The Best and Worst of WoW
A little over a year ago, right before the MOP launch, I blogged a bit about the nostalgia of past expansions. It started on our guild forums and I just took it from there. This weeks WoW Insider’s Community Blog Topic is about our most and least favorite expansions.
This is actually a hard question to answer. There are so many things I love and hate about each expansion….
(Warning, there is a little spoiler about the end of MOP, for those that have not defeated Garrosh)
The Burning Crusade
I was born in TBC. I played a trial account in vanilla, but that lasted about 2 days. I actually subscribed to this addiction in 2007. I’ll always have a soft spot for this expansion, because this is where it all started for me. I was a nub huntard who became pro at chain trapping mobs, until I switched to healing for the rest of my life.
Looking back on this expansion, this had to be one of my favorites, simply because Karazhan was the best raid ever, and we got to play pretty horde blood elves. When I started though, I wanted to be a dranei. But Yanni told me he would disown me if I ever looked at that faction again. So a blood elf I was! Although getting to play a zombie was pretty fun too. I remember the leveling grind to 70. Everyone in my guild hung out in Shattrath City (“Shat” for short). I had never been to Shat and it sounded like a magical place I couldn’t wait to get to. I was pretty disappointed in it when I got there.
My guild was a very casual guild, and we were all a bunch of noobs trying to find our way around the world. (Shhh don’t tell Mavros or Taki). We were in Kara for about a year or so, until we “graduated” to the 25 man raids (Gruul and Mag). We never got past Gruul/Mag that expansion. I ended up leaving the guild and joining up with Gene’s guild, outrolling him on Attumen’s horse, then joining a T6 guild working through Sunwell Plateu. That lasted about a day. But at least I got to see Felmyst die.
What I loved about TBC:
- Blood Elves
- Learning to Fly
- Having to use crowd control (cc)
- Needing to be attuned to get into heroics or certain raids (that shit would come in handy now with LFD and LFR)
- Netherwing mounts
What I hated about TBC:
- Isle of Quel’danas
- Introduction of daily quests (/shakes fist)
- 6 hour Shadowlabs runs (/mutters incoherently to myself)
- Rep Grinds (oh the pain of Chief Exalted Officer.…).
- Fel Reaver
- Hellfire Peninsula (eff that entire place)
Wrath of the Lich King
I can’t honestly say I have a lot of fond memories in Wrath. The expansion itself was actually not bad. But my gaming experience had a lot to be desired. For it was during this expansion that I inherited the guild leadership of Blood Red Skies, and had to deal with all the drama and flying poo that came with it. From two explosions to the formation of MT (thanks Tubbs, you jerk lol) to the revolving door of Raid Leaders (including the one that went completely insane), Wrath was a tough expansion for me. But there were a few things about that expansion that I really enjoyed.
What I loved about Wrath:
- Ulduar (second best raid behind Kara)
- The return of Naxx
- The Lich King fight
- Easier heroic dungeons (no more 6 hour slabs tyvm)
- Byebye attunements!
- Easier rep grinds (thank you dungeon faction tabards)
- The graphics in Howling Fjord
- The dungeon finder tool
- Separate lockouts for 10 and 25 man raids
- Battle for Gilneas and Twin Peaks BGs
- The Achievements system
What I hated about Wrath:
- Halls of Reflection
- Vehicle combat
- 25 man raiding had significant better loot than 10, which really hurt 10 man guilds
- Legendary mats only attainable in 25 man raiding, which really hurt 10 man guilds
- Isle of Conquest
- The Achievements system (why can’t the points actually COUNT for something?)
- Death Knights. Everyone had one. Nobody could actually play one.
- Professor Putricide trash
I think this may be my least favorite expansion (although MOP is right down there as well). For oh so many reasons. Personally, MT had a great expansion here, finishing in the top 10 on the server. But again, we had a bit of a revolving door with Raid Leaders until Mavros came in and saved the day.
