One of the biggest contributions WoW had on the MMORPG genre was how raids work. It’s definitely not the first to have that kind of mechanic, but how we know and understand it today is all thanks to Blizzard’s groundbreaking MMO. Having said all that, let’s take a look back at some tidbits of info about how raiding was like the good old WoW Classic gold vanilla days.
The Molten Crater
Developing content for MMO, be it WoW Dungeons or WoW Classic raids, can take at least a month or two. This considerably long period is spent to make sure that the raid instance not only works, but is also presentable. Molten Crater, on the other hand, was only developed in a week. At first, it was just a rumor that circulated among the player base, until it was later on confirmed by the devs. Thankfully, such a revelation didn’t cause much backlash, and probably even helped cement its status as one of the game’s more popular raid instances in vanilla WoW.
Looking back, the rather lackluster interior was a telltale sign of its rushed conception. Still, it’s already quite the memorable icon that players remember with much fondness.
C’Thun and Ahn’Qiraj
While we only had the Burning Legion as these extraordinary powerful and otherworldly beings in Warcraft III, its genre-defining MMO sequel introduced the Old Gods. Powerful entities that shape the affairs of Azeroth and beyond, it makes perfect sense that they should be featured in a raid or two.
In the more recent expansions, players saw more and more of them. In the Vanilla days, however, they didn’t have a huge role, and were only referenced a few times. And even if you arrange WoW dungeons by level, you won’t find much talk about them. But despite the fact that only one was mentioned in that particular era, it was a hugely important Old God: C’Thun. After all, he is not only the final boss of the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, he was also regarded as the main antagonist of Classic WoW–and for good reason!
It’s not uncommon in games to have a supposedly inaccessible area that is either scrapped or future content that is still in its planning stages but already has traces in the game. For Karazhan, it was the latter.
Despite being slated for release in The Burning Crusade, the game’s first expansion, a section of the raid instance was added into Azeroth a little bit early—so much so that players managed to check it out before it was officially rolled in. They didn’t see much aside from dark stone halls, but it’s still very much a cool thing to see a place in the game before its official launch. Surely, not a lot of players, even those that have been playing since Day 1, can say the same.
While Karazhan was literally ahead of its time, Tol Barad was the complete opposite, as it’s meant to be a part of the game since the WoW Vanilla release date. The idea behind this island prison is that it’s connected to Stormgarde and the first war. Gameplay-wise, it was supposed to be a battleground that would be unlocked as though it were an instance. This, however, has been changed. It’s for the better, and people are pleased with the Tol Barad that they got, but people will always wonder about the one they could have gotten.
Last yet certainly not least is Naxxramas. It’s only fitting for it to be mentioned here, as it’s the last of the WoW raids slated for WoW vanilla. A giant necropolis that flies above the Plaguelands, it was a difficult raid that tested players. Unfortunately, because of how close its release is to the first expansion, it was clearly overshadowed. Thankfully, it became more popular in the long run, but it would’ve been cool if it got the recognition it deserves right at the get-go.
Raids have played a significant part in WoW players’ lives, so they very much deserve the look back. But don’t be content with that. Go try them out for yourself in WoW Classic!