Vanilla raiding – A Trip down Memory Lane

Klepsacovic keeps posting articles on evul vanilla, so this is entirely his fault.
What can I say, I get all fuzzy inside hearing about things like linear raids, negative stat modifiers or resistance gear – guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. But we really understand the relationship between the hard shit and feelings of accomplishment slash memories by now, don’t we?

I can’t help but think back on the days of 40man raiding ever so often, when everything in WoW was so brand new and unexplored, when servers seemed like such a small place and everyone would sport their epic tiers at Ironforge square (yeah Ogri for you trolls). I know I’m not the only one with such deep stages of nostalgia and it doesn’t matter one bit how much better or worse vanilla truly was. Truly is only what we know.

So, the following little write-up is for all of you who hardly remember how different raiding was back in the days, or those who can find curious entertainment in veteran tales maybe. It’s a time travel back to 2005/2006 when I was a healing coordinator for my second raidguild, sometime halfway through BWL. To my amazement they’ve actually maintained the guild page up to this day and our (incomplete) list of first kill screenshots still exists. I was one of the founders of that guild after having already raided with a different guild before, and I never missed a single firstkill in MC, BWL or Naxx, so Syl is on all the pictures, with a really bad haircut (and the proof that I was the first with a Benediction, lalala!).

A completely average pre-raid day in a busy and entirely too obsessed officer’s life, in WoW 1.0. (All names have been changed to protect the guilty). Feels like it was only yesterday. ~


*****Guild notes, January 5th, 2006
***Current raid progress: MC 10/10, BWL 6/8

“After too many wipes at Vaelastraz (that sucker!) last raidweek, we’re back to BWL tonight, hopefully making it past the three drakes fast. I spent half of this afternoon doing the potion quests in Blasted Lands. If I see another basilisk brain or vulture gizzard any time soon, I’m gonna cry.

The officers agreed to start with the LBRS buff again tonight because “every little extra helps”. I don’t mind the whole mind-controlling procedure, but I really think we’re wasting our time. If Razul suggests doing Onyxia for the head buff as well, I’m gonna hit the roof. There’s such a thing as being TOO prepared! Reminds me, I need to go gather Dreamfoil in Azshara and pay Duke Hydraxis a visit before we start. Just in case we decide to switch to MC.

We’re still farming cores and leather there, at least the tanks and healers are done with their fire-res sets now.  Our three new trialists are dropping like flies during the molten packs lol, I don’t wanna know how we’ll even get them past Raggy…. If that new druid is still not attuned tonight, I will personally kick him out. I really wish we didn’t need the restos to help out with tanking adds at Domo so much, but the mages can’t be trusted to stay alive and sheep at the same time. I wonder if they actually use that raidframes mod we asked everyone to install (yes, DPS too).

I promised Metrolock to help him with shards later; he was all out in ZG yesterday and keeps complaining how long it takes restoring them solo, so I’ll let him chainpull some packs and heal. The mages have been getting sloppy too; last raid they started making water at friggin’ raidstart, so we lost 15 minutes standing in line to trade. We already crafted these big bags for them for extra space, is it asked too much to conjure enough water in time? 

Official raid start is still a big issue in general. People aren’t showing up 30mins early so we can’t do rollouts without a rush. On top of that, the rogues keep complaining that Megadeath counts as a melee now; frankly, I don’t understand myself what it is with these new warriors refusing to tank? To make matters worse, Haley keeps insisting to play shadow in our raids – who the hell wants a shadowpriest DPS?? I can just see the drama once she starts bidding on caster trinkets, exactly what we need! What’s next…. – paladins asking to tank??

Speaking of the palis, the entire group needs a kick in the butt. Buffing was plain abysmal last raid, I was missing BoS and BoK at least half of the time. There’s five of them, surely they can track their buffs better! To be fair, they improved lots on getting DS up in time for wipe recoveries. All the corpserunning from Thorium Point is getting a bit much lately.

In general, the healing team is doing pretty well. The healing rotation at Firemaw went smoothly last time, although I suspect some still aren’t using mana conserve in CTRA. I noticed Kestrel and Lum going OOM much faster than the others. Finn is still being a dork during trash, dying from premature heals. I told the others to stop saving his trigger-happy ass, so he’ll learn to respect tank aggro one way or another.

