The Daily Grind: What MMO still needs legacy servers?

Goes boom and stuff.

2018 has seemed like the year of the legacy/vanilla MMO server, thanks to not just World of Warcraft but RIFT and Age of Conan too. And yet we’re far from a scenario where every MMO has one. Maybe it’d be too hard to do with ongoing plotlines, as is my suspicion with Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars The Old Republic. Maybe it’d be unnecessary, as is the case for newer MMORPGs still getting heavy updates – The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to mind. Or maybe the games are simply too underplayed or understaffed to justify the mode.

What actually provoked me to this Daily Grind, however, is playing Trove with my son this weekend; he turned to me and told me that he really missed the old Trove gate system and wished the game would revert the map changes. I couldn’t see that ever happening, not even a decade from now. Some games just don’t make sense going “vanilla.”

That said: What MMO still needs legacy servers?

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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Bryan Correll

City of Heroes. They need to roll things back to when you could actually play it.

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SWTOR no question. Case in point: I was playing my Sith Warrior the other day and did the class story episode where you confront that hideous arachnoid creature on Tatooine. I remember back in the day that beast was a very tough fight and beating it felt like an accomplishment. Now he goes down in about four hits…….just sad. The sweeping simplifications Bioware did when KOTFE dropped went over the top in the wrong direction and sucked much of the drama out of what had been very challenging boss fights. I kind of get the feeling that Bioware threw those great original class stories under the proverbial bus for the sake of their KOTFE nonsense.


The Dark Age of Camelot community has wanted a classic server before these legacy servers became a fad. It’s the whole reason why Mark Jacobs is making Camelot Unchained. If Rob Denton pulled his head out of his ass to see the huge opportunity to compete with unchained, you’d see one of the best MMO comebacks of all time.


Maybe LotRO or SWTOR.

Max Sand

I get the ongoing plot argument, but if SWTOR did a Vanilla server, and dropped the F2P stuff, I would sub and play it.


Hmm. Well, IMO, legacies servers aren’t required by all MMOS or even any MMOs, to be honest. What legacy servers are selling is the old as new. Kind of like back when Blue Rays and DVDs would make a mint in selling yet another version of a previously released movie.

Sheezs. I don’t know how many versions of Peter Jackson’s LOTR there are, but it is more than four, and I learned my lesson.

So, which games need legacy? None. Which games will get legacy? That will depend on the market. Can legacy bring back old dead games? Hmm… it won’t bring back City of Heroes.

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Legacy servers, hmm…. Everquest Next! :D …. :(

Shadex De'Marr

I cast a deal of the blame of the continuing decline of MMOs on the direction they have gone in recent years. Many MMOs could benefit and I heartily believe would see an overall upswing in player counts and longevity should more of them offer a legacy, return to roots option. Games I feel that would benefit: FFXI, CoX, SWG, DAoC

You get what you design for and games with instant gratification based on hostility and an opportunity to be better than others because you spend more will continue to lead down the spiral path we are on. Cash shops, a dominant focus on anti-social PvP mechanics, and never including anything that actually makes the player work for anything not only devalues the genre but the player base as a whole.

What is nice is I feel some development companies are starting to realize this. Now the doom-sayers will immediately point to recent legacy server launches and low player counts and immediately call everything a failure but it is going to take time. Just as much time as it took to get to the pit we are in now it will take to crawl out of it. Just because a legacy server did not immediately fill to capacity and make millions does not make the notion a failure. It will take time for word to get out and for those that may have moved completely away from the current MMO genre to slowly work their way back. It is testament to the instant gratification mentality that we are talking about that only an immediate home run legacy server could possibly mean it is a good idea.


Well, lets clarify. TRUE legacy servers. Not the abortions that are currently shopped out as ‘legacy’ servers.

1. EQ2. A return to the real group-only content, can be killed while crafting, no ‘!’ type quest markers, and so forth design.

2. World of Warcraft. ‘Nuff said. I want the old world, the old quests, the old spell system; I want the original WoW.

3. GW2. Back to the original launch design based on the original Manifesto document. Believe it or not, GW2 dungeons were actually fun at launch with folks shouting in chat for more peeps to do them. So much of the Manifesto was trashed that the current GW2 is nothing like the original design.

I chose these three as they are all currently active. Who knows, maybe World of Warcraft will be the first to have a real, true legacy server. I would not be surprised if the do. I know I would pay for it.


FFXI up to ToA.