WoW needs historians

| Tuesday, August 25, 2009
When the Cataclysm comes, will we know what was before? Will a new player buy the expansion and never know that Desolace was a barren, demon-scarred land, the graveyard of the kodos? Will they know that we had to save the world already from the Scourge? Will they ever see pictures of the blighted lands and horrific armies? Will they know the dangers we faced entering Stratholme to purge it a second time?

I know it sounds silly, but I do feel as if we have been part of history. It has been human history of a sort and to lose it, I feel like that would be losing part of ourselves. If we cannot show other players what we experienced, can we entirely show them who we are? I know that my play is still shaped by the past.

Will new players know of an age when only warriors tanked? There were no badges, no heroics, only 5-mans with extremely rare epics. Would they believe if we said that we once had resist sets and they couldn't even be made purely through crafting? Would they understand looting hounds?

Will they have heard of the massive gathering of resources for the most recent war against the Qiraji and their Old God master? Will they know that a fire lord threatened the world once before and we had to beat him back? Will they care that we once flew in a frozen wasteland to save life itself?

Is it all going to be lost? I used to think not, after all, we could so easily reenact the events. It wouldn't be perfect, but we could show someone the Barrens and Azshara and Desolace. After the Cataclysm, all that will be left is the screenshots we took and the ideas in our heads. The new stories won't advance the plot, they will drive out the old. A new generation will grow in WoW which will not know of what came before, they will think it was always as it is.


Stabs said...


Hopefully the next generation of Thottbot/Allkhazam/Wowhead type sites will do this.

Shwitz44 said...

Azerothian history needs to be chronicled very carefully, lest it be lost to Deathwing's cataclysmic return.

Christian said...

Er, blog archives? I went back to read Egotistical Priest's first few posts. They were quite a trip back in time. I suspect that any of the blogs left up would serve a similar purpose, especially since bloggers are prone to throw in tidbits from times past in their articles.

Copernicus said...

Wow, you sound like my grandfather, and great grandfather before him.

You young whippersnappers don't know what living is really like! Why, back in my day we had to... to... zzzzzzz.

Sygor said...

I pretty much share you fear on that concern. As a vanilla WoW player myself, i`ve been through many phases of the game that new players(those that started playing in TBC and beyond) will never get to experience.

I want to believe that this is an aspect in the scope of the new profession, archaeology. I haven't read anything talking about that, but if theres a way to do it, that would be a great way to do it.

Dorgol said...

We already have some changes most people aren't aware of. The most glaring is the change from Fat Ugly Ogres to Bulky Strong Ogres.

You mentioned the AQ War Effort, but do people remember what Silithus looked like BEFORE Cenarian Hold was added?

Klepsacovic said...

@Stabs: Will they be here soon enough?

@Josh: Exactly!

@Christian: These are secondary sources and are not very organized. There are no history books (figuratively speaking) and the virtual objects that showed times past are being lost. Look at the improvements to the leveling gear, remember when you had to wait until 50+ to see spell power as anything but a random stat?

@Copernicus: In WoW years I'm in my 60s or 70s. I get to be old!

@Sygor: That's a neat idea, I might have to steal it for a future post.

@Dorgol: Alas, I do not, I have only heard. I was too low when they changed Silithus. By the time I was 60 (I was very slow due to alts and being a noob), it was time to join in the farming festival.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

I plan on taking screen shots of every zone and putting them either on a blog site for posterity or building a site up for the historian.

Lets see how that works

Sygor said...

One of my goals before the expansion is to at least get this title, the Loremaster,as well as the Explorer.

Being a dwarf, i feel kind of compelled to get those as it fits well for the character.

@Klepsacovic: Yea if you do, go ahead. I`d be interested to see what your thoughts are.

And also great idea to build a screenshot archive of old world zones. It`ll definitely enrich the community when that time comes, and make us ol'timers feel like we have not lost everything. Is there a way we could submit our screenshot if we have some?

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