What was WoW's "Golden Age"

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Posted by kadash299 (281 posts) 9 months, 11 days ago

Poll: What was WoW's "Golden Age" (377 votes)

Vanilla 24%
BC 33%
WOTLK 24%
Cata 2%
MoP 2%
See Results 15%

And Why?


Just collecting some data. My friend and I were discussing what the best xpac was!

#1 Posted by Hunkulese (2785 posts) -

The game peaked for me in Molten Core. I also had a good time doing the 10 man heroic Firelands in Cata. The rest was pretty meh.

#2 Posted by TooWalrus (13232 posts) -

Whenever you started, probably. I started in late vanilla but didn't hit the level cap until BC was out. The nostalgic sweet spot for me is... TK, SSC, GL, Mag etc.

#3 Edited by wemibelec90 (1738 posts) -

BC through Lich King, I would say. Unfortunately, I didn't realize just how much I enjoyed BC until it was too late to fully appreciate it, so I didn't really hit my peak until WotLK. That was the point where I spent the vast majority of my some 10000 hours with the game, had the most memorable personal experiences with friends and guildies, and ran every raid to completion (beating out our guild's other group to the first kill every time). That is the time I reflect on most fondly, the time that gets me to resubscribe every now and again--or at least come close. Even though I often wish now I spent that time playing the various games I missed over the years (time I'm making up now), I still don't regret it at all.

#4 Edited by Random45 (1233 posts) -

I have a soft spot for Vanilla and Burning Crusade, but I think WotLK was definitely the high point of the franchise for me, mostly because that is when it really started to make end game content accessible for the people who just weren't in huge guilds or didn't have much time to do these things. Plus, prior to WoW there was Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, so seeing the end of Arthas' story was cool, even if it was really dumb.

#5 Posted by RedRoach (1198 posts) -

People shit on MoP but it's really, really good.

#6 Posted by stonepawfox (236 posts) -

i had the most fun in vanilla but i think burning crusade had the right balance going. they were on their way to making every spec useful and yet not homogenizing the classes. maybe you can extend it into wotlk, at least until trial of the crusader came out. that's about when i draw the line on having good times

#7 Posted by Pr1mus (3949 posts) -

WotLK.

Northrend has most of my favorite areas to explore and quest in in that whole world.

#8 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

@pr1mus said:

WotLK.

Northrend has most of my favorite areas to explore and quest in in that whole world.

This, for the questing and environments. They were amazing in WotLK. Vanilla or BC for the raiding.

#9 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1210 posts) -

Anytime before that South Park episode.

#10 Edited by mikeeegeee (1573 posts) -

I was at the cap of 60 in Vanilla for only a few months before Burning Crusade came out. Then, I played BC on day one, and it was honestly one of my favorite gaming moments.

There was this huge zeitgeist of wonder as everybody raced to the new cap of 70. The zones were densely populated with players of both factions, world PVP was at an all time high.

I really dug the environments, too. Zangarmarsh and Nagrand were particularly pretty. The quests were better than they'd ever been. I had a good group of friends playing... yeah, it was great. I didn't play beyond BC though, so I can't comment on subsequent expansions.

Also, Vurtne was only active in Vanilla and BC as far as I know, so those win by default.

#11 Posted by Ares42 (2726 posts) -

People will say TBC and Wrath, but if you ask me there really isn't any comparing to TBC. TBC introduced all the best stuff in the game in almost every aspect. It had heroic dungeons, flying mounts, arena, it really honed the raiding encounters with great variety, it had the Zul'Aman challenge run, it had the late-entry addition of Sunwell which had something for everyone, it had the lore with Illidan and Kael'thas (how many times have you not heard their respective lines), it had Kara (probably the most run dungeon ever).

Wrath might have a good amount of good content, but it was all just built on TBC, while having bad things like raid-tiering, almost no original raid content at launch and boring content additions like the Coliseum.

