World of Warcraft lead doesn’t want to talk about Classic, but confirms ‘vanilla means vanilla’

Right out of the gate in the recent World of Warcraft Q&A, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas said that WoW Classic wasn’t going to be the focal point of discussion, as the team is only “at the beginnings of this process.” However, he did confirm that Blizzard isn’t looking to monkey around with too many changes.

“We know Vanilla means Vanilla,” Hazzikostas said. “We know that it’s about community and that means some inconveniences, that means some of the rough edges. That’s not something we’re looking to move away from. It’s more which version of that experience… is it the 2005 version? The 2006 version?”

The rest of the Q&A session primarily focused on the upcoming Patch 7.3.5 and next year’s Battle for Azeroth expansion. If you’re curious what’s going to be in the next patch, the highlights include a preview of the Seething Shore battleground, zone level scaling, Legion epilogue quest content, and Ulduar Timewalking.

Icy Veins has a great roundup of the main points form the hour-long talk, although you could settle in to watch the whole thing yourself after the break.

Source: Icy Veins
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

68 Comments on "World of Warcraft lead doesn’t want to talk about Classic, but confirms ‘vanilla means vanilla’"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
styopa
Reader
styopa

“No questions about WoW Classic will be answered in this Q/A.”
Stopped reading.

(OK, no I didn’t.)

Polyanna
Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Polyanna

It’s good they went ahead and said that. If nothing else, it has down by about 95% all the noisy bullshit “debate” that was choking /r/classicwow since it was formed.

And I wouldn’t expect them to actually take any other approach, since the entire point of this exercise is to bring back to life a cherished moment in MMO history, not to replay the decade-long iterative design process that has led to the current retail product, with “the community” riding along as back-seat game developers at every turn.

Reader
Dread Quixadhal

The thing I really hope for is that whatever form the “classic” server ends up taking, it will be able to be played using the current (modern) client. Nobody *really* wants to have to go re-install a 2005-era 32-bit client with horrible networking code, 4:3 display format, and needing DirectX 5 (or whatever it was back then).

The “dream” would be that it become so popular that Blizzard assigns a permanent dev team to produce new content that stays in line with the way vanilla worked, so instead of a dead-end project where everyone will eventually get bored and wander off… we could have an alternate WoW that might tell some of the same story that the “live” servers do, but keeping to the old formula that worked so well. Risk vs. reward. Accomplishments meaning something because they had to be earned.

And yes… I’ll grind out my wintersaber mount again… I still have the route burned into my brain, even after 10 years.

JoeCreoterra
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
JoeCreoterra

DX9, they had a GL renderer as well

Reader
roo woods

I think Blizzard are going to be shocked at how popular the vanilla server will be . So much so it might make them re-evaluate the direction they have taken the game since Wrath of the Lich King .

Maybe it will prompt them to offer the pristine servers they were talking about a while back . Ones that offer the new content with an old ruleset and difficulty making them in essence advanced mode WoW servers .

I won’t be playing WoW until the Vanilla servers are up and running but I think I probably will play up a character on the regular servers as well when I do just to play all the different warfronts .

Looking forward to my return to WoW after what will be the best part of a decade away ( other than returning for welcome back offers now and then )

Reader
Alex

I think people are overlooking just how over rated this is going to be. I’m sure it’ll be popular but there is no way it will last.

styopa
Reader
styopa

I think every time you’ve posted on the subject, it is solely to take a big steaming poop.

Particularly when anyone suggests they’re looking forward to it.

You understand that there is an actual psychological term for people who have a pathological inability to let other people be happy, right?

Reader
Denice J. Cook

Hilariously, Blizzard keeps insisting about how “bad” Vanilla was in comparison to the Facebook WoW of today….when the droves of true Vanilla fans haven’t liked WoW since Cataclysm!

We don’t agree about your comparisons, because today’s WoW sucks! Get over it, Blizzard! ;)

PS/First world problems, eh?

Reader
Brinto Sfj

As far as i remember 1.12.1 was the last vanilla patch before the TBC pre patch, at least that was the project i was working on back then. So they should really focus on getting that one done instead of thinking around 2005 and 2006, it is about releasing the most polished version.

