Looking back on things you miss

Yo, time for an old fart moment.

What makes an old fart moment? When you spend too much time reminiscing about the past, and not enough planning for the future, that’s what!

Tooling around on my Warrior for a few moments last night, negotiating the long ass Horde trip from Hillsbrad to Badlands to grab flight points, Cassie pointed out that at level 27, I was SO going to get my ass eaten in Badlands.

I sniggered, for truly, I can ride through the valley of the Badlands without fear, for I am the baddest mofo in the valley. 

Once actually IN Badlands, however, “Holy crap, that’s a lot of leopards! And WTF are rock giants doing running that damn FAST?!? They’re made of rock!”

While riding my little wolfie hell bent for leather, it made me wish, truly wish that I had a “Sprint while Mounted” button.

It made me think, just for a moment about how things have changed in the game.

Once upon a time, the Carrot on a Stick was one of the rites of passage for a player. You knew you were growing up when you got yourself that Carrot on a Stick to increase your mounted speed just the tiniest bit.

It was a silly little speed boost, but we as players took that shit seriously. We even used item changing addons programmed to swap the Carrot trinket in and out automatically when mounting.

Carrots is serious business.

It seemed, in true old fart splendor, like a golden time in the game, a time of innocence whose like we shall ne’er see again.

Over time, of course, the game changed. Blizzard’s programmers noticed the incredible surge of demand for the Carrot on a Stick, all out of proportion to it’s actual effect. Perhaps out of a desire to give players more of a good thing, they added items like the Riding Crop, and talent changes and assorted other goodies to give us more options on the ‘mounted speed increase’ buffet.

Even later, perhaps realizing that the whole thing had gotten a bit out of hand, they simply nerfed all such items for max level players. You want a speed increase, then earn a better mount, or play a class with increased mounted speed in the Talent Tree, and shut the hell up.

It’s a sad, tawdry sort of tale of good intentions gone awry.

Please excuse my style of prose, today. I’m reading Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals, and it’s doing things to my brain. Oh, and don’t blame the book, blame my poor, lagging brain chemistry. It ain’t up to snuff for the good stuff.

Where the heck was I going with all this? Hold on, time to change the chemistry with the addition of coffee.


The point is, back in the day we had no idea where things would someday go. All we knew was, there was a cool trinket called the Carrot on a Stick, at a time when there just weren’t trinkets much in the first place, and once you got it, you could go faster.

Faaster than the average bear, dare I say? Hey hey, Boo-Boo!

Barring having truly obscene amounts of gold to buy an epic mount at 60, a goal that seemed as distant as the furthest reaches of space, the Carrot was among the best items we were going to ever see.

And knowing there WAS such a trinket gave us hope that there might be other changes to mounted speed coming some day, as well.

If we could have a Carrot on a Stick to increase top speed, why not a trinket that would make the mount move hella faster for a short time, even if it were on a long cooldown? There were abilities like Sprint and Dash, and even Charge in the game, so why not an oh shit “Hut hut hut” ability when mounted?

“Pop quiz, hotshot. There you are, getting chased by all the coyotes in Badlands, and they’re right on your butt… they’re getting closer, getting closer, and all it’ll take is one back attack to daze and dismount you, and you’re coyote kibble. What do you do? What DO you do?”

Why, you simply grab your stick and start whacking your mount, screaming “Hut hut hut!” frantically.

Admittedly, that works best if you’re Yosemite Sam, and don’t really love your mount. Poor wolfie!

Better that than seeing the alimentary canal of a coyote the hard way, all I’m saying.

Oh, and if you’re eating lunch when you read that and get the image… you’re welcome!

Somewhere along the way, I think we’ve lost some of the magic to be found in the simpler things. The charm of the mental image of a Carrot on a Stick. Heck, even the feeling that, at level 40, you were really making a lot of progress in the game. When 60 was the cap, 40 wasn’t that bad. You were getting somewhere. You were getting into the home stretch and fighting your way past some of the harder parts of the leveling curve.

No sense holding out our hands, though, and begging the tsunami of change to stop, is there?

Instead, let’s move past being old farts and look to the future.

Is there something in the original game, something from the very beginning that really grabbed you, something that you found charming and loved? Something that you think has lost some of it’s magic over the years of expansions?

What is it?

And now think for a second… what was it that really charmed you… is there anything that could be done to bring back some of that magic? Either by changing the thing itself so it grows with the rest of the game, or by bringing it back in an end game version?


“When I say whoah, I mean WHOAH!” *whack!*

48 thoughts on “Looking back on things you miss

  1. For Me, I think it was and always will be the hunter epic quest and weapons. I have both the bow and staff, and they haven’t left my bank in months. I would either like to see an updated version of the quest, a way to upgrade the item considering what it took to get it, or something along those lines. It was a point of pride to carry that bow around, knowing how much work had gone into getting it, only to toss it into the bank never to be seen again. I miss my flowery bow…


  2. @Keats

    YUS! A kindred spirit! I read BBB’s question and straightaway into my head popped, ‘I miss the dancing ogres in Dire Maul.’

    Then, ‘I miss Scholomance’.

