Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zinn's Nostalgic Instances - Ramparts

Name any BC or Classic dungeon and I've probably done it about 100 times by now, with few exceptions. The Wrath dungeons are closing in on that amount. Whenever they change one of the old instances, and in the case of the Classic ones they've basically remade them all in some way by now, I both get happy and sad. Sad that the old instance is gone forever, because in a way it is, and happy that they're adapting it to the style of the new times so that more people can enjoy it. I think this is a reason I quite like the BC instances so much. They've been simplified almost beyond recognition, but overall they at least still look a lot like the originally used to.

By doing these instances on my alts, mostly burning through parts and bosses that used to be incredibly difficult, I chuckle to myself as I remember the olden times and think about the massive difference in challenge that the instance now holds compared to when it was current content. I think about boss skills and mob groups that used to require a massive cooperative effort from the group to pull off, and compare it to the mass-pulls of the runs I do today. Of course there is a difference in difficulty because I am doing normal rather than heroic runs on my alts, and I wouldn't even want the instances to be as hard as they used to be when I am only online for 30 min to do a quick pug run. Eventhough some of the old instances hold some challenge still (when done in the appropriate level) even on heroic most of them are something you just dance through without any thought.

But doing the pug run makes me remember how much fun I had struggling through these dungeons and I wanted to commemorate those memories and share them, somehow. So how should I put this. For anyone who was there I am sure you've got your own set of horrible and awesome memories connected to any or all of what was the dreadful heroics of BC. I hope this can be a little trip down memory lane for you. For you who weren't there, maybe this can be a tiny glimps into a world that just doesn't exist anymore. A ruthless, unforgiving time when Blizzard wanted you to sacrifice a lot more of your time and sanity than they ever do nowadays. They new they could ask for it because we were ready to give it to them. Over and over we bashed our heads against these walls and only rarely did they crumble. Only with the best of teamwork and group effort. Which only made it feel all the more rewarding. Like those rare times when I end up in a pug today who does well in an instance not because of overgearing it and steam rolling through but because everyone does their best and actually tries to help eachother. I'm not sure if you're familiar with that feeling, but to me it's like everyone in that pug just became my very best friend for a short moment in my life.

I don't know if this is something that will interest anyone else, but to me that kind of what a blog is all about anyway.

Unlike heroics nowadays, most mobs were pretty annoying in old heroics. This isn't necessarily a good thing, hence the use of the word "annoying" rather than "challenging". The BC heroics inherited stuns and fears that lasted more than five seconds from the Classic dungeons, back when Blizzard still thought it would be hilarious to see players struggle to keep aggro and eachother alive when being incapacitated for what seemed like an eternity.

The key for these instances was crowd control, and that is what I do like about them. Eventhough I think Blizzard overestimated how much puggers are willing to put into a group filled with strangers they'll never meet again, when it did click and everyone just felt like helping out it was one of the best experiences ever, like I already mentioned. You did need a lot of patience (and back then not only for the instance but for the whole group forming and gathering as well), and very few puggers had it which Blizzard soon realized.

Nonetheless, players are prone to look back even at the worst of times with happy nostalgic memories glinting in their eyes, including these. It's easy to forget all the struggle and frustration behind those horrible pulls, mobs and bosses, but this was back when we had the time for it and just didn't know any better.


  1. Very first dungeon I ever pugged was Ramparts. It was one of those old-school pugs where we had to wait half an hour for everyone in the party to show up. Pulls were exciting, because both the leader and the hunter insisted that the hunter should pull (no misdirect at that level), and then I should pull the mobs off of him. Then we had to stop and wait for the healer and the shaman to fight a duel. None of us new what we were doing, and after two hours without reaching the boss (and with fairly broken armor), I gave up and dropped out.

    I don't miss those those days.

    1. Haha, neither do I. I really don't... I guess any system has its flaws, but the amount of time and patience you used to have to sacrifice back in the day was kind of crazy when you think about it

  2. I remember having to use banish, enslave demon and fear on 3 different mobs in a single pull in Mechanar on my lock.

    I remember when a wipe usually means someone drops group, and the rest having to wait 30 mins while the leader hearths back to Shattrath, recruits another member and flies back to the instance.

    I also remember when performing well in a heroic built your rep on your server and was likely to lead to a raid invite. This part, I do miss.

    1. I loved having to do things like that! That's why I liked playing lock so much in BC, you really got to work your spells. They're barely used anymore in pve, and it wouldn't surprise me if new players don't know how to use them...

      I agree about the raiding though, nowadays people stare themselves blindly on achievements, but back then you could get in on actual skill and reputation - the way it should be.