What is it about thinking back on days of old that makes people want to say "well back in my day...?" I suppose that times have changed and things have indeed gotten easier with time. I was sitting at work staring at the computer trying to keep busy and sadly failing at it when I started thinking about how vanilla WoW asked so much of players, at least in PvE situations. Well everyone should take a seat as Grandpa Jed goes on and on about how things are so easy mode now compared to when I started playing.
To me it seems that vanilla WoW expected players to do more than just one thing in instances. What I mean by this is that as a Mage(and a very sexy one I might add) I was expected to dps, polymorph mobs, counterspell casters, kite stuff, watch my threat, keep track of other cc'ed mobs, and most importantly...not die! Even tanks(and at the time 95% of all tanks were warriors) had to hold agro, not break cc, pay attention to fear mechanics, kite, dps, not stand in fire(and there was a lot of actual fire in those raids) and most importantly...not die!
In Burning Crusade crowd control started disappearing as mob packs were starting to shrink in instances and with the introduction of Misdirect threat wasn't watched as closely since everyone and their mother had a hunter in the raid. If you somehow didn't have a hunter then you had a paladin who could cast Blessing of Salvation (oh Salv how I do miss thee) to reduce the threat people generated. I am not saying that people just went all out and didn't pay attention to their threat, I'm just saying it wasn't as huge as it was in vanilla.
I remember running Scholo and it seemed like everyone had a job other than their main job. Healers had to shackle undead mobs, I had to poly humanoids, hunters had to frost trap, rogues had to sap and keep enough energy to interrupt oh so fun aoe fears. Don't even get me started on hunters and how much work they had in vanilla. Having to drop a trap, tag a mob and LOS it back to the trap was tough enough by itself since you could only drop one trap at a time, the traps were resisted often, and usually the hunter had to concussion shot kite the mob until the tank could pick it up. If the hunter feigned, they had a high chance of it also being resisted and the mob would continue to beat their face in. If they were successful in their feigning...the healer was probably the next one the mob would soundly thrash.
As difficult as I am making stuff sound in vanilla, I am honestly glad that I did play then because I feel that I was truly able to learn my class and I got to know it inside and out. I could track a poly'd mob in a raid(a must for the Executus fight), I learned to frost kite, and most importantly I learned the importance of decursing. Molten Core taught me that any curses that are placed on people are bad...I'm looking at you Lucifron and Gehenas! Since I seem to be running on healing or tanking classes a lot lately I see curses sit on people for way too long and that makes me sad that people would rather pew pew and top the meters instead of doing their job and cleansing stuff off.
I remember running UBRS and having everyone pull their weight, hunters would kite, rogues would sap, tanks would not break CC and I miss those days. Hell I remember in one UBRS group I had to kite Drakk to the Beasts room so the dps could kill Drakk's adds. I got stuck doing it because no one else was available to do it and let me tell you right now that it was no easy feat. Imagine the scene from Raiders of the lost Ark, where Indiana Jones is being chased by the huge boulder. That's what it was like except for after he killed me he ran back to try to kill my friends who thankfully were ready for him. To me nothing has been that exciting or felt as epic for my mage, even mage tanking in BC.
Now everything seems like pew pew fests and CC has mostly gone the way of the enhancement shaman wielding a 2h, in other words it's barely around. Everything is just pulled to the tank and aoe'd down. I have hope that the Cataclysm will bring CC back into the game. I also hope that it will introduce more opportunities for awesome experiences like kiting Drakk. What do you guys floating out in the void that is the internet think? Is the game easier than or still as hard as vanilla or even BC?