My raiding career started with Karazhan and continued with Gruul and Magtheridon and a little of SSC before Northrend opened up. Last week I was reminiscing about Burning Crusade raiding, and talking with my family about some of the things that vanished from the game after Wrath dropped. I was thinking about some of the things that we dealt with then that the newer generation of WoW players has never seen…
Wait for 5 Sunders! You young’uns don’t know what it was like! Back then, tanks didn’t generate infinite threat! Rogues didn’t have Tricks of the Trade, and even a hunter misdirect only gave the tank a small head start. So when the tank pulled, we all stood there twiddling our thumbs while we waited for the warrior tank to get Sunder Armor to a 5-stack. Only then did DPS open up.
And for that matter, where did Warrior Tanks go? In BC almost every main tank was a warrior. Druids were considered by many to be sub-optimal and paladins were usually used for fights with a lot of trash to group-tank. Now that AoE rules the day, warriors have faded away…
Threat was such an issue! We always had to watch Omen like a hawk to make sure we didn’t pull aggro (and before Omen everyone used KLH Threatmeter). To help us out, every DPS depended on the paladin’s Blessing of Salvation. This pally buff reduced threat by 30%. It was removed when Blizzard re-worked paladins in Wrath. Without it, in BC rogues would have been threat-capped in most fights.
I remember when we did only triple-digit dps! I mean, look at this combat log parse from a Karazhan run sometime shortly before Wrath dropped…
I did 827 dps overall (with a whopping 1200 on Shade of Aran)! Our whole raid did just over 3000! Wrath has increase my dps by almost a factor of ten!!! Talk about overpowered!
We all know that crowd control has been lost in the group-em-up-and-AoE situation now. Ah, for the days when you couldn’t do that. I still remember the Moroes fight… using every type of CC at our disposal to control his minions while fighting the boss. These days, every now and then we still use polymorph or freezing traps in certain situations. But whatever happened to Shackle Undead? Do priests even have that on their button bar anymore? Considering how much undead we’ve seen in Naxx and ICC you’d think that there would have been at least one shackle sometime!
The first really, really good player I ever played with was a guy named Martholomew. He was a hunter and he knew his class forward and backward. When we ran heroics back in BC, he was a one-man crowd control machine through his use of chain traps. Locking a single mob down, double-trapping, and even triple-trapping while the game mechanics briefly allowed it were all in his repertoire. Do hunters ever learn that skill now?
For rogues, we specced for combat daggers and we liked it! That’s right, we actually had a button for Backstab! Can you imagine? I raided as assassination for much of BC, until combat daggers became superior enough that I was forced to make the switch for the benefit of my raid group.
And raiding rogues often specced far enough in the Subtlety tree to get Dirty Tricks. Since sap was an important part of crowd control, having that extra range on sap was very valuable. Now that we don’t sap, we don’t need that talent anymore. [bonus to really old-timers who remember when this was called Improved Sap, and without that talent you would break stealth when you sapped things]
AoE? Not for us rogues! You rogues that have fun with your 15k dps using FoK on trash packs. Spoiled, you are! Back in the day, if we did pull a pack of trash mobs (like the ghosts before Moroes) the mages and warlocks and hunters went nuts while we sadly wished for a shorter CD on Blade Flurry, or we used bombs.
How about Picking Locks? Back in BC it was used for more than opening lockboxes. In Shattered Halls, a rogue with lockpicking skill could open a door and bypass a hallway full of slimes. And while everyone else had to do long quest chains to get the key for Karazhan and Shadow Labyrinth, us rogues could just pick those locks and open the doors ourselves! Inside instances we would find locked chests that needed a rogue to open them! Ah, those were the days.
As a non-raiding aside, in BC your epic flying mount was actually useful. I could fly from end-to-end of Outland faster on my epic flyer than I could on the taxi gryphons. Not so much in Northrend. The taxis get me to places just as fast. So why spend the gold on the epic flyer?
As for gear… all these emblems – Heroism, Valor, Conquest, Triumph, Frost – are crazy! Back in BC we had one kind of emblem, and it was Badges of Justice. You actually had a gear progression that made you work through all tiers of content. None of this “I just dinged 80 and jumped straight to T10 level stuff with my Triumph Emblems” nonsense. In BC you had to get your gear from Karazhan to do Gruul, and you needed gear from Gruul/Magtheridon to do SSC. The Badge of Justice items got you geared quicker but they didn’t make you skip entire tiers!
Attunements! You youngsters missed out on attunements completely! They did get rid of the attunements before the end of BC, but a lot of people went though the steps anyway. If you don’t know what that is… they made you do a huge quest chain just to be allowed to step ito the raid! Here is the attunement chain for Black Temple… its sixteen quests, some of which require you to be in 25-man SSC, TK, and Hyjal Summit! If you didn’t do that whole quest line, you couldn’t even enter Black Temple no matter how good your gear was or how progressed the rest of your guild was.
Two words… Flame Wreath!
What do you remember from BC raiding?