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

    
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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
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styopa

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

(OK, no I didn’t.)

Polyanna
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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.

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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.

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JoeCreoterra

DX9, they had a GL renderer as well

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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 )

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Estranged

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

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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.

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Utakata

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

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Bruno Brito

Unplayable.

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Rumm

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

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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. :(

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Michael

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

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Loxi

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

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Rodney Perry

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

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Armsbend

A premium above a regular $15 sub cost?

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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.

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BladedDingo

They did that, it was called The Burning Crusade.

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Rodney Perry

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

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BladedDingo

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

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Rodney Perry

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

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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

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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?

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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.