On this very special episode of Fourteen Ninety-Nine, Troy has a flashback to being chain-stunned in battlegrounds by a rogue with RNGsus on his side, while watching the BlizzCon annoucement for Classic servers…
For the first six months of its life, World of Warcraft was a complete shitshow. The game was, by almost all accounts, unfinished and rushed out the door, likely to beat some EverQuest hype train that was about to depart the station. The level 50-60 range was practically devoid of quests, and the mid-game was rather lacking in dungeon content to offset the grind. At one point, the French and German versions of the had a broken loot rolling system that just wouldn’t work. There was no group finder, no matchmaking, and no organized PvP system.
And yet, this was more polished and more fun than most of the MMOs that were out at the time. So much so that people remember it as if vanilla World of Warcraft was the result of the heavens opening up and the hand of Yahweh descending to deliver it unto the chosen peoples of the land (apparently, the intersect of disgruntled Everquest players and Frozen Throne fans), and those same people begged Blizzard to launch official vanilla throwback servers so hard that this year at BlizzCon they said they were going to do it. This is an insanely nutty idea that I am immensely looking forward to and today on Fourteen Ninety-Nine, we’re going to take a look at some of the more egregious violations of sanity that early World of Warcraft had with the kind of nostalgia that only exists elsewhere in vaporwave and arguments about the Berenstain Bears.
Note: I am not slandering Blizzard here. This is all about how massively things have improved in quality since the mid-2000s for MMOs. I would be all down to do vanilla WoW’s progression with some of the major QoL improvements recent expansions have functionally added. Hindsight is better than 20/20 in this case.
I apologize for the relative lack of interesting pictures in this article. I don’t have any screenshots from twelve years ago and getting new ones is complicated by Blizzard C&Ding all the 1.12 private servers.