•   Friday, April 19, 2024
WoW Classic

WoW: The new Classic fatigue - it's all half as bad after all

By now, every WoW player should have come to terms with the fact that a monster from the primordial days of online role-playing games has entered the room. Like a grouchy mammoth peeling itself out of the permafrost with a snort, Classic WoW is stomping all over the community, leaving rubble and shards in its wake. "What? "The perfect WoW If Blizzard were to merge the journey of Classic-WoW and the goal of Retail-WoW, we'd have the best MMORPG ever - however, it's virtually impossible to achieve that without WoW collapsing under its own weight, scream the clown-like rag-clad Classic players, "why would anyone be upset about the better WoW version?" A retail player steps out of the darkness into the spotlight and shakes his head sadly. "It's not the game that's the problem..." the player, clad in a colorful flashing T26 transmogset, speaks in a low and bitter voice, "... it's the players." A low rumble can be heard in the background as the Blizzard forums explode. Post shards are carried through social media from the detonation, shredding innocent guilds. Casual players are hunted down in the streets and forced to choose a WoW version. Fires light up the horizon as the two camps begin to employ a scorched earth policy in the comment columns. Above it all, the Classic Monster towers and smiles. Careful observers note, however, that the smile is not one of satisfaction, but of confusion. The young Classic scratches its head and turns to face its father, Retail. "Do you know what's going on all of a sudden? I thought everything would get better with my birth?" Retail strokes his long beard and nods sagely. "I see you inherited my optimism, but not my realism." As Retail smiles mischievously, Classic points to the battlefield below and raises an eyebrow. "Don't worry," Retail says, "they'll get over it. You're not even a year old yet, give them time." Meanwhile, far down on Azeroth, small groups of Classic players toast their shared hobby with their Retail friends. There's laughter and playing together. Classic sighs, "Somebody understand players."

Table of Contents1. WoW's elite opponent waits in the forum2. Is WoW an action RPG or MMMORPG?3. Nothing new under the sun4. Old is better, new is superior5. Enthusiastic players are welcome!

If you've been playing WoW for a while, you've heard it all before: Classic is here, Retail is dead! Classic is dead, Retail is good again! Classic AND Retail are dead! Anarchy in the forums! War in the comment column! Blizzard on the brink of implosion! It's clear that none of this is entirely true, but what has been evident lately is a certain weariness and eye-rolling that has taken hold where Classic enthusiasm previously flourished. Words like "retail bob" and "Classic hipster" are being used to belittle each unloved WoW version, and the tone is intensifying. Colorful words are coined. Butt cheeks are strained so hard you could press diamonds with them, and fans stand on the side of the battlefield not quite understanding why their peers are shouting so loudly. But actually (as always) everything is not that bad. Risking life, limb and our own comment column, we head to the front lines to examine how the two camps' criticisms actually stack up and what of it really applies. Spoilers: not much. Aside from pointing out absolutely justifiable weak points, it's mainly prejudices that we'd like to shed light on here and debunk a bit in a friendly way. Of course, it won't be easy to smooth the waters overnight, but it already helps to take the whole thing with a sense of humour, and not take oneself quite so seriously.

WoW's elite opponent is waiting in the forum

One point we keep running into is a pronounced sense of elitism among Classic and Retail players alike. Oh, we don't mean that players of a particular WoW version think they're better, of course - we mean that both sides THINK the other side thinks they're better. The result is a bizarre repartee that amounts to both camps yelling at each other, even though the bottom line is that they're on the same side. To add a little color to the proceedings, various imaginative accusations are readily made, garnished with a generous dash of capslock. We're happy to lay out our favorite arguments and dissect them with you. You can still expect a lot of great content in Classic WoW. And if you still don't want to play anymore, that's no big deal. Source: buffed "Classic players are elitist hipsters who view the retail version and its players as inferior." Ah, the Classic classic par excellence: the notion that players who travel around ancient Azeroth are nonstop mouthing off about the cultureless troglodytes who hang out in Kul Tiras, straightening their monocles and laughing affectedly in the aftermath. First, a surprising confession: Those who exclusively play the "new old WoW" do indeed consider the standard version of the game to be inferior. There is no malice or elitism behind this, however, but simply personal taste. Of course Classic players think their version of the game is better, otherwise they wouldn't spend their time and energy on it! However, we can reassure you in the same breath: An overwhelming percentage of all Classic fans would never even dream of insulting a retail player just because they don't play the "right" WoW. Something called the "negativity effect" is raging in our heads right now: a single negative experience weighs just as heavily on our minds as a whole bunch of positive experiences. Say, if you receive an inappropriate comment from a single snobby Classic player, the rest of the players better warm up when dealing with you - though the poor folks are probably more confused when you call them elitist hipsters, even though they've had little contact with retail players since Classic WoW came out. The Battle for Azeroth expansion has taken a toll on player confidence with a number of changes and content. Source: Blizzard

