You might have read me rave about Stratholme before. But did you know that I've never played it properly? It's true. I've only played a later version of it which had been ruined by the advancement player community.
I am of course referring to the Key to the City. This is the key used to open the side entrance, most commonly used for Dead runs, in contrast to the side which needs no key (except eventually the Scarlet Key) and is called Live or Scarlet.
The key comes from the Magistrate, who stands right near the back door. But opening that door makes him run deep into the dead side, nearly to the end. So the party will do a dead side run and kill him, getting another key, soon before starting the final event and bosses. This is the new normal way to run it. It's the only way I ever experienced. One day when I was grinding it on my paladin I realized that approaching the Magistrate from a different direction didn't make him run, and then it all fell into place. But until then it just seemed like he always runs.
I enjoyed Stratholme a great deal. I never felt like I was missing anything. I never even realized that it was strange that we used a key to get to the boss that drops the key. The utter absurdity seemed perfectly normal.
It's a bit sobering. I think of how much has been 'ruined' in WoW, with ridiculously short instances, AoE festivals, and little sense of server community. But to a player who joins now, do they know anything is missing? Would they care or even want it any other way?
6 hours ago