The Daily Grind: Will you be playing World of Warcraft’s Classic servers?

I think it’s safe to say, after all the Nostalrius and legacy server drama from last year, that Blizzard has surprised a lot of people by actually keeping its word to build out some form of classic servers, as announced at BlizzCon last weekend. And the English-language WoW world lost its collective minds, if the 10K-word, 54K-upvote thread that rocketed to the top slot across the entirety of Reddit last Friday is any guide.

The thing is, the studio didn’t actually talk much about the servers other than to say they’re happening, they won’t take resources from WoW, and they’re operating under a separate team – there’s not much to talk about, just basic infrastructure. That probably means we’re a long way off. On the other hand, Blizzard seems serious about making a commitment to the community on this one, which makes it really enticing to me at least, way more than I expected.

How about you? Will you be playing World of Warcraft’s Classic servers? Or are you in wait-and-see mode until we know much more?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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229 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Will you be playing World of Warcraft’s Classic servers?"

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Scott Rankin

Will definitely give it a try again.
I really enjoyed the classic Everquest servers, only the Kronos (pay cash for time tokens) that were used in trade for items ruined it for me.

as wow wont have the obnoxious tokens it should be a fun game to pop in and out of.

Woetoo
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Woetoo

Will you be playing World of Warcraft’s Classic servers?

Short version:
Probably not. “It depends”.
I’d like Vanilla/TBC/WotLK merged endgame content with TBC mechanics and rulesets.

Longer version:
I played in vanilla WoW (I started just after Onyxia went live). Part of the big attraction was the people I played with. I doubt those people will return en masse, so one of my big reasons to play is gone.

That said, the rules of the game and the mechanics enforced patterns of behaviour on players that have been lost as a more throw away culture has become dominant. Bad behaviour (mostly) had consequences. Players had to have a minimum level of commitment to consider things like raiding. If that “feel” can somehow be found again, yeah… that’s something I’d like to experience again.

Overall, my gut feel is that they’ll need to cherry pick from old and new, favouring the old rulesets and new content. I doubt a straight up vanilla WoW would work without some tweaking. TBC would probably be the sweet spot.

So I’d like “classic” to mean TBC era rulesets, but even by TBC talent trees and such were still being redesigned.

My ideal “classic” server would also move all raiding content to be level cap content. So if they did pick TBC, players could consider BT, MC and Naxx all current endgame.
But by that point, my brain is saying “why not just have all content up to end of WotLK, but with Vanilla/TBC rulesets”. And then things like levelling becomes an issue, as well as gearing.

They already said years ago that they didn’t have the source code to go back. So retrofitting the “feel” of vanilla wow, into the modern game seems like the best choice to me. I don’t see the harm in modern character models and other improvements like that. But drop stuff like LFG and flying mounts.

I don’t think there’s going to be a one size fits all solution. So if you’re going to cherry pick… cherry pick wisely. And yes, that means the need to include epic Alterac Valley battles (even though I don’t PvP).

The big plus to me about “classic” servers is the choice. Anyone who values QoL, can play modern WoW. Anyone who thinks that all those QoL changes have somehow lost the community values present back in vanilla WoW, can play “classic” WoW. Not everyone will want to, but it’s good to have the choice.

I would want to want to try it. But it really depends on what they deliver. Vanilla WoW wouldn’t do it for me.

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Jack Kerras

It’s really amazing to me the amount of game that exists in games that aren’t perfectly tuned with QoL.

I have never loved an Elder Scrolls game like I loved Morrowind. Maybe I was young and stupid (I was definitely young and stupid), and I know that the later games in the series are objectively better, more balanced experiences… but Morrowind’s crazy fast-and-looseness, its immensely powerful enchanting and crafting systems, just… everything about it was such a fucking marvel.

Its combat fucking sucked. You couldn’t even tell you’d made contact with someone while you were fighting them. It was all so broken and so stupid, but they tried a lot of crazy shit, and even when it was horribly broken… it worked.

