Tobold's Blog
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Turning back time?

Foris, a reader, wrote me with an interesting idea for World of Warcraft: classic servers which work exactly as WoW used to work before the patch 1.13 and the Burning Crusade changed everything. So PvP would still be old style honor ranks. The level cap would be 60, and people could raid the classic raid dungeons from Molten Core to Naxxramas again.

So what do you think? Is this a good idea? Or can't time be turned back? Would you personally play on a classic server?
I would definitely roll a character on a 'classic' server. Not because I think the game was better then, but just because I started playing post-BC and didn't get to experience the old raids. So I would be all for it.
I don't really understand the idea behind "classic" servers. When Wrath of the Lich King comes out, will we have a "Classic Crusade" server?

Its natural to think about the past and reminisce. 40-man Molten Core runs could be fun, the first time or two.

But do you ever remember the classic "LF1M MC"? (I'm sure you do, this is just expositionary writing). Now imagine that . . . only with the vast majority of WoW having moved on to the next expansion.
What about Rogues one-shotting clothies? Was that fun? And Mages one-shotting people every three minutes?

And how far back should we go? Should there be a LFG panel? And what about meetingstones; I remember when they were a sort of ghetto LFG queue. I know a lot of people who would love to go back to when Warlocks sucked . . .

My point is that there could never be a classic server that served the needs of those who wanted it. Thus, there would be very few people on the server, wait times would be hellish for instances, more people would leave, and Blizzard would scrap it.
WANNABE-EDIT: I should clarify, I understand why people would want classic servers, I just don't think that they'd work very well.
I think there may be something to the idea, but of course it's not really managable I think.

But hypothetically it could be nice. Certainly it would be a shock for some classes to go back, good and bad. Pala tanks and locks may be shocked to remember how gimped they were, and hunters may remember how functional and sane the old shot rotation was.

Realistically though, every server has an almost-nostalgia mode for anybody who doesn't buy the extension, the world 1-60 still exists and has a cap of 60. If you can find 40 people you can raid old-style. You can't do old-style rank-grind in PVP but AV is still there.

Problem is that lvl-60 raid groups are non-existant.
I thought it was a bad idea in DAoC, and it would be just as bad in WoW. "Classic" Daoc servers really didn't solve any problems, and the old PvP rank system in WoW was terrible, and only rewarded those that could afford to either have no life, or would break the EULA by allowing people to play their character in teams.
It costs a lot more than people think, in terms of man-hours, to maintain two separate code bases, even if the second was originally a fork of the first. I'd rather Blizzard spend their money on new content.

If people really want the so-called 'classic' experience, they can do the following:

1. Create a new account.

2. Don't upgrade to The Burning Crusade.

3. Roll on a low-population server (optional).

4. Level to 60.

5. Don't buy anything from the AH that comes from the expansion. No JC trinkets, no items, etc.

6. Enjoy!
I did love the 'good old times' on the classic server. But I also cherish the progress, the expedition into new regions (explorer myself). So I would not be content by having the same regions over and over.

Even though I dislike quite a lot about TBC, like a missing compelling story (compared to my beloved BRD, BRS, Onyxia, MC, BWL storyline in raiding + the wonderful Silithus/AQ Storyline), the new regions brought quite a lot of content that generated hours and hours of great fun. Flying mounts, Arena, good dungeons, tons of quests, new crafting that makes sense. Don't forget about that.

Tobold, if you want to I invite you to use the 'scroll of resurrection' so you can check out the many small changes made. You might even enjoy Zul'Aman next week...
I understand that you fear that classic realm would be empty. But with hundred of thousand people wanting to play, there wouldn't be any troubles with that. After, if you dislike to do again Mc, Bwl ... and the honor ranks ( I was a casual, and i hated the honor points ), you can continue to play in Wotlk, we dont ask everyone to come. About rogue stunlocking you, it's THE way rogues fight, same for mages : they are weaker than others and thus have to be able to kill us like this. Being one shotted was fine, it was part of the game. Now, did you ever try to kill someone as a holy priest ? At 60, they could kill nearly everyone. But things has changed... Everything is too extreme, hp, damage... And it's the same in PvE : if you ever done Mag, you know that if one who had to click on a cub get disconnected or lag, it's a wipe. I dont say raids was easier before, it required as much skill as now, it's only that we could make some errors and still defeated the encounter !
And, giving us classic realm does not require a lot of work : there are no bugs to correct, only a few GM are needed for tickets, the only main work would be to set back the honor system ( which is i think not a big deal since they made it worked for nearly 2 years). With the number of subscribers decreasing every month, and the amount of people looking for a classic realm ( at least half-million, if not one million ), Blizz have to seriously think about it, if they don't want to see a serious drop after Wotlk. I would even pay an extra dollar a month to play on classic realm.
And to end this comment, no one will want a BC realm, because Wotlk will continue in the same way ( crazy hp, damage ..... ) and BC is not great at all : arena will still be here at 80 and the end game is ... , well is far inferior to the classic' one. Also getting an account without BC is far away from classic realm since it's way too hard to find people ( because everyone bought it or left ), and in BG we would be pwn because of 60-69 bracket. And it's just not the same thing.
Well its only natural to be a bit nostalgic about classic WoW, but I also don't think it will work. It would be nice to have some good old MC and I would love to do BWL again. But if I look back in what state my warlock and my Shaman were then.. I will never again accept this. Even if I'm now a holy priest who can't kill anything, its still far better than my old chars.
The only thing that could work would be a classic server with specific patches for it and that would really be a bunch of work for Blizzard. Mostly unpaid work, because I think there are not that many people who would resign just for that.
Why would we need a patch ? Leave the realm as 1.12 and it's fine. And trust me, a LOT of people would roll on a classic realm.
If you can't go back with weaker warlock or shaman, then don't play on this kind of realm and go on a Wotlk realm.
But who wants to play a char even Blizzard thinks of as gimped? And above that, who wants to play a gimped char with the sure knowledge that it will never get better, because no patches will come?
I think most people on those servers will have a look which classes rock in 1.12 and will play those while gimped classes will be threatened with extinction.
I don't think so. The game was pretty much balance in 1.12 ( BC broke everything ), And people tend to like a kind of class ( range, melee, tank, dps, heal... ) so there wouldnt be any issues with that. And if you remember well, there was always too much rogues/hunters, and we were lacking of druids/warlocks. With those classes getting buffs since the beginning, everything would be balance. Also, if you are focusing PvE or PvP you wont roll the same class ( and if you consider alts ), there would still be a lot of variety. In PvP, everyone had a chance to win every fight, and in PvE we need every class to go trough the end-game. I dont see what you said as a threat. Knowing there wont be patches doesnt matter, if we like things like they were.
I repeat it again, I understand that some dont like this idea, but let the others have the opportunity to play again on classic realm.
Id hit it, with a stick maybe.

