I’ve about had it up to here with everyone saying Vanilla WoW was the best thing ever. People have cried so much about old WoW that now they are releasing a 13+ year old version of the game. Yep, Blizzard is releasing WoW Classic so people can relive The Dark Times. Yep that last link is a whole list of BiS, Best in Slot, gear for all classes and where to get them for when Classic releases. People are that stupid. This actually brings me to the first point that a lot of people mention online. One of the most enjoyable things about a game is discovery. There is no mystery for what will be in Classic WoW. The majority of the players that will flock to that turd already know every inch of that game. People will not flounder around. Everyone is going to beeline to the metagame. Also, there is no telling what affect Streamers will have on Classic WoW, but it can’t be good. All we had at the time was WarCraftMovies.com for the majority of WoW videos. Anyways, the magic of discovery will not be in Classic WoW. It will be a bunch of the worst kind of people racing to see who can achieve impaction first.
I could go through a list of all the things that Vanilla WoW had that sucked ass. Like having to hit the same mining node over and over and over for resources. Why? Why would I want to do that? On Live WoW, you just tap the node once and you have all the resources. Way better. Let’s see, weapon skills. You had to work up weapon skills for each weapon you could equip. You see, this is the kind of crap that confuses the Classic fandom into thinking that Vanilla WoW was an RPG. News flash, it never was. WoW has always been an MMO, and MMOs have and always will be about forcing your way through the grind to the endgame. The grind will always be a slog. The endgame will always be parroting the top player’s character skills and gear choices and composition strategies — your metagame. How about the amount of time it took to do anything. You see, today I can just queue in to a BG without having to go to the BG’s enterance. I can queue in to a dungeon without having to also have a full group ready to go. You can pretty much fly anywhere now thankfully. Having everything be slow and a pain in the ass didn’t force me to make any new friends or gain any more enjoyment out of the process. It just made everything slow and a pain in the ass.
Classic WoW will have it’s time in the Sun and then die down to just the hardcore poop sockers. Whatever. More power to ’em. But, this got me curious about my favorite WoW expansion experience. People have been doing these tier lists on YouTube. I want to try my hand at it, but on my blog; like a pleb who can’t make money doing tier lists on YouTube.
Click to Enlarge
Now that you’ve seen the full tier list. Let’s break it down.
Vanilla World of WarCraft: B- Tier
Right Down the Middle
As much shit as I give Vanilla, it was fucking amazing. Ultima Online had already went to Care Bear land so the fact that you couldn’t kill and loot players on WoW wasn’t really a big loss. WoW had such fluid movement. No other MMO could come close. The size of the areas without loading screens was nice coming off of playing something like Dark Age of Camelot. World PvP could be wacky as hell. The Right Reverend summoning a Doomguard near Brill; RIP Brill, killing Alliance between Undercity and Scarlet Monastery was funny shit. It all just felt amazing.
I talked about some of the crap I didn’t like about Vanilla WoW already, but that is all in hindsight with the live version of WoW for comparison. When WoW released it was the most accessible MMO. As the years droned on with more MMOs competing for playerbase, Blizzard had to react to an aging playerbase with less and less time to play. All the time saving has created a better MMO experience. Like I said earlier, WoW was always an MMO and nothing more. You’re free to your wrong opinion.
The Burning Crusade: A Tier
We’re Flyin’ Bois
The first expansion made use of a smaller area to explore than Vanilla. This led to more world PvP, and I’m all about that. PvPing while leveling up is one of the best things WoW has to offer, and now it was much easier to find. This new world expansion size continues with most expansions going forward. That was good enough, but then you hit max level and unlock flying in the new zones. Best. Thing. Ever. Flying is so good that even today one of the first things people do is grind to unlock flying as soon as it’s available. Makes everything faster so A+++++. As a bonus, The Right Reverend, the Road Idiot, and I made flying machines and spammed movement right on top of the BG and Arena queue NPCs. It was loud and glorious. Many hate whispers because of it. Tasty, tasty hate.
