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Looking back at the WoW Archives

Alex Ziebart
12.31.14
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We've reached the end of 2014, and 2014 held a special milestone for World of Warcraft: the 10th anniversary celebration. The game has built a rich history in the last ten years. Not just its in-game lore, but the history of the game itself and the community around it. WoW Insider's WoW Archivist has been reflecting on that history since early 2011 and now seems like a good time to revisit the best of the archives.
  • The Karazhan Crypt One of World of Warcraft's most infamous mysteries among old school players, the Karazhan Crypt is a creepy glimpse of content that was never released.
  • The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj The world event surrounding the opening of the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj was a server-wide effort, an in-game event the likes of which we're not likely to see again.
  • Talisman of Binding Shard, the lost legendary The Talisman of Binding Shard was a legendary item never intended to go live -- but it did. Only one person ever received it.
  • Indalamar the Warrior Numerous items have been named after Indalamar. Most of them use a simple reverse form of the name: Ramaladni. Indalamar was famous in vanilla WoW for his warrior shenanigans, many of which resulted in nerfs to the class. He also shared a guild with that sole recipient of the Talisman of Binding Shard.
  • Memories of Dire Maul The dungeon known as Dire Maul was the first dungeon to be added to the game after the launch of World of Warcraft. Players who look back on classic World of Warcraft thinking epics used to mean something -- recall Dire Maul, where its rare-quality items outclassed most early epics.
  • The legacy of Leeroy Jenkins Leeroy Jenkins made a comeback in Warlords of Draenor as a garrison follower. His origins are as ancient as they were viral.
  • The Corrupted Blood Plague An unanticipated exploit of a boss ability in old Zul'Gurub -- simply leaving the dungeon with a particular debuff -- triggered an in-game epidemic so catastrophic, world governments studied it.
  • The Emerald Dream, Outland, and other Z-Axis secrets In classic World of Warcraft, there were oodles of unfinished lands hidden away throughout the world -- tucked beneath the world's terrain, meant to be inaccessible. Enterprising players found them, and in some cases, entirely by accident as the game glitched when it couldn't determine a player's coordinates.
  • Massacre at the Crossroads Let's wax nostalgic about world PVP and the violent hotbed that was the Barrens.
  • 5 years of daily quests In June of 2012, we were looking back at 5 years of daily quests and the impact they had on the game's landscape. Now, going into 2015, Warlords of Draenor has almost entirely eliminated them. Is that a good thing?
  • Blackrock Depths, WoW's ultimate dungeon Not everyone loved Blackrock Depths, but it may have been the truest dungeon crawl World of Warcraft has ever had. Its vast spaces and myriad of potential paths and activities was beloved by some ... an enormous headache for others.
  • The evolution of Alterac Valley Implemented in classic World of Warcraft, Alterac Valley once ran for hours on end -- maybe even days. Nary a patch or expansion has passed without Alterac Valley balance changes. Seen by many as a shadow of its former self, we all must admit that a battleground that could stalemate for days could be infuriating.
  • Vanilla WoW's most hidden questline It's still sometimes rumored that classic World of Warcraft contained quests that no player ever discovered or completed. Given the game's long history of datamining, that's unlikely. However, some quests were far more hidden than others.
  • A raid exploit compendium part 1 and part 2 As long as players have been raiding, players have been finding ways to exploit them. Some exploits were more blatant than others -- some resulting in guild-wide bans.
  • WoW's craziest television advertisements Let's be real -- it can't get more absurd than night elf mohawks.
  • WoW's most terrifying secrets The Karazhan Crypts aren't the only creepy location in World of Warcraft.
  • WoW's most terrifying monsters The list ranges from murlocs to monstrosities -- mobs that scare us for their gameplay and those that have rather horrific stories.
  • WoW in China, an uncensored history part 1 and part 2 The history of World of Warcraft in China is rich in ways quite different from Europe or the Americas. Differences in culture resulted in alterations to select in-game models, a distribution dispute meant a delayed release schedule for certain expansions, and more.
  • The Martin Fury incident What would you do if you accidentally received an item that could instantly kill anything and everything?
  • The zombie plague event Much like the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj, an in-game event of this scale is unlikely to happen again ... though the zombie plague struck twice.
  • Flight You can fly! You can't fly! You can fly! You can't!
All of this is only a sample of the Archivist and the long history of Warcraft. If you're particularly bored this New Year's Eve, page through Archivists past like we often do -- take in patch notes from patches of old, get nostalgic for those days-long Alterac Valleys, and remember how far we've come.

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