But seriously, it's actually kind of odd to think about, because I remember that very first patch with utter clarity. It was still 2004, less than a month after the game itself had been released -- and I had just gotten the hang of playing a druid, more or less. Well, I figured out what talent points were for, anyway. Hint: It wasn't just the game congratulating me for leveling up.
I was such a noob back then.
But somewhere along the line, they got ahead of me in the leveling process. And I remember feeling incredibly stupid as I leveled, because I just wasn't as good at it as the warrior was. It wasn't my fault really, the class was still hobbling along at that point. So I limped along, trying to keep up and despaired when I realized said warrior was now a good six levels ahead of me.
When they announced patch 1.2, I had no idea what the heck a patch actually was. WoW was my second MMO -- the first being City of Heroes. I liked being a superhero, but I didn't get a chance to get really absorbed into the game by the time I got a beta key for WoW, so I'd never experienced a patch cycle before. What I managed to glean was that a patch was coming, I didn't need to purchase anything else to get it, and there was going to be a new dungeon in the patch called Maraudon.
I didn't see Maraudon in patch 1.2. A few minor patches rolled out before I stepped into the zone with a few friends I'd manage to harass into going with me. But I do remember stepping from dusty desert into underground grotto with mixed feelings on the subject, sad that my leveling partner was no longer at my side. That feeling of sadness was completely wiped away by the time we got to the waterfalls just before the final boss, lost somewhere in a sea of staring at scenery and exclamations of "My god, you can see the sky outside if you look up! Look at that!"
By today's standards, the addition of Maraudon might seem pretty weird. It wasn't an end game dungeon -- it was smack in the middle of the leveling process. It would be like having a patch for Mists of Pandaria that only introduced a level 86 dungeon and a couple of class changes. But back in 2004, when we were on the brink of discovering that this was a really good game, anything shiny and new was appreciated.
That, and being able to finally turn off the graphic for my cloak and hat. Gear was ugly back then, guys.
Sometimes I wonder, between bouts of PTR testing and patch cycles, if we'll ever get that sense of wonder back again. I kind of miss it. I'm curious though -- what was your first patch? When was it, and what did you get really excited about? Leave a comment and let us know! And if you're looking for more information on patch 1.2, be sure to check out what WoW Archivist had to say.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.