Kids these days... They run into raids with full sets of epics, just like that.
What happened to going into raids undergeared? I remember wiping on corehounds because we were all in half greens. We struggled to get anything better. Running an instance with five people was our version of a heroic, because it could be damn hard when they were tuned for ten people and multiple CC. Oh but in these heroics you didn't get badges. If crap dropped, you vendored it. We still appreciated it, because back then epic mounts cost 1000g and 1g was a big deal. No dailies back then, not even gold for max-level questing. There was only coin drops, vendoring, and sometimes a few silver from a quest.
Rep grinds meant something back then. We didn't stack a dozen dailies on Quel'Danas and get exalted in a few weeks while swimming in gold. We farmed twilight cultists, over and over, and everyone else did too. The rep rewards were bad, but also all we had. Want better gear? Still grind! You need rep to turn in set tokens. Yes, the set pieces required rep. None of this "if it drops you get gear" pansy business. Have I mentioned scarabs? Think of them as extra tokens that don't bind and you need specific combinations of them.
That's not the half of it! We had these things called resistance sets: an entire raid would need hundreds of a certain type for a fight, more for tanks. You didn't get these sets from just any crafter. Oh no, more rep grinds and the mats weren't easy things like leather and elemental mats. These needed dragonscales and silithid crap and frozen runes. What are frozen runes? They were these things stuck on the walls of Naxxramas, used to craft frost resist gear, or to absorb frost damage if you were stupid enough to activate one (or somehow were swimming in them). If you didn't first spend weeks gathering and crafting, you couldn't go.
On the subject of crafting, let's talk enchanting. There were no scrolls. You had to find the enchanter and deal face to face. And bringing your own mats didn't mean a few seconds at the AH. Righteous orbs were hard to get. They were like runed orbs, but more rare, and only found in one place: live side Stratholme. You farmed those because you couldn't afford to buy them, they were too expensive.
CC mattered. Not just as the third boss of MgT. Oh no, this was every other pull. Focus target wasn't an easy matter back then either and sheep would sometimes wander across the room before breaking (out of range to resheep), meaning they found friends.
We had this concept called "waiting for three sunders." It meant you didn't start any damage until the tank had three sunders. What do you mean the other tanks don't have sunder? There were no other tanks!
Dammit, things were hard back then. We earned our epics. Hell, we earned our blues.
Then I wake up and realize, all that stuff that I just called "hard" was really just a bunch of annoyances, obstacles to actually playing the game.
FFXIV's Haunted House
3 hours ago