Note to self: remember to move the priests around critical groups mid-combat, should we get unfortunate on bombs at Vael again tonight. Last time it hit three healers in a row, so it helps spreading some PoH love around. Also, I seriously need to re-write that Chromaggus healing macro – I used up four macros’ worth of space now, nobody can read that much text. If only we had some sort of colored markers to make things clearer. Already looking forward to assigning 15 healers for Nefarian – not.

The tanks finally got the hang out of the taunt rotation business which is kinda crucial in BWL. We’re still missing the Ony cloak for Thor though, I hope we get luckier with skinning this week. Pick-ups have gotten much more coordinated, although the two hunters’ communication is worrying me big time. Those hunter pulls need to happen a lot more proactively if we’re supposed to save time during trash. I think they’ve been on bad terms ever since Vintas got the leaf from Domo’s chest first..

If nothing improves in that department, we’ll simply have to keep recruiting. The Nordic Legion has been pretty aggressive in trying to poach raiders everywhere of late (they even asked our GM lol), so maybe we should return the favor sometime and knock on their door. I hear they got a pretty lousy loot policy and have weird rules in general (rumor has it they don’t ask raiders to level first aid, clearly gaga). Speaking of loot, blues have been piling up of late, I fear I’ll have to create a third guild mule soon.

Time for those Dreamfoils now; need to get new flasks in BWL later. I really hope we get up to Firemaw at least, so I can use the lab – otherwise it’s back to basilisk brains tomorrow, bleh! “

 A good weekend to all of you out there – ye jolly newbs and wistful veterans.


  1. This is fascinating. i always heard guild buddies tell vanilla wow stories, i’m a TBC baby myself and it’s interesting to think how it would have been in old wow. much more complicated. my character is a mage, i already forget the table half the time, so it’s probably good i missed vanilla! 😀

  2. I miss vanilla too. It’s not just the nostalgic stuff, 40-man was an epic scale, not on the level of EQ’s original 72 man raids, but still big enough to feel like a real marauding army. I hate that they keep trimming back the numbers and 5-man party/10-man raid seems to be the accepted standard now. WoW’s 25-man raiding is starting to look big =(

  3. So very true. =/ like you said a while ago, they could at least have introduced some progression servers at some point, restore everything to 1.0 and let people start over there who care. would’ve been big for re-experiencing the whole lore and history too, let servers do the AQ40 gate effort again etc…

    On top of it, this would also be VERY interesting in terms of seeing how today’s WoW player base would cope with vanilla; my guess is, surprisingly well! the whole “difficulty myth” owes much to the fact that WoW was simply new back then.

  4. On the other hand, I wonder – would we even have time and will today to manage raiding with 40 people again? while I’d love to, I’m not sure I could, or at least definitely not as a leader.
    the smaller groups today have one big pro; it’s easier to find 4-9 people you trust and can rely on showing up regularly without much fuss. 39 not so much.

    It sucks getting older.

  5. Whilst I miss the 40 mans for their more “epic” feeling, I definitely don’t miss all the random buff farming that went on.

    When we killed C’thun, everyone in the raid had to have 40 nature res pots. My hunter got five levels in the Badlands just farming elemental earth for them. Then everyone had to set their hearthstones to Silithus, before we went on a journey handing in various heads for buffs, Nef in SW and then down to Stranglethorn to ZG.

    Naturally, after that, our first pull was a disaster. We killed him that night but without half the buffs we had spent hours getting.

    Oh and getting resistance gear for stuff, I hated that. Farming Maraudon at lv 60 for our soakers was ok the first time but got boring fast. Especially since I suspect they were all perfectly capable of soloing it but just wanted some company.

    Attunements I also grew to dislike. I must have attuned 70 percent of my first and second raiding guilds to Molten Core/BWL and Onxyia. Marshal Windsor and I were close, real close.

    That said, killing C’thun is perhaps my best WoW memory. Better than getting a legendery, better than all the other bosses who came after him, better than beating premades with a bunch of randoms in WSG. Our first ever pull on him was so bad, to go from there to actually managing to kill him without anyone screwing up or being hit by the beam of death was an amazing feeling.

