The Daily Grind: Are you thinking of WoW Classic as a totally new MMO?

    
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Early on in all the WoW Classic hoopla, I’d been thinking of World of Warcraft legacy servers as the sort of gimmick servers that a lot of older games put up. Ultima Online, EverQuest, RuneScape – their hardcore servers, progression servers, old-school servers are sort of sideshows, literally, to the “real” game in the center ring.

But the day the Classic WoW subreddit went up and I watched the playerbase neatly conduct its semi-orderly self-partition, my thinking changed, such that I don’t really think it’s just a gimmick anymore. WoW Classic is going to be a whole new game. I’m not even sure Blizzard realizes it yet, given how weird and slapdash the BlizzCon announcement was, but if WoW Classic releases in the next couple of years, it’ll easily be one of the largest and most successful “new” AAA MMORPGs to come out in quite a while. It’ll be up there with AIR and New World. That’s a sobering thought – but maybe not all that surprising.

Are you thinking of WoW Classic as a totally new MMO? How will you be approaching it?

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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Oleg Chebeneev

The question doesnt makes sense to me. They are just relaunching old version of WoW. It could be new experience for those who never played vanilla, but it is the same old WoW with maybe a few changes.

What was indeed a new game for me is Project Ascension that Im playing now. Classless, FFA WoW where you drop loot in PvP

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jay

I played wow in vanilla, did the mc thing. Really have no interest in going back to that. I’d rather just remember it fondly, and move on.

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Valen Sinclair

I have fond memories of vanilla WOW, and I think Classic will only appeal to those people. I can’t imagine players that came to the EZmode game later will like Classic….at all.

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Dreema

I’ve been playing Classic WoW on various private servers for the past five years, so I don’t regard it as a “new” game, but more the sort of thing the retail version should be. It’s WoW minus the QoL crap that has ruined the game bit by bit over the years. I’m far more excited by this than I am about the new expansion (which, to be honest, looks naff anyway).

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Dug From The Earth

Id really like to see a classic fan do a break down of multiple QoL additions to WoW that have been added over the years, and descriptive reasons why it made WoW worse. (ie: not just “Because this feature sucks”)

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Dreema

Just a few off the top of my head:

LFD – ruined the community.

LFR – ruined the community AND turned raiding into a bad joke. Why bother learning your class or learning the fights when you can just join a queue and mindlessly kill stuff?

Nerfing everything in sight – makes the rewards seem less rewarding when it requires zero effort to get them.

Linear questing – boring. Makes running through the zone again even more boring because it’s just the same as before.

Epics handed out to everyone – devalues the effort used to put into getting good gear.

Account wide stuff – no real incentive to run the content again if you already have the achievement / title / pet / mount.

Catch up mechanics – entire patches of content, even whole expansions of content, get skipped.

Ability pruning – losing iconic abilities is never a good idea.

I could probably go on all day. Sure, there have been QoL changes that I like – AOE looting, dual specs – but they’re minimal compared to the ones I dislike.

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Dug From The Earth

Some solid points.

A comment about linear questing… thats existed since WoW beta. Not sure how classic is going to fix that, since its not something necessarily new. In fact, its what earned WoW from the early days, the title of “Theme park” mmorpg, because you followed a linear path, from zone to zone based on a string of quests. Originally, vanillas quests werent nearly as large story driven. A quest to kill bears, might just be linked to one small npcs gripe about them killing his sheep. In current WoW, most quests are linked to a much bigger story arch, which could make some people feel like the linear aspect is more apparent.

Aside from that, seems like a lot of your focus is on 2 things that are important:

Community and replayability.

Community has gone downhill. So far, its probably not even a hill anymore, but more of a crater. Im not sure thats entirely the fault of LFR and LFD however (although they both helped speed things along with a hefty super shove). I think a lot of the decline of community is from the type of gamer that is playing today that makes up the majority. The strong “community driven” players are out there still, just obscured by the other masses that arent. I could see how a classic server could change that proportion however, since a classic server probably wont appeal to the type of player thats been drawn in by the more “i dont need “friends/other people” gameplay mechanics.

Replayability on the other hand, is a mixed bag. I want to be able to keep coming back to a game and playing it more. However, I think the difference between content/activities in Vanilla, vs content and activities in current WoW, is the whole “6 in one, half dozen in another” concept. As far as end game goes, I feel both stages of the game (vanilla and legion) have extremely repetitive, grindy, and non-hand crafted gameplay that is designed to be be done over and over for replay value. Legion just had boat loads more (which isnt necessarily a good thing depending on the player).

