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In Retrospect: Change We Need

Chapter 3 of Warcraft Retrospective, a documentary series on the development of the world of Warcraft, was released two days ago, in time for the release of the second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. This chapter catches up the series to the current progress of World of Warcraft.

As we wait in lines to purchase our copies of Wrath of the Lich King, wait for that installation to complete, and wait for the servers to stop becoming overloaded, take some time to consider how Warcraft has changed since Orcs and Humans. Players from the golden age of classic World of Warcraft can attest to the ever-changing environment of the game. The original game, when released in 2004, brought new mechanics to the MMORPGs. New content were downloadable instead of required purchase as an expansion. This meant the game has been changing since day 1.

Even coming as a Burning Crusade baby veteran, sometimes you forget how many patch Tuesdays (minor and major) have gone by to this day. But with every change comes an improvement. Every patch tweaks the game a bit more to the ever-changing needs of the players. World of Warcraft achieved something other games hadn’t been able to do: adaptability. The constant downloadable patched made the game evolve along with the players themselves.

The complexity of the game has outlived Burning Crusade. It needs Wrath of the Lich King. With all the anticipation for the complexity of this expansion, it’s difficult to see how these features can be outlived. But many new features in Burning Crusade were also breakthrough ideas at the time that we now take for granted.

Look back at how we, the players (not the developers), have changed the game. More importantly, look forward to how we can help continue to improve the game that 11 million have come to love.

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