I don't belong to that (crazy) group of people who claim that WoW was so much better before and it would be great if Blizzard started up some un-patched, or nearly un-patched, and un-expansed servers where people could enjoy the old times of WoW. I believe these people have either turned senile or just never were there. WoW was fun even then, unbelievable enough, but it has gone through some major changes, and trust me people - they were needed. So I thought we would recap some on those changes and maybe everyone will realise that although WoW isn't perfect, and never will be, it is alot better than it used to be.
The good ol' class roles:
Remember the old Tier sets? Remember when hybrid classes weren't hybrid? There was only one tier set and it clearly showed what Blizzard wanted each class to do. End-game for priest, druid and paladin meant healing. For warriors there were hardly much option beside tanking (a notion that is still hard-wired in many people). Remember when Mind Blast had "high threat"? I do. I tried to be shadow at 60 and all I ever got to do was heal heal heal. And I wasn't even very good at that, since I was shadow specced! But I couldn't dps in instances, because everything worth casting had high threat. Fortunately I could at least turn to pvp, but a whole part of the game was locked out to me because I was the "wrong" spec.
The good ol' raids:
Ok, I didn't raid much in Vanilla, but for a reason. Organizing 40 people (of which at least half just statistically have to be clinically dumb) was a stupid idea to begin with. But that wasn't the big problem really. The issue was having to spend hours and hours doing something to have a half decent shot at one gear piece every tenth run. What is the gear per hour on that?! When I raided MC and ZG I was one out of 9 priests. NINE! I'm not even counting in all the other clothies here, but I knew that I would have to spend many many hours in them raids before I could even begin to hope to get some gear. Call me loot-horny all you wish, but I want some kind of reward for what I'm doing. No wonder it spawned those weird dkp-systems for loot distribution. I'd go bananas too if 40 hours in raid wouldn't give me some sort of prio over the rest. Now you have to be fairly unlucky not to get loot at all on 2-3 runs.
And being one out of nine hardly made my effort feel like anything special. There were 8 other people doing the exact same thing as me, offering the exact same abilities and options. During boss-encounters now a days I often think "it's so great that they have me here since priests are such awesome healers", I would never get to think that being one out of nine...
I know some people say "well the encounters where much harder back then, it felt like a really awesome feat when you finally downed a boss". I agree Naxx is a cake-walk, but with Ulduar you can't really complain about easy killings anymore. And besides - a friend of mine raided heavily back in Vanilla and everytime I saw him play he mostly pressed one or two buttons (he played a lock tho, maybe an unfair example of easiness). So although I agree some boss encounters are easy today, back in Vanilla you could have people go afk in the middle of the encounter with hardly anyone noticing. Try doing that in Ulduar!