1. Shadowfang Keep. By far and away my favourite instance of all time. As an Undead Warlock (my favourite race/class) I teamed up with a friend's Undead Priest (shadow). Unsurprisingly, we both wanted the Robes and Belt from Arugal. These two insane and defiant clothies farmed that place for days. I loved the crazy antics that we got up to, and all the little things we learnt about the keep. In the hallways and courtyard we dashed about casting Fear and Dispel Magic, shifting tactics every few groups because the mobs were so wonderfully varied. Forsaken Skills is still my favourite debuff in the game. The hilarity of having -100 skills in Two handed Axes, followed by the panic of -100 to Shadow spells, made for exhilarating fights.And then, once we had outwitted his minions, we stood toe to toe with Arugal (except for the giant crack in the floor between us). By standing on my toes at the very top of the stairs and leaning forward he was in range of my curses. The room darkened as shadows were flung every which way in a battle of wits and determination. He tried to turn my Voidwalker into a Worgan, which was hilarious. He turned the the priest into a Worgan, causing me to frantically cast Fear (at her) and Drain Life (at him), desperately hoping that we'd master him this time.2. Apothecary Keever. The sheer hilarity of his experiments gets me every time. I love to just stand and watch him.3. Warlocks in general. Especially Undead ones. I love everything about them. Collecting men's hearts for the Succi? Hell yea. Raining fire at the ominous stealthing sound? Awesome. And Fear. PvE or PvP, I love making people run in Fear.
A Top-Five "Best Things About Vanilla Content" list, eh? Well lemme see...1. Blackrock Depths. This may be one of my favorite instances in WoW, and it's certainly one of my favorite instances from vanilla content, second only to Scarlet Monastery in terms of that. The more time I've spent in it, the more I thought, "hm, the Blizzard guys must've all gotten drunk and played Dungeons and Dragons one night, and this was the result." It's even more incredible when you factor in the Dwarves, whom if you've been paying attention during their first couple of zones you'd get that for dwarves, there's no more screwing around fouling up their attempts to wreck Ironforge's lands, it's time to toss an Arclight Spanner into their operation and take them down on their turf. No more running around in the woods miles away from Ironforge, you're doing it right there in their faces. To this day it continues to be one of the longest instances in the game at, I believe somewhere around 23 bosses. Not even Icecrown Citadel can flaunt that number. I know people hate it because it's so long, but those people deserve to be ignored. If you can tackle the beast that is Blackrock Depths and kill every boss in one sitting, then you have all the right to tell people who complain about the dungeon's length to sit down and shut up.2. The Battle of Darrowshire questline. This is what I wish more questlines would be. The Battle of Darrowshire, though fairly insignifigant in the grand scheme of things, was such a long, enduring questline about one man, Joseph Redpath, who was corrupted by the Scourge during their invasion of Lordaeron and eventually turning on his own people. The questline sent you almost to Mt. Doom and back, all culminating in fighting alongside the heroes of Darrowshire and eventually killing the Corrupted Joseph Redpath to restore the status quo. And let me tell you, that final quest is so good you'll want to roll alts just so you can do it again.3. Scarlet Monastery. This is by far my favorite old-world instance. The monastery is the base of operations for the fanatical Scarlet Crusade's operations and it's up to you to cut off the head of the beast and secure some breathing room for the Undercity. Well that's if you're a Forsaken in any way or even just a member of the Horde. The Alliance's version is that the Crusade's strayed from the path of the Light for some way and has devolved into a fanatical group of homicidal zealots that believe any and everyone is a carrier of the Plague of Undeath and that only those who wear the colors of the Crusade are pure and it's up to you to stomp on their commanders. The instance only got better if you had the Corrupted Ashbringer, but that's a whole other thing.4. Naxxramas. The last of the original vanilla raid instances, Naxxramas was the beast that only a few guilds could lay claim to saying they've conquered. This place was full of crazy and unique boss fights like Heigan the Unclean, the Four Horsemen, Gothik the Harvester and Thaddius. This instance was so good they had to bring it back when Wrath of the Lich King was released. Partially it was because they wanted to have the Lich King's majordomo Kel'thuzad back in the picture (and menacing the life out of the Alliance in Dragonblight), but I believe it was because they