Tamanous
Reader
Tamanous

I feel this has an easy answer. It will be very much like the private server builds running class mechanics similar to patch 1.12 but with some time released content that makes sense. I am actually not a huge fan of how private servers currently handle it and changes for initial content should be made.

I do not feel it’s beneficial to adhere to content release that was delayed by original development time like level 50 class quests (why do some classes have to wait months while others have theirs?), honor system, battlegrounds and non-raid elites (other than epics offered only when aligned with raid content release) and zone quests added many patches after release which should really be there from the start.

I’d much rather see main story arc progression content only being the focus of progression and ZERO emulation of basic content delays players really demanded long before the original Wow released it.

Reader
life_isnt_just_dank_memes

Gosh, I think everybody’d want the original version but with bugs squashed. It’s like original Star Wars, I want the original films not the 90’s debacle, but remastered.

Reader
David Goodman

I want the very beginning, patch 1.0; that’s the Rough Edges I want to see the reactions for :)

I’ve also found it interesting that, of the people who say they are looking forward to vanilla, when polled about what class they were going to play said warrior or one of the pure DPS classes.

It really was a miserable experience to be a hybrid if you had aspirations for anything beyond 5-man dungeons.

styopa
Reader
styopa

This is precisely what everyone says who wants it to fail, it’s a sort of Munchausen-esque sadistic-strawman thing.

Some of us simply want to play a game where it takes more to level than leaning on the keyboard. Where accomplishments mean hard work, and where being good at your function (or not) is a reputation you earn in the opinion of your fellow players.

It doesn’t in any reasonable way suggest that people want to experience bugs, bad netcode, graphical glitches, or hacks. What a bizarre point of view.

Reader
Michael

Vanilla means vanilla, it does not mean progression server. It means there is an end point and it is either the same point they start it at or it is before the first expansion. You wanted Vanilla, you got it. You are not getting anything beyond that.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

They can create a BC server and allow transfers,
same for WotLK.

Reader
Utakata

I really do hope it becomes more a progression server thing. Starting out with nothing, then with each of raid itinerary slowly unlocked…eventually unlocking the respective TBC and Wrath expansions. The latter two being the best part of the game’s history…

…not sure what they would do after that, as I wish they avoid that shark jumpin’ Cata. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when they come to it.

Reader
Tithian

Even if they don’t ever do a TBC progression (which will most likely be the case), a slow and steady schedule of unlocking tiers will mean literally years of vanilla. One of the major complaints of the raiders at the time was that TBC was announced/launched too early, while the good majority of the guilds had barely set foot in Naxx. We were the #2 Horde guild in the server at the time and were just getting attuned to Naxx only a few months before the expansion hit. The #1 guild in the server had killed maybe half a dozen bosses, and they were the only guild across both factions that had killed C’thun.

Reader
Sorenthaz

What could be interesting is that if Classic generates enough revenue to justify it, Blizzard could potentially add new content on to create more progression post-60 but potentially keeping the level cap at 60 and the old talents. Create like an alternate branchoff or something, I dunno. Doubt they’d do that though.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

But then it won’t be Vanilla anymore and a few years down the track players will be demanding a “Vanilla” server again

Reader
bladeddingo

Right. then it’s not just a token team managing, but an entire content team creating new content shoehorned into the old world. then you have WoW and WoW 1.5, it becomes a whole new game.

No, stop it at the latest most stable patch pre-BC and let players idle in stormwind with their 3 prices of Tier 2 for eternity, it’s what they wanted, right?

Reader
Rodney Perry

I was thinking the same thing. I would love this and I’d pay premium for it because money talks.

Reader
Armsbend

A premium above a regular $15 sub cost?

Reader
Rodney Perry

Yes if it makes them pull a bigger team together and work forward in the game with the types of skill trees and processes from vanilla without the dumb down. Yeah I would pay more. This is my hobby, my escape and a good escape is priceless to me.

Reader
bladeddingo

They did that, it was called The Burning Crusade.

Reader
Rodney Perry

You know I meant keep the trees and what not period moving forward.

Reader
bladeddingo

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Reader
Rodney Perry

It’s what I would like it’s all hypothetical. So I can have my hypothetical cake and eat it too.

