The Daily Grind: What lessons hath WoW Classic taught us?

    
59
The Daily Grind: What lessons hath WoW Classic taught us?

You might have missed it, but WoW Classic just celebrated its first anniversary this past week. It was a huge and slightly messy launch back in August 2019, and while the server populations have settled down somewhat, it’s still a popular MMO with a bustling community that’s finding its fun in this old school design.

So now that we have a year of WoW Classic under our belts, I’m curious what lessons you think we — players or the MMO industry at large — might have learned from its run so far. Is this vindication for legacy servers? Does it highlight certain antiquated MMO design elements that should be revived? Or is the lesson here that Blizzard can legally print money and nobody can stop it?

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!

No posts to display

59
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
mosselyn
Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
mosselyn

I learned that it’s not just nostalgia when I say I enjoyed the old style dungeons and abilities more. I really DO miss CC, thoughtful pulling, worrying about mana, downranking spells, etc.

I had a blast healing in those old dungeons again. The smash-and-grab AOE style of current 5-man play is boring by comparison. (Not necessarily easy, mind you, but dull AF.)

I didn’t miss the LFG tool, either. I made several friends pugging the old fashioned way in a few months of Classic, just like I did back in vanilla and early TBC. I haven’t met a single new person running dungeons through LFG in all the years since it was introduced. I know LFG makes the game more accessible to most people, but the negative social consequences are real, too.

Reader
dawgeth

Wife and I play WoW – have off and on since beta. We loved every step of the way – we went back to Classic WoW .. this time with 5 kids instead of the 0-1 we had the first time around. We don’t have the time we had before and it shows. There have been so many convenience adds that while it was a great experience to jump in and get a taste .. we ended up just logging into our main characters in retail and continued their progression.

Reader
Carebear

It taught us that leveling should be an epic journey and that classes dont have to have complex rotations for “skilled” players.

And most of all that a game can keep player activity and daily logins high without stupid daily tasks that bad developers add instead of interesting and fun content.

Walternotwalter
Reader
Walternotwalter

Classic wow is good, but the resistance consumable usage is tiresome. Healing is terrible for the most part in raid content. It really highlighted that BC was as good as Wow ever got. Accessible but not easy. Grindy but not obscenely so. Still a RPG. Wrath was ok, but it started to get a little too easy and going started moving towards what it is now where everybody is a “champion” which is lame.

Don’t get me wrong though, I still greatly enjoy Classic over retail. Classic isn’t the best version of wow but it’s not BfA or WoD or what I think Shadowlands will be (which is another attempt to rehash Legion class systems with minimal investment which is why the current wow dev team is terrible.)

If they made wow2 and kept it built around BC’s class systems and pvp and just kept expanding, I would sub for another decade at least.

Reader
Carebear

I agree that TBC is the best wow version by far… if only it had dual spec… would be beyond perfect.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

That no matter how improved the game will become, people will never be happy and always find reason to complain. Also about grass was greener mentality of many players

Reader
Danny Smith

Removing things like having to visit a class trainer for the sake of making levelling faster was a terrible idea. Not only does it make the whole experience one endless unbroken chain of white noise but going back after a few levels and going “oh hey i got all these abilities!” then going back out into the world with a bigger toolkit feels way more like an rpg than just dinging and having shit vomited onto your hotbar in a fixed order that you either add to your rotation or ignore as you continue the braindead quest grinding.

Reader
Sleepy

You had to pay for new spells in EQ originally and they weren’t cheap. It meant each one was an acheivement, but also that you had to agonise over which to get first.

You’d have entitled little oiks shouting the internet down if you tried to put it into a game now.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Ya, because pointless runs to NPC just to spam “learn new ranks of skills” button is so much fun /s

Reader
Sarah Cushaway

Sorry (not really) if it triggers you, but it added a sense of immersion for people who actually enjoy RPGs and not just kiddie Fornite-style play *shrug* I hope that triggers TF out of you :) your white-knighting is fairly gross, son.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

Doesnt trigger me at all. Im just telling it how it was in reality, not in pink nostalgy glasses

Reader
Anstalt

Pitstops like this, whilst not necessarily fun in their own right, provide an opportunity for socialising and help with the feeling of being in a massively multiplayer world.

There are also some personal benefits, like ensuring the players get some downtime, so that they dont burn out with constant questing or dungeons. Granted, if the questing or dungeons are really easy then you don’t need that downtime, but assuming the content provides at least some challenge then downtime is a good thing.

Reader
Oleg Chebeneev

If we were talking about manually gathering group for dungeon, Id agree. But class trainers provided as much social interaction with other players as running around aimlessly. Ya, it was time sink but boring one. Its why they removed it.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

WoW classic wasn’t even marginally challenging, assuming you had a proper leveling build and knew where to find appropriate guides; I regularly soloed Elite quests (AKA “hard” group quests) one or two levels above my character. And yeah, you could have an effective leveling build that had nothing to do with your desired end-game build because respeccing for gold was added back in Vanilla (which was what convinced me to actually give WoW a try, incidentally).