I feel that in vanilla, due to fewer end game things to do, players had more freedom to instead make their own fun, because the game didnt do it for you (which again, isnt always a good thing for many players. You are paying the devs to entertain you, so shouldnt they?). In legion, there are so many “repeat this task over and over again” that you get overwhelmed and lack the freedom to really do anything else. Neither situation is ideal for me personally, but if you are into the whole “make your own fun” (especially if you are a role player), then i can see how vanilla would be a preferred experience.

I also dont feel grinding rep to unlock a mount (or anything) on any character, even once, is good, creative content. Especially not content that should need to be repeated more than once, if at all. So using unlocks as “repeat” content, is just bad imo, all around (unless of course, its specific and unique to your class you are playing. IE: Something legion half did right – Class mounts: Each class, once you get to the part in the chain, has their own unique story and chain to follow, to unlock their own unique mount, that EACH character you play, must go through. (I just wish that the BS broken shore grinding would be replace by more unique and custom story quests for your specific class)

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Geo Kavu

Normalization killed WoW for me..
Everyone has a stun nowadays, everyone has an escape or two, everyone can heal themselves..
It used to be that classes had clearly defined strengths and weaknesses.
They had character.

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Dug From The Earth

But outside of principle and concept, did that really matter? Was gameplay actually affected by this in a fun and positive way, or did it cause more harm than good?

I think more than anything, those differences, that created the non-normalized classes, caused issues with diversity, balance, and inclusion. I think it also shoe horned players into having to play a specific way, limiting freedom of choice.

“Holy paly you say? Cleanse spammer, stand in the back”
“Feral cat druid you say? Last priority for loot, since rogues do your job better”

etc etc

I get that people like the feel their class is unique… but are you really that unique when thousands (or even a million) other people are playing the same class as you?

Id rather choose to stand out and be unique by playing my class well, something I can strive to do regardless of the normalized or non-normalized abilities my video game character has in their arsenal.

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Geo Kavu

All I am saying is that in the process of making all classes equally good, they made all classes interchangeable.
And yes, feral druids should be feeling like a second class rogue.
And healer druids should be feeling like second class priests.
After all, to be the jack of all trades means to be the master of none, and this is a choice you as a player made when you rolled a druid.
Making all healers equal and all dps equal and everyone able to CC, heal, escape etc is great until you realize that it leads to trying to top dps meters instead of trying to kill a boss.
And having your contribution measured as a number in a field.
A druid will never be as good as a priest at healing but who cared back then? You were needed for buffs and support spells.
The priest could not provide these.
You would never replace the druid with a priest just because patch X.X.1 nerfed a talent and her healing per second was reduced by 1%.

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Dug From The Earth

So my question then is, did you main a druid healer, or druid cat?

Or even a holy palys? One button cleanse wonders.

Personally, I prefer devs focus on making things fun to play, and I never found it fun to be a buffbot or cleansebot. Those that played those classes always seemed dissatisfied with being second rate because of the reasons you listed, even if from a non-fun logical side, it made sense.

From a lore side, it also didnt really make sense. Only from a “fairness” mechanic. Give up effectiveness, to have the ability to be a jack of all trades.

Wasnt needing to collect multiple sets of gear enough of a downside? Especially in vanilla, where gear took a LOT longer to collect.

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Geo Kavu

I was a holy paladin.
All I remember is being the reliable healer, who always died last (in contrast to the very vulnerable priests) and who could, at any point, equip a shield and off-tank mobs/minibosses because guess what?
Back then a paladin did not forget to use a shield out of the blue and did not die as easy as any other healer despite wearing the same armor as the tanks.
And I remember in Legion being forced to re-roll mage, as my warlock did not seem able to compete in damage for the best part of the expansion and.. also guess what!
There was NOTHING a class would bring to the table that another could not in some way.
Even combat rez is done by almost everyone including their grandmothers.
People were asking for X+ dps. Or Y+ i-level.
In Legion you are a number. In Vanilla you are a class.

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Dug From The Earth

Fair enough

It does seem, though, that restricting who can join a group/raid etc based on class, seems like players limiting things, where as needing a specific i-level is something anyone can achieve, without having to switch classes to do so.

In my experience, players can be much more harsh and cruel. Letting them control if I can join a game activity or not, is putting too much control into a strangers hands over my play experience.

“Looking for DPS – not feral” pretty much means im screwed if im feral

“Looking for DPS – ilevel 330+” means i can take part, if ive worked to get my ilevel to 330+.

