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    Reminders of what vanilla was like

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

    Very Short Version:
    Vanilla WoW was like a classic car...iconic, fun, and at the time, cutting-edge. However, it also lacked modern conveniences and in hindsight had many flaws.

    The game was designed for immersion at the expense of player convenience.

    Everything took much longer--particularly leveling.

    Dungeons and leveling were more challenging and required meaningful player interaction and a thorough knowledge of a player's class.

    A player’s reputation as a person mattered because there were no transfers or boosts and re-rolling took hundreds of hours.

    Raiding wasn't the game's big draw. Exploring, Leveling, Dungeons, and to a lesser extent PvP, were.

    Raid bosses had three to five abilities and maybe a phase change. However the logistics were different and it could take 15 minutes from "Wipe It" to "/dbm pull 10."

    Many specs weren’t viable for raiding*. Warriors were the only raid tanks*. Combat Rogues, Fire Mages, and Fury Warriors were the best DPS*. Many raid rotations were absurdly simple.* Paladin blessings were better than shaman totems for PvE*.

    Due to no dual-specs and expensive respecs, if a player raided as Holy, they either:
    farmed for two hours to get the gold to re-spec and back
    quested as Holy, farmed as Holy, did world PvP as Holy, did battlegrounds as Holy, etc.
    Ran a mix between healing and DPS specs

    (Although talents were much less important for DPS back then.)

    Itemization was a counter-intuitive mess that caused problems leveling and serious loot drama in dungeons and raids.

    (* = many, many caveats)

    There was (were) no:
    --Alliance Shamans
    --Horde Paladins
    --Flight (besides flight paths, which dismounted you at each stop until 1.10)
    --Death Knights, Monks, or Demon Hunters
    --Draenei, Blood Elves, Pandaren, Worgen, or Goblins
    --Jewelcrafting, Inscription, or Archaeology
    --Outland, Northrend, Pandaria, Draenor, Broken Isles
    --Cataclysm zones (Hyjal/Vashj'ir/Twilight Highlands/Deepholm/Uldum)
    --(Movie-like) Cinematics
    --There were very few in-game “cinematics”, like the ones that introduced the Warlords bad guys
    --World Quests
    --Bonus Zones
    --Pop-up dialog boxes for world quests (like when Illidan tells you he needs harpies killed)
    --Any battlegrounds besides WSG, AB, and AV
    --Modern mechanics that limit the length of WSG or AV matches (AV had no reinforcements, for example)
    --Automated tools to prevent premades and / or win trading
    --Difficulty levels for raids
    --Difficulty levels for dungeons
    --Flexible raid sizes
    --Modern lockouts (the way LFR/Normal/Heroic are now)
    --Extending lockouts
    --Automatic/Mandatory ports out for people removed from a group (this may have been only if they were saved to the raid ID)
    --Mass resurrects
    --Multi-tagging or AoE loot
    --Loot Specs
    --Daily Quests (or any repeatable quests)
    --Mob level scaling
    --Primary stats that changed to your current spec (i.e. Strength/Agility/Intellect was fixed rather than the Legion/BfA system)
    --Ratings for any stat (it was all listed as "1% crit" or "1% dodge")
    --Mastery or Masteries
    --Versatility, Avoidance, Leech
    --Haste and Speed weren't common stats on gear, but a few things had them, like hunter quivers and some novelty items
    --Casting while moving (except instants)
    --Bank access anywhere but cities
    --Guild banks
    --Bags larger than 18 slots
    --Quest log was capped at 20
    --Profession bags (until mid-vanilla)
    --Barber Shops
    --Dungeon Maps
    --Indicator for uninterruptible enemy spells
    --Warlock Closets (but warlocks could summon one person at a time if two others clicked)
    --Respawn "checkpoints" in dungeons or raids
    --Cross-realm or bind-on-account anything. Friends, heirlooms, etc., although BGs were X-realm in 1.12.
    --There were no servers with more than a 3 to 1 majority of a faction. 110 realms were Alliance majority, 34 Horde.
    --Auction Houses anywhere but Ironforge, Orgrimmar, or Gadgetzan (at launch)
    --Categories of PvP debuffs / diminishing returns (this heavily depended on patch)
    --Server transfers*
    --Bloodlust / Heroism
    --Target Dummies
    --Death Recaps
    --Enchanting vellums
    --Multi-looting of mineral / herb nodes (only the first to click it got it)
    --Mousing over a mob didn't give a tooltip with quest progress (i.e. players couldn't tell what mobs dropped quest items)
    --Currency Tab
    --Tracking fish on the minimap
    --Simultaneous tracking of herbs and ore on the minimap
    --Way to report trade chat spam (in the very beginning)
    --Catchup mechanics*
    --Warforging, Titanforging, or Reforging
    --Pet battles
    --Toy Panel
    --Blizzard UI that remembered a player's keybindings after a respec. (i.e. Players had to drag spells out of the spellbook each respec)
    --Wowarmory /

    *Some exceptions.

    Basics for people that did not play vanilla:
    --The game was designed for immersion more than for player convenience. This design choice was manifested in every part of the game...the economy, the zones, world mobs, the dungeons, the raids, professions, PvP, graveyard placement, trainer placement, etc.

    --Everything took WAY longer. Now players can go from character creation through Normal Antorus in about 100 hours, less with heirlooms. In vanilla hitting max level (60) was in the 250-400 hour range, at which point the gear grind started. A first-time player that spent 15 hours/week playing could expect to spend five months getting to 60. The record for fewest hours unassisted to level 60 was 116 hours.

    --World mobs used to be much harder and humanoids were usually clustered in camps. This created ambiance that Azeroth was a dangerous place and only adventurers that used every tool available to them would survive. Killing one mob at a time was the norm, aggroing a second was a challenge, and a third typically meant running away or dying.

    --The amount of time it took to kill a regular mob is about five times higher than it is now. The poor availability of good armor from quests also meant wearing an item 10-15 levels lower than a player could equip was not uncommon, which exacerbated the issue.

    --The pace of PvE gameplay was much slower, both in combat and out. In combat, certain classes and specs had lots of down time in their sustained DPS rotations [for raiding]. Most spells had a 2.5 to 3.5 second cast time. Rogues regenerated a chunk of 20 energy every 2 seconds, which meant that if they were at zero energy they could press no buttons for almost 12 seconds without a DPS loss.

    --The slower pace of PvE gameplay made leveling feel more real because it wasn't possible to mow down hordes of enemies. This might sound boring, but characters had to judiciously choose which mobs they were going to pull, CC the others, and wait for their 3-5 minute cooldowns to come back up before pulling a large camp. Eating or drinking for a full 20 seconds after a fight was common. The downtime actually emphasized the dichotomy between resting and fighting for your life. Players were also frequently in "to the death" melees and had to make snap decisions if it was the mob that was going to die first. Nowadays even my undergeared alts crush three mobs simultaneously with no appreciable risk or downtime.

    --Raiding wasn't the game's big draw back then; the leveling experience was much more prominent. Dungeons and PvP had a slightly greater focus as well. In 2004 the prevailing mentality in all MMOs was that raiding was for people with LOTS of time.

    --Many classes had raid rotations that are absurdly simple by modern standards. For example, the warlock rotation was:
    1. Maintain Curse of Elements.
    2. Cast Shadowbolt.

    --Although there's many caveats below, many specs were not viable for (min-max) raiding. Warriors were the only tanks, rogues and mages were the best DPS, hunters and warlocks brought some utility, and any class that could heal generally did so.

    --Classes weren't balanced anywhere near where they are today for raiding. Back then some specs consistently did 30-50% more damage than others. Here is what damage on Patchwerk (a boss with no movement for DPS) looked like. One warrior did a million damage while most others did 700k.

    Nowadays if a class under or over performs it's because the specific fight is favorable to their toolkit. For example, Shadow Priests are dead last on Mythic Imonar but top tier on Mythic Coven. The overall stats on warcraftlogs are pretty dang even.

    In Legion and BfA, extremely skilled players of any spec would outperform average players regardless of encounter. Back then this was not the case; even average players on Fire Mages, Combat Swords/Daggers Rogues, and (highly geared) Fury Warriors were consistently above and beyond. (Simpler encounters also meant there were less ways for skilled players to leverage their abilities.)

    --Alliance had a demonstrable edge in PvE progression as paladin auras, hands, and especially blessings were significantly better than shaman totems on most fights, particularly the threat drop from Hand of Salvation, for which there was no Horde equivalent.

    --Servers were much more balanced with Alliance having a small edge:

    --In modern WoW leveling is very easy and raiding is difficult. In vanilla this was swapped due to the above reasons. Soloing camps of humanoids required tactical planning and clever use of all of a character's abilities, whereas raiding was in many cases mashing 2-3 keys with an infrequent need to dodge a fire.

    --Many tools taken for granted now didn't exist yet. WoW is three months older than Youtube.

    ----Mounts were not available until level 40, when a 60% speed mount could be purchased. That bears repeating. No mounts meant everyone walked everywhere (or used the taxi system / mage portals / hearthstones) until level 40.

    ----Being prepared for raids was also on a completely different level than it is now, as there were more types of consumables and it took more mats to create them.

    --The closest thing I've encountered recently that had similar difficulty to vanilla was my first time questing in Suramar. I knew even a small misstep would break my disguise and result in my toon dying. That sense of danger was omnipresent in vanilla.

    Also, almost all humanoid mobs back then used to run away when their health got low, and if they reached any other mobs they would aggro. This occurred both in the world and in dungeons. This mechanic alone probably caused more deaths than any other. Murlocs in particular were infamous for this as they also had extremely high run speeds and were almost always in large clusters around their camps.

    --Raid bosses had far fewer abilities--just open the dungeon journal for the raid bosses in Molten Core. Needless to say it was much easier to spot fires when there was no DPS UI to watch.

    --DPS specs were heavily limited by the 8-debuff limit on bosses (that was raised to 16 in patch 1.7). Gear for many specs simply didn't exist. A few hybrid roles, such as DPS warrior, did eventually become viable, but were not the norm for entry-level raiding.

    --The gold cost of switching specs was prohibitive. +Healing and +Damage items were separate so even really geared healers had to farm materials in holy/resto spec. This was mitigated by the fact that back then most abilities were baseline and talents weren't as important. This allowed hybrids to fulfill a different role without respeccing in most 5-mans.

    --There were no server transfers, and even some fairly populated servers had no raiding guilds capable of doing the third and fourth raids. There were 6 raids. The 40-mans were Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ40) and Naxxramas. There were 2 20-man raids roughly on par with Molten Core difficulty--Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ20). But if a raid guild with times that worked for a player weren't available, they either didn't raid or sunk another 200-300 hours leveling a toon on another server. If players met someone in real-life they wanted to play with it was the same thing. Fortunately it appears they will be allowed in classic.

    --Many, many specific class changes. See the section devoted to them.

    --The level of player sophistication was completely different. This is the hardest to quantify (and the most subjective) but in just a few words I think I can sum it up: It used to be common to hear players mispronounce "melee".

    ----Needless to say, players that couldn't get the pronunciation of "melee" right didn't know what they were doing by modern standards. And mmo-champ, wowprogress, wowanalyzer, warcraftlogs, worldoflogs, wowhead, streams, discord, etc. didn't exist yet. Also, things weren't data-mined to the level they are today. (Random Factoid: "may-lay" and "muh-lay" are in the dictionary; "mi-li" is not.)

    ----Nowadays, this is the level of player sophistication:
    Taladril's Compilation of Tank Damage and Threat in Vanilla:
    ^That is a spreadsheet written by someone with a lot of time and includes the damage taken and threat generated by every tank spec, talent, race, for a variety of bosses, fight lengths, and world buffs.

    ----Some funny stories from this thread also drive the point home:
    To summarize:
    ------Many didn't know there was an auto-run button
    ------Many didn't know how their class worked (not using talents, not using pet abilities like growl, spamming DoTs, not knowing abilities could be trained, using daggers on warriors, etc)
    ------People did not understand the concept of the tank / heal / dps trio
    ------Not knowing that mobs would leash
    ------Not understanding greed vs need, or not understanding that items with the wrong primary stat weren't upgrades
    ------Vendoring items worth a fortune because there was no way to know better, such as the hyacinth macaw and various patterns, for example savory deviate delight, as well as various twinking items
    ------Accidentally moving the camera with various keybinds, and not knowing that it could be moved back
    ------Not knowing what addons were
    ------And to those that did play classic, not knowing what would happen if you cast Fear on a murloc

    General Changes:
    --Talent trees looked like this:

    --Leveling was exponentially slower than it is now. I used to think I was kicking butt if I got to level 24 in 24 hours /played. My first level 60 had 14 days /played when he dinged, and that was primarily questing all the time; I didn't do much PvP or anything that wasn't increasing my level. Also note that this was on a PvE server so I could level unharrassed. By Wrath of the Lich King I could get to level 80 in about 3 days /played with the same playstyle. (There were ways to powerlevel with help.)

    --As mentioned previously, the world record for 1->60 was 116 hours. Here's the website documenting it: The halfway point of leveling XP-wise was level 48, but as players earned more XP at higher levels, the halfway point in time was probably in the mid to low-40s. (i.e. Tanaris)

    --The exponential leveling curve started to get real in the 50s. PvE players were looking at 8-12 hours per level with some rest, or as much as 20 hours/level without. Fortunately Un'Goro was amazingly fun, and there were some good end-game items in Blackrock Depths that players could start getting between 55-59. Reddit user Treasure33333 claims these are the numbers

    --Due to the slow leveling, rest XP was much more significant in reducing the total amount of in-game time it took to level. I would never log anywhere except an inn, as rest could shave as much as 6-10 hours off per level in the 50s.

