World of Warcraft: Classic - a love letter to the past
It has been over 14 years since Blizzard released World of Warcraft. The game was a phenomenal success and became one of the most iconic titles of all time. World of Warcraft is even included in the video game Hall of Fame and there are plenty of reasons why. Even today the game is huge and has millions of players logging in to play it every month.
Throughout its history World of Warcraft has seen 7 major game expansions – The Burning Crusade (2007), Wrath of the Lich King (2008), Cataclysm (2010), Mists of Pandaria (2012), Warlords of Draenor (2014), Legion (2016) and Battle for Azeroth (2018) – each bringing something new to the world of Azeroth. However, not every new game feature or story twist was hailed by fans. Some were hated by a portion of WoW players and that’s how the ever going argument began – which World of Warcraft version was the best? The majority, including me, will tell you that this version would be the version which made WoW what it is today, a cultural phenomenon. The original World of Warcraft.
How WoW Classic came to be
For a long time, Blizzard denied the need of legacy server option. Before the announcement of WoW: Classic, Blizzard closed down one of the most popular vanilla WoW servers at the time – Nostalrius. The classic community of 240 000+ players united and started creating online petitions and flooded official game forums while Blizzard had to rethink their approach. So, during Blizzcon 2017, the company announced their plans to launch the World of Warcraft: Classic, which is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2019.
What was so great about the classic?
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the remake. According to Blizzard, the development team are working hard to bring the most authentic classic game experience possible. And that’s great news for a lot of fans.
Back in the day, gameplay was much more frustrating and difficult. Two or three enemies pulled at once could become the end of you in contrast to a modern game where you can beat ten monsters without breaking a sweat. Questing was also more engaging. You had to read vague descriptions and go explore instead of running straight to the area marked on your map.
I personally miss the days when the world of Azeroth felt enormous. There were no flying mounts which made journeys across continents feel more real – they took crazy amounts of time, were full of adventures and random encounters with strangers. Of course one might argue that if anything, the modern World of Warcraft world is way bigger and the new continents are realised way better, but the sense of living, breathing world diminished over time. Old zones are now empty and lifeless.
The sense of community also evaporated with new instancing systems and server merging. Nowadays, to form a group you just need to press a button. You are paired with various random strangers from all over the world for a dungeon or a world quest. You don’t need to establish your server reputation or talk with anyone for that matter. In the early days, your reputation was everything. Everybody knew the names of best players, profession masters and so on.
In short, classic World of Warcraft wasn’t about the sweet loots, instant gratification or mind blowing story twists. It was about the journey. It was about being a part of the world and that’s what I loved about it.