  6. @Erinys
    That’s how it is – it sucked in places, but the accomplishment was the more epic for it. 🙂 I love attunements, but I’m with you on some of the res grinds; some were annoying, especially farming for a whole set you would then only use on 1 boss. that’s not a great implementation of the concept. I found FR more agreeable as a whole than NR (I remember farming that elemental in Maraudon myself!), not sure why that is. maybe because MC was such a long period for most guilds, that we had plenty of time to make those sets and there were also enough mats at the AH sold by other guilds soon enough. I used my FR gear often. NR didn’t play out nearly as well.

    I think it’s about balance. I could deal with some of this still, but I’d definitely not want all of it back.
    Attunements I loved, for many reasons – but then I’ve written about this in great length not too long ago:
    Why you really want attunements

    Believe it or not, the world looks different when you work all the time and need to make most of your (tired) evening hours. but then, you should know – and you ARE so officially old today! 😛

  7. @Syl, I love epic questlines and all, but and I admit that TBC did it worse than vanilla, I can’t help but feel that attunements caused more issues than they solved.

    I ended up hating BRD/UBRS (my fault for not saying no I suppose)and Naxx caused all sorts of bitching. Then when I wanted to switch mains half way through TBC, I felt bad making people drag my shaman through old content just so I could raid. It also affected our recruitment policy, rather than take people on merit and their app, we started looking for people who were attuned already.

    Also referring to point 3 in your post about attunements, in my experience it was the other way around. Trying and failing on Kael for a period, albeit brief was horrendous. People were bitching and backstabbing like crazy because we “needed” to move on to the next tier of content like yesterday. That was one of the points where I was very close to quitting and telling them all to go to hell.

    Mr Harpy on the other hand is an elitist jerk and feels that you just shouldn’t be able to progress to a new tier without having killed the end boss of the previous one.

  8. Oh this brings back memories. The start time is one of those that I really remember (probably in part because I’m struggling with making our current members even be online for raid start time.. forget 30 or even 15 mins before.. currently some of them show up 10-15 mins late and it’s driving me bonkers!).. Back then if you weren’t online and in Badlands half an hour before raid start time you wouldn’t be invited.

    The resilience grinds were frustrating, but still seemed okay back then.

    God forbids Paladins, Druids, Priests thought they could do anything other than heal! Or Warriors NOT tank.. how dare they?! Though I remember that it was starting to be accepted that one sole Shadow Priest was accepted for a raid for the mana regen.. but more than one was considered pointless and stupid 😉

  9. @Erinys
    I understand what you’re saying there, I guess it depends a lot on your guild’s mindset too. however, isn’t it strange that today WoW players would wish there was a reason to do old content and back then it was considered a nuisance? no matter how you turn it, there’s someone who will object.
    to me personally, the loss of (incetive for) old content is too great and I’d rather be stalled in linear raiding than missing an entire content tier because the next patch makes it obsolete. so from that PoV I have to agree with Mr. Harpy, hehe. 🙂

    As bad as the 100 or so jailbreaks were I did for guildies, at least now I have stories to tell.

    Give your late guildies a kick in the shins! 😛
    And yeah, speccing was such a conservative thing back then, wasn’t it! we had more than one loot-drama because of it (I will never forget how our MT in BWL actually ragequit the guild because a paladin won Askhandi lol!). WoW has come a looong way since then.
    did you play a warlock back then too, carrying 2 bags of shards around all the time for healthstones?

    And for shadowpriests, vampiric touch wasn’t actually even in the game yet back when we raided. HP regen was all they brought to the table, so it was really hard justifying a raidspot for them – although they actually did okay damage with the right gear (the biggest issue was other ranged DPS wouldn’t let them compete for it). mana battery was added shortly before TBC hit (2.0.) – it sure did a lot for priests (even if some actually complained about that then too…some people just wanna hate).

  10. “As bad as the 100 or so jailbreaks were I did for guildies, at least now I have stories to tell.”

    One of our Druids was in UBRS for six hours with a PuG trying to get the blood. He eventually, after showing the patience of a saint asked for help in guildchat. In the end, I took my alt Druid and our MT came on his main. They had wiped and wiped and wiped on everything from trash to bosses. Whenever I’m in Blackrock Mountain I think of him.