    --Until level 40, toons ran everywhere. Then they could buy a 60% speed mount, and at level 60, 100% speed mounts could be purchased. In the very beginning the cost of the training was trivial but the mounts were very expensive. This was switched mid-vanilla. This also meant that in level 20-29 and 30-39 battleground brackets there were no mounts, which gave druids and their travel form a massive advantage.

    --Mounting took 3 seconds. It was reduced to 1.5 around Wrath.

    --The race and class combinations were:
    Orc: Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior, Warlock
    Undead: Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Warlock
    Tauren: Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior
    Troll: Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior

    Human: Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Warlock
    Dwarf: Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Paladin
    Night Elf: Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warrior
    Gnome: Mage, Rogue, Warrior, Warlock

    --There was a day/night cycle that was quite dark at night, which is why it was changed. This video shows a good example, but in places that were naturally dark (Duskwood) I would turn my monitor brightness up.

    --Spells did not level up with a player, but had specific ranks with specific damage ranges and mana costs at fixed player levels. Many raid healers would intentionally cast lower ranks of their spells that cost less mana. It was possible to downrank until the mana cost of a spell was equal to what was returned from the MP5 stat, allowing weak but infinite casting. Because +healing power didn't scale to spell level, players would still get the full benefit of their gear for spell ranks acquired above level 20.

    --Some interrupts weren't off the GCD, like earth shock (which did damage). Also I think kick cost energy and pummel cost rage, which meant that interrupting lowered DPS, and required pooling resources in anticipation of the interrupt.

    --None of the Cataclysm changes had happened yet. The flow of zones was very disjointed, and mousing over zones didn't tell you the zone's level like it does now. Barrens was still one zone. Desolace was still Desolate, Thousand Needles had a thousand needle-looking mountains (and no water), Stranglethorn Vale was still one zone and didn't have maelstroms in the middle of it, etc.

    --This also was the reason that Barrens chat became so epic. Every orc, troll, and tauren on every server would spend fifteen+ hours in what was one of the largest zones in the game. And they all needed to know where Mankrik's wife was. It also made Barrens extremely susceptible to Alliance raids, and the Alliance players knew how disruptive it was to kill all the quest givers in The Crossroads.

    --Reputation grinds were absurd. They didn't reward much so it wasn't as big a deal, but even getting to honored with the Argent Dawn took many, many runs (bosses dropped an item that gave 50 one person in 10 would get 50 rep every time the group killed a boss).

    --Mobs in many places stood much closer together and many ran away at about 10% health. Pulling dungeons was similar to undoing a complicated knot--but with a ten-minute penalty for every failure...if no one rage quit.

    --Dial-up was still supported, but even then was outdated. However, people's connections in 2004 weren't exactly at Google Fiber levels.

    --Quest items were actual items you had to carry around in your bags until you turned them in. This was also a bigger deal as bag space was much more limited and quest design wasn't like now where all quests start and finish in one zone. Back then there were more quests that would send players all across the world to get 3-4 different items.

    --Bags started out being expensive but the prices went down over time. It was a real hassle for a player's first toon on a server because you needed that bag space for so much more, like quest items and the tons of tradeskill mats that only stacked to 20.

    --I believe the Darkmoon Faire was added in vanilla but wasn't its own zone. One month it would be in Goldshire and the other in Thunder Bluff. If you wanted to go to it every month you had to hoof it through enemy territory.

    --There were some aspects of the game that were enormously fun if you were on the "winning" team and enormously annoying if you were on the "losing" team. Raids of capital cities was one of these things. They were fairly common despite not having an in-game reward, but in terms of server stability they were a mess. Orgrimmar / Ironforge were pretty laggy to begin with because of the solo Auction House, then 40-100 players of the opposing faction would suddenly crash the front door and all hell would break loose. It was iconic and a blast if you wanted to participate, but if you were just trying to do auctions / bank stuff / leave it was a nightmare. If the raid killed the flight master you had to walk to the next nearest city or wait for it to respawn. The opposing raid could kill the auctioneers, the bankers, the flight master. Players with bad internet connections had little chance of staying connected. Even players with decent ones were prone to being randomly DCed. The same thing kind of goes for PvP...if a player could get a hold of AQ40 trinkets or other raid gear, they had a pretty significant advantage in PvP as well. Southshore / Tarren Mill was the same...again a blast if you wanted a nonstop PvP battleground, a nightmare if you wanted to quest there.

    --NPCs did not address you as "hero" or "champion". Back then the lore was that you were a nobody. And there wasn't nearly as much voice acting either.

    --As a result of the fact that there were no name changes, server transfers, boosts, and that leveling to max took 5-6 months at 15 hours/week, raiders had strong incentive to maintain a good reputation. A realm might only have 2-3 decent raiding guilds that fit a person's raid schedule (if that) and if it got out that they were a bad player, ninja, ragequitter, etc., they'd be blacklisted.

    --There's a lot of under-the-hood technical changes. One of which is how the server processed spells in "spell batches"
    That's just one example of a way that classic isn't going to have the same "feel" as vanilla due to the modern architecture. Threat was also never reported directly to the client in vanilla (although Omen reverse-engineered a lot of it, but still had some guesses in there due to threat drops). However the 7.3.5 live client reports exact threat numbers so I imagine Classic will as well.


    --Quest rewards were static, as opposed to now, where they dynamically offer something appropriate for your current spec. Frequently all the possible options were unusable, so many quest rewards were just vendor trash.

    --Epics weren't available like they are now. The end bosses of the 10/15-man dungeons each had a 1% chance to drop a weapon, making them extremely rare. Due to this when one did drop the competition would be fierce, as no one else typically had them either. Nexus Crystals, the enchanting material from disenchanting epics, were at least a hundred times more valuable than Chaos Crystals are now. Because epics were so hard to get and also because 20 or 40 people in a raid had to pass on them to be disenchanted, the 1% chance from disenchanting a blue was the primary source of them. There were some craftable epics, but most the decent ones required tons of materials that were on a multi-day cooldown to make, such as mooncloth, cured rugged hides, and arcanite.

    --There were three legendaries:
    ----Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker came by combining two rare drops (and many expensive materials) from two bosses in Molten Core. Although the proc was intended as a tank weapon, its high DPS was also extremely strong for rogues. Only Warriors and Rogues could equip it.
    --Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros came by combining a rare drop from Ragnaros (final boss of the first 40 man raid) with 8 BoE ingots that dropped from another boss about half the time (and a ridiculous amount of expensive crafting items). I believe any class that could equip 2 handed maces could use this, which meant Warriors, Paladins, Shamans, and Druids could use it, although at the time feral druids would get nearly no benefit from it.
    --Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian (Medivh's staff). It was a caster staff (technically four caster staves, each mages/priests/druids/warlocks all had their own version) that required an item from Kel'Thuzad, final boss of Naxxramas. As only like 80 guilds in the US managed to kill him before Burning Crusade, and generally did so only a few months before BC launch, there were many servers on which no one had this item. It certainly was not a common item in Burning Crusade either, when it could still be assembled.

    --I saw from this video that I think in the very very beginning that a 40-man raid boss dropped ONE epic item. By the time I killed Lucifron, though, I'm pretty sure it was up to 2 tier pieces and 1 non-tier piece, as in this video:

    --Not all items had stamina, and if they did it counted against their stat budget for other stats

    --Repairing plate was more expensive than mail, which was more expensive than leather, which was more expensive than cloth.

    --There was no currency tab, although there were far fewer factions.

    --Because the stats were so different back then many specs had gear specifically for them. Tank gear was completely different from DPS gear. Healing gear was completely different from DPS gear. Prot warrior basically had its own gear, all healing specs basically had their own gear, rogues had their gear but hunters could also use it. Enhancement and Elemental had their own gear. There were at least 29 different kinds of weapons: Caster DPS 1H Swords, caster DPS off-hands & shields, Caster healing 1H maces, Caster healing off-hands and shields, Caster staves, 1H strength swords/maces/axes, 2H strength swords/maces/axes/polearms, 1H agility swords/maces/axes/daggers, 2H agility maces/axes/polearms/staves, prot shields, strength bows/crossbows/guns (warriors used them as stat sticks), agility bows/crossbows/guns (hunters main weapon, stat sticks for rogues). For certain classes (combat rogue, arms warrior) it mattered if a weapon was a sword or mace because the talents for different weapon types were completely different.

    --The balance druid pre-raid BiS list is below. Note how there isn't a single piece of leather caster gear in there, half the items don't have stamina, another half have item budget wasted on spirit, and most of the items are a lower ilvl (but I can't see what it exactly it was because only required character level was displayed back then.)
    Cloth hat: 8 Int, 8 Spirit, 8 Stam, 30 spellpower, req level 54
    Neck: 7 Int, 6 Spirit, 1% crit, req level 53
    Cloth Shoulders: 16 Int, 20 spellpower, req level 56
    Cloth Cloak: 10 Int, 1% crit, req level 55
    Cloth Chest: 13 Int, 2% crit, 27 spellpower, req level 60
    Cloth Bracers: 10 Int, 6 spirit, 6 stam, 12 spellpower, req level 55
    Cloth Gloves: 15 Int, 9 stam, 1% crit (no spellpower), req level 55
    Cloth Belt: 25 Int, 10 stam, 1% crit (no spellpower), req level 60. (Crafted item that required 10 mooncloth, and mooncloth was originally on a 4-day cooldown. So literally it would take a single tailor 40 days to create enough mats for one of these.)
    Cloth Legs: 6 Int, 37 spellpower, 1% spell hit, req level 60
    Cloth Boots: 16 Int, 19 spellpower, 1% spell hit, req level 60
    Rings: 10 Int, 6 mp5, req level 54 (non-unique, use x2)
    Trinkets: 2% crit on one, 29 spellpower on the other, req level 55
    Weapon: 14 Int, 11 Stam, 7 Spirit, 1% crit, 23 spellpower, req level 58

    --People couldn't judge a player's gear (the way they can now) because itemization was so wonky. If someone had a dungeon or tier set you could tell they were experienced, but it was much harder to tell from gear if someone was bad. Also, because itemization was so bizarre for many classes, if a player didn't know the intricacies of the player they were judging they would likely reach a wrong conclusion.

    --Nature resist gear for AQ40 and Princess Huhuran in particular was even more of a mess. Many BiS items were drops from Maraudon, which was a level 40 dungeon. Some came from the green dragon world bosses, but there was fierce competition to get those.

    --5/10/15 man dungeons dropped "dungeon tier" items, however there was no guarantee that they would drop items for a class actually in the party. So there was a pretty reasonable chance that a group could spend 75-180 minutes clearing a dungeon and then loot that could only be worn by a specific class that they didn't have would drop. (There were no tokens.) This also made PUGging a nightmare because people didn't want to join a group that already had people of their class because they really didn't want to have to roll against anyone should the items they need drop.

    --Weapons each had their own skill, and the cap was raised by 5 each time you leveled. So if you had leveled using 1H-swords and then got a 1H-mace, you would have to level that skill before you could do full damage. This wasn't terribly difficult but could be tedious. Getting that very last skill point took a long time due to the way the gains were calculated.

    --There was no reason to equip items from your armor level. For example, paladins could equip cloth with no penalty. This increased competition for several items as they would be BiS for 4-5 classes.

    --The stats were Strength/Agility/Intellect/Stamina, Spirit, armor, HP5, MP5, +damage spell, +healing spell, attack power, melee hit, spell hit, spell crit, melee crit, weapon skill, dodge, block, parry, and defense.

    --Dungeon and Molten Core / Blackwing Lair raid bosses did not drop tokens, they dropped the item directly. Because so few items dropped, normal RNG meant it could be over a year before everyone got a tier item. Even if the drops were perfectly uniform, with exactly a 40-man roster, it would take 20 weeks worth of kills to get everyone an item. Realistically it could be close to double that, although it's not like a guild couldn't progress if all 40 people didn't have their tier legs.

    --Tier bonuses for the first sets were at 3, 5, and 8 which meant that players lucky enough to get all their pieces had to choose between items with really lousy stats or their 8-piece bonus.

    --Certain tier bonuses were so good that they were BiS through the entire expansion. I think there was a priest or mage tier 2 one that gave a bunch of mana back and was never unequipped once acquired.

    --There were a few crafted and dropped item that had a chance to roll somewhat random stats (of the monkey, of the bear, of the boar, etc.). Of these the affix "of the tiger" was highly sought after as that affix was +strength and +agility, and back then there was more of a benefit to equipping the other primary stat (increased attack power or crit). These items weren't very common however, so the game wasn't a quest for the perfect roll a la Diablo.

    --PvP trinkets didn't clear everything, and different classes' trinkets dropped different things. For example, the warrior one might drop bleeds and snares but not stuns and fears.

    --DoTs and HoTs couldn't crit, severely limiting the usefulness of the stat for certain classes.

    --There were some items, especially weapons, with weird procs.

    --It was much less clear what items were for who, and with the general level of knowledge about DPS being much lower, it caused tons of drama over loot. Hunters were infamous for this as they needed agility weapons as stat sticks, and could equip almost anything, but got fierce competition from everyone else, particularly rogues and shamans.

    ----One such item was the Pristine Hide of the Beast. It was an extremely rare item (I think a 1% drop...possibly a little more, but no way was it higher than 10%) that could be used to make one of three powerful epics, and a holy war exists to this day as to whether it should be rolled for between skinners or the entire group. The boss that dropped it was in the middle of UBRS. Back then to skin a mob you had to have skill level equal to 5x the mob's level, and The Beast was 62, therefore 310 skinning skill was needed...and 300 was the max. So this specific dagger (that dropped from the same boss) was required for its +10 skinning skill. (Another dagger was later added to ZG as well.) Check out how mad people STILL are in this thread:

    The schools of thought both have good points, in that it was not a trivial task to have the dagger or 300 skinning skill, and therefore the skinners should roll on it between themselves, as it is a profession item.

