If it weren't for Tobold's blog the 1-year anniversary of the Burning Crusade would have passed me by.
But since he reminded me, I'm going to give BC a grade based on several areas. From personal experience and from what I've read on forums the past year.
* More challenge
* Decreased raid size
* Prohibitive attunements
* Improvements to consumables
While attention was paid to making encounters challenging, and the decrease in raid size helped Blizzard do so, it also ended up blocking out a bunch of players.
I actually was a supporter of the decreased raid size, I was tired of waiting for people to show up when said they would. Those casual players who bumped up the 35 man raid to 40. Cut the chaff! Cut the chaff! I chanted. Until I became that player. While I never would leave a raid hanging, I did become more casual. I wasn't willing to commit to a raid schedule anymore. Pre-BC I still would be able to raid on and off. But with BC attunements requiring you to be a part of kills (within instances no one wanted to run anymore) and gear requirements -- filling in for someone became almost impossible in some cases.
I can't remember the last time I've heard someone complain about consumables, but considering I don't raid anymore that might explain it.
I can only imagine raiders would give Raiding in BC a B- (The minus due to the raid size transition and initial bugginess of many encounters).
As a retired raider, I'd have to give it a C. No longer having the chance to take part in an area of the game where I used to spend the majority of my time garners it the lower grade for me.
*No more leveling dead zones
*New starter & middle area(s)
*Respectable quest loot rewards
Blizzard fixed the dead zone areas, those times while leveling you have trouble finding quests. In fact, if you spent time instancing you'd have several areas left to quest in at 70.
With the introduction of the new races, you had brand new starter areas to level through.
Finally quest rewards you could use and not just vendor. And not just in the Outlands (starter areas had some loot that seemed more thought out). Some classes were a bit left out (warriors come to mind - to make them tank?) while others seemed favored (MORE pally loot?)
Can't please everyone though, because the same loot many of us where happy about, some complained they felt their "work" in Pre-BC had been for naught. (Blue just confirmed it will happen again in WotLK so get your whining out now.)
And leveling on alts, from 60-70 wasn't bad either because you could solo it just fine.
I give it a A. I can't imagine anyone giving it less than a B.
Raiding kept me busy at 70 for a bit. Saving up 5.2k gold for a flying mount turned out to be "content" of its own. But once I had my netherdrake and when I stepped away from raiding, I wondered what I would do with my extra time.I took to leveling alts and focusing on professions a bit more. If I just did dailies I wouldn't run out of things to do, but it obviously is its own form of grind.
Heroics is supposed to be the casual players content. But after you do so many heroics (even they are part of daily quests now). It loses its, if not challenge, luster.
Grinding reputations come easier than they did Pre-BC. But in a genre defined by time-sinks, reputations is the mother of time sinks. I still like that they gave us the ability to increase many of them by more than turning in rare bat back hair.
Many players, like Tobold, took a break after the hit max cap. If you're not a raiding type or pvp type, endgame still is a tad "end of the game" for some. Even the first raiding guild to kill Illidan did it back in the summer. But I've realized you can't fault an mmorpg for this. Some use up content faster and either find something else to do, like another game, or another area of WoW.
I give it C+, considering I'm still playing I should give it a B- huh?
Which leads to
* Honor grind removed
* Arena introduced
* New BG
* More accesible gear
* Gear tier equivalent
PvP has changed the most, yet changed the least. In the scheme of things only one more BG was added. For someone who only PvPs, I can't imagine they wouldn't complain more about this.
Hardly anyone lamented the removal of the old honor grind. But the players who hit Grand Marshal and High Warlord were (justifably?) peeved to see their weapons so easily obtained. I don't think they care it was replaced by better gear, just that they allowed anyone (including me) to get it.
Arenas accomplished (some say diminished) what raiding could not. By making top of the line gear available to just about everyone who spends time trying to get it.
Some raiders, I have to assume ones who never really like raiding, jumped ship because they felt they could get just as good gear from pvp than pve. Nevermind, many pver's wouldn't use pvp gear and many pvper's wouldn't use pve gear.
I want to give PvP a A for effort, but it loses points because of the imbalance and issues with AV. Since I pvp as an alliance pugger it gets a F. But anyone with sense wouldn't pug! I'll drop it down to a B.
*Headless Horseman event
A++, would have received an A+++ if the Beerfest hadn't bugged out and more people had opportunity to get a ram.
I guess that means the Burning Crusade gets a B from me. They did a nice job with it. And some of its flaws stem from me just playing too much and soaking up more than they can provide.
Not bad, not bad at all.
Blaugust long term effect
5 hours ago