We, Lath and Cass, suggested this week’s shared topic on Blog Azeroth:
Blizzard have changed and improved many things within World of Wacraft between Vanilla, BC and Wrath. Which change made a fundamental difference to your gaming experience?
We decided to have a little fun and got our guildies involved. After all, many of them have been playing longer than the two of us. We started a forum topic asking the question above and the guys really came up with lots of responses: everything from small class changes to big ticket items – some of which are included below. So thank you guys!
There were simply too many important game changes to pick a number one. So instead we have put together our Top 10 “thank god” changes. There were also some major changes suggested that we’re not quite sure we love yet (eg. Emblems) so they didn’t make the list.
The Top 10 are really a collection of incredibly annoying and awful things in World of Wacraft that, once improved, it’s hard to imagine how we put up with the original system for so long.
So in no particular order here are the things that Cass and Lath are most grateful to Blizzard for fixing:
Ok, so back in the day Warlocks could summon missing party/raid members, with the help of two others. Except they needed a Soul Shard for each summon. That’s right – each person had to be individually selected by the Warlock and summoned.
And you couldn’t summon inside an actual instance. Oh no. You had to run out into the open world, even if you were approaching the final boss, defeat any member of the opposing faction that might ruin the whole plan and then, and only then, start summoning.
2. Stackable Stuff
This might seem silly but I remember when Lath was a young little thing, killing Murlocs in Westfall with 8 slot bags. There was nothing worse that having your bags cluttered with clams. It was so annoying I got into the habit of not picking them up off dead murlocs at all. This was preferable to filling your bags with clams that you couldn’t even open because you had no room left for the clam meat either.
More stacking, please! It is great that items such as potions now stack in groups of 20. Having multiple stacks of 5 potions was really annoying especially when you used to be able to chain chug potions throughout a fight.
3. Conjured Food
I’m sure everyone has seen Nyhm’s M.A.G.E video and the reason it was so funny was because we all knew it was true.
Mages really did spend a lot of time creating food for each party/raid member before you could start a fight. And it wasn’t until the Burning Crusade that Mages were able to conjure ration biscuits – combining water and nutrients in one – in the early days they had to create stacks of food and water and trade them around.
Thank god for today’s mage table! With a bit of help, some arcane powder and the click of button everyone in Alterac Valley can help themselves to as much food as they want.
Up until Wrath of the Lich King you had to do a set amount of damage to an enemy mob in order to tag it as yours. That is, to get loot and experience. You know how DoTs don’t kick in the minute you apply them? That’s enough time to lose a mob to someone else.
In hotly contested questing areas, like the Isle of Quel’Danas, it was common practice to assign 1 member of your questing group to tag mobs. Any instant abilities that deal direct damage were excellent. Hunters and Druids excelled at this job. And it wasn’t uncommon for those same classes to steal mobs away from you. Yeah, even the one with 2 DoTs on it that you’ve been attacking for 3 seconds.
Now, thank god, the moment you enter combat with a critter, it’s yours.
5. Exit the Goddamn Vehicle!
This one refers to a very brief period in World of Warcraft, but it’s annoying enough that Cass still remembers it. Wrath of the Lich King introduced lots of great new mounts. Including the Magnificent Flying Carpet. But these weren’t like a normal mount that you cast, mount and retain your normal hotkeys/UI buttons. The Flying Carpet, and several others, acted as a vehicle which brought up the standard vehicle interface, was clunky, had animations to enter and exit the vehicle and required you to actually click the “exit vehicle” button to get the hell off it and pick that herb.
It only took a day or so before the novelty of Cassandri’s new Flying Carpet wore off and I reverted to a gryphon to fly around. Thank god they fixed this one because Cass absolutely adores her Flying Carpet.
6. The Azeroth Postal Service
The postal service for the citizens of Azeroth has improved so greatly over time who would have thought such a simple thing could make such a difference to your gaming time! The main improvement to the system allowed players to attach multiple items to each mail message – not just one at a time. As the guild’s resident disenchanter, nothing was more frustrating for Lath than having to sift through 20 odd mail messages, DE the goods and then have to attach each material back on multiple mails.
Instant mail delivery between your own characters is another fantastic change, it was awful having to wait an hour or more for an item to come through.
7. Level 1 Guild Banks
Before the advent of guild banks, many guilds would trust one officer to create a guild bank mule who had sole power over the entire guild’s materials, reputation items, excess gear, recipes etc etc. And gold. You can imagine the number of times the officer in charge quit the game or ninjaed the spoils for their own benefit.
Even those players who were completely honest and noble must have found the amount of effort managing that is just miserable. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy and would probably /gquit if someone had tried giving me that thankless task! Keeping your own bank alt in order is a big enough task, let along managing one for an entire guild of players.
8. Two for the Price of One
We don’t think new players will ever understand what a difference Dual Specialisation has made to World of Wacraft. Since this feature was introduced the tank and healer shortages have pretty much disappeared. Lath remembers sitting in Shattrath for hours just LF1M – Tank because all our tank buddies were offline or too busy to do a heroic.
Dual Specialisation is fantastic because it means so much more flexibility when forming a group. Tanks and healers aren’t under constant pressure to run things anymore and it’s great for hybrid DPS because if they really really want to do that instance they can switch to a heals/tank build and take control of their own fate.
As a community we probably underestimate the understanding we gain by taking multiple roles with a Primary and Secondary specialisation. Many more players have experienced what it’s like to tank and heal at maximum level than ever before. Pike’s story is about discovering firsthand the guilt healers and tanks can impose on themselves.
9. Better Buffing
Why would anyone choose to play a Paladin? There is nothing worse than having your whole raid held up cause one person says:
Need Kings, seriously I’m not hitting yes to ready check until I get kings
Annoying, yes? Now imagine playing in an environment where the Paladin buffs that we all love so much only lasted 5 minutes! Most boss fights take longer than that! Until Wrath of the Lich King there was no such thing as raid-wide buffs. You would select a player from each party and go through and cast your buff two, three, four maybe eight times. You’d have to drink before you could finish buffing.
We’d love to hear from readers who played in Vanilla about how long it took to get a raid ready before a pull. My guess is that the poor Paladins would have to start re-buffing by the time everyone hit “yes” on the ready check!
10. A Menagerie in Your Bank
Lath loves a good vanity pet or two. But before Wrath was released there was no way in hell I was going to go out of my way collecting them – there was no way to store them all in my bank. I already had enough bag space issues with multiple gear sets and quest items.
The Pets and Mounts interface was added to World of Wacraft in preparation to the release of Wrath of the Lich King. Up until then you would carry your horse (well, the reins) and whichever pets you loved most in your backpack as items. They were not spells you could learn to summon at will. Serious pet collectors could only amass their collection across multiple characters.
The first thing I did after this feature was added was run around and adopt every vanity pet I could. No longer was I limited by the room in my bags! It was pretty funny seeing a mass of confused players in Shattrath unable to summon their flying mount though when the change was implemented.
In the same vein Blizzard also introduced the Currency tab to your Character screen. No more BG marks and emblems taking up valuable bag space. And I still want bigger bags, go figure!
So these were the 10 changes we came up with and I’m sure we missed some really good ones too. What change to the game do you think has impacted you and your guildies the most?