World of Warcraft Classic CMs talk class balance while the forums melt down

    
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It’s a really weird and interesting time to be a World of Warcraft fan. While the announcement of WoW Classic has revitalized discussion about the launch version of the MMO, it seems just about nobody can agree on what Blizzard should do when it implements the legacy servers.

For their part, WoW’s devs are still sifting through ideas. Two of the game’s community managers spent some time discussing class balance while the dev team continues to be formed. “Should class balance be left as it was, or should it be tweaked within a certain margin, or should it be constantly tuned and worked on?” one CM posted. “I’m not so certain that any specific one is the default, correct choice.”

It sounds as though Blizzard is trying to elicit feedback before it makes any decisions: “If folks want a true 1:1 Vanilla experience, then we want to see the discussion of that. If people think there should be changes here or there, then we’ll want to see that too.”

One thing is for certain: Just about everyone has a heated opinion about how (or if) WoW Classic should be made. It’s gotten so “passionate” on the forums that the CMs had to step in to lock down threads and threaten to make the WoW Classic forums subscriber-only to cut down on the noise.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in outgoing forum moderation and punishments for harassment and toxicity from people who are participating in this forum without an active subscription,” Ornyx said. “We would very much like to keep this option open, as I personally realize that Classic players may not necessarily play in Legion. However, if it becomes the best move for our community, and to maintain a constructive environment, I am not opposed to flipping the switch and returning this forum to subscribers only.”

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Tweet Master

Working as intended.

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Jokerchyld

Dumbest idea ever. Trying to get the “community” to help determine which direction the game should go is like herding cats. You will never get agreement.

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Jeremiah Wagner

Seems like a VERY easy decision to me. Bring the game back exactly how it was to begin with, then add so test servers to test out small improvements to see if the community wants it or not. Don’t do anything to add the current shortcuts into the vanilla game. No one wants a mount for 1 silver or to gain 7 levels from killing 1 enemy. Thats for the people that like current WoW , not for the people wanting to play Vanilla WoW.

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McGuffn

So they’re basically asking people to take their 10+ year old memories of the game and asking people which patch version should it be balanced around, whether they should tweak it, or what have you. Sounds easy.

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Tweet Master

Vanilla people have asked for 1:1 Vanilla for years and years.They are basically asking retail people to attack vanilla crowd “If people think there should be changes here or there, then we’ll want to see that too.”.

It is starting to look like public relations promotion strategy for the next expansion more and more.

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Jon-Enee Merriex

OK, here’s my serious post.

They should release a version of Classic exactly as is and open up player discussions on what to change from there.

I think this will do 2 things. 1. Remind everyone how terribad it was. 2. Allow the game to evolve in a more “hardcore” direction instead of the casual-core direction it has. Not that there’s anything wrong with WoW now for people who love that version, they should be able to continue to love that version.

There seems to be a lot of us, “old school MMOers” who miss that “old school” feel. That doesn’t mean I don’t want a raid finder. It means I don’t mind the crunch. I don’t mind sitting down and determining which stat point is better. Those are things Blizzard took out of the game, that we loved.

After actually getting back into the game, it will be clear, there are things that should change. Honestly, the question should be able how will Classic develop in a way that is different from Current WoW? My hope is that they go in the more in-depth game play direction and not the “everybody wins” direction that Current WoW has. But again, that doesn’t mean I want to deal with UIs that fight me when I’m playing. Or content that is buggy. Or spending hours to find someone to group with.

If they take it, this could be a massive opportunity to take WoW is a new direction without alienating all those millions of players who love WoW now. They shouldn’t listen to those people. They should listen to millions of us who left because the game just wasn’t what it used to be.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I’m playing Private and its not terribad. However its not nearly as fantastic as some assert. I’d be happy if Classic was keeping almost everything about classes but tried to tweak the worst balance offenders (which patches themselves did til 1.12 anyway).

But I guess we all have our disagreements. I don’t mind LFG in games. I don’t think Classic should have one.

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Jon-Enee Merriex

WoW forums has toxic players? What is this… 2004?