    Then, ‘I miss the old, complex instances, from Wailing Caverns to Blackrock Depths’ – and there was a time I never thought I’d miss BRD…

    …and then I started writing here. XD


  3. Feral Druid 😛

    Memorable moments:

    1) Doing the Seal Form quest, running from Menethil harbour all the way to IF, train to SW and run out to sea..swim…and trying not to die, WHILE you were at level 16.
    2) Activating all 4 candles in the room before the Hydra in BFD, thereby letting ALL the mobs out…heh heh
    3) Getting lost in Razor Fern Downs thinking it was Razor Fern Kruul with 4 other druids at about level 32 for about 6 hours and finally beating the damn boss.
    4) Tanking Ramparts as a Mookin. (go figure) 😛
    5) Being ally and coming to 1000 needles lift for the first time, and seeing PvP enabled guards… cat stealth ftw.
    6) Druid class quest for blue chest piece. Stab dino and run like mad quest in Ungoro crater.
    7) Doing Price for the first time in Kara and every man and his dog was huddled up at the door.
    8) First entry into the dark portal, thinking how the heck am I suppose to get out of the staging area, not knowing there’s a flight point to Honour hold.
    9) Fel Reaver surprise butt jump in hellfire.
    9) Kara attunement quest, solo for the steamvault one I think 😛
    10) Epic flight form quest chain.
    11) Zombie invasion pre LK.

    and finally

    12) reading all the old school druid blogs like BBB, Resto4life, Thinktank etc 😛

    ah..memories 🙂


  4. On my druid, getting to level 67 and looking forward to Flight Form, now that was exciting. Except you needed riding skill to use it and I didnt have any, I had TRAVEL form and thats how I leveled in Outland, running from place to place in travel form. So at level 67 just before 68 and flight form I had to go back to TB then to Bloodhoof and get the riding skills…lol… who needs a mount when youre a Druid!


  5. There are way too many things for me to list if I were to list them on.

    Quick refs:

    Phantom Blade. That thing was just cool, but I never understood the whole target cannot stealth afterwards. I always thought what a pointless thing. When coupled with Dazzling shortsword, felt kinda funny.

    LFG Channel. Oh it was like the bickering of trade chat where ever you went. I remember having a harder time getting into a group when the LFG interface came out then with LFG channel. Also it allowed Trade Channel to be mostly for trade.

    Ride along pets. My first character was a hunter and I loved to see people ride by with their pets along side them. I thought it was fun to try and have a matching pet to my mount like King Bangalesh with Striped frost saber. Though it did always present a certain difficulty when dismounting to grab that mining vein and dealing with what ever aggro your pet had generated.

    Zul Farrack: Wow that brings back memories. My first time doing the dungeon was also the first time tanking on my feral druid. I was still noobi to dungeons since I pretty much soloed on my hunter and very rarely got into dungeons. Hunters were pretty worthless back in those days and no one wanted one mostly because we were huntards, which was true and sadly still is. Anyways back to my story. Well I was a feral druid which I pretty much just did cat dps. At the time I thought that was the point to be feral was cat dps, then some one says “Your feral right?” again whispering me through LFG interface. I was like “Yeah” and then they were like “You wanna tank”. I didn’t even know bears could tank but I thought sure why not, no one wants me in their group as a cat. So I enter ZF and am like, hey cool we can mount, then I turn into a bear something I hadnt touched since like lvl 20, so I had to update my tool bars. Also remember I was new to dungeons in general and didnt understand what tanking meant. So pretty much every pull went array and mobs ran every where I would just finish what I was fighting growl at the next and so on and so fourth. To my amazement we were actually pulling off the dungeon. We made our way through and got to the end. Well I assumed getting to the top of the pyramid and freeing the captives was the end. Seemed like a nice ending to me, we did kill the executioner after all. So I turned my happy bear ass around and went to run down the temple thingy, remember couldnt just teleport out, And low and behold there is a freaking mob at the bottom. Tons of them I was so frightened because here were these people who had entrusted me to protect the and now I an supposed to hold off a freaking Mob!!!!!!!!!!! The entire encounter became nothing less of sheer chaos as we went on to fight our way through wave after wave. BTW i think they dropped the number of waves. About half way through I am like hey I think we are gonna do this. Then people started dropping I had no clue what aggro control meant so damage everywhere, I assume healers fingers were bleeding from keeping us alive, so what else could I do??? Well I did what any self respecting druid would do, I used tranquility. The group heals got everyone back up and gave the group a second wind that allowed us to get to the bottom. Even though it wasn’t the end of the dungeon surviving that fight truly made me feel epic.

    Finally I would have to agree the whole lvl 40 thing.

    Back in the old days you did really feel like you were getting some where when you hit 40. Us hunters could finally wear mail, which was big I mean we had been wearing leather for a long long time. Back when leveling was slow you had to put in some serious work to make it to 40. The mount was a bit of prestige that went with the new armor. I remember being such a noob in my scarlet mon mail items not realizing the fact that they were not intended for a ranged character. I also remember being so proud of my Icemail Jerkin and Stonerenders Gauntlets along with many other blue items.

    I am not fond with the commonness of epics in today’s day in age. In the good old days blues were respected and epics were revered now epics arn’t really epic since they seem to be on every character. On the same note I miss Legendary weapons and wish they would revamp the old ones. That would be sweet. Oh well i am done thanks for lettting me vent BBB.