TBC had me doing new and fun things all over the place through the entire expansion. Wrath had me bored until Ulduar came out, then made me quit before Icecrown arrived.

#12 Edited by mikeeegeee (1573 posts) -

@ares42: Oh yeah! Flying mounts and arenas came about in TBC. So good! Shit was magical.

#13 Posted by Irishdoom (333 posts) -

From the beginning up until the Trials of the Crusader. Vanilla made questing in MMOs so much better, and MC was awesome. The best raiding came in BC. Then Wrath had amazing zones and a great leveling curve.

Then, my kids got too old for me to play hours every day. :)

#14 Edited by BisonHero (6667 posts) -

@redroach said:

People shit on MoP but it's really, really good.

I don't think they're directly dissing MoP, so much as everyone just likes to make it clear that they are so over WoW now. That just happens to get mentioned whenever MoP (and WoW's recent updates, expansions, etc.) come up in conversation. I don't think I've really heard anyone directly think the quests or structure of MoP are bad or anything (except for people who just arbitrarily hate everything to do with the Pandaren).

On the other hand, I feel like I've heard a zillion people express their dislike for Cata.

#15 Posted by HatKing (6021 posts) -

For the two months I played it in 2006.

#16 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5704 posts) -

BC, Lich King was still alright but definitely a decline phase even if got much worse later. It's also BC from a business perspective pretty damn easily. Vanilla if you like 5 mans, though BC had good elements to the 5 mans even if the core design was/is terrible (hallway + 3 bosses).

#17 Posted by EXTomar (4836 posts) -

People forget just how weird and broken and awful "BC" was where a reminant of that is no one likes levels 58-68 where you are forced to run through BC content and dungeons.

#18 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

@extomar said:

People forget just how weird and broken and awful "BC" was where a reminant of that is no one likes levels 58-68 where you are forced to run through BC content and dungeons.

Yeah, questing in BC was...rough to say the least. Still had great raiding, though.

#19 Posted by Korwin (2888 posts) -

Vanilla, don't be crazy. At the time there was nothing else like it and everything was fresh and exciting. Getting a 40 man raid running like a well oiled machine through MC and BWL was a thing of beauty.

#20 Posted by demonbear (1860 posts) -

for me, the peak of my WoW interest was at the end of BC, right before the launch of WotLK. I dont know why really. It was just fun and I had a whole bunch of real life friends to play with. It makes the game so much better than playing with people you don't know.

#21 Edited by Irishdoom (333 posts) -

Oh hell, Kara. It begins and ends with Kara. I loved that place. Sure, it was tough to level in BC, but when you got to 70, it was pure MMO goodness.

**EDIT**And how ironic that I have to see a banner for The Old Republic on this thread. What a disappointment.

#22 Posted by kindgineer (2767 posts) -

Depends on what demographic your asking from. For myself, MoP is the epitome of Blizzard learning everything from their past mistakes and making good on them. Not to mention the amazing art direction they took, and actually interesting and fun questing system. Having entire "quest lines" was a fantastic idea that existed before, but not as bluntly as it is now.

However, for the game as a whole, I have a feeling most people will say BC/WOTLK. Aside from the obvious "nostalgia lens" reasoning, BC/WOTLK had some of the hardest and best content in the game. Arthas was extremely relatable, a very cool villain, and the continent of Northerend had a fantastic assortment of different zones, factions, and raids. Burning Crusade really hit the note by introducing heroic instances, a manageable raiding system, and the introduction of a much greater threat. The feeling a player got after walking through the Dark Portal, into another world, was frankly almost as amazing as seeing Ironforge for the first time.

All in all, I think a lot of the "Golden Age" for players comes from when they first started playing (granted that they were able to reach the end-game content when it was relevant). I feel like MoP truly emphasizes this type of Golden Age by simply letting players always have something to do, and allowing players to truly take part in the top-tier raids without forcing them to sacrifice real-life demands. I can only imagine the percentages of people that were able to tackle the Ahn'Quiraj/Naxxramas in Vanilla WoW, versus the amount of people able to take on Deathwing & Garrosh Hellscream in Cataclysm & Mists of Pandaria. That in my book, is a fantastic way to calculate it's "Golden Age."