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Paragon Lost

Man, if only people could discuss things in a reasonable manner.

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Sorenthaz

That’s asking too much of the WoW forums. It has never been a place for calm, reasonable discussion.

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Annoyed badger

Lul, people dont want classic it appears, they want something they think classic was…but oh we want all this other stuff added later…but classic was so much better than modern wow….but wait can we add in this?….love this “true” classic experience….

IMO they should implement classics exactly as classic wow was on release, then roll out exactly the same patches after exactly the same amount of time…recreate the true classic timeline exactly.

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Armsman

Yep – players want their ‘Rose Colored Glasses’ version of ‘Vanilla’ WoW – NOT what the ACTUAL ‘Vanilla’ WoW was…LOL (Who’d have thought eh?) ;)

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Minimalistway

some players … some of them want that

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Scott McCulloch

The people who have wanted Classic all these years aren’t the one asking for this nonsense. It is the current WoW players who want to turn Classic into another themepark

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Bruno Brito

Don’t speak for me. I like Vanilla and i wouldn’t care for some QoL.

Also:

“It is the current WoW players who want to turn Classic into another themepark”

WoW was ALWAYS a themepark. You clearly don’t understand the term.

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Malcolm Swoboda

I think the idea was that ‘another themepark’ isn’t the magic they thought ‘the WoW themepark’ was.

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Greaterdivinity

…and here I thought the WoW forums in general were subscription only. You learn something new every day.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

We know two things for sure: (1) the starting point for a release candidate of Classic will be a code base somewhere between release 1.0.0 and release 1.12.3 (the range of things that fairly could be called “Vanilla” by any meaning of that term); and (2) the stopping point for live Classic certainly will not be precisely the same as that.

The best solution to the problem of where to aim for in that range, and the one the team most likely will take as the most practical working compromise, is to simply start somewhere — anywhere — in that range, based on what point release appears to be the most stable starting point, get some semblance of a release into beta testable form, get it in front of players sooner than later, and then iterate from there.

It’s not like Blizzard has a problem coping with player feedback or fallout from controversial changes in their game. They have been doing that for 13 plus years now, through the entire history of retail WoW, and they’ve gotten pretty good at it, all things considered.

They do it by looking at their internal metrics, monitoring the buzz on forums and reddit, thinking about the complaints expressed and problems shown by the data, and the root causes for them, weighing their own thoughts, and then picking a course and taking it.

Mistakes will be made. More than one, no doubt. Some will be greeted with great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the internet masses. One thing though is true and always will be: Anything that can be done also can be undone. If they screw something up, they can always change course later. And they’ve done so on plenty of occasions in the past.

The important thing, first and foremost, and what I believe is actually first in the minds of everyone at Blizzard involved with Classic (and who will be involved), is simply to get the thing out there, sooner than later, to give players the something, or as much of something as they can, to scratch that huge burning Classic itch that so many have.

They can always iterate on it to address issues as Classic develops through its own unique life cycle, which it certainly will. But that can’t really sensibly happen until it’s actually out there and the team has a chance to deploy the full set of tools they use to make decisions about what to iterate on.

Some will hate it. Some will adore it. Some won’t care at all. This always has been as true of WoW as it is for every MMO, and it always will be. It will be true of Classic the same as it has been true of every other historical version of the game. Blizzard will find their way through the fog of war in the bitter battles between the forum factions the same as they have with other contentious problems and solutions in WoW from the start.

And one thing that everyone can count on, if nothing else, which is more true of Blizzard than probably any other developer out there: They can always be counted on to do the right thing, having exhausted every other possibility. Blizzard will get Classic “right” at some point; whatever “right” turns out to be. Certainly not right out of the gate, maybe not for a while. But they will get there. At some point.

Say what you will about them; it’s certainly true that Blizzard doesn’t always do everything that everyone wants them to do with their games. But you can’t deny that when they set out to do something, they do it very, very well. It’s the one thing about them that makes them what they are, and the thing that consistently has made their games so great for so long.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Well said.