    The other side is that the Beast cannot be soloed, the Pristine Hide itself was BoE, therefore the chance to get it should belong to everyone in the group.

    Different servers adopted one side or the other in their pug culture.

    And one of the other issues unique to this item was that the three things that could be crafted with it were cloth pants, leather caster helmet, or leather melee chest. So does that mean warriors get to roll on it? It's worth a fortune on the AH, and without the warrior tanking the group wouldn't have killed the boss. And what if someone had it already? And again to someone that just started playing recently these might not seem like big issues, but this item was maybe worth 1,000 gold when gold could be farmed at 50 gold/hour. People would get into enormous fights about this sort of thing, then start flaming the realm forums, talk to the other person's guild master, etc. etc. etc.

    Changes to Gold, Professions, and the Economy

    --Gold was valuable! Collecting and selling trash items was a significant source of revenue, and would generate enough to train a toon's abilities. There were no dailies, the amount of gold leaving the economy due to repair bills/training/mounts was much larger compared to how much gold was entering the economy from mob drops and quest rewards. This meant that farming gold for raiding repair bills was a significant chore.

    --Green items were worth much more than they are now. Weapons in particular; although the AH deposit was a significant portion of the possible sale price so players really wanted to make sure they sold.

    --No items gave multiple skill points for crafting them; it was only one point max. Because of gaps in patterns, etc., there were several sticking points for different professions. The last 10 points of cooking skill was an example, although it wasn't very important to have.

    --Black lotus was required for flasks and was on a strict shared zone cooldown of about an hour. Only five zones had them. The maximum number of black lotus that could be picked on a server in 24 hours was roughly 150.

    --Certain trade materials could only be crafted once every four days. And these materials were needed in bulk for all of the good crafted gear. (Mooncloth, Enchanted Leather, Arcanite, something Cured Hide)

    --Anything worthwhile was crafted from the once-every-four-days items like Mooncloth, enchanted leather, etc.

    --Professions had many more random items required to craft items, and the world had many more random items that dropped that would only be used for 1-2 patterns

    --Players had to have a certain skill level to gather any mineral/herb/skin

    --Mineral nodes had to be clicked multiple times

    --No multi-looting of mineral nodes or herbs

    --Patterns for items were hidden in every corner of the game on the most random vendors, drops, etc.

    --Cheating gold farmers could harvest items without being seen. I personally had more trouble with this in Wrath than vanilla though.

    --Max-level fishing required significant +fishing skill item available

    --There were two fish that could only be farmed seasonally, one in summer and one in winter. (Winter squid and something salmon.)

    --Gold could be farmed at roughly 50 gold per hour

    --The profession trainer for 150 enchanting was in the middle of the dungeon Uldaman

    --Flasks could only be created in two in the middle of a dungeon (Scholomance) and one in the middle of a raid (Blackwing Lair). However, the design back then was that flasks were a big but enormously expensive buff, not something players always used.

    --Flasks and elixirs weren't exclusive in any way, so some guilds required raiders to flask and elixirs. It was possible to have an elixir of the mongoose, an elixir of greater agility, an elixir of agility, and an elixir of minor agility all going at the same time. However there was no such thing as a flask that increased DPS for agility-users, so it was either a stamina flask or petrification flask.

    --In the beginning there was no key rings, but this was eventually changed in patch 1.11 as bag space was so limited and Strath, Scholo, and Gnomeregan all had keys and Blackrock Depths had like 3-4 keys as well.

    Changes in Dungeons and Their Design:
    --The design of the end-game dungeons was really epic; unfortunately it came at a huge cost to ease-of-use. Blackrock Spire is roughly six or seven floors and wound around and twisted back on itself in clever ways. However, clever meant "brilliant when a player understood it" and "immensely frustrating if they didn't". Its multi-level design made the minimap useless. But the feeling when crossing the bridge from The Beast to General Drakkisath, a player could get when looking down ~200 yards and see the mobs patrolling the floor of Lower Blackrock Spire was unforgettable. Because the dungeons were so huge they took two hours+ to complete (in decent pugs, guild runs of players that all knew them could do it much faster), and because it was really hard to summon in replacement players for people that AFK'd or disconnected, the time commitment could just go up from there. BRS in total had 17 bosses, although not all rares would spawn.

    --There were only eight max-level dungeons for the two years and three months that vanilla lasted. (UBRS, LBRS, Strat Live, Strat Dead, Scholo, DM East, North, and West) BRD was a level 58-59 dungeon that had a few end-game items (Ironfoe, Hand of Justice, Barman's Shanker) but didn't drop the tier 0 sets.

    --Running dungeons was a huge pain. There was no good way to find people who wanted to go, everyone had to walk there manually, and for most dungeons (even early ones like Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, and Blackfathom Deeps) the entrance was both difficult to find and not accessible to someone who arrived late; the whole group needed to clear to the entrance.

    --It was also for these reasons that certain dungeons were run far less than others (Razorfen Kraul and Razorfen Downs come to mind).

    --Meeting stones did not work like they do now. They only put you in a text queue for the dungeon. This means you either had a warlock summon people or everyone ran there themselves. (Again, under level 40 = no mounts.)

    --Because of this far fewer people were in dungeons, which meant more people were out questing. This caused the world to feel more lived in, especially on busy servers and peak times.

    --At level 60 the dungeons were even more difficult. Blackrock Depths, although my favorite dungeon, was the most complicated and labyrinth-ian dungeon the game ever had. And players also had to have a key that could only be acquired by talking to a ghost dwarf while the player was dead. Stratholme was the most difficult to pull of any dungeon. There were lots of rapidly-flying gargoyle patrols on long routes, and as stated above, mob health was so much higher that getting an extra group of mobs was certain death. Lower Blackrock Spire, if you took the full 15 people, wasn't too bad but just took forever. Getting the key for Upper Blackrock Spire was very time consuming. The final boss was fairly difficult especially without a druid or hunter to hibernate/trap the dragonkin. Scholomance was probably the easiest both to find and clear; a guild group could probably form, fly out there, and clear it in 75 minutes or so. For a PUG it could easily take double that. This also assumes that the single nightly Alterac Valley match didn't pop and that half the group left for it mid-dungeon.

    --Many dungeons were effectively alliance or horde only. Ragefire Chasm was in the bottom of Orgrimmar...not a good place for a level 10 Alliance toon. Stockades was in Stormwind, same thing for level 20 Horde toons. Deadmines was in Westfall and Wailing Caverns was in the Barrens, and both were roughly two zones of auto-run away from the opposing faction's nearest flight point. Scarlet Monastery, Razorfen Downs, and Razorfen Kraul were significantly easier to get to as Horde. Gnomeregan was much easier to get to as Alliance, although there was a portal for Horde to get there from Booty Bay.

    --For some reason, the Deadmines had level 13 mobs at the entrance, but Edwin Van Cleef was level 24. His level was later reduced, but the level variance in mobs was kind of ridiculous for several dungeons.
    Gnomeregan also comes to mind. Because players (still) have extremely high chances to miss or get resisted by mobs 5+ levels higher than them, the most realistic level for new players to complete the dungeon was about 21, at which point the entire first half of the dungeon was "gray" level to them. This was pretty poor game design as level 13 mobs at the entrance should have indicated the entirety of the dungeon was for level 13 players.

    --CC was way, way more important even though the game didn't have lucky charm icons yet. (There was an addon called CTRA that could provide it, but if a PUG didn't have it they couldn't see them.) Mages were good because polymorph worked well and could be re-applied in an emergency. Priests were also good because they had both Mind Control and Shackle Undead.

    --Dungeons did not have respawn checkpoints.
    ----And not only that, but the graveyards were almost always a half-zone away from the entrance.
    ------And not only that, back then player ghosts were never mounted.
    --------And not only that, the entrances to many dungeons were difficult to find.
    ----------And not only that, all non-boss mobs in every dungeon were on a 2-hour respawn timer.
    ------------And not only that, dungeons were 3-5x bigger, non-linear, and wipe recovery took 10+ minutes.
    --------------And not only that, druid healers didn't have resurrect so the death of even one player was bad.
    ----------------And not only that, mobs tended to respawn at the most inopportune times as players re-cleared.
    ------------------And not only that, people would rage quit or run out of time because of all of the above.
    --------------------And not only that, No LFD meant replacing bodies meant going back to town for trade chat.
    ----------------------And not only that, people didn't want to join in-progress groups.
    ------------------------And not only that, getting back required a transcontinental trek (or warlock)
    --------------------------And not only that, while this was all happening, more mobs were respawning
    ----------------------------Which started the cycle again

    Some examples of graveyard placement, and estimated run time back to the instance entrance
    Zul'Furrak: Gadgetzan
    --Time for experienced player: 2-3 minutes
    --Chance novice players would get lost: 15%
    One of the easiest ones, similar times for Stratholme, Stockade, and Scholomance

    Ragefire Chasm: The middle of Durotar
    --Time for experienced player: 5 minutes
    --Chance novice players would get lost: 90% that they'd run around in circles in The Cleft for a few minutes
    By modern standards this this graveyard was absurdly far away for players doing their first dungeon--especially since I don't think resurrection was trainable until higher levels.

    Deadmines: Sentinel Hill
    --Time for experienced player: 3-4 minutes
    --Chance novice players would get lost: 100%
    Lord knows how many Deadmines groups fell apart because people couldn't find their way back

    Uldum: The Badlands
    --Time for experienced player: 3-4 minutes
    --Chance novice players would get lost: 125%

    Maraudon: It was so far away I can't even remember where it was
    --Time for experienced player: 5-6 minutes
    --Chance novice players would get lost: 150%

    Molten Core, BWL, BRS, BRD--Thorium Point
    --Time for experienced player: 4-5 minutes
    --Chance novice players would get lost: N/A, this corpse run is what turned boys into men

    Changes to Raids and their Design:
    --Because there were no difficulty levels, Molten Core and Onyxia were normal, Blackwing Lair was heroic, Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ40) was mythic, and Naxxramas was US Top 50 Mythic. The two 20-man raids were Zul'Gurub and Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ20), and they were roughly heroic level. Casual guilds were stuck running MC, ZG, AQ20, and Onyxia for two years.

    --A 40-man raid team required a 50-60 man roster.

    --The only lockout system was the way Mythic raid lockouts work now. This meant that PUGging raids was much more difficult than it is now. Although it varied by server, finding qualified toons that were attuned to the dungeon, understood the mechanics, and weren't locked to their own guild's run was far more difficult, and there was no common social tool to do so.

    If a player got sat on a boss they wanted loot from they had to wait until next week. Having one difficulty mode to do per week did have an upside, but the fact lockouts couldn't be extended forced hardcore guilds to re-clear every week.

    --Raiding required attunement, which was a quest that had to be completed before players could even zone into the raid. Literally the green swirly portals to enter the raid were located at the bottom of a five-man dungeon. For Molten Core it was Blackrock Depths, and for Blackwing Lair it was (Upper) Blackrock Spire. However there were quests that allowed access from the outside.

    --Raiding Molten Core was like this:

    Naxxramas required at least honored reputation with the Argent Dawn which I can't imagine took any less than thirty hours to do. I think completing all Eastern and Western Plaguelands quests plus running Stratholme (dead side) or Scholomance a dozen times would probably have done it. Arguably thirty hours to get attuned was the NON-tedious part of running Naxxramas though.

    Attunement for Onyxia was also pure glorious misery. The Alliance and Horde quests to do it were different. The Horde quest was shorter (it only had 12 parts) but the 5-man run of Lower Blackrock Spire was quite difficult. The first time I did it on my priest it took over six hours (mostly due to pugs leaving and trash respawning, but still...) The Alliance quest chain had 17 parts and involved returning to Blackrock Depths at least three times. Pugs would always argue about what part of Blackrock Depths they were going to do because people were inevitably on different parts of the chain. A link to the quest chains is here:

    --Threat was a significant mechanic on many, many fights and Blessing of Salvation reduced a player's threat by a third.

    --The raid and dungeon forum was an endless torrent of tears and complaints about Horde shamans vs Alliance paladins; poison and disease cleansing totems and tremor totem made some fights much easier for the Horde, whereas fear ward and blessing of salvation (Reduced threat by 30%) made other fights much easier for the Alliance.

    --The first few raids didn’t have berserk timers. Players could fight the boss for 30+ minutes if they wanted if the healers didn’t run out of mana. This was why chugging mana potions every two minutes was so crucial.

    --Back then berserk and enrage were actually buffs mobs could get, but the usage was later changed so that berserk meant “You Lose”.

    --Once you started raiding, the following were de facto rules:
    Warriors had to tank at least some of the time, and if they were a main tank also had to be protection. This meant a ~75% reduction in their DPS, which made farming a huge chore. Back then the design was that tanks should only create threat, not do DPS.

    Warriors were the only viable tank for most fights because they were the only ones that could push crushing blows off the combat table, among other things (like having a taunt). If you want to see the math in ridiculous detail check Taladril's compilation of tank threat and damage taken

    All (edit: most) priests, druids, paladins, and shamans were holy or resto. My (rather bad) guild, and probably others, thought that because there were 8 classes and the raid size was 40, that the proper raid makeup was five of each class. We were mistaken as many do it now with 8-12 healers instead of 15, but back then the dissemination of info on how to raid wasn't the machine it is now. Remember...WoW launched in November 2004. The domain name "" was registered in February 2005.

