MMO blogger Wilhelm of The Ancient Gaming Noob fame recently posed us a question about old vs. new MMOs. “Our WoW Classic group has been doing instances a person short and has still been very successful, even when a bit under level,” he says. His group has theorized that maybe his teammates just suck less than everyone did during Vanilla, but it could also be that the new WoW Classic just runs way better than it used to – that fights are less challenging in large part because the game performs way better on our 2020 PCs than it did back in 2004. And it might not just be WoW. “Are other, older MMORPGs made easier by the progress of tech and time?” he wondered. “I feel like EverQuest, while smoother, doesn’t benefit all that much on its retro servers.”
I suspect the same, especially when it comes to clients that are old enough not to have proper support for multicore PCs. I’ve seen that myself with rogue servers where the client is ancient and the maintainers aren’t really in the business of rewriting the dang engine. But of course, WoW has been spiffed up along the way, as have several older games like RuneScape and EVE Online.
Do you think old MMOs perform much better now than they used to – to the point that they’re functionally easier? Let’s see some examples of some that do – and some that really, really don’t.