Naxxramas was typically considered a guild killer, but why exactly was Naxxramas so hard back in the day? Also, why did so few players in vanilla actually complete it before Burning Crusade happened.

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    Welcome to Arqade! This seems like two questions. The first and main one, why Nazzaramus is so hard, is a developer intent question, which isn't allowed on Arqade (we can't tell why they did this and answers would just be speculation). I'm voting to close on this basis. The second question is quite different from the first to the point that this question may be to broad (it would require two separate and unrelated answers).
    – BGamer
    Dec 24, 2020 at 14:14
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    @MBorg I think the first question is not "why did the developers make Naxxramas so hard?" but rather "What specific mechanics made Naxxramas a hard raid?".
    – Nzall
    Dec 24, 2020 at 14:23
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    should be pretty straightforward for anyone playing WOW at the time, to answer
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 24, 2020 at 14:33
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    I would argue that it wasn't "hard", but that the player base were less experienced, knowledgeable and familiar with what they were being asked to do. This is largely why all of these "hard" raids got steamrolled in classic.
    – kalina
    Dec 24, 2020 at 15:13
  • @MBorg it's Naxxramas :P Nazzaramus does not exist .
    – A.bakker
    Dec 24, 2020 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


The low completion rate and high difficulty can be attributed by several factors.

1: It was the last raid of the expansion, seeing a lot of people got stuck on previous raids a fewer number of people managed to actually get good enough gear to even attempt the raid. And it was live only 210 days (30 weeks) compared to the other raids that were released earlier.

2: It had an attunement quest that you need to complete before even being able to enter. The quest itself is easy as hell... but it requires a lot of gold or high reputation with The Argent Dawn. So farming rep/gold is needed.

3: It's a 40 man raid, it's already hard to find 10 competent players that can stand each other for several hours... let alone 40 people(something that was an issue for most raids back then). That's why raids were later reduced to 25/10 man and eventually to 20 man.

4: No access to tactics, nowadays weeks before the raid goes live there are extensive guides to how to do the raids with a large amount of add-ons to help the player out (like DBM). Back then players had to do it by trial and error, and based on what they heard from other players they know. And addons were simple and didn't do much to actually help other then basic things.

Also, Naxxramas wasn't the only guild killer. The second boss in Blackwing Lair for example was also one.

  • The second boss in BWL and Pathwork in Naxx have one thing in common: they are pure dps checks. Slacking or incompetent people had to be thrown out to pass those. Imagine telling the significant other of a guild officer he/she isn't good enough to join that fight - that's sure to cause some drama.
    – Sjoerd
    Dec 24, 2020 at 20:33
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    @Sjoerd guilds are always drama, worst i have seen was a girl walking in on her BF with a other woman half hour before the raid... they both actually still joined the raid but between each fight it was a war :|
    – A.bakker
    Dec 24, 2020 at 20:35
  • Back then, not all classes were equal in dps. I recall that warlocks were lacking in dps, but one or two were needed for their CoE debuff (and maybe a second one for CoS). All other warlocks couldn't join. While another boss in MC (the first raid in classic) required several warlocks to keep adds banished - so after recruiting warlocks for MC, guilds had to bench them for Naxx.
    – Sjoerd
    Dec 24, 2020 at 20:38
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    @Sjoerd classes were more specialized back then. AS a paladin healer i spend waaaay to much time buffing the raid :| And anything other then a warrior tank was a bit laughable haha
    – A.bakker
    Dec 24, 2020 at 20:41
  • Yes, Blizzard learned its lessons and improved those aspects over the years. Still, those raids were fun because there was lots to experiment and discover. And frequently there was more than one way to solve a problem. Nowadays, you just look up what to do, and press the button when the add-on tells you to. What's the fun in that? :(
    – Sjoerd
    Dec 24, 2020 at 20:46

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