#23 Posted by Morningstar (2185 posts) -

Burning Crusade. Balls hard and very rewarding. Also I made a lot of friends during that expansion, and together we kicked Illidan's ass!

#24 Posted by Marz (5658 posts) -

TBC, outland was pretty cool the first time going there and I think it had some of the most memorable raiding content.

#25 Posted by Bobby_The_Great (1008 posts) -

I really enjoyed Vanilla, BC, and WOTLK but I got tired of the game during Cata. Came back hard for Pandaria though, but WOTLK is by far my favorite.

#26 Edited by Karkarov (3172 posts) -

Whoops I miss clicked meant to vote for BC. It was the best because the raiding was hard but fun for the most part, had great mechanics, the game hadn't devolved into pure face rolling (yet), had some of the most unique and visually stand out areas, and yes it introduced a number of now WoW staple features like heroic instances and flying mounts. Also the best single raid they ever made in my opinion was there... Karazhan. Multiple paths through it, tons of bosses, trash that could be challenging but dropped some nice items sometimes and wasn't pointless. Tons of skippable stuff... hell it even had a mob run that was there purely for you to get money to cover repairs you might have incurred. The boss fights were also very fun and the Theater thing where the boss could be different helped it keep from totally stagnating.

#27 Posted by JJOR64 (19017 posts) -

For me it was late BC, the summer before LK's release. That is when I played it the most.

#28 Posted by Nightriff (5141 posts) -

Very interesting read, only played wow for like 4 hours but i enjoy hearing and reading about peoples nostalgia of games. kinda makes me wish i played back in 06, might have ended up liking it....probably not.

#29 Posted by ajamafalous (12029 posts) -

IMO it's BC > Vanilla > Wrath > Pandas > Cata, and for most of the reasons listed already. The dungeons, the raids, the zones, flying mounts, Kara (as a separate callout because it's so good), the boss mechanics, the diffculty; it's all there.

I also want to pay special attention to the class balance they had going on in BC, because it was the best it ever was. Pretty much everything was viable, and classes were different enough to actually feel different. There was a reason to take a shadow priest and a shaman and a hunter and a mage and a pally and a druid (etc.), because they each contributed something special and something different to the group that the others couldn't. I remember when I joined a new raiding guild during BC; I got invited to their Kara progression group simply because I was online and was a shadow priest (they wanted one for vampiric touch/vampiric embrace), and I did so well that they permanently added me to the progression group the next day. That kind of stuff doesn't happen anymore because each buff is granted by like four different classes because Blizzard didn't want groups (both raid and arena) to "have" to run certain setups, but it was one of the biggest things that really, really upset me about the way Blizzard has chosen to develop WoW in the expansions following BC.

#30 Posted by Random45 (1233 posts) -

IMO it's BC > Vanilla > Wrath > Pandas > Cata, and for most of the reasons listed already. The dungeons, the raids, the zones, flying mounts, Kara (as a separate callout because it's so good), the boss mechanics, the diffculty; it's all there.

I also want to pay special attention to the class balance they had going on in BC, because it was the best it ever was. Pretty much everything was viable, and classes were different enough to actually feel different. There was a reason to take a shadow priest and a shaman and a hunter and a mage and a pally and a druid (etc.), because they each contributed something special and something different to the group that the others couldn't. I remember when I joined a new raiding guild during BC; I got invited to their Kara progression group simply because I was online and was a shadow priest (they wanted one for vampiric touch/vampiric embrace), and I did so well that they permanently added me to the progression group the next day. That kind of stuff doesn't happen anymore because each buff is granted by like four different classes because Blizzard didn't want groups (both raid and arena) to "have" to run certain setups, but it was one of the biggest things that really, really upset me about the way Blizzard has chosen to develop WoW in the expansions following BC.

