Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nostalgia: Best Left in the Past?

Recently, Wilhelm at The Ancient Gaming Noob started playing on a Vanilla WoW private server. He seemed to be really enjoying himself.

For me, I would rather leave Vanilla WoW as a fond memory. The quality of living in WoW has gotten so much better over the years that it is ridiculous.

Vanilla WoW was great back then because we were all new to it. It was a huge new world to explore, and we were all making our way through at our own pace.

Vanilla WoW was far from perfect. I even stopped playing it for a couple of months as I became frustrated with some of the issues I was having. Granted, I was a noob, but thing could be quite difficult and unforgiving.

Here are some of my issues with Vanilla WoW that have since been addressed.

1) My Warrior sucked. Perhaps I was just bad, but I seemingly had to eat after every single mob I killed. If I accidentally aggroed more that one mob, I was more than likely going to die. I had no AOE. I am pretty sure I could Heroic strike....and that was about it. I also went through a lot of potions.

2) Mounts were fucking expensive: Not only did you not get your first mount until level 40, it was also very expensive. I seem to remember the level 40 mount costing around 100g and the level 60 epic riding costing around 600g. That may not seem like much these days, but that is a metric shit ton of gold in Vanilla terms. I think that the most gold I ever had during Vanilla was around 300. I was perpetually broke.

3) Quests sucked to find: These days, you can see quests on the map and mini map, there is a quest helper to quickly guide you along, and there are nice little bread crumbs to send you on to the next area. Back then, there was none of that. You did not know where quests were the first time through. You did not know what hub to go to next. You did not even know what zone to go to next. It made for a lot of exploring, which was cool at the time. I think I would find it to be annoying now.

4) You had to run to instances: There was no group finder function. I think that there was a time where you had no summoning stone either. You had to run your ass to whatever instance, and that caused a lot of content (especially on Kalimdor) to go unused.

5) Ground Mounts Only and no free flight points: You could not fly. There were no flying mounts until BC. You also had to discover all of the flight points. They did not unlock as you leveled. That is a recent developement, but it has been a very welcome one. It saves on time.

5) Leveling was slow....fucking slow: It took forever to level back in Vanilla. I had a friend with 5 level 60s and I dont know how the hell he did it. It took me 16 days /played to get to level 60. These days it will take half of that or less to get to level 90. There were no heirlooms.

To me, the game has gotten so much better than Vanilla WoW. I loved my time in Vanilla, but I could never even imagine wanting to go back to it. Broken classes and poor questing were just a couple of the issues that would drive people crazy these days. Back then, Paladins were so bad that people did not want them in the raid group except to be a buff bot. Paladin buffs lasted 5 minutes and you had to put each one on individually. Paladin seals lasted under a minute if I remember correctly.

I would never want to go back.


Anonymous said...

I like that a lot of what you put down as negatives I... well, I didn't call them out as good things, but I mentioned them as part of the environment of six years ago.

But part of this is me. I am a strong believer in knowing the history of something to understand why things are the way they are now. Nothing is in a vacuum, detached from outside influence.

And, of course, as I have said the past, our regular group has fond memories of WoW, but Cataclysm made things so easy for us that we stopped playing because it got dull just beating everything on the first go.

Such is life.

I am not at all advocating a return to the days before running water, but sometimes I find it interesting to explore how that impacts somebody's day to day existence.

*vlad* said...

Yep, there were no sparklies to show you where quest items were back then, you just had to stumble upon them.

I remember getting to Silithus at level 59 and thinking it was the worst zone ever - horribly powerful elite mobs that didn't drop anything, and quests that required you to kill hundreds of said mobs.

Herc said...

I did Heroic SM this weekend and when I pulled the mobs in the open courtyard and then used LOS to pull them back one of the party member's commented "Ah the lost Art of Pull", it then proceeded to us talking about WOW vanilla and BC. Heck we even talked about 10-15 manning scholomace and stratlehome back in the day.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I miss about vanilla is the leveling. You categorize it as slow, but keep in mind that there were 60 levels as opposed to the 5 that recent expansions have given us.

I really liked the slower leveling. It made each level a mini-achievement. I remember that each of us would say "Ding!" in guild chat at each new level. Also, each level brought new spells and abilities and new zones to explore.

In today's game, leveling is seen as just a speed bump on the way to the level cap. I think that's a shame.

Hollers said...

I started playing WoW a few months after launch, I remember getting to level 10 and it being a huge achievement,in fact I think I kinda felt proud of it. I remember getting to level 20, spending my Gold on training for my warlock's pet then not having the 87 silver to fly somewhere, stating it in trade and a level 60 gave me a gold, and that was the most I had really had at that time. I remember doing my warlock mount quest at 60, farming for hours in the plaguelands to get enough gold to pay for my mount as the quest got more expensive, and getting the mount and being one of a limited amount of people to actually have epic riding on my server.

Do I miss the challenges that WoW had in Vanilla? Hell yeah, it felt like something was being earned. Would I go back to it now? No, simply because I did it all. I did my time with getting mounts at 40 and 60 respectively, I did my time taking forever to get to max level. It gets to a point where you want change because it is about evolution of the game, and I like the changes, despite it being more "lazy".

Forreststump said...

"The quality of living in WoW has gotten so much better over the years that it is RIDICULOUS." (emphasis mine)

You nailed it.

Even without heirlooms, the leveling speed and overall difficulty has swung so far to the other side of the scale that it is dizzying.

When was the last time you died to anything outside of instanced content? Me? I can't remember to be completely honest.

My Annual Pass will be expiring on the 21st -- and I don't think I'll even notice.