World of Warcraft Beta Journal (Retro)

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For all you waiting for World of Warcraft Classic to be presented at Blizzcon this year 2018. I take a walk back to a time before World of Warcraft was only in Alpha. This will be Part 3 in a 6 Part Walk through time of World of Warcraft. With a Final impressions of WOW Classic as presented at Blizzcon.

Part 1 (WOW Preview)
Part 2 (Beta Duldrums)
Part 3 (Beta Journal)
Part 4 (Legion Preview)
Part 5 (Battle for Azeroth Review)
Part 6 (WoW Classic Info)

The tale I am about to tell you is one of hardship and resilience. Of course, it is the tale of a young Warrior who has begun his journey from the badlands of Kalimdor in the Beta of World of Warcraft. His name is Warnorc. His battle continues today and if you so wish you may find him roaming, the Barrens looking for loot or Quest rewards. He may even be spilling his blood next to you.

Our story begins with young Warnorc battling his way from the Valley of Heroes where he learns the ways of the Warrior from the Den, from which he grew up. He manages to gain many skills that will aid him in battle for the future. He begins most battles with a Charge and a Battle Shout to add the power that he needs to win his fights. While in battle, he maintains a Battle Stance and uses the power of his Strike ability to overwhelm his opponents. After a number of days he manages to gain a couple more skills that, he will consider constant allies in his struggle against the evils of the world. The new skills prove to be very strong abilities. Young Warnorc uses the power of Thunderclap to knock his opponents into a state of shock, and then with the lighting quickness only young warriors show he uses Rend, which causes a ceaseless bleeding from his opponents. He also learns a trick of Hamstring that literally allows his enemies no escape.

After learning what he needed from the Masters of the Den, he pushes forward to Durotaur where he learns of the many things that he has been striving for it is also here that he gains his first real quests. As before, many of the quests from Durotaur are to find and deliver so many parts of flesh from different creatures living within the world around Durotaur. He has a quest to find the truth behind the shipwrecked ships outside of Sin Jin village. Without further ado, he makes haste to the small village of Sin Jin where he finds out about Zalzalane an Evil Troll that has taken Minisha as captive and has Minisha’s soul locked on Echo Isles.

However, there are more pressing matters at hand Warnorc bands together with a Young Orc Shaman as well as an Orc Warlock. The three of them head into the ruins of a once great human city they meet with a lot of resistance from a band of Marines. They manage to push deeper into the ruins. Finally, as they defeat the final marine a Note from a former General of the human Army. This letter describes the foul intentions of the humans. As his civic duty, he must deliver this letter to Thrall’s advisors. Therefore, Warnorc takes leave of his group and heads to the city he has only heard of Orgrimmar.

While in Orgrimmar Warnorc, feels lost and is amazed at the sheer size of the Orc Capital City. With no time to spare Warnorc finds his way to the throne room and delivers the message to Thrall the War Chief. Rewarded handsomely for his prowess in battle. He takes leave of the Capital City although he does find time to take in a few death matches while visiting the Coliseum in Orgrimmar he also visits some vendors and gains some new skills. He quickly gets back to Durotaur where more quests await. First, he must complete the Quest to save Minisha from the Eternal damnation. After a quick swim out to gather some goblin machinery out of the human ship wreckage he gathers his group back together and they start the long swim out to the Echo Isles. Here he meets with strange Raptors that dig deep into his skin also the Roar of Durotaur Tigers is one to make mortals cringe in fear.

After crushing the wild life on the outlying areas of the Echo Isles, the group moves onto the main island. The group finds themselves on Echo isle and they start dispatching with the numerous Trolls that have gathered in the area. Eventually they meet up with the Troll Zalzalane. They quickly vanquish him and gather the head of Zalzalane and Minisha’s skull. Once the skull and head return to Sin Jin village, there is much rejoicing and Warnorc decides to head back to Durotaur where he finds a soft bed in the Inn and waits for another day of pure joy and destruction.

The story above is the story that most Orc is live in their first 10 levels. I have found that the Orc Warriors and Human Warriors are almost identical in abilities and play styles. The only difference is in the setting. Most of this information is from Phase Two of the Beta where they have released most of the Horde lands for visitation they have also made available The Druid which I have started to play slightly but not enough to tell the story as of yet. I also have been testing a Paladin but that is also for another time. I wanted to touch on some topics that have changed in Phase 2 and I expect to have some new changes very soon.

Rest State – I know there has been a big to do about this issue. For those of you who do not know the rest state force players to take breaks from power leveling. In phase one players were gaining levels at incredible rates. So now, after gaining so many experience points from killing monsters you will gain more and more exhaustion. With each level of Rest lost, you move down experience levels. From 200% at well rested to below 100% at exhausted level. The only way to recoup your rest is to stay at Inns for an 8-hour period. If you happened to leave during the 8-hour period, your clock starts over.

For me this was never an issue most of my game time is played late in the evenings. I play for 3-4 hours and then I am done I find an inn and the next day I am Well rested. Therefore, for me this was just a nice touch of reality added to the game. However, I also understand that there are people (Ripclaw) that have much more time to play. The rest state then becomes a hindrance to gaining new levels. Although I believe last I saw Ripclaw’s character was well into the high, 30’s and my highest character is just reaching 15 although I have multiple teen level characters. The nice thing about the rest state is that it is changing in an up coming patch. With the changes, they are going to be adding in a new scale system, which will allow players to gain Rest levels back much faster but still make sure that players do not power level.

Skill Points & Talents – In phase, two Talents were removed for some fixing up. In its place, they have revamped the skills system. Now you gain skill points every so often by killing creatures. There is a set amount of experience that you gain each of your skill points at. Right now, it evades me as to how much it is. However, you now have to use skill points to increase your General stats such as Stamina. I really do not like the skill point system right now I think they generate excessively many skill points. You can now easily maximize all your stats as well as gain a number of trade skills very quickly. In addition, the higher level you get the more experience you get so skill points grow in exponential numbers. It really decreases the importance of focusing on something and allows for most characters to build super duper uber characters that can fill all the roles of all the different trades as well as maximizing their stats.

Inns, Graveyards, and Hearthstones – You now resurrect in Graveyards instead of bind stones like in phase 1. This is a little more realistic however; the reviver is also now a ghost that can bring you back to life. I truly do love how blizzard has created an almost perfect death system. The penalty of having to run for 5 minutes across barren lands is enough to ensure a careful walk through enemy filled areas.

One of the great new features is the Hearthstone. When you get to an Inn, you can talk to the Innkeeper and gain a hearthstone. You can use this stone once an hour to teleport back to the inn which is so unbelievably useful when you are 20 miles from home and ready to go to bed. A quick teleport back to town and you can turn the game off and call it a night. Hearthstones allow you to have one at a time but any Inn you get too you can make that your new home.

Cities and Lag – I have visited Orgrimmar, Stormwind, and Ironforge. They all seem to move fairly well now verses a virtual slideshow of the past phase. The unfortunate thing is that although the towns seemed to have sped up the outlying areas such as Durotaur and Goldshire have slowed down a lot. I know it was because a disproportionate number of players started new characters in these areas but Goldshire and the Fargodeep mine was a terrible place to be for a long time.

Final Thoughts – Every time I jump into the World of Warcraft, I am just amazed at how great a game it really is. Now do remember that by the time, this article actually posts on the site many of the changes and probably some I did not know about. Remember that the game is in Beta. With that said, right now the World of Warcraft is the best MMORPG I have ever played and is realistically shaping up to be the best game I have ever played.

Originally Written April 30, 2004