The final patch for The Burning Crusade, the prepatch before the next expansion, changed so much stuff it was crazy. My Mage went from basically dying to any Warlock with a Fel Hunter pet out to me one or two shotting any class with Arcane Barrage and instant Pyroblast. No skill. Just wins.
Wrath of the Lich King: S- Tier
Now THIS was an expansion. I’m pretty sure most of the WoW community agrees that this expansion was great. Some think it is the best expansion. For me, it was the second best. Right out of the gate I changed to the new Death Knight class. It was so overpowered in the beginning that it’s sickening. Great for me though as I was playing it. Exploring and unlocking the new zones was clean and easy. You go to an area, get a few quests, come back turn them all in, move on to the next area. Some nice breaks with stuff like the Wrathgate event spread out in there.
Endgame had you doing all kinds of stuff for some pretty powerful gear. Argent Tournament with it’s crazy stuff like jousting. Blizzard was really exploring new minigame stuff in this expansion that I feel was the starting point for all the minigames they’ve added since. I will personally remember the greatest thing about Wrath. The Group Finder menu was updated for roles. Making it much easier to get a group to just hit up some of the dungeons for runs. That was preyty good to help do more activities as I avoid PvE if I can, but the best thing that was added in this expansion was the Player vs. Player interface. With all the server meshing going on, and now a super easy queue from anywhere menu. A dream. You know by now I’m down for anything that makes the MMO slog faster. But, raiders still had the best PvP gear, and still felt forced into PvEing to PvP so I have to dock it down to an S minus.
Cataclysm: D Tier
I Blinked and I Missed It
Bad dragon gets mad. Bad dragon fucks up some of the world. Blizzard has explained why they can now redesign the old world to have flying. That’s it. This is all I remember from Cataclysm. I feel like the playerbase it had was still riding the coattails of Wrath.
Yea, I honestly didn’t want to put this expansion in the D tier. Being able to fly in the old zones is enough for me to at least consider C tier. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to raise it. I don’t really have any good or bad memories of this expansion. It just happened, and it was gone.
Mists of Pandaria: S++ Tier
Best of the Best
The best expansion ever. All the previous expansions for the most part all added new abilities. This expansion was no different. Players had the most abilities that they have ever had. This was also done while removing the stupid talent trees. Didn’t need all those worthless talent choices. Great decision. Casting while moving was amazing for my Warlock. New Monk class was fast and Rogues had Burst of Speed. Finally more than just Druids could run the damn flag. Finally, all classes were amazing and on equal footing.
The story was meh, but WarCraft’s story has and will always be stupid. MMO’s will never has great epic stories. It’s a curse of the genre. Accept this fact and move on. On a broader note, Blizzard as a company just likes to throw a ton of lore in their IPs with a very simple and PG13 story. They all suck. If it’s story you want, play a real fucking RPG, or if you want a multiplayer with a good story, play a real fucking RPG.
Ok, so the best part about Mists. The real reason it’s the Duke of New York A #1. The amount of PvP I did. All I had to do was log in, queue for random BGs with the two stupid 40 man BGs blocked, and go to the Timeless Isle where I could even kill my own faction members. I could do this for several BGs. Get my currency for doing the one activity I wanted to do, and go to the PvP Vendors and buy the best gear for PvPing. Yep. Finally the true split between PvP and PvE gearing. PvE gear sucked in PvP, and PvP gear sucked in PvE. I never walked into a single dungeon or raid in Mists. Not only was I finally for the first time able to just PvP for the best PvP gear. The gear I was able to buy had the best stats as well. I didn’t have to be Rank eSports God to get the top tier gear. The gear was the same. I just got the complete sets slower. It didn’t matter though. Blizzard finally did it. I finally felt like my time was respected, and enjoyed logging on.
