Fantasy World of Warcraft

In Praise of the World of Warcraft Treasure Chest

When World of Warcraft Classic, and the recent World of Warcraft Season of Mastery launched, they brought back the opportunity to relive the joy of opening treasure chests. Chests are typically found surrounded by mobs, or tucked away in some out of the way location. They are single-use objects, which eventually respawn in the same or alternate location. Finding a chest delivered the promise of looting coin, potions, cloth, leather, weapons, or gear. This made them tantalizing to those of us unable to resist their allure. After all, who doesn’t like finding treasure?

The quality of items contained in the original treasure chests varied depending on the level of the zone in which they were located. Gear in starting zone chests would be gray or white, best fit to sell to a vendor for much needed copper. When you’re a low level player, every coin counts, and looting a silver or gold bar from a chest felt like hitting the jackpot. Chests in higher level areas contained Uncommon (AKA “green”) or better quality items, which could be an upgrade or posted on the auction house.

My favorite chests were scattered in the Winterfall furbolg camp in the snowy mountains of Winterspring. I spent many hours there, back in the day, killing furbolgs to grind Timbermaw rep to exalted. Since Winterspring is a level 55-60 zone, the chests contained high level gear. My best day was looting a rare (AKA “blue”) weapon from a chest. I don’t remember what it was, but I had just looted a green weapon in the previous chest. I didn’t need them, and so they added to the day’s profit on the auction house.

During an expansion for which I cannot remember, treasure chests were not included in the new zones. When asked what happened to them on the WoW forums, Blizzard’s answer was, they wanted random gear acquisition to be confined to dungeons. Again, I apologize that I cannot provide appropriate reference, but I recall the answer because it annoyed me. I was, and still am, a solo player, and treasure chest rewards were as thrilling to me as a dungeon runner looting trash mobs. It felt like the developers, who had provided me with so much enjoyment, were now trying to direct me to play content for which I had little interest.

In Shadowlands, rare elite mobs have seemingly taken the place of treasure chests, with the added bonus of experience from killing them. Treasure chests are present in Shadowlands and especially in Korthia, but their loot includes items supporting the expansion’s borrowed power systems and vendor trash.

Earlier this year, Blizzard Watch posted an article detailing an interview with Ion Hazzikostas suggesting a direction for the next expansion which gives hope for treasure chests. This includes a return to Azeroth, which fits with open story lines, and, moving away from borrowed power systems. I realize this is a stretch, but if Blizzard plans to deliver a more traditional WoW experience on Azeroth, what could be more traditional than fighting through a cluster of mobs, opening a treasure chest, and being rewarded with something that makes a player smile and go, “Yes”?

I suppose we shall see in good time.

Thank you for a wonderful 2021 and have a Happy New Year from Deep In the Keep!


  1. Sandy Szarka says:

    Brian thanks for writing this. I am also a single player, an older one at that, and a woman. They do exist 🤣 I also love treasure chests! The one thing I didn’t like about the old ones, was that when you fought for them, cleared the mobs, and were fighting the last one, another player would waltz in and grab the chest. It almost made me want to PVP, lol. So, in that regard, I do like that chests can be grabbed by all in Shadowlands, but it would be nice to get a surprise of better gear in them now and then. Just as it would be nice to get something great in a Christmas gift. I delete most of the gifts, as I have the max already, don’t have the pug, am tired of the wands, and candy canes, etc. I don’t do dungeons, unless I can solo them, and would love to see Blizzard do something like they do for the new starting area, where you can do the dungeon with npc assistance. I play more slowly than a lot of players do. I take my time. I want to enjoy it at my own pace. I understand that it’s an multi player game, but I don’t join groups, but will help other players when I can. I don’t join guilds, I don’t like the drama. I don’t care how many times a guild says they’re laid back, with no drama, people are people, and there will always be some. I also love looking for elites, and at least attempting to take them down, especially rare ones, but hate when they drop nothing. I truly believe there’s a really wide demographic in this game. It’s hard to please everyone. But, please don’t try to force me into dungeons, groups, raids, guilds, warfronts, PVP, etc, so that I can earn something. I’m not interested in those things. I want to play my way, at my speed, and still be able to find, and use, great gear that helps me to progress. We all pay fees to play the game, and have for many years, let us ALL choose our style of play, but don’t penalize us because we choose to play alone. I was raised to be independent, to figure things out for myself, and I don’t try to rush through everything. It’s a game, meant for enjoyment. I love WOW, I enjoy most of it, so Thank you Blizzard for that! Just my two cents.

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