Leaderboard: What type of WoW Classic player are you – is there a disconnect between the playerbase and the game?

Put another way: How 'pristine' do you really want WoW Classic to be?

    
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MMO blogger Wilhelm at The Ancient Gaming Noob came up with an amusing rubric for different types of WoW Classic players, perfect to pass the next couple of hours while you wait for the servers to roll out this evening. He’s got a poll going on his site, and I thought it would be fun to run a similar using his categories plus a few more to compare and contrast because his poll results struck me as aligning with my gut but not with the vocal community, and I want more data on this.

See, the Nostalgia Tourists are winning by a lot in Wilhelm’s poll, followed by the Fresh Starters and Live Purists, with the Classicists being a tiny minority, which surprises me since the Classicists are the loudest group right now, and it seems clear that Blizzard is catering heavily to them. Something about that disconnect sent a little pang of panic through me, like when you’re on a roller coaster that’s going a bit too fast around a tight curve and you wonder whether it’s about to jump the rails.

I had a similar jolt of panic when putting together our launch roundup: I suddenly remembered a few years ago back when Blizzard was referring to these servers as “pristine” servers. I’d forgotten all about it, but that kind of terminology was quite intentional and an early warning sign that Blizzard was going to pander directly to purists. So the cynic in me wonders whether “pristine” WoW Classic is Blizzard’s way of seeming to benevolently oblige purity nostalgia rather than finding some middle ground for fully developed progression servers as so many other MMOs have done, which would be tantamount to an admission that the live game is a bit of a mess (and this is Blizz, so that’s not going to happen).

But the worrier in me wonders whether an eager playerbase is about to run headfirst into a game that genuinely doesn’t want most of it.

Then again, maybe the poll results just make sense for the kinds of folks who read MMO blogs and are aware that games beyond World of Warcraft exist (or for that matter, that hardcore/classic MMO servers have existed since at least 1999 and probably before)! What type of WoW Classic player are you?

Leaderboard: What type of WoW Classic player are you?

  • I'm a Classicist - Absolute day one purity and nothing but. EVER. (11%, 56 Votes)
  • I'm a Progression Raider - Race to world first endgame ownage rawr; weep before my leet endgame gear like it's 2005! (3%, 16 Votes)
  • I'm a Nostalgia Tourist - Authenticity shmauthenticity; I'm just here to take it all in. (32%, 159 Votes)
  • I'm a Fresh Starter - I just like that shiny new server smell y'all. All the new things, more more more! (6%, 32 Votes)
  • I'm a PvP Cultist - PvP is the REAL game here; everything else is a distraction for carebears. (4%, 22 Votes)
  • I'm a Live Purist - A pox on WoW Classic; Blizzard needs to get back to caring for the REAL live game. (3%, 14 Votes)
  • I'm an Outsider - I'm not really gonna play; I'm just here to make common cause with another group. You got any popcorn? (4%, 22 Votes)
  • I'm a Patient Cat - I want to play, but I'm waiting for BC or Wrath or advancement of the game to the design of its actual heyday. (10%, 48 Votes)
  • I'm a Waffler - I'm curious but have barely picked a server or resubbed; don't ask me to decide what kind of player I am! (6%, 30 Votes)
  • I'm a Hell No - There is seriously no amount of money that could get me into WoW Classic. (13%, 66 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments). (8%, 38 Votes)

Total Voters: 503

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Reht

Not a big fan of the choices offered. Would have been nice to add a category along the lines of Casual Classicist – someone who prefers Classic but really isn’t a purist and it’s more than just a nostalgia trip (nothing in between) for me. There are just a lot of things i preferred about the game then versus now, such as class mechanics/talents/etc. prior to Cataclysm. I fall outside of a true purist because there are plenty of QoL changes i wouldn’t have minded.

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Schmidt.Capela

I actually require at least a few of those QoL changes in order to play. At least up to where WotLK was.

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Max Sand

If it were wrath, i might be a purist since that was my heyday and i could even get most of the guild back together for that, but vanilla I am less about authenticity because all i did was level then, and more about the journey. So far it is fine for that, then i might pvp at end game, probably not raid and maybe run another character thru.

