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WoW Classic: First Impressions

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If you don't like slow leveling without a quest tracker and can't imagine playing the game with all the conveniences of modern-day WoW, Classic is likely not for you. If you, on the other hand, enjoy the true sense of community and immersion, you're going to love the game when it comes out on August 27.

World of Warcraft is going back to its roots with Classic coming out in summer and only an active subscription will be required to play the game. We were invited to the Closed Beta and have a couple of first impressions to share with you.

The Main Principle

Blizzard's goal with Classic is to recreate an authentic Vanilla experience, so it's time to forget about all the conveniences that exist in the current version of the game. In Classic, there will be no Heirlooms, map tracking, flying mounts, quick leveling, or Dungeon Finder and you will get your first 60% ground mount at level 40. Quest objectives have a low drop chance and oftentimes you'll have to kill 18 mobs for a single quest...

The Sense of Community

With the introduction of Dungeon Finder and other conveniences, the current game feels a lot less social to me. You don't like a member in your party? Kick them out and that's it. In Classic, you will think twice before kicking someone out of your group, because you're looking at 30 minutes spent in town, looking for a new member.

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It's all about the little things in Classic! If you're a Priest and buff nearby players with Power Word: Fortitude Power Word: Fortitude, expect a wholehearted thank you. A Mage may trade you conjured water to help you regain Mana in between pulls and buff you with Arcane Intellect Arcane Intellect, which brings me onto the subject of combat.

I'm Out of Mana!

You're going to find yourself out of Mana more often than not, which is why you should always carry water with you. You can increase your Mana regeneration by sitting down out of combat. I believe Mana regeneration is increased for low level characters, but you're going to have a bad time if you intend to pull more than one mob. As a Priest, you cast Shadow Word: Pain Shadow Word: Pain, 3 Smite Smite, shield yourself with Power Word: Shield Power Word: Shield, and your Mana is GONE. Expect frequent breaks in between pulls.

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True Immersion

There's no map tracking in Classic, you actually need to read the quests or look them up to find the objective. Instead of a mark on your map, you must read the quest log and figure out the objective yourself. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

The Mills Overrun

To get to the Mills, follow the road west. After crossing the bridge, take the next fork north then keep going north. When you see windmills, the battle will begin.

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You must pay close attention to your surroundings and visualize your current location and where you're supposed to go, or look the quest up. If you want to track a quest, you must do it manually from within the Quest Log.

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Questing: Now and Then

Questing is tedious in Classic, but that's not generally a bad thing. Nowadays, if you accept a quest, you don't even read the quest log, quickly kill multiple packs of mobs to proceed and that's it, all due to an increasing numbers of levels and expansions. WoW is in dire need of a level squish to give levels meaning again.

Final Words

Playing Classic for a few hours made me realize how oversimplified current WoW is and how I liked the old pacing, as opposed to the artificial content gating we had in Tides of Vengeance. The game might not catter to everyone, but that's not a problem. At the end of the day, there's retail and Classic is just a sweet added bonus.

Let us know what Classic content you'd like to see in the comments!

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Will be fun to have less different spells, but use spells on different lvls. As i remember, fights were much more challenging than they are today, and that was fun. It was not that fast paced, not just maximizing dps - it was more ressourcemanagament. And it really looks like blizzard can create this old feeling 🙂

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Very good choice, taking an Undead!

I started playing in TBC, but I will never forget how I felt as a 17-year old playing a game like WoW for the first time and leveling through the Undead starting zone... That horrifying feeling, the macabre scenery, the Undead NPCs telling you "Dark Lady watch over you" or just a rude "WHAT?". The Skeletal Horses looked so good and even in TBC they still cost a fortune.

The map in the picture doesn't show that part but I remember walking that uphill road towards the Agamand Mills, with all the zombies on the way and the scene of total devastation and abandonment when you reached the village. I nearly *filtered* my pants out of fear, lol!

