Things I’m Looking Forward to in WoW Classic

So my last post talked a bit about things that were, well, not particularly amazing from back in the old Vanilla days, which I anticipate will be there in Classic. Obviously, regardless of those things, I’m very much looking forward to Classic, so I thought I’d talk about some things that I’m really eager to relive and experience again in Classic. Again, I’m not actually in the Classic Beta, so if I’m mistaken about anything here, please do comment and let me know.

Talent Points & Old Talent Trees

I know that a lot of the old-school talent trees were bloated. There were a ton of talents where you weren’t being “creative” or “thinking outside the box”, if you didn’t take them. You were just bad. It’s true that there wasn’t a lot of room for error.

This was a fairly standard Marksmanship Hunter build, where you grabbed Improved Aspect of the Hawk from BM, got all the way down into Clever Traps in Survival and put the rest into Marksmanship. That said, this doesn’t have Scatter Shot, doesn’t have Improved Arcane Shot or Improved Serpent Sting and you can take a point out of Entrapment to pick up, say, Scatter Shot.

Meanwhile, this is a terrible Marksmanship Hunter build. Why? Well, you’re not saving mana by skipping Efficiency, your damage is gimped because you don’t get Lethal Shots, Mortal Shots, Aimed Shot, Ranged Weapon Specialization or Monster Slaying. You’re wasting points in Parry and Improved Wing Clip and Deterrence — which was quite different back then — and there’s no reason for Thick Hide in BM when you could pick up more useful MM stuff elsewhere.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times when you might want to use an “unconventional” spec. If I were going to run the 45 minute Baron run for the Tier 0.5 quest chain all over again, without anyone but my pet tanking, I’d probably go for a build like this. (I did not, in fact, change my spec or even my pet at all when doing so, and he did surprisingly well, but this is largely because I had an amazing priest healing. <3 Cryptkikr.)

So I don’t necessarily miss the bloat of the old trees, but I miss having the ability to tweak a spec for a given situation. I also miss getting talent points every level! That was one of the main perks of dinging!

All The Abilities

The last several expansions all seem to blur together in my head, so forgive me if I’m mistaken, but I think it was in Mists where certain long-time core abilities became locked to specific specs. Exorcism for paladins is something that I miss regularly. Not having it available to me as a holy paladin was just wrong, in my mind. Of course, it was a damage spell and I suppose a holy paladin isn’t “supposed” to be a damage-dealer, but Exorcism being used on undead only didn’t really make it OP. It was situational. Same with Turn Undead (later, Turn Evil). And I didn’t like the lack of Cleanse for prot or ret pallies, either. (And I still hate the cooldown.) So I am really looking forward to my paladin having all of these core abilities again in Classic. What core ability are you looking forward to regaining?

No AOE Looting & Single Tags

But Kurn, you must be saying, why on earth don’t you like AOE looting?

It’s simple — I’m a skinner. There is nothing worse than rounding up a bunch of mobs, AOEing them down and then looting ONE, which loots them all, and then having some jackass come along and start skinning your mobs. It can still happen without AOE looting, but it’s much more difficult to do. It’s also just as annoying when someone takes one shot at your mob or mobs and then WALKS AWAY without looting, so you’re unable to skin the mob, so I’m very much looking forward to going back to single-tagging mobs. Like, no, sorry, that mob is mine, kindly GTFO.

Knowing What the Hell I’m Doing

When I think about some of the more complex raid encounters I’ve done in my life, like, oh, Heroic Blackhorn 25 or Heroic Sindragosa on 25, Firefighter 25, Heroic Putricide 25… then it truly boggles my mind that it used to take me hours to finish a Scholomance run. I used to come home from class on Tuesday nights and run a Scholo run with guildies that would take HOURS because we’d wipe so often. And yes, part of it was that we were clearly just bad in some senses, but other parts certainly had to be that we just didn’t know what we had to do.

I feel like I understand all the mechanics so much better now. Like, I’m PRETTY sure that Alexei Barov wouldn’t decimate my Scholo group if we were halfway geared, because I understand that he has a damage aura and has a curse that reduces healing, so you’d want a mage or a druid to decurse afflicted people and go tank the guy in the corner.

So even aside from my familiarity with the instances and bosses and such, I feel like I understand things a lot better and I am SO looking forward to taking this knowledge back into Classic with me.

