Its clearly a matter of preference and opinion, so I wouldn't argue one perspective is better than the other, its just what is best for any particular group of players.This is a hill I will gladly die on to disagree.
Upcasting didn't even exist back then, and my character had the power level of a 2nd level character for months and months.
That's completely freaking ridiculous.
Yeah, not a game I would enjoy, but this just sounds like the DM was inexperienced or had the perception that a harder more restrictive game was better. IDK just a guess. But I agree that if the spell acquisition rules of the wizard are changed, they should be clearly defined whether they are official or optional.But from making this a playable game perspective it is absolutely required to be in the base rules because different DMs will have different ideas (just like my DM did back then) and it really makes the game unfun.