  6. I miss the complex cave systems they used to make, like the one in the middle of Felwood and the one in northern Stranglethorn Vale – the ones where you could go in alone, but it was an actual challenge to negotiate your way through the masses of mobs, you never knew what would await you around the next corner, and you had to actually make a mental map in your head so you wouldn’t get lost on the way back…

    For me, those little mini-instances are the best part of the game, the ones that make me feel like i’m actually playing a FANTASY RPG, where you actually need a sense of direction, and where you can strategise your next step and move at your own pace instead of just following the tank blindly. WoW, in all the other aspects of it just tends to feel like an endless xp and gearhunt.

    I also like the old world instances better then the new ones, for very similar reasons. If you think about Dire Maul for instance, if you knew your way around the place you could provide additional value to the group, whereas now your whole contribution is easily reduced to a single friggin number and being able to push buttons in the right sequence. Neither gearscore nor spell rotation have any RPG feel to them, and WoW as a whole seems to have too much of an obsession with numbers and too little focus on fantasy elements, or the joy of exploration.

    Also, if you think about Kara, or Scarlet Monastery, or the Stockades, they all kinda made sense as a structure in their own right, you could say, yes, this is a castle, this is a monastery and this is a prison whereas the new instances just are 3-5 boss halls and a bunch of corridors to connect them… Again, they just don’t have that fantasy RPG vibe. I also miss the time requirement, the sheer size, the mini-puzzles and the complex trash pulls of the pre-Wrath 5 mans… Remember, no matter how ‘easy’ you make raiding, a good 80% of the playerbase will never set foot in any of them, so maybe it would be a good idea to bring the epic feel back to the 5 mans…

    I also liked the look of the gear in vanilla way better, b/c you could actually tell that yes this is made from cloth, and this is a chainmail, and this is how the steel peaces on the pants connect together to provide optimal protection while enabling you to move freely. I mean no self respecting clothier or blacksmith would ever be willing to make you any of the monstrosities that you wear in Wrath (especially true for the endgame gear sets). There is nothing epic or cool at all about gear that looks like the costumes of a friggin Lady Gaga concert made solely from massive amounts of styrofoam-filled plastic or compression molded rubber.

    Sorry for the long rant, this all might just be my own scewed perspective from being a guy who actually reads fantasy books and works with visuals all day as a job.


  7. I would have to say the warlock quest trinket that summoned a Vid Walker WITH OUT a Soul Shard. That thing was epic. Out of shards? Need to summon your Felguard? Your Felhunter? Succubus? Pop the trinket, tell the void walker to “SIT!” walk 60 yards away and “SHING” a shard has appeared in you bag as the Void Walker despawned.
    Was it go game breaking? Sure in the up coming expansion it will all be moo. but in it’s day that trinket was the bomb for us fel magic lovers.


  8. I could write a long comment waxing philosophical about old times and the changes Blizz has made, but for now (because I’m at work and shouldn’t really, you know, be reading blogs), I’ll just say, nice Speed reference!


  9. The point is, back in the day we had no idea where things would someday go. All we knew was, there was a cool trinket called the Carrot on a Stick, at a time when there just weren’t trinkets much in the first place, and once you got it, you could go faster.

    The fact that it was a TRINKET was the draw for me. I had these 2 empty slots and no way to fill them! Surely something had to go in them. But what? The only other trinket I knew of at the time was the Cold Basilisk Eye, but it was a 1% drop and way too expensive on the auction house (I imagine “too expensive” meant 5 gold back then). Enter the Carrot on the Stick! It was one of those things you just had to get and when I finally did I equipped it proudly. I still have it to this day.


  10. @geekor – you know, that Fel Reaver can be crafty and silent when he wants to be.

    I only started playing at the end o TBC, so my experiences are colored by that, but what I enjoyed when leveling my first toon to really hit “higher” levels (we’re talking the 30s here, people!) was planning out all the gear I was aiming for along the way while leveling. Those blue swords from the big quests in RFD and SM were big upgrades for a budding combat rogue, and lasted well into the 40s, and lining up the quests for them (30 skeletons in that canyon in Des and *then* head to Southshore? Really??) as well as actually hot-footing it to the instances themselves, hopefully with an understanding guildy ringer in tow, felt epic. And you don’t get that when you’ve got heirloom weapons equipped, or your shoulders and chest xp bonuses make the period you would use them so insubstantial that it’s not even worth spending the time to get the quests in the first place. I think that’s a shame, because those weapons *were* supposed to be special, and the work that the developers put into them shows it. To this day, I think Foe Reaver from Ramps is still the most badass-looking pole arm, if not weapon, in the game, and there are more leveling pieces out there like it that rival the endgame Wrath artwork.


  11. I do wonder at these people who are all “wah wah everyone can get Tier 10 now, what’s the point”.

    Well sure, you can buy a full 4-piece Tier 10 just from using LFD every day and doing the weekly raid. That’s (95 + 95 + 60 + 60) at the cheapest, or 310 frosties. At 19 per week it’d take 16 weeks, or about 4 months, to get the 4-piece.