    Decent gear for off-specs was also very spotty, because +healing and +damage were two different stats at the time.

    Mages had to spec for Evocate. Fire was useless on a few Molten Core bosses as the fire bosses were immune to fire damage.

    As a mitigating factor talents and spec weren't as important as they are now. Many abilities were baseline and it was completely possible for shadow priests, ret pallies, balance druids, etc. to heal or tank a dungeon without respeccing. (Especially if you overgeared/were slightly higher level for it). The fact that hybrids had so many heals though changed PvP, although I personally don't know much about that.

    --By virtue of the raid size the tank damage was much spikier than it is now. In some fights there was only one tank taking damage, but it needed to be enough damage to challenge the entire healing team of a 40-man raid. This, plus the long cast time of many (top-rank) spells of 3-4 seconds, meant that cancel-casting was common. Players would begin casts, but if other healers topped the tank up before the 3.5 second spell ended, the player would either hit the escape key or move slightly. Low overhealing was an important metric for a good healer back then as mana was for some fights the enrage timer.

    --Coming prepared was much more of a chore. Priests, paladins, mages, hunters, and warlocks needed to bring tons of candles/symbols/dust/arrows/shards to the raid, and it was much more difficult to grab more mid-raid if you forgot them. Gold for repairs was much more time-consuming to farm. You could drink a potion every two minutes back then, regardless of dropping combat, and the fights were balanced around the expectation that you were. Potions were much harder to come by, and you can burn through a lot of potions if you're drinking one every two minutes for a four-hour raid. Also bags were at most 16 slots, although 14-slotters were much more affordable.

    --Whenever someone turned in Onyxia's head for the quest, everyone in Stormwind / Orgrimmar got a buff that lasted an hour that was pretty powerful. Same for Hakkar's quest item from ZG and I think Nefarian's head from BWL. The buff could make a huge difference for a fight that a guild had almost beaten but was having trouble with the enrage. However, 60 minutes isn't that long when you have to get 40 people across the map, clear the trash, and start pulling. I also can't remember if the buffs lasted through death.

    --It was difficult to fit everything a player needed into their bags. There were only Five potions to a stack, and for several of the raids a player might need health pots, mana pots, nature-resist pots, shadow-resist pots, guardian elixirs, battle elixirs, flasks, etc. Any alternate gear, healthstones, Sharpening stones / Weapon oils, biscuits, etc. all took up space. And for warlocks (soul shards) or hunters (bullets / arrows) forget about it.

    --40-man raid bosses dropped THREE pieces of loot each. Even under the rosy assumption that the exact same 40 raiders showed up each week and cleared Molten Core completely, normal statistical variation could mean three to four months of raiding without getting a piece of loot. Competition for the weapon drops was particularly fierce because everyone knew it would reduce their farming time significantly.

    --DPS was not balanced as close as it is now. Here's a pic from a Curse Patchwerk vid, some classes are doing about half as much as others. Feel free to analyze that or post other screenshots, because I'm missing all the context (i.e. gear) of that kill. Some interactions between certain abilities were very overpowered, such as giving Power Infusion to Fire Mages or Windfury Weapon on weapons with a slow speed.

    --Killing Ragnaros (final boss of Molten Core) and several other bosses required tons of fire-resist gear, which was farmed from the trash mobs of Molten Core. It took many, many hours of effort to gear a main tank. If for some reason the main tank stopped playing it was a serious setback for a guild. Edit: There are some pretty major differences between how things went in vanilla and what people do now on private servers. Ragnaros originally went undefeated for over two months (I don't know how he was gated) but with current information players on private servers start crushing him within two weeks of launch. It's definitely possible that my guild wanting fire resist was sub-optimal, but that information wasn't as widely available at the time. For example, I thought having my dungeon set as a priest was pretty important, but was unaware that it's much better to have +spellpower items even if they're blues from level 40+ dungeons.

    --Successfully raiding meant having an in-depth knowledge of a number of abstract concepts that weren't explained in-game anywhere. These included threat, the five-second rule for spirit-based mana regeneration, crushing blows and using shield block to push them off the combat table, resistance calculations and breakpoints both offensive and defensive, and weapon skill.

    --Class stacking via rolling alts was not viable due to the time requirements to level a new toon.

    --Trash mobs all had different respawn timers, which were in cases as low as seventeen minutes. It was increased and standardized to two hours by either BC or Wrath, and nowadays trash doesn't respawn at all.

    --Trash mob aggro radius wasn't standardized and in many cases was much larger than today. Especially in a few places where they had been intentionally increased to prevent stealth runs, there were some mobs that could aggro from enormous distances.

    --The raids themselves, and the trash mobs in particular, were much more logistically difficult. The design for the raids was still based on an early 2000s notion that all raiders were basement-dwelling trolls with significant Ultima Online or Everquest experience. The core hounds in Molten Core took three or four minutes to kill and were on a seventeen minute respawn timer until Magmadar was killed. It also took practice to learn where they spawned. They also had a random ability, one option being a mass fear. So these hounds would cause all 40 players in the raid to run in a random direction for 2-3 seconds. In a zone with tons of trash that had a huge aggro was a mess! But in retrospect, so much fun!

    Also, skinning the core hounds was extremely valuable but could only be done if the one person whose loot it was randomly took the gray items off the body. One of my raid leaders nearly gave himself an aneurysm screaming, “Loot the hound!!!” Lots of the trash mobs were immune to taunt, and in practice the main tank losing threat meant a wipe. Doubly so because once the main tank stopped being hit he couldn't generate any rage to get the mob back.

    --The patrol routes for trash mobs looked like this: The entrance is in the top left corner, and notice that the red and white lines show patrol routes that go halfway through the entire dungeon, so mobs could be completely out of sight for a long time, only to come barreling into the raid in the middle of a trash pull. (And again, trash pulls were much more likely to cause a wipe back then.)

    --If the raid wiped you had to try to recover in place because of the extremely short respawn timers on the trash. Unfortunately, warlocks have always been the least-played class and it wasn't uncommon for a soulstone not to be up when you needed it. Warlocks also had to farm tons of soul shards before a raid because there was no way to recover them if you were say, wiping on a boss repeatedly. They also had to store them all in their bags. If you couldn't recover in place, all forty raiders had to run the entire length of Searing Gorge (for MC/BWL) just to get back to the entrance, and then probably five minutes through the dungeon itself. A wipe on trash could realistically take 10 minutes to recover from: a minute for everyone to completely die and reset the trash, another waiting for a safe time to pop, then the other 38 players had to individually have a 10-second resurrection spell cast on them, then 2 minutes of buffing everyone once they were alive. Because it took so long people would also go afk, but you couldn't just leave them because they would possibly aggro the rapidly-spawning patrols and wipe the raid.

    --Due to the above, it basically wasn't possible to go AFK for the beginning of a Molten Core run because the rapidly respawning trash would aggro anyone afk and then come for the rest of the raid. Due to core hounds massive aggro radius and rapid respawn, there was no safe place to stand and therefore all 40 people had to be at their keyboards until they reached Lucifron.

    --Having a balanced healing makeup in raids was crucial because only certain classes could dispel certain things and if a raid was lop-sided one boss might be trivial while another would be impossible.

    --The hunter ability “Tranquilizing Shot”, which was needed for the second boss of Molten Core, Magmadar, could only be learned from a drop off the first boss of Molten Core, Lucifron. Although hardcore guilds could go without, more casual guilds needed several of these to kill Magmadar the first time, which works out to a month of killing the first boss before bagging the second. (And don't forget, during that month you would earn 9 epics divided between 40 people.) Skipping Magmadar wasn't realistic because the third boss, Gehennas, was standing in the middle of the patrol routes of two core hounds that were on a seventeen-minute respawn timer until Magmadar was killed.

    --Because the difference in ilvl from one tier to another wasn't as great, farming of the old raids never really stopped. Especially because Thunderfury, one of two legendaries from Molten Core, was BiS for rogues all the way to the end of Naxx. This was one of several reasons hardcore guilds had lengthy raid schedules.

    --As a result of the raids being larger, sacrificing one player's DPS for a buff of some sort made more sense. For example, hunters could use rank 1 of their "Wing Clip" ability to rapidly apply the debuff from

    --Because of a multitude of factors, drama over loot was on a completely different level than it is now.
    ----Less supply (Fewer drops)
    ----Greater demand (More players)
    ----Higher Stakes (Better gear significantly reduced real-life time spent farming)
    ----Urgency when an item a player needed did drop (due to enormous RNG on bosses dropping tier sets due to the lack of tier tokens)

    ----It was harder to keep mental track of who in a 50+ person raid roster had received what items in the last month
    ----Due to the screwy itemization certain caster items could be BiS for 20+ people
    ----It was much less clear what items were for who, particularly weapons with their varying weapon speeds

    So most guilds ran a DKP system, it was just too hard to keep track of attendance and such without one.

    --4 Horsemen was one of the most complicated fights in vanilla and tuned incredibly tightly. It went unbeaten for weeks if not months, and there was a huge race to get it. But if you watch this video of a kill from a private server, you can see how laughably different the gameplay is as this warlock runs in, casts a few shadow bolts, and leaves to a safe spot where he can mana tap and then bandage himself.

    --Don't watch this video if you've never seen Ragnaros, but the gameplay is just so slow by modern standards. The guy is literally typing full sentences with correct punctuation in between his 2-second 20 energy returns. Also at the 3-min mark he vanishes and changes into his fire-resist gear.

    --The time commitment it took to complete AQ40 and Naxx were insane. A big part of this was that the lockouts couldn't be extended. But because previous tiers still had items people needed, they still had to be farmed each week. And as the requirements for consumable items kept going up the supply kept going down. I think guilds that cleared Naxx were looking at a minimum of a 16-hour raid week, which probably involved clearing at least half of Molten Core, one day full-clearing AQ40, one day farming Naxx, and then maybe 1-2 days of progression. (Naxx was at least separated into five wings, but AQ40 was not.)

    --Again, because there were no server transfers or boosts, not only were players limited to guilds on their servers, but guilds were also limited to players on their servers. For example, an AQ40 or Naxx guild on a low-population server looking for recruits might have had a potential applicant pool of zero.

    --I think one of the better examples of how wonky some of the gameplay was is listed in post 601, especially regarding paladins. Optimal raid makeup for Naxx (alliance side) was apparently:
    8 Warriors(2 full prot, 6 fury/prot)
    4 Paladins (Mixed specs to get all blessing but they all healed since throughput was not overly effected by spec)
    2 Hunters(To pull and use tranquilizing shot)
    2 Druids (resto)
    9 Rogues (spec? I think combat)
    9 Mages(all fire)
    2 Warlocks (for Curse of Elements and Curse of Ruin)
    4 holy/disc priests

    --Raid mechanics that were in classic but never came back:
    ----Class Calls (Nefarian)
    ----Honorable mention...mind controls. Technically still in the game, but not nearly as common.
    ----(requesting more info)

    --Raid mechanics that did not exist in classic:
    ----Anything that required pushing or pulling mobs. No abilities existed to do this until Death Grip in Wrath.
    ----(Requesting more info)

    PvP Changes
    --There were three (non-rated) battlegrounds. Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, Alterac Valley. No arenas.

    --Alterac Valley matches could take over twelve hours; there were no “reinforcements”. Warsong Gulch matches could also stalemate for long times as the flag carrier never received increased damage and I believe their location was never revealed on the map.

    --In the very beginning I believe there was no way to report AFK players. This was fixed rapidly as it caused big problems almost immediately, as players got honor and reputation just for being in the battleground when flags were captured / resources gathered / objectives destroyed.

    --Ironically there was no menu option to leave a battleground, the way it was accomplished was typing /afk.

    --There were no diminishing returns in PvP at launch. I believe this was changed mid-vanilla as you could just be chain polymorphed over and over. This also made warlock's Fear a very powerful CC.

    --In the very beginning you had to queue for Warsong Gulch in Ashenvale, Arathi Basin in Arathi Highlands, and Alterac Valley in Alterac Valley. Battlemasters were added to the capital cities mid-vanilla.

    --There were no cross-realm battlegrounds, so battlegrounds were against players from one server only. If that server couldn't hit the threshold to pop a battleground in that level bracket because of server imbalance, off-peak hours, low-pop server, etc. no battlegrounds would pop.

    --I recall that some engineering items were pretty OP in PvP

    --Getting globaled was completely possible, with Windfury Totem being a prime suspect (back then it made a toon instantly swing their weapon three times).

    --One personal note...summoning the elemental lords in Alterac Valley (Ivus the Forest Lord and Lokholar the Ice Lord) was amazing fun :-) Here's a super s***** video of it, but it's hard to find videos that are actually from vanilla (If there are reinforcements listed at the top, it's definitely not vanilla):

    --When zoning in to a battleground players were not automatically put into a group. This caused some problems for tagging the mobs in AV. For example, if two groups formed and the randoms couldn't work it out, then only half would get credit for Galvangar / Belindra. This may have been fixed mid-vanilla, post if you know.

    --Perhaps one of the biggest differences as a result of no cross-server battlegrounds is that not only did players know many of the people on their faction, but they also learned who their opponents were as well. For example, players who would log on to PvP most nights after work would almost certainly consistently run in to the same opponents night after night as well, so there was definitely a level of familiarity there that is mostly absent in the current game.

    --I have secondhand info that warlocks were kind of OP for PvP, possibly due to how few classes could remove their damage, plus the ways they could both mitigate damage and drain mana and health. Fear was also a very strong spell with no diminishing returns.