wanted it to brutalize the players back into submission again...until Ulduar came around, anyway. Plus, there's one item that Naxxramas' original incarnation will always be able to lay claim to: Atiesh. Before Val'anyr had you running up and down Ulduar looking for shards of an old hammer, Naxxramas' head honcho Kel'thuzad had all the bosses hanging on to the forty shards of Medivh's trademark staff Atiesh. Oh sure C'thun had a piece too, but that's because he knew it was the only way he'd get to destroy any raids after Naxxramas was released.5. The Ahn'Quiraj War Effort. What a way to celebrate a new instance. These days we don't get so much as a party. When AQ came about, they had us crafting and creating supplies, armor, weapons and the whole nine so the Alliance and the Horde would be ready to fight the Silithid army. And what was the payoff? A battle for the ages! Oh and it wasn't merely enough that the War Effort was a new, interesting (and deserving of return) way of gaining rep with the Alliance/Horde factions, also included was the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline. This one had you running all over Azeroth, killing off countless dragons including Onyxia, Azuregos, Nefarian and one of the Dragons of Nightmare in order to go WAY above the call of duty and re-forge the Scepter of the Shifting Sands (smooth move, Fandral Staghelm) and when the Scarab Gate finally opened, he who held the scepter and rang the Scarab Gong would be rewarded with the Scarab Lord title, a title that only a few people in the world have. And you would also get a special epic mount. And then most likely the server would crash due to too extreme overpopulation in one area. I really wish that Blizzard would do a second War Effort event, but maybe it's better that they don't since the original was so good it'd be hard to top the second, even with the rampant inflation of prices on crafting materials.
5 DeadminesThe first instance I ever entered was Deadmines, and I was terrified. My little group faught long and hard to open door after door, fighting thieves and surviving ambushes, blasting doors with cannons until we finally laid eyes upon a giant ship filled to the brim with pirates, eventually killing Van Cleef. It was an epic experience for me, and my heartrate had been increasing steadily through the entire instance. 4 Class RunsSlowly gaining level upon level, I hit the magical 60. I was a mage, queen of crowd control and AoE controlling fire and ice with nothing but my mind - even if I had no idea what I was doing. Fighting my way through countless instances to collect my beloved Magister's Regalia. I got 7 of 8 since nobody wanted to do the Postmaster Malown in Stratholme - the only way to get the boots. 3 Molten CoreHaving been in the same guild since level 10, my friends and I joined forces with another guild to venture into Molte Core. A good friend of mine from my guild had moved on to a more advanced guild, one that acually raided! On my first raid, we were able to kill Luficfron and his minions! The feeling of pride made my heart swell! Wow, I was finally raiding. I was so close to beating the game! I would finally be one of the characters in Ironforge, wearing epic gear, and making everybody envious! 2 Epic Hunter Bow chainHaving discovered PvP, and being on a very alliance dominated server, I rolled Horde for shorter queue times. This was obviously before x-realm battlegroups. Leaving my trusty mage, I started all over as a hunter. I leveled quickly, and was accepted into a new guild formed by like minded people, set to even the ratio between Horde and Alliance. We called ourselves Turncoats, since the guild mostly consisted of re-rollers. I had been raiding both Molten Core and Onyxia before, and my new guild progressed fast. Being lucky with drops, I found myself in posession of two epic quest items, enabling me to accept quests for an epic bow, and an epic staff. I had to venture around the world, killing some of the meanest demons known to Azeroth. I had to do this alone, neither my guildmates nor my pet was able to help me, and when the final of the four demons fell dead on the ground, and I was able to get my Lok'delar and Rhok'delar. I felt a personal pride like never before. Killing bosses were a group effort, but this was me and me alone. What a feeling. 1 BWLTo this day, nothing have ever come close to the feeling of euphoria when the ragged band of misfits known as the Turncoats were able to slay the dreaded lord of Blackrock Spire: Nefarian. 40 strangers, 40 close friends, 40 boys and girls, 40 women and men, from all over Europe. I recorded everything on my computer, and uploaded it to our web site. To this day, it still brings joy when I re-watch that video. It was the epitome of my gaming experience, and while I still have my hunter in the same guild this very day, most of the players have moved on, but we will forever share that experience.