    And besides, the simple fact is that having Tier gear just isn’t the e-peen enhancer it once was. Stuff like having the Starcaller or Kingslayer titles, or ilevel 277 gear, or a giant flying robot head, or hell, just being able to do 10k DPS single target, that’s what matters to people these days. Fancy shoulders are so 2008.


  12. I missed out on a lot of the Vanilla stuff, since I started playing *just* before BC came out. But I still have the screenshot of my shammy wearing MAIL armor and finally having a MOUNT at level 40!! 😀 I was ridiculously excited about that. Now I catch myself almost feeling entitled to a mount; when 20 rolls around on a new alt, I tend to get this “About time! I’ve been so freakin’ inconvenienced!” feeling. I’m ashamed of myself for that, really.

    But I try to make up for everything I missed by going back and doing it now. I did my pally mount quest instead of training it; I collected the Postmaster’s Set from Stratholme (and threw the Piccolo in for good measure – one of my guildies starts cussing everytime I use it around her xD). My guild is going back and doing all the old world & BC raids/dungeons – some come just for the achievement, but most of us really just want to see what it’s like in there. I’m thinking soon we’re gonna start doing the old AQ Scepter quest chain 🙂 maybe go after some World Dragons while we still can.

    Sure, we’re all 80’s (or nearly so), so that does kind of make it easy mode. I wish I *had* done these things when I was level-appropriate for them. But we enjoy seeing these places and having these experiences, and it’s fun, which is really what the game should be about 🙂


  13. I had the best time lvling up my main warrior pre-wotlk. met a nice lady at lvl 21 and kept lvling with her all day untill we both hit 70 and parted. it took about 3 weeks, she was a holy paladin, me a prot warry, me on vacation, her seriously sick but capable of playing… good times exploring and following the lady who was experienced with wow already and saved me lots of time. and i saved her lots of times lol. and yes i remember the carrot. there were some more items so you could get up to 15% extra riding speed in total.. add the paladin riding buff and ur alread pretty damn fast which i absolutely loved (in all games i play.. faster is always win).


  14. I agree with what TJ said above. When I first started this game, I was really a gaming nub. Before WoW, I played The Sims and games on my NES. That’s it. My most current gaming console is still my NES and I love it. I’m pretty freaking amazing at Mario Bros. Anyway… on track…

    I met a priest when I was leveling in Tirisfal who essentially gave me a crash course in How Not to be a Nub. He taught me that there are zones outside of Tirisfal, that RFC is called an instance or dungeon and you go there with people and this is what a mage (that was my first char) does in a group, etc. So there I was questing in the Barrens and I found the quest for Echeyakee. I thought it was the coolest quest ever. I was REALLY good at that quest. I could clear the area, spawn Echeyakee with his horn, go to work on him, then without fail a nearby lion would come join the party but I was a mage! So I could sheep it! I found people levelling in the area asking for help with the quest and boy was I on that. I helped people with that quest god like 20 times in a couple days? I LOVED the quest. I loved helping the other people levelling up. I loved feeling like I was really good at one–albeit minor–thing.

    Now I feel lame if I have to ask a guildie to come help me with the group quests in Dragonblight because everybody has their DKs or Demo Locks out there soloing it.


  15. I remember getting the carrot on a stick on my first toon and I didn’t even know what it was. I just responded to a random LF 1 DPS for ZF in general chat one day and as we’re making our way through the instance when someone who was on the last leg of the quest shared it with the group. I didn’t have any idea about where to turn the quest in so after we finished the instance I had to follow the guys that did the quest back to the flats to turn the quest in.

    The class mount quests were some of the best as well. Getting to take part in that fight in Dire Maul and getting your dreadsteed was almost worth the two or three weeks I spent begging people to get a DM group together. I even got to help another warlock with the event a couple of weeks after they changed it so that you didn’t need the quest anymore, but he wanted to do it the right way. That was one of the best parts of that quest, holding onto the mats so you could help future locks get that mount.


  16. Sukugaru is right… for me it was leveling to 40.

    A friend and I were going for it and he managed to get to 40 before me and proceeded to ride around me as i headed back to Stormwind (this is before I found the light of the Horde)… there was no Thottbot Alakazam etc, well I didnt read them and my friend was going on about this epic quest I had to do to get my mount which was free…woot! He was going on that i had to visit 4 monastaries across all the continents… I was looking forward to it. Get to my trainer and bwling! I had a mount – I was a bit disappointed by that, but I rushed outside to get on my mount and I couldnt figure it out, I couldnt figure out how and what to click to get on it, I had to ask my mate. Eventually got it and woohoot!