Wrath was where i went hard at end game, had a dedicated group for both raids and pvp, and got invested overall instead of dabbling, so i understand the purist mindset, i just would be more purist for my favorite era. So i find myself both the nostalgia tourist, and a potential purist, but also a rare type, i like the live game, even tho i feel BFA is a failure.

I dunno, just enjoying what is, and not out to rain on anyone elses parade while i do it.

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Ben Stone

Just doing it casually on the side. Which would probably describe a lot of current WoW players.

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Utakata

Thinking about the Lederboard listed, I wonder if there is in fact an entirely new category that’s been over looked. That is, folks needing a break from routine and rigmarole of retail. You know, the ones that have grinded it everyday…and looking for a bit of different pacing for awhile. Or they would go nuts otherwise. Not sure what to call these folks. (Retail Vacationers?) I think I have friends who fall into this. And it doesn’t seem to fit the other criteria listed outside of “Something Else”. O.o

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Ben Stone

Yep same boat. It’s just a side distraction for retail once my daily stuff is done. When there’s a new content patch retail will get more attention again.

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PanagiotisLial1

I am not entirely indifferent to it but there is a good amount of mmos that are ahead of it on terms of interest:

STO, SotA, LoA, ESO, EVE, Elite Dangerous, Project Gorgon. SWTOR, LOTRO, DDO, Dual Universe(my hardware cant play it unfortunately), Star Sonata, Anarchy Online, Ultima Online, BDO, ArcheAge, Lineage II(Yes even that) and others are ahead of it on interest rate, soooooo only way to play it would be pay me for it, lol

That said, to each their own, and I am happy for those that want to play it and will enjoy it. I expect a good amount of people to stay for the long haul but also at least 1/3 that joined on curiocity and nostalgia mainly to drop within 2 to 6 months

Celestia
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Celestia

Now that I’ve got City Of Heroes back in my life, I’m ambivalent about WoW Classic, but I’m rooting for those who have waited years to play it again for whatever reasons they might have.

I hope it brings all the joy and fun to those who play it.

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Doubleplusgood

I agree, I am so busy in COH with my army of alts that I completely forgot that today was the launch day until just now. I just don’t have the time to play two MMO so if I have to chose between the two, then COH wins out. Plus it sounds like all I missed was long wait times and disconnects lol

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Sarah Cushaway

I’m somewhere between Nostalgia tourist and Purist. I am GLAD Blizzard said “no LFG addon” and prefer things to be as close to “ye olden days” as possible. HOWEVER, I also know there’s really no going back– smart phones, millions of Youtube guides, streamers, etc– no matter how “true” Classic is (or is not), it will be different.

I’ll play casually and have fun with it as retail is something that just doesn’t jive with me these days. I DEFINITELY look forward to having to equip a quiver and arrows again on a Hunter :p and having the pet actually mean the difference between life or death (I don’t even bother with a pet on overworld mobs on Retail–no point. Don’t need it. Doesn’t feel immersive because I don’t have to train or feed it–so I don’t bother).

I also yep, miss those damned skill trees. SO. I’ll be there. I’ll enjoy the old school feel. But I’ll not be playing hardcore or whining about every tiny change.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Hahaha. #WoWClassic now trending in California.

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Utakata

I’m in the Hell no/Elf butt group. Time for WoW to move on, IMO.

hurbster
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hurbster

Isn’t that what Live is for ?

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Utakata

…it’s still got it’s head stuck up Vanilla as far as I am concerned. But that’s another topic for another say. /shrug

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Utakata

PS/Update: Thanks for cleaning that up, Ms. Bree! :)

…but one thing I’ll add: It’s doesn’t matter how I feel or what my opinions are of Classic or retail WoW (Both have real issues, IMO). As long you folks are enjoying either or both, that’s all that really matters in this. So feel free to like what I don’t like! <3

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TomTurtle

Nostalgia Tourist – Doing what I did back then, leveling and playing multiple characters. I’m looking forward to going through Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep. Though I won’t be doing it at Classic’s launch, but later down the line. Maybe with 8.3. I’d rather avoid login queues anyhow. I’ve played MMOs long enough to want to avoid bothering with that, especially knowing it’s intentionally designed this time around.

I think if Blizzard were to do TBC/Wrath servers, they’d make new ones, not forcibly switch Classic servers to progression servers.