After reading some posts from another message board, I suspect the people who loved vanilla-era pvp would be most likely to have long-term interest in a classic server as opposed to a progression server.
I think this is the smart way to go. I’m sure there’s a balance between the beloved clunkiness of the base game and the QoL-focused, streamlined game it has become. I think the clunky things about Vanilla that people like are things that either 1) required thought or planning, or 2) allowed emergent social experiences.
They’ll probably streamline things like single-target buffing. But they’ll probably keep the long attunement chains, crowded auction houses, fire resist grinds, and so on.
Personally, I’m not sure where I fall on the excitement spectrum. I think I’ll give it a try, but it’s going to be a coinflip between “Love the nostalgia, sign me up for six months” and “Jesus Christ, I understand why they replaced every single one of these systems.”
Vanilla WoW remains the only iteration of the product where gear was not the primary driver of virtually everything. To be fair it was a consideration as you could not heal BWL without some pieces from MC. But skill and knowledge counted for much more back then. You could have relatively lousy gear but if you knew how to pull Stratholme then you had a very valuable skill. Remember the days of “you sleep, I will sheep” for trash mobs? I always believed that the dungeons felt more epic when people had to use all of their skills, including crowd control, just to get to the bosses.
The game, for good or bad depending on your viewpoint, was much more role-based. Priests were the primary healers. Druids were mana batteries. Warlocks soul-stoned. Mages burnt faces. Warriors tanked. I always knew going into any dungeon what my role would be and that did not change. I quite enjoyed knowing what my role was and that no other class would be competing in my space. Some people want the ability to wear multiple hats. I did not.
Vanilla, without the dungeon finder, made the game much more community and guild based. If you had a bad reputation then you would not be included in many groups. If you were good and reliable then everyone wanted you for even the 5 man instances and that held true for most every class. As a priest, I always wanted a particular hunter in my parties because that hunter knew to use her pet to protect my squishy backside. Beside, the journey to 60 took investment in your character and that was not to be thrown away lightly.
I tend to disagree with some of those things you say added nothing. They added personality and character. I did the Rogue Westfall tower / unlock the chest over and over again bit. It was a gateway and a milestone. Buying ingredients made a player more situationally aware because you knew that every time you used that it was going to cost you.
Even if I never raid again, which is quite possible, just working through challenging content in true community would be worth the journey. Vanilla WoW IMO mixed that perfect blend of solo-able content for leveling and the need for tight-knit groups to get through the dungeons and raids, all the while depending on skill and knowledge more so than gear. That was permanently lost in BC and while the game exploded after that, what I enjoyed most about it was lost. So for someone like me, the appeal is massive.
I’m pretty much on Granath’s page. I didn’t raid but I took some pride in successful UBRS runs and pulling off the 45 minute Strat run (I lucked into a great puller on that particular PUG).
It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. And I literally don’t even have time to play it more than a little bit nowadays just because of life circumstances (and that’s all to the good). But, if you’re gonna do a classic server at all, I wouldn’t half-ass it, personally.
You couldn’t get a mount until level 40 as late as WoLK. That’s gonna cure some nostalgia real quick for some folks.
And the epic ground mount was damn expensive.
Nah, that was half the fun. Besides, you can roll shammy or druid if you want a quick travel form at 20.
This video touched on some of the things that I think were lost in the expansions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OBK8k_B3Lc
It mostly boils down to the difficulty encouraging the social interactions. Playing a Mage, I was thrilled to get my water & food spells and would hand those out to intrepid adventurers at quest hubs. Or drive-by buffing my priest’s fortitude spell. Stuff like that encouraged social interactions, which led to groups, which led to close-knit guilds.
They were a contributing factor, but not the key factor why the game lost its community feel.
The various instancing, phasing, automatic group-finding, and merging/coalescing servers did that, expanding the addressable population size from around 1500 max-level in your faction to hundreds of thousands today.
No arguments here. I wish that when Dungeon Finder came out Blizzard should have allowed players to transfer to a couple of non-DF servers. The only problem with that is that the instances would have needed to be re-tuned for a higher difficulty level since the DF instances were noticeably easier.
I never felt like it had much of a community feel. It was always very solo-friendly in comparison to the MMOs before it, particularly things like EQ, and I never got to know anyone to speak of or had any real incentive to spend time with others. It was just much, much more of a pain in the ass to do dungeons before they introduced Dungeon Finder.
Now, I don’t think there’s any question that Dungeon and Raid Finder have reduced the amount of player interaction with randoms in those contexts since most people are dead silent automatons when doing those. But my PUG experiences were rarely positive beforehand and so silent success is preferable to loud, obnoxious failure, IMO.
I had lots of great PUGs in 05/06. Of course, there were also the jerks. But the totally impersonal quality of non-guild dungeon runs in later years was a turnoff for me.
It was worse than just impersonal. Liche King was the last expansion I played. With the dungeon finder/match maker at that point PUGs were simply a frenzied race to get through the dungeons ASAP and if someone wasn’t moving fast enough, they’d just leave or boot folks if they were the group leader. Some would race ahead and pull aggro whether the rest of the group was ready or not. There were some real jerks out there. I stuck to doing the daily dungeons with my guild as much as possible.
On one hand, I like LFG/LFR because it’s easier to get a group and see content, especially from a DPS role. It sure beats sitting at the meeting stone begging for groups.
Like all deals with the devil, it comes at a cost.
There definitely was a coherent community in vanilla WoW, and your server reputation mattered then.
I agree it’s a tradeoff, and I think they made the right call.
A lot of the things WoW did, in an effort to make the game more solo friendly, played into the worst instincts of people. X-server for example, you just completely change the dynamic. You lose the chance that you are going to run into the same people, and therefore don’t form any friendships. It also leads to the worst behavior, because people know they are never going to see you again.
Server rep, getting to know people on your server, and needing the help of others, sometimes desperately, is key to building an MMO. If you don’t foster friendships, it’s kind of missing the magic of an MMO in the first place. WoW seems like it’s done everything in it’s power, for a long time, to remove interaction with other people.
It’s obviously not key, because WoW doesn’t do it and every MMO other than WoW is a rounding error.
In fact I would argue that a big, big part of WoW’s success is removing the social barrier to entry. Social interaction might be the magic of the MMO, but it’s much easier to spend time with a game if your schedule is the only one that’s relevant.
When WoW came out it seemed ragingly casual next to EQ, or so I have heard (I never played EQ myself). You could solo to max level, etc.
However there is still a big difference between the way world social interaction and instanced contents were handled in 2004 versus today. As with many things, it’s on a spectrum.
I did solo to max level in Vanilla. And I loved it.
At the time I wasn’t even aware of the concept of “end game”. When I got there I was “now what ???”. Then I found out… and reluctantly got on board …joined a guild, even changed servers to match their time with when I could be online (they were Pacific, I was Eastern).
Was too much work and commitment for me.