    Another thing was my trinket that I got from doing blacksmithing (I think) something that gave you a hammer…

    My Swift Flight Charm that got shafted with some patch in BC… and yes I did have addons for equipping my SFC, my carrot and that leather thing from BC which I cant remember 😦

    Doing things new also helps and if that means when Im bored sneaking into Stormwind and causing havoc for a while… YEAHHAAAA


  17. OMG @Sukugaru

    I love you, I’m tired of the lack of knowledge also… WoW is creating lazy players… I can tolerate newbs (inexpereienced players) but I cannot tolerate noobs (players that have no idea what they’re doing regardless of the help available)


  18. I miss actual progression with 39 friends, instead of yelling at 9-24 random others that I hate and are only using them as bodies to help clear content…

    I also miss when wearing “tier” gear meant something. Spending 3-4 hours learning a boss which assured the guild the RIGHT.. no the PRIVILEGE to say they cleared content and EARNING the tier gear. Instead of free hand outs from emblems that you can collect in 5 mans…

    Also, attunements were amazing things. Even just the simple MC/BWL ones where you can take 5 minutes to run in and run out. They went a little over hte top in TBC with attunements, but I felt very good about earning everything, even though it took me over a year to reach MH/BT content towards the end when they released SWP. Kara was genuinely fun, and having to do Mag and Gruul was a good check point stating “ya, I’m ready for SSC/TK”. I believe that if they implemented a “You must beat raid X and Y to move on to Z and complete Z to move on to A” it would be a good deal… easy to implement with achievements. The only reason I say this is because I’m tired of people boasting “Oh I can do 9k dps, and it’s only Maly” than facepalm my nose into the back of my skull when i watch them stand in Maly’s lightening ball….


  19. The most memorable moment was everything around when I first went into a new zone.

    I was running my first character – a cute little pinkhaired gnome rogue – from Dun Morogh to this strange new place called Loch Modan. On the way, I went past a couple of frontier stations, and helped a pilot learn what had happened to his friend, and then get vengeance for said friend, and it was all very sad. That diversion done with, I continued on my lengthy trek, ran through some *long* corridors, always going down, down, and further downwards… when I burst, blinking, amazed, into a completely new zone. There was no snow, the music was different, and my map had changed to this new zone and was completely empty.

    “I’ll have to explore and fill out that map!” I thought.

    I ran on, finding new people, and new mobs that were (gulp!) higher level than me again. I stayed well clear, looking for the nearest town. When I got there, there was a quest that introduced me to the flight point system.

    The flight from Thelsamar back to Ironforge was awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping. So much so, that on my return flight to Thelsamar, I had to call my brother over to gawk at the flight back, though we both a bit surprised by just how abruptly the snow gave way.

    Moving on… Not quite a memorable moment, but one thing I very much miss is something you touched on – what it used to mean when you got to level 40, back in vanilla WoW.

    You were Getting Somewhere. You could finally get a mount, though you might not have the 100G you needed to get the riding skill and the mount. You had all your main abilities (excepting anything you might need from talents), and over the next 20 levels you would only get upgrades to existing abilities or variations on existing abilities (Paladins’ Greater Blessings, for example). By this point you knew if you were going to enjoy playing the class, because it wasn’t going to change very much anymore. You knew where all the level 40 zones were, and I used to look forward to running Zul’Farrak. For some reason I really enjoyed, and still like, Zul’Farrak.

    Level 40 also marked the point where you really had to start travelling a lot, because, of course, you now had a mount, and quests started getting spread out all over the place.

    Nowadays Level 40 is not so much the “Wow, you’re getting somewhere!” point, but the “You’re only halfway, oh and by the way you’re not getting anything new for another 20 levels and you have to travel a lot, hope you’re enjoying the class.” point. And because of LFD, people might not even know where anything is. I had someone not know where Freewind Post was, for example.

    “You’re a Horde player and you DON’T KNOW where Freewind Post in 1000 Needles is?!?”

    “Where’s 1000 Needles?”

    “ARGH! South of the Barrens! All you have to do is OPEN YOUR MAP!”


  20. I used to play only hunters. To this day one of my favourite things is to level a hunter to 10 and then bring it somewhere terribly inconvenient to get a pet. My first true main, my troll hunter who got to 60, was taken to Dun Morogh by some guildies so I could tame Bjarn the white bear. I think that’s the reason why I still do it, even though I can’t count the number of hunters I’ve played to ten and then just stopped. Alliance toons run to get Echo Isles tigers or (more recently) the blood elf starting area for a lynx, and hordie toons run to Darnassus for an owl, haha. That’s one milestone that hasn’t lost its oomph–it’s still hard to move through the world at level 10!

    I do sort-of-but-not-really miss the effort it used to take to level a pet. You had to drag it up by inches if you were much higher level than it, and every so often you needed to stable it and then go tame some random animal to learn the next rank of claw or bite or whatever. And then each species had different attack speeds, and run speeds, once up on a time. I was actually super pleased when they normalized that and then added the talent trees, but I wistfully recall being the expert in my circle about which beasts were best, knowing all those attack speecs and species differences.

    I DEFINITELY miss my pet running alongside my mount 😦 but since I play mainly druid now, I just get to BE the animal instead, haha.

    I think they will be bringing back the main thing that veterans will enjoy, though–everything old is new again. I have read about some people being sad about this or that area getting destroyed or altered, but I am so excited… it will be refreshed!


  21. My favorite sparkle moment is getting in my very first group at 60 to run Hellfire Ramps in BC. I started playing in BC and had never done an instance before. Knowing that I was helping the group out by limiting how much damage the tank and everyone else would take (as well as beating on the mobs with their own buddy) was cool. I would also MC the healer and heal our own groups with the mobs abilities and just giggle nonstop. I cry a little inside now with the AoE fests that require little to no skill other than the tank and healer.


