days and those were fun times and fun fights in the Hillsbrad Foothills.  It was one of the few places you had to worry about being ganked by the other faction.  The rest of the time we pretty much ignored one another.

     

    I remember the worst thing you could do (I too was a sucker and played a Paladin) as an Alliance player in those fights was hit the Bat Wrangler in Tauren Mill.  If you did that the sky would darken with angry level 60 bats which attacked every alliance player in sight.  Those bats turned several near victories into ignominious wipes of defeat.

     

    Strange how the best times came from something that wasn't "rewarded".  Once a reward is placed on something it becomes a grindfest.  Maybe there is something us players could learn from those days.  Random acts of violence for no particular reason are fun!

    Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.

  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Member EpicPosts: 6,130

    TM was probably one of the last times that I actually found PvP engaging and fun. It was more about the community than the goal. You're not getting anything for it. You're just helping people out. 

     

    I think that the big difference between then and today is that back then it was about helping others out, but now it seems like it's about making someone else's experience crappy. That's the part of the community that really needs to change for MMOs to be successful again. However, I don't know if it's something that a game itself can do, it's the community. I am glad to see that there is a community manager for most games now who is given the almighty ban hammer. I don't know if that's the solution, though. It's something that has to happen within the community. Has to be more about giving a crap than worrying about being banned. 

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • GravargGravarg Member UncommonPosts: 3,424
    Tarren Mill was the only time I really did much PvP in WoW.  We were rewarded though.  It felt good to put that zerging Alliance to the blade :)
     
    I still say they should've never introduced battlegrounds, and instead rewarded Open World PvP, and focused on that.  It would've been great if you could take over towns or even if you got honor from killing NPCs in a town.  I can't stand battleground PvP, and that's why I don't PvP in WoW anymore.
     
    In ESO, I get that Tarren Mill feeling in Cyrodiil.  It's nice when you get even groups and the battle rages between two keeps back and forth.  It reminds me a lot of Tarren Mill, except you can be rewarded for it :)
  • expressoexpresso Member UncommonPosts: 2,218
    WoW will never be as good as it was the first month I played way back in 2004.  The awe the mystery... good times I am happy I experienced it even if I'll never have that experience again.
     
    Heres me and my guild raiding vanillia MC (2006) (sorry bout the music) 
     
  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Member CommonPosts: 2,556

    I remember those days, my friend Gabby who hated MMOs found that WoW was simple and easy enough, like Runescape, to actually play.

     

    She begged me to play and gave me a buddy key. I lasted 4 hours before stepping away and saying "This is just a really dumbed down version of EverQuest... and EQ had so many design flaws that still exist in this game..."

     

    And I never returned.

  • expressoexpresso Member UncommonPosts: 2,218

    me and my guild fighting luci in Vanillia MC (2006) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh0MX1lG24c&list=UUzLO-lqjOCVeDP-loIBX3aA

     

    Good times!

     
  • blbetablbeta Member UncommonPosts: 126
    It is not a great video at all. It does however fit the subject.
    https://archive.org/details/MalzerothTerroratTarrenMill
  • laseritlaserit Member LegendaryPosts: 6,283

    Those early days were magical ;)

    Our guild Dreadnought rerolled as horde on the new Greymane server back in 2005. We just rolled played and had a blast attacking alliance town after alliance town. Alliance would show up in droves to defend and you would end up fighting in a slide show.

    "Wicked" our fearless guild leader would get into all manner of the "War of the Words" on our server forum and many a battle would ensue.

     

    On one occasion on the forums, Wicked proposed that "Dreadnoughts" would invade Ironforge at a certain date, at a certain time. And if the alliance could kill a single "Dreadnoughts" during the invasion, our guild would pack up and leave the server. The evening before we had all snuck to the little frozen lake just west of Iron forge where wicked being an undead priest had mind controlled a level 5 newbie and drowned him in the lake (I almost died laughing).

    What was kept a secret was that Wicked had created a new gnome character named Wickeds and created a new Guild named "Dreadnoughts" and just before our appointment at Iron forge he had all our guild members create gnome characters with an s after their horde names.

