Check out series of images of the early development stages of MMO monster World of Warcraft, showing off the game in an entirely different light to the one gamers know.
From its very beginnings, World of Warcraft was a game that held a special place in the heart of many a PC gamer. It's perhaps the reason why thousands of fans gathered for the closing of vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostralius earlier this year. However, although the earliest forms of the game may seem rustic to some, a set of screenshots of the early parts of the title's development makes the game look very different.
This week, a set of images from the very early development of World of Warcraft has been circulating around fan communities, and it's an extremely interesting look at exactly how the game was formed. The in-development project looks a far cry from the online behemoth that it eventually became, with nary a Pandaren in sight. Indeed, one could even be forgiven for thinking that the shots, which were originally released by Blizzard staffer Dave Wilson, were from an entirely different game.
This is perhaps due to World of Warcraft's rather strange development period. To begin with, the game actually started out in the Warcraft 3 engine, and this choice for early creation is made all the clearer in some of the screenshots that have surfaced. Those interested in seeing more can check out the gallery below.
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It's always intriguing to see a game in development, particularly one that has gained such an impressive following as World of Warcraft. Blizzard has often had an interesting time of things when creating its games, and the Warcraft series itself has had many challenges to overcome. Indeed, it was even created from a failed gaming project, with Blizzard initially hoping for the Warhammer license before making its own franchise altogether.
Since then, of course, Blizzard has continued to make a number of huge steps forward in the gaming industry. Although World of Warcraft has been considered perhaps the developer's most well-known game, the huge success of Diablo III and most recently Overwatch certainly shows that Blizzard is more than a one-trick pony. Indeed, with Overwatch now reaching over 20 million registered players, there's a case to be made for the multiplayer shooter to be crowned top dog.
Nonetheless, World of Warcraft still seems to have a fairly solid level of support. Although the game's popularity has waned a little over the years, World of Warcraft: Legion still managed to sell over 3 million copies at launch, and the recent expansion's stellar reviews suggest that there's life in the old dog yet. Let's see just how far Blizzard can take this historic game.