Barking down memory lane

Being an “old school” druid without many alts I’ve leveled up very far, I sometimes like to take trips down memory lane. Since the latest Blog Azeroth shared topic is about memories of the olden days, I felt that I should share some of those old memories with you.

First, it actually took me a while to level up to 60. I also didn’t do it solo most of the time, so almost all my early screen shots are of me in a group. Back then, the easiest way to level was to run behind people and heal them. Fortunately, I had a  great group of friends & guild members to level with (some of which I knew outside of the game, and some I met in the game).  Soloing was possible, but it was also painful, and long. Especially if you primarily picked up loot with caster/healing stats on it. I didn’t see what hurricane looked like until long after I started playing the game. Being a “feral” druid meant that you had feral charge (an 11 point talent). It took about 4 or 5 months for me to level up to 60, though I started playing the game about a week after it first came out. Even at 60, there wasn’t much to do besides healing instances… which I used to do all the time (then again, that’s not so much different from what I do now, lol).

After I hit 60, I started raiding. Back then, druids could only raid as restoration, and the druid community actually asked for STR & AGI to be taken off of our tier sets so that we could heal better. Oh, and raids back then had 40 people! Your tank was pretty much always a warrior. Also, back then, “hybrid” meant “healer”, as all of our paladins & druids couldn’t do much besides healing. My first MC run was actually me getting picked up as a PUG. It was a bit of a PUG raid for quite a while, and having to leave my leveling guild to join the big, harsh raiding guild was actually a really difficult decision.

Back then, Ragnaros was actually hard. It wasn’t all just about killing bosses, but you actually had to WORK for it. Looking at the screenshot of our Ragnaros wipe, we also used to have mid-boss disconnections, even back then. Apparently, lag and DC’s in raids aren’t new by any means. In fact, with more people in the raid instance, and even older server hardware, it’s probably actually a lot better in the 25-mans than it was back then.  Also, “tanking” as bear was what you did after everyone else in your raid was pretty much dead… I added our wipe picture just to help me remember how epic and hard those bosses seemed back then.

Were things back then so much better than they are now? For druids, not really. The “old school” druid days weren’t really all that great, unless you really loved being a healer with an extremely limited set of tools (downranked healing touch). While I do have fond memories of those days (and I miss all the friends that I used to play with back then on my first server), I like playing a druid so much more now than I did back then. Being able to switch between 2 specs, both of which are viable for raiding? If you asked me in 2005 if that would be possible today, I wouldn’t have believed you. Blizzard has actually done a lot to improve the druid class over time, even for healing druids. It’s good to remember sometimes how much better the class is now, compared to what it was like back when I had to walk uphill both ways in the lava.

Edit: counting is hard. Re-edited to say “60″ everywhere I accidentally said “80″…. I guess it was so long ago that I can’t even count right, lol.

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5 Comments

  1. Fleethoof
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Fun read :)

    If I remember right, you were on Cenarian Circle and raided with Ergo Something (Bibamus?), right? My first character was a human warrior on the same server. I RPd alot with my guild and had alot of friends in . After hitting the limit of scripted guild drama (the dude second in command was supposed to in game marry the guild leader, but then the wedding broke off which was all part of their rp story… it seemed like the only rp they had left was causing fake drama).

    I rerolled an undead mage on Emerald Dream. When TBC hit, I switched mains to my alt druid, and haven’t looked back since! Well, except for my DK alt, but who doesn’t have one of those XD

  2. Fleethoof
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Wierd, for some reason it cut out the guild names… guess I shouldn’t have put them in brackets.

    RPd with Pia Presidium
    Friends in Northrend Commonwealth

  3. Posted July 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Ohh I love the screenshot with the big-name bug. That bug was so funny in battlegrounds, as someone tried to sneak up to a flag in WSG or AB, hoping they were being stealthy, except that you had seen them coming from all the way across the zone map as a giant moving name text.

    :D

  4. Chipster
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I liked better from the old days as opposed to now was that there was a lot less emphasis on being at level cap. The whole world was hugely populated, so there was always a bunch of people in a zone able to work together on that one elite giving you trouble.

    There also seemed like there was more to do as you progressed through the levels. There wasn’t really a rush to get to 60 since you could spend a LONG time farming, doing instances, and questing at each level. Now it just seems that everything is tailored to get you to 80, where most of the fun is.

    I greatly enjoyed all the quests from 71 to 80, but they still seemed like just a means to getting you to 80. Leveling is no longer much of an “alternative play style”, it’s what you do as fast as possible when you want a different character available to run heroics or raids with.

    But in the end, I feel the benefits outweigh the costs. A lot of the barriers to raiding are gone (attunements, only 1 viable spec for most classes, 40-man raids, more easily accessible gear, etc) so it helps people like me to see more content, and be less frustrated when I try to play my preferred spec.

  5. Posted July 29, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    hahaha, lissanna you and i could be twins. I remember my leveling days and it took me forever to get to 60. I remember 39 people screaming on vent when we killed Rag for the first time. I remember talking my guild into letting me be a “feral” druid and pulling out all the stops to tank a little. I remember hating the tier sets because we looked like a scraggly bush or a mutated elk. I pine for the days long gone when PvP was more about strategies and counters than burst/survivability.

    The leveling experience from 60-70 and 70-80 both seemed lackluster in comparison. However I look back and I am glad to have all of the raiding opportunities I have had. I’ve seen almost every single boss and being a druid has allowed me to do it from every angle. Man, that sounded dirty!