I think I’m in for vanilla WoW if its done right. ‘Done right’ is of course the key, and with New Blizzard, I think its safe to say the odds are great they are going to screw it up by enabling something dumb like cross-realms, or phasing, or some form of WotLK-era welfare. But that’s a topic for another day, when Blizzard gives us more info.
Today I want to talk about why I’d go back. For one, vanilla WoW was some of the best MMO gaming for me in my long run with the genre, and at least some of that time was prior to getting into top-end raiding. I want to see if it still holds up, in large part because I believe it will. A lot of people are saying that quests like “kill 10 of this, then kill 5 of that in the same place” are terrible and should be replaced, but to me that sounds far too similar to people saying that mining in EVE is boring and should be made more fun and interactive. On paper that sounds correct, but when you consider how that gameplay HAS held up, and how many people enjoy it, there must be something to it.
That something is the fact that you play an MMO for a long time, so the basics need to be… well basic. If every quest is some new ‘figure it out’ thing, you not only tire of that after the 100th quest, but you also run into quests that really suck, and content that sucks sticks out far more than good/great content. If you keep it consistent (kill 10), you keep the fun consistent. The same goes for combat; its the most basic and core activity you do in an MMO like WoW, and if its too taxing (long rotations, too heavy an emphasis on movement), it goes from being fun and engaging for the first few hours to a chore in hour 100, and hour 100+ is what you should judge an MMO by, not the first 100. Yes, that sounds crazy, but WoW in 2005 wasn’t successful because the first 100 hours were magic (though they were for most because it was their first MMO), it was successful because it kept millions playing well beyond the first 100 hours.
I’m also personally interested in playing it because I could duo with my wife, and vanilla leveling content was very good for duos. Sure you spent more time on the ‘collect x’ quests, but there were plenty of areas where having another player helped, and dungeon content is far easier when you already have 2 of the 5 people you need to bring. I’m also guessing that if this is done right, a lot of the INQ crew would give it a shot, so putting together full groups for dungeons would also be pretty easy and fun.
I also hope this happens correctly because it would be a very interesting test for the genre as a whole. If Classic WoW is basically 2005 WoW, and it becomes massively successful, that will send a strong message to everyone. It could, potentially, undo all the damage WotLK+ did, where devs were copying the bad version of WoW and bringing all its junk forward, then claiming its the players and not the games that were the reason for failure.
Will any of this happen? Guess we will find out ‘soon’.