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Additional Info on Vanilla Servers

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After the huge announcement that lead the WoW part of the opening ceremony yesterday, Eurogamer sat down with WoW executive producer J. Allen Brack and asked him some followup questions about what exactly the plans for Vanilla are. While the main message is that it's all in very early stages, there are some interesting details that came out of the interview. Here are some highlights:

Quote

And I suppose you're not ready to talk, in any detail, about how it'll work?

J. Allen Brack: Some of the reason for why we're not ready to talk about that is... we actually don't know yet. The important announcement today was: we're doing this. We've heard the community, we've heard our own internal teams, we've heard all the comments over the years. When it comes to the details, we don't know all of the answers just yet.

There's also the fact that now we've announced this, we might want to partner with the community on some of those answers. WOW changed a lot in the first two years, before The Burning Crusade came along, and so, how exactly should it work? Those are questions we need to talk about, for sure.

 

Anything jump out at you that you'd forgotten about old school World of Warcraft?

J. Allen Brack: Yeah, I'd forgotten that whenever you buffed one of your party members with Intellect, you had to actually sit down and drink after that. Then you stood up, buffed another party member with Intellect and then you had to drink again. It's a much slower pace. There's a lot of prep time.

It's an interesting part of human memories, right? I think we like to remember the good parts, but the bad parts sometimes go away over time.

 

Do you think there'll be a line to walk for the team, then? Somewhere between creating that authentic experience that people have asked for, while also figuring out what doesn't make sense anymore? For example, with the Intellect buff, is it important to you that players do need to drink after casting it?

J. Allen Brack: Yes. That's part of the level 60 experience. Our goal is to recreate that classic 1-60 gameplay. Some things changed as time went on, with different patches. How does that get manifested? That's one of the outstanding questions. But yeah, the goal is to recreate that exact experience, for better or for worse.

 

Are these going to be separate development teams? One working on Battle for Azeroth and one working on WOW Classic?

J. Allen Brack: Yeah, so it was really important for us to be able to answer the community honestly. How many raids is this going to cost them in Battle for Azeroth? The answer is zero. We're going to hire people specifically for this effort. We already are.

 

How are players going to pay for WOW Classic?

J. Allen Brack: No idea.

Definitely check out the full interview for some more details, like the involvement from the Nostalrius team and why they decided to do this now after all this time and all the "You think you do, but you don't" stuff.

 

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I'm glad they take a hardcore, "no quality of life improvements" stance on this. The goal is obviously not to make as good a game as possible and reinvent what vanilla would look like in 2017, but to give people the experience of playing the game like it was in '05-'07. 5min blessings on the entire 40-man raid? Deal with it. 

What I hope is that they'll use 1.12 as a basis and just stagger the release of raids and content similiar to how it was over the course of the first two years. Then, for longevities sake, have events like the Opening of AQ or the Naxx scourge invasion be reaccuring events similiar to holiday seasons.

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I always wonder when games do nostalgia releases if we aren't all remembering things a bit too rosily.

I think this is a really, really cool idea and obviously people want this.  I wonder if they'll like it as much when they're playing vanilla full-time and paying for it.  I feel like there's a sweet spot before easy-mode, but considerably after 11/23/2004.

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7 minutes ago, DasBigHippo said:

I don't get the appeal. Vanilla wasn't that great.

It's mostly about the nostalgia rather than the actual game I'd reckon.

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It's like looking back and saying I wish I could be a kid again, then you remember your parents controlled your candy intake and you had to be in bed while the sun was still up.

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I'm not going to pay for an old version of wow which I was playing when I was kid

I can easily download 2Gig and play it free on some free private servers

but it's great idea to have it again I hope they remove some annoying things like that old quest system or mount system or buying arrows  or many other things.. and add some graphics to it to make it at least like cata 4.3.4 ... and also some useful things like trans and void storge and etc

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18 minutes ago, DasBigHippo said:

I don't get the appeal. Vanilla wasn't that great.

Yes it was that great if you played it from the start as current content. The appeal for me is I like the leveling experience and miss the quests they gutted from the game when Cataclysm was dropped on us.

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2 minutes ago, MZLICH said:

I'm not going to pay for an old version of wow which I was playing when I was kid

I can easily download 2Gig and play it free on some free private servers

but it's great idea to have it again I hope they remove some annoying things like that old quest system or mount system or buying arrows  or many other things.. and add some graphics to it to make it at least like cata 4.3.4 ... and also some useful things like trans and void storge and etc

They aren't removing anything or adding anything. It will be the classic version as it was thirteen years ago.