    It was totally hilarious as the 70-80 of us level 1 gnomes ran through the throngs of Alliance waiting to kick our asses as we raced up through the gates of Iron Forge. The alliance had failed to kill a sing member of "Dreadnoughts"

    After which we logged out and back into our horde toons and let the battle ensue to which we got our asses handed to us at 1-3 frames a second lol.

     

    That will always be my favorite moment in World of Warcraft

     

    :)

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • BeelzebobbieBeelzebobbie Member UncommonPosts: 430

    I loved all the ganking in the early days and it was one of my first mmos. I started playing an druid and I remember walking on a beach as a lowlvl noob and I saw another player far away and I started to run to him to see if we could play together. I did find it odd that his name was in red and not the usual color but didn't pay much attention to it and still ran over there.

    3 seconds later I was dead, it was my first encounter with the Horde :)

  • SirBalinSirBalin Member UncommonPosts: 1,300
    SWG Pre cu, nuff said :(

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  • hallucigenocidehallucigenocide Member RarePosts: 1,015
    i had many battles in hillsbrad,stv and at x-roads etc and no pvp acitvity comes close to those that just occur randomly and end up in an all out war.... later on i found quite a few fights like that in SWTOR especially on a planet called Voss which had alot of shared quest hubs.. i think newer games should really think about not trying to keep a large distance on opposite faction hubs.. it's like the biggest fear is for opposing factions to actually run into eachother on shared maps.

    I had fun once, it was terrible.

  • MahavishnuMahavishnu Member Posts: 336

    To me the best thing about those early WoW times was the fact, that the majority of all players had no clue about MMOs.

    Everybody was just playing the game and having fun. All zones were full and everybody helped each other. And there was a lot of common RP.

    There were no guides, no AddOns, mobs were harder to kill (all ogers were elite!), quests were tougher (no hints on the map), community was far better. Just getting to a certain place could be an adventure (no teleporting, less gryphons, mounts available at lvl 40 and much more expensive).

    Everybody was experimenting with the skill trees and most importantly: Nobody cared about items! Although items were important due to the design of the game, the players did not bother too much.

     

    Today it is so different:

    -A lot of teleporting.

    -AddOns that tell me exactly what to do in every situation.

    -There is no time to enjoy the game, all you have to think about all the time is items. How to get better items where, how and when - for PvE and PvP. There is always this huge pressure to keep up with everybody else item-wise. Which is completely absurd, because - think about it - there is no real difference if you have a sword with +1 strenght or +1000 the game is still the same.

    -As soon as I join a group, I get whispers how I should play my character differently: Where I should put my skill-points, which AddOns I have to install, and of course that I should get better gear ASAP.

     
    Just one example to end my comment:
     
    I prefer a form of PvP, where players fight each other around TM, just to have fun, over a "honor-system" where it is very effective to just stand passively around in a BG and farm honor-points for stupid pvp-gear.

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  • BukkerzBukkerz Member UncommonPosts: 177

    I remember trekking around Hilsbrad and Arathi for many late evenings mining my head off just to scrape the illusive 20 gold for a horse. I think it was 20 gold...it was that long ago. I had to literally go on really late because I wasn't the only one with the same notion and often could see familiar names in the distance. The amount of Vultures I killed was ridiculous repeating the same route over and over again. I had a Human Warrior at the time and remember finally handing over the cash with an excitement akin to Christmas.

     

    Talking of Christmas...the first WOW Christmas in and around Ironforge was great fun and incredibly festive, especially running into friends who had had a similar notion on December 25th. The novelty of this online world still being slightly surreal.

     

    I think it's the freedom of WOW's merging landscapes / zones and lack of instancing that enabled this aspect and belief to flourish and really does beg the question of why many newer MMO's have possibly failed because the illusion is shattered every time a loading screen appears.

     

    I think getting my younger brother to join the game and begin a couple of Horde Characters was the finest moment. Primarily because we both felt we had perfectly captured our Alta-Ego's ..I had an Orc Hunter, my brother an Undead Warlock. Even at maximum level no matter where he finished up he would heartstone back to Undercity and sleep his character in his favourite coffin.

     

    That was another strong suit. The fact that in those days you could use the chairs and sit on them or lie on beds. Go to a Cantina in SWTOR and attempt to rest your legs on the many Bar-Stools....er nope.