Heck, it lacked challenge to such a degree that I would go multiple levels without returning to my class trainer because I simply didn’t need the new skills or skill levels. Which is kinda what made the requirement to train with the class trainer somewhat bearable for me, as I would only have to make the trip once or twice per week; forcing players to waste time going back to a main city was an idiotic, worthless, and frustrating time waste.

Reader
Carebear

pointless for you, immersive for me. For me what is pointless is today wow leveling and endgame.

Reader
Rndomuser

Lesson number 1: some people do no like major changes to gameplay as the game progresses and they enjoy the type of gameplay that game offered in original version, even if other people may consider it as “flawed”, this goes for many things such as the type of traveling or the design of the zones or the speed of leveling.

Lesson number 2: there is a very clear relation between servers with forced PvP and population. Despite the opinion of very few people – majority of multiplayer video game players enjoy forced PvP and MMORPG games should always account for this demand by having zones with forced PvP as well as zones without forced PvP in a non-instanced world if they want more people to keep playing the game between expansions (can MMORPGs keep being popular without forced PvP in any zone? Of course. Will they have more people with open world zones with forced PvP in an addition to zones without forced PvP? Evidence says “yes”). See the attached screenshot.

That’s basically only lessons that matter.

wow.PNG
PlasmaJohn
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
PlasmaJohn

Full, High, Medium, Low are relative measures without the context of what the server population cap is. Crowing about a Full 15k cap PvP server looks really silly if the High pop PvE server has a 40k cap.

Edit: Just noticed that you’ve mixed in an Oceanic server, lol. So now you need to account for number of servers per region and UTC time of the screenshot.

Reader
Rndomuser

Full, High, Medium, Low are relative measures without the context of what the server population cap is.

They are relative measures but there is no evidence that these measures do no correlate with actual number of players. In fact, every place which unofficially collects population numbers through user add-ons will show that the population on PvP servers is higher than on PvE servers, taken individually or taken as overall number of players on all PvP or all PvE servers. So it is valid to assume that a server with population listed as “High” will have more active players than any server with population listed as “Low”.

So now you need to account for number of servers per region and UTC time of the screenshot.

No, I do not. And even if I did – the Oceanic servers with highest population are PvP servers, at any time of the day. Except Felstriker, which was the last Oceanic realm to be added because 2 other PvP Oceanic realms were overpopulated, but as the time went on and overall population of WoW Classic declined – became a PvP server with low population, especially with people transferring to open spaces on Arugal and Yojamba (both of which ALWAYS have higher population than the ONLY PvE Oceanic server, Remulos). Same is true for EU – for every language, be it English, French, German or Russian, most of the population is concentrated on PvP servers, at any time of the day. Same goes for Korea and Taiwan. So even if you divide into region – the fact that most people like to play multiplayer games with forced PvP still stands when it comes to WoW Classic.

I am constantly disappointed by people here who like to argue against all logic and factual data without providing any to support their own arguments. Please stop doing this, it will only make you look foolish. This goes for everyone who keeps arguing in this way.

kjempff
Reader
kjempff

I already knew that I didn’t wanted WoW locked in time forever, so I am still waiting on real a progression server for WoW (love Eq Progression servers).

What I didn’t know I wanted is a server with permadeath ruleset (server enforced).. but now that I heard about people doing self imposed hardcore, I want to play it.

And now I want Diablo 3 rolled back to before they messed that one up … uhoh can of worms opened.
“You may think you don’t want it, but you actually do”

Reader
Roger Melly

I gave up after six months of classic because it appeared that Blizzard was considering the Burning Crusade and I wasn’t into progression servers.

When it becomes clearer what the plans are I probably will head back if vanilla servers are kept separate.

Techno Wizard
Reader
Techno Wizard

To me, WoW Classic is more popular than WoW BFA. Will Classic be more popular than WoW Shadowlands? If so, then what I have learned is that “Just Because Something Is New, Does NOT Mean It Is Better.”

Reader
Nathan Aldana

more popular despite having vastly fewer players?

Techno Wizard
Reader
Techno Wizard

All I know is that WoW Classic’s servers have queues while BFA does not. That’s “popular” to me, low turnouts at elections can still decide a winner, etc.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
thalendor

Classic’s queues are more an indication of not utilizing some of the load balancing features Blizzard has at its disposal (eg. AFAIK, layering is all turned off at the moment) in an attempt to preserve the feel of Classic than it being more popular than Retail. I can certainly imagine Classic having a higher population for short, specific periods such as launch or the height of the AQ40 openings but outside of that it’s a pretty dubious claim.