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Starym

Burning Crusade and Wrath Servers Are a Possibility

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Blizzard  CEO J. Allen Brack talked to Forbes' Heather Newman today on a great many topics Blizzard related, from Diablo Immortal, to consoles and everything in between. But the most interesting thing to come out of the interview is this exchange focused on the release of Classic, how successful it might be and what its success could lead to:

Quote

Newman: A side question related to WoW: Classic. You've now essentially made Warcraft an engine. You've fed the assets and NPCs and textures and everything else from Classic in an altered state, a compatible state, into the current engine. That appears to open the door to Warcraft as an engine for other types of IP, turning those properties into MMOs. Is this a direction that you could see the company going in?

Brack: Awesome question. Awesomely huge question. For what's called the WoW technology stack: It is excellent, and has been custom designed to do great for what we imagine as World of Warcraft today. And so the idea is that we would take that and then morph it into some kind of technology stack that was for the next Overwatch thing, or the next StarCraft thing.

Newman: A StarCraft MMO?

Brack: Seems like that would be a difficult challenge. What I'm more excited about, with what we do have, what we are able to do, is thinking about different versions of WoW that we now can support. Right, we've kind of got this modern WoW, and we've got this other version of WoW called WoW: Classic. What does that enable us to do, going forward?

Newman: Do you have a feel for how big you expect WoW: Classic to be? As a sustainable experiment, do you expect this project to be on the level of other IP variations within the company, or is this a one-off love letter to those fans that were assiduously trying to preserve history?

Brack: It's a great question, and I honestly have no way to answer it. Because there is not a realistic or reasonable way that anyone has done, that I have found, to sort of size, what is this thing? How many people are actually going to play it? I think there's going to be a lot of interest on day one. And then what is that level of sustained,  30-days-after interest?

The answer is, I don't know. If it is wildly successful, and there are huge numbers of people who are in it and are interested, and it becomes this call for the next thing, then I think that could be something that we talk about then. We certainly now have the ability to do it in a way that we never did before. It's something that now has become possible. Whether or not we will do it, I think will really depend on the fans' interest and the fans' reaction.

Newman: So there's the opportunity for, if folks wanted it, the vanilla server, the Burning Crusade server, the Wrath server?

Brack: Yes. I don't want to trivialize the amount of work that's required to do that, or the amount of time. It's not something we can just dial up and dial down at any moment. But assuming a wildly successful Classic, we'll see what the future brings.

The full interview is very in-depth and covers basically everything Blizzard-related, talking about Mike Morhaime's legacy and current role (or lack thereof); the company's developer-lead culture and whether it has changed; the already mentioned Diablo Immortal issues, including the specifics of the relationship between Blizzard and NetEase; new and cancelled IPs; the lack of a presence at gamescom; and the additional levels of BlizzCon tickets.

In short, it's one of those interviews you really ought to read if you're interested in Blizzard at all, and especially in the new man in charge.

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I don't know... I mean, the main point against classic servers at least from my point of view: It will spread out the player base, which is dropping fast already, across more servers. I doubt most of the people have the will, let alone free time, to maintain classic and live chars - I certainly don't. So if classic does not bring back a ton of people who quit, won't that just further the problem of a diminishing player base?

Brack said they could add BC and WotLK servers if classic was wildly successful, which I'd assume would be measured in people actually playing classic, which I fear would mean less players playing live. When there's even more servers, wouldn't that just mean even less people playing live? Granted it would maybe the same type of players playing classic, BC or WotLK servers for nostalgias sake.

I would rather see more current quality content than more dedicated past stuff... The anniversary event they announced for instance looks pretty fun.

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I agree that it would spread playerbase too thin, if they were further divided between servers with different expansions. Nobody knows right now how well classic is going to do. Some of those interested in playing classic might still stick to private servers, be it not wanting to pay for sub or viewing it as lacking "pure" classic experience (since they've made some bug fixes, nerfed wall jumping, added loot trading for gear from raids etc.).