Minimalistway
Reader
Minimalistway

Blizzard said they are doing this even if small number of people playing it, they’ll keep the game alive, most important thing here is making live archive for the game, as important part of gaming history … so i highly doubt it they will ever add anything to it.

Reader
Michael

That and they said in this interview that it won’t ever get expansions.

Reader
Loxi

Sorry, gonna need a source on that one. AFAIK, they haven’t confirmed anything like that.

Reader
Rumm

Careful Uta, “We” don’t want that. “We” want classic only and if you want anything else, you’re ruining the authentic experience.

Reader
Utakata

To qualify, “we” in this case are any party affected and/or watching this/these “progression” server(s) evolve IF that what Blizz’s eventual plans are for it…whether one agrees with that or not. I guess I was being too subtle in my use of that word. :(

Reader
Rumm

I wasn’t intending to mock you in any way, rather to poke fun at the Vanilla purists who seem to speak for everyone else.

Reader
Utakata

…just in case you weren’t pulling a Poe’s law. Some folks are actually quite serious about that. :(

Anyrates, edited for the now revealed nuance.

Reader
Utakata

PS: Note to header pic…there was no Hozen in Vanilla, I’m afraid. /ookin dook

Reader
Bruno Brito

Unplayable.

Reader
Andrew Holder

I am sick and tired of Blizzard’s attitude about WoW Classic. As if they are clearly doing the community “a favor” and plan on teaching us a lesson by giving us exactly what we want with vanilla. I am sick of it. Every time they make a comment about WoW Classic they always pepper their comments with snide remarks like “…for better or worse…” or “…with all its inconveniences…” or “…the community has forgotten what life was like when…” They need to f!@#$%^ get over themselves! They have totally lost touch with the community at this point and it is they, themselves, who have forgotten what vanilla was like. They have no idea what they have ruined in this game and what they have taken away from the community. There is a reason why WoW became as popular as it did. There is reason that millions upon millions subscribed. There was a reason that it become the epic, game-changing, industry-changing game that it was. And instead of going with the tride and true wisdom of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, instead Blizzard went with the motto “let’s completely redesign the game from the ground up with each new expansion, customers and their requests be damned!” philosophy. They forgot the basic rule of psychology that humans do not respond well to change, and – instead – instituted as much change as the possibly could, as fast as they could with each new expansion! Yes, there have been some “quality of life” updates to the game over the years that I have loved, such as the transmogrification addition to the game, and the ability to change hair styles. But none of these “quality of life” updates are worth the ruin that the devs brought to the magic of the original game and I, for one, would gladly give up every “quality of life” update, every new race, every new land, and more, just to have my old Druid or Warlock back the way the were in the original game!

Blizzard, if you are listening, get over yourselves! You aren’t teaching the community any lessons. We are teaching you one. Instead of brining back WoW Vanilla only because it is cheaper at this point to put the work in yourselves than continue legal action against independent individuals who are doing it for you, try – and I know this is hard for you – but TRY to act like you give a s!@# about your player base beyond their pocket books and do something that they have been screaming for for years now! And, while you are at it, try and understand WHY your player base is asking for it. It has so much to do with the experience that WoW Vanilla was as it does with what you have turned this game into.

Oh, and one other thing… Quit acting like bringing WoW Vanilla back is some great technical achievement that you have to somehow “figure out”. You aren’ the only computer programmers on the planet. There are many of us who understand the process and are calling you out on your bull-s!@#! Look, if a couple of young twenty year olds working pro-bono out of their garage in their spare time can bring back WoW Vanilla, in all its glory, in the matter of a few months, then I am sure you can restrain your ego’s and pull your heads out of their collective a$$es long enough to figure it out. I mean, after all, it isn’t like you are working on a teacher’s salary!

Just, get over yourselves!

Sincerely,
Someone who is going to drop WoW Legion (and every other future expansion) like a ton of bricks to go back to WoW Classic and never look back!

