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Warcraft Classic – Worth a Trip Back in Time?  


Jim Franklin
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If you’re an avid World of Warcraft player then it will not have escaped your attention, that they are currently performing stress testing for the new World of Warcraft Classic servers. Servers set up to replicate the vanilla experience as much as possible. Being a (nearly) 40-year-old player who’s had an account from the very first day, I know what to expect from World of Warcraft Classic, and that is exactly why I’m not queuing up to play it.

Now firstly, this is not a piece where I spend the next few hundred words convincing you not to play it. Instead, this is simply my thoughts and feelings on the subject.

I remember those first days in World of Warcraft, I created my Hunter, as it looked so cool having and training my own pets that will fight for me in combat, as well as picking people off at range, staying unharmed. Everything was new, it felt like the first game of its kind, and I couldn’t help but spend 4-8 hours per day on it. It consumed my life, well I say life there was very little of it back then, not having a family or girlfriend, it was pretty much video-gaming whenever I could.

Every level was a joy, I planned and picked my talents, spent hours punching boars in the face to increase my unarmed skill. Pocketing every copper and silver I could find, hoping that one day I might become one of those elite players who owned an epic mount. Though the very pinnacle of this was grouping up with two guilds to visit the epic 40-player raids such as Onyxia and Blackwing Lair, hoping I had enough DKP to bid for my Beastmaster shoulders.

I look back at these times with such fondness, which is exactly why I do not want to go back and visit them.

Yes, that might sound contradictory but everything has changed. The World of Warcraft we play now is not the same as the one we played back then. So many things have been tweaked that its impossible to remember them all. Although I did write a few of them down in here a few years ago.

Vanilla World of Warcraft Talent Trees

So, many argue that World of Warcraft is now too easy, but it is also a lot more accessible. In Classic wow there’s no Raid Finder, spawn times are longer, you do a lot less damage and you’re a lot more fragile.

However, this is all obvious stuff, we know how far World of Warcraft has travelled over the fifteen-year developmental journey, but another important factor to all of this is me. I’ve changed. Fifteen years is a long time, I’ve gone from a single nerd with hours to spare to a dad (yes still a nerd dad) with a career and very few hours to video game in. I need all the accessibility changes that have been put into World of Warcraft over the years.

Also, the 38-year-old me will not connect with World of Warcraft Classic in the same was my 24-year-old counterpart did, seeing as we are now two different people. Video gaming in general has moved on.

The final point to bring up is about changes. If World of Warcraft Classic is to forever remain as a permanent homage to how World of Warcraft Vanilla was, where does it go from there? In theory it goes nowhere. You play, you level up and then you gear up in the end game, but what happens when you’ve done that? Do it again with the rest of the characters for both factions? If the game does not change, once you’ve experienced the content, where is the drive to keep you logging on? Or is it simply the point to experience Wow Classic only briefly, and then the severs are to be shut down forever?

@app=Wow.exe

As I mentioned earlier this is not a post about not experiencing Classic Wow or trying to convince others not to play. In fact, this is the opposite to what I’m saying. You should experience Classic Wow, especially if you are a relatively new player and don’t remember it first time around.

It will almost be like walking through a World of Warcraft museum, where each wing of the museum houses old artifacts where you can squint at the little description cards by the artifacts in glass cases and try to imagine how you could live in a world without Alliance Shaman or Horde Paladins, or where Archaeology and flying mounts were nothing but fevered dreams.

Once you appreciate how far World of Warcraft has come, you might have a new understanding for the game, and on balance all those things that bug you now, may seem smaller in comparison to the issues and difficulties of Classic. There’s no guarantee that you will of course, you may remain stoically unchanged by the whole affair.

Personally, I enjoyed World of Warcraft Classic when it was just known simply as World of Warcraft, and for me I’m perfectly happy to leave it in the past.

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