    --Due to a couple of factors, Hillsbrad Foothills wound up being this 24/7 world-zone battleground. The biggest factors were that Southshore and Tarren Mill were quite close and the graveyards were also quite close. Although memories of this will vary greatly by the player, the server they were on, and what time specifically in vanilla they participated (earlier = more activity), there were certainly examples of the zone being wartorn all of the time, like a 100v100 Alterac Valley that never ended. Generally a faction would get some steam, then they'd aggro the guards in the town and get pushed back a bit until the other faction aggroed their guards, etc. There were some really big fans of this, I know there were players that did this all night every night. Also remember that most (but not all) servers were more balanced than they are now. And the servers that weren't balanced were more like 66/33 instead of the 100/0 they are today.

    I'm looking for some more videos and screenshots, but I like this one: Also around the 2:20 mark in that video he opens up his map so you can see the positions of the raid.
    This video is similar but a little tamer than I remember:

    --There were dishonorable kills but I don't remember how they worked, so if someone can post about it I'd appreciate it, otherwise I'll look it up soon.

    The PvP rank system
    The PvP rank system was brutal, and at the highest levels, insane.

    If you're interested in the math check this thread I wrote:
    From my post

    But otherwise the summary of it was this:
    There were 14 ranks, 1 was the lowest, 14 the best. A player's rank was determined by two sets of points, a weekly system that fed in to a persistent one. In the persistent system, a player's rank decayed by 20% each week.

    The amount of weekly points players earned was graded on a brutal curve, with only the top 0.2% of players for the week (typically 0-4 people) earning the highest weekly reward. To progress from rank 13 to rank 14 a player had to earn the highest weekly reward for 4 weeks straight.

    So there was a combination of three things that made the process so difficult:
    --The max progress per week was capped
    --That amount was very close to the amount of decay
    --Only a tiny fraction of players could got the max progress per week

    Glossing over a bunch of the details, here's a rough idea of how much players had to play to get specific ranks:
    ...playing more than 25% of players every week for several months would only net players rank 3.
    ...playing more than 50% of players every week for several months would allow rank 5
    ...playing more than 75% of players every week for several months would allow rank 8
    ...playing more than 90% of players every week for several months would allow rank 9
    ...playing more than 99% of players every week for several months would allow rank 13
    ...and to go from rank 13->14 a player had to be in the top 0.2% of weekly players every week for 4 consecutive weeks.

    Decay was weekly and there was no pausing it; even a one week vacation could cause a month of setback.

    Because it was graded on a curve there were groups of players trying to get High Warlord / Grand Marshal on very many servers that got organized and limited their play, which got the time requirement down to 16 hours a day every day for a month. Without that it required more time.

    The system wasn't quite as broken at the lower levels, but it sure as hell wasn't easy, either, as you can see that a player that played more than 75% of other players week after week for months would still top out at the middle of the ranking system at rank 8.

    Other notes:
    The amount of contribution points earned from killing a player per day had diminishing returns, so killing a player more than 10 times in one day gave no additional honor. When battlegrounds went cross-realm in patch 1.12 it significantly affected how players would farm for the top ranks.

    There were dishonorable kills and the way they were calculated in was brutal IIRC so players would not do anything that would risk getting DKs.

    One other thing is that most game systems displayed a player's highest rank ever achieved, so if a player got Grand Marshal / High Warlord they got to display it forever.

    In 1.12 the number of players at the top bracket was increased from 0.2% to 0.3%.

    The rewards for getting rank were gear purchased from a PvP vendor for gold. The armor acquired at rank 13 was very good for most classes (I guess a little less so for casters), and rank 14 only additionally unlocked the PvP weapons. Apparently the weapons were cheat codes for fury warriors and rogues but much less impressive for other classes.

    Class-specific Changes:
    A very good list of what happened to specific classes during specific patches is here:

    Were the only viable tanks
    DPS warriors had to tank some of the time
    In Naxx-level gear became OP DPS (and one of the few specs that was viable without tier bonuses). (The problem with warriors being underpowered in low gear and overpowered in good gear was a problem for many expansions due to the way rage generation worked.)
    Protection spec was a huge reduction in DPS. Back then tanks did not contribute meaningful DPS.
    Had stances and many reasons to switch between them in PvP
    Had 30 min cooldowns: Shield Wall, Recklessness, and Retaliation
    Fury couldn't dual-wield 2H
    Prot warriors needed to press shield block every six seconds to prevent crushing blows and most just macroed it to every ability as it was off the GCD
    Did not have many abilities, notably Devastate, Heroic Throw, Bladestorm, or Colossus Smash
    Had to carry bullets or arrows if they wanted to shoot a mob at range
    In the bug section, see the section on how "block" used to work
    Taunt was considered a spell, and because items with spell hit weren't designed for warriors, taunts could fail (9%?) of the time just purely through RNG.
    Had class quests for the following: Quel'Serrar, Defensive Stance, Berserker Stance, Whirlwind Weapon, and some quest in Redridge that sends them to Frey Island.

    Holy was the only common raiding spec (edit: I guess this is better stated as saying that healing was the only role. One poster on page 31 says that paladins would be every spec because the blessings were in the talent trees and were very powerful. However, the holy talent tree didn't increase healing that much so apparently you'd have three or four pallys healers, but one of them would be specced retribution and one would be specced protection.)
    Ret is one of the most different specs from vanilla to now IMO. Retribution received overhauls in each of the first five expansions.
    Retribution had tons of skills...and most of them didn't do damage. They didn't even have have Crusader Strike.
    No spec had holy power
    The technology had not yet been developed for attack power to increase spell power, so a ret paladin's spells were extremely weak.
    Could not equip a ranged weapon, so the slot sat empty
    Would buff themselves with a seal and then what judgement did depended on the active seal
    Protection could tank dungeons, but did not have a taunt ability.
    If I read Taladril's compilation of tank damage right, in a 6 minute fight a Prot warrior would take ~90k damage, a fury warrior decked out in prot gear would take ~125k, and a prot paladin would take ~150k. i.e. Prot paladins took about 20% more damage than fury warriors, and 66% more than prot warriors.
    Protection could increase threat generation through +spellpower items, which were generally not tanking items.
    Hand of Salvation was extremely potent in raiding because threat was such an issue.
    Blessings were quite important for raiding. They originally lasted 5 minutes, but mid-vanilla they could be extended to 15 minutes if you spent a symbol of kings. They had to be cast on each class, so after every wipe they had to be cast 8 times.
    Had Divine Intervention and blessings
    Divine Shield lasted as long as a hearthstone cast
    Divine Shield locked the player out of all offensive actions
    Nothing could get through Divine Shield as Mass Dispel and Chaos Bolt didn't exist yet.
    Have a quest line for their epic mount and one for a hammer
    Here is a sample ret talent tree:
    Did not have many abilities, notably Beacon of Light, Crusader Strike, Avenger's Shield, or Hammer of the Righteous

    Used mana (and carried and drank mana pots, and I think wore one or two items of intellect gear)
    Had to feign death mid-fight and drink
    Were all named Légölâs (edit: special characters weren't allowed until later, it was xxLegolaasxx for a while)
    Had 2 stable slots
    Had a minimum range for ranged attack. It was larger than melee range, so there was a dead zone where hunters could not attack players in PvP, which everyone tried to exploit.
    (?) Was marksman the only viable spec?
    Had to feed their pets or they would run away permanently.
    Had to carry ammo. For a 3-hour raid, this was a significant burden given the small bag space available at the time.
    Quivers buffed their attack speed. (Quivers took a bag slot.)
    Bow sounds were louder and guns were Way louder. It was more realistic but could get annoying.
    Could not place traps while in combat.
    Got the Tome of Tranquilizing Shot ability from Lucifron in Molten Core. This was an important ability to dispel enrages on several bosses, including Magmadar, the second boss of MC. Hunters were the only class that could perform this task.
    Had a class quest for Rhok'delar / Lok'Delar that started from the ancient petrified leaf from Majordomo Executus (I believe this quest is one of the hardest the game ever had)
    Had a special bow from Majordomo Executus that required completing a very difficult quest
    Didn't initiate auto shoot by right clicking mobs
    Pet abilities had to be gathered by taming beasts that posses them. Taming a beast that knew bite rank 2, allowed the hunter to teach bite rank 2 to other pets eligible to learn it. Beast Lore told you what abilities pets had.
    Pets did not automatically go up to the hunter's level when tamed. If a player was 60 and tamed a rare pet or wanted a new animal type, the pet started at its original level and had to be leveled up separately.
    The Survival 31 point talent was "Lacerate" which did less damage than a Serpent Sting cast by a level 26 hunter. This was fixed in 1.7. It was arguably the most underpowered end-tree talent the game ever had, and an example of how unbalanced things were until each class had their tuning pass.
    Had Aspect of Nature which was an aura that gave everyone in the party 60 nature resist.
    Several of the abilities hunters had back then are still in, such as traps, aimed shot, multi-shot, volley, and arcane shot. Marksman hunters actually still have a similar feel to what they used to be. There was no camouflage or self-heal however.


    Resto was the only common raid spec.
    Could drop a fire, earth, air, and water totem.
    Tremor totem, poison-cleansing totem, and disease-cleansing totem were
    quite powerful in raids.
    Windfury Weapon was OP in PvP as it would proc 3 rapid swings of your weapon which did a lot of burst damage.
    Enhance was great for highlight videos but due to their very slow swing times were arguably one of the weaker classes in PvP
    Enhancement had talents for tanking and using a shield. Although off-spec tanking was viable for dungeons in vanilla for paladins and bears, shamans were...a group had to be pretty hard up before shaman tanking started to sound like a good idea
    Had to complete a quest chain for each of the four element totems
    Totems only affected players in your group of 5.
    Although enhancement shaman wasn't terribly common, Windfury totem and DPS warriors and rogues getting free swings with their huge slow weapons was fun.
    Had class quests for their totems and an epic helm in Scholomance
    Shamans had almost none of the abilities they now do. Chain lightning, chain heal, lightning shield, purge, and ghost wolf they did have.

    Had 3 specs: Feral was for both bear and cat.
    Resto was the only common raiding spec
    Resto did not have an out-of-combat rezz, which was problematic for healing 5-mans.
    Resto did have battle rez on a 30-minute cooldown, the only class that did.
    Only one rejuvenation from any druid could be on a friendly at a time, which made Healing Touch (Rank 4) the go-to spell
    Ferals could not push crushing blows off the combat table (only warriors could, so warriors were basically the only raid tanks)
    If I read Talandril's tank comparison spreadsheet right, in a 6-minute simulated fight a warrior would take 90k damage and a bear would take 180k.
    Balance had serious mana issues
    Stealth significantly reduced movement speed.
    Had class quests for their bear form and aquatic form and possibly travel form
    Could not equip a ranged weapon
    In feral forms, weapons did not contribute to DPS or increase attack power in any way.
    Were OP for running the flag in low-level Warsong Gulch.
    Did not have moonkin form until patch 1.8
    Had hibernate for beasts and dragonkin
    Doing good feral DPS required abusing the Wolfsheart Helm and Manual Crowd Pummeler
    Bear itemization was bizarre as they scaled extremely well with bonus armor. was BiS for their weapon slot for the entire expansion--basically it'd be like a world quest reward being better than anything from Antorus.
    (Request: what abilities did druids have / not have back then)

    Energy regenerated once every 2 seconds, 20 energy per tick
    Stealth significantly reduced movement speed
    Fadeleaf was required as a reagent for Vanish
    Many rogues were herbalists because of the above
    Blindweed was required as a reagent for Blind
    Combat swords was the intro raiding spec, and Combat daggers was eventually also viable. Subtlety was taken by 1-2 rogues because hemorrhage increased raid DPS. Back then there were specific talents for the different weapon types. (post 173)
    Basic builds:
    Had to carry tons of items for abilities to work, such as poisons, a reagent for Blind, thistle tea, a lockpicking set, etc.
    Had to level lockpicking as a separate skill
    According to some posters were OP DPS. They could equip Thunderfury which may have been part of that.
    Were needed for the suppression room in BWL
    There was no mutilate/envenom or Cloak of Shadows (Cloak came in BC)
    Had class quests at Ravenholdt Manor and orcs got to pickpocket Gamon
    Preferred daggers were a slow weapon-speed dagger in the main-hand and a super fast dagger in your off-hand (UBRS dropped Fel Striker, which was pre-raid BiS. It had a proc that caused your next 3 attacks to be guaranteed critical strikes.)
    Barman's Shanker was very good because of its slow weapon speed and how easily it could be acquired
    Sap would make you drop stealth...right in front of the mobs you were trying to sap. Improved sap gave a 90% chance of this not happening.
    There's a post on page 35-36 that has a bunch of details.

