WoW Insider readers both looked back and leaped forward this week, with reminiscences about the old days of Azeroth peppering a week rife with speculation about the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Readers strolled down Memory Lane with a look at our most fond old-school memories, and they eagerly clambered aboard our newest regular column, Ask a Lore Nerd. Commenters squabbled over Blizzard's handling of Glider bannings and WotLK alpha information leaks.
The flame-throwers came out in force over politics in a post reporting on The9's decision to close up shop for three days of mourning following the recent natural disasters in Asia. Also this week, readers shared their experiences dealing with rep grinds and wrapped up with a philosophical look at violence and honor in an armed world.
Be sure to dive into the comments area of each thread (not this one!) and add your own thoughts – unlike your mama, we like us some hot, fresh backtalk.
|Players go old school
Looking for a fun, light read? Visit the comments of our Breakfast Topic about old-school WoW memories. Reader zenpunk nailed the glory that used to be Alterac Valley: "I remember being in 2 AVs, one of them 7 hours and one 9 hours, in both from start to finish. And every second FUN, unlike AV now. Back then, Horde and Alliance actually fought each other, instead of just running by each other to kill towers and generals.
"Back then there was a hard front line, and it took communication and a concerted effort to push it one way or another, both sides scrapping for every inch of ground. People used the wolves/rams and Ivus/Icelord to help push the line. Mage bombs jumped down Snowfall hill, sacrificing their lives to take three or four people with them to push the line 10 yards. A warrior would charge the front line with three or more healers spamming quick heals on him to keep him up long enough to push the line forward a bit. And the Shredder (THE SHREDDER!!!1!) could carry the whole team to the next graveyard, at least as long as it got heals (are the mechanical repair engi thingies even in the game anymore?).
"And, perhaps best of all, you could mine rich thorium mines. ;)
"Man, those were the days. It's absolutely un-friggin-believable how Blizzard destroyed AV a little more with each and every patch. Today it is a mere shell of what it used to be. If I could have AV back to the way it was back then, but would have to give up all of the rest of WoW to do it, I would take AV. In a second."
|Ask a lore nerd
This week saw the debut of a new column here at WoW Insider, Ask a Lore Nerd. Lorehounds will feast on reader feedback like this summary from KLRMNKY: "Sargeras is the Biggest of the Big Bads and he is responsible for practically everything bad or cataclysmic that has happened in the Warcraft universe. He created the Burning Legion to wipe out all life in the Universe and has tried and failed to invade Azeroth, the Great Sundering which split apart the continents of Azeroth was thanks to him.
"As for Illidan and Arthas? Illidan swore allegiance to Kil'jaden, who is Sargeras' right-hand man and the de facto leader of the Burning Legion until his master gets himself right again and reappears. But since Illidan failed to destroy the Frozen Throne and the Lich King, he is very much on Kil's bad side and went to Outland in order to avoid his master's wrath.
"Arthas is a little bit more complicated. Arthas had no prior relationship to the Burning Legion or Sargeras, but since he and the Lich King merged into one single entity, Arthas/Lich King are supposed to be working directly for Kil' and the Burning Legion -- but they aren't. The LK doesn't want to have anything to do with them and would much rather have Azeroth all for himself and his Scourge.
"Now another LK history lesson. The Lich King used to be a powerful orc Shaman named Ner'zhul. Long story short: Ner'zhul joined forces with the Burning Legion because he craved power and lots of it. He orchestrated the orcs' invasion of Azeroth, as seen in WC 1 and 2, but after some betrayals by both sides he decided to try to escape from Kil'jaden. The end result was the creation of Outland and Ner'zhul being captured by Kil'jaden while trying to escape into those portals. Ner'zhul's mortal body was ripped apart and his spirit encased into the armor and sword, Frostmourne, and he was sent back to Azeroth to finish the job of wiping out all life and the return of the Burning Legion.