Man, hearing about Karazhan does make me remember how amazing it was. I remember getting higher and higher in the tower, and how freaking cool it was. I loved how it was all messed up near the top, and then reaching the VERY tippy top of the place was so damn cool because you were so high up, and the demon was up there waiting for you, resulting in one of the most difficult bosses I can remember, but MAN was it rewarding when we finally downed him. Also, remember the chess event? That was so damn fun, and while it wasn't necessarily that hard, it was a fantastic addition to an already good dungeon. Man, going all nostalgia-mode for Karazhan is great, and I really wish I could get back the feeling I had when I was first raiding and exploring that place. What a fantastic raid, there has seriously been nothing so atmospheric and good looking since then. Though I can't speak for the MoP raids, maybe they did something new there. Actually, thinking on it, I think Ulduar was a well designed raid, not as good as Karazhan, but definitely on my top 5 raids in WoW.

The zones in The Burning Crusade were also fantastic. I still remember just flying around all the varied zones on my flying mount, my favorite zone being Shadowmoon Valley, just due to how great and atmospheric it was to see the meteors falling down, and to see the gigantic Black Temple looming in the distance. Nagrand was also a great zone, and so was Zangermarsh and god damn. I need to take off my rose-tinted glasses now...

#31 Posted by Guesty_01 (367 posts) -

Fuck, guys. Love reading about all your thoughts and story's on this. Makes me wish I could have gone on playing WoW longer than I did, and be there to experience the zeitgeist of these expansions being released. I played for maybe 3 months, a gnome rogue about level 35 ish.

Man, gets me to thinking about all my own experiences in the 6 years I played EverQuest. Nothing quite like it, is there dudes? :)

#32 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

For me it was the time from sometime mid-Vanilla and the end of Burning Crusade. Pre-nerf M'uru put an end to my obsession with WoW. Kinda stepped over a line with that one. I still got into it every now and then, however I skipped the launch of Pandaria in favor of Guild Wars 2. I'll be back for Warlords of Draenor though. Can't wait to see the sexy new model for my Troll Hunter.

Who knows, the Golden Age of World of Warcraft might be happening in World of Warcraft 2. A thing which must and will happen! You heard it here first.

#33 Posted by PenguinDust (12550 posts) -

Burning Crusade would get my vote. The game was still growing, the 5-man heroics kept the end game interesting for small guilds, players still had to work hard to advance (none of that 0-to-60 in 5 minutes crap) and the "trinity" hadn't worn itself out. I quit right after I plateaued in WOTWK. The idea of grinding up to all purples again just turned me off. I played for about 2-1/2 years, but I have no desire ever to return.

#34 Edited by Dark (390 posts) -

Technically speaking wow golden ages where a bit like this

Content wise, BC

Player base wise, WoTLK

Personally I think MoP has been the best they have done in a long while, they did almost everything people asked for. When people started playing what they asked for they realised the nostalgia goggles had fallen off. Classic was a very slow, different game compared to now.

#35 Posted by JackSukeru (5921 posts) -

When I first played. The mid-to-end of Burning Crusade and beginning of Wrath of the Lich King.

#36 Edited by Skooky (477 posts) -

Burning Crusade is #1.

#37 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Vanilla is the only right answer.

BC is close but no cigar.

#38 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@mariachimacabre said:

@pr1mus said:

WotLK.

Northrend has most of my favorite areas to explore and quest in in that whole world.

This, for the questing and environments. They were amazing in WotLK. Vanilla or BC for the raiding.

WOTLK has Borean Tundra so that automatically has to exclude it from being a valid option.

I don't think any expansion except Cataclysm comes close to vanilla for the environments because Vanilla + Cataclysm were the entire world, and in Cataclysm's case the world re-done. Some of the zones in expansions were good but content and size wise they didn't come close to Kalimdor and the EK.

