Why Vanilla Players Seem to Romanticize the “Good Ole’ Days”

About the Author:

Leayha has been playing WoW since 2006. She joined Eternal Kingdom in 2016 and is our Social Media Director and Director of Community Coordination (guild events and contests). Leayha mains a Resto Druid and, along with being their recruitment officer, raids with Immortal, a mythic raiding team.

I began playing World of Warcraft about three quarters of the way through Vanilla. It was my first foray into an MMORPG and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. Other than a two year break between the end of Lich King and end of Cata, I have been around since the dark days. The days before flight. The days when 100g was a lot and took time to farm.

I often hear those like me (and even those who have been around since Beta) talk about the “good ole’ days.” I would be lying if I said it’s something that I myself don’t do. It’s hard to not look back wistfully on the experiences we have had when amazing expansions like BC and WOTLK were current content. I have had debates with people on why I think The Burning Crusade was the best expansion we have ever had. So why exactly do we look back with fond memories on things that at the time we continually complained about?

One reason is that we don’t like change. World of Warcraft has evolved over the years and with it came changes that disrupted the way things were. Talents were overhauled and simplified. Some say it dumbed the game down, others say it was a necessary advancement of game play. Stats were changed, removed and new ones were added. Healers lost MP5 and spirit to gear and some raid buffs went away and came back, while others still remain a mere memory (RIP Spirit buff and Mark of the Wild). Some changes few can argue were for anything but the better. Hunter ammo became a thing of the past, they no longer needed mana and stopped rolling on caster pieces. Quality changes like no longer requiring reagents for mage portals and paladin buffs freed up much needed bag space in times when netherweave bags were all the rage.

Another reason is that those expansions are so far in the past we neglect to remember the reasons we grumbled. We remember going into Black Temple for the first time, excited to take on Illidan. We don’t remember the ridiculous level grind. Trying to quest in an expansive continent without flight or the whistle we have today. Choosing between Scryers and Aldor for our shoulder buffs and the subsequent rep grind. Having to log in at least an hour before raid time to ensure you would be through the queue in time. We laugh about how laggy Molten Core was today but we don’t remember how incredibly frustrating it was to barely be able to move and simply hope that you are able to stay alive while playing with 5 FPS.

In a game like World of Warcraft, evolution is necessary. Complacency would have killed the game. We are currently in the 7th expansion. The clunky game that started it all could never had held such a test of time without growth and reimagination. While I certainly do not speak for all the other “OG” players out there, I do believe that despite our complaining, despite the changes that Blizzard has thrown on us throughout the years there is still a reason that there are many like me that continue to play. WoW still offers us a place to get away from the real world, to play with others, compete with others and to enjoy the fruits of Blizzard’s labor. So wear your battle scars of Vanilla, BC and LK proudly. Take pride in the amount of time you spent farming that rep but remember, it doesn’t make us better for having been around since then, it just makes us extremely old (in gamer years).

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