Wilhelm Arcturus of The Ancient Gaming Noob has posted a piece on the nostalgia of World of Warcraft and a private/pirate server called The Emerald Dream.
Casting my mind back to my early days of WoW, some of which you can actually read about on this blog, there is a definite feeling associated with those early days that is warm, fuzzy and full of wonder and hope of an online world with possibilities endless.
Particular things come to mind about those early days.
My friend, Zaraq, nudging Pathak forward to tank a boss in a dark cavern on the Dark Shore border. It's so long ago that I don't even remember what it was called. Zaraq, a feral by nature, was having his own challenge by healing the group. However, I do recall activating a bunch of statues and being overrun by very angry skittering mobs.
I remember spending weeks trying to work the auction house with my skinning and leather working skills to raise the gold for my first level 40 mount. He was one of the dark cats, and I named him Storm Boy.
While leveling together, Zaraq and I also meet a third, Drkraven at about level 13 to 16. He was a hunter, and an American who had located to Sydney, Australia. We pretty much leveled together to about level 58, before the race to 60 proved too much, and we did our own thing. Looking back, Drkraven could have left us in his dust, as was the grinding speed of a hunter in those days. In fact, Zaraq could have done the same thing, since grinding was a little slow for an Arms warrior back then.
At about level 60, I learned to grind. The Furby Grind. Timbermaw reputation : dedication or bloody minded focus. I remember having a run in with a gnome rogue named Santaclaws(? : it's probably in the blod somewhere), who didn't like me killing "his" mobs. The Furby Grind also helped me raise funds for my level 60 elite mount.
Just prior to the release of the Burning Crusade, I dropped my skinning and leatherworking, and took up mining and smithing, as I should have done from the start. Not a lot of useful gear in the leatherwork collection for a level 60 warrior. I think it only took me a week to hit 300 in mining, and a few weeks to max smithing.
There was definitely a good feeling about those days that would be known as Vanilla. I've not come across it since, and I doubt I will again.