WoW Classic: Are you yearning for the good old, bad days?

As revealed during this year’s Blizzcon, WoW Classic is coming summer 2019 and will be part of the regular WoW subscription, with no additional costs to subscribers. An exclusive Blizzcon demo of the game has been released in which players get to either quest in the Barrens or Westfall as a level 15 character, for a limited amount of time. Having followed discussions on the demo and supposed leaked screenshots on youtube and twitter, it really appears Blizzard are going for that mostly unaltered vanilla experience. All the while we must ask ourselves if we are truly ready to return to 2004.

WoW Classic: Are you yearning for the good old, bad days?

Kotaku published a very amusing first impressions post on Classic WoW, aptly titled “The WoW Classic Demo Is The Hell We Asked For“. Already the first paragraph had me laughing and cringing because so much about vanilla WoW is tortured nostalgia to the veteran player, an emotional struggle between yearning for our early days and knowing better. Really, I know I know better – but I also know that there is an undeniable, irrational pull towards Classic WoW. Lord, save me from myself!

I once wrote a rather detailed account on the struggle that was vanilla WoW raiding. I wrote it for myself more than anyone, lest I forget how brutal and time-consuming it truly was. We tend to forget these things, we forget how there wasn’t a guild bank or a keyring or dual specs. The list is endless.

As an MMORPG player with limited amounts of time these days, I am mostly over the grim satisfaction mindset. The virtue of suffering that was a badge of pride in oldschool games, holds no fascination for me. Look, I have done it all, had it all, what could I possibly gain from WoW Classic?

WoW Classic: Are you yearning for the good old, bad days?

Old Westfall with buddies.

But then I also remember why I cannot stomach WoW today and suddenly the notion of an Azeroth without achievements, dps meter min-maxmania and flying mounts sounds very appealing! I would probably hate the graphics but Blizzard are letting players opt-in the new character models, at least (which I think is a wise choice). I can see myself walking down that road from Northshire Abbey once again. I can see myself stop at the Lion’s Pride Inn, wondering if I should go kill Hogger next or murder murlocs at Eastvale Logging Camp while looking for that dead soldier. I’d like to see Stormwind as it once was, a smaller city without harbor. I’d like to hitch a ride on the Deeprun Tram because it’s still faster than flying to Ironforge.

And then, arriving at Ironforge I would undoubtedly make for the auction house which is where it would hit me full force: there is no guild I belong to, no guild spot where we used to hang out, no familiar guild tag hovering¬†under my character’s name. My friends are all gone and there is no Syl, the holy priest, without them.

So I’m thinking if I was to return to Classic WoW, I would probably have to roll a vastly different character with a different name, indeed maybe this would be the time to roll horde. In any case, that’s a big “if”!

Monty is very skeptical of all this WoW business!

13 comments

  1. You should really give it a try once it comes out, Vanilla was so much more than raiding and there’s little for you to lose. :)

    After playing on and off on private servers for two years and really loving it, I’m hyped for Classic.

    1. It’s funny to see much has come true since you wrote that post one year ago. Classic WoW will indeed be ver1.12. and they said at Blizzcon that they intend to release content gradually. LOL they even intend to re-do AQ gate opening, although I must say am not looking forward to Silithus at alll. ;)

      I admit it is tempting, especially for all the reasons I actively dislike WoW today. But I also have some qualms with Blizzard as a company, so I’ll have to get over them first!

  2. I played the WoW Classic demo and it is really a good remake of what was. I watched the panel on the making of WoW Classic and, between that and playing, I am impressed with how dedicated Blizzard has become about this after years of refusing to do anything of the sort.

    Will I play? Yes, but if I don’t find a group or a guild I’ll probably burn out around level 40 and make alts, just like I did back in vanilla before our regular group got formed.

    1. I was surprised too but it appears to me the popularity of Nostalrius finally convinced them. This Blizzcon really showed they are very serious about keeping the integrity of vanilla intact which is definitely intriguing.

      And I soloed my way to lvl 50 in original WoW before I ever joined a guild. It took me three months before I was ready to go to MC with people. I dont think this time around I would care to raid though, there’s only so much MC you can stomach.

