BlizzCon 2017: World of Warcraft ‘Classic’ finally delivers on legacy servers

World of Warcraft delivered a jaw-dropping surprise to its loyal community with an amazing announcement at this weekend’s BlizzCon. Blizzard took to the stage with a surprise reveal of World of Warcraft Classic, which will take players back to the “vanilla” setting.

“We think we have a way to run the Classic servers on the modern technical infrastructure,” J. Allen Brack told PC Gamer. “The infrastructure is how we spin up instances and continents, how the database works. It’s those core fundamental pieces, and running two MMOs of that size is a daunting problem. But now we think we have a way to have the old WoW version work on the modern infrastructure and feel really good.”

Blizzard is forming a separate team to tackle this project and has yet to commit to any sort of timetable or release window.

Classic or legacy servers have been in high demand over the past few years as controversy has swirled over emulators that attempted to fill that void. The studio said that this server has been a difficult and lengthy undertaking and even joked that it would need back the original server blades that it gave away years ago.

Source: PC Gamer
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126 Comments on "BlizzCon 2017: World of Warcraft ‘Classic’ finally delivers on legacy servers"

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draugris

I played only Legion a bit so i am not a veteran wow player. What is the motivation to play on a legacy server ? Can´t you just go to the old zones on live (at an appropriate level) and have the same experience ?

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Phubarrh

The original starting zones were all packed with atmosphere at launch. Following Cataclysm, they’re more like raucous carnival midways.

TRU?H
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TRU?H

No, you cannot those zones and all the quests and such were remade in Cataclysm so the original launch zones and quests no longer exist within the game. And for many who want to play vanilla WoW it’s not just the quests and zones, but also the features they removed, or the ones they added that this will remove.

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draugris

Ok so let´s say somebody is new to wow. Would you recommend checking out a legacy server ? I am curious because when i played legion i played sometimes with a buddy who showed me the old zones and the old raids and i found them really atmospheric (of course there was no challenge at lvl 110).

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Ssiard

It would be worth trying but realize the feature set in the game was very limited back then. Raiding, creating alts, and the most horrific PvP ranking system was really the only thing to do in the game. And there was only 1 difficulty in raids (not 4 like in legion).

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Budukahn

I expect I’ll play it. I expect I’ll have fun with the nostalgia for a bit. And then I expect I’ll walk away again. Warcraft has been a big part of my life. I played it for years, worked a few of them as a GM in France and even met the woman I’d go on to marry there.
But times change, I have small children and the responsibilities that come with age. I found vanilla WoW’s raid or die mentality hugely frustrating and simply don’t have the time to commit to two hour long sessions with any regularity. And even if I didn’t, the implication is the game will stay vanilla forever – if it doesn’t it won’t be vanilla anymore.
If there’s enough folks out there with the time and passion to make this commercially viable then that’s great but I’m not among them sadly. Though I am looking forward to the chance to show the boy the Stormwind his mother and I knew.

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Jack Pipsam

Curious.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

So many bitter people in the comments haha

“How dare so many people be happy about something I’m not”

styopa
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styopa

This is what really surprised me. (Ok, it’s the internet, the capacity for people to be entirely butthurt over things that have nothing to do with them shouldn’t surprise me anymore…)

For all the people snarking and outright raging over vanilla servers…you DO understand that esthetic arguments are essentially idiotic, right? Nobody ever settled the “Blue is a better color. No, red is better!” without genocide.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

Yeah, leveling up Dagger sounds great…

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

I miss things like weapon skills, feeding pets, taking more than two weeks to level to cap. Most MMOs have forgotten the RPG side of things for the sake of “accessibility”. I’ll be glad to see cross-realm and LFD go away and bring back server communities. Also, most MMOs put a huge focus on the destination than the journey, and I for one enjoy the journey. It’s fine if other people don’t like it, as they can LFR the expansion to their heart’s content.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

I don’t miss the tedium. As it stood we used LFG as filler or playing at off hours, which I end up doing often as I work until midnight. We’ll see in the end, if it’s productive to run or not worth the effort. I’m imagining there will be a small core and some transients. I don’t see it being a huge success. Not liking the way WoW went, well, millions of players, literally impossible to please everyone, I get that. But pretending the conveniences made things easier all around, I don’t buy into that.

Sure, I’ll most likely never roll a character on the server, and I can ignore the regression, but you could literally play the game and ignore a lot of the features now. You could find and form entire guilds of like minded folks. For me, new textures, features and less grind make up for it. I don’t think it’s going to be what you imagine and in the end people will be bitter and make all sorts of excuses not to play it.

