Monday, September 23, 2019

Some Things in WoW Classic are Better Than Vanilla

Ok, it's been 14 years since I started playing Vanilla so I'll admit it's possible that my memory of it could've been a bit corrupted over the years. Yet it is immensely fun to compare what I remember Vanilla being to how I experience Classic right here and now. There are actually a few things that are quite different from my memories, and one of them is the dungeoning experience.

To be fair, my highest level right now is 25 so I haven't done any of the crazy stuff at endgame or even mid-game (hello Maraudon). But I have some memories of even Wailing Caverns that aren't too positive.

People returning to Classic, like me, had a pretty good idea of what was waiting for them and most of these things have come true and have been pretty much as I expected/remembered. The scrounging for money, the endless running, the endless dying to everything. Some things are easier now just because I have so much experience - I rarely get lost in quests simply because I still know most of them by heart. But reading the quest texts I can appreciate that some of them are extremely vague. I had to go find some dude "east of the Crossroads". No he was up a hill east of the Crossroads. That information could've been very useful, because just "east of the Crossroads" is a pretty big area.

But then we've got the instancing. My memory of instancing is spending a lot of time finding a group, spending a lot of time getting everyone to the instance, spending a lot of time inside the instance. Then if there ever was a wipe, and there always was, invariably someone got lost or left the group. In case of the latter, one in the party had to run out of the instance, maybe and probably even hearth to a city to find another group member. This could take another amount of "a lot of time" if you needed to find a healer or a tank. Then these two needed to head back to the instance again where the rest of the group had been idling, hopefully (and then you needed to help them get to the instance as most instances has elites waiting outside). That's assuming someone else didn't give up halfway through waiting and left. Rinse and repeat.

In short, my memory of doing instances in Vanilla was that it would take a lot of time and patience. Because of this I was prepared that dungeons wasn't something I was going to be able to do much, since I have such little time to play (and some of it I spend writing stuff like this instead).

I decided to give Ragefire Chasm a go because it doesn't have elites at the entrance and it is already inside a city. It removed a lot of the time-consuming obstacles that other dungeons suffer from. It went so smoothly that I decided to do a couple more and then I even had the guts to give Wailing Caverns a go. That went smoothly too. In fact, the elites outside the instance weren't half as difficult as I remember them being. The instances weren't anywhere near as difficult as I remember them being.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like you can just dance your way through the instances. They require some careful pulling and cooperation from the group, which I absolutely love about them. But through the ~8 runs I've done in different instances so far, only once have I wiped (stray pet of course) and never have I've had a group that's been a lot of hassle. People have done what they're supposed to and have been good team mates. People have rolled for chests. People have been cutting eachother a slack when something has gone wrong. People have been chatting about this and that and throwing jokes around (unlike the complete silence I mostly experienced in the later expansions I played). Some people (hunters) have been taking my loot, but oh well. That is part of the Vanilla experience.

I've got this pet theory that because the vast majority (I am guessing) of people who are playing Classic either have experience of playing it before or at least have experience of playing WoW, there is just so much more pooled up experience in doing anything in the game than it was back then, and it shows. Finding information on how to play your class or what gear is good and where to find it is so easy now compared to back then. It seems to me that people are more patient and a lot more skillful than what I remember from back then. I know for sure I am.


  1. I've found the same in regards to grouping. People were worried in advance that the Classic dungeon experience would be "ruined" by people having more guides available and knowing what to do, but I've just been finding it pleasant that everyone seems to have at least a general idea of what to expect. People still get lost in Wailing Caverns or make accidental butt-pulls, but there's fewer warlocks trying to melee or people rolling on items they can't even use. Can't say that's been a negative!

    1. Interestingly enough I've still encountered people who seem completely new to the game, but like you say - at least not everyone is new to the game!

  2. Wait'll you get to Gnomer. Those mines pack a whallop, and our group that went through there the other day was convinced that the timer was off on them. It certainly seemed that we had a lot less than 10 seconds to disarm the bombs.

    1. I am definitely looking forward to the more crazy instances. The first couple of ones are a bit more straight forward, and some of the later ones become really harsh both physically and mentally. We'll see if I am as lucky with my groupings then ^^