    It is the thoroughness of Vanilla WOW that molded its success...another contrast was Warhammer where I remember purposely riding off the main routes to the edges of the maps and finding that they had literally ceased to place wildlife anywhere after very short distances and that the lack of 'real' flight paths seemed so poor compared to looking down on real players running around when in flight in Warcraft.

     

    I have always been amazed how incorrectly the term 'WOW clone' has been banded about for years when the true irony of the situation has possibly been if another major developer had produced more of a WOW clone they would have nurtured far more success. Most large AAA titles released since always seem to possess an achilles heel in this respect...even if the combat is superb and the graphics amazing the loading screens run in and collapse the illusion with a bang. Age of Conan, brilliant in so many ways...I thought the combat was great and the mounts with their riding dynamics unrivalled. the Mammoth was just ... Mammoth, but the loading screens ...horrible

     

    So yes the hunt for the 'perfect' MMO is still on. I am presently playing Wildstar and although I am unfortunately too busy at work to give it the attention I would like, I do think Carbine has done a great job and the telegraph system certainly works for me.

    I think Everquest Next with their 'live' malleable landscape and superb customizable building software is boundary breaking, but the artwork and character design almost looks slightly dated and a little anatomically strange, where ironically you can see Blizzard making moves to go the other direction. If I was a developer this would concern me greatly.

     

    I still think Blizzard could well do it again and who really knows what Titan is. My bet would be World of Warcraft 2 or Worlds of Warcraft (WOW meets Starcraft).....possibly we can all have vanilla again but with whatever sauce we like ...flake included. 

     

    I am willing Camelot Unchained to be marvelous even though they have the budget of a small Nursery School.

     

     

     
  • tordurbartordurbar Member UncommonPosts: 421

    I 110% agree with the poster that said that, back then, it was people helping others, not enjoying the griefing. I too enjoyed TM. And, each time I attended it was part of a group to help others. RIFT started out that way. Even though you were put in a group to fight RIFTs everyone fought to bring down the rift - not so much for the rewards.

    Yes, I had more fun with pvp in BC Alterac Valley but the battles at TM I still remember.

    It will be interesting to see how these 100 v 100 battles will pan on in WOD. I don't normally do pvp but it it brought back the old TM feeling then I am in.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Member CommonPosts: 2,556
    Originally posted by Mahavishnu

    To me the best thing about those early WoW times was the fact, that the majority of all players had no clue about MMOs.

    This is true. Many loved WoW for the "first MMO" feeling. While others who had played MMOs like SWG DAoC or EQ played WoW and realized that there was very little special about it. I'd say WoW was probably the first MMO I ever played that brought no unique features to the genre.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,815
    Ahhhhhh yes, the early days of WoW. Back when you actually had to go somewhere to do something.
  • JaedorJaedor Member UncommonPosts: 1,173
    My first experience of PvP was a similar spontaneous danceparty-turned-warfest at the Crossroads. I didn't know any better and thought all PvP was like that. Fun times. :)
  • jesteralwaysjesteralways Member RarePosts: 2,560
    It is like remembering the 1st time we fucked. we will still have fond memory of it but we know we got over it and the one we slept with is not that great anymore or in some cases; we are still with the person and now we don't do it much often but when we do we know it is special. take your pick.

    Boobs are LIFE, Boobs are LOVE, Boobs are JUSTICE, Boobs are mankind's HOPES and DREAMS. People who complain about boobs have lost their humanity.

  • VolgoreVolgore Member EpicPosts: 3,872

    They surely knew how to make a good game back then.

    And until today, no other company has the slightest clue how to...

    image
  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Member CommonPosts: 2,556
    Originally posted by Volgore

    They surely knew how to make a good game back then.

    And until today, no other company has the slightest clue how to...

    Not really. Or at least, WoW"s not an example of that. Almost everyone who has cloned WoW (and often times surpassed WoW's design) has failed because WoW's basic gameplay design isn't sustainable.

     

    WoW was basically just EverQuest with all the best and worst parts shaved off. Not a ton of thought was put into design, hence why the game has been floundering for ideas ever since.

    Makes sense, considering it was programmed by former EQ raid leaders.

     

    Even EQ back then had been surpassed in many ways, game design wise, by the likes of DAOC and others. They cloned the most primitive MMO with all of its problems and now the rest of the genre has to suffer with those terrible design ideas.