What I loved about Cataclysm:
- The Silverpine quests (horde)
- The Goblin starting area
- The Indiana Jones questline in Uldum
- Southshore buried under a pool of slime
- The Welcome to the Machine quest (Best. Quest. Ever.)
- Flying in Azeroth
- Reforging and Transmogrification
- The Thrall and Aggra love story
What I hated about Cataclysm:
- The entire raiding experience. Nefarian might have been the hardest boss of the entire xpac. Maybe Ragnoros. But it certainly wasn’t the end raid.
- Dragon Soul. The content was so ridiculously easy, that the defeat of the end boss was trivial and anticlimactic. Even on heroic.
- LFR. WHY BLIZZ WHY?! When my alt facerolled through Deathwing’s fall, before my main saw him die, I wanted to just… throat punch a squirrel.
- Vashj’ir (f’ing underwater zones). Fill it with dirt and plant a tree. If Blizzard makes another underwater zone I quit.
- Tol Barad (I never liked the open PVP zones)
- The Hyjal dailies (ALY DOESN’T DO DAILIES!)
- The Barrens – this is HORDE TERRITORY. The Alliance are NOT allowed to have any stake in it. Give us back the south!
- The new guild system (rep, level). Nice idea, falls flat in its potential.
- The difficulty heroic dungeons started out (3 hours in Deadmines wtf)
- Heroic Deadmines. Eff that place. Right in the ear.
- The 5 man version of Zul’Gurub. Eff that place. Right in the ear. The snake boss can go die in a fire.
- The difficulty went backwards – it started out hard, and ramped down instead of the other way around.
- Recycling old content. Hi again Rag. Hi again lootship. No new zones, just remakes of the old ones.
- Female Worgens
- Ultraxion trash
Mists of Pandaria
I don’t like this expansion. I’ve made no secret about that. I hated the idea of a playable pandaren race. Yes I know I have 2 pandas because they’re cute. But still, the whole idea of this panda content and playable pandas is stupid.
What I love about Mists:
- The graphics of Pandaria. So pretty.
- Panda females are so cute
- Overthrowing that douchenozzle Garrosh
- Vol’Jin for Warchief!!
- Connecting realms (if it happens)
What I hate about Mists:
- What the bloody hell did Blizzard do to PVP?!
- The rep grinds. Oh the rep grinds. Someone stab me repeatedly in the eye with a spoon please.
- The dailies. Oh the dailies. Someone stab me repeatedly in the eye with a spoon please.
- The leveling experience. From 85-90 was an exercise in torture. And then I did it 8 more times so far.
- The Tornadoes. I hate tornadoes. HATE.
- The bugs. I hate bugs. HATE. Dread Wastes needs to be set on fire.
- BUGS AND TORNADOES. Heart of Fear needs to be set on fire.
- Lorewalker Cho (that dude is annoying!)
- Tier, Justice and Valor vendor location (it’s a great idea to put these guys in the most inconvenient corner of the world)
- Legendaries for everyone
- Solo scenarios as a healer (Wrathion’s scenarios make me want to throat punch a squirrel)
- Having both LFR and Flex raid modes co-exist. LFR makes me want to throat punch a squirrel
- Pokemon. Really, blizz?
- AND WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DID BLIZZARD DO TO PVP?!
So, from an analytical standpoint….this is how I felt about each xpac……
This means that, surprisingly, Wrath was actually my favorite expansion, despite my personal gaming experiences and TBC nostalgia. Also a bit surprisingly, MOP edged out Cataclysm as my least favorite expansion. But it’s not as surprising when I really look at it this way: MOP by comparison to the last expansion has been only a bit worse in my opinion. However, Cataclysm, by comparison to the previous expansion was a colossal disappointment.
Either way, the trend is heading downward in terms of my satisfaction in WoW. I’m not quite sure where the “rock bottom” is here when there’s nowhere to go but back up…but I have hope that the next expansion brings that curve at least back to the line of scrimmage to keep me interested for much longer.
Please Blizzard, make the next expansion better. Save the squirrels from being punched in the throat. They don’t deserve it.