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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Eurhetemec View Post
    Yeah, it's nice to see someone remembers. Blizzard were absolutely blown away when they sold 250k copies virtually instantly with WoW, and scrambled to print/make more copies and scale up their server architecture and so on to cope with the massive and ongoing demand. They were on the back foot for much of Vanilla as a result (hell, it took nearly 11 months to clear up the "loot scoot").

    They were expecting a sub-EverQuest level of success, probably more in the DAoC range (i.e. 200k to 500k subs). A game that would be popular, and likely gradually sell millions of copies, but not instantly explode. And at the start, as they explained quite a few times, their content pipeline was even longer than it is now. Stuff had to be planned well in advance, and it's likely that they had the first two expansions sketched out, at least in the broadest terms (i.e. where they were set), either by launch or in the first year or so of WoW. I agree that they probably thought they would do a couple of expansions and then didn't have detailed plans. I suspect they thought the game would go into a slower kind of development after that, possibly with a smaller team (IIRC, they did indeed shrink the team with Cata and didn't re-grow it until they started developing Legion).
    They had zones, raids, dungeons and stuff made for OL and NR since Vanilla WoW was going to launch with all three, maybe not as big as they were when they had their own expansions, but a lot more was fleshed out and ready than you would think. They knew from the start once they decided to stay on EK and Kal, that the first two expansions were going to be in OL and NR, they weren't sure which would come first.

  2. #42
    I think 2 major changes would really help:

    BC - Alliance High Elves, Horde Ogres
    WoD - Delete

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefhammer View Post
    They had zones, raids, dungeons and stuff made for OL and NR since Vanilla WoW was going to launch with all three, maybe not as big as they were when they had their own expansions, but a lot more was fleshed out and ready than you would think. They knew from the start once they decided to stay on EK and Kal, that the first two expansions were going to be in OL and NR, they weren't sure which would come first.
    Yeah I vaguely recall that re: having some Outlands/Northrend stuff in even Vanilla launch. I had a friend back then who was an obsessive about trying to clip through to hidden content and stuff, and he and other people found lots of things like that (and other stuff was found in the files). I do wonder if they originally intended to do Wrath first, because the end of Vanilla seemed to be waaaaaay more a lead-up into Wrath, than a lead-up into TBC, but I suspect that was an artifact caused by the long-ass content pipeline, like maybe they'd been planning Wrath first, started on Naxx and so on, then switched to be TBC for whatever reasons (perhaps afraid people would quit after Arthas' fate was decided, it was something much talked-about back then), so whilst they worked on TBC they just put out Naxx as a thing for people to do, and just had a somewhat sudden transition to TBC. Thinking back I'm still impressed they got away with re-using Naxx in Wrath. Today if they did something 1/4 that bad they'd be crucified.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ro9ue View Post
    I think 2 major changes would really help:

    BC - Alliance High Elves, Horde Ogres
    WoD - Delete
    If by "help" you mean "ensure the Horde had a significantly lower population than the Alliance", then, yes I guess that would "help".

    Pop balance wasn't too bad with launch WoW (typically favoured Horde slightly on PvP, vice-versa on PvE), but if you jammed another, and significantly prettier (rather than slightly rough/bestial as NEs were) Elf-race on to the Alliance, even if they didn't have that racial (presumably they wouldn't, being HEs not BEs), we'd have been looking at that changing, I suspect.

    Maybe that would have been fine because the long-term population imbalance might have caused them to consider cross-faction PvE at some point.

    (Personal preference, yes I would rather play an Ogre on Horde than HE, but I only speak for myself and from the BE numbers its clear many disagree.)

  4. #44
    By deleting WoD you're deleting the amazing soundtracks for WoD, the cool Iron Horde aesthetics and the great raids.
    Yeaah the story might be a mess, the content stale and the game pretty much dead, but I somehow get nostalgic about it so it's fine!

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurhetemec View Post
    They were expecting a sub-EverQuest level of success, probably more in the DAoC range (i.e. 200k to 500k subs). A game that would be popular, and likely gradually sell millions of copies, but not instantly explode. And at the start, as they explained quite a few times, their content pipeline was even longer than it is now. Stuff had to be planned well in advance, and it's likely that they had the first two expansions sketched out, at least in the broadest terms (i.e. where they were set), either by launch or in the first year or so of WoW. I agree that they probably thought they would do a couple of expansions and then didn't have detailed plans. I suspect they thought the game would go into a slower kind of development after that, possibly with a smaller team (IIRC, they did indeed shrink the team with Cata and didn't re-grow it until they started developing Legion).
    I remember Mark Kern (one of the devs back then) saying that they didn't really expect more than 500k players, maybe 600k in their wildest dreams... WoW's first year must have been a rough ride lmao

    And if I'm not mistaken, the youtuber HayvenGames (RIP) once featured the original dev team displaying an early draft of WoW's maps, which included Kalimdor, EK and rough sketches of Northrend and Outland. As a matter of fact, HFP was originally intended to be part of Vanilla iirc.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Soon-TM View Post
    I remember Mark Kern (one of the devs back then) saying that they didn't really expect more than 500k players, maybe 600k in their wildest dreams... WoW's first year must have been a rough ride lmao

    And if I'm not mistaken, the youtuber HayvenGames (RIP) once featured the original dev team displaying an early draft of WoW's maps, which included Kalimdor, EK and rough sketches of Northrend and Outland. As a matter of fact, HFP was originally intended to be part of Vanilla iirc.
    You're not wrong. There's early alpha screenshots of areas that seem to be between Thrallmar and the Dark Portal. Hellfire Peninsula looks a lot more like it did in the RTS games. Guess they hadn't fully developed the whole "Dark Portal energy reduces nearby land to red wasteland" thing yet.
    The most difficult thing for people to do is objectively look at something they don't like and be able to accept that it is not bad, that other people like it, and if it was changed to the way they'd like it that other people would not like it and want it changed back. The second most is to receive something they didn't want or ask for and be grateful for it, not immediately demand what they wanted instead.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cparle87 View Post
    You're not wrong. There's early alpha screenshots of areas that seem to be between Thrallmar and the Dark Portal. Hellfire Peninsula looks a lot more like it did in the RTS games. Guess they hadn't fully developed the whole "Dark Portal energy reduces nearby land to red wasteland" thing yet.
    Pre-Alpha HFP was once accessible in Classic WoW - if I recall you could glitch through the instance portal of the Deadmines and into its uninstanced map, which had an opening that dropped you leagues below the overworld of EK, and eventually into a patchwork of developer areas including pre-Alpha HFP. Some screenshots long ago surfaced of this strange place, which has a look and feel far more reminiscent of what Outland looked like in WC2: BtDP as opposed to what we saw in TBC.



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  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Aucald View Post
    Pre-Alpha HFP was once accessible in Classic WoW - if I recall you could glitch through the instance portal of the Deadmines and into its uninstanced map, which had an opening that dropped you leagues below the overworld of EK, and eventually into a patchwork of developer areas including pre-Alpha HFP. Some screenshots long ago surfaced of this strange place, which has a look and feel far more reminiscent of what Outland looked like in WC2: BtDP as opposed to what we saw in TBC.



    Bingo! There's some of the very ones I was thinking of. There's a few more besides these I can remember, but that third one is new to me. Thanks for sharing.
    The most difficult thing for people to do is objectively look at something they don't like and be able to accept that it is not bad, that other people like it, and if it was changed to the way they'd like it that other people would not like it and want it changed back. The second most is to receive something they didn't want or ask for and be grateful for it, not immediately demand what they wanted instead.

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