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8 hours ago, Calysia said:

They aren't removing anything or adding anything. It will be the classic version as it was thirteen years ago.

So they don't need to make it again.. there are hundreds of vanilla private servers

It would be cool if they release a remastered version like what they did about SC 1

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Hundreds of "illegal" private servers that crap out leaving you to start from scratch, are buggy or are forced to shut down. A Blizzard backed classic server will have none of those issues.

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i would love to know -> lets just assume i will be able to obtain the tier 3 set from old naxx on one of those classic realms
will i be able to mog it on my lv120 chars ?
will i be able to get that sweet AQ drone from the gate opening ? and will i be able to ride it on my lv120 chars ?

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1 hour ago, MZLICH said:

I'm not going to pay for an old version of wow which I was playing when I was kid

I can easily download 2Gig and play it free on some free private servers

but it's great idea to have it again I hope they remove some annoying things like that old quest system or mount system or buying arrows  or many other things.. and add some graphics to it to make it at least like cata 4.3.4 ... and also some useful things like trans and void storge and etc

Lol, the sarcasm in this comment was brilliant. Well, let the nostalgic guys play the game exactly like it was 13 years ago. Personally, I won't touch it again with a stick. Already played vanilla, already got tired of it. Pass. I just hope they will pay subscription just like us, otherwise I will simply drop World of Warcraft, cry for 13 years and play for free.

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45 minutes ago, Nxc said:

i would love to know -> lets just assume i will be able to obtain the tier 3 set from old naxx on one of those classic realms
will i be able to mog it on my lv120 chars ?
will i be able to get that sweet AQ drone from the gate opening ? and will i be able to ride it on my lv120 chars ?

Achievements were added in wrath,  Transmog was added in Cata and Account Wide mounts were added in Pandaria so none of the things you mention should be possible if it's classic 

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The game really doesn't need to be or remain 1:1 to what it was back in Vanilla. There is lots of room and a lots of opportunities for new content to be added which suits the Classic WoW feel, without having to majorly change gameplay mechanics like they have done with each expansion release.

This is something they should have been doing a long time ago, but for some reason they felt the need for expansion releases to completely change classes every time, undoing all the balancing work they had been doing and making them start all over. There is no reason why every class and spec shouldn't be viable in their own way (no, Vanilla WoW nostalgia is not a good reason), they should fine-tune classes so that every dps is viable, every healer, every tank... while keeping the original WoW feel they had to them.

What about new content? There were plans for a Dragon raid back before the game came out, which was cut entirely. That could be made and added to Classic servers. What about Hyjal? The zone was fully mapped out, but inaccessible. I'm sure they could do something with it for Classic servers. Silithus? Why not finally finish the zone?

Nothing really prevents the addition of new landmasses exclusive to Classic, either. As long as none of the original Classic content is altered in any way (aside from adding new entryways to place like Hyjal), and that they know how to make the content suit the feel of Vanilla WoW, I don't see how that can be a bad thing.

How many guilds even made it to Naxxramas back in Vanilla? I don't think adding even higher level raids would be a good idea, but there could be more lower- and entry-level raids added like Molten Core and BWL were. Gives the game more content, more choice for the players (if your guild can't quite clear BWL then you have other raiding options aside from Molten Core, etc.)

If all of this worked just fine for Old School RuneScape, there is no reason why it couldn't work for Classic either.

47 minutes ago, Nxc said:

i would love to know -> lets just assume i will be able to obtain the tier 3 set from old naxx on one of those classic realms
will i be able to mog it on my lv120 chars ?
will i be able to get that sweet AQ drone from the gate opening ? and will i be able to ride it on my lv120 chars ?

They should have incentives like that to play Classic servers by having that kind of cosmetics unlocked for your main account when obtained on Classic.

Sure, MMOs change, but removed content is dumb no matter which way you spin it. Classic servers is an excellent way to make all those pre-Cata quests and zones available, and with it, the quest reward appearances that are no longer obtainable. Along with old mounts and appearances from legacy raids that have since been revamped, etc.

But of course, people who got them back in the day, or who paid millions on the BMAH for this stuff, will complain, because they want to be special.

Give people feats of strength if you owned all of this stuff pre-Classic servers, and those who unlock the items through obtaining them on Classic don't get a feat of strength. Then people still have something to show off how special they are.

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I like your ideas but am pretty sure we won't be seeing them on re-release. Perhaps...hopefully...it's something planned for later.

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2 hours ago, positiv2 said:

It's mostly about the nostalgia rather than the actual game I'd reckon.