#39 Posted by Metal_Mills (3010 posts) -

Launch day. Nothing can compare. It was like nothing I'd ever played and the world was unreal. I still remember the barrens music. Good times...

#40 Posted by Asurastrike (2167 posts) -

I really miss the days of vanilla WoW

#41 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1576 posts) -
#42 Posted by Guesty_01 (367 posts) -

When the magic of an MMO happens, there's nothing in gaming quite like it.

#43 Edited by EXTomar (4836 posts) -

Again I have to point out how bad BC was were a major problem was class balance. Warriors were screwed hard. Especially Prot Warriors where no one wanted to use them compared to a Prot Paladin. Why would you bring an DPS Warrior when you could bring a Rogue? Those hairpin-triggered large group pulls that required meticulous CC setup and then required the tank to pick up multiple targets. They just couldn't do it. Along with how powerful instant and mobile healing was screwed healers with none or less. You would cancel raids because you didn't have enough Mages and Hunters and Rogues and at least one Prot Paladin. That isnt balanced.....

I think MoP has the best balance and best content. As long as roles are covered and the group is balanced, you might need to alter the approach but none of it seems impossible with any particular group.

#44 Edited by cloudymusic (1158 posts) -

As nostalgic as I am for vanilla, there were also a ton of annoying things about it that Blizzard fixed in subsequent years. Generally terrible itemization, super-tedious buff management, the total uselessness of non-healing Paladins/Druids/Shamans in serious content, widespread server issues, generally unpolished UI, heavily grindy, etc. There were a ton of fantastic things about it as well, but it keeps me from thinking about it as WoW's "golden age."

I think the high point overall for me was probably WotLK. Ulduar is still one of the best raids they've ever done, and most of the other content was pretty solid as well. It also saw the introduction of key features like the dungeon finder and dual specs. (BC was obviously great too, but my opinion of that is probably forever stained due to the Ogri'la/Netherwing/Skyguard dailies.)

I think MoP is pretty damn solid too, FWIW, but I've sort of done the whole song and dance so many times that I find myself playing for shorter and shorter periods each time I come back to the game.

#45 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Burning Crusade. Then it got total shit as soon as WOTLK came out. That expansion completely destroyed that game for me.

I played since launch Vanilla and loved it. Then BC happened and I didn't think it could get any better. I was right.

#46 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

@sooty said:

@mariachimacabre said:

@pr1mus said:

WotLK.

Northrend has most of my favorite areas to explore and quest in in that whole world.

This, for the questing and environments. They were amazing in WotLK. Vanilla or BC for the raiding.

WOTLK has Borean Tundra so that automatically has to exclude it from being a valid option.

I don't think any expansion except Cataclysm comes close to vanilla for the environments because Vanilla + Cataclysm were the entire world, and in Cataclysm's case the world re-done. Some of the zones in expansions were good but content and size wise they didn't come close to Kalimdor and the EK.

The Horde side of Borean Tundra was fine, I thought. WotLK definitely had better questlines the further in you got but I thought BT and Howling Fjord were fine on the Horde Side. I never got an Alliance character to WotLK so I can't speak for that. Though I did hear BT was bad for Allies.

#47 Posted by kadash299 (281 posts) -

These are so far the results i anticipated.

#48 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1330 posts) -

Vanilla for sure, but the beginning of BC wasn't bad either. The raiding definitely peaked around early BC imo, Tempest Keep, SSC, Kara etc. Although I feel world pvp suffered alot from flying mounts which really sucked. Some of my favorite moments of wow was probably doing world dragons in vanilla and then having these huge clashes between multiple guilds, horde and alliance, trying to kill each other and fight for the bosses. Big shit like that, Blackrockspire PvP during prime raiding times, and the AQ opening comes to mind as well. So much fucking fun.

