I just updated the post with the second part of the series.
Yeah! Sometimes we forget that WoW is more than ten years old and with all of the seven expansions it has changed a lot.
Even though most of the changes were for the better, I have to say that I miss the old WoW that I played when I started. Seeing the old Barrens in the forum's header brings back so many memories.
What changed about the totems in Pandaria out of interest?
Best way to explain it is that they became 'physical buff cooldowns.'
Before, they were close to a stat-stick that you put up in the world that gave you some sort of buff. It was killable, but it could always be re-summoned depending on how much mana you were willing to waste.
Like an example, Poison Cleansing Totem had 5 health, lasted for 5 minutes, and cleansed one poison effect from all the party members every 5 seconds as long as it was up. It had no cooldown, and could be constantly summoned.
Then you had Strength of Earth Totem which was just a pure stat-stick which simply gave the strength stat as it was up.
Mists of Pandaria changed totems completely towards being cooldown abilities instead, with a buff for a short period that could still be killed in the world, so that's why it was a 'physical buff cooldown.'
Like Stormlash Totem giving your attacks some big extra damage, lasting for 10 seconds, with a 5 minute cooldown.
Ahh when games had manuals....
speaking of heres a page from the vanilla manual with class descriptions - it's weird that actually when you read them very little has changed in terms of the core design aspects of each class!
To put it simply - the game was just more difficult during Classic than it is nowadays. There's so many examples as to why this is the case, but even if you look at simple character functions, like a hunter's ability to shoot their weapon... I mean, in the modern game, there's no requirement to purchase ammo, or the need to learn how to use a crossbow, or a polearm, or any new weapon.
The modern game seems to remove many of the trivial, time consuming aspects that (in my opinion) made Classic WoW a much harder game. And as much as we'd complain about these aspects, they're kind of what made the game so brilliant, in a bizarre, time consuming way. The came often required thought, preparation and planning.