Do You Remember When….
Oh hey! two posts in one day!
As this expansion comes to a close, I think back on many a discussion I’ve had with old school WoW’ers. My brother in law has played since vanilla, and he used to be a raid leader in a top US guild. Back then there was no hard mode or heroic raiding. Heroic raiding was getting INTO Naxxramas, never mind the shit fest that was the Heigan Dance. Or the gear/dps check of Patchwerk. Back when Naxx hovered above Eastern Plaguelands. Hard mode was handling many whelps at level 60. Molten Core Attunements anyone?
Of course this sounds like I’m speaking from experience. I’m totally not. I started playing WoW during the Burning Crusade. Progress was graduating from 10 man raiding in Karazhan to 25 man raiding Gruul and Magtheridon. Hard mode was being NOT PREPARED with 25 of your closest friends. Sure Kil’Jaden ended up being the “end boss” but it really shouldn’t count. Illidan was supposed to be the big baddie. Heroics were truly heroic and you had to be ATTUNED to even zone into heroic dungeons. Anyone who has been in a 6 hour Heroic Shadow Labs run knows exactly what I’m talking about. How did one get attuned? By grinding faction rep in the normal dungeons to honored. Once you hit honored with that dungeon’s faction, you had to buy a key from their quarter master. Everyone in the group had to have a key.
And there was no Dungeon finder. Oh no. LFD was spamming trade for 3 hours “LF tank Heroic Slabs. Must have key.” Nine hours later, Murmur finally goes down after having lost half your group 17 times during the run, hearthing back to Shatt and spamming trade again. Cross-realm grouping? HAH! That’s a good one. We were TWO expansions away from that nifty little feature! There were no multiple tiers of badges or points. Tier tokens dropped in raids only. Badges of Justice were the currency, and in order to earn badges of justice, you had to raid. How did you get the gear to raid? By running heroic dungeons and decking yourself out in dungeon set blues. After grinding for the keys. And wasting your life spamming trade because there were no tanks online in guild.
The Burning Crusade was my favorite expansion. I really liked the accomplishment of downing harder content with 25 people. Sure, the logistics were a pain in the ass, but the rewards were great. I liked having to be attuned to get into a heroic dungeon. That way, everyone in the group HAS to know each encounter. Kara was by far and away my favorite raid. So many memories. From pulling the entire audience during the Opera event on a tab-target fail, to winning Attumen’s mount, to chanting “I will not move while the flame wreath is cast” to the Chess event. Oh that stupid chess event. Maiden’s holy fire was a killer as was the cc required on Moroes. Chain trapping. That’s right. There was no trap launcher for hunters. You had to set a trap, hit your target with a distracting shot and pull it into the trap (and pray that your tank knew how to pull off all the other mobs chasing you). And then after about 30 seconds, you had to set another one on top of the current one. Oh and try not to die. They get really pissed off when that trap breaks. Feign death was the most useful ability a hunter had at that time. I had trapping down to a science. I pretty much sucked at everything else, but at trapping? Pro.
And then Wrath hit. For the first patch of that expansion, 25 mans were considered “heroic” mode. And 25 man guilds were the cream of the crop in Wrath. Naxx and Onyxia made a comeback. Way to recycle old content, Blizz. Wrath was not an expansion that I particularly enjoyed.
When Cata hit, it almost seemed to go back to the TBC model.. where purples were rare, and you had to gear up in heroic blues before getting into the entry raid content. But in an almost bassackwards fashion, the content got easier the closer we got to end game, not harder. I think Nef was a touch harder than Rag pre-nerf. Deathwing was a joke. Heroics got nerfed, and heroic dungeons got easier, not harder. I don’t understand. Beating the last boss should be an epic experience, not a “damn squishy dragon. Now what?”
So what do you all miss about expansions past? What are you glad to see go? What you would you love to see again?