Patch 1.3 was the first content patch in which Blizzard began to implement popular addons into the base UI. Back in the day, the major UI package was Cosmos. Its primary draw was the simple ability to display more than one action bar at a time. In the default UI, all you could display at once was the single row of buttons -- you could rotate through various action bars at will, but you could only view one at a time. Cosmos enabled you to display however many you'd like, up to the maximum number of bars that the game stores. It was hard to find a single player in late 2004 or early 2005 who didn't
use an addon to display more action bars, so it was an obvious choice as one of the first default UI modifications.
Patch 1.3 also implemented the ability to display quest objectives on the right-hand side of your screen, so you didn't need to constantly open your quest log and check what you were supposed to be doing. This addition was inspired by another of the most popular addons of the time -- addons such as MonkeyQuest
that provided exactly that functionality. The ability to remind yourself what you were working on and check your progress at a glance was something that absolutely did not exist when the game launched. It was a purely player-created initiative.
Players also labeled the addition of such a feature as "dumbing down the game." Accusations of dumbing things down are as old as time itself. The invention of the wheel just dumbed down moving large objects! Man learning to wield fire dumbed down eating and not freezing to death!
If you want to amuse yourself, head on over to the MonkeyQuest page on Curse; the oldest comment on that addon
is from Feb. 1, 2005. As an off-topic note, that also happens to be the day I turned 18. Hello, ladies
Dungeon population limits
Another thing to note about Dire Maul is that it's the first 5-man dungeon to actually be limited to five players. Places like Stratholme and Scholomance were intended as 5-man dungeons, but nobody actually did them in groups that small. In fact, back in 2005, I had a regular 5-man group of guildmates, and we did everything
together. Our first time clearing Stratholme was with just the five of us. We posted screenshots on various forums, and people were extremely impressed. We received whispers in game asking us how we pulled it off, and we felt amazing for it.
It wasn't that we were the best players ever -- it was just that very few people did these dungeons with five players. You could initially take 10, 15, however many players you wanted to take, so why wouldn't you? Since players became accustomed to killing those bosses with 15 people, taking them down with five sounded impossible. Killing Baron Rivendare
with five people sounded as ridiculous as killing Ragnaros with 10 ... oh, wait
(I'm kidding, I promise.)
In patch 1.3, Blizzard started to crack down on that. The developers didn't limit 5-man dungeons to five players yet, but they started the transition. They lowered the number of players you could take to 10, weaning people off of the dungeon zerg, and then used Dire Maul to get players used to running these things with only a 5-man group.
Next week, we'll be looking at Dire Maul in depth, unraveling its many hooks, quests, and secrets -- don't miss it!
The WoW Archivist examines the
WoW of old. Follow along while we discuss the lost legendary, the opening of Ahn'Qiraj, and hidden locations such as the crypts of Karazhan.