Reliving My Youth

Okay, obviously, part of my excitement for Classic is the idea of reliving my (sort of) youth. I’m in my 40s now, but I started playing this game in my 20s, and I had SO MUCH FUN playing with various people. I mean, hell, I went to Majik’s wedding. Just last month, I went to another wedding — Huntertoga and Kamilla from my old guild got married and Majik and his wife and me and Darista and her BF all went to the wedding. Daey and Tiandrina were invited too, but couldn’t make it, unfortunately. But playing with these people (and more) made the game a lot of fun. While I might not play with them in the coming Classic version of WoW (who knows if they’ll play or not), I know I’ll have fun remembering doing a Dire Maul West run as I remember Dar’s panic over her first run there. I know that I’ll remember telling Toga how to kite General Drakkisath in UBRS. I’ll remember how my brother feral tanked our Jailbreak run and shifted OUT of bear form to cast Rebirth on our priest who died. (Oh lord, it pains me to think of how many Jailbreak runs I’ve done in total.) So even if my old comrades aren’t with me, I’ll remember them and the times we had. :)

What About You?

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to in Classic, most dreading about old-school WoW, and if you’re even planning to play Classic!

WoW Classic & Rose-Coloured Glasses

Hi, folks! How the heck are you? How’ve you been in the last, oh, two and a half years?

Overall, I’ve been doing well. However, an update on my life is not while I’m writing today. No, today, I’m writing because I can’t sleep and because WoW Classic is coming out on August 27, 2019.

Naturally, I am psyched. Anyone who has spent any appreciable amount of time reading this blog or listening to various podcasts of mine will be wholly unsurprised that I am psyched. (Also, my brother is psyched! TOGETHER, WE ARE SO EXCITED.)

That said, since the launch date announcement was made, I’ve been wondering if the 13ish years or so since I first started playing WoW (October of 2005) have perhaps dulled my memory a little.

I know that I have rarely had as much fun in this game as during the Tier 0.5 questline. The thrill of getting my Rhok’delar is still, to this day, a highlight of my WoW career, if you will. Downing Venoxis for the first time on April 1, 2006 (no, for real!) was amazing because it was my first real raid boss down. So I had a lot of fun back in the day. Just the fact that I have frequently said “back in the day” over the course of the last decade or more proves that I have some very, very fond memories of Vanilla WoW.

However, having played Vanilla WoW for more than a year before Burning Crusade came out, I remember a lot of things that, well, sucked. I thought I’d write a bit about them here. Now, it’s important to note that I am not in the Classic Beta, so if you are, please feel free to let me know if I’m dreadfully wrong about something. What I’m talking about is based entirely on my Vanilla experiences and memories, and perhaps some Wowhead Classic info.

Getting to 60

Listen, I don’t care who you are, or how much you love levelling — getting to 60 was a grind in Vanilla. For quite some time, there weren’t enough quests in the world to get you to 60. A common happening was people getting a couple of stacks of mage food and water (yes, separate stacks, if they were mana users!) and hitting up the Eastern Plaguelands for a few hours. Regularly. Now, I know that they did fix this at some point and I would presume that’s prior to the patch we’ll be starting at, but it was still a pain to get to 60. It took me 30 days played — full, actual, real days of my life — to get to 60 on Kurn. It took me less time on Madrana, but I did get a lot of experience by healing my way through dungeons.

Mounts

No mount until you’re 40, no epic mount until you’re 60 and you should expect to spend a fair amount of money on that epic mount unless you’re exalted with your Alterac Valley faction. Or a paladin, in which case get ready for an epic quest chain that culminates in a really difficult fight in Scholomance. Or a warlock, in which case you should expect a truly insane quest chain that ends with craziness in Dire Maul. (Why yes, I HAVE healed both of these encounters on my paladin, thank you for asking.)

Combat Ratings/Stats/Skills

Defense rating. Hit rating. Parry thrashes. Alllllll of these were things you had to be aware of. Now, to be fair, I only ever made sure I was hit-capped when I was fighting Magmadar in Molten Core, because I had learned Tranquilizing Shot from the drop off Lucifron, so it didn’t really make too much of a difference to me until I realized its importance in Burning Crusade. But defense rating mattered if you were a tank. Knowing you could get parry-thrashed was literally something I only learned in Wrath of the Lich King, but has been around since Vanilla. Oh, and who can forget weapon skill?

Hot tip: if you’re level 60, go to the Blasted Lands and beat on the Servants of Allistarj around the Dark Portal for a couple of hours to grind up your weapon skills. They’re basically unkillable unless you kill the thingy they’re bound to, so you can keep beating on them to level up your weapon. Or, better yet, work on your weapon skills as you go, swapping weapons whenever possible to make sure you get them up there. There is little that feels more like you’re wasting all of your time than upping your weapon skills.

Ammo

Dear hunters, Blizzard hates you and, as such, you have to use a dedicated bag slot as a quiver or ammunition pouch and you have to use arrows or bullets. Well, you don’t have to, I don’t think, but you should because most of those quivers/pouches have a ranged hasted bonus. Also, ammo could be expensive! There was rep-based ammo you could buy that did more damage than the typical stuff, but hooooo boy, was it expensive. Also, you could run out of ammo. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR AMMO. (Who me, speak from experience? Never!)

