Anyone saying or repeating this trash never played Vanilla and knows nothing about the game, no surprise it’s mostly retail players that are used to having their hand held and are incapable of knowing what to do unless daddy Blizz tells them to do it.
It takes only 6 hours to hit the lockout for a day, on one character- if you’re like many players with alts you may be used to running dungeons or doing other farms once you hit the hourly cap, meaning your account can hit that cap far, far faster.
Six hours in Vanilla is nothing. Maybe in retail that means something, because quite frankly I’d want to go stare at drying paint after six hours in retail. In Vanilla? That’s casual play.
Want r14? You’re looking at 3-4 months of 18+ hour days without rest. Even getting r11 for the mount or 13 for the armour would mean months of playing 2-3x longer than a mere 6 hours per day.
A casual player that only has weekends free? On average they might play 2-3 hours a day, but if that’s all on the weekend they’ll quickly pass the daily lockout.
Raiders that buff on sunday and raid tuesday might want to spend those days farming on an alt or levelling in dungeons.
This is what I personally did in Vanilla- I raided, I ended up being on 4 of the 10ish raid guilds on my server, a mix of casuals that never finished BWL and serious ones that got through AQ and most of Naxx. My weekends were 10+ hours of raiding each day, and spending that much time in a raid wasn’t uncommon.
Between raiding and serious pvp ranking it was normal to be spending well over 6 hours on some days playing the game in Vanilla. So the continued suggestion that spending that much time in game isn’t ‘Vanilla’ is absurdly far from the truth. That sort of time commitment was generally required at endgame, it’s part of what made it considered so hardcore to do any raiding at all.
Massive time commitments is not only intended in Vanilla, it was basically required if you wanted to do the top content- and anyone saying otherwise has no idea what happened back then.