Monday, September 2, 2019

WoW Classic Is Exactly What I Hoped For

This is my 800th post on this blog, pretty crazy when I think about it. The vast majority of those posts are about WoW so it feels fitting that the 800th one would be on me returning to that game.

Now that I've got the opportunity to play some WoW Classic I can actually say it's pretty much what I hoped for. Heck I can't think of any way it's not what I hoped for so I'm going to say it's exactly what I thought it would be and wanted. Anyone remember the comparison I made to going to back to playing Pokémon Red a couple of posts back? I had just tried to play Pokémon Moon and not enjoyed it (the first in the main series I didn't absolutely love) and decided to go back to the roots. Doing so I was still wary that years of QoL changes within the Pokémon series would make the original experience more tedious than fun. That was definitely not the case, it was exactly as much fun as I remembered it and I loved every second of it.

So far, WoW Classic has been exactly like that. It might help that I stopped playing WoW in MoP and haven't played it for years (a month maybe in Legion but had no fun there). The original WoW was a masterpiece of a game for so many reasons. And while WoW eventually evolved for me to be more about the community than the actual game, that is not how I played it back in Vanilla. It wasn't until BC that I got into raiding, having done only very little of Vanilla end-game. My Vanilla experience, I realize now, was about enjoying the actual game and the randomness of random people. There was a social aspect for sure, in the sense that I needed other people to get things done, but other people weren't the reason I logged in to play.

I realize now, playing the game again, that atmosphere is why I play this game. The reason I love games like Thief, Deus Ex and System Shock 2 is atmosphere (and great game play design). No one does world building like Blizzard - when you run from one end to the other (and you'll be doing a lot of running) doing quests about anything and everything you'll feel connected and immersed. Even killing Shambling Horrors on a field or Quilboars in the outback feels like it has a purpose and fills in another piece of the puzzle that is the lore and world around you.

WoW Classic nails the sense of wonder and exploration. Going into a cave full of spiders or camp full of Kolkars I never feel indifferent or like I just want to get it over with. I am always curious about what is hiding behind the next hill, always interested in finding out more. And that is even though I have done these quests and run these areas tens of times in the past!

Is it flawless? Well in the sense that nothing has dulled my fun even the slightest, yes. Funnily enough, some things that I knew were a bit of a challenge in Classic and that could potentially drain the fun turned out to not be a problem at all.

Getting money is not easy, but I feel like I am always at the point of where I have just enough. Not enough to indulge myself in blues or even greens, but enough to get my skills when I need them and even buy some food for myself. And what else do I really need?

Enemies are tough, but again I feel like they are just tough enough. Not so difficult that every mob feels like a chore and progression is a slog, but not so easy that I can just pull a camp without some careful planning (or at all).

Like mentioned there is a lot of running, and some quests are quite far away from the quest giver but yet again - this gives me an opportunity to explore the world. The objective isn't right next to me, meaning I might find things I wouldn't otherwise have just by having to go around looking for things. It sets a pace that I find contemplative and almost meditative.

Quest mobs drop rate is horrendous compared to later expansions, but it just means I need to kill more which gives me an excuse to spend more time in each area and also gain more experience doing the quest. To me it's a lot like when I get lost in any of the Metroidvania games, I don't mind it since the experience gained always means there is progression.

Playing with other players means you're taking a chance. You might find someone who is nice or someone who isn't. So far I haven't come across any douchebags. People can run up and snag mobs or herbs/veins but it doesn't even bother me because with that many people questing in the same area it's just going to happen. I've been in several groups for small quests and for dungeons and everyone I've spoken to has been at the very least polite. The dungeon I tanked on my warrior was pretty much the epitome of a great run. Even the few mishaps we had, no one lost their temper or started blaming anyone. I can only hope that it's a sign of how things are, and not just me being lucky for my first few levels.

But there are a few things that have given me pause. You can't use Thunder Clap in Defensive Stance?! WHAT?! Ok, that one actually annoys me a bit. But tanking still went fine for my first (and so far only) try since everyone respected the target markers.

Also I know I am going to want a more efficient way to deal with my bags before long. Something that sorts my stuff and also maybe something that displays what is in my bags without me having to drag it to my bars.

A better way to display dots is probably something I am going to get as well. Right now all I can see is that my target has a debuff, no duration or anything.

So far I've gotten a warlock to 11 and a warrior to 15, both on the horde side. But thinking about all the awesome alliance questing areas like Elwynn Forest, Westfall and Duskwood that I haven't even checked out yet makes me all giddy. I want to take it endlessly slow, I almost wish I could level slower than I already am. Each area I am leaving behind I almost immediately want to return to to run around in some more. I can't describe how happy I am that WoW Classic is a thing but yeah, it's really great.


  1. For Bags, you get a choice between Bagnon (doesn't do much to organize), TBag (not scalable), or AdiBags, which is my favorite on either game.

    Titan Panel has a lot of built-in features that display stuff on a bar at the top of the screen.

    I haven't chosen a buff display tool yet, though the built-in functionality seems to work okay. If I need more, I have Weak Auras installed, so I'll make my own :)

    I pretty much feel the way you do. I know people are complaining about the inconvenience of this version of the game, but it really doesn't feel that way to me. It's a less frantic pace, and that suits me just fine.

    1. I recall using an addon called DoTimers for debuffs and AutoBar for an action bar that updates itself. Don't know if any of them work though, probably not. Thanks a lot for the suggestions, I'll check them out when the default UI has worn too much on patience ^^

  2. The game is hard and maddening at times, but I'm perfectly happy with that. I'm not under the "go go go" mentality, and there is so much to (re)discover out there.

    1. Exactly what I've been feeling. I am absolutely ok with things taking their time overall and some things have actually taken a lot less time and effort than I remember (mainly gathering people for and doing dungeons).