  22. Let me caveat this post by saying that I didn’t start playing until BC had already been released (no idea at what point raid progression was at though). That being said, my first actual character I enjoyed playing was my little warrior. My most memorable moment was when I received the Whirlwind Axe and while it was a “good” weapon, I loved it because it just looked super freaking awesome. To enhance it’s sheer awesomeness, I spent almost the rest of my money (first char, flat out broke) on getting a piddly little +7 weapon damage enchant (or w/e it was) that gave it some kind of sparkle, nothing flashy like crusader/mongoose, etc. But that axe was my favorite thing for quite sometime and I don’t quite remember having the same exhilaration from getting any other items (including my T6, at the time).

    This was a fun exercise though. 🙂


  23. What I miss more than anything in the leveling game are the group quests. I know that most of the really cool people I got to meet as I was leveling came from group quests. Spam /1 for a bit, looking for a group, (which usually didn’t take to long) get together, do whatever it was you needed doing.

    Seemed to me that most of those groups would have someone who had a group quest in another zone, so it was off you’d go to help them out, since they’d helped you out, and you could stay with the same group for an hour sometimes, having a ball, getting things done.

    As opposed to Lich King, where even the quests that were supposed to be group quests were generally soloable. (Thinking Last Rites and Harold Lane). With the dungeons being the AoE speeds runs they are now…I miss getting to meet people.


  24. The unknown. Started a little before BC and was blissfully ignorant. The wife, my brother, and I explored, did quests, and went to new areas to follow quest chains. No questhelper, no thottbot, no idea. Just exploring. Of course that sometimes led to trouble. (What are you 2 lvl 30’s doing in the Blasted Lands? Um – we got lost??) Being ignorant of the talent trees was laughable at first. We didn’t realize you could scroll down and place points there, so we had all the points allocated across all 3 specs at the top. No idea that there was an end talent. Laughed for days as my level 30 warrior brother finally realized that he should have been training for 24 levels.

    Getting 100 gold for a mount seemed monumental but learning to make gold off the AH with deviant fish fixed that. But best of all, was gathering all the mats for my first blacksmithing blue item. I felt so accomplished.


  25. I remember those little things from Vanilla WoW like the Carrot and getting my first epic, the weak ass Lifestone! One of the things I miss most is the unknown factor, it is nice having addons that tell you what drops off each boss even loot lists before the content is even released, but there is something to be said for killing something and having something drop that you didn’t even know existed. For example when I was leveling my Warrior I was working up Blacksmithing and Mining (very painful) and as I’m wandering through the Badlands looking for ore I kill some random mob and get the pattern for the Steel Weapon Chain! At the time I didn’t even know it existed and was one of if not the first on my server to get it. This was a time when damn near every mob disarmed so it was a HUGE deal. I remember sitting in IF using /trade to sell them coming up with unique and funny pitches to get people interested.
    In the long run though I very much prefer where the game is now as opposed to where is was back then.


  26. When I first started playing (BC) it was fairly frustrating. I was a hunter with a cat pet.
    I got to Ashenvale and there is a quest where four Furlogs are grouped up and they bested me every time.
    I was poor.
    I didn’t understand the game at all.
    I ran down the road in Ashenvale and suddenly these Horde guys came over and kicked my ass, Splintertree Post.

    I thought about giving up this stupid game.

    Finally, I went and did some searching online. I read some (I know now) some old Vanilla posts on how to make gold and began doing that with some success (grinding mats).

    Then I came across a blog by Big Red Kitty. It was great. I read that blog every day and read and read past postings. I learned to use my cat as a tank, I learned some basic macros, I learned which gear to strive for, I learned how my talents worked.

    I became a disciple. I’d stop in Stonetalon if I saw a hunter without the Hunter’s Mark. I’d spend an hour on the side of the road teaching how to use your pet and (believe it or not) setting up the four basic macros using the chat mode …. typing this stuff as fast as I could so to keep them engaged.

    BRK recommended BBB and I’ve been a faithful reader ever since. I started reading WoW Insider. Things got much better.

    The things that were epic were the goals I set for myself. To have a mount at 40, the moment I leveled. I remember standing on the docks next to a high level guy and asking if mounts take up bag space.

    “My” epic was learning the game. The curve in skill and interface and lore were epic beyond belief. Each ten levels meant a lot whether is was knowing in advance that I would soon be wearing mail at 40 or scouting out the flying trainer at level 55. Flying was a thrill!

    I joined a guild. They were running Kara as I was solo leveling, grinding mats and exploring. My goal was to run dungeons with my guild. I never did get to Kara, I hit 70 about a week before WotLK came out and my solid guild just blew up and scattered; they had Gear Fever. They needed it NOW. It was a mess and sad and pitiful.

    WotLK was epic to me because I started off at the same starting line as everyone else. I did my rep grinds and got my 187 gear and was running the reg. dungeons. Each patch, I was ready and informed!

    It’s been great.


  27. Unless they fixed it, you can still get your pet along side you when mounted if you’re mounted when a BG ends.


  28. Epic class quests.

    To wear Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers, was a mark of honor for a hunter. The quests require soloing–right, solo! no pet–against four elite demons. A single buff, heal, point of damage or etc. from another player would reset the encounter; anything that put another player on the demon’s aggro table reset the encounter. Wearing that epic bow meant you were a hunter that can, kite, dps hard, and manage aggro. To this day, there is no single piece of hunter gear that indicates as much about a hunter’s skill than the Rhok. I will never delete the bow or the quiver. Never.