Reagents

Mages had to carry Arcane Powder for Arcane Brilliance. They also had to carry Runes of Teleportion and Runes of Portals. Paladins had to carry Symbols of Kings for all their greater blessings (which only lasted 15 minutes apiece, FYI – compared to the normal ones that lasted 5 minutes!), plus Symbols of Divinity for Divine Intervention. (Okay, real talk, I HAVE MISSED DIVINE INTERVENTION SO MUCH AND I WILL HAPPILY CARRY ANYTHING I HAVE TO IN ORDER TO CAST IT AGAIN.) And so on for druids and Gift of the Wild/rebirth (battle rez) and and priests and fortitude. Basically, if you had a buff, you had a reagent for the longer version of it.

Spell Ranks

Now, let’s be clear — I always trained up my spell ranks and I made great use of spell down-ranking, particularly as a holy paladin, so to me, this isn’t something that was unpleasant. However, other people not training their spell ranks was a thorn in my side throughout, well, my entire WoW career until they removed ranks entirely.

Keys

Again, I loved the hell out of my keys. I really, truly, absolutely did. What I did not love was the bag space they took. In my research, I see that the keyring was added in Patch 1.11.0, so this should be available in WoW Classic, once you get your first key. This is good because no one wants to wait for someone to fly all the way back to Ironforge to get the key they left in their bank so that they could enter the instance. Which instance? MANY INSTANCES required keys. The back door to Stratholme required a key. Dire Maul North and West required keys. Scholomance required a key. UBRS didn’t only require a key, it required you to FORGE the Unadorned Seal of Ascension with gems from bosses in LBRS and then it became a RING. At least the patch we’re starting out with has a bunch of Unadorned Seals dropping and many gem drops in LBRS.

I should note that Engineers with a Powerful Seaforium Charge or rogues with levelled lockpicking could open most locked doors.

Rep & Cooldowns & Professions

Kurn was a skinner/leatherworker from day one. In the last 13 odd years, I’ve dropped skinning for mining on at least two separate occasions. I always come back to skinning. And it served me well in Vanilla! I was a dragonscale leatherworker (and thus made FREQUENT trips out to Peter Galen in freaking AZSHARA) and could craft the entire Black Dragonscale Mail set. Actually, Kurn can still craft every single dragonscale recipe in the game, thank you very much. And even the Red Dragonscale Breastplate, the recipe for which only dropped off of General Drakkisath in UBRS. But it was a pain to get to 300 skinning and especially hard to get to 300 leatherworking. What was more of a pain was doing the various rep grinds to get those sweet patterns.

  • Timbermaw Hold to Revered to get all kinds of feral Druid leather patterns
  • Thorium Brotherhood to Revered for all kinds of fire resist stuff including Black Dragonscale Boots
  • Cenarion Circle to Exalted to get nature resist stuff and some sweet agility mail

I don’t think I did quite all of that at the time. I probably got to Honored with Timbermaw and definitely got to Honored with Thorium Brotherhood. To be fair, I did not have it bad. I did have a cooldown (Refined Deeprock Salt – every three days!) and not a ton of rep to grind.

However. Did you know that it takes two Felcloth to make one Mooncloth? And that you can only make one Mooncloth every four days? And that the recipe for Mooncloth is only available once you reach Friendly with the Timbermaw?

There are a lot of things that no longer have cooldowns that once did, and the grinds for the reps are a lot harder than they once were. Exalted with Timbermaw can take you a day now, but back then? Back then, it was a months-long undertaking.

Oh, and one other thing — flasks were super rare because you could only make them at an alchemy lab. That meant either Scholomance or Blackwing Lair.

Respecs

This was pre-dual spec. And respeccing cost gold. And it got quite expensive to swap back and forth. It wasn’t uncommon for people to level as one spec and then eventually respec into their “raid spec” that they would use more frequently. For example, when my brother hit 60 on his druid, he went from being a life-long bear to being a resto druid. This is about when he started levelling a rogue…

Meanwhile, I levelled my paladin as holy from day one. It took me forever to kill things, but damn, did I ever know how to heal things. Back in the day, a holy priest as known as the only kind of healer you really wanted in a dungeon with you. I did a Strat UD run at like, 56 or something on Madrana as holy, wearing a bunch of Blue Dragonscale mail (didn’t have the bonuses that came with wearing all plate back then), and the ret pally in our group, who had been a bit wary of me, was like “HOLY CRAP, I HAD NO IDEA PALLIES COULD HEAL SO WELL”. Honestly, the fact that any healer can heal any instance these days is something I’ll miss, because it was legitimately difficult to heal a bunch of things as a paladin back in the day.

And?

There are other pains from Vanilla, I’m certain of it. These are a few. And I don’t even mind a lot of them. But they’re things that came up as “oh mannnnnn” moments as I’ve been thinking about Classic.

What are you looking forward to most about Classic? What are you least looking forward to about it? Are you even going to play Classic?