With classic World of Warcraft only a few months away, a lot of information about the old game that was lost or forgotten is appearing again. This was the genesis of Azeroth, and programmers and writers were still ironing out the kinks. A few items appeared that were fun to use and looked cool but offered almost no improvement to your character. Remember when Shaman gear would drop in an Alliance raid or Paladin gear for Horde? Spirit stats for Warlocks? All those fun memories will come flooding back with this list of neat but useless stuff in classic World of Warcraft.
5 Defias Mask
This humble item was of grey quality, offered no buffs or extra stats, could only be used by one class, gave no benefits, and did literally nothing for your character beyond putting a red piece of cloth on their face... and every Rogue had to have one. The Defias Mask was a drop from a small group of hostile pirates and thieves that lived in the northern part of Westfall. You could get it as early as level 8 as long as you killed enough of them to get a lucky drop, but you had to be level 15 to wear it. Not only that, it was Bind on Pickup, so you couldn't buy them in the auction house. That was why the Mask was such a coveted and recognizable clothing item. The only way you could get it was by, well, getting it!
To add yet another layer to this, sometimes the journey to just find the area was an achievement itself. Alliance players might have to travel for a bit, but at least it was through friendly territory. The best Horde players could do was hike north along the coast of Stranglethorn Vale and sneak through miles of hostile lands and high-level areas. At level 15. A Horde player with a Defias Mask no doubt had to do several corpse runs just to get to Westfall, so Horde Rogues got even more respect for this way cool but totally useless badge of honor.
A casting class that carries a sword does seem pretty cool, but if they can't wear anything but cloth, then you have to avoid melee damage, and it stops making any sense. Warlocks are spellcasters, but they can and do carry swords, one of the more endearing quirks of the class. An item of white quality that a Warlock could get fairly early in the game, at level 28, and it looked great at first. Young Warlocks loved this thing, and why not? You could make it yourself, and look, it has a fire damage buff on it! Yeah, that's great, but you only have one fire spell at this level, and most of that buff is only for melee damage. A silly mistake or a bad joke? Likely some of both.
This started out as a fairly boring, barely useful green trinket that was easy to get from a single quest in Searing Gorge. It removed a Bleed effect, which was only useful if you were fighting Rogues or Warriors. It was highly sought after by PVPers, but not really useful to anyone else. That changed after the Burning Crusade expansion when Karazhan opened up again. One of the bosses guarding those haunted hallways was a Rogue that dealt a brutal Garotte. At the time, the Luffa could remove bleed effects of any level, and the item suddenly became highly sought after by dungeon runners and raiders. The Luffa was then nerfed so it only worked on effects lower than level 60, and a modern version, the Feathered Luffa, appeared in the Legion expansion.
2 Hook of the Master Angler
You've been trying to win the Stranglethorn Fishing Contest for months. Finally, you're the first person on your server to arrive at the dock in Booty Bay with 40 tastyfish! You collect your prize to the joyful cheers of guildmates and bystanders, and in the excitement, you barely notice this item does virtually nothing despite taking so much work to obtain.
The infamous fishing derby is notoriously difficult to win, so any indication that you did gets a lot of positive recognition. The "Salty" title is another feature exclusive to winners, and it's almost as useful. All this blue trinket does is allow you to breathe underwater and swim faster. For a lower level character, that might be neat, but higher level characters typically win the contest, and by that time you've got a mount or some kind of swim or speed buff anyway. To make it more limited, you can't use it out of combat, and any damage destroys the effect. If you're Forsaken, then you have an underwater breathing buff anyway, and that makes it even more pointless. You have to admit, it is neat to be a fish.
1 Dal'Rend's Tribal Guardian
Not all of these beginner's mistakes were about trinkets and clothes. Many weapons in the game ended up with similar quirks. This one-handed sword looks amazing, and it was part of a high-level set that included an equally intimidating main hand blade, Dal'Ren's Sacred Charge. Anyone who could carry a sword wanted this harsh-looking thing. It had a jagged edge and wicked curve, and it was a high-level blue. Good thing too, otherwise nobody would bother equipping it. Why? Because it's an offhand weapon with tanking stats.
We're not sure how that happened, but it's easy to see the result. Warriors and Rogues ripped each other apart over who got this extremely cool-looking but tragically flawed weapon. It's no longer available since the folks at Blizzard would be embarrassed to put such an item in the game today, but it's presently highly sought after for the transmogrification potential.