  29. Remember the days of farming cloth like a mad man and then standing in Razor Hill spamming chat with fingers crossed that the one of two people were on that could make bags. The thrill of finally filling that last bag slot, and bragging to your friends that you have filled all 4 slots. Things back then really seemed like more of a challenge than they are now.


  30. Oh yes, the ZF mallet, the teleporter to Gnomer, the staff for Mara… The carrot, and the nifty stopwatch for run speed. And don’t laugh, I still use the “everlasting underspore frond” on my pally tank. Heck, restores 4K mana?! That’s 2/3 of my entire mana pool! Still awesome (and cheap) 🙂

    And yes, even though grinding the Kara key took forever, especially when you have altitis, or needed rep to unlock heroics, I do appreciate that there was a mechanic in the game that tried to ensure you had appropriate gear and understanding before hitting heroic instances. I wish there were a little of that still in-game, at least something that you’d have to accomplish on your main before advancing to the next step. The “heroic key” could be account bound, in the hopes that your alts remember some of the lessons learned on your main 🙂


  31. the items you worked so hard to build/retrieve such as the staff for mara, the mallet for ZF, the urn for kara were all various levels of epicness which have vanished in the name of speed, i never managed to do the hunter epic quest. 😦

    the druid epic flight form quest was awesome, they need more of that..
    blizzard, quit spoon-feeding me content, let me work for it a bit plz??

    I bothered to gather the defias set for my druid back in the day, heck, on my hunter too.. was moderately good leather for the hunter at the time.

    I never did the epic horse quests for either my pally or my lock.. neither one ever made it to 60…lol

    right now the really epicness exists only in the DK starting quests IMO.. it sure beats the starting quests for lvl 1 toons. ohh, there’s a critter, kill it. ohh there’s a kobold go take his candle..

    @duclama the VF questline was really good one I agree. i think my pally (lvl45) still has his in his bank.. couldn’t bring myself to sell it.

    the carrot was full of win..


  32. Leveling with my husband was a wonderful experience for me and to do that again in Cat will be awesome. Hubby got his mammoth immediately after Lich and so I would sit on the back and read out the quest while he got us to our destination. It was great teamwork and to share all the new environments together was amazing. Now, many times in the game now we are doing our own thang, so to level again together makes me excited.


  33. Sarabian: “Back in the Day” you really had to be on your game. You had to know your shit and perform WELL to get the end game stuff.

    I guarantee you that I know more “stuff” about how the game works now than I did back when we were raiding AQ40. The game was not harder back then. In many ways, it was easier!
    – Limited debuff slots meant many classes couldn’t use a number of their abilities. No DoTs, no poisons, no stings, no Fireballs, no Moonfire, etc. etc. etc.
    – Auto-addons like Decursive meant some classes just hit one button without putting in any thought or consideration (and led to encounter designs like Chromaggus).
    – Many encounters were “hard” because they required a certain amount resistance (lets go farm Maraudon so we can kill bosses in AQ).
    – Other encounters were “hard” because they were bugged.
    – Consider how many fights in the classic raid game that actually required players to move (other than when switching targets) – we spent 90% of 90% of the fights standing still and blasting. But since we couldn’t use most of our skills, “blasting” meant spamming one button – we didn’t even have rotations (mostly).

    Now, maybe you are talking about TBC raid difficulty, which I admit was much tighter in balance. But it was also so exclusive that most players never saw the last two full raids of content. Whether that is good or bad is entirely up to each individual person.

    On topic:

    For myself I’ve been working towards getting Loremaster on the Horde (after getting Loremaster on the Alliance side, twice). Going through zones I’ve been in a hundred times before, but having a different goal has been rather refreshing.


  34. Of all the nerfs, the epic mount nerf really burned my bunz a bit. I worked for weeks grinding the mats and cash and instance quests towards getting my dreadsteed for my warlock. Mounting up on it was a lot of fun – no one had one, just about, and it was a visual representation of a lot of hard work. I miss those mount quests! ^_^


  35. Another ZF item that I really held with pride on my first character was the Mallet of Zul’Farrak. Now you don’t even need it to summon Gahz’rilla (but it’s still in my bank as a trophy).

    Soloing that item at level 45 was such a challenge. Those two elites that dropped the Sacred Mallet were a pain for a poorly geared, leveling rogue. That fight was a defining point in my CC education. Then having to sneak around that troll stronghold to forge it was one of the few times I really felt like an actual in-the-shadows rogue. Now the elites are no longer elites and heirlooms adorn all my alts. The struggle just isn’t the same.

    I also plan on leveling my priest to 60 so I can get Benediction before Cataclysm. I think that item will be a keeper…


  36. World elites. Notably:

    pre-nerf Mor’Ladim in Duskwood slaughtering people left and right for being in his graveyard 🙂
    Stiches in Duskwood crushing people on the roads
    Devilsaurs in Un’guro crater snacking on the unwary
    Kroshius in Felwood

    You had to keep you eyes out for these guys as you quested in the zones. They didn’t shake the ground and yell to warn you that they were coming(Fel Reaver) most of the time is was “oh $#!^ I’m getting killed by “


  37. I really miss the hypnotist’s watch from BC. As a druid healer before the buff to shadowmeld, I used that thing over much better options just to have an aggro dump.


