The Daily Grind: How faithful a recreation should classic MMO servers be?

    
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Above, you'll see the once-ominous portal...

There was a great thread on the official World of Warcraft forums the other day about the game’s upcoming Classic servers talking about the many, many elements of the game that have changed over the years. After all, even once you settle on the core idea of a classic server before the first expansion, you’re still left with a whole lot of questions of what the server will actually include. For example: Meeting stones providing summons to a dungeon entrance didn’t actually exist until the first patch of The Burning Crusade, but should it be included in a classic server? Should bugs be fixed (including ones frequently used to bypass certain mechanics)? Should players still have only one viable spec?

Obviously, RIFT is going to have to answer these questions in practice a bit sooner with its Prime server, but the questions remain. Personally, I’m of the mind that if you’re asking for classic servers you should get one with all the undesirable warts retained and unchanged, but that’s hardly a universal law. So what do you say, dear readers? Should classic servers for MMOs recreate the classic experience as it was, the good and the bad alike? Or should designers fix the extant issues that don’t detract from the overall feel?

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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Trion Worlds has done themselves no favors with loosely describing RIFT Prime as “going back to the beginning” and “experiencing the game as it was.” Unless all the detailed information I’ve read thus far has been WRONG, this is the current live game, just with elements removed. No Primalist calling, no souls that didn’t exist in the original game, no expansion zones, levels capped at 50, and forced auto-mentoring to the max zone level so you can’t overpower world content. Two chars max on Vigil (the Prime server) and patron perks don’t apply. Oh, and the cash shop is stripped down. Cosmetics, a couple mounts, and the character service items. No gear, no boosts, no upgrades.

But it is NOT “Classic RIFT,” and I’ve seen a lot of people saying it will be, understandably so from Trion’s loose comments. What it is is a private Patron-only server where we don’t have to listen to the F2P players with a bone to pick endlessly bitching in the chat channels. If you’re bitching now, you’re at least paying for that privilege. That’s dedication, so more power to ya.

RIFT Prime should be called RIFT Premium or RIFT Patrons Only. And I’m still happy about it and I’m still going to play it when it launches today, but it is not the classic game.

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Roger Melly

Put it this way the minute they put dungeon finders that teleport you instantly to a dungeon on the classic WoW servers I will go straight back to playing on private vanilla servers .

Fixing bugs is about as far as they should go .

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The Balance

Nothing like wasting time walking through the same zero risk areas to get to dungeons, eh! If I don’t have to commit mass genocide with absolutely no penalty for failure to get to a dungeon, I’m quitting!

Bye!

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Carebear

There was a time when if you dares to speak the word vanilla wow you were downvoted to abyss in official wow forums and popular fansites…

People would attack you as you were their worst enemy… the post would end locked.

After Blizzard announced classic servers, everyone now has an opinion! How they will do classic, what should be changed and what not. I see people who were fighting against vanilla now give opinions and “wishlists” of changes.

The answer is simple. Do it like nostalrius. This is why we started talking seriously about classic right? The server who had the big success had it vanilla like 100% and thats what people who like vanilla was asking for! This is what started the discussion for classic.

I hope blizzard will do it right, as the vanilla community want it and not what current wow players want…

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Dreema

Quoted for truth. The moment Blizzard start changing Vanilla to suit the needs of people who never played it is the day they ruin the game. Vanilla won’t appeal to everyone but that’s fine. The ones who want every QoL change adding to Vanilla aren’t the people who will be playing it anyway.

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peor togs

I think the thing that I don’t want to lose most is a sense of difficulty and challenge. And the uniqueness of cool, random quests and not mindless hubs. Dungeons being hard. Classes being unique. No cross server RDF.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean. if classic players want classic to the exact 100% correct..then let em. Not realy my concern.

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Ryan Allgood

Personally it doesn’t affect me as I don’t plan to play the vanilla servers much. I know it would probably get me burned at the stake, but I absolutely consider vanilla WoW to be the worst incarnation of the game (yes even worse than WoD).

I played it for a year and I don’t think I ever even enjoyed it at any point, I just did it because all of my friends were playing it. I much preferred the other MMOs I had played at the time, but none of my friends would play those with me.

I came back mid-to-late BC and that’s when I actually started to enjoy WoW.

Overall though I think it would be best if it was as faithful a recreation of vanilla WoW as possible. That way I can easily avoid it since I already know I don’t like it. xD

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styopa

Ah the internet.
150 words say that vanilla was dumb, you’re not interested, and have no opinion.

Just…Why?

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Michael

I agree pretty much. Vanilla WoW was WoW in it’s worst form. I think the only thing Vanilla had going pretty good was PvP. Not because of balance, but that was before a lot of the systems that made gameplay less fun. The balance was clearly off. It should be as faithful as possible, I agree. It should be so faithful that it makes all the morons who are crying for Vanilla servers run away realizing they can’t handle it anymore.

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peor togs

I’d love for them to make a version that has bug fixes. Then dial that static sucker in and call it good.

Then I’d like to see them copy that server and do some tweaks to it like making some classes viable and adding some gear drops to support things like other tanks working past MC.

Once the have the classic version dialed in, there will literally be nothing left to work on fore it, why not do a tweaked version to support more class viablilty?

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J

Gameplay wise I want it to be the same, but I don’t see why newer graphical models can’t be utilized.

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eboe

Because it ruins the feel and immersion.

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J

Ruins the immersion of your nostalgia maybe, but just as many people will argue the other way. That having updated graphics, with the vanilla “feel” and mechanics would be a great improvement over live.

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Dreema

I don’t really give two hoots whether they allow new models or not, so long as I can toggle them off and never have to look at them. Just as long as they don’t inflict the new night elf models on me, I can live with other people using the new models.

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Annoyed badger

remove actual bugs, beyond that, roll out features on the exact same timetable as the original.

Anything else just destroys the reason to have a classic server.

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peor togs

This is a little extreme, yeah? For example, look at healing touch. The base cast was 3.5 seconds from rank 5 and up, hence people would only use rank 1,3,&4 because they were 3.0 seconds base cast and had really good spell coefficient healing. This is out and out bad design when people are having to figure this out. Some of this stuff needs to be ironed out.

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Michael

It is not going to be a progression server.

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eboe

They will at least make the content progression, if not talent and mechanics and such.

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McGuffn

Exactly as it was back in the day. Except remove Mankrik’s wife entirely and let players deal with it.