    “did you play a warlock back then too, carrying 2 bags of shards around all the time for healthstones?”

    That’s why I quit my warlock. Before they let you get soul shards off players in PvP, having to quit the battle for 20 minutes to go and get more shards was painful.

    Sorry, the queue time for low level PvP is sucking right now, so I’m distracting myself here 😀

  11. See, I didn’t even remember they changed that! oh the good old days….mages, locks and hunters in essence all running around with minus 2 bags. x) but then, it’s not like they brought that much else to the table. that changed later, with the whole buffmania in TBC. so imo a justified sacrifice! Haha…oh and there’s nothing to apologize for. 😉

  12. Our mages used to start conjuring water a good hour before raid start :p
    Oh and having to carry so many candles, there have definitely have been a lot of quality of life buffs since then.

    Then of course there was the plight of the poor paladins. Having to buff 40 people with 5 min buffs and being used as out of combat ressers. We cheesed Geddon one night by literally throwing like 70 people at it. Then they added combat pulses which ruined that, people actually had to learn to play.

    Although since I’ve just had a WSG in which we stalemated because our team couldn’t kill their paladin flag carrier and they weren’t really trying to kill ours, I think we should go back to those days 😀 (Technically we won because we capped the last flag but still…)

  13. Haha, lovely post. Eventhough I didn’t raid much in Vanilla, only substituted on occasion (healing in my shadow spec!), I remember all of the above ^^ Tanking paladins? God heavens, what is the world coming to?

  14. Ah, no I was a rogue at first.. and then I was a Holy Priest in the later bit. And you’re right about the Shadow Priest bit, I get my times confused (it’s such a long time ago – I’m getting old and senile by now)! I didn’t roll my Warlock until TBC rolled around, but we were still carrying all those Soul Shards around then *lol* But at least then they gave us the one big soul shard bag. Still sucked though cause it essentially meant you had one less bag than everyone else!

    I still remember wanting to be a Shadow Priest though (inspired by Muqq I’m sure), and always hearing that never more than 1 per raid *lol*

    As a rogue in a 40 man guild I remember competing with my gear with another 6 rogues or so. There were so many rogues in Vanilla…

  15. For Vanilla, I miss having an “ending point.” You could get full T1 and then help the other 39 people get it too, without worrying about being overtaken by the next content patch.

    Even T2…you had time to get it…and then move to AQ…

    Naxx was the one that feels like it was cut short. 🙁

    I just felt like you had motivation to log on and help others complete their sets in Vanilla…these days…it’s log on, raid and then run away quickly.

  16. Man it really used to be so awesome. Just made me want to play again but things have changed too much and it won’t be like that. At least we’ll always have the memories.

  17. @Zinn
    Hehe, indeed….it’s all gone down the gutter, tbh! 😉

    1 per raid was really the max you’d see yeah. I remember our server’s top raidguild had 1 sw-nub, and he had all the PvP purples and best DPS rings and trinkets – to many a ranged DPS’ woe.

    It was all much more relaxed. I think I raided MC for a year all together and BWL for 6 months at least – so plenty of time for each and everybody. linear progression and attunements were partly responsible for that, and ofc the bigger raidsize and Blizzard’s timing was just better. Naxx was the one place they put so much effort into designing, but didn’t grant nearly the time it deserved. a shame really, they screwed it up there.

  18. I get such a fuzzy warm feeling, but also a sad one. The eyes of being Jaded I guess.

    Most of what I could say has already been quoted in the comments above mine XD

    – Jamin

  19. @Stumps (your first comment): Miss? My first thought after reading this was “Yeah, I would hate it with a passion too” (To be fair, Syl mentioned farming for potions in the first paragraph although I guess it wasn’t that bad in WoW with it’s 2 minute delay/cooldown on potions.)

  20. For those of you dreaming back to Vanilla WoW, I’d just like to introduce the private server Emerald Dream. I never played original Vanilla myself, but I tell you, this really feels like it. And when it comes to lags/bugs this is surprisingly rare; and there is no exp -or -looting boost whatsoever. About 1k people playing at peak. Just thought I’d share it 🙂 Be well.

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