I think at best it’s gonna be a wash. More of a thing Blizz does to shut people up about it, because they guy was sort of right when he insinuated people are not going to be happy with it. But it will be something they can point to where they tried to appease people who most likely can never be appeased. Candy bars are not a nickle, women can vote and smoking isn’t healthy. Things change.

styopa
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styopa

Bitter, party of one.
You understand that aesthetic arguments are pointless, right?

MrEllis
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MrEllis

I don’t think I’m the only one, injecting hyperbole into it won’t make it better.

Wanna make a wager, on if it’s the next best thing? Wanna see how long you play? I’m willing to bet I know the answer!

styopa
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styopa

To some of us, yes, it sounds better than tauren paladins, yes.

Some people get a greater feeling of reward out of something being harder to accomplish.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

We’ll see if enough of you give a crap about it really. I doubt it. Just another thing I have to subsidize because of rose tinted glasses. I think people are going to complain regardless, the same people won’t subscribe and add so many caveats no one person’s vision of “Hardcore WoW” will match another and they’ll all quit in a tizzy.

Umm, old WoW wasn’t harder, just more tedious. You’re not a grizzled vet, I was there on day one and it doesn’t make me pine for all the bugs, unthought of features and boring crap. Oh, taking five minutes to buff everyone, how hardcore. Just assume I did the “we got a badass over here” meme and we’ll move on?

styopa
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styopa

Wow, bitch a little harder about something that doesn’t affect you?

MrEllis
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MrEllis

I’m no stranger to irony.

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Dug From The Earth

Ill be amazed if even 50% of the people playing on the “illegal” servers play on the official vanilla server.

Why? Because now they will have to pay money to play it.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

I sub to WoW and play vanilla servers, now I can get it from the people that count and money is not an issue, in fact I would pay double the monthly sub for the option.

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teppic

When you’ve stopped pulling figures literally out of your arse, here’s a poll from earlier today on the main subreddit for wow private servers:

http://www.strawpoll.me/14319669/r

It has never been about the cost of playing for a single person I’ve ever met on a private server.

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Dreema

Ah yes, because the only reason people played a 13 year old age was because it was free, right?

Ha!

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Carebear

First is the stage of anger. Now is the stage of denial. Later will come the stage of acceptance. In the meanwhile, Depon is a very good pil for pain.

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Utakata

PS: Props to Chromie’s intro. <3

styopa
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styopa

I thought the announcement video was very cleverly done.
Honestly, they put a decent bit of thought into that simple thing being charming and clever, it encourages me that they’re going to put that much thought/effort into building a great vanilla experience for those who want it.

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rafael12104

Heh. I step away for a day and this happens. :)

Just think, if Nostalrius kept there heads, they would have been a part of this announcement. It seems clear now that when Blizz brought them in, this is what they had in mind.

But I’m sure they and others like them are taking some credit here. And maybe they should in the sense that the vanilla effort bubbled up in the news in new and entertaining ways. Lol. Meh. Throw them a little bone of praise. Why not?

Now, Blizz will show them how to run a vanilla, aka legacy aka classic server. And note, you will have to pay for it. And you know what? Rightly so.

Estranged
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Estranged

Yep, ungrateful twerps. They were so close to a primo job. Getting paid for their passion. ffs

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Malvious

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!

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Denice J. Cook

I am totally shocked! I am also totally in! Thank you so much, Blizzard, and thanks for covering all this, MassivelyOP! ♥

Jeez, if CoX ever gets a rez, I’m going to have to quit my job to keep up with all this! :P

Nabe
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Nabe

I’ll be interested to see how many people go in for this and how many people just wanted free WoW. I wonder if they’ll start doing progression servers too then. But no Tauren Paladins, pffft, not a world I want to acknowledge, haha.

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Bullwraith

I am thrilled beyond words. I’ll gladly pay the sub.

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teppic

There’s another article up on this with a few bits of info:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-11-04-wow-classic-blizzard-answers-some-of-the-big-questions

Notably they commit strongly to classic “we’re in it forever” and that it wil be proper classic, for good or bad.

Sharp
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Sharp

“It’s an interesting part of human memories, right? I think we like to remember the good parts, but the bad parts sometimes go away over time.”

Here in lies my biggest fear. It’s great to see everyone ecstatic about this and I miss vanilla as much as the next guy, but what happens once the nostalgia weares off? New players that never saw WoW before MoP try it and don’t like the slow paced game-play. I don’t want to be left with some elitist crowd that plagues the classic realm.

