There are millions of World of Warcraft fans throughout the world, playing the game and following the lore, but despite this high degree of fame, there are still many things the vast majority of them never knew about their favorite MMORPG. Here is a list of these things, so go ahead and see if there are things listed that you didn’t know either!
World of …Warhammer?
Blizzard initially wanted to obtain the rights for the Warhammer universe and make a…World of Warhammer game, I guess? However, for whatever reason, they did not succeed in that – which in retrospect was a grat thing for them, since they made their own IP and had absolute control over it – so they went with a creation of their own world. Of course, due to their affinity for the Warhammer universe, Blizzard developers made something very similar, starting a yearlong feud between WoW and Warhammer over copyright issues and legal standings. So, when you hear/read people saying that Blizzard ripped off Games Workshop and their Warhammer universe, you will know why!
However, I would say that the Warhammer universe, which exists since 1983. is pretty much a derivation of the Tolkien’s books anyway, so let the one without sin throw the first stone, eh?
Plague to end all Plagues (first virtual pandemic)
At the very beginnings of the game in 2005 there was a curious incident when the Zul’Gurub was introduced. In short, the final boss Hakkar had a health draining spell called Corrupted Blood. It usually could not harm players outside Zul’gurub, but oddly enough, it seemed that hunter pets could pick up the disease and carry it over to populated areas, where it would spread like wildfire. The result? The Corrupted Blood plague spread among players, killing the lower level ones immediately and seriously injuring and disabling the higher level ones. Essentially, there was an epidemic in the virtual world (probably the only one in the history of mankind) that was incidentally caused, and it played out just as a real-life one would. Some players fled the densely populated areas, others tried to help, some deliberately tried to infect others (some stayed logged off for the entire time in order to protect their characters). It took days of fighting the disease with a number of hotfixes and patches until it could be stopped and order got restored. Interestingly enough, many scientists, primarily epidemiologists as well as some agencies working on counter terrorist measures took notice and were surprised to see so much life-like behavior within a game.
You can even check out this actual video of the even in Ironforge – even though this is only a game, I found it a bit…creepy, to be honest.
What do you mean, “more quests”?
Back in the pre-Alpha stage of the game, there was only about 100 quests for both Alliance and Horde. Even when that number went up, there was far less 50+ quests, so the player had to grind mobs forever in order to level up. Player complained a lot and Blizzard, naturally, added more quests.
With the Legion expansion out, there are more then 20.000 quests in World of Warcraft.
You probably didn’t know that initially, the Tauren didn’t have mounts, but a fast running ability called Plainsrunning. Similar, but not exactly like Running Wild spell for Worgen (which is considered a mount). Eventually the Taurne got a kodo mount.
Also, Tauren is an anagram for NATURE. Ah, yes… No comment, moving along.
I also recall that undead could speak common, and thus talk to Alliance. They were also actually undead, and paladins could target them with exorcism.
There were actually tests for player housing, but this got scrapped and thrown out of the game at the very beginning.
That’s a hunter weapon right there!
A word or two about hunters, one of my favorite classes in WoW…
Hunters used to initially have focus which would recharge when they would be standing still, but it was so OP that they gave them mana as well. In Cataclysm, hunter switched back to focus. Because logic.
Hunters stole the Feign Death ability from druids and rogues, who had it at the beginning of the game. Feign Death had a 5 minute timer, and when it ran out, the hunter would really die.
It wasn’t easy living for a hunter, with all those weapons they could use, and all those stats that were useful to them (hint – slight sarcasm) – it was also a time where a hunter would wear one or two weapons for buffs and a bow/gun for actual shooting. Some skills such as wing clip and raptor strike used these weapons. At a time where anyone could snatch a weapon from a dead boss, with no rolls and no class specific loot tables, hunters would usually call dibs on most of weapons that dropped – which led to the common joke of everything being a “hunter weapon”. But if you consider that there was a hunter who stacked healing gear and soloed Azuregos with his pet. True story, bro. Also, WoW working as intended.
Only later the change was introduced that hunters could carry only a gun or a bow, and no additional weapons while having those equipped.
Hunters had to shlep with them huge amounts of ammo and pet food. Eventually Blizzard thought it would be more realistic for hunters to have no ammo at all.
If you were a level 60 hunter and would tame a lvl 35 pet, the pet would not scale in level, as it does today, but you would have to level it in 35 appropriate zones… Let me tell you, it took forever and then some! No sane person would do it today, which only tells us how crazy about WoW we used to be…
On other varieties, a fact that only old vanilla players will know; Alliance had paladins, while Horde had shamans. Only with the introduction of Burning Crusade did the Draenai bring shamans to Alliance and Blood Elves paladins to the Horde. Having a system like that today in WoW would probably cause mass riots.
Celebrities playing World of Warcraft. There is a number of celebrities who have admitted to have been playing World of Warcraft, such as Mila Kunis, Vin Diesel, the actor Aron Eisenberg (who plays Nog from Deep Space Nine), Felicia Day (doh!), Jimmy Fallon, Elijah Wood, Dave Chappelle to name just a few. There are a lot of rumors floating that the late Mr Robin Williams also played WoW, which is hardly surprising, since he was a great gamer and even named his daughter Zelda.
Little about numbers…
World of Warcraft is the most popular MMORPG of all times. At its peak, it had 12 million subscribers, and as such still holds the Guiness World Record for a game with most online subscribers.
Blizzard still makes easily a billion dollars per year with World of Warcraft. At 2010, at its peak, it took in a whooping 1,25 billion dollars.
It costed only 63 million dollars to make World of Warcraft.
The upkeep and maintenance costs for WoW for the first four years were around 400m dollars.
So, yeah, WoW is not dead. By a long shot.