Nostalgia is chic. Nostalgia is in. We like to glamorize the way things were the moment after they happen. It’s fun to exalt our experiences as existing in a unique moment in time, never to be repeated. The fact that we were having a lot of fun once upon a time means that whatever we were having fun with was the cause.
There's one problem with that point of view: it's usually wrong. Selective memory has many a trick to play on us. Some anti-nostalgia is in order. Let's turn some sacred cows into hamburger.
Here are some reasons, in no particular order, that vanilla WoW was terrible.
1. External class balance--i.e. good rogues doing three times as much damage as good warlocks, fight after fight.
2. Internal class balance--i.e. having a few great talents and many terrible, terrible talents. (My favorite: for Rogues, Throwing Weapon Specialization-increases the range of thrown weapons by 3/6 yards.)
3. Flying, riding, and walking to some obscure location over about twenty minutes to do a dungeon-and only realizing after getting there that no one has the key to get inside.
4. Tarren Mill-Southshore zerg constituting "end game PvP".
5. Queuing for battlegrounds--exclusively at the battleground instance entrance.
6. Trying to get 40 people to all do what they're supposed to in raid encounters where individual failures wipe you.
7. Quest chains that take you to both continents and a couple of instances, require you to buy materials off of the AH, and reward you with a terribly-itemized green.
8. The approaches to instances--mazes filled with elite mobs and quests the group will never ever agree to do. Basically extended the length of the instance anywhere from 10 to 20% with no rewards.
9. The world’s only artisan enchanting trainer camping out in Uldaman.
10. Killing a level 50 elite troll for the privilege of killing a level 52 elite troll for the privilege of killing a level 47 boss in an instance on another continent.
11. Azshara, Blasted Lands, Deadwind Pass, Dustwallow Marsh, Swamp of Sorrows, at-release Silithus-- fewer than 30 quests combined.
12. Going engineering purely to get a decent headpiece before level 35.
13. Resistance gear.
14. Zero gear support for non-healing druids, paladins, or shaman-- and DPS warriors taking leather.
15. Trying to quest as a healer.
16. "Hunter weapon!"
17. All-or-nothing crafting material drops.
18. 30-minute-plus login queues being "normal".
19. Server instability on patch day.
20. Server instability on day-after-patch day.
21. Server instability on "day that ends in -y" day.
22. Server instability causing cascading realm failures, in turn destroying the logon servers, exponentially lengthening login queues.
23. Disenchanting Felheart and Cenarion… week after week after week... starting in week four.
24. Two loot drops per raid boss. Forty man raids.
25. Disenchanting Felheart and Cenarion week after week starting in week four despite raid bosses dropping two pieces of loot each in forty man raids.
26. Tailoring and leatherworking having exactly one (non-resist gear) epic recipe available per player.
27. The infamous "in-game voice chat" patch.
28. A rogue population so high raiding guilds seriously wondered if it was faster to rez dead rogues or just recruit new ones.
29. PvP trinkets that only dispel three types of CC each, depending upon your class-- but which still allow you to burn their cooldown on effects they can't cure.
30. Giving up your job, friends, and family to grind pre-made BGs 21 hours a day while you get your buddy to play the three hours you plan to sleep… and *still* not hitting Rank 14.
31. Waiting 45 minutes in a BG queue only to get rolled in three minutes by a pre-made, and having no alternative but to queue again.
32. The Ironforge lag pit.
33. The out-of-combat rezzer.
34. 4/7 end-game dungeons and the first three raids sharing an identical black-and-red color scheme.
35. "Wait for five Sunders!"
36. Taking a month to identify and fix the bug that made C’Thun unkillable.
37. "Okay, everyone, we have to wait before we pull Vael, too many guilds are trying to run Razorgore and the instance server can't handle it."
38. The whining over FROST SHOCK!
39. Creating level 1 alts for the sole purpose of griefing raids pulling Lord Kazzak.
41. A 53 DPS Arcanite Reaper somehow being much, MUCH better than any 65 DPS weapon. (See also: Barman's Shanker.)
42. Grinding rep, one 5-rep kill at a time since there aren't any quests, and calling it "endgame".
43. The endless argument over whether you'd rather have shaman or paladins.
44. Quests offering one reward almost guaranteed to be unusable.
45. "Sorry, we can't recruit you because you chose the wrong race for your priest."
46. Enchanters trying to sell enchants via trade chat spam.
47. Tank (i.e. warrior) threat output scaling inversely with gear.
48. The original "everything to everybody" design of Alterac Valley, featuring a PvE raid boss in midfield, lowbie questing/leveling areas, high-end mining and herbing nodes, and a total acreage almost double what it is today.
49. Manually inviting people into the battleground raid-- or, even worse, not.
50. An anti-threat trinket being every DPS player's best-in-slot.
51. Ahn-Qiraj's Bizzaro-World itemization and set bonuses.
52. Detect Magic being a vital component of some raid encounters.
Coming soon: reasons The Burning Crusade was terrible.