Besides, content from these expansions is still available in retail, unlike pre-Cata EK, Kalimdor and quests.

Edited by Arcling

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But this Warcraft engine is so old and outdated now same as combat system. When I tried combat in Neverwinter online for example it felt soo much better and smoother so I'd prefer they go forward (not mobile direction ofc). I really doubt that wow classic will be a success. 

Edited by Kaelos

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3 hours ago, Evincare said:
 
 
 
3 hours ago, Evincare said:
 
 
 
3 hours ago, Evincare said:

I don't know... I mean, the main point against classic servers at least from my point of view: It will spread out the player base, which is dropping fast already, across more servers.

 

I think the big takeaway from what you said is that the player base is dropping fast. Maybe it's dropping fast because the game has become awful and people actually want the original game back without all the excess. Shocking, I know, but "better" is subjective. Peak WoW was far better than WoW today, no matter how many upgrades or changes they throw at it, because everything up to BC was simply better. That's just financials talking, not even personal preference. Full transparency, I agree with the financials.

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1 hour ago, greatCraft said:

They're going to release a new engine for contemporary WoW. Something equivalent or more powerful than the Unreal engine. 

 

 

Called it.

New graphics?

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I don't think people are leaving WoW because "classic was better".    Classic was inarguably worse in most respects.    1 hour hearthstones, ridiculous (for inflation) respec costs, purchasing ammo, the eternally depressed warlocks collecting shards to raid with, many classes with only one viable spec (shaman, mage, druid as just a few examples), incredible grinds for levelling some specs, and so on and so on.   It was unpolished.    Nostalgia blinds us to that but play a few days and you'll miss all the improvements.

The reason people are leaving wow is very multifaceted:

1) It's simply an aging game.    That it's lasted this long is a tribute to how strong it was.     Extremely few new players, and a dwindling player base who are getting married, having kids, new jobs, etc.

2) The current content is prettttty bad.    The azerite system in particular was just a bad idea, one iirc that they had scrapped in a previous expansion alpha/beta because it was obvious that it was a bad idea.   The plot is also the weakest it's been since Thrall and all the dragon aspects got stunlocked at the world tree by a random druid of the flame.    Lots of nonsensical stories, plots, and character motivations.    Plotholes you could ride a Gronn through, and a copy+paste of the Garrosh storyline.    The PVP situation is a mess, world pvp and sharding can never seem to get it right, the organized pvp  (BGs/Arenas) has been a complete afterthought.

3) Raiding is a downgrade from legion raiding.    Class stacking not only stayed, but it's gotten worse.   FOR SOME REASON someone thought it'd be a great idea to bring back battleshout, fortitude, and intellect...because those 3 classes were apparently underrepresented? 😛      Yes you can make crappier inscription versions, but A) Crappier B) inscription atm is a pain.    And there's no inscription option for the monk/dh debuffs, hope your raid has all 5 classes, screw the others though unless they're ranged casters!  

Personal note: I am so effing done with troll raids.   No more, please?     Random primitive mud-hut style weapons, transmogs and architecture seems pretty silly when we just got done raiding a space-age spacegoat planet in space!

 

 

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15 hours ago, greatCraft said:

They're going to release a new engine for contemporary WoW. Something equivalent or more powerful than the Unreal engine. 

 

 

Called it.

Absolutely out of the question. They barely have the budget (budget, not income) to provide 4 raid tiers per expansion. Updating spells, animations and models took them a decade and a half. Replacing the entire game with an entirely new engine (We're not talking about the natural evolution of the current engine here, because that's been overhauled a couple of times now.) is something that will not ever happen.

 

At best, there'll be a "WoW 2" that will import your current progression (characters, achievements, collections etc.) from "WoW 1". There's no chance in hell that they can tie in all the existing scripts and triggers to work perfectly in an entirely new engine unless the budget would be increased tenfold.

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