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Armsbend

I liked:

“How many raids is this going to cost them in Battle for Azeroth? The answer is zero. We’re going to hire people specifically for this effort”

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Carebear

Official wow reddit. This picture worth more than thousand words :P

comment image

actually 3rd in all reddit :P

comment image

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Utakata

IKEA correcting a concerned American citizen on how to properly display the US flag? o.O

Tamanous
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Tamanous

This will shock Blizzard back into reality.

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rafterman

Clearly it’s just people who wanted free WoW. /s

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Jay Power

I’m interested. May give it a try. I found current retail wow to be not my cup of tea, maybe this will be more fun.

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rafterman

Wow, still so much hostility and bitterness from the MOP crowd about classic servers. You guys sure are butthurt over something that doesn’t effect you in the slightest. Glad Blizzard finally woke up and realized this is a huge business opportunity.

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mourasaint

Except it does affect them…

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MeltWithYou

When JA Brack started bumbling about how he likes ice cream…I was like ‘WTF…?’ and then Oooooh my

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

This makes me smile. If this truly becomes a reality, I’d sign up for it in a heartbeat, gladly pay a sub, and recreate my old characters. I’m sure I’ll grumble about many items not stacking, or that I need to spend half my inventory on bullets and food for my pet (as a hunter), or that BRD takes a freakin’ day to complete, but it’d be worth it. ;)

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teppic

Great news here, brilliant for fans. Top story on all of reddit, highest upvoted post ever on /r/wow, yet mostly negative comments here. Why can’t people just be pleased for something that loads have wanted for years.

Also, the trailer playing all the previous trailers backwards was great.

borghive
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borghive

Why can’t people just be pleased for something that loads have wanted for years.

I think there is just a segment of gamers out there that always want new content and new games. So the idea of bringing back an old game like this is just repulsive to them. Me personally, I love playing older games, and I will be playing official legacy WoW. :)

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teppic

The idea of Blizzard bringing back a game potentially millions love repulsing someone when it will have literally no effect on them is just irrational beyond any words. I’m already subbed to Legion but have no real interest in it any more, but this is great news.

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Armsbend

There is always the danger of a developer becoming like Square Enix – a company that almost exclusively releases their old games over and over. Or Daybreak – who makes a new type of legacy server every other month for EQ.

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Rolan Storm

Ta-da! :P

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roo woods

Well I guess I’ll be back in WoW for the first time since 2009 .

Hope when this is a success they offer the pristine ( difficult mode ) servers they were talking about a while ago .

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Dreema

The rest of the stuff they announced, I couldn’t care less about – and the trailer for the new expansion is bland and boring – but *this* announcement has definitely got me interested in WoW again after a long hiatus from it. Sure, I’ve been playing classic on private servers for the past five years but official ones? Oh, yes please.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I couldnt care less about boring vanilla’ content but this could offer amazing battlegrounds PvP for all the twinks from private servers and retail

Sharp
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Sharp

I’ll be interested to see if they implement Classic with any QoL changes other than being on new technology as described here. Vanilla will play much better than it ever did and probably feel completely different.

Also, I will be interested to see what they do Sub wise. I’d like to see a sub model at a reduced cost for the classic server(s) only.

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Armsbend

It sounds like it is going to be a large task to implement so I expect the cost to be the same. Why shouldn’t it?

Sharp
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Sharp

I don’t disagree even if I’d like to see a reduced cost. I mean, if they are bringing their shard tech to vanilla, we are talking a massive server unlike anything we saw in that time.

hurbster
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hurbster

Don’t Care – Going to Southshore. ;)

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Utakata

Non stacking clams return…

styopa
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styopa

I’ll know I’m back when I can have broken keen throwing daggers as a gray item again.

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TomTurtle

Talk about a pearl of wisdom.

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zeko_rena

Yay now they can all finally stop complaining, happy for all who wanted it

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Armsbend

They are going to complain about paying for a sub.

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zoward

Depends on if they throw it in with the regular sub as a perk. I’m sure I’m not the only person who could enjoy both…

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Armsbend

Yeah double subs would be dumb.

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zeko_rena

Good point “why do we have to pay the same amount as normal WoW when we have 1/5th the content” blah blah blah

Better start bracing myself now

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Ashfyn Ninegold

They had no reason before to do a Vanilla server. Now, they do. What changed?

What if . . .

This rather lacklustre upcoming expansion is Blizz realizing that WoW has run it’s course.

They are seeing not only dramatically falling subs but dramatically falling logins.

They see Classic as a way to lure people back to WoW and bring in new players.

In other words, it fits in with their plan, which of course we don’t know, but just because we don’t know what their plain is doesn’t mean they don’t have one.