I didn`t played vanilla at all because of young age and lack of internet that days, i only played a bit on bc private servers and then a lot of WotLK private. But i found vanilla on ellysium pretty damn cool to play after a legion - it`s totally other game, not about end-game content but about leveling. Leveling is actually hard and interesting, character`s mechanics are very simple but have unique flavor (damn , that rhythm of rogue`s energy regen is fun), professions have use and it overall feels more like an adventure because there are no epicness of current legion that is pretty close to warhammer at this point.

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1 hour ago, Ammako said:

Give people feats of strength if you owned all of this stuff pre-Classic servers, and those who unlock the items through obtaining them on Classic don't get a feat of strength. Then people still have something to show off how special they are.

"ahead of the curve: plaqued protodrake"
just for an example
everyone who has something that will get obtainable AGAIN through the new classic realms will get an achievement
everyone who claims their loot through the new classic realm WONT get this archievement
just like raiding in heroic .. you know what i mean

0

 

1 hour ago, strongy said:

Achievements were added in wrath,  Transmog was added in Cata and Account Wide mounts were added in Pandaria so none of the things you mention should be possible if it's classic 

yes, but now they have this technology

now they are able to add this to the game - why not ?
you obtain the plaqued proto drake and it will also be added to your main account
you wont even notice it inside the classic realm

there will be 0 difference to your classic experience when they do this

so, why not ?

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I think it's great that they're listening to the pleas from the Vanilla community, but my concern is the community.

The community is arguably one of the reasons why Vanilla was great. But in 2017, the Vanilla community is a very hateful, anti-retail community. I don't see it being very inviting for new players.

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9 hours ago, Ammako said:

If all of this worked just fine for Old School RuneScape, there is no reason why it couldn't work for Classic either.

It works thanks to Power to the Players system, which is, as far as I know, not present in World of Warcraft. If it is implemented, it could surely work, even though WoW Classic would have to have a different update model than the "regular" WoW. Then again, the part of the WoW community that requested vanilla WoW doesn't seem to be as zealous as the people who wanted OSRS.

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I get the nostalgia of Classic, to a degree. I started playing in April 2005 and I still remember starting playing on the character that is still my main. As I still recall, I died twice to the same Swoop outside the starting area in Mulgore (after all, it was two levels higher then me, and had a annoying stun). I also recall the horrible corpseruns to MC/BWL (bonus if you where so annoyed over your raid's farm content wiped that you dropped down the gorge, thus making the run take twice as long time). Not to mention the neverending farming of Dreamfoil for the resistance potions we chugged like addicts. And if you had more wipes then usual, you had to spend an hour or so after the raid murdering elite Scarlet mobs in the Plaguelands or you would not have gold for repair for the next raid.

I have fond memories of Classic with my friends but it was despite the game back then. The persons who are asking for improvements are only remembering the good things from back then. The game treated us like shit back then, and we still loved it, all the millions of us who played WoW. So why should things be different if we go back?

Edited by Drachar
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14 hours ago, Savistik said:

I always wonder when games do nostalgia releases if we aren't all remembering things a bit too rosily.

I think this is a really, really cool idea and obviously people want this.  I wonder if they'll like it as much when they're playing vanilla full-time and paying for it.  I feel like there's a sweet spot before easy-mode, but considerably after 11/23/2004.

I played the first three Warcraft RTS games back in the 90's, early 2000's. Were definitely up there as some of my favorite PC games of all time. When I saw WoW Vanilla content on websites, I never developed an interest in playing the game. Curiosity got the better of me when Wrath finally came out, basically because I love the lore. I went back and played TBC on a legacy server a couple years ago and the sheer amount of time you spend running from place to place just bores me to no end. I can't image what it would be like in Vanilla.

I may be spoiled by how the game is now, but flying is a must for me, even if I have to unlock it with a pathfinder achievement. There's no way I'd bother leveling alts if I played Classic WoW. I wouldn't have the patience. Not to mention you are stuck with the original choice for races/classes and class specs.

I may roll a toon when Blizz launches the Classic servers just to do PvP, since it's something I have yet to really get into.

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8 hours ago, Drachar said:

And if you had more wipes then usual, you had to spend an hour or so after the raid murdering elite Scarlet mobs in the Plaguelands or you would not have gold for repair for the next raid.

Tyr's Hand #neverforget

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We all know price point will make or break this as a long term reality. I think they will just lump it in with anyone on an active WoW sub... but is that the only option? I really miss vanilla, and would absolutely come back to WoW if that could be stand alone. Like if it was a $5 sub to just have wow classic. I imagine it's already going to be a stand alone client, so they could make that work.

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