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Well, I think, a “wall of of text” is not defined by the amount of characters. To create a wall of text you need two things: lots of characters, and lots of missing line breaks / paragraphs. I’m completely aware of that, and I’m always trying to section and format my texts in a manner that makes it usable for readers ;) I think the limit of 990 chars is not contributing to avoid walls of text. (It’s easy to build a a wall of text with only 500 chars, but I think you got what I mean…)
They seem to have expected some things, though, see adding pets with aquatic damage (gun and ooze) aswell as a resistant cockroach to stop us from cheesing everything with elementals. Yet, a fact their damage output is low combined with shields not checking for racial damage means this mechanic prevents a lot as you mentioned. The last boss has got an ability to remove basic shields so perhaps that was not in oblivion either… unlike the reactive damage. Also, an ability that forces swap altogether with an ability which prevents from being swapped, including critters? I can't say I like it.
Swim Speed Potions (used especially at lvl 37 for Faldir's Cove in Arathi Highlands and lvl 57 in WPL). Try to get multiple stacks of these. I also recommend keeping a stack of these always in your bags. You will frequently pass rivers and lakes and can use these potions to pass them faster through out the guide. Please note that these potions do not stack with Druid's Aquatic Form and Glyph of Aquatic Form.
I think you are referring to the Env Bert strat I have linked. Basically I agree. But you might have noticed that I already had added min power to pet #2, in order to exclude some of the substitutes. Though, I didn’t wan’t to do the same with the Blazehaound (pet #1), because I think the strat is doable also with a suboptimal breed. But maybe you are right and I should just exclude any non-P/P breeds.
It was the experience of the game that brought pleasure and joy, and that's what a lot of us want again. Not the numbers. When I play Classic I want to go through the deadmines with people I like and overcome a challenge together and see myself become stronger as a result. I don't want to play Classic so I can say "booyah! That number is exactly the same as it was 13 years ago!"