I saw a post today by Windsoar today about how different generations of players see WoW and it made me think. I've played World of Warcraft since open beta, raided in two of the 3 releases (Vanilla and Wrath), and leveled almost every class to at least 40 or so. I have 4 raid-geared 80s on my server, covering all the different roles and seeing things from a number of different perspectives. Yet, what I don't see any more is how the new players see things.
It never ceases to amaze me that new people are picking up this game every day and leveling to 80, wide-eyed and ready to see end game content. It's easy to look past their ignorance and expect them to know what they're doing, without considering that they may have leveled their character in a way that works for them, but isn't necessarily the best way to play a class. More often than not, a player is labeled "Bad" or a "Newb" if they can't keep up with the dps, healing, or threat appropriate for their gear level. With raiding groups reduced to 10 players instead of the old world 40, it's a lot easier to point a finger at who's not picking up the slack and doing their job.
But back when we were new players, weren't we also just so ignorant? Ok, so you may be one of the few WoW Savants who just walked into the game knowing exactly what to do, but I doubt that there are that many. I remember going to Molten Core with my 60 gnome mage and thinking she was THE SHIT being able to frost-kite a bunch of undead around Plaguelands, then being very humbled when the meters didn't add up. In my stubborness, I didn't go out and look for help to improve, I stuck to what I liked and pushed through the agony, probably going about my DPS the hard way. It took a long break from WoW and someone I respected telling me I was doing it wrong for me to start in on looking for information on how to play a class and maximize my dps. I still don't go so far as other people with their theory crafting and their spreadsheets, but I try and keep my info up to date so I can compete with my peers and not look like a total moron in raids.
In any case, it's certainly humbling to look back at those players who I may have dismissed as newbs and not want to help them improve. Surprisingly a lot of them are willing and as I've said before, that's one of the big reasons I blog at all -- to help the ignorant find that little bit of info that may give them a new outlook on what they're trying to master.
Since we're on the topic of nostalgia, I read a while ago that Zul'Gurrub will be disappearing from existence as a raid come Cataclysm. This is honestly a little sad as I remember ZG as the first troll raid at 60 with a lot of gimicky bosses and some cool mounts. Seems like there's been a mad rush in my guild to go back and run through it for the achievement and also a try at the mounts. Let's not forget, mages, that the only place to get Polymorph: Turtle is from one of the optional bosses in ZG. My mage already has it, but I've been trying to help a friend get it before the raid goes poof, and I suspect, the tome with it. There's also a fishing achievement from the same boss -- you just have to pop over to Nat Pagel in the middle of nowhere and get some lures, after doing a quest that STARTS in ZG. >.< Pain in the butt. If you find yourself in this situation, farming this book, buy yourself a lot of lures. ZG is enough out of the way without having to go all the way to Duskwallow each run.
On another note, I was always a big fan of the Netherwind Set. A friend of mine and I were discussing the old gear we loved from old world and this set came to mind for my mage, Ten Storms for my shaman. I've made it my personal mission to try to fill out these sets with as many pieces as I can before Azeroth cracks open and Deathwing kills all the old dungeons. Who knows if that stuff will stick around come Cata.
Lastly, let's not forget achievements. While the Outland content may not be touched, nor that in Northrend, you might want to try and catch up on Classic Dungeonmaster before Cata, although I hear it will likely still be around in Cata. Once you hit 80, you can pretty easily solo through all the dungeons and take a small group through the raids to finish up. And in the meantime, you'll get to see some of the old content you may have missed back when WoW was still new.