I’ve always felt like making Shaman Alliance and Paladins Horde was a cop-out. It just is.

I always loved Gothic’s ‘map and compass’ system; you don’t have an automap that leads you by the nose to where you need to go, you get directions. Legit directions, like, an NPC says ‘take a left on the main road, travel ’til the fork with the rock, hang another left, then the first right you see’, and those directions worked. Then, you’d know the place; you could find it on your map, but there is a whole skillset involved with orienteering both ingame and out of game that completely evaporates when a WoW-style map is in play.

There is a lot of game in broken things. There is a lot of love for stuff that only sorta works, or that works as much because of its shortcomings as despite them. There’s a lot of joy to be found in learning to fit yourself to a system that needs some work to be really functional…

…but really functional things often lose a bit of heart, somehow. I don’t know how to describe it; I thought Oblivion was a great game. I loved Morrowind.

I don’t think that LFG systems are the devil, as many do; most of us are grownups now, not high-schoolers playing for ten hours a day as soon as they’re through suffering through learntimes. We just don’t have time to seek groups for an hour to begin a possibly-extremely-ill-fated run on VanCleef, and even when we do have time (say, because we built our lives around playing games and doing as we wish, not raising kids), there’re way, -way- more gameplay-filled uses of same.

I love progress. I think the progress that WoW has made – and enforced on the rest of the genre, leaving a consistently high watermark – has been really interesting to watch. I don’t love the game, but I also think that it’s an actively great historical thing to see folks like Blizzard not just… throwing away the old sketches, I guess?

Any road. I’m glad this is happening! I liked the crazy broken Pally-here/Shaman-there bizarreness and busted-ass systems and mysterious, enormous dungeons. I thought they had a TON of heart, which WoW has now lost a lot of. That being said: you can never go home again.

Steely Bob
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Steely Bob

I played eq1 progression last year and had a blast, i’m playing a little eq2 progression right now. I have zero desire to play WoW Vanilla.

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Denice J. Cook

What, no poll?

No Elf butts in WoW of all things?!

That said, bring it on, of course!

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Kevin McCaughey

Tempted.

KatsPurr
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KatsPurr

If they make a RP Classic server, I just might play! That first year in WoW was one of my best MMO experiences.

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Chosenxeno .

Vanilla WoW was the worst WoW. I don’t know why people don’t get that. If they redo Wrath or even TBC I might be interested. Vanilla was trash af.

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Blue touchpaper

Maybe you just didn’t play on a decent server ?

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Chosenxeno .

It has nothing to do with server. Vanilla got exposed as more QoL features were put in and Skills were improved. All you have to do is put it up against TBC to see how truly awful it was. It was more of a great-at-the-time-because-it-was-better-than-what-we-had version of the game. We weren’t a Naxx/AQ 40 guild but raiding was still fun. I just think the expansions are superior than vanilla. I honestly can’t think of anything I miss except for 40 mans being a viable raid size.

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Nathan Aldana

Nope.

Celestia
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Celestia

I did not enjoy Vanilla WoW, but I hope those that did enjoy the hell out of the classic servers.

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Jack Pipsam

I just hope they have a local server offering.

Estranged
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Estranged

I started during BC, so definitely yes.

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agemyth 😩

If I want a “classic” MMORPG experience, I will play EQ’s progression servers or Project 1999. WoW was always intended to be the “casual” friendly MMORPG compared to games like Ultima and EQ. Classic WoW is painful for me to play these days.

heihojin
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heihojin

Oh, hell yes!

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zeko_rena

I will be giving it a pass, I remember classic WoW and it has nothing that would draw me back if I am honest.

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Serrenity

I will likely give it a try, but I feel like without the sandbox-y elements, the game would get stale (relatively) fast for me. BUT I also haven’t played Vanilla since … well, Vanilla so I don’t know what to expect anymore. But I’ll almost definitely give it a whirl.

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steve

Only if they use the vanilla mod API, and then only to see if I can automate a full raid.