  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 1,891

    "As we pushed the enemy further and further back towards the Mill (let’s be honest, Alliance always outnumber Horde on PvE servers)"

     

    You were doing open world PvP on a PvE server? 

  • dreamscaperdreamscaper Member UncommonPosts: 1,592
    I remember enjoying several similar skirmishes back in Vanilla WoW. It was all fun and games until one side pushed too close to the opposing town and accidentally landed themselves a DK from killing a civilian NPC...

    <3

  • daltaniousdaltanious Member UncommonPosts: 2,381
    Originally posted by expresso
    WoW will never be as good as it was the first month I played way back in 2004.  The awe the mystery... good times I am happy I experienced it even if I'll never have that experience again.
     
    Heres me and my guild raiding vanillia MC (2006) (sorry bout the music) 
     

    Actually Wow is getting better and better. I have good memories on old times (actually, started with BC because somehow did not like that cartoony look BEFORE I started to play, but AFTER already few hours started to love gameplay and at same time that incredible cartoony look), but that does not mean at all everything was roses only then. Barely can wait to put my hands on WOD and I estimate will stay for at least half year.

  • KissThaRingKissThaRing Member UncommonPosts: 78
    Originally posted by Mahavishnu

    To me the best thing about those early WoW times was the fact, that the majority of all players had no clue about MMOs.

    Everybody was just playing the game and having fun. All zones were full and everybody helped each other. And there was a lot of common RP.

    There were no guides, no AddOns, mobs were harder to kill (all ogers were elite!), quests were tougher (no hints on the map), community was far better. Just getting to a certain place could be an adventure (no teleporting, less gryphons, mounts available at lvl 40 and much more expensive).

    Everybody was experimenting with the skill trees and most importantly: Nobody cared about items! Although items were important due to the design of the game, the players did not bother too much.

     

    Today it is so different:

    -A lot of teleporting.

    -AddOns that tell me exactly what to do in every situation.

    -There is no time to enjoy the game, all you have to think about all the time is items. How to get better items where, how and when - for PvE and PvP. There is always this huge pressure to keep up with everybody else item-wise. Which is completely absurd, because - think about it - there is no real difference if you have a sword with +1 strenght or +1000 the game is still the same.

    -As soon as I join a group, I get whispers how I should play my character differently: Where I should put my skill-points, which AddOns I have to install, and of course that I should get better gear ASAP.

     
    Just one example to end my comment:
     
    I prefer a form of PvP, where players fight each other around TM, just to have fun, over a "honor-system" where it is very effective to just stand passively around in a BG and farm honor-points for stupid pvp-gear.

    Yeah, theres a lot of truth here. The modernization of the MMO (all these hints, teleports everywhere, fast travel, "gear gear gear and nothing but the gear" mindset , etc) has really killed the magic of MMO's today. It's no longer about just playing the game and enjoying it. I mean I guess you could do that, but no one wants to group with you because your gear is shit, or your skill build is not super-duper efficient, never mind the fact you enjoy what you have (not talking about WoW specifically, just MMO games in general)

    The days of just grouping up to help out are gone. The magic's gone. Everyone is a critic now and tells you how to play your class and if you don't play it the way they tell you, your inefficient and a liability and are kicked. It's just dumb now. It's all about "keeping up" and making sure your decked to the helm so you don't die to the other thousands of players that are all decked to the helm as well. It's just the way it is now, people jump from game to game because there looking for that magic, that adventure, but its seriously gone. The best we can do nowadays to make the MMO were playing in fun is to just better ourselves as a community, help out the noobs, be patient with people that suck, stop all the rage-kicking because someone doesn't have a fully min-max character for a raid, and just sit back and enjoy the company of playing with fellow players. And if you bomb a raid or a end game dungeon, relax.. not the end of the world. So many people nowadays just rage because the medic forgot to drop that 1 heal or w/e. BFD, its a game. People need to seriously relax and just play and have fun.

    I enjoy undercutting people in the market place - it's the only PvP a crafter gets.

  • cheyanecheyane Member EpicPosts: 7,112
    I took part in Tarren Mill stuff too on my server ,was truly memorable. Well written piece thank you Bill.
    Crichton: 'If he masters wormhole technology, what will he use it for?'
    Scorpius: 'Faster delivery of pizzas.'

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