There is a small vocal group of WoW players who feel that Burning Crusade was the pinnacle of the WoW experience, an unparallelled beauty of game design, and that life has gotten progressively worse ever since. Those players are starting to piss me off.
The reason they like BC so much is the same reason most players like an expansion more than all the rest: because that's when they started playing. Vanilla players like to talk about how hard yet awesome life was in our day and Wrath newbies (who, appallingly, are old timers themselves now) like to talk about how the game has only gone downhill since their time.
All of us old timers have one thing in common: we look at our glory days of exploring WoW for the very first time through rose-tinted glasses, remembering all the great stuff and glossing over just how bad the bad stuff was. But these BC lovers have crossed the line into being just plain daft, and trying to claim the exact opposite of how things really were.
Because really, BC sucked.
The glory days
What really got me started on this was some hunters talking about how they're dumbing the game down (in reference to hunter shot priorities) and had the gall to bring up Karazahn or BC in the same breath. Not don't be me wrong, I appreciate the balls a statement like that takes, but them's crazy balls, and those kind aren't good for anyone.
Let's take a look at those glory days for a moment, shall we...
There was one optimal hunter spec back then that was leaps and bounds ahead of the others. If you wanted to raid in BC, you had to be BM, and BM did very well. The optimal BM rotation was a 1-button macro. I'm not exaggerating, that's what we did. I had mine bound to my mousewheel because my finger got tired of slamming the same button repeatedly. I know other hunters who put the same button on multiple keybinds just to have some variety in their button-pushing.
This macro consisted of firing Steady Shot in a way that made sure we didn't clip our auto-shot, and triggering Kill Command when it was up (which was not an attack back then, but a pet buff that was off the GCD). Our global cooldown was 1.5 seconds and, to be fair, we couldn't cast while moving.
Compare that to the myriad of buttons in the hunter rotation now and the GCD is 1 second so you're pushing all those different buttons far faster than you had to push just the one in BC. Then you can stand there and tell me the hunter rotation is dumbed down and you'll understand why I'm slapping your face. Because if hunters now had a two-button rotation it would be twice as complex as it was in those glory days.
Speaking of Karazahn
And speaking of Karazahn, let's talk about that raid for a moment. To be sure, Kara was a beautifully designed raid zone, complete with an awesome smiley face underneath. But it was also a 10-man raid in a 25-man raiding world, that forced an artificial bottleneck to raid progression that trashed raid teams left and right and forced you to continue raiding the place two years after there wasn't a single damned thing you wanted from it.
And let's talk about those 25-man raids too. Some of those BC-lovers like to preach the glory of the 25-man raid team and how horrible it is that 10-mans now dominate. They want better incentives for 25-man raiding because, of course, most of the players would rather raid as 10-man and they're clearly wrong so we have to bribe them to get them to play in a way they'd rather not. And after all, 25-mans are cooler and more epic feeling.
You wanna talk cooler and more epic? Back in my day we had 40-man raids, and that's just the way it was. You want to raid, you better damned well have 39 friends willing and able to all be free at the same time. Your 25-man raids are pathetic little dungeon runs compared to the epicness of 40 people fighting together as a single organized unit. And you know what else? The BC switch to 25-mans butchered every single vanilla raid guild. And do you hear us complaining, other than right now as you're reading this? No. Because we were men back then, with great enormous titan-sized balls instead of welfare epics. I'm not trying to be sexist either -- we had women raiders too, but they were also men, with even bigger balls, given the crap they had to put up with.
And you know what else, it's good that they destroyed 99% of all vanilla raid teams by reducing the raid size, because more people raided in BC than in vanilla (a trend that has continued every single expansion since) because that's what the majority of players wanted. So before you complain about the oafs killing your beautiful BC raid format, keep in mind that's just what you youngsters did to ours.
That's right, I called you a youngster. Because you've got no idea what life was like in my day, just like the kids today don't know what it was like in yours.
Take any new WoW player and transport him to your day in BC or mine in vanilla, and I promise you that he would hate it. He would tell you that it sucks! Because it does suck.
BC was also awesome
And here's the thing: BC sucked, it's true. But that's by today's standards. By BC standards it was amazingly awesome.
BC improved on vanilla in so many ways: added arenas, made raiding more accessible, offered the ability to fly, get epics without having to raid, heroic versions of dungeons for level-capped characters, gave more entry points to raiding without having the horrible linear grind that chained so many vanilla guilds, fought off gold farmers (accidentally turning them into hackers, admittedly). The list of improvements are vast and at the time, BC was absolutely the pinnacle of WoW gaming...
Until Wrath came around, bringing with it alternate 10-man raids, the dungeon finder to finally let you out of hours in the LFG channel, we hunters got more pets, spirit beasts, and our first ever legitimate AoE. More people than ever raided with the 10-man option and it was easier to gear for raid entry, raids got hardmodes for those who wanted a tougher challenge, Blizzard worked to bring world PvP into focus with Wintergrasp, we had the phenomenal Ulduar, and all of this on top of the BC gains plus a thousand other quality of life improvements.
And that's just how the game goes.
I've talked before about how the game is demonstrably not being dumbed down. It's also important to remember that one of the reasons those far distant expansions seemed so great is because it's when you first really got into WoW, and you're remembering not just what happened, but how you felt about it. Your remember the joy of your first raids and first set gear and you're not remembering the godawful attunements and horribly imbalanced class issues and heinous bugs: all of which were far, far worse back then.
It's okay to kick back and bask in the memories of the good ol' days. Those whippersnappers today don't know how good they have it, and they needed to be reminded now and again. Just don't sink so far into those memories that you start to confuse feelings for facts.
Scattered Shots is dedicated to helping you learn everything it takes to be a hunter. If you're stuck in one of the nine support classes, why not move up to the big league and play a hunter?