World of Warcraft has been around for a very long time. Way back in 2004, the designers at Blizzard learned from its MMOG predecessors and offered millions of players a world unlike one they had adventured in before. To celebrate the history of World of Warcraft and the imminent destruction of Azeroth in Cataclysm, The Escapist has compiled a visual history to highlight the important milestones and events to date, from the servers opening to the Real ID fiasco last month.

Check out this week’s issue of The Escapist Magazine which is devoted to exploring how Blizzard is changing the game with Cataclysm.

For this visual history, we concentrated on WoW‘s mainstream impact. If you’d like a more detailed retrospective of nearly every patch, policy change and news story regarding all these things Azeroth, please take a look at our interactive timeline here. You might even be able to earn yourself an Epic Mount badge in the process.

Massive amounts of kudos to Jon Hayter for making this history so wonderfully visual.

Enjoy the Escapist‘s visual history of World of Warcraft!

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