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World of Warcraft - Waiting for Classic

Robin Baird Posted:
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We’ve now crossed into the “under a month until launch” threshold for Classic World of Warcraft, so what’s better to do while waiting, other than speculate on the effect it’ll have and look back at some of Beta? Nothing, that’s what! Just as a general reminder, my perspective on all of this is as someone who played fairly hardcore in Vanilla and loved it, but I’m not at all gung-ho to go back to that version of the game… though I am looking forward to dipping my toes in and visiting some of the old spots which no longer exist or have been significantly transformed. Also, I’m going to visit Cairne and give him a giant bear hug.

First is the elephant in the room, there was a postponed stress test, and as of 7:30 pm CDT July 28th we still don’t know exactly when it will be rescheduled to. This was going to be the third and final stress test before launch. The reason this is concerning is it’d be the last chance to test things out and make any final adjustments needed before the launch of Classic. If the test happens too close to the launch date Blizzard might not have the time needed to make the necessary adjustments. It’s also possible the final stress test happens, and it’s perfect, and there are no adjustments they need to make, but then I’d be worried as most of the time that means they aren’t properly stress testing and everything will go sideways at launch. By my reckoning, we need a date this week and the test to happen sometime next week for it be at all useful.

There’s a lot of people out there who are on the bandwagon of the only reason Blizzard made Classic available to everyone who has a sub is to make it look like they aren’t failing as bad as they are. Which, that’s some mighty fine tinfoil hatting going on, but also, it’s probably the best way they could have possibly done things. Making people buy a 15-year-old game outright would have been a terrible idea and likely would have reduced the number of people who got it. Especially if they then also had to pay a sub on top of it. Adding a sub on top of the sub for the current game would also have made a lot of people mad and again would have probably reduced the number of people willing to give it a try. Also, as a business practice, it’s generally a terrible idea to make people choose between your babies. This way, players get to choose which they do, and they can do both at no increased costs. It’s the best for everyone (well except the trolls who wanted to see Classic outstrip Retail in popularity so they can declare how right they are).

I’m interested to see how everything plays out once Classic goes live. I think it’ll be quite popular in general, but endgame might be rough. Putting together and running 40 man raids was no joke just from a logistics standpoint. Plus, the attunements will through a wrench in everything the way they did back when it was the only game. Honestly, the attunements were a large reason there were few high level raiding guilds back then because they all preyed off the lower tier guilds as they got people attuned because honestly most people didn’t want to wait around to get everyone attuned; they wanted to raid the new shiny things. Which inturned stalled out many other guilds from reaching the higher raid levels.

Plus, a lot back in Vanilla rested in how much time you had to play the game every day. I know I don’t have eight hours a day to devote to a single game anymore, but I could be an edge case. Also, it is possible since everyone knows how to do everything in Vanilla (or if you don’t it’s easy to find out the information now) so it might not require the same time commitment as it did back then. We did have some online resources, and there were the official forums to talk about things, but often players were mostly figuring things out on their own. Or learning from others in the game, which slows down progression a bit. There were so many theories and urban legends on various servers which just were not true, and although it added to some of the fun of the game initially, it did slow down progress in various areas quite a bit.

I am super looking forward to the old PvP system comping back and seeing if I can rank-up like before and maybe going even further. Of course, we still don’t know how many servers there will be or how all of that will shake out, but I’m excited. I know the old system was flawed, and often it didn’t matter how well you did in the battlegrounds but rather how much time you spent in them, but I had so much fun back then. It was crazy.

Ok before wrapping this all up I want to take a stroll by the best Classic thread ever and point out a few gems. The “Not a bug list” is excellent not only for the schadenfreude it provides but there’s also a few things I had forgotten about until I read them listed on here. It’s actually sort of funny to me what I remember clearly and what I’ve just gotten so used to working in certain ways that I’ve completely forgotten it hasn’t always worked that way.

”Using the “Automatic Quest Tracking” option does not auto-track newly accepted quests. (It instead will start to track an existing quest once progress towards an objective is started.)”

How the quest tracker formerly worked is one of those things I had blissfully forgotten about, because honestly, it was kind of trash back in the day. I’m not even talking about the fact it wouldn’t mark spots I had to go to for quests or give an arrow to point the way or update with the information about the easiest way to get to the quest location. All those things are super convenient, but something was lost in the game when I no longer paid as much attention to my surroundings and ran to the spot on the map. The part which was awful about the tracker was things don’t show on the sidebar until you make progress on a quest. This is an issue mostly when picking up a ton of quests at one time; it’s easy to forget about something. Then I’d kill something random when I out leveled the quest, and it’d pop-up, which was frustrating because leveling was not quick at all.

“Warrior health Regeneration is working at the expected rate.”

This one will never stop being funny to me because I was originally a Warrior in Vanilla. Leveling alone was a PAIN, and I was constantly pausing to eat or bandage up because health regen was slow. It was honestly so rough I have never leveled another Warrior again. It probably didn’t help things that I’m stubborn and leveled as Fury, but I only have one Warrior because I’m scarred.

“At all levels of player characters and enemies, aggro radius is set to the intended distance.”

This one is weird because I can’t remember for sure, but I remember pretty much all mobs having huge aggro radiuses around them during Vanilla. It sometimes felt like if I were in range to see a mob they’d aggro. I do remember getting really good at skirting the aggro distances and being real careful how I traversed various areas. In particular, I recall making the journey from Darkshore to Ironfoge for the first time as a level 14 being the most arduous and frustrating trip. Not only did it take a while but there were so many things, particularly crocolisks, which were only too happy to kill me.

“Gnomes and Taurens are the correct size.”

This one is interesting because it was only in the last expansion where Blizzard changed the height of Tauren and Gnomes. Being it was so recent I wouldn’t have thought it’d be a reported bug, but I guess people either forgot about the change or weren’t around before it was implemented.

As much as I have some reservations about the state of Classic at launch (let’s get this last stress test done) and about the viability of Classic longterm, I am looking forward to hopping back in and checking things out once it’s live. It most likely won’t take the place of retail for me but should be fun nonetheless. Hopefully, the people who have been eagerly awaiting this will be able to rekindle their love of the game through Classic as well.


Robin Baird

Robin loves RPGs, MMOs, JRPGs, Action, and Adventure games... also puzzle games... and platformers... and exploration games... there are very few games she isn't interested in. When it comes to MMOs she focuses on WoW and GW2 but will pick-up other games as they catch her fancy. She's a habitual returner to FFXIV because that game is an all-around great MMO.