When people talk about world PvP what they’re referring to do is the epic Southshore versus Tarren Mill battles that occurred during Vanilla. I remember the first time I participated in one.
I was playing WoW one Friday night in December of 2004. My friend Matt whispered me and said “Get to Southshore now. Big battle going on.”
I hopped on a gryphon from Ironforge and made my way there. I landed to find, not a quiet questing hub, but an epic melee between the Alliance and Horde that was in full swing.
Both factions were fighting each other trying to see if they could overrun the other’s town. Back and forth it went with the Alliance pushing towards the Tarren Mill, and then the Horde pushing their way back towards Southshore.
This was not a battleground (they didn’t exist back then), and there were no game driven objectives. This was 100% player made content.
What made the battle great was the spontaneity of it all. It was one of those instances where players discovered something the developers never dreamed of and it was amazing fun.
Eventually Blizzard introduced real battlegrounds into the game and this player made world PvP fizzled out.
Recently on Twitter @AlteracValley discovered this little gem in the then Warlords of Draenor Alpha.
On beta there’s a 100v100 test battleground named Troll Raid 2 that looks like this. Tarren Mill v Southshore anyone? pic.twitter.com/brhkHmsdiV
— Alterac Valley (@AlteracValley) June 29, 2014
I wouldn’t read too much into this. I’m not sure that Blizzard could capture the epicness of Southshore v. Tarren Mill in a battleground.
I only participated in a handful of these back in the day, but it was extremely memorable. Like most things back then, I had no idea that I was participating in something so special. Something that would be part of the History of Warcraft.