WoW Classic is launching in two days time, and it’s stirring up some memories. Possibly tinted by a delightful haze of nostalgia.
The vanilla WoW memory that most jumps to my mind these days is the first time I really fell off the rails of playing cautiously.
I was playing with my spouse, and we were questing through Stranglethorn Jungle; I as a Warlock and them as a Priest. I did not yet appreciate what being a Warlock meant. I would soon learn.
Vanilla was an unforgiving game by modern standards, for all that it was vastly more friendly than its contemporaries. Regular play involved carefully picking your fights, and anything more than one or two opponents at a time could very easily overwhelm you. Whole classes and specs were barely viable for solo play, or alternately completely useless for endgame play.
We were doing something which involved having to fight our way through camps of trolls. These were clustered fairly tightly together, so we were carefully separating them and killing them one at a time. It was slow. Then something unfortunate happened, and we got a group of them at once. Obviously we were going to die. It was frantic; I was throwing damage-over-time spells at everything, and my spouse was furiously healing me and my pet. And then… everything died. We didn’t even get close to losing the fight. This was a surprise.
Naturally, we did it again. It turned out that a Warlock with a tank-pet and a Priest on tap for healing was basically indestructible against entire camps of enemies, once you knew what you were doing.
There’s nothing so special about that discovery itself, but I still fondly remember that moment when everything came together and we blew past what we thought our limits were.
I reserved that Warlock’s name again for the Classic launch. I rather doubt that I’ll stick with it; the nostalgia won’t live up to the unrelenting grind. But it’ll be interesting to dip my toes back in and see a different era once more.