Warlords of Draenor: D- Tier
It’s expansions like this that proves there is no God. Much like Cataclysm, Warlords just didn’t have much to show for itself, and it was following the best expansion to date. It had a poor excuse for player house that just ended up being frustrating. The ability pruning. Some people think the pruning started in Cataclysm with locking in Specializations or Mists with the removal of Talent Trees. No. Everyone who wanted to be decent just picked the meta talents anyways. Even with those changes Mists still had the most abilities on every class than ever before. The real pruning happened in Draenor. This expansion to me just felt like they were slowly strangling everything that made Mists great to death. The prepatch before the next expansion was the death knell. Another round of pruning and a bleak future with no PvP Vendors. It felt like taking two steps back to the Dark Times where raiders and top ranked no-lifers would be the only ones with gear … all good things I guess.
Legion: A+ Tier
I was Wrong
My PvP fears were unfounded. Yes, raiders and top ranked players had the best gear, but Legion had preset templates for classes/specs in BGs and Arenas. This ignored your gear and just gave you a base preset stats. It was almost perfect, but high item level gave bonuses to the template stats. So, the really geared players still had an advantage just not a soul crushing advantage that they think they deserved to validate the aspect of the game they enjoy to play. Just had to throw a bone to the people who already have everything. You were so close to that S Tier, Legion.
The Demon Hunter class was add in Legion. This class is all me. I love self sustaining classes. Gaining life with your damage and crazy movement options. Sign me up.
The world quests helped keep this expansion in the A Tier. Without the Timeless Isle, it gave us something to do while queued into BGs. Also, it could give some nice gear sometimes to maybe get that 1% stats bonus for +10 item levels. This also ties into the new Artifact Weapons. You grind them out like everything in MMOs so nothing inventive there. They did give new abilities which was needed after the pruning. Again, leveling up your Artifact Weapon was something meaningful to do between BGs.
That’s about it. Gul’dan, the Chief Pimp, dies like a bitch for a second time. The Edgey Edge Lord returns to do harass an Old Man, pine over a woman who has been rejecting him for 10,000 years, and eye beam someone’s Etsy art.
Battle for Azeroth: C Tier
Man. At this point, I just give up. I’ve quit WoW so many times and come back. I even tried to play other MMOs when I started feeling the urge to resubscribe to WoW. Doesn’t work. WoW has it’s claws on my soul. I’ve poured 15 years on and off into this MMO; why would I want to even commit to another one? The Right Reverend blessed me with the hard truth of it, “We may try methadone for a bit, but it’s only a matter of time before we go back on the smack.”
Blizzard saw how much everyone enjoyed Artifact Weapons that they added Azerite Armor! Now you have more gear with more choices on them! Yay!
No. This expansion should feel lucky to be in C Tier with Azerite Armor. It’s gross. Different pieces of gear have different Azerite talent choices, and you might get a new higher level piece of gear with choices you don’t want. Remember, MMOs are about the meta game. It is easy with Azerite Armor to not have meta choices on your highest level gear. It is a pain to deal with. Nothing but hate.
I like the Bounty system. Some fun world PvP can be had in this expansion. 8.2 added flying thankfully; because, the Horde main city in this expansion sucks ass. But, I’m now once again force to do activities I don’t want to do like a new dungeon to unlock some new shit while never being able to have the best stats. Uuurrrgggg, yea sure. Ok. Fine.
The Shit Abyss
Why? After years of improving the game to be much more accessible, mainly Mists of Pandaria, why in the hell would anyone want to go back to The Dark Times? J. Allen Brack said it best “You think you do, but you don’t.” The cry babies cried and eventually Blizzard caved in and are releasing WoW Classic. I wish Brack never even said those words. He should have just shrugged and said maybe. Then Blizzard could continue to shutdown private servers running old WoW content from people too untalented to make their own game, and quietly let the idea of WoW Classic die.
I’m probably wrong about everything. In fact, I’m sure I’m wrong about everything. Losing is the only thing I can do with any consistency. Maybe I’ve hated MMOs since Ultima Online.
You know what? Fuck it. I’ve changed my mind. Bring on Wow Classic, and make it so the only way to get any meaningful gear on Live is through Raiding. Give the people what they want. My dumb ass would probably end up playing both at some point. That sounds like some stupid shit I would do. I have to distract myself from the endless void somehow.