Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The old days are back

Blizzard announced a little while ago that they are bringing back classic World of Warcraft.  They are going to be launching servers that will be running vanilla WOW so everyone can experience the game that dominates the industry like it was when nobody knew anything.

Most of the interest in this is purely nostalgia, I think.  People have been calling for vanilla WOW servers forever and it looks to me like those calls are mostly people trying to recapture the magic of the good ole days.

I love those ole days.  I have such amazing memories of raiding back in the beginning, of exploration, of losing myself in an online world.  There are no end of friends that I felt so close to and then lost when we no longer had the game to keep us together.  But let's get real:  I can't have those days back.  Doesn't matter what WOW looks like, doesn't matter what version they are running.  I can't be childless, mid 20s, and seeing an MMO for the first time.  Nobody can give that back to me.

There are some things that Blizzard can do that would attract me to WOW classic though.  Some of the things I call for in the game are things that I remember from the early days.  For example, I love challenging monsters.  I remember having to carefully pull one mob at a time because if two came at me it was bad but if three came at once I would die.  I remember not having a quest system that highlighted my map, so practice and knowledge really came home.  These are things I would enjoy about classic WOW.

But man there are so many incredibly shitty things about it.  Whole specs and talent trees that were complete rubbish really bogged the game down.  You could be a feral druid, except that was worse than just being a regular druid who hit things with a staff and cast moonfire every 9 seconds.  One spell every 9 seconds!  Optimal damage rotation! 

But there is more.  How about boss enemies designed to be attacked by 40 players that could only have 8 debuffs on them at once, when one class was designated a debuff class that needed to cast lots of debuffs to be even remotely good?

How about parties being designed around having 1 tank, 1 healer, and 3 damage dealers, but only 1 class of the 8 classes in the game having the basic toolkit required to tank?  So basically the game is mostly sitting around waiting for a warrior to show up because no one else can do that thing that you absolutely need somebody to do?

I remember a long quest chain that took me a full day to do and cost a ton of money to finish.  I finally got to the end and the reward was a green shoulder piece with Spirit and Agility.  Nobody in the entire game wants Spirit and Agility, so I sold it for a few silver pieces and was offended.  I would have been okay with just finishing the quest chain for no reward, or okay with a good reward, but that piece of trash that is useless to absolutely everyone was just an insult.

If Blizzard actually made vanilla WOW servers that brought back the brutal open world content, slow levelling, higher difficulty level, and other things that I remember happily from vanilla WOW I would be interested.  But there is so much complete garbage tied up in there I can't see them actually producing something I want to play, or something most others want to play.

There are things Blizzard could do to convince me to play this vanilla WOW experiment, but I doubt very much that they will do those things.  They are catering to nostalgia, not trying to reinvent the wheel.

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