WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on May 9th and is included here by permission.
For a long time in classic WoW
, non-raiders felt neglected. Dungeons were the only endgame PvE option for non-raiders. Back then, dungeons didn't have a five-player limit. They could be "raided," even though they weren't considered raids. Blizzard added new raiding content on a regular basis, but the developers didn't release new dungeons after adding Dire Maul in patch 1.3, four months after the game's release. Until the launch of The Burning Crusade
in early 2007, non-raiders ran the same dungeons for almost two years.
Amidst a storm of complaints, Blizzard said it wanted to offer additional content for non-raiders. In patch 1.10
, Blizzard delivered a new endgame quest line using existing dungeons. Composed of 29 steps in all, this was one of the game's most elaborate -- and most punishing -- quest lines ever. Blizzard called it the "high-level armor set" quest line. Players called it Tier 0.5. To create it, Blizzard had to reimagine what WoW
's dungeons should be.
This quest line was removed, like many others, when Deathwing brought the Cataclysm. Let's walk through what once was and explore how it gave rise to the modern dungeons we tackle today.