    Healing (i.e. holy) was by far the most common role. After the debuff slots were raised to 16 it was more common to bring one shadow priest for their buff to shadow damage.
    Disc bubbles interfered with rage generation, but Power Infusion was nuts on Fire Mage

    Had two abilities granted by race, of which Devouring Plague (undead) and Fear Ward (dwarf) were generally the most powerful.
    Human: Desperate Prayer, Feedback
    Dwarf: Chastise, Fear Ward
    Night Elf: Starshards, Elune's Grace

    Troll: Hex of Weakness, Shadowguard
    Undead: Touch of Weakness, Devouring Plague

    Could get Anathema/Benediction from Majordomo Executus, requiring completion of a very difficult questline.
    Shadow priests used very valuable debuff slots with Shadow Word: Pain, Vampiric Embrace, Mind Flay, and Shadow Weaving. (Because of this the DoTs were rarely used in raids.)
    After patch 1.7 when the debuff limit was raised to 16, it was common to bring exactly one shadow priest in a 40-man raid to maintain the Shadow Weaving debuff. They also had some good utility for heals.
    Mind Blast had a big +threat modifier
    Mind Flay had a 21-yard range
    Shadow priests only returned health, not mana
    Had class specific quests for the Anathema/Benediction weapon that started from Majordomo Executus' cache of the firelord / The Eye of Divinity
    Didn't have Mass Dispel
    Were popular for PvP because Fear was a very powerful spell and the Blackout talent gave all spells a 10% chance to stun for 2 seconds. It also didn't hurt that priests had lots of health, high armor due to Inner Fire, Power Word: Shield prevented warriors from generating rage, Shadow Word: Pain could only be removed by Priests and Paladins, they had significant damage reduction from talents, several abilities that returned health, Mind Flay slowed, many powerful buffs and debuffs were Magic, which they could both remove from enemies and allies, and they could also heal themselves.
    Shadow started off powerful in raids but scaled very poorly with gear due to DoTs being unable to crit and other factors


    --Were the only way to summon someone.
    --Did not have their closet yet, ritual of summoning was a spell. The warlock targeted the person they wanted to summon, then two additional people had to click (and not move) before the recipient would get the prompt.
    --Their raid rotation was shadow bolt spam, and possibly maintaining a few curses.
    --Had class-specific mounts after the end of a long quest chain.
    --Had class-specific quests to learn how to summon some of their pets (Doom Guard, Imp, Void Walker, maybe succubus) as well as for the Enchanted Gold Bloodrobe
    --(Post 174): All raid specs involved Ruin in the destruction tree and either Demonic Sacrifice or Shadow Mastery. The cookie-cutter raiding build used to be a hybrid affliction/destruction build.
    --Soulstones allowed a player to rez but couldn't be used after the player dies like they can now.
    --Soul shards were items that were stored in bags. Many abilities required them, but the only way to get them was to be casting drain soul on an enemy as it died. This meant for raid progression there was no way of getting them mid-raid, so it was important to farm them before raid. This had to be done on mobs that weren't gray to the player, so it was level 49+.
    --Banish was very useful on Garr in Molten Core, and was the only ability that could specifically control elementals.
    --Doomguards and infernals could be summoned I think out of combat, and summoning a doomguard randomly killed one of the players clicking the dais. Then enslave demon had to be cast on it once it appeared. There were quest chains to unlock both abilities.
    --I believe only one spec was viable, the 16-debuff limit was extremely punishing to warlocks. Some bosses were immune to fire and/or shadow.
    --Had some curse of doom ability that did no damage for one minute but then delivered a massive hit.
    --You could have multiple healthstones in your bag if the warlocks had different levels of the talent that buffed how much health they gave.
    --(Post 174): All raid specs involved Ruin in the destruction tree and either Demonic Sacrifice or Shadow Mastery. The cookie-cutter raiding build used to be a hybrid affliction/destruction build.
    --Warlocks were used as a ranged tank on the twins emperor in AQ. (Arguably one of the hardest encounters WoW ever had when you factor in the logistics + mechanics.)
    --Every rank of every pet ability was a separate grimoire that had to be purchased in SW or Org
    --Initially Death Coil had no CC aspect but just leeched health
    --Had the mana drain spell
    --Page 34 has a discussion of how annoying / not annoying soul shards are.

    --Was most affected by boss immunities, especially because Molten Core and Blackwing Lair were both fire-themed.
    --Conjuring food was useful, but there no feasts.
    --Would constantly be asked for both food in raids and portals when in town.
    --Could dispel curses (and back then actually needed to on a few fights)
    --The recipe for the highest level of conjured water was a drop, not trainable
    --Had class quests for a wand and their highest level of food (?) from Hydrospawn in Dire Maul
    --(Verification needed): Evocate worked off the Spirit stat, so mages wanted a spirit stave to swap to during evocate and then swap back out when it was over.
    --(Edit: This isn't quite right.) Spell damage on DoTs didn't update dynamically like it does now. So Ignite was a DoT that stacked to 5 that came from crits, but the damage it did was a percentage of the original spellcast. So it did more damage if the crits came from fireball instead of scorch. Whichever mage got the first crit got credit for the debuff, but other mages' crits would refresh it. This could cause problems for threat though because that original mage would keep getting tons of threat.
    --Had a number of their current spells, such as blink, arcane missiles, frost nova, blizzard, and arcane explosion. Frostfire bolt, mirror images, spellsteal, and invisibility were added later.

    All classes also had a Sunken Temple class quest.

    --Had to be incredibly careful to be behind the boss, because when a player attack was parried it reduced the time to the next bosses' auto-attack by 50%.
    This remained a problem through Burning Crusade, where I believe melee could pretty easily cause Archimonde to gib the tank by having their attacks parried.

    --Threat was an enormous issue for many classes, particularly rogues and warriors that could not drop it. There were also fights that required very precise threat. Patchwerk would Hateful Strike the players with the 2nd highest, 3rd highest, 4th highest, and 5th highest threat. If a rogue accidentally jumped up above any of the four off-tanks for even a moment, they'd get gibbed.

    --Base spell crit was +50% damage.
    --Dispels were spammable. They had a high mana cost, but they needed to be spammable when raid bosses would blanket apply a debuff to all 40 raid members.
    --Not all healers could dispel magic, which caused some problems in 5-mans. Generally dungeons didn't have things that required dispelling, as there was a pretty good chance a 5-man comp wouldn't be able to dispel it.
    Paladins: Poisons, Diseases, and Magic
    Shamans: Poisons and Diseases
    Druids: Curses and Poisons
    Priests: Magic and Diseases
    Mages: Curses

    --Refreshing DoTs / HoTs before a tick would cause the damage / healing to be lost.


    Note that most of these were very minor. + to a stat only gave +5% to the base amount (i.e. not stats from gear)

    Human: Stealth Detection, +Spirit, +Swords, +Reputation
    NE: Shadowmeld, +Dodge(?), Wisp Form, Nature resist
    Dwarf: Stoneform, Track Treasure Chests, +Guns, Frost resist
    Gnome: Escape Artist, +Int, +Engineering, Arcane resist

    Tauren: War Stomp, Herbalism, Nature resist, +Health
    Undead: Will of the Forsaken (breaks and immune to charm/fear/sleep), Cannibalization, Underwater Breathing, Shadow resist
    Orcs: Blood Fury, Hardiness (25% stun resist) +Axes, +Pet damage
    Trolls: Berserking, Regeneration, +Bows, Beast Slaying

    Quality of Life Changes

    --Meeting stones couldn't summon players

    --Quest objectives weren't shown on the map. Players had to read the quests...or ask in general chat.

    --Potions stacked to...five. A hardcore raider's bags might have looked like this:

    --Ironforge, Orgrimmar, and Gadgetzan were the only towns that had Auction Houses. (15% cut from the Gadgetzan AH I believe.) This caused some pretty serious lag issues near their locations as people's 2004 PCs had to load 200+ toons.

    --Getting the last skill point in a profession could require 10-15 attempts, and for blacksmiths in particular the only items that could be crafted at 299 skill took tons of materials.

    --Mounts took a bag slot

    --Servers frequently had login queues. For the highest pop servers there could be over a thousand players in the queue and it would take over an hour to log on. Most servers most of the time it was under three minutes, though.

    --There was no Traveler's Tundra Mammoth

    --There were repair bots but they were very expensive

    --Loot wasn't tradeable. Running master looter was much more common, and if they accidentally gave the item to the wrong person it required a GM to fix.

    --Items a player didn't loot were not mailed to them afterwards.

    --The quests for dungeons were spread out all over, sometimes in multiple zones, and were frequently the ends of long chains. OTOH, the blues they rewarded were some of the best items available for many levels.

    --Because there was no armory or achievements, there was no way to verify a person's experience on a boss or in a dungeon unless they had an item from it.

    --When you purchased a higher rank of a spell it didn't automatically go on your bars. I'm sure that there are people that played the entire three years without realizing that had failed to put the last rank of the spell on their UI.

    Bugs / Exploits / Unintended Behavior / Undesirable Behavior
    --Some specs were really wonky. Ret paladins had almost no buttons to press and basically just AFK'd while auto-attacking mobs to death. Shadow priests, on the other hand, could barely fit all their spells on their bars.

    --Many mobs were immune to certain spell schools which caused serious problems. (Mostly for mages because the first two raids were fire and fire/shadow themed. Shadow priests had some pretty serious trouble when they were forced to Smite shadow-immune bosses as well.

    --Pets didn't have a lot of the features they do now. If a player jumped down a ledge, like in UBRS for the Rend encounter, the pets would take the side route and aggro everything on the way, causing a wipe. They also didn't have the built-in AoE avoidance yet, so on some fights they would just die, gimping DPS.

    --"Block" was a mechanic that had balancing issues for years, I think even as far as Pandaria. Block removed a set amount of damage from each attack:
    ----This meant it didn't work well in raid content. As a hypothetical, imagine warriors in the first tier had 100 health and that raid bosses hit for 100, and block value was 10. In later raid tiers, warriors had 200 health, raid bosses hit for 200, and block value was 20. So it didn't scale well for raids.
    ----It didn't scale well for world mobs, either. Imagine the previous example, except most creatures in the world hit for 20 health. Prot warriors were basically invincible.
    ----It didn't scale well for PvP, thirdly. I think warriors caused rogues lots of problems because their dual-wielding rapid attacks would just get blocked. Although the bleed and poison damage would get through.

    --The way elemental resists were calculated was stupid, and even at the maximum resist of 315 vs a level 63 a player still had a chance to take full damage from an attack. This was later changed slightly in Wrath and then overhauled in Cata so that there were breakpoints above which players were guaranteed to resist at least a portion of the damage.

    --There were some pretty gimmicky raid mechanics and ways of dealing with them.
    ----One of the best examples was the mobs in UBRS that could be mind controlled for a fire resist buff. They were placed there intentionally, but it was still an enormous logistical hassle to break up the raid, MC one of these things so he could buff everyone, etc.
    ----There were a few bosses that couldn't cast their abilities if they ran out of mana, so it was the job of warlocks to mana drain and the job of priests to mana burn over and over again. Moam was one example in AQ20, and it may have helped a little on Jek'lik in ZG.
    ----The Razorgore fight required a totally different skill set than most any other fight in the game, as it involved using an object to mind control a dragonkin to destroy eggs for about five minutes, with a ton of adds spawning that were trying to kill the dragonkin. It was the first "vehicle" fight in the game, but without the vehicle UI (Wrath). It made the threat from healing very problematic. It was also possible to cast Divine Intervention on Razorgore, have the raid wipe and then rez via soulstone, which would bug the encounter causing the adds to no longer spawn.
    ----Vaelastrasz could be cheesed through the friendly debuff exploit. At launch characters could only have 8 debuffs on them at a time. Vael did a debuff to the tank that reduced their max health by 5% per tick, eventually killing them. However, priest's Mind Vision spell (which grants vision of the target) added a debuff to the friendly target, so once Vael put this ability on the tank a raid stacked with priests could all cast Mind Vision on the tank and push the debuff off.
    ----Viscidus in AQ40 was also super weird, as killing him was based off number of frost / physical hits done. It turned out there was a random level 40 quest wand that did frost damage and had a super fast attack speed that was OP for it, so a lot of players opened tickets to try and get GMs to return them the item.
    ----Chromaggus in BWL had a breath ability called Brood Affliction: Bronze that required an item (Hourglass Sand) from the trash mobs before him to remove. I believe it was pretty easy to run out of the sand given that raid size was 40, not much sand dropped, and multiple attempts per night could easily chew through it all. Chromaggus could also be tanked in a location that he could melee the main tank but not use his breaths on him.
    ----Several fights required tank swapping on a taunt-immune boss, like Vaelastrasz. Because mobs don't change targets in melee range unless the new target has 10% more threat than the old target (to prevent weird kiting), the tanks would have to stop at random times, because getting 10% more threat than a tank that's been hitting the boss for 200 seconds requires a 20+ second lead time. This is also an example of how bosses weren't as spammy but there were definitely some tactics that went into it.
    --Gluth in Naxxramas could be bugged up on to the sewer pipe so the kiting mechanics could be ignored.

    --It was pretty common to get loot-locked when gathering herbs, requiring a relog. The very first week of launch it was really bad, basically every single time.

    --Groups could be changed mid-fight

    --When the game shipped raid bosses didn't put everyone in combat on pull. This meant there were healers whose job it was to stand 80 yards back and rez people that died. Eventually a zone-wide pulse went out every two seconds, but it was still possible for engineer rogues to vanish and shock a player back to life mid-combat. Anything else that could be done out of combat, like switch gear, was also possible.

    --Dire Maul and other various dungeon exploits, primarily by rogues, classes with pets, and mages

    --There were some random items that were used in unintended ways. Super sticky glue was one. There was also an ax called Nightfall with a proc that made your next three attacks crit, so I believe the way it was used is that it was put in the off-hand, and then the biggest, slowest weapon a player could get their hands on would go in the main hand to abuse it. There was also some random green quest item that could increase your run speed, so people would equip it to run the flag in PvP. I think this trinket that gave a 2% chance to get an extra melee attack had some shenanigans associated with it as well

    --Anything that could dismount other players was super OP for PvP. I think Super Sticky glue might have done was a one-time quest that rewarded 10, and there was no other way to get it. I can't remember if it was soulbound, but if not, it was worth a fortune.

    --I believe many items interacted with abilities and PvP combat in weird and undesirable ways, I'd need some more input on this.

    --Weird stuff like this:

    --Various speed leveling exploits. Normally if there was a character of much higher level than the mobs in the group, XP gain was enormously reduced. However there were ways to have a high level tag all the mmobs in an instance, get them to very low health, zone out, and let a lowbie finish them off getting all the unadjusted experience.

