One of my idle daydream scenarios is to imagine what I would do if I was thrown back in time with current knowledge to play MMOs of years past. If it was November 2004, what would I do in World of Warcraft? Other than not being able to log on for weeks at a time, of course. Would I be able to tolerate that era? Would there be sufficiently unmined content that I could keep myself occupied and amused in a pre-expansion game?
Well, now that hypothetical is not so much one any more. While we’re not going to get sent back in time and experience the WoW phenomenon and culture as it developed, World of Warcraft Classic is set to deliver the MMO as it was. And while we don’t know the specifics of what it will entail, our knowledge of the past means that we can take educated guesses about what will be present — and start to plan what we might do when it launches.
I can’t see just up and leaving the current version of WoW to solely exist in Classic, but I am really excited to jump into it at least casually (as casually as one can in Vanilla, that is). I’m sure there will be all manner of hype and positive peer pressure around playing it, if Old School RuneScape and the EverQuest progression servers are any indication.
I’ve been on-and-off considering what I might do when Classic comes out (my guess, December 2018). I do hope that there will be some sort of guild pulled together from among bloggers and commenters, so I’ll wait and see if that happens. But what do I want to play?
It would need to be a class and race that I’m not currently pushing hard, one that offered some fun in Vanilla and was self-sustaining. I think with those qualifications, I’ll be looking at a Tauren Shaman. They’d be something the Alliance wouldn’t have (at least not at first), and I do miss totems. Troll Shaman is another possibility, although I do have very fond memories of Mulgore as a starting zone and probably preferring the big cows as a character model over the hunchy trolls.
I would assume that the first week or so would be a wonderland of rediscovery and group excitement, but the big question will be in sustained interest over the long haul. I imagine that the “challenge” with an older version would be a selling point, although it could also be pretty frustrating too. I don’t have the fondest memories of late-game Vanilla back in 2005 and 2006. A slow journey to the top and then… not much. Rep grinds? Boring dungeons? We were pretty much waiting with bated breath on upcoming patches and the expansion.
I remember always having to use a very specific leveling guide that chained together the sparse quests across the world to help players get to 60 without too much grind. I also remember how much I felt that Burning Crusade was a blissful leveling experience in comparison, how excited I’d always get when my characters would reach level 58 and finally be able to ditch the desolate questing lands of Azeroth for the breezy Outlands. Funny how time changes that and how Outlands are now despised and avoided by so many players for being slow, ugly, and poorly designed.
Are you formulating any WoW Classic plans? What do you intend to play and do when the server launches?