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Michael

Or you are completely jumping to conclusions and they just wanted to appeal to a small group of players who want a vanilla server experience. The game is not dramatically falling subs, I mean, just look at the recent quarterly report. Thing about Blizzard is that they don’t rely on just WoW. They rely on their entire catalogue of games to drive retention to all their games. This is the reason they post MAU instead of sub numbers. This started just around the time they started driving people more to the battle.net platform as opposed to just WoW since they added another (Hearthstone) game that is a similar online platform to that of WoW.

The game is doing absolutely fantastic, they still sell loads of expansion copies and there are absolutely plenty of people in game. And, it is still, by far, the biggest MMO and the most financially successful MMO to date.

There are also plenty of people buying WoW tokens and others paying a sub that way. Every person playing the game with WoW tokens is effectively paying 20$ a month.

Skoryy
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Skoryy

They had no reason before to do a Vanilla server. Now, they do. What changed?

The money people actually ran the numbers and came back: ‘We should be able to make a profit on this.”

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Schmidt.Capela

It’s good PR too. Got a lot of people that had given up on WoW all hyped up again.

adadfor3
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adadfor3

YES!!! Can’t wait. Looking forward to playing again.
…been a looong wait.

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MesaSage

I would play this.

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Jake Boller

I… don’t even know what to say. I’m completely blown away by this, and more excited than I’ve ever been!

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Michael18

Haven’t logged into my battle.net account for 5 years, but if these are true classic servers (largely the old server and client) this will bring me back.

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zoward

I’m dumbstuck, and extremely happy. I will pay for the newest expansion and/or a sub for this. My guess would be that the game itself will be free and they’ll allow acccess to it with the cost of the regular sub. It would be hard for them to justify selling a new client for an old game, given that we all already bought that client many years ago. If it does end up being a separate sub, I’ll happily pay it.

Oh frabjous day!

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Annoyed badger

wont last, if it ever actually happens rather than being “in development”.

People wont pay, after all those that want this are used to playing on illegal free servers.

Those that try it will quit within a few months at best as they realise just how far the game has come on from what it was originally…..it was pretty damn awful lets be honest.

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Bryan Gregory

Private servers are not illegal.

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Michael

They are. The legality of it is just harder to deal with overseas, so they can’t always dispute it without a huge fuss. I mean, that is the reason they sent a lawyer to shut out the most prominent one; it is not like that did not happen.

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Bryan Gregory

They aren’t. Most private server admins upload the game’s client to players, which is illegal.

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roo woods

lol

bzz.jpg
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Knox Harrington

Good. Now everyone can shut up about it.

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Castagere Shaikura

Agreed so sick of hearing the QQ over this.

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Hirku

That’s great, options are good for everybody. I hope the pro-vanilla crowd steps up with their wallets and makes this successful.

Liandreth
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Liandreth

Myself, a bunch of my guildies, my sister, and my children will be. As well as a few twitter friends too.

April-Rain
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April-Rain

This is amazing news, so excited and happy I will no longer have to play on dodgy servers based in the former countries of the USSR and the admin steal your donations.

Dam blizzard have won me back in one fail swoop!

Estranged
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Estranged

April, indeed. I wanted to play a classic version, but couldn’t stomach the private server issue.

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Michael

IB4 Classis WoW requires a sub and the latest WoW expansion; so a ton of these people claiming they would play again on a classic WoW server who are playing on private, illegal, servers right now don’t even play

The others…will quit a couple weeks into it realizing that nostalgia is best left in the past. Even the devs don’t necessarily think it will be big and will drop off fairly quick.

This is also potentially years out. During those years, mark my words, private servers are gonna get torn to shreds by Blizzard’s legal team.

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Castagere Shaikura

Yup this always happens with this stuff. Then people will start to remember why they really didn’t like it. Just watch what happens with this.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

This is why we love Blizzard, after all. They can always be counted on to do the right thing, having exhausted every other possibility.

styopa
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styopa

Blizzards position on this has been baffling and I’m delighted to see that they’ve reversed themselves. That’s a bold move, and I hope people will credit them for doing that.

For my I can’t wait to see it come to fruition.

This is Blizzard; if they see fit to put adequate resources behind us I believe they’ll do an excellent job of it. For goodness’ sake, tiny teams with a miniscule fraction of their resources have made outstanding efforts using the vanilla rules and setting, but added some basic quality of life things, like latter-day models, lighting, and textures.