Reader
Bruno Brito

“Oh, and one other thing… Quit acting like bringing WoW Vanilla back is some great technical achievement that you have to somehow “figure out”. You aren’ the only computer programmers on the planet. There are many of us who understand the process and are calling you out on your bull-s!@#! Look, if a couple of young twenty year olds working pro-bono out of their garage in their spare time can bring back WoW Vanilla, in all its glory, in the matter of a few months, then I am sure you can restrain your ego’s and pull your heads out of their collective a$$es long enough to figure it out. I mean, after all, it isn’t like you are working on a teacher’s salary!”

Why don’t YOU bring it then?

Because 1.12.1 mechanics and classes with progression IS NOT VANILLA. Because emus based of TBC tech and numbers IS NOT VANILLA. What you do NOT realize, is that every 1.12.1 server has several issues with stats because some of the stuff had to be taken from TBC times and resources.

What you will have is, and i hope, a complete progression. You’ll get everything you asked for! Burning Steppes without questhubs, so you can leave Legion behind to grind. Warriors being nerfed because of Indalamar. Lacerate hunters. XP lock after a time to “avoid addiction”. Plainsrunning Tauren. Paladins losing their strike skills because Blizzard hated hybrids, or couldn’t figure out why a game with so well defined roles wasn’t favoring jack-of-all-trades. What a doozy.

Now, shut the hell up. You’re embarassing us. You got what you wanted even when you DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS. So, do us all a favor and be happy in the corner.

styopa
Reader
styopa

It’s so amazingly consistent the Haters’ Playbook.
Play 1: “Insist that ‘vanilla’ means only and exclusively Patch 1.0”
Play 2: there isn’t one.

I get it, you’re feeling a little sad and humiliated, having posted for months about how Blizzard would “never do this” and how “people that love vanilla are just looking through rose colored glasses” disregarding the tens of thousands of players currently playing on Blizzlike vanilla servers worldwide, and LOVING IT.

I agree that it remains to be seen how many of these people will pay for it. I can only speak for myself: my family played 2 wow accounts for 7 years, leaving in Cata because it got so stupid easy. When Classic comes, we’ll likely restore 3 accounts, as my wife misses playing too.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

They are doing the community a favor, it’s people with your attitude that make me wish they had not given in and just not bothered with Vanilla at all.

So entitled.

Reader
Slaasher

With customers like this… who needs customers? LMAO
SO much anger its kind of funny to read

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Why give Blizzard revenue if you feel that way?

Reader
Chris Walker

Gotta side with Blizzard on this one.

Reader
Daniel Reasor

To be really clear about this, nobody cares what pirates want. That’s not WoW Classic’s end goal. The end goal is Blizzard no longer having to pay legal fees to sue pirate servers in defense of their copyright. Selling your tiny, toxic, vocal fringe whatever you imagine you’re entitled to is a means to that end.

Reader
Bannex

You are one of the biggest problems with gamers.

Get off your self entitled horse and stop acting like the world is talking down to you.

Listen boy, (now I am talking down to you) blizzard is a large company that has a specific and very successful way of going about things. They’ve recognized the demand for the WoW of yore and have agreed to produce it. They’ve also stated that the details have not been ironed out and by just a gander at the comments on this thread it is clear the community can’t agree on what exactly vanilla WoW is. So instead of flipping out and reading between the lines of every statement maybe you should wait for the actual announcements.

It’s clear ion isn’t going to be in charge of classic so obviously he doesn’t have much to say.

Do everybody a favor and shut up.

Reader
Rumm

Ion said literally two sentences about Classic in a video that wasn’t about Classic and this is how the Vanilla crowd reacts. Such a great community it was, right?

Reader
Bryan Gregory

Yeah because World of Warcraft has always been known for its great community!

ihatevnecks
Reader
ihatevnecks

I hope this whole thing is just a massive troll, and they burn the servers live on stream a day after Classic launches. Good riddance.

Reader
Utakata

Damned if they do. And damned if they don’t, right? o.O

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Alien Legion

I find it amusing that the current WoW team is so bereft of new ideas, completely failed to bring anything new to the table and has basically contributed zero to the game in years, that they are so grumpy that people are lusciously excited to be able to go back to the WoW-That-Was that they refuse to discuss it.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Wow Legion is the best expansion Wow ever released regarding Open World content, Raiding, and story delivery.

Yeah I said that, and I crapped on your front porch.

