from mmo-champion forum (

Class & combat:

  • Rogues had to craft their own poisons with special labs spread across the world
  • Rogues could deactivate traps
  • Rogues had to train lockpicking by opening lockboxes around the world. Special gloves even existed to help you.
  • Stealth used to have levels and could be more or less effective. Items such as Nightscape Boots helped you being less detectable.
  • Hunter could use Eyes of the Beast to see through the eyes of its pet.
  • Hunter’s pet needed to be feed and had an happiness bar to manage.
  • Hunters had 3 pets max. Each ones feel special. Now they carry a whole zoo in their bags.
  • Hunters couldn’t attack in melee range with ranged weapons.
  • Bows and guns require ammunitions you had to craft/buy and put in special ammo bags.
  • Warlocks had to get and carry soulshards in special bags.
  • Warlocks had a Detect Invisibility spell. Now it’s integrated in the UI for everyone.
  • Death Knight’s Raise Ally spell bring back people as… ghouls!
  • Druids turned into tree form to heal.
  • Priests had 2 uniques racial abilities.
  • Mages have a Detect Magic spell and even a Khadgar’s Unlocking (in beta) to crack lockboxes.
  • Mages, Warlocks and blacksmiths could craft various oils and grindstones to buff weapons.
  • Paladins could be played only by Alliance while Shamans were only for Horde.
  • Weapons
    requiere skills, including hand fighting. If you equipped a kind of
    weapon that you didn’t know yet, you needed to use it a lot before doing
    max DPS. You also needed to see a weapon trainer first.
  • Speaking
    of trainers, you had to see a trainer in town to learn your new class
    skill/spell.  Now it automatically spawn in your action bar as you
  • Some spells only worked on specific mobs, strengthening the lore. Paladin’s exorcism for example was to be used against undead/demons while now it works the same on any mobs.
  • Magic/fire/frost
    resistance gears were useful against specific boss. Once again it
    strengthen the lore. Some mobs had fire resistance too and/or were weak
    against frost spells. Frost resistance gear was vital against Sapphiron
  • Classes were a lot more different: in term of
    rotation, but also some didn’t have any interrupt, or any cc, or any
    group buff etc. In the same way, lots of class, especially pure DPS,
    didn’t have a single heal. Now almost every class has the same set of
    interrupt/cc/heal/group buff.
  • Mana and health
    regenerate way slower, so you NEEDED to stop and eat/drink every few
    fights. Food and drink actually mater, and mana for DPS caster mattered
    too. When’s the last time you bought normal food in game?
  • Spell levels (Holy Light 1, Holy Light 2 etc.) were useful to manage your mana.
  • Each
    classes has unique quests to unlock specific stuff: mounts for warlocks
    and paladins, postures for warriors, druid’s forms, poisons and Certificate of Thievery for rogues etc.
  • Every classes had a extra equipement slot where you put your libram, sigil, throw, totem, idol, wand etc.
  • Original talent tree allowed hybrid class to freely mix healing, tanking and dps abilities (even if it wasn’t often imba!).

World & quests:

  • Basic campfire required simple wood and a flint
  • Reagents
    (candle, feather, stone…) were needed to cast lots of utility spells.
    Some could be simply bought but others needed farming all around the
  • Auction Houses were local. Only Ironforge (for Alliance) and Oggrimar (for Horde) had one. Also goblin’s AH were neutrals.
  • You need to travel to dungeons and battleground. Now you don’t even need to know where they are.
  • Breathing bar was shorter and quests that required you to go under water didn’t auto-give you water breathing buff like now.
  • There was no instance in the world: If  people were in the same place they see and could help each others.
  • Quests objectives weren’t displayed on your map.
  • Lots of group quests so you have to, well, make group while leveling.
  • Four Dragons of Nightmare were hidden around Azeroth and required raid-sized groups to be defeated.
  • Some of the most powerful spells were only learnable from rares Codex. They dropped from dungeons or raids but weren’t BoP so you could trade/sale them.
  • Expansions or some raids used to be announced with huge pre-release events, like The Gates of Ahn’Qiraj, Dark Portal Opens or the Scourge Invasion. This was abandoned after Cataclysm.
  • One of the most epic quest-chain had a cook recipe reward. You needed a group to loot the mats from elite chimeras.


