Most of my favorite hunter armor sets are from TBC (Demon Stalker, Sunwell set, etc.) , but Vanilla had Cryptstalker Armor, and let me tell you, that’s something I’ve long drooled over. It just looks so neat! And it turns you into a bug!
But I’d also acknowledged to myself that it was probably a set I’d never own. Vanilla Naxx disappeared into the Twisting Nether before it was solo’able (the closest I came was going in there with a group of friends in TBC and still being unable to pass the first trash pull), and with its relaunch for WotLK, the original armor went with it.
But yesterday I found the spaulders on the Black Market Auction House.
I hemmed and hawed for a bit before plunking down 10k gold on it (hey, you make a ton of money in WoD, right?) I logged in again right before bedtime to discover that I’d been outbid, so I went and made another bid. I went to bed figuring I’d probably be outbid (again), and in fact forgot about the whole thing entirely until I woke up this morning to a surprise in my mailbox:
Cryptstalker Spauders are now mine, the first piece of a dream I’ve had since I first saw that set.
It’ll probably take several months to collect the full thing. I might not even ever complete it.
I leveled my first character to max before any of the many assorted nerfs to leveling that inevitably followed. Do you know how long it took? Well, let’s just say that I started playing that character in May and I hit the then level-cap of 70 in December. That’s uh… that’s seven months. And I was playing quite a bit.
These days, however, leveling is astoundingly easy. Not only have there been multiple nerfs to the leveling process, but heirlooms and various other things exist to make your grind as quick and painless as possible. As someone who has been playing this game for years, I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty good. But sometimes I look back on spending a month just to gain ten levels and I… oh no, who am I kidding, there is basically nothing I miss about that.
BONUS NOSTALGIA: Remembering the days after Blizzard started to nerf player leveling requirements but didn’t re-tune pet leveling so if you wanted to level more than one pet at once as a hunter you had to sleep outside and forego rested experience. …what, I can’t possibly be the only person who did that, right?
So yeah. Old school leveling. How long did it take YOU to do it?
I recently found myself talking about this in a forum I go to – namely, the really unique sense of exploration that was to be found in this game all those years ago when I was new and the world was young.
Back then, a lot of stuff was blocked off, gated behind walls or doors or what-have-you. I’m talking about the Timbermaw Fortress in Azshara. Or old Grim Batol guarded by dragons. Or the gate to Uldum down in the bottom of Tanaris. Or the Greymane Wall in Silverpine Forest. Or Mount Hyjal, which you could barely glimpse through an instance portal in Winterspring.
There was something about all of this stuff that you couldn’t get to. Something compelling. Despite the fact that I knew that this stuff wasn’t programmed into the game, it almost felt like it was. Almost felt like if you could just squeeze through a hole in the wall, you could break in, and discover an amazing new unexplored world ahead of you. Did anyone else ever get that feeling? I got it a lot.
Although we went on to get most of those locations actually in game, we did lose the mystery. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but I kinda like a little mystery sometimes. And sometimes I kind of miss it.
Are you a big turbonerdy nostalgia nut like me? Miss the good ol’ dungeons of TBC and WotLK?
HAS BLIZZARD GOT A PRESENT FOR YOU
LOOK AT THIS
DO YOU GUYS SEE THIS
look at this list
LOOK AT THIS GORRAM LIST
NOW YOU CAN GO BACK AND DO THEM ALL WITHOUT NEEDING AN ALT
Ahem. Sorry. Got a little excited there for a minute.
To be fair this entire system isn’t without what I think could possibly be issues:
First of all, apparently this system only exists during “holiday weekends”, like the old Call to Arms PvP quests. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because they want it to be a special thing? Either way I want my retro dungeons ALL THE TIME, Blizz!
Second, I hope the above list isn’t ALL the dungeons we’re getting. Basically all of my favorite retro dungeons are missing. Chief among these are:
Shadow Labs (yes I went there)
Culling of Strat
So yeah. Don’t stop with the ones you’re testing, Blizzard!
Thirdly, I hope they don’t just scale down gear and leave it at that. Due to the many and often very drastic class mechanics changes that have occurred since TBC and WotLK, I feel like doing that would still overpower most of these instances at level. Tune them to how they were when they were Heroics, Blizz. Yes, even Shadow Labs.
