Old WoW, New WoW, and Everything In Between

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?

13 thoughts on “Old WoW, New WoW, and Everything In Between”

  1. I remember needing to keep Hunter pets fed and happy or they would actually abandon you. I thought it was a nice bit of flavor… but an annoying mechanic. At least the pets didn’t get grumpy over time behind my back. That would have been *really* annoying, coming back to the game after a while only to find my pets missing.

  2. I am old and crotchety. I started playing in March 2005.

    I remember my first blue drop on my very first character, a night elf hunter. Night elf hunters started with daggers. It was a sword. To learn swords, I had to go to Stormwind. From Teldrassil. A boat trip to the Wetlands, and a long long long run to Ironforge. Also, there was one auction house, just one. In Ironforge.

    When I started playing WoW, there was no working PvP system. Then they introduced the honor system and questing became impossible, at least if you were horde and questing in the Barrens. Crossroads is under attack! Remember, there were no battlegrounds. There was only world PvP. Aaaah.

    There was one flightpoint tops in most zones. I remember a lot of running. I remember farming earth elementals in Arathi for vendor grays, so I was able to buy my first mount at level 42. I didn’t really get hunters back then so I moved on early. The pet system where you needed to tame a pet and play with it to actually be able to teach your other pet a new skill was too mindboggling for me. 😉

    What I miss most is a world before LFD and LFR were introduced. Sure, it’s awesome getting into instances within a couple minutes without any effort whatsoever. I miss getting a group together, making friends on the servers and really cutting our teeth on the tough BC heroics. You didn’t chain-run them, and beating them felt like a tremendous success.

  3. Things I do not miss:
    Only one item could be sent by mail at a time.
    Thunderclap only affected four mobs.
    Charge was buggy as hell, often stopping outside of melee range, or carrying you right past the target (and on one occasion, right off the edge of Outland)
    Playing that “Simon” mini-game daily in Ogri’la
    Leveling the crossbow skill as a warrior
    Pets and mounts taking up bag space

    Things I miss:
    Polearms with Strength
    Hearing Big Red Kitty feign death next to me every couple of minutes so he wouldn’t steal aggro

  4. I remember when hunter pets had different individual stats, which made some of them WILDLY overpowered like The Rake and Broken Tooth, who was called “Broken” for a good goddamn reason!

  5. I love Kadomi’s comment, as it reminds me of my own epic “learn two handed swords skill” journey on my baby hunter… Except, I didn’t do quite enough research. Instead of the classic Wetlands gauntlet, I took my level 18 hunter all the way from Darkshore through Ashenvale and the Barrens (not understanding that I couldn’t actually be attacked as I wasn’t on a PvP realm, so that was quite scary for me), took the boat to Stranglethorn, and from there slogged it all the way up to Stormwind. I died so many times. It was BRILLIANT.

    I then promptly deleted that hunter when I got a full account, so I could make a Draenei. Epic journeys live on, though, in my tradition of undertaking them for my first hunter pet – to Dun Morogh on that Draenei for a snow leopard, and the stupidly dangerous and fun trips to Azuremyst and Bloodmyst for a Moth/Ravager on my BE/Tauren.

    Having started in 2.3 – reaching Outland in 2.4 – I remember when the Nether Drakes were THE flying mount to have. I was totally awed the first time I saw a level 70 whizz past me on one of those things and I decided I HAD to have one. Even now, although my alt’s Gryphons have been finally retired in 5.0 and I have rather a large mount collection, I still like to hop on my Nether Drakes every once in a while out of nostalgia.

    As a relatively casual player, there haven’t really been any changes that have been awful enough to stick in my mind – the only thing I’ve ever “lost” that I still wish I had is Eyes of the Beast. When I was levelling, I liked to use it to scout caves and stuff out using my snow leopard’s prowl, as well as take screenies of my pets without my character getting in the way. It’s not a big loss, but it’s something I miss a little bit anyway.

  6. Oh! And totem quests. I may not miss the 4 bag spaces that physical totems took up, but I do think it’s a shame that lowbie shaman basically no longer get “introduced”, as it were, to each of the spirits they call on.

  7. I’ve got a new WoW friend who has been playing for only a month now (and has almost her second 85 already) and I’m CONSTANTLY telling her the “when I was young” tales of old WoW. She’s working on a hunter now and the changes are ridiculous to even describe to her. I’m sure she thinks I’m making it all up.
    Most of the things I miss are quest lines that don’t exist anymore. I miss the Tirion and Taelan Fordring quest chain. I miss the incredibly dark quest stories in Darkshire. I miss the Onyxia fight in Stormwind after the long march through town. I miss the things I wasn’t old enough to be part of since my first 60 ding was the same week the Dark Portal opened.
    I don’t miss mounts and pets taking space in your bags – I took the “miser’s reward” from the Children’s Week quest because five gold was a LOT and I didn’t have room to carry a pet with me anyway. I don’t miss leveling a new hunter pet because you wanted a certain skin and now had a 40 levels under you audience of one to exp up to your level. I don’t miss leveling lockpicking or running back and forth from cemetery to town and back again with only one flight path in Darkshire. I don’t miss meeting stones that had level requirements. I don’t miss ammo bags taking one of your bag slots on a hunter. I don’t miss fighting the immuned/immortal mobs in Blasted Lands to level weapon skills after getting a new drop.
    Even without the improvements there have been, I’d LOVE to play on a vanilla server and do the raid attunements and epic quest chains I missed. And then I’d go back to regular WoW and appreciate the heck out of LFG and LFR and no more key quests and riding at level 20 and ….