Almost 11 years later, I don't think I can experience these feelings by playing Classic. In the risk of sounding like an old geezer, I've just had too much of WoW and of the world in general to be as impressionable as my teenager self. No hating on Classic of course or anyone playing it, but for me the old days will remain fond memories 🙂

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18 minutes ago, Zadina said:

Very good choice, taking an Undead!

I started playing in TBC, but I will never forget how I felt as a 17-year old playing a game like WoW for the first time and leveling through the Undead starting zone... That horrifying feeling, the macabre scenery, the Undead NPCs telling you "Dark Lady watch over you" or just a rude "WHAT?". The Skeletal Horses looked so good and even in TBC they still cost a fortune.

The map in the picture doesn't show that part but I remember walking that uphill road towards the Agamand Mills, with all the zombies on the way and the scene of total devastation and abandonment when you reached the village. I nearly *filtered* my pants out of fear, lol!

Almost 11 years later, I don't think I can experience these feelings by playing Classic. In the risk of sounding like an old geezer, I've just had too much of WoW and of the world in general to be as impressionable as my teenager self. No hating on Classic of course or anyone playing it, but for me the old days will remain fond memories 🙂

You know, based on what you said I think WoW Classic might actually be FOR you. Just like George Bernard Shaw said, "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." Be impressionable, be a kid, enjoy the wonder, don't overthink it. I'd be your huckleberry dying in Scarlet Monastery with you.

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1 hour ago, Allseye said:

Will be fun to have less different spells, but use spells on different lvls. As i remember, fights were much more challenging than they are today, and that was fun. It was not that fast paced, not just maximizing dps - it was more ressourcemanagament. And it really looks like blizzard can create this old feeling 🙂

Fights are more challenging now, they've got more mechanics, especially on mythic, which most people aren't doing (myself included, as I left raiding). Vanilla fights were easier, had simple mechanics, it's just getting to that point was slower and on logistical side, it was hard to get specific 40 people online, with right combination of classes, gear, consumables etc., which is what stopped many people from raiding. Most abilities and spells were situational and not used very often, rotations were simpler. For example, what did shaman use for healing a target? Greater healing wave and lesser one, that's all.

When I actually have gotten into raiding, it was TBC, which still had many weird leftovers from vanilla. Often it was a struggle to recruit people, more so than with bosses, because that needed holy paladin disappeared and we needrf exactly this class and spec. It was more often about "bring class, not a player", had even to decline some better players because we had enough of "x" class. It was one of good things, when compositions became more flexible.

Edited by Arcling

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6 hours ago, Stan said:

The Sense of Community

 

With the introduction of Dungeon Finder and other conveniences, the current game feels a lot less social to me. You don't like a member in your party? Kick them out and that's it. In Classic, you will think twice before kicking someone out of your group, because you're looking at 30 minutes spent in town, looking for a new member.

WoW has taught us that if players aren't forced to play together, to rely on and trust one another, they simply won't, but they'll blame Blizzard for exposing such anti-social behaviors, hoping nobody realizes they were always there, behind the scenes, the whole time.

Instead of working to resolve those underlying behavior problems such that, whether forced or not, they desired to and played nicely with others, they longed for when they were forced by external circumstances to do what they could and would not do on their own.

Folks will lambast the faction war stories as implausible or ridiculous, not realizing that the player base itself showed that, lacking such external forces, they themselves would fragment and conflict with mutually exclusive priorities, even immediately after having worked together so nicely. It's almost like the outrage about Sylvanas is merely projection of what people don't want to admit is true about themselves, that somehow taking it out on a fictional character in a game will make them feel any better.

And yet without Sylvanas, they'd feel nothing at all, because there'd be no monsters to slay, just peace and koom-bye-ah. And where's the fun, or challenge, in that?

Either way, Blizzard is likely to run out of plausible threats to the mortal races faster than they'll get people to admit that maybe they share in the blame for why the community fell apart. WoW Classic will be a wonderful continuation of the unintentional social experiment.

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Hm, do the old good wall jumping be available once again? I miss those times when I've been able to jump the mountains in Ironforge. Exploration spirit almost died in WoW with the introduction of flying mounts.

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