Classic World of Warcraft : Maybe. Probably Not.

Yes, the irony of using a Project 1999 screenshot as the feature image. (Yay, screenshots working there now with Nvida Experience update!) However, that is the main reason why I probably won’t be playing World of Warcraft Classic. I was reading over at the Aggronaut (can’t link directly to article, getting a 404, but it’s the first “Thorns and Rebirth) on how he chose an undead warrior to get a fear break, because the Horde side didn’t get that at launch.

Weird spot for a statue

But they did! Shamans have a Tremor totem that breaks fear. And then I found the WoW Classic Shaman Guide and began to get excited. After all, that was back when Shaman Totems made the game interesting and the class very fun. Of course I didn’t know this until a later expansion when Shaman weren’t Horde exclusive – but that in itself is the event which, I felt, ended up “ruining” WoW for me. The homogenization of the game.

We sit, we med, we talk.,

You see, I play an Enchanter as my main in Project 1999. It is such a unique class. In fact, a lot of EQ was how every class brought something to the table. The game celebrated the differences in the classes and how bringing them together made the game great. That is still true in Project 1999. World of Warcraft dismantled that over the years. Ensuring several classes had overlapping buffs so you didn’t need any specific class for any specific reason. I think that was very much a downside to the game.

My Druid can be a TREE!

It was for me, anyway. When my class became less needed and less important because the thing(s) he or she brought to the table were replaced with other classes (that once had their own things they brought to the table) most WoW classes turned into generalists. And jack of all trades, masters of none is good for a social-less, solo experience – and good for time starved current gen MMO players – but it does take away the social and meaningful aspects of the game.

I know some (or many) would argue that it was a good thing for the genre. It brought in more people, that’s for sure. Who all flocked to the same title and created a king of the hill, that will most likely never be usurped. Good for many is that niche titles are being built and old games trudge on with their core audience.

Basically, a Rave-like atmosphere

So, the draw of WoW Classic is that I can relive the game when I felt it was the most fun – when my class was interesting and gave me fun options to tackle problems. The repulse is that eventually they will take that away from character again. I mean, why be a sucker for punishment twice? Who knows, maybe the fun and thrill of that part of WoW will be worth the time. I just haven’t made my mind up yet.

7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Interesting thought.

    What if they looked back at all the class changes over the years and saw where making a change here and there, introducing new secondary stats, adding new spells, removing old, they saw where decisions made had repercussions later on, and they are going to use advancing Classic as an experiment to see if choices left on the drawing board might have worked better. The computers now certainly can handle the math to evaluate design decisions better now than they could back then.

    Just a thought v

    1. They would only make changes if it lead to bigger subs and cash, of course. Becoming more “niche” and less accessible is not the way to do this. GRAB 10 MOBS AND AOE DOWN ALL BY MYSELF is the WoW way 😛

  2. The thing about EverQuest is that you really do have to go back to 1999 to find that complete class seperation. It lasted, at most, a couple of years. By the time I hit my peak grouping perod between 2001-2004, long before WoW arrived, there were wide-ranging alternatives for the functions of most classes.

    For example, in the Lost Dungeons of Norrath era, my personal high-point in the entire history of the game, we had both a Bard and a Necromancer on our friends list, either of whom we would take in preference to most Enchanters because thye could do everything a chanter could, much of it better, and a lot more besides. In fact, provided we could buy a three-hour KEI in PoK before we started we really didn’t want an Enchanter along at all.

    We also had a Shaman who could act as Main Tank if neither our SK or one of our Pallies was around. He was a better tank than most Warriors, too, although we did know one amazing Warrior. I was always fairly safe as a Cleric but very much appreciated the new flexibility when I was playing my Beastlord, who was welcome in most groups as a versatile all-rounder. I certainly didn’t see any of that as decline in quality of gameplay from the days when you couldn’t even get a group started without a Warrior, Cleric and Enchanter. Very much the opposite.

    P1999 and WoW Classic are really strange edge cases, I think. They don’t re-create the way the games once were, as various games’ progression servers have tried to do; they just provide a snapshot of a moment. For that reason I think the long-term interest has to be restricted to a fairly select audience. Most of these games had better periods than the ones being set in aspic.

    1. I think you mis-remember the glory days pre 2001! Project 1999 is Kunark and Luclin only.

      1) Any tank will do for non-raid content. I’m in my low 40s (42) and as long as you have a Shadowknight, Paladin, Bard, Ranger, Warrior or Shaman you have a tank.

      2) Any CC will do! As long as you have a Bard, Enchanter, or any caster with Root, you are good to go.

      3) Any heals will do! As long as you have a Cleric, Shaman or Druid you are good to go.

      This is all group focused leveling content of course, but people very much take what they can get and make the best out of it – and find ways to optimize the people they have, not wait or exclude based on the people they want. I was in a killer XP group with a Bard, Druid, 2 magicians and me on my SK.

      What is even better about this Era, that Duo/ Tri groups are fun. Spent all of 41 with a Necromancer in a very dangerous area in the bottom of Kaesora.

  3. For me one of the biggest down sides to modern WoW is that it is almost unrecognizably distant from any previous version of it that I’ve enjoyed. The WoD pre-launch patch changed the game in a number of ways I couldn’t stomach, so I quit and have never been back. The game has only continued to diverge in random directions since then. With each new expansion large hunks of the core game design have been set on fire and replaced for some insane reason. After two design permutations I haven’t been around for there might very well be a game that is fun to me there now, but even if there is it will be gone in year so why bother?

    The idea of playing a version of the game that 1. I know I like and 2. will remain locked in (as far as the details I care about) for the foreseeable future has a lot of appeal. The problem is that I would almost certainly hit the same brick wall I did around launch. There wasn’t much that was fun for a solo player to do once you hit the cap, and I hate raiding. I could perhaps take up PvP for a while. I did quite a bit of battleground PvP in the Cataclysm era. However, my impression is that PvP was very poorly balanced pre-Cataclysm.

    1. I always thought the need to add more levels wasn’t always the right move. Imagine if you took all the wasted content (I have a post around here about content meant to be used once, and then never again – forget what it is called.. planned absolenece I think..) and built more meaningful, repeatable content.. You can add spells and skills, but why not 60 forever? OR whatever that number is? And just add way more places and things for your 60 to do?

      I am glad EQ doesn’t have many quests and isnt quest hub based. I prefer to find a group and a place we can level together. Less time wasted running around and more time talking and engaging each other.

  4. And by pre-Cataclysm I actually meant pre-Burning Crusade, when the classic servers will be set . . .

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