1. I got to say, the first time I went to TB, i couldnt figure out how to go to different levels and fell off a few too many times. :)2. When I did my 1st instence in org, I remember loving it, lol it was so weird how i was better level then them and i couldnt beat them alone, i loved that.3. I loved Barrens Chat, it was so random yet ausome. and a newb asking for Mariks wife following a long list of "in my bed" and then going into chuck norris jokes.4. I remember when i as a neub trying to swim to the circle in the middle of the world map, and dying. Then walking back as a ghost and dying as a ghost i was like WTF?5. When i did my 1st raid BRD it was si kool becouse of everything i got + i got 5g and i was like WWWHOOOO! :)
1. Pamela RedpathQuestlines like this are what make WoW feel like a world, and not just a game. The war and the thousands of resulting dead are an abstract concept, but this intimate story, focusing on one family destroyed by the war, makes it personal. It brings home the enormity of the plague and its consequences, smacks you in the face and tears your heartstrings.2. The Bride of the EmbalmerThis storyline blew my mind! I'd been running errands for this harmless old man, assuming I was doing my part to help the less fortunate, only to discover that he had been manipulating me the whole time. Plus, I was responsible for the attack on the town by a giant abomination and the deaths of players and guards. Just because you are a hero doesn't mean you always have good judgment, or that you can't be played.3. WestfallRunning through Westfall for the first time, in the dark, seeing the deserted farmlands overrun, surrounded by clanking mechanical golems. It was the first step into the wider world, and when you first realize just how big this world is.4. Apothecary LydonI always look forward to taking quests from this guy. He is so gleefully evil that doing his bidding is a delight. Plus, I am fairly certain that his name is a reference to John Lydon of the Sex Pistols, which scores a lot of points right off. (If it isn't, don't tell me; let me have my illusions.) He perfectly embodies the sarcastic callousness of the Forsaken mad scientist.5. ScholomanceThis place is disturbing from the minute you begin interacting with it. After hearing about the horrible things that happened to the ghostly servants near the entrace, you enter the manor-turned-school-for-necromancers and see for yourself the evil that still lurks within, fueled by the depravity of the House of Barov. Finally, you receive a trinket that enables you to communicate with the dead, and learn the most awful truth of all - that the residents of Caer Darrow have no idea what happened to them, and are doomed to spend eternity repeating their last day of life. Every storyline connected with this place is DARK, and that's why I love it.
1. Darnassus — This was back during the first year of the game, after it had been out for a few months, and I had never played an MMO before. I was mesmerized by the absolutely gorgeous, shiny graphics, and could no longer resist. The first time I walked through the massive gates of Darnassus on my little NE druid, I was completely blown away by the scale of the place, all of the beautiful detail, and the swelling music. I spent a long time exploring and speaking to every NPC to see what they would say, thrilled to pieces that I could meet the famous Tyrande...though I wondered where Malfurion was. It was awesome seeing all those other PCs running around, knowing that each one was controlled by another person.2. Darkshore — An awesome, well-laid out, wonderful place to hunt, and home to the beautiful ghost saber...it's one of my favorite zones. The first time I stepped off the boat that goes from Teldrassil to Auberdine in Darkshore, I was running down the dock, looked over, and saw a level 13 crab. I freaked out, my immediate thought being, “oh, god, I’m going to die horribly here,” handed in the delivery quest, and turned right back around to grind out two more levels on cats and spiders in Teldrassil. I was so convinced I wouldn’t be able to handle the area as I was and I can’t believe I was so scared for the safety of my poor little druid.3. Menethil Harbor to Ironforge — Three words: The Ironforge Run. If you’ve never experienced it at least once, you are seriously missing out. I saw a naked gnome marathon full of very low levels run through the area once, and thought it was the funniest thing I’d seen in a long time. It is tedious, exhilarating, terrifying, and hilarious all at the same time, but best of all, you get four flight points out of it! Running a level 12 NE through the Wetlands and the Algaz Gauntlet because you absolutely had to get to IF to join your human friends is truly an experience. The scenery was great and it also made you really appreciate those flight points afterward because you never wanted to do it again! I’ve done it many, many times, sometimes with an escort of a nice level 40+ or three, sometimes doing the wince-inducing corpse run. Since they’ve redirected the boats directly to Stormwind, Menethil Harbor is sadly cut