I never played on Retail, never got a chance and after I did get conditions to pay for it and do it there was no WoW anymore. Well, at least no Vanilla style wow at least, hell I would play WotLK too it wasnt bad, there were just some "Disqusting" features like "The Dungeon Finder" - BLEH. The first server I played on, with no suprise, was Garbage. It was one of thouse first Pirvate server with boosted XP and Droprates (Hell I got like 20 Epics till I got to lvl 60 only). Needless to say the scrpting didnt even exist. I think they tryed to disable it or something. Oh the times, when me and my nephew were duoing the Phenix in Tempest keep and abuseing a quest item that kills mobs by the procentages, to kill Illidan n' shit. After a year of that bulshit, I thought something was wrong. The game was... easy. And went on to find servers who had working talents and BG's. Then I stubled across "ChaosCrusade" a realy packed very popular server with WORKING talents!!! and a "PvP system". I rolled a Retribution paladin there it was on the Burning Crusade expantion and had a real blast! But as we all know, pvp get boring. More so for a PvE player like me, so I went on and started playing LoL (SHIT!! WHY). after 2 years I ralized this game is cancer incoprated and stoped playing. And the moment I did, I remembered an old game. By that time wow was on the Cata Expantion about to release Mists. After Just looking in on some private servers, I instantly left. I was haveing none of that shit. And naturaly I looked back and was wondering what expantion should I seek. At that time my nephew was playing on "Spermik" , I asked him what was it like and should I join him. He said that this server was nothing like the one's before! Namly this server was 1x Blizzlike! And I was exited, I get to play on an server that is just like blizzards but for FREE. The expantion was the glorious WotLK! And rightly so, the server was realy 1x and for me at that time, it was challenging. I rolled a Tauren Warr, loving them 2xTwo Handers. And I had a lot of fun there, but it was kind of empty, never getting to truly raided. Altho I did get the Servers first Betrayer of humanaty!! Lel, some mad luck since the guy from the guild that made the run was the top dps and was keen on the Wep, but me, I just came to fill some dps that left after they had only Saphiron and Kel'thuzard left to kill, this was also the first day Naxx 25 was released on this server. The warr from the guild rolled 97 and I rolled 98... But butt, the server was shut down shortly after xD. After that, I decided that I want to expiriance 40 man Raiding, and started looking for a Vanilla Private server! My first expiriance was on Rebirth a realy low populated server, but the communty was realy active and friendly. Soon after getting to westfall on my Male Human mage, I was invited by a guild, at that time that guild was "The main guild" of the Alliance as the server had 200 ppl on peak days. This Server was pretty good I must say. Even when compared to Nostalrious, at least if its about the outside world. Some things in raids didnt work well or were diactivated but the hardness of Vanilla was there in it's full glory! Sadly, I got to raid only ZG and MC (Ony too, but meh) as they realy struggled to get the content for BLW ready. Once again I stopped playing and went on to *Pukes* Lol, after a year or so, my nephew asks me if Id like to play WoW again and that he found a server that is unbeliveably good. He also warned me about Vanilla and that its nothing like WotLK that we played together.
I just smiled and asked for the servers site name :)