Drops the mike.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

Why did you drop Mike?
Who even is Mike?!

Drops the mic.

(sorry)

Reader
Bryan Turner

He’s just this guy I carry around and shake like an infant when I have fits of rage, he’s a good Mike.

Reader
Bannex

I find it amusing that you think the current team hasn’t contributed anything.

Good god these newly empowered vanilla supporters are fucking ridiculous.

Reader
Rumm

This level of cognitive dissonance is astounding. You just said that the WoW team doesn’t have new ideas and hasn’t brought anything new to the table, and in the next breath say that people are excited to return to what WoW used to be. So the game hasn’t changed because they haven’t had any new ideas, and people are excited to return to the game because it has changed so much. Which is it?

They didn’t discuss it because there is nothing there to discuss yet. They don’t even have their entire team. They said exactly that in the video. Would you rather they go on with conjecture and guesses as to what the Classic server will be? Will you then be angry when that changes?

Maybe read the article too.

“We know Vanilla means Vanilla,” Hazzikostas said. “We know that it’s about community and that means some inconveniences, that means some of the rough edges. That’s not something we’re looking to move away from. It’s more which version of that experience… is it the 2005 version? The 2006 version?”

Which version is it? Which specific patch? Which content update? Which class balance changes are introduced? There’s a lot of questions that they have to address still, and you’re upset because they don’t yet have the answers to something that they announced a week ago. You’re the type of person that makes the Vanilla server process frustrating.

Estranged
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Rumm – /clap

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Alien Legion

“You’re the type of person that makes the Vanilla server process frustrating.”

Well there you have it. Thank you so much for the full psychoanalysis, stereotyping and personal attack all wrapped up in one.

Your clear understanding of the human psyche is obvious and I am astounded that you can gauge exactly what type of person someone is based off a one sentience, off the cuff forum post.

Thank you for gracing us with your presence, as I am sure that, with your remarkable skills, the governments of the world are clearly knocking your door to help them with every considerable discussion and human interaction.

Reader
Bruno Brito

You didn’t answer any of his points and went with a counter Ad Hominem because he criticized your post.

Congratulations: You lost. Horribly.

Don’t try Vanilla PvP with those skills.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Wait your sentences are sentient or have gained sentience, you really are crazy aren’t you?

Reader
Rumm

Same

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

I love it when you blap someones argument so hard on the internet and they have to desperately go the “personal attack” route.

Reader
Armsbend

“that they are so grumpy”

Who was grumpy again? You sure you got that right?

Reader
Zora

He didn’t want to talk about it first and foremost because (thankfully, as far as I am concerned) neither he or his team will be involved in any aspect of classic realms, regardless of his usage of “we” in the usual practice of collapsing the public image of the entire company with the face of a single rep of theirs.

I don’t expect them to go and chase down the original devs across the industry but I do wonder how far are they willing to go in assembling their team and putting in the lead people who had at least direct experience of the original experience as professionals rather than second-hand retales or just having played it as kids.

Reader
Armsbend

Personally I’d only hire cheaper foreign work on this project. I’d keep some locals to manage direction. I’d keep costs at a bare minimum…because the game is really there already.

Reader
Zora

Keeping costs at a bare minimum isn’t really one of blizzard’s most prominent traits, they’re quite the wasteful company… or at least the wow studio has been traditionally. But I agree with that, no need to go overboard as long as they have on the job engineers that can translate the rotting code from back then into their current wildly differing infrastructure.

Outsourcing customer support to india? Let’s not give them ideas now…… <_<

Reader
Armsbend

You are right. I think they could do it in this case without skimping on quality. But I don’t care really – it is there game – I’m looking forward to see what THEY are going to do with it. I don’t care if they don’t take one fan’s opinion into account really. They know better than the rest of us.

Liandreth
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Liandreth

Good to know. I didn’t watch this and have been wondering if anything was said. Was lurking on the Classic forums/reddit but it’s just becoming annoying. Too many fights about we want ease, you’re elitists if you don’t.

Reader
Iain B

Which I’d be willing to bet is one of the very big reasons Blizzard has not wanted to do it in the first place.

No matter which version of “vanilla” they end up going with, they are going to get complaints.

wpDiscuz