Amongst the many changes that are happening in Patch 4.2, we will be bidding adieu to a dear friend. Is it Tyrande or Chromie or Sylvanas or even the basic campfire? No...I'm talking about a closer friend. One that many people take for granted nowadays. This dear friend has been with us since Vanilla and I still remember what life was like before it. I am of course talking about the keyring. Yes...the bag that automatically holds all your keys. Yes, I am indeed for serious. According to the patch notes for 4.2 the keyring will be removed and existing keys will either be converted to gold, removed entirely, or moved to players' inventories. This means that the keyring along with most keys in game will be going away.
Why should anyone care about a keyring or instance keys being removed you may be asking yourself. Well let me fill in a little history for those of you who have always had a keyring in game. Way back in the dark ages of Vanilla Wow, you would sometimes come across keys for random things such as the key to Searing Gorge, the key to the City, the Crescent Key, or even the Scarlet Key. Now at the time, all of these keys were actual items that would go into your inventory since there was no keyring. Big deal you may say, its just a bag space being used. Well at the time 16 slot bags were the highest bag you could have unless you raided Onyxia's lair and were lucky enough to snag yourself one of her bags and even that bag was only an 18 slotter. Bag space was at a premium and if you planned to run an instance such as BRD, Scholo, Strat, or even DM, you had to carry the key with you in your bags. You had to work hard to get some of these keys and that usually meant a lot of time and effort but once you had a key...you were like a God amongst men! Well, you weren't really but you could be all super awesome and brag about being able to open doors. Sometimes you could even make some money just opening an instance door.
If you made the mistake of selling or trashing the key, more often then not...you could NOT get another one. If you were 60 in Vanilla WoW, you would often find yourself running Scholo/Strat/DM for gear/gold/fun and if you didn't have the key for the instance you were stuck outside waiting until some nice soul came by and opened the door for you. Now I don't know about the rest of you but I had some bad luck with groups being formed and no one having the key for the instance. IT SUCKED! A lot. Especially when no one realized that they didn't have the key with them only after everyone was waiting at the instance door. Unless you had a warlock with you, the group would often fall apart then and there because having to sit around waiting for the one person with the key to hearth, run to the bank and grab the key, and then take a gryphon/boat to the instance meant that you were sitting around for 20-30 minutes on average.
Why did I mention a warlock? Well at the time, instance stones weren't the summoning stones that they are now. Clicking on one would put you into a weird looking for group channel just for that instance which most people either didn't know existed or just ignored. Without the easy warlock summon, it was usually a long run. Warlocks also had the awesome ability to lifetap themselves to near death, agro a mob onto themselves, and die at the door. When they ran back to their body, they could rez on the other side of the door and use the lever, which all doors had nearby, to open the door for the group.
The day that the keyring was added to the game was the day that those of us who spent the time and effort getting instance key quests done, finally had available bag space! No longer would we have to run back to the bank and grab a key or hope that we would have bag space when the key dropped in Strat. The keys would all just automatically jump into our keyring. It was glorious. And soon the keyring will end its WoW Career and join the many outdated features of WoW past such as long attunement quest chains for raids, crafting resist gear for raids, having to wait until level 40 to get a land mount, being able to spec into all three trees almost equally, and being dismounted when you hit water.
Goodbye old friend, I will miss you. Whenever I run across a key of any sort, I will think fondly of our time together.
RIP Keyring (2005-2011)
RIP Most Keys (2004-2011)