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Mikey's Bored

Nah

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Sorenthaz

Yes I’ll likely check it out and relive my Warlock days again.

mystwen
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mystwen

Oh my, yes! My Warlock! When I played she was paired with my hubby’s Pally. Would be fun to try it again.

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roo woods

Of course I will and it seems most of the gaming community I have known for the past 8 years seem to be planning the same and we are mostly people that haven’t played WoW in that time .

I think Blizzard are in for a shock as to how many people are going to return to the point they may have to re-access the direction they have taken the retail game .

Justin Olivetti
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Justin Olivetti

I will check it out. Probably Tauren Shaman, because I miss actually having totems. Don’t know how compelling it will prove to be in the long run. That will depend on whether or not the team will add more expansions (TBC, Wratch, etc.) or simply keep it frozen in Vanilla forever. Couldn’t we do both?

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eboe

I would eventually like to see Vanilla Classic eventually embrace all Vanilla content, all the way to AQ. And say there are 5 Vanilla Servers – you introduce one as a progression server that will roll on past into BC on a standard timeline. Then introduce, simultaneously, 4 other BC servers that progress all the way through end of expansion content. But only the single progression server rolls past the BC content into WOTLK, and you intro 4 WOTLK servers that progress to the end of their life cycle and are static, etc. That way you slowly build up permanent servers , and you can merge them as needed and start over the progression if people want to.

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Ssiard

I expect many servers on release. Servers stuck at Vanilla, TBC, and WotLK forever and one that runs all the expansions. But I don’t expect anything less than a year between expansion releases.

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Rottenrotny

Definitely. Though vanilla isn’t some new thing to me. I’ve been on kronos for years and have 3 60s there in UBRS level gear.

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Alex Hyer

Nope.

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Mark Jacobs

Yep, if I have the time.

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Robert Mann

No. Not only have they not learned to stop lying to and insulting their customers, but then they doubled down on it by continually saying this wouldn’t and couldn’t happen over and over again just to save the announcement for their event.

I will not (really will not, not Blizzard will not) support that kind of behavior. Period.

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eboe

Did you not consider that perhaps they were being stubborn, but once they saw the turnout for the Elysium/Nost co-launch they decided to contact the Nost staff and have them back out, which explains why the Nost staff up and quit again? It’s called CHANGING YOUR MIND AND LEARNING. Something good companies do. It’s not lying.

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Michael18

For sure!

I’m just afraid it will be a loong wait until then. So it might happen that my next vanilla WoW character will still reside on a pserver.

luxundae
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luxundae

Vanilla, back when I was playing it, felt more like a real virtual world. A big piece of that was that things weren’t anywhere near as balanced. Classes played very differently from each other. Some (*cough* druids) really just weren’t very good. Pallies could bubble hearth, and were alliance only. Only Horde had bloodlust. I just felt more real and less like a perfectly crafted game.

Another big piece, of course, was the fact that it was the first big open world with millions of players. And that we didn’t know all that much about it…it wasn’t the case that every quest was solved online, every fight had a known optimal approach, etc. Heck, no one could even find Mankrik’s wife.

Vanilla servers can bring back that first part. That wonderful imperfection. They can’t bring back the rest. I’ll give them a shot if they ever come up, but I honestly don’t know if they’ll still have the same draw.

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Schmidt.Capela

By the time I started playing, halfway through Vanilla, every quest was already solved online. I’m not sure how long it took to get to that point, but it was fast, so only the first few hundred thousand players or so (among the millions that got into the game) didn’t have the option to just look for answers online.

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Cinaminson

Yes I will. I can’t wait to play it again.

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drgreenhoe

I may give it a shot. It has been a very long time since i last was in a WOW world.

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mysecretid

I only started playing World of Warcraft in any real way this year. The current game is my “classic game”.

I’m aware of some of the differences between the original game and the current version (I did play at launch for a month or two, after all), but I’m not the target audience for the retro servers. I’ll leave them for the people who truly want them.

