We had tanks in fire resist gear to tank the drake bosses. Everyone needed their own Onyxia scale cloak for the last boss also. And in that way, BWL was tied both mechanically as well as thematically to Onyxia (another black dragon boss). You HAD to kill Onyxia enough times to provide materials for cloaks for your whole raid before you could attempt Nefarian. The raid needed good crafters who had collected the right recipes – which also either dropped in raids or were bought with reputation that was collected in raids.
I realize I harp too much on the value of having the game force preparation and learning [from within the game], but Spinks is pointing out exactly the sorts of relatively simple design decisions that make the Old World a fun place to play.
Honestly, I wonder sometimes why my HUD even bothers with resistance scores anymore (though I realize Naxx benefits some from Frost resist). Good thing we simplified the game. SO much more complicated than it needed to be [he said dripping with sarcasm].
Ewwww. Drippy sarcasm.