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So good, I should charge admission.

The unnecessary rants and raves of a disgruntled MMO vet.

Author: Ragana

Vanilla World of Warcraft Nostalgia

Posted by Ragana Wednesday February 17 2010 at 11:51PM
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For the past couple of years I been a nomad. Hopping from game to game, nothing ever felt right. You call it, I played it. No MMO has been left untouched, yet I always yearn for something that is no longer attainable.

The first year of World of Warcraft, hands-down, holds my fondest gaming memories. Back when getting to 60 was a huge feat and owning an epic mount gave you god-like status. Servers were like families and PvP was never far off.

The countless nights defending Tarren Mill and the Crossroads from the Alliance brings a tear to my eye. No the system was not perfect, but it involved every player, from the lowbie in Wailing Caverns greens to the seasoned pro fresh out of Onyxia's lair.

Stranglethorn was every players personal hell, yet deep in the back of your head, you loved every minute of it. The comfort of knowing that help was close by, you gained infamy with every kill.

Before battlegrounds, resilience and the removal of elite mobs in Azeroth, WoW revolutionized the genre and gaming as whole. Though Blizzard has stated numerous times they are not opening up a Pre-BC server, we can always look back and appreciate what we had.


Ironfungus writes:

 I can echo those sentiments...we had a pretty solid community back then before...before it all turned to hell for one reason or another. Blizzard now refuses to listen to anything but the casual bottom-feeders and we're pretty much screwed. 

I've completely given up on Blizzard. My friends will be playing Cataclysm, but my main focus is going to be FFXIV. There were undesirables inside FFXI, but the community was overall the strongest of any MMORPG out there. The only one I've ever seen close to FFXI (possibly about the same) was Ragnarok Online. Since the lot of FFXI's crowd will be moving to FFXIV (granted it isn't half-assed), we should maintain that strong sense of community.

World of Warcraft is fun, but it's just completely ruined. The more I reminisce about the days of 2004, 2005 and 2006, I realize it more n' more. If they started banning offenders, racists and twelve year olds from playing the game and fixed AoE tanking so that crowd control had a purpose (meaning there was an actual reason in playing a Warlock over a Mage, Rogue, or any other DPS class), I might consider it a good game again. But ... let's not kid ourselves?

Thu Feb 18 2010 1:49AM Report
Garfunkel writes:

I think your memories have been rsoe-coloured with time. STV was hell in Vanilla and no one I played with looked forward to it or secretly like it. It was too long (over 10 levels) and had far too much ganking.

I levelled 2 toons after my first purposely avoiding it, going over Desolace, etc. which took much longer but was a hundred times less aggravating.

I agree with the comment above that CC needs some place in the game again. Running these dungeons for easy badges spamming AoE is shallow and just plain lame to be honest. I would go back to 'Moon = sheep, X = sap' in a heart beat.

Thu Feb 18 2010 6:41AM Report
rywalt writes:

I felt the same way for the longest time, and like you I mmo jumped looking for that same gaming high I got from the first couple of years of wow. The only game that had eluded me was Everquest. I had tried EQ2 and wasn't impressed so I just brushed EQ off as being the same. Well let me tell you I have been pleasantly surprised with this game; the first day I tried it was hooked. What has really drawn me to this game is the character progression. The thing I never liked about wow is how gear dependant it is. Refreshingly in Everquest when I use a spell or hit a monster with my weapon I gain a skill point for using it. The great thing about this is I cant just ride the coat tails of a high level player,power level, slap on some epic gear and have the greatest toon in the game.

Get past the ancient graphics,use your imagination, and give this classic another look. After playing years of wow clones this old game that I somehow missed suddenly feels very innovative.

Thu Feb 18 2010 12:50PM Report
Smatthews writes:

 I have to agree here.  WoW at launch was able to cater to all kinds of players at all levels.  Even STV, as much as it sucked on a pvp server, was still one of the best times I have ever had in an MMO.  And the TM battles, even though they were lagtastic were great.  Old AV was also extremely epic.  It truely felt like a war and drew that battle lines for horde and alliance like never before.  Now there is no grudge between the 2 besides nerd rage.  Leveling isn't epic, and no matter what piece of gear you earn, it just doesn't feel special anymore.

Thu Feb 18 2010 12:53PM Report
Ragana writes:

ironfungus- I agree, the game is finished. I can honestly say though, if they released a pre-bc server I would gladly pay $30 or even $40 a month to play it. A steep price for some old memories.

Garfunkel- For every person that hated STV, there was 20 that loved it. Guilds had a chance to help out their lowbie members with protection and quests in general (back when they were actually tough) I agree it's just my nostalgia acting up but I can honestly say that it's a desire that can't be taken away.

rywalt- I gave EQ2 a shot and like you I was not impressed. If Everquest had some sort of reroll and the prospect of new players was there, I would definitely jump on the opportunity. 

Smatthews- Exactly, you definitely got the sense of animosity between the two sides. Rank mattered and every kill counted. Now you feel like someone is holding your hand the whole time.


Thu Feb 18 2010 4:25PM Report
Irish writes:

Nice post, man. I agree completely. I was on the other side of the fence as an Alliance player (due to my inability to be anything other than human).

I still wax poetic about STV, and how it really set the standard for a great zone with world PvP. It was a 10 level, brutal stretch, where everyone is just grinding for that mount.

Your statement on growing infamy there was spot on. Nothing was better than seeing the opposition avoid you like the plague, and you knew that they were screaming your name on /general.

The Tarren Mill/Southshore battles were great. After just resubbing, I find myself gravitating back to those places with my new easy-mode toon.

Now, with leveling being as fast as it is, and mounts at 20, the only thing you'll find is an heirloomed out alt with it's main logged off at the nearest inn waiting to be provoked.

STV isn't really even a must to quest in, which is a real shame. I remember making my way in there for the first time, before there was an Alliance flight path. Stealthing my rogue from Duskwood to Booty Bay the entire trip. It was brutal.

Though my greatest MMO experiences aren't all with WoW (SWG and DAOC, as well), I do miss the simpler times. And I can't find a single game to really make me smile and have a blast anymore, in the genre.

Anyhow, great post, brother.


Fri Feb 26 2010 9:40PM Report
Razeron writes:

I think it all started going downhill with crossrealm battlegrounds, further compounded by the seperation of PVE and PVP gear.


(Breaking communities of raiders that PVP'd with and against one another for months on end.)

Tue Jan 03 2012 3:02AM Report writes:
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