The Daily Grind: Do you think WoW Classic is destined for greatness or utterly doomed?

    
103

Since the formal announcement this week that WoW Classic is launching in August, I’ve seen multiple mainstream games journos opine that, well, you think you want it, but you don’t. This line of thinking says that a ton of people will show up for the launch, pay their fee, conclude they didn’t want vanilla, and quit again. As one IGN writer put it, “World of Warcraft Classic will be the biggest, most high-profile example of gamers not actually wanting the thing they think they want.”

Of course, we also know how positively massive the WoW vanilla emulator community is and how much demand there is. Blizzard knows it too, else it wouldn’t be doing this; it’s not taking all this risk just to fail in order to prove J. Allen Brack was right. Sure, it’s possible a lot of those would-be players are just angling to avoid a sub by going the emu route, but it’s equally possible still others will be more than happy to pay to avoid being shunted off to shady overseas servers under constant legal threat. So even if all the looky-loos come and have their look and leave again, there’s a solid core that will stay a long time.

The whole idea rubs me the wrong way personally too, and not because of WoW. I also play several old and sunsetted MMOs on emulators, and I’m perfectly content to do that for a really long time, and pay for it too. So I know personally that the “it’s just nostalgia talking and you don’t really want it” is not only deliberately insulting but often wrong.

Then again, World of Warcraft’s playerbase – and its vanilla fans – are definitely a special breed of player.

Do you think WoW Classic is destined for greatness or utterly doomed? How many players do you see it having at launch versus three months out – or 12 months along?

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!

103
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
MurderHobo
Reader
MurderHobo

I think Classic will help Blizzard serve and regain some of their core audience. The content is good for about 12-16 months, so I don’t see it having much growth potential. It’s more like a stop-gap against the total implosion that’s going on with their core audience.

All’s well and good up until AQ/Naxx. If they aren’t planning to tune 4h so that you can get by with fewer than 8 tier-2.5+ tanks then I don’t see how the Classic reboot is going to see any more activity than it did the first time.

I’d also like to know if there’s any concern over the game economy with regard to end-game raid consumables, or are we going to rely on the black market like last time?

Lastly, has anyone noted that the world is frozen at the moment of peak Furor (i.e. warriors being his Mary Sue)?

Reader
Koshelkin

I’d bet on a closure around 8 months~ from now.

Reader
Syrath Xaj

I think Classic will have a large draw at first then settle in with a healthy population for current day MMOs. Most current day WoW players probably go back but those like me who loved the old WoW, and there are millions, will be interested. Not all or even half might be interested in Classic but even so there will be enough to support the servers, just like EQ, Lotro and even Rift.

I’m personally really looking forward to it, I love the talent trees and old abilities before all the pruning and combing of classes. I know I can’t experience WoW for the first time again but I’ll be able to play the classes I loved before they got dumbed down. My hope is we’ll eventually hit a TBC or WotLK.

The fact there is a sub has no impact on me and my guess is for most adults it’s a minor factor $15 a month is nothing. And most people I know that played on private servers did so because they loved what the games was and are disillusioned with similar things to me eg over pruning, the lose of unique class abilities, dumbing down of the game ect.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
camelotcrusade

Good topic but I barely got past the header image. I guess I look at too much ancient history because I saw a Babylonian fertility goddess way before I saw the lion, and did a double-take. 🙃

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

Honestly? I think the game will experience a big upsurge of “lookie-loos” at launch, which will then dwindle down to a lesser population of hardcores and/or nostalgians.

Will the reduced population be enough to keep the servers profitable? I don’t know, of course, but since I imagine that nostalgia servers probably don’t need or want new content creation, they’re probably pretty cheap to run in permanent maintenance mode.

kjempff
Reader
kjempff

What player count would qualify for “greatness” and what is the number for “utterly doomed” ?
There will be players, and most will fall off after awhile.. It will not be millions but in ten-thousands who stick for longer than a month.
Some will like a wow locked in vanilla (which is already pretty far from original experience anyway), but I think there is a higher demand for progression servers..

But if Blizzard insist on this thing about the game has to be flawless(bug free) and need to spend half a year development time on every expansion for a progression server, then it may not be financially viable for the amount of players for it…
Looking at Theybreak games and their eq progression servers, it is clear that those 10k(+?) subs are not enough to warrant fixing a lot of issues or dealing with hackers.
Wow progression servers might get 100k players, which is plenty to keep some other decent mmo developed and running, but for Blizzard…with all that work they insist on putting in and their culture of needing to feed high profit numbers to shareholders – doubt that would create enough profit; the reason they might do it is for pure public relation fixing to their recent alienation of their core playerbase.

Reader
Mikka Hansen

Of course, we also know how positively massive the WoW vanilla emulator community is and how much demand there is

we know how massive the community who wants to play for free is, but we have no idea how big its the one that’d pay for it on a monthly basis

Reader
Scott McCulloch

If it was just about playing for free, why were so many playing the vanillu emu servers, and not the more current ones?

The target audience for WoW Classic is clearly 30-somethings and up, not exactly a demographic that is freeloading games and can’t afford $15 a month for something they want.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Jack Pipsam

Runescape Old School, many progression servers in different games and the plethora of private servers as set a precedent that people do in fact want it.

But the question remains the unchanging nature. RSOS updates now, they will update the game and it’s now different to what it was.
Progression servers, well, progress (in theory).

But if this is meant to be a time-locked thing, then I dunno’. I mean I guess Project 1999 is stuck and that’s doing fine.
But really, I cannot see much of a scenario where Burning Crusade doesn’t happen at some point, even if they do something like you upgrade to a new server or something.

Regardless, I have no doubt this will be a sure-fire hit, unless Blizzard does something really really stupid.

Reader
Josh

More important than the future of WoW Classic, I believe, is how WoW Classic could end up affecting future MMOs. I mean, if WoW Classic thrives, we could end up seeing more new MMOs taking pages from the old school success with harder difficulty, less convenience, and more reliance on social interaction instead of the trends of hand-holding and group finder stuff that has predominated for so long now.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

I like the way you think.

Reader
Jim Bergevin Jr

Only as a niche concept, like the sandbox MMO. I plan on playing on Classic for as long as it exists, but there is a reason that the MMO genre is popular the way it is now, and it’s not because of sandboxes and the “classic” MMO style. Even those of us who saw the rise from infancy don’t necessarily want to see a return to those days except in the form that these throw back servers take.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

I despise end-game. I despise the term and I hate actually getting there when the game morphs into something it wasn’t for the previous xxx levels. I’ve only gotten to end-game in two of the many MMOs I’ve played, LOTRO and WoW. And both these games have (had) long leveling ramps, which provide an entirely different type of enjoyment than today’s race to level cap and farm BiS gear, which is what MMOs seem to have devolved to, including WoW.

Yes, I imagine there’s a large audience that never played Vanilla that will pile in to see what it’s about and come away scratching their head. But as a player disappointed with the current state of WoW and MMOs in general, I look forward to the meaty substance of Classic, where getting to level cap wasn’t the goal, it was just something that happened while you were having fun doing a bunch of other things.

Classic will experience the same launch week bulge that every other new game does, then settle down to a long and successful run with a dedicated player base.

TL;DR: Nobody’s going back to rotary phones, but Classic will have legs.