Having played both World of Warcraft retail and WoW Classic pretty extensively over the past few years, I can conclusively say that, for me, there’s something far more compelling and satisfying about Classic’s gameplay than retail — despite the latter having more features and content. It’s not really about difficulty for me so much as the pacing and gameplay loop. The older version has something special that’s been lost as the studio continued to develop and iterate.
I don’t think this is isolated to Classic, either, as I’ve read many testimonies from players who are finding in 2023 more satisfaction in dipping into legacy versions of MMOs than the latest model. The poster child for this, of course, is Old School RuneScape, which has eclipsed its shinier, more full-featured sibling in population and engagement.
So I’ll put this to you this morning: What has the MMO genre lost in its push to progress, and how could it get that back?