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Summer Reruns – The Instance Group in Vanilla WoW August 9, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Instance Group, World of Warcraft.
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The Chronicles of the Saturday Night Instance Group have been somewhat sparse this year.  Things change and real life intrudes.

So I went back and picked out the tales of the original group run, our joint conquest of the group content in World of Warcraft, which started in earnest back in October 2006.

The group in Shadofang Keep – 2006

Not that we were free from interruptions back then.  There is a pretty large gap in the timeline March and September 2007, during which one of us published a book, one of us moved across town, and another changed jobs and moved across country.  That gave us some time to go explore other games.  And we got back together to continue forward.

This group of characters… with one substitution part way in, Blintz the dwarf rogue was replaced by Vikund the paladin… did the group content and followed the various story lines all the way through to the end of Wrath of the Lich King.  We ended up skipping bits here and there.  And we never did get back and finish up those last three instances they added WotLK after we were done.

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

And That was that.  After getting UBRS access, we were through the dark portal and into The Burning Crusade content.  We had our epic mounts.  We saw most of the content.  And we were the right level.  It was time to advance.

The Group on Epic Mounts

Post WotLK we tried to recapture the feeling of the original instances by re-rolling our group as Horde on a PvP server in November 2009.  We made it into TBC content.  But various changes to the game… talent trees and abilities were tuned for the new content… and ourselves… we eventually figured out how to play… made it seem like the original content had been nerfed in some way.

And then again, with the launch of Cataclysm, we re-rolled and tried to start from scratch, four Worgen and a gnome.  But that fell apart more quickly than I thought it would.  The dark side of the Dungeon Finder reared its ugly head, as Blizzard redesigned the original content to suit its tool.  Until then, DF wasn’t that bad in my eyes.  I wasn’t so concerned about cross-realm groups or bad matches.  But when Blizzard decided that the instance content should be successfully completed by any group that met the minimum requirements in an hour or less, the instance plan died.

In about four years we went from needing to take multiple all-night runs at some instances to running multiple instances in a single night on a regular basis.  The game had clearly changed and the past was no longer reachable.

But we have our memories of good times, a series of blog posts to help remind us when memories fade, and even a video.

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1. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 9, 2013

Side note: The real purpose of this post was to put together links to all of those posts in one place so I could find them and view them easily. WordPress.com doesn’t have a very sophisticated search abilities, so I cannot search on something like string + category + date range.

And my need to go find all of these was sparked by a link to one of the posts in a WoW forums discussion about (yet again) how WoW used to be challenging.

Finally, it is kind of interesting (to me at least) to read my writing from that far back. I used to keep notes about each run and, at least for a bit, attempted to draw conclusions. Now I think I am more about the narrative.

Addendum: I have to go back and fix some of those pictures. I still have stuff pointed at Image Shack.

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2. Jenks - August 9, 2013

RIP engrossing MMORPGs designed for people without ADHD. You are dearly missed.

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3. bhagpuss - August 9, 2013

What do you think of the Instance Group’s chances of settling down to something over the Autumn/Winter? Rift: Storm Legion doesn’t seem to have gone very far.

I get almost all my grouping fix vicariously nowadays via you and Tipa. Last time I grouped in earnest was over a year ago doing guild groups in EQ2 and those were mentored down. Maybe I’ll actually do some myself in FFXIV.

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4. Shintar - August 10, 2013

I do enjoy reading your old Instance Group posts. I even did the whole levelling through dungeons with a fixed group thing as well, shortly after BC came out, though in my case the people involved were only online acquaintances, not close friends. Still, some of it sure sounds very familiar, especially wiping a lot on Archaedas in Uldaman, lol. I remember that our group got tripped up by the fact that we had no healer (as we were only four) and kept having to readjust our strategy until we got him down in the end.

And that post about your Instance Group video is one of the first ones I recall reading on your blog. :)

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5. splatus - August 11, 2013

Man, that brings back memories. Running instances with friends was what kept me in the game. We had some hilarious wipes and epic survivals. The dungeon finder turned WoW into Left-for-Dead and really spoiled the gameplay for me. I quit after running Lich King and never looked back. But I’d love to go roll with friends through these dungeons again…

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