Cheers,

Reader
BDJ

MY problem with current day WoW is the fact that it plays like a lobby game. Sit in garrison / class order hall / main city, queue up, do content, logout. You dont have to interact with anyone really.

In vanilla, you had to go to the instances, which led to a lot of expected / unexpected interaction with other players. Get your group together, go to scarlet monestary. You see horde run out flagged, you attack. They call buddies, you call buddies. Next thing you know, you have an hour of open world pvp just for simply running out into the open world to go to a dungeon.

You simply don’t have this anymore. LFD/R, phasing, and to a lesser extent, flying…essentially killed the “adventure” in the open world as we know it.

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eboe

Yeah, I joined in WOTLK, so I’m itching to play some true Blizz Vanilla servers. I’ve played on some, ahem, Pservers, and enjoyed myself, but to play on official servers would feel nice. I’m curious about the experience and want to live it!

hurbster
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hurbster

Happy to play up to Lich King, be nice to go back to things before Cats screwed it all up.

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Aquarion

Hell no. I bounced hard off vanilla thirteen years ago. I like my ice cream with cookies and cream.

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Dan

I’m coming home.

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Ashley Bau

Yes

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Oleg Chebeneev

People told there is no way they add classic servers

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Oleg Chebeneev

Weird. I was replying to Armsbend’s comment

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mysecretid

It’s happening. Check out the articles about it here on Massively, Oleg.

Cheers,

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Dug From The Earth

For me, only for however long the nostalgia lasts, which is what Im guessing will be about a week.

This guys semi short video sums up my feelings about why I personally doubt ill be able to enjoy a classic wow server for very long.

A big emphasis on the “Nothing is a mystery anymore” part, which is a huge part of why classic WoW holds fond memories for me.

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Jack Kerras

In a short phrase: you can never go home again.

It’s not because home’s changed. It’s because you’ve changed. Coming back from a long journey, gaining wisdom and power along the way, makes home seem small, its comforts superficial. Your heart lives there, but… you don’t, and you never will again.

The only thing for it is to make a new home that fits you. Sometimes you make it out of the bones of your old home, sometimes you go far and wide to find a place for you.

If you’re lucky, your next adventure will do the same again.

Enjoy your present, folks. The past is a nice place to visit, but it’s a hard life trying to live there.

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Diego Camargo

Good points he make. But the big one is the nostalgia, I wrote a whole book about it so I will just link :P

The Daily Grind: Will you be playing World of Warcraft’s Classic servers?

But I would like to comment a point he make, lvling as a non-dps class.

I lvled a holy priest and it was just ridiculous, kill a mob (spamming the same 2 spells over and over), sit down and drink for mana, I literaly had all my bags with mana drinks. Doing a ‘kill 10 boars’ quest took ages.

AND THAT WASN’T EVEN VANILLA, IT WAS BURNING CRUSADE FOR ME.

So I don’t even want to imagine what a pain and simply not fun experience this would be.

Also, on my main, I didn’t see 80% of dungeons because I was questing, not sitting on the town waiting for some group to be formed. I only saw these dungeons much later when Achievements came on and I started doing them (on a max lvl toon) to get the points and to see the dungeons…

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Chosenxeno .

“Also, on my main, I didn’t see 80% of dungeons because I was questing, not sitting on the town waiting for some group to be formed. ”

People always forget that Blizzard themselves said this was the biggest reason for LFD being introduced. Also, some dungeons were Horde or Alliance only.

Pingly
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Pingly

Just earlier this year I cancelled my account. I realized I had been forcing myself to play the new stuff to see when I’d start enjoying it. I just didn’t care for it.

After I cancelled I realized I just wanted to run around that world again. I wanted to start a new Dwarf or Tauren and go level myself up.

Old WoW might be just the ticket for me. I think this will be fun.

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TomTurtle

I’d be one of the tourists that Blizzard is already expecting. I doubt I’d stick around for long, but it’d be fun to mess around on.

