World of Warcraft: Classic, Waste of Time or Dearly Needed?
If you don’t have a story, someone in your life surely does. While these days, many of us have grown out of it or moved on to different hobbies, the itch always remains. We miss the days of raiding with the guild, downing Onyxia for the hundredth time. We think fondly of the opening of AQ. We reminisce about being ganked by Horde in the Stranglethorn Vale. Fortunately, we can relive those glory days of middle and high school, cast off the shackles of EZ mode that binds us in Battle for Azeroth, and play World of Warcraft: Classic as it releases this August.
Blizzard Entertainment announced the “remaster” of the classic MMORPG in November, and on May 15 announced a release date of August 27. Blizzard has already started rolling out invitations to the closed beta.
First, a little background. Since at least the Burning Crusade expansion, privately owned WoW servers have existed. Boasting added features or altered gameplay, these private servers have straddled the line of what exactly a “legal” use of Blizzard assets is. Most notably, Nostalrius, a private server popularized by it’s halted “legacy” version of the game was taken down by Blizzard via legal action. Nostalrius was very likely one of the most popular private servers, and when it was taken down, players were a little upset.
The main source of the aggravation was that players wanted a “Classic” version of the game to play. They didn’t want all of the new-fangled “Quality-of-Life” updates, or new content. They wanted to be playing the same game they downloaded in 2004. Now, thanks to the ingenious business acumen of Blizzard, they get just that.
Blizzard realized that there is a market for this, but that doesn’t come without some interesting turns.
Now, for the opinion part of this piece: I think this was a giant waste of Blizzard’s resources and in a few months people will lose interest and realize that the game has gotten much better. Keep in mind that the reputation that WoW garnered as one of the most addictive games on the market stemmed from this era. The repetitive, snail paced grinding is a feature that apparently, some people wanted back? I don’t understand the desire for quit-your-job levels of farming the same content over and over that seems to be conducting this hype train.
The players who want to play the 2004 version of World of Warcraft are not the same people who have the time to play the 2004 version of World of Warcraft. To illustrate, here are some commonly reported bugs in the closed beta that are actually features of this “restored” Azeroth:
- Tauren’s hitboxes and their melee reach is slightly larger than other races.
- 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.)
- Warrior health Regeneration is working at the expected rate.
- Quests objectives and points of interests are not tracked on the map or minimap.
- Completed quests are marked on the minimap with a dot. (and not a “?”)
- Feared players and NPCs run fast.
- Standing on top of other players while facing away allows spells and attacks to be used.
- Creature respawn rates are much slower than in Battle for Azeroth.
- NPCs which offer multiple quests may inconsistently display them as a dot or a “!” on the available quests list. They were inconsistent in 1.12, and we’ve reproduced the exact inconsistency they had back then.
- Quests that are too low level for do not show up as a “!” in the game world.
- Available quests do not display a “!” on the minimap.
The above collection of “bug reports” are all things that were changed in later patches of the game to make it more palatable for players over the years as the audience changed.
In all honesty, WoW Classic is a coin flip. I would say there is about a 50% chance that it is wildly successful and about 50% chance it is a total dud once players realize that the game is hard and they don’t have time to play it like they used to. We have evolved into a culture of nostalgia. We are in an age of reminiscing now that 90’s babies are the core of the culture. Will more games be shoved into recreating a previous version to satisfy the nostalgia junkies? The results of the Classic test may illustrate just that.
Are you excited for WoW Classic or do you find it to be a waste of time? Let us know in the comments!