The story of New Blizzard screwing with WoW Classic continues, but first a recap.
New Blizzard starts with a comically low number of services for Classic prior to name reservation, which meant that any planning guilds did prior to this was basically worthless, as the odds of playing on one of the initially announced servers was pretty slim (or you stayed and sat in multi-hour queues).
Even given the heavy volume for name registration, New Blizzard still doesn’t open enough servers for go-live, resulting in massive queues, last-minute new servers, and overall a terrible launch of a 15yr old MMO in all aspects they actually controlled. The game worked because Old Blizzard designed the game, but everything New Blizzard touched was basically handled as poorly as possible.
Post go-live, New Blizzard is still too slow to open new servers, and opens server transfers too late as well, resulting in queues weeks after go-live, despite using layering and modern hardware vs what was available in 2004.
Finally, New Blizzard, knowing server populations and server balance, still believes it’s a good idea to release the PvP honor system prior to releasing battle grounds. Oh, and since they are also releasing two worlds bosses, this means they have to rush removing layers, even if many servers still have far more players than the zones were designed for back in 2004. Everyone with a pulse predicted that PvP servers would be unplayable in contested zones, and guess what? Classic has been unplayable on PvP servers since the honor patch! Every zone is camped by massive amounts of players, flight points are death zones, and unless you only want to PvP, you aren’t getting anything done.
If New Blizzard wasn’t making more money off Classic than any other game they have out right now, I’d swear they are intentionally sabotaging the product, as that’s the most logical explanation for why this has been managed so, so terribly.
In New Blizzard fashion, they react instead of plan ahead, and now battle grounds are coming earlier than original planned, which just confirms the above-described fuck up, but doesn’t actually help make Classic playing between now and BG release (and even then, since server pops are still so far above design, the most popular zones will continue to be a nightmare).
It’s also important to note here what the real ‘nostalgia’ of Classic is all about. It’s not about replicating the entire 2004 experience. Players aren’t throttling internet connections down to dial-up speeds, they aren’t setting monitor resolutions to 800×600, and they aren’t unplugging graphics cards to achieve that sweet, sweet 10 FPS when raiding. The nostalgia is for the content, and that nostalgia is especially strong for Vanilla WoW because Retail WoW is such a bastardized version of the game compared to ‘classic’ EQ1 vs Retail EQ1 or other MMOs.
So Classic nostalgia isn’t going to be ruined by a different content release cadence compared to 2004-2005. Releasing honor and BG together wouldn’t ‘ruin’ anyone’s experience, just like having servers contain 10x more players today than was possible in 2004 doesn’t invalidate Classic feeling like Vanilla.
But this is why New Blizzard is New Blizzard. They can’t manage WoW correctly. They can’t predict what MMO players might want or do. They always react to mistakes, and even then, the reactions are poorly planned band-aids rather than true fixes. New Blizzard is lucky that Old Blizzard was as good as they were, and that the content in Classic, the one thing New Blizzard hasn’t impacted (yet?), makes dealing with all the mistakes they make worth it.
It would be nice if we had someone even halfway decent running Classic so the experience could be all it should be, but we are stuck riding in the clowncar of New Blizzard.