As I started playing WoW during the last two weeks of The Burning Crusade and really “came of age” during Wrath of the Lich King, there are quite a few things I missed out on in Vanilla. Namely all the old raids and epic quest lines for reputation with the Argent Dawn.
Things that have changed in Cataclysm that I miss really don’t relate to class mechanics (RIP, Sentry Totem) or raids or even dungeons. Most of the Cataclysm changes to these things have been for the better — more streamlined, linear dungeon layouts; simplified class mechanics/talents; and even a better questing experience.
I just miss the little things. Like the little details in Scholomance (books, candles, etc brick-a-brack laying about). Or the deceased red shirt “exploration team” on Bloodmyst Isle. Even the Enchanted Scarlet Thread that is always found (even now) on one of the stone benches in Stratholme. And before you say, “BUT Liz! Those things are still there!” what I miss about them is the experience of finding them the first time. Cataclysm has essentially, for me at least, erased all sense of “new” (Ironic, right?) that Azeroth had for me. It makes me nostalgic and sad.
I miss running around with my husband as we killed everything in Eastern Plagoolands*.
I also miss being a complete noobcake and running around as an Enhancement shaman with a staff. Good times. xD There’s just something to be said about being blissfully ignorant… I didn’t give a rat’s hindend about which stats were good for me or which gear I should be equipping. I just did the quests/dungeons with my friends and we had a blast!
I get the feeling from Blizzard that the true “end game” of WoW is not defeating a final raid boss on heroic mode. No, it’s not getting 13,000+ achievements, 200 companion pets, 500 mounts, or 100 tabards. It seems that the “end game” has transformed into compiling a Best-in-Slot gear set complete with most optimal enchants and gems.
The talk of the “gear gating” further emphasizes this point of transition to me. This gating with Tier 12 raids seems to be meant to stretch our Valor Point acquisition so that we do not outgear content too quickly. I understand that Blizzard is trying to make the content last. But it seems the focus is on gear — getting it, wearing it, enchanting it, gemming it. Seems that actually killing Ragnaros is Goal #2. I also understand that in order to kill Ragnaros, raiders need to have the best gear they can get so as to not hinder their performance (believe me; I know how suboptimal gear can degrade performance in a raid >.>). But there seems to be a preoccupation with the acquisition of gear that wasn’t in the game (or community) “back in the day.” Maybe it’s my perspective that’s wrong since I didn’t raid in Vanilla or Burning Crusade (or hell, much of Wrath).
Sometimes it’s good to just strap on a shield and go bash things with big hammers while laughing about inside jokes with your husband.