I welcome once again all the fans, lovers and players of World of Warcraft. Today we will continue to look through the creation history of this wonderful game and take one step further to answer the following question: "Why official WoW is not the same anymore?".
As we know, "vanilla" was followed by The Burning Crusade. The idea of releasing this new expansion came to the developers as a necessity, because the game popularity had been growing and it was kind of hard to bring something new to the game as "updates". And players had to wait for the release of this expansion. Everyone was interested in its "plot". The thing is that developers were able to dig up two interesting locations which you couldn't enter yet: "Outland" and "Emerald dream". There were a lot of arguing when it came down to this topic: "Which location will be added in the new expansion?". We all know that it will be Outland. Have you ever thought about why flying was enabled only there? This is connected with the fact that designers worked exceptionally well that there was no "visual holes" in the ground or mountains which you could find in the rest of the world. Because of this, developers decided to take a chance and add fly mounts.
Since we started to talk about the technical side, we will say a few words about the designers. When the plot of the new expansion was invented and given to the designers to create the world, the latter were shocked and did not understand what was expected of them, but nevertheless they made an incredible world which fully reflects thoughts and ideas of the developers. There are two interesting facts about World of Warcraft TBC painters: Uther, the paladin, was originally planned to be with an eye patch which eventually got Illidan. Well, he was invented back in 2000. In other words, 4 years earlier before the release of the game itself.
Now let's have a brief talk about innovations of this expansions:
A possibility of leveling up to level 70, new races, Blood Elves and Draenei, all three arena types (2v2, 3v3 and 5v5) had been added to the game. Apart from this, we should talk about PvE content: 40 men raids were removed from the game. Instead their place had been taken by 10 and 25 men raids. Heroic mode dungeons had been added for the first time in history. A "need" list to enter this or that raid became an interesting feature. For example, to get into Karazhan, you had to not only have a certain item level, but you also needed a key which you could get for completing a quest chain, and also a "luggage" raids and dungeons. And some of the dungeons required reputation with a certain faction.
BC starting gate opening event was less "epic" than Ahn'Qiraj opening. In fact, all sorts of demons came from the portal... and that's it... A small "final boss" Kruul... And...That's it... The gates are open. But nevertheless, Outland struck everyone with its diversity and uniqueness. New story, memorable characters, and most importantly: everything was realistic.
A possibility of voice communication was added in 2.2 expansion, but as we know, it was not popular, because this function was not very convenient. It was much easier to make your own raid in a RaidCall and discuss everything there.
If we are to describe all dungeons and raids in TBC, then, I'm afraid, even five articles won't be enough, because each of them deserves special attention. The thing is that Blizzard could release rapidly "difficult" raids, to which you had to be very well prepared in order to "clean up trash mobs" or they could make intermediate dungeons, for example, Zul'Aman which used to simplify the process of "preparing" and gave a boost opportunity to players that were stuck at Karazhan. TBC ended with "Sunwell Plateau" raid. We will discuss it separately.
The creation of this raid is quite interesting, because it was based on a so-called "gate" system. The main point of it is in opening new "gates" in each update, followed by new bosses. That's the way how we implement bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar on our uwow.biz game project. You can almost say that you are a part of BC official server.
The raid itself was quite interesting and challenging, but it was unusual that the penultimate boss M'uru was more difficult than Kil'jaeden itself. M'uru was called the "guildbreaker". Literally, a lot of guilds fell apart on this boss... And at the end let's proceed to the technical part.
Initially, Blizzard developed and created bosses that were more difficult than they turned out to be in the end after some corrections. But as WoW "veterans" say: This original bosses and raids were interesting to players, because you had to strictly stick to the tactics and not just stand and press buttons in the correct order. As I believe, it's one of the reasons why official World of Warcraft server started loosing its popularity, because every following patch or expansion turns out to be much easier than the last one. For example, let's compare "vanilla" to TBC. In the first expansion in order to kill bosses tanks used to wear all kinds of items with resistance depending on the boss. In BC it's not required: you can just put on T5 and be a good initiator and persistent fighter, but still, sometimes it was necessary to change items. What do we see in the Warlords of Draenor now? You can just put on some good item and you can forget about everything, because you can't reforge anymore. Moreover, you have got fewer gem slots. But we will talk about it later. And now let's remember one incident during BC which is important for Russian-speaking players.
Initially, there was no Russian-speaking WoW server, so Russians had to play on European servers, and if to be exact, they played on Stonemaul, Warsong and Molten Core. After some time, Blizzard opened three new Russian servers. Players were able to transfer their characters. This resulted in empty European servers and they were shut down due to the lack of players. After this incident, Blizzard didn't dare to do something serious to Russian players, fearing negative consequences.
Burning Crusade ended up rising 11 million players which is definitely a huge success. Because of this fact, some players believe that BC is the best expansion... But the majority thinks that Wrath of the Lich King is the one. We will talk about it in one of our upcoming articles.
History of World of Warcraft creation. Part 1
Siege of Orgrimmar history. Part 1
Siege of Orgrimmar history. Part 2