Ahh, remember these? Love ’em or hate ’em, the old talent trees were a true part of our Warcraft experience if you’ve been playing for any substantial length of time.
I got thinking of these thanks to a conversation I was having on Twitter. There are a lot of memories that come with these old talent trees – both good and bad. I remember how excited I was to make myself or my pet just that much more powerful every level. I remember devising specific leveling specs, PvP specs, and raiding specs.
I also remember how innately “tied” to your spec these really made you feel. One of my earlier blog posts to make a real splash in the community, written a whopping seven and a half years ago, details how the symbiotic hunter/pet nature of the BM talents was why it was my favorite spec.
These days, though, I’m BM not because I like the talents so much as because, hey, I’ve been playing it for years and years and I know how to play it, and I do pretty well with it, so why switch? It’s not the most inspiring reason in the world, I know.
I dunno, I’m not exactly pining for the old talents or anything. But it is kind of a fun thing to look back on.
I FRAPS’d the whole fight but I figure I won’t toss the video up unless someone asks because it’s fairly uneventful. Honestly Felmyst was the most difficult fight in the entire raid for us to do. Huge props to Mister Adequate for mage’ing it up and finishing her off after I bit the dirt on that encounter.
Now we just need Hyjal and Black Temple and then it’s on to WotLK stuff!
Lately, myself and my other half, one Mister Adequate, have taken to going back to old content and duo’ing it. The twist is that we’re both pure DPS classes (hunter and mage) so we have to make do without heals and that sort of thing.
Some stuff we’ve done so far!
Everything left from Vanilla (Molten Core, AQ20/40, and BWL. That gimmicky first boss of BWL can go step on a lego.)
Karazhan; a full clear took like thirty minutes. (Did I mention that Attumen FINALLY dropped that stupid necklace I’ve been wanting since TBC?)
10-man Obsidian Sanctum, with all three drakes up. Juuust barely.
Things We’ve Tried But Haven’t Cleared Yet:
Sunwell Plateau, because the first boss is trolling us
We’re looking forward to doing the other 70 raids as well as giving 10man Naxx a shot. I’m not sure if that one can be cleared with our hunter/mage setup, due to various gimmicky fights (Razuvious, I’m looking at YOU), but it’s worth a shot, at least.
We’re getting all sorts of fun transmog stuff, anyway, plus mmmm, all that delicious nostalgia.
Let’s talk about this game. Who’s been around for a long time? Raise your hand. Ah yes, I see you, and you there in the back. When did you all start playing?
Barring a couple of stints messing around in Vanilla Beta, I started really playing in Patch 2.0.3. Burning Crusade was still shiny and new and a few weeks or so into my entry into Azeroth Patch 2.1.0 happened and it was a big deal. Take a look at some of this stuff:
“Replaced the current Mend Pet channel spell with an instant cast heal over time. ” Yes. Channeled Mend Pet was a thing at one point.
Millions of raids and heroics getting nerfed. And BC raids and heroics were not terribly easy.
Black Temple introduced! Netherwing Dailies introduced! Druid Flight Form introduced!
“Bonus healing gear will no longer effect Mend Pet.” – This is because hunters were decking themselves out in shaman gear and solo’ing everything, which was hilarious, by the way.
“Lightsworn Vindicators outside the Black Temple will no longer attack players who are Hostile with the Aldor. ” – Okay, this is just funny.
Weird to go back in time, isn’t it? There’s a lot of stuff that I think we forget about old WoW. We get all nostalgic for the stuff that we liked and then forget about the stuff that we didn’t. Remember when hunters had three– THREE– stable slots? Remember when you had to go out and tame new pets in order to learn new abilities to teach your pets? Remember when mounts and companion pets took up bag space?
Often times when I find myself missing an old expansion pack, what I really miss is the playstyle of a particular class. I miss the careful manual shot-weaving of Burning Crusade, back before Blizz unhooked shots from auto shots. And when it came to Druid healing, Wrath of the Lich King was my personal favorite. And so forth.
I can see why Blizzard doesn’t want to introduce legacy servers and such. Accessibility wise, the game has done little but improve. Blizzard doesn’t want to “rewind” and reverse those improvements. But when you get attached to a certain class or spec’s playstyle and it gets all changed up– that’s what I miss.
Well, and doing Karazhan at 70. That was pretty great.
What sorts of things were around in WoW when you started?