I prefered the classic WoW in many ways. I preferred having guilds in the same boat, pvewise.

~64 retired paladin.

some comments are stupid, but some are really interesting, and I cant see Blizz not releasing classic realm with wotlk. They are saying NO now, but we will get one. At least, they will "license" it like they did for WoW-China.
There are a lot of others threads on that subject, just linking this one because they are some blue posts on it ( and the last one if I'm not wrong ).
They should bring the lvl cap back down to 60 and adjust skill trees, stats and gear accordingly, imo.

Then nobody can complain very much.
I think you are seeing the still bubling discontent with the way BC was released.

Just before BC came out a lot of people were planning on doing the old content BWL NAXX etc with some 62 or 63 level characters. They were perfectly happy to be behind the curve as long as they got to do the content.

BC broke all those dreams and left a lot of people discontented. It also reinforced the Level or die concept that has made leveling in BC less fun.

I doubt a classic server would work but I could be wrong. I think a lot of people would at least give it a try.
Actually, I don't know why Blizz doesn't already have one or more "classic" servers. It is perfect for them: People paying a monthly subscription for old content that should never need an upgrade or a patch.

But as for me, I'm not interested in playing a "classic" WoW right now.
What Blizz needs to do is give people an incentive to go back to those old world dungeons, perhaps once you have killed all the bosses of the dungeon, you get a chest which can drop several types of unique mounts or purple items not found anywhere else.

Or items with stats identical to that found elsewhere, but with unique particle/graphic effects...

Such a change would provide the incentive and then those who wish to go back to the old world dungeons would not have so much trouble finding others to go with.

Also make the dungeons 10 man or some such number limit that would make the dungeons not a total stroll in the park.
I've been playing for nearly 2 years, and i raided at 60 before TBC hit. Our raid group were not as advanced as some due in part to the fact that i rolled on an RP server.

I only saw 90% of ZG, 30% MC, and 20% AQ20.

I enjoyed my time in those raid-instances, but would i got back and be someones heal-bot again? I think not.

I did the unthinkable with my Paladin. Not knowing the game very well i leveled 1-60 Holy! *slaps forehead* So it was all i knew, when TBC hit i knew that there was this Retribution tree and i fell in love!

Retribution in the old world had no gear, even prot had no gear other than having to argue with Warriors over gear.

Today I've Cleared ZG, MC, AQ20 with 10-15 level 70's which was far more fun than ever having to rely on 40 people to be ready in time. And there's more chance you can get some nice antiques!!!

I've yet to see AQ40, BWL or Naxx(aside from wondering in there one day to have a nose around and getting ganked!! >.<) But Naxx is being re-tuned for level 80 with only 25 men, so thats brilliant!

And that pretty much sums it up for fun as the old content was, my character in that world wasnt fun to all!
I was an awesome healer in those days, but i was the butt of everyones jokes due to how rediculous i looked in my healing gear!(i made no sacrifices in the name of style when it came to gear)

So therefore, i Wont be playing on an "Old World" server..its not for me! I love progression, and not being able to have fun would not interest me one bit.

I think you'll find most of the people who are complaining about the old content are bitter that the first quest they did in outland replaced their Epic with Greens!! I just thought it was funny!
I'm levelling a mage at the moment...just powering through all those classic quests and zones. I'm very much looking forward to Scholo, Strat and BRD in a few levels, as those reflect my "golden age" of WoW. I love the BC content, but I was only 60 for 2 months before the expansion, and didn't get intimate with the heavy raids. However, I'd get a bit ancy on a "classic server," I think. There just needs to be some way to keep people running the classic instances around 60 and not jumping directly into Outland. Maybe some loot upgrades on par with Ramparts...or better. Even out that gap between Tier .5 and Outlands quest rewards.
I'm also thinking about going back to my first jobs and seeing if I can work for minimum wage again, should be fun!
No. You can't go home again.
SOE has already done this sort of thing and varieties of it. Look up the Progression servers for EverQuest1.

They were released with patches up to date, minus the extra expansions and things they brought (such as spell). The servers would unlock expansions as someone (a guild) beat specific content. All of it had to be done to open up the next expansion (I think the Epics were an exception).

I can't remember if there was a minimum time involved or not, but the end result was that big guilds hopped to that server, rolled up characters and powered through the content to get server firsts and unlock the expansions... which sort of defeated the purpose of 'classic EQ'.

Hot zones were another issue that some people disliked (bonus XP areas).

Rumor has it SOE might do this again, though change the unlocking or something.

SOE also created a server where the contest was how long you could survive before dying - dying was permanent. I think that one only ran for a set time.
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