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#6 - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Kudos to Korppi for guessing this)

Hmm.  Where the hell do I start with this?  The game that objectively ruined my life for about 4 years almost cracks my top 5, what'n the hell?

I didn't play during Vanilla WoW; Burning Crusade was my entry point, and perhaps that's why I've chosen to include it rather than listing the base game or any of the other expansions.  But everything about what Blizzard did during BC gives me such nostalgic fond memories.

To start with, the lore.  WoW has never been more interesting to me than in Burning Crusade.  I'd never played Warcraft 1-3, so it was all new to me.  Learning about the Burning Legion; who Illidan was; who Kael'Thas was; why Magtheridon was imprisoned and why Kil'Jaeden was being summoned was just fantastic.  And that was only the raids!  The lore from questing was fantastic too and was a joy to play through first time.

Dungeons were magnificent.  I'll never forget the first time I got to the end of Shadow Labs and saw Murmur; this massive, unwieldy beast about 100 times bigger than my character and thinking "how the hell are we going to beat him?"  Botanica was the place I met some people who I'm still friends with to this day so I have fond memories of that place too.  

Raids were also fantastic, easily my favourite selection in all of WoW.  Karazhan was incredibly creepy and actually fleshed out (something Blizzard rarely do these days) with side stuff.  You could explore the cellars.  You could find Medivhe's bedroom.  There was a fucking chess game!  And the bosses were brilliant - Moroes' taunts and looking out to Malchezzar's room which appeared to be in a different dimension and thinking "what the hell is going on here?"

Once I started raiding 25s I never looked back until 4 years later when I realised I needed to claim my life back.  But in BC it was absolutely glorious.  Co-ordinating first time kill on Vashj was amazing.  Gravity giving way as a giant Kael'Thas assaulted us was one of the most epic moments I've ever seen in gaming.  Luring Illidan into traps; getting flung halfway across the map against Archimonde; entering portals agains Kalegos; not understanding what the hell was going on against M'uru and then finally being turned into a goddamn dragon against Kil'Jaeden.  I don't think Blizzard designed bosses this well again (save for my all time favourite, Algalon).

And PvP was 'balanced'.  And daily quests were fun.  And DPS wasn't normalized across the board.  And classes were unique.  And world events still happened.  And professions had a point.  And there was a community spirit across the server.  And you couldn't do everything solo.  

It was a fantastic, fantastic time and it makes me so sad to think how Blizzard neutered the game into what it is today.  Sometimes I really long for a legacy server open in BC that I can just play through time and time again.

And as a special treat, here's a video I'm in.  I stayed in the same guild for 3 of my 4 years playing World of Warcraft and I only managed to be there ONCE when it was filmed.  Played through like 7 tiers of content with them; was initially the main shadowpriest and finished as the only disc priest, and still didn't make it to many first kills.  And it isn't even the greatest boss.  FML.  Oh well, enjoy (I'm the purple see-through guy on the massive bear at the start :P)