off from Auberdine, and with the scheduled destruction of the Wetlands thanks to Deathwing’s return, I doubt the run will ever be the same again. R.I.P. Ironforge Run.4. Zul’Farrak — My first serious guild run of any instance with my hunter. It also involved getting my first trinket, the Carrot on a Stick, (I still have it and I wish I could use it at 80!), and I was so excited to earn it. Zul’Farrak was a blast—we were the appropriate level for it, did it all, no one died, everybody learned how to work together, we conducted an instance tutorial on line-of-sight pulling for the tank, we got a ton of great loot, and it was just a lot of fun! We talked about it for days afterward.5. Watching the now defunct Prestor/Windsor quest line unfold in Stormwind…that was something truly epic to see. The first time I saw it happen, it was right at the end and I didn’t have a clue what all the red text yelling was for; the second time, I stumbled upon the fight going on in the throne room and promptly ran the other direction before I died horribly. The third time I saw it from start to finish, crammed myself into a corner, and peeked around some curtains in stealth mode, watching the huge tangled melee battle at one end of the room with all of the enraged dragonkin blocking everything, a single night elf priest standing on the throne mound, casting all of her spells. I was so upset that Windsor died because I thought that meant they’d failed the quest after all that work. Then I found out that it was supposed to happen that way. After that, every time I saw Lady Prestor yelling her head off in the chat log, I headed for the throne room to watch. My only regret is never having the chance to do the quest line for myself...I wasn't able to level fast enough before they got rid of the quest.
1. Blackrock Depths.Walking into Blackrock Mountain is one of the most awesome experiences in the game; there is an amazing sense of size and grandeur. Do you see that island of rock, floating above a giant pool of swirling lava, held up by tremendous metal chains, which are anchored to the inside of the mountain by precisely carved statues of dwarves, one-hundred times life size? Have you proceeded out to the island, then down past forgotten tombs, to the very edge of the lava, only to find an entryway into an even larger mining operation, run by a race of shadowy dwarves? Have you snuck into their city? Trying to discover the layout of that vast city below the mountain is the greatest pleasure. There are highways, back doors, locked doors, a great gate, circuitous paths, long bridges spanning rivers of lava, secret shortcuts, and an entrance into a fire-and-brimstone land that anywhere else is called hell. It is populated by drunken bar patrons, cult emissaries, angry ghosts, elemental servants, living fire, and a missing princess. Every view from inside is a wonder to behold.2. Feralas.Now this place is green, and green is gorgeous. There's nothing quite like a run from Thousand Needles to Desolace. The landscape is expansive in either direction from the road, and is constantly shifting elevations and staying interesting. There are beautiful waterfalls, and a small hidden valley. For an awesome view, you can teleport to the top of the tallest rock formation in the area and parachute down. Plus, there are green dragons, an entrance to the Emerald Dream, and you might even meet Rexxar.3. Silverpine Forest.This is a haunted pine forest, complete with haunted island, haunted city, and an ultra-scary haunted tower. It is crawling with creepy spiders, creepy undead gnolls, creepy mysterious wolf-men, and, for extra suspense, a few extra-creepy wandering elites. The quests here all have story associated with them, and it is enjoyable and fulfilling to watch that story play out. On the southern border of the land lies a boarded-up gate to another kingdom, where who knows what is happening...4. Azshara.If you've never done it, start off every morning for four weeks straight by waking up at dawn to run around Azshara plucking dreamfoil. The serenity will take you away, even if a few random bear-men do start chasing you. This large zone has so much to find, it could take a very very long time before you discover everything. But that's good, because the fall colors are just beautiful to watch roll past; you can almost feel the gentle breeze.5. Maraudon.This is another lush underground playground that one might never have expected to exist there. The entrance is through the sacred crypts of the centaur race, complete with undead and roaming ghosts. Beyond this is an opening to a large cave filled with glowing crystals, and things only get more fantastic as you descend. One side of the cave becomes filled with noxious fumes and all sorts of living matter that might grow in nightmares. The other is filled with shadows and vile satyr. Yet beyond these the world suddenly opens up; the sky appears, water falls from high above, and you find yourself in a beautiful rock garden guarded by stone giants. At the end lies the ugliest thing you've ever seen, but there is lots of story to absorb as you go.