  8. Posted this on the LJ mirror… but since I’m here ;D

    Heeheehee… ok… let’s see, since I was around since Vanilla… I remember, as you said, hating the fact that I could only have one darn pet, as I needed other slots for the “training” pets… I remember LEVELLING pets (oh gods, I remember that) by begging guildies to drag you about in instances as they’d level faster that way…

    I remember RUNNING OUT OF ARROWS.. oh lords… I will never forget that one… where I was the only hunter with arrows left at the end of a raid and was sending TWENTY AT A TIME to the others and since I was Beastmaster, doing more damage than they with my cat attacking the boss and me healing and hitting all the many buttons to make Myrddin hit better LOL

    I remember when the Gates to Al’Quarj (spelled wrong but I’m just not in the mood to go hunt down the correct spelling LOL) opened and crashed every darn server there was…

    I remember when attuning to Molten Core was the BIGGEST thing ever… and when the Class World Quests were the huge thing, and I SO wanted that bow…

    I remember when the ships all broke and would randomly let you fall through the world and when going to Tanaris, you’d fall through to the Lordemar Interment Camp LOL

    I remember SERVER FULL and hours of Queues to get into game after Burning Crusade hit…

    … ::grin:: I love this game 😀

  9. I played from patch 1.7 (or something), which was the “Ahn’Qiraj war effort patch” to the end of WorLK.

    Basically, I believe that the game was a worse game (in regards to mechanics, balance, or accessibility) – but it felt more like a “world”.

    There were multiple factors in this:
    – The world had many more rough edges, was more unfinished – and because of that, it felt mysterious and alive (e.g. Hyjal, Caverns of Time before they were fleshed out, or the bug that allowed people to climb mountains / walls – enabling unforeseen exploration);
    – Dungeons and bosses were harder, in part because knowledge about how to beat them was less wide-spread, but also because of some questionable design (e.g. Deadmines had: patrols that would spawn behind the players and bite them in the back; a pre-instance zone in which even veterans got lost in (and some quests were supposed to be done there); fleeing humanoid antagonists that aggroed half the dungeon) – I don’t know why, but to me every one of these things felt like a challenge to overcome, not the game spiting us;
    – World PvP was more of a real thing, with zones like Ashenvale, Crossroads or Red Mountains becoming battle fields for hours at a time;
    – Alterac battlegrounds were lasting affairs – you could begin a BG in the afternoon, log off for the night, come back at morning, and find yourself in the same BG that you had left hours ago;
    – Being rank 14 meant that you had either spent the better part of a month chaining BGs (I mean by that that you had spent more than 12 hours a day in BGs, every day), or that you had concerted with other players interested in the top rank to limit the maximal honor gained by any player;
    – I was on a relatively low-pop server so I never experienced server queues – and it made for a very tight community, among other effects:
    – Many players made a name for themselves – the one I remember most fondly was “Drogan, Goldshire Marshal” who had a pretty successful RP going on in Goldshire (server is PvP-RP); I also remember 3 stooges with very similar names, two of which had reached PvP rank 14, and the 3rd had reached PvP rank 13;
    – A Horde PvP team and my guild had a very friendly relationship for a long time, gained through mutual respect in BGs (mostly Warsong Gulch) with epic games (and also by virtue of my guild being the only ones to not bail out when seeing that *that PvP team* was the opponent – after all, we were there to play, were we not?)

    In short: the game felt more like a sandbox, where players had to make their own fun; part of the reason why is that all high level game provided activities (dungeons, raids) had nontrivial commitment. Another part of the reason is that players were not tired of making their own fun yet.

    Ah well, so that is. I had fun at that time – but now that the community I knew there has left the game or fractured, I feel no desire to return there (Heck, I began attending RL meetings with guild members only after I had mostly left the game!)

  10. Don’t really miss: Pet loyalty. You couldn’t teach them skills until you got their loyalty up to, what, five? From one? You went out to tame a new pet with stacks of food in your bags to stuff them with so they wouldn’t abandon you on the way home.

    Miss: Epic pet runs. I once ran my level 12 Draenei hunter from Bloodmyst all the way to Eversong Woods, all by her lonesome, just to tame a bright red lynx. Somewhere, I have pictures of the trail of Draenei bones I left through the level 60 Eastern Plaguelands. It took all afternoon.

  11. I played a bit in the beta and didn’t know much about anything (WoW related) as I was running around in Goldshire. And then one day I saw a group of I think horde that were came running on mounts! WoW!
    Yes I remember buying and running out of arrows, doh!
    I also remember that it was a bit hard leveling a hunter up to lvl 10 because u didn’t have a pet and had to whack mobs with ur 1h white axe.
    Way in the beginning I remember that getting into a raid as a very big thing. In vanilla I was only able to get into ZG I think. Well if u don’t count upper blackwing spire (ups?) think it was a ten man and u needed someone to come and lock up the door for u.
    So I think the game is a better game today than it was, but am I having more fun today? Not sure? But then I also have never a played a game for seven years either.

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