  38. I miss the Carrot also. But the thing I truly miss now is the old Survival Tree and chain trapping. I never was REALLY good at it, but since my hunter is my farmer-alt I just really enjoyed the “Thrill of the Hunt” as it were. Wyvern Sting, Trap cooldowns and extended Frost Traps.
    Before Black Arrow and Explosive Shot hit the scene and shifted the spec into something that felt sooo much different. (even if there are still similar talents, the playstyle feels different, and not nearly as fun. Maybe it is due to it’s raid viability now, and the loss of “redheaded stepchild” status??

    I also miss CC in instances. for similar reasons. You got ot “play” and enjoy and use tricks and techniques, not just MindSear/Volley/Swipe spam all the time.


  39. I too loved my carrot on a stick. It showed that you were willing to go that extra step and you cared about your toon. It was an epic questline for a lowbie. I believe Hinterlands, Shimmering flats and Zul Farak. I remember on Thottbott there was actual theory crafting on the carrot versus the spurs or whip.

    I miss the exclusivity of some of the items. It was a big deal to have the leather set from STV. It was a big deal to get the defiler set. Of course in those days you levelled slowly so you got to put them to better use. It was a huge deal to have the healer set for me when BC came out. That pretty white outfit for PVE and the awesome PVP angel halo set still sit in my bank just becuase they were so well styled. I think the new armor sets are too available and lack some new never seen before originalilty.


  40. Two words –
    Verigan’s Fist

    In your20s, as a paladin, that quest was incredibly epic, and the reward, a hammer, was a double-edged… er, sword-mace thingy, metaphorically speaking.
    The weapon itself was uber. Imba, even. It lasted a GOOD 10 levels. Easily. But that also meant that when a weapon dropped, you didn’t get that “ooh, shiny” feeling. You had your fist and you were good until Scarlet Monastery. Nothing else came close.

    I miss the feeling of epicness that quest and reward gave. It was far more meaningful than getting your mount at 40. It even rivaled getting Holy Shield. Hell, it meant about as much to me as my first solid raid tank run in BC, and let me tell you, Paladins weren’t exactly win at Razorscale, especially when there was a warrior standing right there, or Prince, after working so hard to get Uncrushable.

    But being able to follow through the drive for those later achievements was, I believe, the fruits of a seed planted in the Verigan’s Fist quest line. That quest is why Paladin’s stuck it out, determined to be top tier tanks (and DPS).

    If you never did it, then before Cataclysm, move to a new server where you can’t twink and can’t fund and can’t call on guildies to just run you through stuff. I think that is part of what kills some of the epicness, too. We’ve, many of us, started gaming the game more than playing the game, and we miss out of grand epic tales of adventure and heroism in our quest to rush to 80 so we can change mains in our 10-man runs because we’re tired or bored. Bored? Fine, go run Verigan’s Fist at the right level in the right gear(no BoA!) and tell me that doesn’t make you feel awesome and uber and epic.

    I guess that’s more of an experience than a “thing”. Oh well, it’s what I miss. I love Dungeon Finder and badge gear and PuG raids and sending an alt a few hundred gold, enchant scrolls, and 18-slot bags, but it lessens the joy of having that tiny ass 6-slot pouch drop in your newbie area, doesn’t it? Or that boss blue that would be a huge upgrade if you weren’t wearing 3-piece BoA XP boosting armor with a BoA weapon. I love those things, too, but I miss the old way, at the same time.

    What? Get off my lawn! Grumblegrumblegrumble…


  41. Onyxia quest chain anyone? OMG, what a killer. That’s when you really felt grown up.

    Also, I can’t help but picture Yosemite Sam on that camel in the one episode where he’s getting it to go, and finally, when he wants it to stop, and it won’t. He’s up there saying, “Whoa, Camel, whoa! Whoooa! Awww, come on, whoa!” (whining) Fun post, Bear. Love it!


  42. The Difficulty.

    “Back in the Day” you really had to be on your game. You had to know your shit and perform WELL to get the end game stuff. It was a status symbol the likes of which have vanished. Now damn near everyone is wearing T10 and riding the cool mounts.


  43. I know for sure the thing that charmed me about WoW, and I’ll be able to experience it when Cataclysm comes out.

    The thing that charmed me was the unknown: not knowing what was round the next corner, or what the next zone would look like, or even what I could expect from levelling up.

    When Cata’s released, I’m going to stumble my way to 85 without reading quest and dungeon guides, I’m gonna do instances with guildies and we’re gonna figure out the bosses on our own, as if we’re the first ones to ever set foot in there. We’re not going to massively overgear-faceroll them, and it’s gonna be fun!


  44. I really liked the Mechanical Yeti the first time I did the quest.. Now I just groan. Plus he is not so cool anymore. There were a lot of those little non-combat or actually combat sidekicks with limited uses that were really cool.. oh and Savory Deviant Delight. MMM.


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