(Queue disingenuous haters to insist that “oh no, you wanted vanilla, you should get the old models, textures, and bugs”)

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squidgod2000

Only surprise is that it took this long.
I never played WoW, but I like that those who did can now appreciate the special shithole that is classic/progression servers.

kofteburger
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kofteburger

itshappening.gif

Valen Sinclair
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Valen Sinclair

LOL, players that came in after BC will log into this version, and promptly quit when their new character doesn’t reach 60 after an hour of playing, and they have to actually travel all the way out to Feralas to do Dire Maul, or have to grind and grind to get a key to UBRS or pay someone to unlock it so they can do a dungeon with 15 people and wipe over and over again before the group disbands during Rend, or have to figure out how to actually spec true talent tree, or realize their hunter has to use arrows and feed their pet to keep it happy so it doesn’t run away….

Oh god, it’s going to be glorious!

Estranged
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Estranged

I’m ready for arrows and to feed my pet!

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Carebear

Happy Fishing!!

Estranged
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Estranged

The fishing was definitely cathartic for me.

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Carebear

I also loved fishing :P it was too relaxing hehe and those Nightfin and stonescale made you good money!

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A Dad Supreme

Asked/answered by Massively four hours ago:

MOP- “Assuming you’ve played WoW and aren’t playing now: What would Blizzard need to do to get you back into World of Warcraft?”

Me- “Probably the thing they seem loathe to do most; start a Everquest II-like progression server.
The game is far too advanced with this, that and the other for me to understand everything that’s going on 13 years later.”

*goes to cut the grass…comes back and checks MOP…*

“WORLD OF WARCRAFT CLASSIC FINALLY DELIVERS ON LEGACY SERVERS”

That’s pretty fast service, Blizzard!

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Phubarrh

More than progression servers, I would like to see separate servers for vanilla and the first two expansions, with the ability to hand Blizz a wad of cash to advance characters from one to another when you like.

Estranged
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Estranged

Interesting insight. I do feel sorta lost now.

luxundae
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luxundae

*checks calendar*
*it’s not April fools…*
*shock/surprise/amazement*

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johnwillo

I did actually pause for a second to confirm it was November, and neither Blizzard nor Massively OP was likely to be pranking me.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

That headline is pretty over the top. Blizz hasn’t delivered on anything yet, only made a promise and short video.

Still, I am glad to see they seem to be taking this seriously. I was quite convinced Blizz would never bother.

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Armsbend

They aren’t Daybreak – if they tease something they are probably headlong into it.

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Schmidt.Capela

Yeah, Blizzard learned this lesson with the Dance Studio.

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Rumm

Can’t wait to play that content that I beat 10 years ago with shit specs, no flying mounts, only warrior tanks, 1 shot pyroblasts, single target buffadins, a massive aesthetic and graphical downgrade, and 0 competition for raiding since it was already beat 10 YEARS AGO. Sounds neat.

A vocal, entitled minority gets their way with this. I can only hope that this doesn’t detract any significant amount of resources from future projects.

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Carebear

oh yea.. about that vocal minority…

comment image

comment image

btw there is a solution to this: DON’T PLAY IT

Estranged
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Estranged

It has a separate staff, actually creating jobs.

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Armsbend

I’m happy it will take something away from people running the game illegally – while not involving them.

styopa
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styopa

“I hate it when people get things that make them happy!”

Bitter, party of one?

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

People who play classic servers know all this, i know this and i never played classic in its time, yet i want to play offical servers, i tested private server and i loved it, i’m also playing the current game and i love it, many people are like me, not vocal, just asking politely for an option, Blizzard can do it, now they’ll do it.

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Rumm

That’s a fair approach. Much of my disdain on the classic server topic comes from the private server folks who haven’t been requesting, so much as demanding this for some time.

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Michael

A lot of the disdain for classic servers is also because they are stealing the game as well; most of those guys won’t pay a sub for this. Then they will whine when it has one.

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rawhunger

“A vocal, entitled minority gets their way with this. I can only hope that this doesn’t detract any significant amount of resources from future projects.”

Amen.

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johnwillo

It IS true that Blizzard is known for their lack of resources, low income, and inability to focus on multiple products.

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Hirku

Heh, their kids are gonna go hungry this winter and they’ll have to light their cookfires with packets of tens instead of c-notes.

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Loopy

This has me more excited than any other Blizzcon news. I’m amazed that they decided to go this route. Super stoked to finally get a legit classic server!

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johnwillo

YOU HAVE MY AXE! Oops. Wrong setting. I don’t care! YOU HAVE MY AXE!

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Hirku

It’s alright, every fictional universe can use a good axe.

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TomTurtle

It will be monumentally difficult to put out something satisfying enough. It can’t be done “right”, some segment of players will turn out disappointed.

Still, I’m very curious to see how Blizzard will tackle this. To see what they’ll keep in and what they’ll quietly sweep under the rug.

wpDiscuz