15 Minutes of Fame: Playin' it old school

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15 Minutes of Fame: Playin' it old school

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Upcoming Raids
Zul'Gurub (Farm)
Ahn'Qiraj (20) (Farm)
Molten Core (10/10 Farm)
Blackwing Lair (2/8)
Onyxia (Farm)
Azuregos (Farm)

ZG (Farm)? Blackwing Lair (2/8)?! LOL wut?!? We've written before about players who love to chow down on some good, old-fashioned retro WoW content, avidly mixing original instances with the latest hotness from Wrath. Heralds of Yore from Smolderthorn takes that idea to the next level: not only do they specialize in old-school content, they do it as intended – at level 60.

Why would a guild put two entire game expansions on /ignore? Hearken back to the days of "vanilla WoW" with 15 Minutes of Fame and Heralds of Yore, after the break.

Main character Blotter
Guild Heralds of Yore
Server Smolderthorn
WoW player since 2006
Games played pre-WoW Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empires, Guild Wars
Games played besides WoW There are other games?

15 Minutes of Fame: Blotter, tell us about the appeal of focusing on legacy content. What's the draw?
Blotter: To me, the expansions that were released by Blizzard in no way met my expectations that I had for them. First and foremost, PvP (which is one of my favorite aspects of WoW) is a lot worse off. The implementation of resilience ratings has ruined PvP, in my opinion. To me, it seems Blizzard has increased everything too much: higher levels, bigger crits, bigger health, bigger mana, etc., etc. I think they should have left us at level 60 and released more and more content.

Also, the instances are much nicer at 60. AQ is one of my favorite places in the entire World of Warcraft. I do not feel The Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King have delivered as creative of content. Hell, Naxxramas was so great they even reused it -- to my dismay. BC and WotLK just seemed to be sub-par to me, and I have more fun when I am playing level 60 end game.

Wrath is also very, very easy, and people are clearing the content in record time. Before, when people tried to raid Molten Core right after it came out, they were lucky to clear the Firelords. The game has become a little too watered down.

So how long has HoY been raiding level 60 content?
HoY started as Nova in September 2007 and became Heralds Of Yore in November 2007. A small break was taken when patch 3.0 released, due to people going inactive (from us) for their once-again bigger crits and more health.

So do HoY members have BC and Wrath installed -- or is that strictly forbidden?
You have to be on a non-BC account. It keeps people from leveling up from raids, shows that the member is actually serious about raiding pre-BC content and is just an all-around safeguard to not have people level. It is hard to tell if people aren't on vanilla accounts. We go on the honor system.

Are most of your members already familiar with the legacy content?
I would say around 80% of all HoY members raided level 60 content pre-BC. We do have a few people joining who have not experienced pre-BC before, and we also have members who have only experienced pre-BC content. Currently, we run about 25 people in 40-man raids. We struggle with many of the encounters, though, due to low numbers.

Have you yourself played through BC content? What about Wrath?
Yes, I have extensively played BC and Wrath. I did not quit playing these expansions after a few short weeks. I was in a top raiding guild on my server and had everything going for me, at 80 especially -- I just did not enjoy the experience.

Do you see a faster learning curve in raids because most players have more WoW and overall gaming experience than when this early content was first being played?
I do. Also, the new talents and DPS increases make the fights easier to do with fewer numbers. That helps us a lot.

Now that Naxx-40 is no longer available, what will be your ultimate achievement? The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj?
We are currently progressing through Blackwing Lair, so I guess that is our short-term goal -- but for long-term, yes, it is AQ-40. Even though we no longer have Naxx to raid, AQ-40 and BWL are still plenty of great pre-BC content.

I can only hope that one day a pre-BC server is opened, so I can once again enter the fortress of the great lich Kel'thuzad. And if you know anyone at Blizzard, can you please send them a nasty note saying Blotter wants Naxx back! I think it was a huge mistake to eliminate content that they put in the game at 60. It is a stupid move to make something, then move it to Northrend. This eliminated such a large chunk of the game they developed. For what reason? In my opinion, pure laziness, greediness -- or both. But it does leave a void for retro raiders like myself, knowing that I can never wear my Frostfire, but I can see 80s running in it all day.

Do any of your players have access to BC- or Wrath-era items?

BC and Wrath items are not allowed in our raids. When you enter PvP Battlegrounds or do PuGs, you can wear whatever you want. During raids, though, all gear must be pre-BC. Enchant rules have become rather lax due to the gold many members have spent on their enchants, but players are encouraged to use all pre-BC enchants on all items they receive in HoY raids.

How can interested players best get in touch to find out more?
You can visit our web site or you can watch the BC content video I made. It will show you the epicness of pre-BC content!

Late last night as we prepared this feature for posting, we received a last, brief missive from Blotter: "Broodlord Lashlayer down!" Grats, guys, and may your raid groups fill with a full 40.

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- neither did we, until we talked with these players. Check out a whole year's worth of player profiles in our "15 Minutes of Fame: Where are they now?" retrospective.
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