  • Rare recipes required you to travel all over the world,
    either to find/buy them or to do special quests and even dungeons to
    unlock them. For example you needed a priest to mind-control a mini-boss
    to teach you Enchanted Elementium; now it’s just a drop.
  • Some crafting recipes (Sulfuron hammer, engineer Jeeves/Chopper, some food…) required lots of work and mats. Now it’s just a couple, rarely 3, max.
  • Sound logical, but you actually needed a fishpole to fish, a knife to skin, a hammer for blacksmith etc.
  • You had to level gathering before getting to the next zone. Now tou can skin/gather in Draenor even if you’re level 1.
  • You need the actual mats to be in your bag. Now you can have them in your bank and craft anything in the wild.
  • Alchemists and jewelcrafters needed alchemy lab to make some of the best flasks and reagents.
  • Some
    professions had sub-specialisations: Blacksmith could specialize in
    weapon-smith or armor-smith; Alchemist could become transmute, potion or
    flask masters; Engineers could focus on goblin or gnome recipes. (some
    of those specialisations still exist but aren’t updated anymore)
  • Skinners could skin either normal leathers or scales (used for mail armor). Now only normal leather exist.
  • Some creatures (like Onyxia) required special tools to be skinned, which rewarded you with very rare scales to craft unique gear.
  • Blacksmiths and engineers could craft keys and bombs that you could buy to open lockboxes or doors.
  • Only enchanters could, well, disenchant items.
  • There was a weekly Kalu’ak Fishing Derby in Northrend.


  • World PvP ranks with specific rewards like gear but also repair discount or access to a special World Defense channel.
  • Alterac Valley lasted for hours with lots of PvE quests included, You
    could even summon bosses to fight for your side! (You can still
    technically do it but it’s not relevant anymore)
  • You could loose honor if you killed civilians from opposite faction.

Flow of time:

  • Gold was scarce, it took a LOT of time to save up 10g. Now you can literally make thousand of gold in a day.
  • Mounts had different speeds. Now they all go to your max speed. Also summoning mount took twice as long (3 sec vs 1.5 sec now)
  • Leveling took way longer.
  • No instant mail, even to alts. Now there are mailboxes every 20 yards in every cities.


  • You couldn’t have Alliance and Horde chars on the same PvP server, which helped faction pride.
  • Tauren could plains run (in beta)
  • Undead could speak common (in beta)
  • Keys
    existed. To open special doors you had first to find the key, ask a
    rogue to picklock it, have a blacksmith craft a key or use an engineer’s
  • Dungeons were real mazes that could take hours
    to complete. Now it’s mostly 3 bosses separated by corridors that took
    less than 20 minutes to defeat.
  • Realm reputation mattered.
  • Housing was tested in early alpha (as seen in this video): players could buy/build their own house in Stormwind/Goldshire.
  • Being part of the Brew of the Month Club rewarded you with a monthly sample beer.
  • When
    hard raid mode was first introduced (in Ulduar), it was done via
    in-game action, ie: you had to do trigger specific things during an
    encounter. Now it’s via a click on a menu. (this kind of gameplay
    removal is very well explained in this video)
  • To earn reputation in a dungeon, you had to wear a specific tabard. Now you have to click an option in a menu.


Yeah, and most of these elements were shitty which is why they got removed. Who wants to be the hunter that ran out of ammo in the middle of a boss encounter, or have to farm and carry around sets of resistance gear for a single boss or run the new member of the raid team through attunements just so you can go back to progression?

Everyone say it with me: The major issue with the game now isn’t mechanics, it’s lack of content.