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C: B_retro Issue_7 : The Beginnings of World of Warcraft

C:B_retroAusgabe_7: Die Anfänge von World of Warcraft

On September 3, 2001 Blizzard announced the game World of Warcraft, which should change the genre of the MMORPG forever. The European Computer Trade Show, a video game show held annually in London from 1989 to 2004, became the scene of the birth of one of the biggest computer games of its time.

Every Sunday, C: B_retro throws an entertaining look back at three decades of moving stories and the evolution of the computer scene: what happened in the 30 years between 1980 and 2010 in information technology? Stories of myths, milestones and masterpieces: C: B_retro .

C: B_retro Ausgabe_7

The beginnings of World of Warcraft (2001 – 2007)

With C: B_retro Issue_6 dedicated entirely to Abit's legendary motherboards, C: B_retro Issue_7 focuses on software and computer games for the first time – especially one of the foremost members of its genre and its beginnings: World of Warcraft.

C: B_retro Issue_7 The Beginnings of World of Warcraft

After US game developer Blizzard Entertainment announced its hitherto highly secretive World of Warcraft project on December 3, 2001, at the European Computer Trade Show, the largest and most influential video game show in Europe at the time, enthusiasm continued Players from all over the world are still very limited.

Even towards the end of the 1990s, online role-playing games, so-called MMORPG, represented a real niche genre. The fascination of the sometimes extremely “fiddly” games like Ultima Online or Everquest was only accessible to very few players and sales records were far from these titles , But even then, some of the employees and developers of Blizzard Entertainment were among the fans of the two games mentioned, so they came around 1998, the idea for their own MMORPG.

Warcraft 3 was neither role model nor predecessor

Although many players see Warcraft 3, which is to be completely redesigned as WarCraft 3 Reforged on December 31, 2019, as the predecessor of World of Warcraft, the real-time strategy game and the MMORPG were developed almost simultaneously. Also in 1999 announced and released in 2002 Warcraft 3 Blizzard began in about 1998 with the development. The central element of both games was the focus on two different factions and in this context different styles of play.

With a comic look against the masses

Towards the end of the 1990s, a large part of the online role-playing games tried primarily on a – compared to the then state of the art – realistic look. Since the developers of Blizzard with World of Warcraft but specifically wanted to stand out from the crowd, from the beginning of the development was experimented with a different graphic style, which is why the MMORPG finally got the familiar from Warcraft 3 comic look donated.

The release on November 23, 2004 offered surprises

After a period of development – according to company information from Blizzard – of about four to five years, of which alone took the test phase two years, the original version of World of Warcraft – also called Classic or Vanilla – appeared on November 23, 2004 in Mexico, New Zealand , Canada, Australia and the USA. While the game was released in South Korea on January 18, 2005, it was released in Europe on February 11, 2005.

Blizzard himself was not only surprised by the success of his new flagship title, the developer had also not expected how fast the first players would reach the then maximum level of 60. Remedy should create the so-called raids. Onyxia and Molten Core were already available for release. In no time at all, Blizzard relented Blackwing Lair, Zul'Gurub, and Naxxramas to keep players at maximum levels. Patch 1.9 then opened the gates to Ahn'Qiraj, while waiting in the desert of Silithus Horden for players to explore the new area.

The original version of World of Warcraft was not only a success for gamers, but was also critically acclaimed and also achieved a score of 93 percent on Metacritic – a rating that none of the seven expansions of the game published to date should ever reach again.

Cross-server support as a blessing for PvP battles

One of the last fundamental changes the developers made towards the end of the World of Warcraft vanilla phase was the support of cross-server and cross-server PvP battles. The new feature was supposed to be a real blessing, especially for servers with a small population – on which one of the two factions clearly had the upper hand.

Paladin or shaman? That is the question!

One of the central questions in World of Warcraft Vanilla was “Paladin or Shaman?” And was a crucial factor in choosing one's own faction. For while the Paladin could only be played by the Alliance, the Shaman was only available to the Horde. In addition to the introduction of flying mounts, this restriction was one of the new features of the first expansion “The Burning Crusade” whose newly introduced breeds of blood elves and Draenei were able to slip into the classes of the other faction for the first time.

Burning Crusade was officially announced by Blizzard on October 28, 2005 and was released on January 15, 2007. In addition to Outland, 16 new dungeons, 8 new raids, two new arenas, and a new battleground, the first expansion to World of Warcraft raised the maximum level of Level 60 at level 70. The Burning Crusade also featured Flying Mounts, Arena Fights, the Instance Finder, and the Guild Bank and the
Jewelcrafting as a new profession. The Burning Crusade sold more than 2.4 million copies the first day.

Launched at the end of 2017, the World of Warcraft: Classic, which allows players to return to the original world of Azeroth at the patch of 1.12.0 on August 22, 2006, launched at the end of August this year.

The editorial team is happy to receive personal anecdotes and stories from community members from the early days of World of Warcraft.

C: B_retro Preview

The upcoming issue of C: B_retro is all about a particularly successful game console.

C: B_retro Review

Here are the previous topics of the previous issues of C: B_retro in chronological order.

C: B_retro feedback

What do you think of C: B_retro and what topics do you wish for in the next issue? The editors are pleased about constructive criticism, praise, but also suggestions, in order to align the new series even more in the future to the wishes of the readership.
With this reading material in the luggage, the editors wish you a relaxing Sunday!

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