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blah blazh

nope

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Apollymi

As long as they don’t do something silly like make “pristine” servers, I’m in.

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eboe

What, you want heirlooms and LFG?

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Greaterdivinity

Yep.

Theryl
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Theryl

I’ll probably stick my nose back in for the nostalgia factor, but I doubt I’ll do anything serious unless they get a decent RP server going.

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eboe

You help make that RP server decent.

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johnwillo

I will definitely play. I’ve played on private servers, and I know vanilla’s shortcomings, but they are outweighed by the pleasure I get from the game. I will follow progression servers as far as WotLK, if they have them, but no further.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

I just got a SNES MIni Classic. So many of those games are still so great like Super Metroid and so many haven’t aged well at all.

MMOs don’t age well. I’m firmly in the camp of letting nostalgia stay happy and not returning to old games.

I’ve never played WoW ever, but if the same question were asked about SWG I think I’d give the same answer. I’ve thought about going to an EMU but always decided not to because of the previously mentioned reasons.

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BDJ

The bad thing about private servers / emulators is that they aren’t the real deal. No matter how well nost / elysium did or do, its NEVER going to feel like an official server.

The same goes for SWGemu. Ive played it a ton. One of my great buddies was one of the main devs for years over there. They have done a phenomenal job on re-creating the experience. That being said, it doesn’t feel like the live version at all. This applies to every private server i’ve been on.

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Diego Camargo

And just out of curiosity. You really think the Classic (legal) server is going to feel like the original? It is NOT the original game, they are re-creating it almost from scratch. It’s basically a private server, the only difference is that Blizzard are making it so you would expect a polish work, but a private server nonetheless.

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Tweet Master

Yes if it is own standalone game and not just some trolling area for retail players like their forums are at the moment.
So it needs A.Own subscription B.Stay classic C.Vanilla forums only accessible for people who pay vanilla subscription.

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roo woods

I think the classic servers will be an option under the current subscription . There might be a few retail players who will try the classic at the start and some may stay but a lot will find it too hard and give up .

I would probably have a character on the retail as well just to play the newer battleground but most of my time would be spent on classic servers .

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Hirku

Plenty of trolling on both sides so I’d be happy to see you both sent to your rooms.

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Tweet Master

And D.Since theres “both sides” it needs separate subscriptions even more.

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Hirku

Well some good news for everybody is that it looks like C. is happening:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20759371357?page=2#post-25

EDIT: That was fast: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/22814264/

Which makes me happy because E. I don’t want to sift through mixed threads trying to find info about the game I’m playing.

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Jeremy Barnes

pretty sure none of that will happen

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Tweet Master

That’s what I’m afraid of :(

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Yup. After reading the interview linked below, it’s clear that they aren’t going to do a “sorta” Classic server. Blizzard never really does “sorta”. It’s always the deep end of the pool for them, which means Classic with be as true to the original as they can make it and still give modern gamers a quality experience.

http://www.pcgamer.com/this-is-how-blizzard-plans-to-finally-bring-back-vanilla-wow-servers/

And now, a little trip down memory lane to get in the mood:

https://myplay.video/video/-0eq3lLqPE8

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Archebius

I never got to experience vanilla WoW, so I’d very much like to hop in and give it a try. Whether I’ll have time or not is another matter.

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Loopy

Yes, albeit it will mostly depend on what Blizzard’s definition of “vanilla” is. From my understand, most of the pserver community has gotten used to patch 1.12 being the de facto “vanilla” experience, so i’m wondering if Blizzard will follow suit.

I don’t foresee vanilla being my main MMO, but it will be my go-to filler game for sure.

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Utakata

Maybe?

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starbuck1771

Same here I doubt it but may give it a try.

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Brandon Matthews

Nope. Not interested. Too much of a grindfest, not enough of a truly compelling story to want to revisit it, and oh my god SCREW that original class design. Hard pass.

wpDiscuz