Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: Looking Back at The Beginning of Wrath
Remember that? (Seriously Blizzard, we’re still waiting for those new dances, what the hell – you promised them in the trailer!)
That trailer was our first glimpse of Northrend, our first taste of some of the sights and sounds we would see in Wrath of the Lich King before it was released. We were all level 70 running about Outlands when that teaser was released, and we were wondering what exactly was in store for us.
Looking back it’s clear that the teaser was created long before a lot of the content of what we now consider Northrend was completed – we really only see Howling Fjord in there – maybe a little Dragonblight, and maybe some Borean Tundra, but we certainly don’t see Storm Peaks, or Icecrown, or Grizzly Hills, or even Zul’Drak. Looking at the teaser now is actually specifically interesting considering the debate now over what Arthas’ eventual fate may be.
Considering at the beginning of the trailer we hear Arthas’ voice in almost a normal, human tone, and over the course of the trailer his voice becomes more echoed and disjointed, finally ending in something of the dual-voice deep, rumbling echo that we’re accustomed to now (even though even that voice was eventually replaced with the final Arthas) showing his progress to become who he is now from the person he once was. It’s almost a human-sounding Arthas, reminiscing over his personal history. It also makes me wonder whether we’re giving Blizzard’s story-writers the short end when we wonder if they have this all planned out or they’re taking it as it comes: there’s always been this notion that eventually all of your work against Arthas serves to put yourself in his shoes. Even that makes me wonder about the inevitable climax, Shadowmourne, and the whole notion that someone has to be the Lich King, lest the undead go mad and ravage Azeroth unchecked.
Lore and rumors aside though, Wrath has come a long long way since the beta and since the launch. We’ve seen zones unlocked one at a time, we’ve seen instances opened up, we’ve seen several content patches, we’ve seen classes evolve, be tweaked, buffed, nerfed, and more. We’ve seen the fall of arena-based PVP to the point where even Blizzard says they were a mistake; that they messed up with the way they implimented it, and the rise of battleground, massive PvP with the introduction of battleground after battleground after battleground in patches over the course of the year.
We’ve seen the rise of the Argent Crusade and the Kirin Tor as the major factions to stand against Arthas, and the bitter conflict between the Aldor and the Scryers half-heartedly replicated with the cold-war between the Sunreavers and the Silver Covenant. We saw the fall and the subsequent rise again of resilience as a worthwhile stat, we’ve seen itemization change significantly with the introduction of armor penetration and a heavy emphasis on haste rating. We’ve even seen the basic graphics of the game change. So much has changed since The Burning Crusade.
I’ve just listed a number of things that have changed, but some of the things that have most affected me personally have been the significant talent changes most of the classes have felt at some point or another during the course of Wrath. I’m still recovering in some ways from the Great Hunter Nerf of 08, when Beast Mastery saw its monstrous DPS slashed and the bulk of raiding hunters moves to other specs like Survival and Marksmanship. I’m loving the rise of the Retribution Paladin as a top-notch DPS spec even in a hybrid class, and I’m loving the way Mages have had their talents reworked so that all of their specs are at least somewhat viable.
What about you though? When you look back on Wrath of the Lich King, what do you think has changed the most? What’s mattered the most to you over the course of Wrath? The evolving story and lore? The class changes? PvP? Dungeons and instances? Shout it out in the comments!