I feel like the game eventually got too casual for my taste, there were so many cool things they changed. Even simple shit like how each race of priests had their own special ability. It gave the characters "character". Then eventually every priest got fear ward, devouring plague, etc. fuck that catering to the masses crap. And also fuck that every class should be able to do dps or tank or heal as well as any other bullshit. No I don't think a balance druid should be able to keep up with rogue and mage dps in a raid. There were plenty of badass things about druids that made them cool, and they brought some great utility to a raid, but they shouldn't be buffed by blizzard just so they can keep up with solely damage dealing classes. That is when everything started to go down hill, when blizz had to make sure a ret pally could do what a fury warrior could, or a elemental shaman had to be able to compete with a mage. Eventually they did this for so long that the classes got homogenized and now everything feels the fucking same, most of what made the classes unique is gone. Now there are several classes that share the same fucking buffs just so you can make sure you don't have to go out of your way to find or priest or some bullshit. Fuck that.

Something else that really bugged me was making all the raids drop the same item level items. I liked having the random ass items in molten core and BWL. It was badass having a bonereavers edge, and even cooler having a spinal reaper. Then eventually you saw a dude with Hand of Rag and it blew your fucking mind. And guess what they all came from the same boss. Nowadays every instance has its fucking item level 354 dps dagger, ilvl354 tanking shield, ilvl354 healing shield, ilvl354 leather dps boots etc. That is so fucking boring.

On top of this I hated when they introduced cross server shit, even cross server battlegrounds (which I think happened in Vanilla). That is when servers lost all sense of community. I liked knowing the people I was fighting day in and day out, it was so much more exciting. And also you should have to run to instances when you want to do a dungeon, that is part of the god damn experience, this is a fucking MMO. I mean when I came back for at the end of WotlK and beginning of Cata the game was a fucking joke. Fucking LFG system where you just instantly spawn into a dungeon with 4 random ass people. Fuck that shit.

Anyways I digress I could talk about wow all day long, Vanilla was definitely the greatest era, people may say it's because the game was so fresh and their was so much to explore, but I disagree. I played the shit out of Vanilla and raided into most of Naxx, I knew every in and out of the game and I loved it, even when I had nothing new left to explore. When I came back and raided the final instances of WotLK even when there was so much shit for me to explore and defeat, it simply wasn't as good of a game. Too many little things had changed just to make the game slightly more appealing to casual players. I understand why Blizz did the things they did and I understand why people would like alot of changes, butt just wasn't the same wow I fell in love with or the wow I wanted anymore.

Fuckin' vanilla WoW, What a game.

#49 Edited by uniform (1836 posts) -

Vanilla was its "Golden Age" for me. An mmo was an entirely new experience for me, and it basically sucked me and a group of friends into it for many years with its fresh experience. Having raided MC-Naxx, TBC felt routine for me. It was already at that rush to 70 to start raiding again, which does detract from the enjoyment. I honestly liked Wrath's aesthetic more, plus seeing a lot of old guildies again that quit end of Vanilla to mid-TBC. I'm sure I'll be there for the next expansion, as we (me and friends) seem to for every new one. I may quit constantly out of boredom, but I'll always love the game and the memories it holds.

#50 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

Vanilla for the novelty. The 40 man raids were amazing, Molten Core is legendary, Paladin Tier 2 Judgement armor, Sulfuras Hand of Ragnaros, Thunderfury, Opening the gates of Ahn Quiraj, the old PVP rank system that required you to devote your live to it to attain Grand Marshal or High Warlord status, and that meant something, servers that had celebrities that everyone knew about, guilds that rose to the top like big law firms and battled it out on realm forums when the drama really intensified. That doesn't exist any more and probably never will again. It had a sense of being a real living world with real people in it, not just some MMO server, but a place where shit actually mattered.

In terms of gameplay and content however, you really need to look to the burning crusade for that, flying mounts, shamans and paladins on both sides, 25 man raids making it more accessible, arenas, more crafting, raid tokens. It did also introduce reputation grinding however...

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