One situation I have control over if im included/excluded, while getting to play the class I want. The other situation, im scrutinized for playing the class I want, and no matter how hard I work, I cant over come that.

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Geo Kavu

If that would be the case, if i-level was all it took to join, I’d be much more supportive of the current state of the game.
The reality is, though, that with every class able to do everything and with the ease someone can re-roll (one can even pay for it nowadays), there exists something called the flavor of the month.
Or the flavor of the expansion.
For example, elemental shamans started weak in Legion and were sub-par until I stopped playing, just after Nighthold.
Same with Warlocks.
Mages were the flavor of the expansion.
While the difference in raw power was very small (~5%), you could barely see any Warlocks and Ele shammies playing and there was very little effort by Blizzard to address the issue.
In fact every single Warlock in my guild re-rolled either mage or Demon Hunter.
And the reasoning behind this is.. Why loose that 5%? Is there something important we gain by including a Warlock in our party? No? Ok..
And so people would look for “fire mage-hunter-dh, 900+ ilevel”.
Or would just reject your LFG application.
This was not the case in Vanilla.
5% dps was nothing compared to the stamina buffs your imp provided, or the soulstone on the tank, or the unique ability to summon people.
Same for the mage who made mana-breaks trivial or could perma CC, provide portals etc..
Vanilla was much more inclusive because everyone could offer something unique.

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Dug From The Earth

In vanilla, its not “flavor of the month” its “Flavor of the decade”

If you pick a class that isnt good, you are hosed for the duration of your playtime.

Unless of course, you enjoy filling your one, tiny, niche aspect that makes you mechanically so different from the other classes.

IE: paly cleanse.

You said you played a holy paly. Thats awesome. However, in the same situation where today, you might meet (or exceed) the required i-level, and get turned down for a “FOM” class by an elistest player… those same players would turn down your holy paly for healing over that of a priest just as often.

Both games have their exceptions. Vanilla just made it easier from a “perception” point of view to envision your class as being unique and standing out from the others. Made for great class immersion and even role play, but tons of players found themselves being excluded, and forgotten about just because their class couldnt mechanically live up to the standards needed for doing things.

I dont want to play a game that shuts me out because I picked a class I was interested in and found fun. If its my lack of skill, thats fine. If i havent taken the time to gear myself. Thats fine. If i havent taken the time to learn the fight mechanics, thats fine too. All of those things are on me. When the game itself creates the barriers, then thats what I have a problem with. For me, vanilla did this a lot more often to me than current WoW does.

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Tamanous

Classic Wow is for a certain type of Wow player. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with attracting the current retail audience. Some will try it and love it or hate it. Doesn’t matter.

The “I don’t get it so don’t see why anyone else should like it either” crowd are simply those people needing to grow up and understand diversity … which has been homogenized out of their modern concept of reality.

Most posts here are from people who have no modern experience playing vanilla wow while there are servers out there they can start playing on in 10 minutes (client is free and easy to download). It’s the player’s who try it and take the next several weeks to understand and master it (understanding why the content is what it is, how classes designed to be different from one of another are what they are and the requirements of addons and macro use to modernize the feel of the game) who stick around and develop a passion for it far beyond that most retail players have for their game.

If your memories are only from 12+ years ago … they are flawed. If you never tried vanilla wow along side modern vanilla players playing the modern meta of the old game … your opinions are invalid. You choose not to understand something and that is all. Your conclusion can only be formulated from real and recent experience whether you decide you love it or hate it. Even then that is only YOUR opinion and not the collective opinion of some global social bubble that defines your reality.

If the concept of a game targeting a specific audience that may not include you offends you … you are part of the problem that is modern gaming.

You don’t have to understand shit! Just try something and come to a personal conclusion that affects nobody else but you.

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Estranged

Tamanous – Ouch!

Yeah, I don’t understand the vocal discontent over Classic.

Separate staff. Creates jobs. Vanilla fans have a legal outlet. Takes nothing from retail WoW.

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Dug From The Earth

There are 2 main sides for the discontent over classic.

1. Those who dont understand how or why it could be fun, and they question with criticism, in hopes of understanding so that they too, can partake in the enjoyment of it.

2. Those who dont care at all about it, and fear that Blizzard will divert resources away from the game THEY are playing, in order to support something else – even though blizzard has confirmed this wont happen. (there is always the fear that friends/guilds/etc will also switch and leave them behind.).

3. (i know i said 2). Those who simply are giving their personal opinion to the whole ordeal, because this is a public forum designed specifically for that purpose.

