I didn't raid in vanilla WoW, but I did PvP... a lot. My now neglected hunter alt was Exalted with the Warsong Outriders and Revered with the Defilers before the PvP system changed over with the advent of Burning Cursade. During TBC I joined a well regarded twink guild and enjoyed some 19s with my shaman and warrior. Some of my most memorable moments were team-oriented WSG matches against a tough opposing team where we really had to work together to crack them.
I missed that in WotLK.
That's not to say I didn't PvP at all. I had a blast in 59s on my feral druid until the ability to level in BGs kicked in. Then it was either level or stop playing (since static 59s didn't exist anymore), so I leveled.
I also did arena and earned my Challenger title on my paladin. I did have fun, don't get me wrong, but there's something visceral about battlegrounds that I liked; the team effort.
On my druid and hunter I really got a kick out of being able to call out the direction of flag runners, the number of incoming targets, the knowledge that it wasn't just how well I could push buttons, but how well my teammates and I could strategize that made a difference.
I remember hunkering down in the upstairs of the Alliance WSG base with three PvP guildies back when there was no timer and there was no flag debuff, and discussing how we were going to crack their turtle. Our team was half pug, but our puggers were doing a wonderful job of holding the fort, allowing the pre-made portion of us to focus on getting the enemy flag.
Our warrior was deemed the best decoy. He could survive a good beating. Our rogue would be the real flagrunner. On my hunter, I was on support duty with Wing Clip and Concussion Shot to slow pursuit.
The plan set, our warrior dropped into the flag room, grabbed the flag, and somehow, almost by sheer force of will, managed to run just outside of the flag room (graveyard side) before dying. He didn't get far, but it was far enough that he lured almost all the Alliance out to chase him.
The rest of us jumped down.
Bing! The flag was returned.
Our rogue grabbed it and ran down the tunnel, with the rest of us following.
The rest of the match I don't remember. I know we won. That may have been our last flag. But the strongest memory, the one that stuck, was cracking the turtle. We had died multiple times trying to get inside the base. We'd grouped up and tried a charge. We tried the decoy strat a couple of times before we got the one that worked. All told it was probably our fifth or sixth attempt that succeeded.
But when we broke free, it was glorious.
PvP as a guild focus largely died in TBC, especially with the introduction of arenas. Battlegrounds were for farming honor. Arenas were for earning gear.
I still played BGs, but not as much as I had before. In patch 3.2, Blizzard restricted games from starting unless they had a full group of people, and to compensate it was no longer possible to queue for three BGs and just wait to see which popped first.
As a result queue times shot up and I can barely stand to wait in them anymore. I can't remember the last time I was in a battleground, and I liked them! There's no such thing as a quick match before heading to bed anymore. When I need honor I just cash in some Stone Shards because I pick up more than enough of those from doing daily heroics.
I'm hoping that Cataclysm will see a revival in PvP guilds, especially now that we'll have rated battlegrounds and guild achievements that will require a significant number of guildies to participate in a match. If I can manage to find the time in between raid nights, I'd love to move my feral druid into a PvP guild and do some good old flag running again. She still has some achievements to get.