06
Sep
19

WoW Classic is here!

Since Blizzard has cast Resurrection on the version of the game from 12+ years ago, maybe it is appropriate that I do a battle-res on this blog.

After all, 2006 was the time of an active WoW-blogging community, where individuals could write guides and give useful class-specific tips for dungeons and raids. Where a few dedicated folks could theorycraft and speculate on strategies and builds. This was before large, corporate-sponsored sites replaced most bloggers, and before Twitter changed WoW-blogging to small, 140-character tidbits.

Actually, my first post on this blog was in January, 2008. So if we are thinking of this as a time machine, I am actually going farther back to points in the game that I never wrote about the first time through.

So… WoW Classic. After it was announced, I originally though that I wouldn’t play it. The game back then was clunky. Quest design was awful. Low-level play was boring with only few abilities to employ.

What brought me around was the prospect that I could play with some of my old guildies. A few of us who still keep in contact through social media all agreed to make characters on the same server, with the thought that we could play together like we did a decade ago.

I’ve now started three characters and taken them up to levels 10-13 – a night elf rogue (duh), a gnome warrior, and a tauren shaman. Here are my thoughts.

The game is just… bad when playing solo. The difference between fighting a creature at your level vs one that is 1 or 2 levels higher than you is tremendous. Accidentally pulling two mobs is almost always fatal. This wouldn’t be so bad if the corpse runs weren’t tedious and vast. I was doing a warrior quest in eastern Dun Morogh, and every time I had to do the corpse run from Kharanos. It nearly made me rage-quit.

The quest design is unimaginative, compared to how it has developed over the thirteen years since then. Nearly every quest is a variation on “Collect 8 Goretusk Livers”, only to find that most Goretusks won’t drop their livers for you. Many quests take 30-45 minutes due to low drop rates and multiple corpse runs.

It’s a little better in a group of 2 or 3, especially if one is a healer. Kills are quicker and accidental pulls aren’t so deadly, although only one person can get a drop from each kill so now your group of 2 people has to get 16 Goretusk livers.

And yet, there is a little bit of joy every time a Druid hits you with a Mark of the Wild as he runs by. Or when another player sees that you are in trouble and comes to help you with the kill, even though the single-tagging rules mean that he will get no XP or drops for doing so. And the spontaneous grouping to overcome challenges is encouraging. These moments, caused by shared misery as we overcome steep challenges, are what is missing from the current retail version of the game.

My honest opinion is that the game will fall off steeply from its busy beginning. I have already seen a decline in spontaneous grouping. Yesterday there were six players struggling to kill harvesters at Saldean’s farm in Westfall for an hour, but none of us took the initiative to start a group. I’ll be surprised if in a month there are pickup groups that have the commitment to stick around through a two-hour dungeon run with multiple wipes. I will admit that I’m having some fun with it, when I’m not doing a corpse run, so maybe I’ll be wrong and it will have some longevity.


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Armory

Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
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