  3. I played WoW in 2004 and it was the greatest thing in the history of gaming.

    But I couldn’t be less interested in revisiting that experience, fifteen years later.

    I remember the endless excitement about new servers being added, back in Vanilla. Heaps of people would enthusiastically create characters on the new servers, keen for a fresh start. A month later, they abandoned them and went back to playing their mains. I predict a similar population curve for WoW Classic.

    1. It would definitely not be “the same”. Much of vanilla was that new experience and WoW was new for so many players back then. It was everyone discovering this strange and wondrous MMORPG world together which made for the experience.

      But the second time around could be something different that’s still worth having. A great trip down nostalgia lane, if nothing else. I could see myself enjoying that for a bit.

  4. I’ll pass. I was playing Burning Crusade immediately after release, and despite the lag and insufficient enemy spawns, I remember thinking how much better it was than Vanilla. A few expansions later and leveling an alt through TBC made it feel so much worse than the then-current content. The improved second-to-second and minute-to-minute gameplay flow came with a hidden cost. Even though I have quit (again), giving up that gameplay flow seems like a price too high to recapture what was lost.

    1. I get this. WoW classic won’t be for everyone and not everyone wants to return, either.
      Objectively speaking, TBC was definitely better. Would you play WoW classic if they extended it to TBC though?

  5. Let’s not forget the demographic that never played Vanilla WoW at all. There are all the people who were too young back then, or hadn’t discovered MMORPGs yet, and the group I’m from, MMO players who were playing other MMOs and never even considered playing “that dumbed-down, easy-mode game for kids”.

    Which *is* what many MMO “vets” of 2004-5 thought about Blizzard’s game. I was playing EQ2, then back to EQ all through WoW’s launch and meteoric rise and the general impression was that WoW was beneath anyone’s notice. I knew literally one person (and back then i knew a lot of people in-game) who left to try WoW. He lasted three months then came back and when I asked him what it was like he said it was okay but much too easy to be lasting fun. That would have been around spring/summer of 2005.

    By the time I played for the first time, mid WotLK, a lot of the spadework to make WoW geninely casual/solo friendly had been done. I left the same month the Dungeon Finder was added, not entirely co-incidentally. I’ll probably try WoW Classic out of curiosity and yes, I’m sure it will seem “hard” compared to the extremely soft MMO experience we’ve all become inured to over the years, but I do think it’s worth reminding ourselves that the WoW Classic experience represents what was widely seen (rightly or wrongly) at the time as one of the softest, easiest MMORPG experiences you could find.

    1. No doubt. For today’s standards however, it will be hell to the modern WoW player. I really ask myself who WoW classic is for, anyway – it’s not the kids playing WoW today who asked for vanilla. Kids today enjoy WoW the way it is and they don’t know what they missed or if they missed something.
      So Blizzard is definitely for the most part re-creating WoW for the veteran player base and that’s quite risky for them to do. Yes, some players will return and re-sub just for that but for how long? And what’s the plan once that vanilla content gets old, will they continue to TBC?

  6. You want to know why I’m interested in Vanilla WoW?

    Because I’ve disliked how the Azeroth story turned out after Wrath.

    Blizz had a chance after Wrath to turn the storyline into more detente between the Alliance and Horde, but chose instead to burn it all down. (Literally, in the case of Teldrassil.) Plus, it would also be nice to play in an Azeroth where the timeline isn’t obliterated by Cataclysm.

    1. I hated Cata as much as the next person, it’s when I stopped playing! :D However I’ve not seen any hints or info on Blizzard intending to even continue WoW classic beyond vanilla, let alone re-writing some of what comes after. I REALLY like your idea but I doubt they’d ever do such a thing, considering integrity of the lore etc.?

      1. I’m perfectly happy having WoW Classic remain in Vanilla, with all of the weird and imperfect storylines, because Cata will have never happened. I still think that Wrath is probably the farthest that any “old timer” server should progress to, assuming they go that route, but I don’t think it necessary.

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