Despite much progress in content and quality of life in World of Warcraft, a lot of adventurers still long for the good ol’ days when it was much simpler. While some would think it’s strange to want to return to a smaller, less user-friendly Azeroth, it’s undeniable that vanilla WoW has a nostalgic appeal to it. After all, Blizzard wouldn’t have released a World of Warcraft Classic if it didn’t. And for a lot of players that are coming back to the past, they are finding a world of difference.
The Old and Harder Path
To say that World of Warcraft has changed a lot in ten years would be the understatement of the decade. The many improvements the game underwent has made it a lot bigger, smoother, and more aesthetically pleasing, so to roll them back has made the game a pain. People, of course, are complaining about the revisited roughness of Azeroth’s first few days. But only jokingly, because these people knew what they signed up for, and they’re every single moment of this slightly torturous throwback.
Rollback to a Simpler Time
The thing about World of Warcraft is that the non-expansion-related changes it went through were subtle and numerous. So to chip them off in one fell swoop would undoubtedly be glaringly noticeable. The models are once again much rougher than they currently are, looking like they’re slightly better and close-up Warcraft III ones and a lot less stylized. As for quests, you have to once again scroll the entire dialog box of a quest-giving NPC to the bottom before you can accept it. That means you have to read it, or at least pretended to do so.
Another missing feature is the quest tracker. Just like before, there’s no more quest tracker. That means you’ll have to actually read the quest log if you want to find the important NPC or location you’re looking for. And if you need to collect a particular kind of loot or kill a specific number of a monster, there won’t be a circle on your minimap showing you the general area where you’ll find your query. You’re basically on your own with no in-game system to help you. As if that’s not bad enough, experience and drop rates are back to their vanilla levels. That means lower values for both, which in turn means a much longer grind for levels and items, as well as completion time for quests that require loots.
Off the Rails
WoW Classic is a homecoming to a more inconvenient gameplay experience. It offers players more tedious grinding, hunting, and farming. Old-school players and players with different sensibilities, however, would beg to disagree. Sure, it’ll take more time to do almost everything, but it would bring back the sense of accomplishment and adventure a lot of players felt in WoW’s formative years.
Finding a particular NPC or spawn spot of a necessary target may be tougher now, but a lot of players feel like they’re once again going on an actual quest instead of being on a path like that in a theme park. And when it comes to leveling up, farming for WoW Gold, and getting the materials you want or need, the longer but still reasonable time players spend in these endeavors make old-school adventurers feel that reaching the level cap and getting competent gear arehard and well-earned achievements that are worth savoring.
World of Warcraft Classic isn’t just nostalgia fuel, but a way for players to return to how the game used to be. Regardless of whether you think it’s a trip back to a simpler time that has its own charms or a crude era that’s better off forgotten, you can’t deny that this branching off is an important look back to the history of one of the greatest MMORPGs in, well, history.
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