    --Charges on items such as the Manual Crowd Pummeler (3 charges, Increases your attack speed by 50% for 30 seconds). My understanding is that there wasn't a shared cooldown, so druids would have multiple copies of this item in their bags and maintain the buff constantly. Originally I believe that swapping the weapon out didn't remove the debuff.

    --Wolfshead helm was needed by even level 60 druids

    --There were no level requirements on enchants, so people would put Crusader (+100 Strength proc) on whatever item their level 19 twink was using and 1-shot people.

    --The Reckoning Bomb. I don't know how exactly it worked, but it involved ret paladins charging up the ability Reckoning to unbelievable levels because it had no cap. I know the first time it was used the pally spent 3+ hours and broke several weapons just through durability hits, but then he bubbled, ran up to a world boss, and killed it in 4 massive, hilarious hits. The videos are super laggy but man did it make headlines It's become a meme since then, and for example one of the vehicles you use in the Icecrown quests involves hitting dragons and skeletons with "Reckoning Bombs".

    --Ultra-Flash Shadow Reflector worked on some boss abilities, including a green dragon ability that hit for 20% health every 3 secs.

    --The Ice Stone Has Melted

    --Glowing Hands by taking a step forward as you clicked a scroll:

    --It was possible to be both an Armorsmith and a Master Sword/Mace/Axesmith simultaneously (but not a Weaponsmith). If a player became a Weaponsmith, unlearned blacksmithing, then leveled it again and took Armorsmith, then the questgivers in Everlook would still offer the quests.

    --Various item duping hacks including one that involved jumping while looting, allowing a player to re-loot the item.

    --An exploit where shamans could log out at a precise time after placing their fire nova totem which would cause them to do damage to members of their own faction.

    --If a player had a full mailbox and bid on an item in AH, no one could outbid the player since it couldn't send the mail back and would error out.

    --Using the gnomish mind-control cap on High Overlord Saurfang

    --Warlock "invulnerability": Demo Sac VW for health regen. Enslave demon mob, soul link to enslaved mob. Cancel enslave and soul link buff remained active... Re-enslave mob, soul link to mob again.... Now you have 2 soul link buffs. Keep repeating for as many shards as you want... You exponentially took 1/2 the damage for each buff you had, and eventually your VW Sac would regenerate more damage than you could possibly take in combat.
    (Fixed in vanilla)

    --Rogue Sword Ambush. Used to be a macro way to ambush with a sword/mace/fist instead of a dagger. The way Ambush was designed to scale off weapon damage this ended up being an INSANE boost to ambush (like 3k+ ambushes before MC was even being cleared)
    (Fixed in Vanilla)

    -- Rogues could Expose Armor during sap. Applying Expose Armor was supposed to break sap, but with a stop attack macro and a rapid turn so the toon couldn't swing on the target it didn't. This allowed rogues to apply Expose Armor, re-stealth and re-open.

    --Mind Control caps vs opposing raids:
    During fights on world bosses, using a mind control cap on the opposing faction's main tank would reset the tank's threat.

    --Curse of Recklessness on low-level mobs. Warlocks had Curse of Recklessness that applied a few debuffs to a mob but also buffed its attack power. Using this on level 1-5 mobs would cause the mobs to one-shot low-level players.

    --Warlocks could summon players off of cliffs.

    --Mind controlling players to exit the battleground.

    --Hakkar in ZG bugging out if he tried to cast Mind Control on a pet

    --Frost Bolt Rank 1 still applied the movement debuff but had a greatly reduced cast time from the max-level versions, so mages could use it to perma-kite.

    --The way spells were queued up / clipping was different, but I'm not sure of the exact details.

    --Polymorph rank 1 could be used as an interrupt before the CC Diminishing Returns.

    --There were various talents that made it advantageous to get crit. The unexpected part is that any time your character was sitting, you would automatically get crit. So people would spam the sit button while fighting world mobs for talents such as the following:
    ------Redoubt: Increase your chance to block attacks with your shield by 30% after being the victim of a critical strike. Lasts 10 sec or 5 blocks.
    ------Reckoning - Gives you a 100% chance to gain an extra attack after being the victim of a critical strike.

    ------Blood Craze - Regenerates 3% of your total health over 6 sec after being the victim of a critical strike.
    ------Enrage - Gives you a 25% melee damage bonus for 12 sec up to a maximum of 12 swings after being the victim of a critical strike.

    ------Eye of the Storm - Gives you a 100% chance to gain the Focused Casting effect that lasts for 6 sec after being the victim of a melee or ranged critical strike. The Focused Casting effect prevents you from losing casting time when taking damage.

    Mechanics that weren't well-explained back then:
    To raid well there were all these mechanics that worked counter-intuitively or weren't well explained. Most I've gone over already, such as
    --Weapon Damage and Weapon Speed
    --How much better +damage and +healing was over +intellect
    --Resist Gear and how resists work
    --5-second rule for spirit
    --Downranking spells
    --Defense gear and being uncrittable
    --Crushing Blows
    --Crit capping (I think that was more of an issue for rogues in Icecrown Citadel though)
    --That dual-wielding greatly increased a player's chance to miss (17% or 24% I think)
    --The % to miss a mob varied greatly with mob level, and spiked from like 9% to 17% between 2 above and 3 above
    --Reputation gains for some factions, including Argent Dawn and Hydraxian Waterlords, gave reputation for trash up until honored at which point it switched to bosses (and scourgestones) only. This meant that hanging on to scourgestones until honored saved massive amounts of time.

    And one I haven't talked about yet, periodic spell resists. There were a few encounters with adds that were CC-able, such as Majordomo Executus and Instructor Razuvious. If the base spell resist for these mobs was 9%, what would happen is that every 10 or 15 seconds there would be a check to see if the mob would break out early. If a player had 9% spell hit, the mob would always remain CCed. But if they didn't, there was a chance that mobs would just break out of polymorph, mind control, or whatever else for no apparent reason. Getting 9% spell hit was an enormous pain due to the lack of itemization. Although it wasn't so bad in regular raiding guilds, there were other places where it was a big problem, such as a holy priest healing Stratholme or Scholomance. Gear with +spell hit rarely had other useful stats for a healer, so the healers had to choose between healing gear and having their CCs break randomly. Also, spell hit and regular hit were two different stats, and for warriors, taunt was a spell, so there was always just that 9% or 17% chance their taunt would just miss due to RNG.

    Other things to reminisce about:



    --That super adorable quest in Tanaris where you had to walk the old turtle all the way across the zone to his wife.

    --All of the elite non-instance zones that you had to get groups for, like Stromgarde in Arathi, Stonewatch Keep in Redridge, and the Ruins of Alterac in Alterac Mountains

    --World Bosses: Green dragons (Lethon/Taerar/Ysondre/Emeriss), Azuregos, Kazzak

    --Mounts were more reasonable-looking, and the only large mounts in the game were kodos. Anyone with Baron Rivendare's mount were super badass.

    --With no transmog everyone constantly had mis-matched gear. The tier 2 helms were extremely common, but their predominantly metal look really clashed with the wooden troll-themed Zul'Gurub items.

    --Stranglethorn Vale being a constant chatter with people trading pages and trying to find/kill Bangalash

    --The Ahn'Qiraj War Effort and banging the gong
    --Twin Emperors breaking guilds
    --The trash to C'Thun being the hardest boss in the game

    --4 Horsemen requiring warrior-poaching
    --Shadow resist potions / Scarlet Monastery Graveyard for Loatheb

    --Tier 1 shoulders looking so ridiculous (hunter = lampshades, paladin = bananas, druid = tree)
    --Everyone wearing a tier 2 helmet from Onyxia because they weren't that hard to get but they were impossible to replace.
    --Random legendary drops from MC that could make a big difference in progression

    --Leeroy Jenkins & the Rookery ... and the orc mobs that knocked you off the platform back down in to the Rookery
    --The dude who got Baron Geddon's debuff on his pet, dismissed it, and re-summoned it in the AH and killed everyone
    --Hakkar Blood Plague infecting everyone (which actually got very serious treatment from the CDC as a case study on how real-life infectious diseases are transmitted)

    --Flasks lasted two hours and required 100 million resources
    --Farming dreamfoil in endless circles, particularly Un'Goro Crater
    --Sharpening stones and mana oils

    --On-next-swing attacks and Carpal Tunnel

    --Wand spec
    --Threat reduction talents

    --Transcontinental questing

    --Using TeamSpeak or Ventrilo for everything, with the Zelda joined-server sound and the chimes when people left.

    --Screenshots were in .tga format

    --That rare mob in Arathi Highlands that dropped a stun trinket
    --Dungeon keys (Scholomance, UBRS, Zul'Furrak mallet, Shadowforge Key)
    --Tribute Runs
    --Crusader Orbs
    --Teebu's Blazing Longsword
    --ZG/AQ tokens
    --Egan's Spectral Blaster
    --Elemental fire/earth/air/water
    --ilvl wasn't displayed on items
    --Much more common to have bank alts
    --Clams didn't stack
    --Weapon chains

    --No level requirement for the Crusader enchant

    --Every 12-yo naming their character Séphïrõth

    --Spell penetration for PvP

    --Elitist Jerks

    --Blasted Lands buffs

    --Mail didn't open all at once

    --I think in the very very beginning there was no flight path from Stormwind to Ironforge

    --No dungeon completion bonus

    --What were the 16 debuffs that were preferred on the boss?
    1. Sunder Armor
    2. Thunderclap
    3. Improved Demoralizing Shout
    4. Hunter's Mark
    5. Thunderfury
    6. Alliance: Judgement of Wisdom
    7. Curse of Elements
    Hemorrhage?, Shadow priest +shadow damage?, Curse of Elements? Curse of Weakness/Tongues? The tank's deep wounds?

    --Librams and Shendra'lar rep

    --People not in the group weren't ported out

    --Forsaken buildings didn't have their current purple Frankenstein look

    --Some of the rarest and most coveted items were shirts, like the master builder's shirt from Fineous Darkvire and the sawbones shirt from Doctor Theolen Krastinov in Scholomance

    --That fishing boss in ZG that no one knew how to summon

    --Cultist event in silithus, summoning bosses of increasing difficulties--what a grind that was

    --"The Calling" raid quest in Silithus every guild did for the nature resist pants

    --The fire resist enchant "questline" in BRD that required a million mats.

    --Crazy rare patterns like Lionheart Helm and Thorium Shells

    --Duskwood did not have a flight point at raven hill.

    --Community moderators (in the forums I trolled) were Drysc (tree, now Bashiok), Tseric (titan), Eyonix (red whelp), Coreiel (Feathers), Caydiem (tauren?), Kalgan (lich), Tigole (drake), and Nethaera (Candle)

    I wrote this post mostly because I wanted to remember both the good and bad about vanilla. Blizzard has made many hundreds of quality-of-life changes to the game over the last thirteen years, but as they were added so gradually I think it might be a shock to suddenly have them all removed.

    Although it certainly wasn't required to continue progressing, a lot of people, myself included, wanted to get the complete T0, T1, and T2 sets. Unfortunately the RNG was ridiculous. Because the loot tables were overloaded with items for every class instead of tokens and there was only one weekly lockout with no alternative difficulty levels, it wasn't uncommon for needed items to not drop for months at a time.

    Here's the math, assuming MC bosses dropped two tier pieces and one non-tier piece...(I might be mistaken on this. One thing, though, is that what they drop on live is not necessarily what they used to drop, as it was changed because it was too profitable to gold farm in Wrath I believe.)

    For Tier 1, bracers and boots came from MC trash mobs and the other six pieces came from bosses in Molten Core. There were nine classes in game, but shamans and pallys were faction-specific and raid IDs would drop only the correct one. Raid size was 40, we'll assume 5 players of each class. Bosses could drop the same tier item twice, which is good for my elementary knowledge of stats because both rolls are independent. Therefore a player's chance to get any specific item the very first week a guild full-cleared was:
    1/8 * 1/5 = 1/40

    Fom a class leader's perspective that wanted everyone of their class to have their tier bonuses, the chances that at least one item would never drop were quite high.
    Chances a specific tier item would not drop week 1: 7/8 * 7/8 or (7/8) ^ 2 = ~75%
    Chances a specific tier item would not drop week 1 or 2: (7/8) ^ 4 = ~60%
    "" week 1, 2, or 3: ~45%
    "" week 1, 2, 3, or 4: ~40%
    By week 8: ~11%
    By week 12: 4.5%

    4.5% might not sound that low, so let me add context. The front page of wowprogress, which lists 20 guilds per page, would have a guild on it that had the entire instance on farm for three solid months but would not yet have gotten a specific item to drop ONCE.

    The modern odds of a class token not dropping for twelve weeks are (2/3)^24 = .005% Now there are more people competing for class tokens, but there's also bonus rolls and four different difficulty levels which massively smooth out the RNG.

    And that's the odds for a specific class picked in advance. The odds that all eight classes got an even distribution of loot were miniscule, and I'm going to try and do some spreadsheets and maybe even a computer program to show that as a raid leader, who wanted every class to all have their tier bonus, it was an inevitability that at least one class tier piece would have only dropped zero, one, or two times after months of farming.

    I wrote a computer program to simulate drops for Tier 2. If one lucky guy got the first drop of every piece, on average he/she would complete their set after 10 weeks. (in stats terms, between 18 and 19 trials). The 30th percentile was hit after 16 trials (9 weeks), the 95th percentile was hit after 38 trials (19 weeks), and the truly unlucky 99th percentile would hit it after 50 trials (6 months).

    And remember...that's if the entire guild is funneling the first drop of every item all to one raider.

