WoW! Thoughts! — On Theramore’s Destruction and Change in WoW

Nick Zielenkievicz
Podcast Host / Senior Staff Writer
 
August 13th, 2012

Even though we won’t get to play it on the PTR, when patch 5.0.4 goes live, so too will the event for the sacking of Theramore.  The opportunity to witness a city pass into history is always a unique occurrence.

Video and Computer Games are awesome because they can give you entire galaxies to explore.  Games can open up villages, cities, or even planets for players to come to know and appreciate.  One of the fun aspect of games is that due to their abstract representation of time, we can often see how places change over several years in the blink of an eye.  We’ve seen this before in WoW. Overnight on November 22, 2010 the Cataclysm altered Azeroth, even if the expansion proper didn’t make its debut for another two weeks.  The same is about to happen with Mists of Pandaria.

When patch 5.0.4 finally goes live, the event for the sacking of Theramore will become playable.  As the next chapter in the war that started with Orcs vs. Humans, Garrosh is going to throw the Horde warmachine at Theramore; destroying the city and forever altering Jaina Proudmoore.  With the knowledge that this is going to happen, any Alliance players that love Theramore should spend as much time as they can there now; because soon, they will never be able to go back again.  Time is no one’s friend, and in this case, definitely not a friend to Theramore.

In most games, it’s not uncommon to develop an appreciation for certain locales.  But while we will often see places permanently altered in a game, we always have the luxury of starting a new game and going back.  If you want to see the Citadel pre-Sovereign attack, you can always start a new game of Mass Effect.  If you want to see Tristram in any of its various stages, you can load up Diablo I, II, or III.  In WoW, we don’t have that luxury.

The game always has to reflect the latest state of being, and as such, when changes are made we forever lose access to how they were before.  We might get lucky and experience phasing such as with Light’s Hope Chapel when rolling a Death Knight, but by and large, once the world changes we can never go back.  Southshore has been decimated by the plague.  Thousand Needles has flooded.  The Barrens have been torn asunder.  We can never go back to an Alliance-held Southshore, the canyons of Thousand Needles, or a united Barrens chat.  Soon, we won’t be able to go back to a functional Theramore.

Game locations are odd form of nostalgia.  I can remember when I re-subscribed to WoW after a two year hiatus.  I found myself back in Mulgore, running around the plains where I remembered learning the mechanics of the game years before; it was a strange feeling to be exactly where one was years before.  Aside from some mechanics changes, everything was the same.  Even now, post-Cataclysm, Mulgore is still mostly unchanged, except for the locations of a few NPC’s (like Baine and of course Cairne, RIP…) and a giant wall along the border with the Barrens.

I still remember getting the quest to head to the Crossroads, running the path from Bloodhoof Village that curls around to the entrance of the Barrens, and being amazed at both how far I had to travel, but also at the scope of the land.  Now, running that trek even just for fun is marred by a massive wall.  This helps to underscore the current state of Alliance-Horde relations, but it does so at the expense of reliving history.

Sometimes, you can listen to a piece of music and immediately remember a specific time in your life.  Visiting locations in game can be like that.  As some of the older locales in Warcraft are changed and updated, we lose those places.  Time marches on steadily in real life, and as much as games can often be an escape from that; even they aren’t immune.  It makes sense that nothing in an 8-year old online game should be static.  As much as we need new content, even content that overwrites existing material, reflecting back only underscores not only how long Warcraft has been around, but how long we’ve been around.

Enjoy the last few weeks of Theramore.  Because it, like everything else, won’t be around forever.

WoW! Blurbs!

Blizzard was hacked.  Probably wouldn’t hurt to change your battle.net password right about now. http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/securityupdate.html

The background downloader is downloading patch 5.0.4.  6 GB to sack Theramore?  Damn, Garrosh must be throwing the whole Horde at it!  http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6307741211?page=2#40

Vengeance not capped for tanks anymore.  When will they uncap Forgiveness?  http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5889309137?page=186#3701

New Valor of the Ancients buff will let your alts earn Valor quicker after you’ve capped your main for the week.  Now you’ll have time to roll MORE alts!  http://mop.wowhead.com/spell=130609

The Scroll of Resurrection won’t let you boost a monk from 1 to 80.  Stupid Blizzard actually making me PLAY my characters…  http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/6922986/

META

Nick's main in WoW is Gragtharr, a lvl 90 Tauren Hunter on Skywall. He also plays Hearthstone and is good enough to beat your crappy deck with his crappy deck, but you can probably poorly play your good deck and still win.

Specialty: RPG's