"The LK is important because he and he only created the Scourge. Kel'thuzad facilitated the spread of this plague into Lorderan and Arthas became his most important Death Knight. The LK is the one and only; he was the first. Arthas became the LK after putting on the armor which effectively merged both the LK and Arthas into one single entity. Arthas's body and mind combined with the mind and soul of the LK."
|Mass bannings strike Glider users
In the midst of a rain of e-mail reaction and post comments over Blizzard's recent mass banning of users of Glider, inthemidst01 had no sympathy for "time-pressed" players who resorted to botting: "That's no excuse. I go to work and I have school, and still that's no excuse for botting in BGs while leeching off the work of others just to have honor. That's just being lazy and a cheater. FYI: Life is a time sink; the more time you invest in the right things, the better the rewards you get."
|Alpha details leak for Wrath
Alpha "leaks" of Wrath of the Lich King were the hot topic among WoW players and sites this week. Here at WoW Insider, Medros of All Things Azeroth offered some pointed observations on Blizzard's reaction: "As a podcaster, who has spent a few days mulling over this leaked info, I have no concerns about revealing it. First, Blizzard has never acknowledge podcasters' spending their time, money, and energy to discuss and promote their games. Perhaps a few of the big ones have gotten info or stuff, but the majority, who have a much larger overall audience and accuracy of info, get ignored constantly. This is my primary reason for having no qualms about doing a show and posting on my blog about this.
"Second, as you said Mike, it's not my fault the info is out. I am not in the alpha, and in fact the last time I was in anything pre release other than the PTRs was the original beta almost 4 years ago now. They need to find out and publicly punish the person or persons who leaked this info if they have any hope of preventing these kinds of leaks again.
"Lastly, this is valid news. I know Blizzard wants to carefully craft their releases and make sure stuff is rock solid, because the community, myself included, will roast them when they tease stuff that turns out to be lies, changed, or doesn't come in for 4 years(like the hero classes). However, I think that Blizzard has whet the appetite of players by these pre PTR news bursts, and people have grown tired of the comparable lack of WotLK info.
"Unless this expansion is coming out next summer, which would be a huge mistake for Blizzard no matter how good it is, the slow trickle of info is the worst thing they could do. They invited a bunch of news sites and gamers in to peek at the 'done content' but people doubt the info when it comes out so sparsely, and it is impossible to figure out what is right and wrong. This is simply because one story says one thing, another says something completely different, and both were in the same presentation. Blizzard should have released this in their own words, and their own way. Instead their supporters and fans were and are forced to comb through almost a dozen sources for what is 'right' and what makes sense."
|WoW player reacts to China disasters
P1_P2 shared a first-person WoW player's view of the recent natural disasters in Asia: "I am a WoW player in China, Shanghai. nearly 35,000 people lost their lives in this earth quake. The offical news has risen the degree to 8.0 earthquake. I would like to tell you people here that a 7.8 earthquake happened in Tangshan city , China east, Killed about 240,000 people just because it happened in a midnight of year 1976.
"Many children in school died becuase the earthquake happened at 14:38pm when most midshcool children was on class. And the date is May/12th just a month later about june 7/8/9th which is the line of final exam. So most children is in the heat of class reading when the earthquake happened.
"Surpirsingly, no ppl in my wow guild was been hurted. 3 of my guild mates join the team to rescue people. Most of the guild have already delayed or totally stopped their raid and game playing. All of my guild mates support the 3 days of wow shutting-down."
|Grinding up the rep grind process
Should players need to research reputation grinds before they even get to the content? "There's a difference between a 'rep grind' and 'OMG, I forget to check wowwiki and I just turned in something someone was asking for, and now all I can do is run one instance 55 times to get to revered,'" noted JPN. "Some of us actually like to, you know, play the game and be surprised, versus entering a new zone then going to read everything about it so we don't make a mistake we can't go back and fix 'easily.'"
|An armed society is a polite society
Heraclea left this thoughtful analysis of comments on a post looking at PvP and the threat of armed force to keep the peace: "Heinlein's theory is actually fairly well founded in anthropology. He's describing the situation that historically has tended to arise among nomadic herdsmen with only loose allegiances to effective governments. These people's most valuable property is herd animals, which are essentially fungible, often hard to identify to a particular owner, and subject to theft. In this situation, there is no law enforcement with central authority and the practical ability to deal with the situation.
"Briefly, in places like this, your personal security in this situation depends on your ability to extract swift and disproportionate revenge. You must be careful to repel any suggestion in word or deed that you cannot do so. The code requires that people living there must have a perennial chip on their shoulder. Failure to act accordingly makes you look like easy prey.
"Anthropologists call this a 'culture of honor.' Popular culture tends to romanticize them -- they make for vivid stories of adventure -- but frankly you wouldn't want to live there. They note further that these cultures tend to develop elaborate and formal codes of courtesy. These codes seek to mitigate the undercurrent of violence in these sorts of societies, by offering alternative paths to redress perceived slights short of homicide. Heinlein was presumably aware of at least some of the background when making his statement, and within the context of a culture of honor it makes sense."