    Update 11/17/17, I've now updated the program to give gear to five players sequentially. The expected number of weeks it takes to gear 5 players in every piece is 33. The 30th percentile is 29 weeks, and the 99th percentile is 55 weeks. Tomorrow I'll see what it takes to get every player just six pieces, which I'm sure will be much less.

    Things I personally liked:

    --Gold felt valuable. And because the numbers were so low, it was more realistic because it seemed like a number of gold pieces your character could actually carry. Getting a BoE blue was a payday. Getting a BoE epic was like winning the lottery.
    --Ragnaros was incredible, a lot of thought went into his artwork and the whole encounter / map design
    --The AQ40 gong-ringing was the most epic time ever. They never did anything like it since because it caused so many server crashes, however.
    --Finishing dungeons / raids felt more rewarding because it was so difficult to organize
    --The dungeons and raids felt so much more realistic and alive because they were designed more for the experience than for ease of player use. Although this caused places like Stratholme to be much harder than current dungeons because the mobs were so close together and had complicated patrol routes. The dungeons really had a lot of character, like ZG, AQ, Naxx...all really well-designed artistically.
    --Capital city raids were a lot of fun.
    --Summoning the elemental lord in Alterac Valley felt like having a god on your side, was a LOT of fun
    --Although the entire game was amazingly fun, Duskwood was a step above and beyond. The atmosphere, the sense of danger, the fact that it was a zone where you were starting to learn how to play the game but weren't good at it yet, the Stitches questline, I dunno, it was just amazing

    Things I personally disliked:

    --At max level there wasn't much to do if you weren't raiding. Once you farmed your dungeon set (which took tons and tons of hours) all you could pretty much do was PvP or run the same 5-6 dungeons for the 11 billionth time.
    --The amount of gear you had to shard because the loot tables were so overloaded was irritating
    --By the end of vanilla I swear about 75% of players were wearing the Tier 2 helm. Killing Onyxia was well in the range of casual players, but finding an upgrade to it meant being in a serious AQ40 raiding guild, which was very uncommon. I got so sick of seeing them by the time BC launched.
    --Gold spammers couldn't originally be reported
    --The way elemental resists worked was silly, as it was possible to have max resist but still get hit for the full amount of an attack

    Things I personally wish were still in live
    --That 1 in 10,000+ chance that a really, really valuable item might drop from a random trash mob. Made it way more fun to loot boars. Probably causes problems with botting though.

    --The need to CC mobs in dungeons. I personally wished they'd kept speed runs in Diablo and made Warcraft more about tactical decisions and CC, both long (polymorph) and short (stuns).

    --Loot being a little harder to get. I'd like to see titanforging capped at 30 ilvls and the mythic weekly reward capped at 5 ilvls less than all mythic bosses (with no chance to titanforge).

    The one easiest, simplest change that took like a decade to implement when it should have been in patch 1.2:
    --The ability to do "Exact Search"es on the Auction House

    The one change I always wanted but never got
    --A profession item for summoning portals.

    My personal predictions:
    Judging from the very polarized and adamant forums, it's clear that WoW Classic is not going to make everyone happy. I personally think Blizzard will cause massive damage to their brand if they re-release vanilla as is. The game was revolutionary and enormously fun at the time, but deeply flawed by modern standards.

    (I'm not a car guy, but let me try an analogy.) It'd be like Chevy re-releasing a Camaro from the 1960s. My dad would love everything about it...driving it, working on it, talking about it. I would love driving it for about three minutes, and then realize it doesn't have power-steering, anti-lock brakes, air bags, or any of a hundred other features that have existed my entire life. From my perspective, it'd be fun to try but it's demonstrably more dangerous to me and to polar bears.

    The other thing about WoW classic is that it's the players themselves that have changed. Even if you gathered up everyone on my original server, crammed us all in a time machine, and set it to 2004 it wouldn't be remotely the same. Everyone knows so much more about the game now that the experience couldn't be replicated even then.

    My hope is that Blizzard will communicate early and often about what Classic is going to be exactly, so the players in the Venn diagram that aren't going to be happy have fair warning.

    (old, my opinions before some of the announcements)
    After thinking about this a great deal over the last few days, it's my opinion that Blizzard won't be able to release anything close to resembling the original servers. Take, for example, the case of a player that joined in Cataclysm and decided to raid hardcore in Pandaria and after. Such a player, despite not being casual, would be correctly angry when they found out:
    --Certain specs weren't viable, had no gear, and were missing tools now considered standard
    --DPS between specs could vary enormously by modern standards
    --Certain things that required a GM to fix, such as loot being mis-assigned, quest mobs being bugged, etc.
    --They can't change servers if they can't find a suitable guild.

    So Blizzard is a company, and if they were to charge for the unmodified classic WoW service and get a complaint from the player above, they would basically have to tell the customer to love it or leave it, which is terrible customer service. So my opinion is that for customer service reasons they're going to at a minimum have to balance the specs, make loot tradeable, and server changes available. They'll also probably change the itemization and update some of the more glaring errors (kiting Kazzak to Stormwind, etc.) If they don't it will erode their brand loyalty in pretty significant ways.

    I think the only way we'll get the true and original WoW service is if they release the intellectual property rights and let volunteers / enthusiasts run their own servers. Because volunteers and enthusiasts can tell players "love it or leave it" without the same consequences as a publicly-traded company.

    Screenshots DPS from a Curse Patchwerk kill...don't forget the raid size was 40, so top damage done was 235k, position 19 was 135k. There were probably 5 tanks, 15 healers, 20 DPS. Captain Placeholder, from when the boat to Menethil was causing the servers to crash Carlrov turns 60 Lobster Brood celebrates Onyxia Umm...13 years in retrospect, this guy did NOT know I was a dude. (The corpse was floating in the air, it was a bug.) Male orc warlock in a white dress Video of a C'Thun server first...and gives you some idea of what being a hunter was like at 2:45.

    Things I've forgotten:

    --How much dreamfoil could be farmed in an hour? How many hours of farming did one hour of raiding require? Was it significantly harder to farm on servers that had lots of AQ40 and Naxx-capable raiding guilds?

    --Any specific quirks of classes would be helpful. For example, snapshotting, down-ranking healing spells, mashing shield block, etc.

    --I didn't raid hardcore back at the time, but is it safe to say Naxx guilds had a 16-hour-a-week raid schedule, and that every hour of raiding was roughly 1-2 hours of farming for prep? Note that the current requirements on private servers full of people that have been practicing Naxx for years and years are significantly different than they used to be when everything was new.

    --How unbalanced were the actual specs? Any screenshots of DPS meters from back in the day would be a hoot!

    --How did rolling ignites work?

    --Are disarm mechanics still in the game?

    --I believe Demoralizing Shout broke stealth, does it still do that?

    --Did ret pallies carry around a set of spellpower gear to heal themselves out of combat?

    --Did Patchwerk hateful strike players 2-5 on threat or the players with the 4 highest health totals near him?

    Things I personally am going to do in Classic:
    --Get Teebu's Blazing Longsword (the sword that is on the box art for the original game)
    --Kill Gothik the Harvester
    (OMG that guy's UI)

    My credentials:
    --I wrote this
    --To promote my guild in Wrath, I dubbed over 30 minutes of Return of the Jedi with Warcraft quotes. It got on the front page of briefly, but I'm not a very good video editor.
    --My phone corrects "ove" to "overhealing"
    --While trash talking my Minnesota friends about the weather on April 14th, 2018, I kept capitalizing the "B" in Blizzard

    Things to add:
    --Onyxia Scale Cloaks
    --List of buffs a person could have stacked including fishliver oil, moldar's moxie,,
    --Links to Leeroy video, geddon bomb, hakkar plague, moar dots
    --Explanation of reckoning bomb (done)
    --Zone flow / quests requiring transcontinental travel (mostly done)
    --An explanation of how the raid bosses themselves were so much easier but the logistics of a 40-man raid were so much harder
    --Links to ads for computers in 2004
    --A list of other games popular in 2004
    --Write up the attunement quests for onyxia
    --Green dragon organization
    --Periodic spell resists (mostly answered)
    --Hogger, who really deserves his own section
    --Explain what tagging mobs was, as players that joined during Legion wouldn't know how it used to work
    --Dishonorable kills
    --Tag to myself to look at this thread: about the things that were going to be in vanilla

    Also, I've put about 100 hours into this after the OP so some comments below won’t make sense.

    Discord Links for (US) Reunification Servers:
    Edit: Don't use these, I'm not maintaining them and other websites have done a much better job with this.
    PvE servers A-S:
    PvE servers S-Z and RP servers:

    PvP Servers A-H:
    PvP Servers I-Z:

    Pages: 50
    Words: 18,500 (About half as long as The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe)
    Last edited by garicasha; 2019-08-24 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
    You're so negative.

    I can't WAIT to spend hours and hours running up and down Darkshore trying to find near invisible quest items.
    I miss the days spamming chat for literally hours, trying to find groups for Sunken Temple, and then when you all get there somebody pulls out so you have to fly back to the cities again to start the whole process again.

    Jokes aside... why would you want to play a game that's built around progression if your progress will always be capped?
    BASIC CAMPFIRE for WARCHIEF UK Prime Minister!

  3. #3
    Yah I didn't really mean to be so negative, but now that I'm an adult I don't have the time to run in circles around Un'Goro anymore.

    It was so much fun back in the day. Summoning Ragnaros for the first time is something I still clearly remember 13 or whatever years @#%^$%& epic!

  4. #4
    Immortal jackofwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Victoria, BC
    So don't play it.

    If you hate all that shit, just don't play it.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    Because fuck you, that's why.

  5. #5
    Pandaren Monk bryroo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by rogueMatthias View Post
    You're so negative.

    I can't WAIT to spend hours and hours running up and down Darkshore trying to find near invisible quest items.
    I miss the days spamming chat for literally hours, trying to find groups for Sunken Temple, and then when you all get there somebody pulls out so you have to fly back to the cities again to start the whole process again.

    Jokes aside... why would you want to play a game that's built around progression if your progress will always be capped?
    Hipster cred.

  6. #6
    Legendary! Wikiy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Virgo Supercluster, Local Group, Milky Way, Orion Arm, Solar System, Earth, European Union, Croatia
    It's amazing how much nostalgia can do. It can even make Blizzard create proper Vanilla servers. Gonna be fun to see people realize one month in how fucking dreadful it is (which doesn't mean it was dreadful back then, it was fucking revolutionary).

  7. #7
    It's really simple, you don't want to play it but there is a sizeable portion of ex and current players that do... deal with it.

  8. #8
    I feel we need "Classic" schools as well in real life.

    Life was awesome back then, I could just do finger painting all day and Maths was super easy and you didn't have to worry about work and family and relationships.

    If we could have classic schools back Life would be just the same as it was before
    BASIC CAMPFIRE for WARCHIEF UK Prime Minister!

  9. #9
    Yep, for all people talk about how 'great' vanilla was, the truth of the matter is that at max level you had raiding, farming stuff to raid, and if you weren't one of the lucky people with T2 or T3 gear you had getting 3 shot in BG's

  10. #10
    Blizzard stated their goal is to have a core of players that will stay in it, and believe me there will be a core of players that will keep playing it. It is a long road to 9/9 Tier 3.

  11. #11
    More or less we all remember what vanilla was like, the difference is that now we have more knowledge of our class , back then playing was like we were swimming in the middle of the night in a swamp with legs tied up.

  12. #12
    Damn OP is more salty than Kripparian
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonus View Post
    Anyway stop being such an ass fucktard.
    Quote Originally Posted by oblivium666 View Post
    Would you kindly go fuck yourself?

  13. #13
    Herald of the Titans TheWorkingTitle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    In reality, Classic was superior in almost every way to current WoW (if you prefer depth, nuance, way more RPG elements, actual choice, superior character customization, etc.)
    You think you don't, but you do

  14. #14
    Many of those vanilla lovers will get their faces smashed to the wall when they realize how bad of a game vanilla was

  15. #15
    Didn't they basically say though they want to re-create the classic experience and NOT copy-paste it?

    It means that this remaster may have some improvements over Vanilla

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by rogueMatthias View Post
    I miss the days spamming chat for literally hours, trying to find groups for Sunken Temple
    find a guild. solved. thats what vanilla was.. old school social MMO. If you try to play it with current mindset, good luck. And it s fine if it is not for everyone. I never had problem to find group for dungeons, my problem was how to politely avoid them when I didnt want to do dungeons.
    The trick of selling a FFA-PvP MMO is creating the illusion among gankers that they are respectable fighters while protecting them from respectable fights, as their less skilled half would be massacred and quit instead of “HTFU” as they claim.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by garicasha View Post
    In conclusion, LFR isn't so bad.
    Nope, I'll still take Vanilla thanks. Even with all those "downsides" it was still a fun and amazing experience, not something that can be said for LFR.

  18. #18
    So? Not like it will have tough competition judging by this soulless piece of shit called "Battle for Azeroth".

  19. #19
    Vanilla was amazing at its time of release.

    Trying to re-release a 10 year old game with MANY flaws, bugs and weird tuning is a mistake. I hope they dont pool too much money and effort into this because this will be a minority playing.

    Im not saying Legion is perfect either but I played the game since beta and trust me, the majority of you that hear stories of how great the game was will be in for a big surprise.

  20. #20
    I am Murloc! Logwyn's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Are classes going to be able to do the tank, heal, dps that they can know in 5 mans or raids? If not why make anything other than a warrrior to tank, priest/druid to heal, and hunter/rogue/mage/lock for dps. No DH, DK, Monks? And just the base vanilla races? No alliance shaman? No Horde pallies?

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