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!