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rawhunger

I really couldn’t care less if Bliz does this or not. Classic WoW doesn’t interest me in the least. Like I said, I played “classic” WoW back when it was the ONLY WoW. Been there, did that. If people want to try to recapture a mythical past in a game, again, have at it hoss.

I hope legacy does succeed… so these people can have the home they want, and can finally shut up about it.

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Estranged

Dug: OK, here is a fact:

It has been commonly stated and proven from public record that Blizzard puts $2-4 of a WoW sub back into WoW.

WoW has paid for many Blizzard projects.

Might as well be something related to WoW retail.

In my opinion, many of these perceived issues are over not being able to relate to the project and therefore, judging someone else’s fun.

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Dug From The Earth

See #1. Some people question with criticism, hoping to be proven wrong or find answers. A short coming perhaps on their part. Maybe its just so that they can still feel good about NOT choosing to do it if they cant find any good answers. /psychologist theory

There is a big difference between someone saying:

– “Classic WoW was awful, just stop asking for it, no way would i play that garbage”

and

– “I dont get the draw if classic, I mean, I hated how long it takes to get around, so why would anyone even want to play that, its just not fun.”

Both are negative, both criticize, but one is only looking to insult, the other is seeking real answers to questions they dont understand.

labeling both of these as judgmental, is a bit jumping the gun.

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Estranged

Dug – projection is a commonality of the human condition. :-)

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rawhunger

I played Original WoW. I was in the 1st and 2nd betas before release. I did that once. Why would I want to do that again? That itch has been scratched for me… looking back on that era and remembering the highs (and lows) of the first few years of WoW is great… but as Garrosh Hellscream said, “Times change.” But if some people want to live in the past, have at it, hoss.

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Dug From The Earth

He is saying that the mindset of current players, in classic WoW, creates a completely different experience in the game from the mindset of WoW players, 12 years ago.

Which is surely a thing for some, but its a new viewpoint for sure. Most of the people who seem to be championing a classic WoW server, all seem to be doing it from a “I want to go back to how it all was 12 years ago” mindset, which isnt what Tamanous is suggesting.

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Loopy

Classic WoW will be the MMO home away from my primary MMO home (whatever that is). It’s one of those games that i won’t rush through, because everything simply takes a long time. It will be a nostalgic trip spanning months, if not years. It will be going back to the classic MMO mechanics of leveling weapon skills, buying quiver arrows, and requiring reagents for your max level spells.

Every itch has a scratch. WoW Classic will be my scratching stick for many itches.

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roo woods

I wonder what current WoW players ( those that never have experienced the first 3-4 years of the game ) will think of it .

If the subscription covers both classic and current WoW I may give current WoW a try too probably just for the battlegrounds though .

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Dug From The Earth

My son (20 now) often goes back to try and play some of the older games I grew up with. He enjoys those games much in the same way someone enjoys going to a museum. He appreciates the games, knowing thats where games today originated from, and sometimes he can find some entertainment from the games that have gameplay that still works today. Things like Metroid, Baldurs Gate, Fallout 2, etc etc.

However, most of the time, the nuances that create clunky experiences, waste time, frustrate with lack of intuitive design, and feel more like work, than play, often drive him to not spend more than a couple hours max in a specific older game.

A good example is the very original Deus Ex game. One of my all time favorites. He played both of the newer Deus Ex games (which I also enjoyed a lot), and figured he would try the original. Unfortunately, that game is just so dated, that its got so many aspects that are just “old game clunky” that really get in the way of someone having fun, unless one finds a way to play through them. This for many is more effort than is worth it.

My son grew up watching me sink tons of time into the mmo Ashersons Call 1. He finally got around to trying it a couple years ago (before it shut down), and his comment was, “Sheesh Dad, how did you put up with this?” The simple answer, “Because at the time, this was the best we had, and we didnt know any better.”

For many players who have never played WoW before Panda, I feel things will go a very similar way.

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Dug From The Earth

I wonder what the percentage of supporters of WoW classic, are just looking forward to yappin at all those players who for years havent understood what WoW vets had to learn and become skilled at, in order to do content.

“See, THATs how you are supposed to sheep/sap/cc pull groups in dungeons!”

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Estranged

Even though I started in BC, I try to find MMO vet guilds that want to run content properly. Good CC and kill order was required. I enjoyed the early SWTOR content, because classic MMO skills were needed.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

No. I’m thinking of it as a nostalgia trip.

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Dug From The Earth

pretty much this.

And for me, its a trip that will likely last no more than a week.

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johnwillo

It will be a homecoming. Be it ever so grindy, there’s no place like home.