"Retail players are aggressive fail bobs who can't play properly, don't have even a modicum of patience, and cling to a dying game." Also one of our favorites. First of all, a quick sentence that we've said a time or two over the last fifteen years: World of Warcraft is not dying. No, not even the retail version. No, there is no sign that World of Warcraft is no longer profitable - despite massive subscription declines. We freely admit that Blizzard needs to change something fundamental in the company's policies to return to its former greatness (see the currently disastrous itemization in WoW as well as Warcraft 3: Reforged), but a demise of modern Azeroth is not in sight at this point. Even though Classic WoW is enjoying tremendous popularity, that doesn't mean everything else is being shut down. On the contrary, the two versions are currently cross-pollinating with players - after all, both sides are always trying out what life is like on alternate Azeroth. When it comes to the issue of aggression, we're again using the Negativity Effect, which can easily be applied to this new situation. Why aggression rather than arrogance is seen here can possibly be explained by the basic gameplay loop of the two versions: While Retail WoW is a solo game with optional heavy raids and Mythic dungeons, Classic WoW is a dungeon and raid game with an optional single-player heavy mode. As a result, there is far more communication on the Classic servers than on the Retail servers - the perceived silence or "lack of emotion" in Retail is readily interpreted as grumpiness. Again, we're happy to give the all-clear, because as a rule, retail players are by no means angry loners. On the contrary, players jogging lonely through Azeroth often like the self-contained gameplay that doesn't require much communication. Yes, it's an MMORPG, but that doesn't mean there aren't different tastes, and some of us just prefer to be alone. Also, if there's no talking in dungeons, it doesn't mean you've stumbled into a bearded group of sociophobic trappers. As for the lack of patience and competence, the prejudices are so outlandish that we don't even begin to understand where it all comes from. Dungeons and raids in retail WoW are an estimated one hundred times more complex than their equivalents in Classic WoW! The patience required simply manifests itself differently, as while in Classic there are six hours of Molten Core, in Retail you're stuck with two hours of Eternal Palace, during which time you're attentively following boss mechanics and patiently waiting to do your part in the fight. There are undoubtedly dramatic negatives in both camps. But the silent majority (as is so often the case in life) consists of decent people who just want to play their favorite game in peace and are happy to see someone show interest in their hobby. A combination of the journey of Classic-WoW and the endgame and visual variety of Retail-WoW would be perhaps the perfect MMORPG. Source: buffed

Is WoW an Action RPG or MMMORPG?

It's no secret that WoW has changed massively over time. The criticism from many players, and especially the loud part of the Classic community is that retail WoW is slowly but surely ending its journey towards being an action RPG. What's our point here? Quite simply, Classic WoW has a fairly simplistic itemization. There are definite (and in some cases famous) best-in-slot items, and you can earn them very well if you invest time in the game. Individual quests are known to give the player good items, and represent an important milestone for one's character. The world itself feels cohesive and meaningful. In contrast, retail WoW is increasingly drifting in the direction of a "robot casino" chopped up into multiple instances and timelines, which just hands out random items that can hardly be earned in a reliable way - similar to Diablo 3. Important: This does not represent a simple "classic is better" argument, but criticism from retail players! Even though Ion Hazzikostas has repeatedly emphasized that the team absolutely wants easy-to-decipher items and a close link between item level and usefulness, the Warforged and Titan Forged rules have drastically exacerbated the whole problem. The dilemma reaches its temporary climax in the spoiled items, which range in usefulness from absolute grit to an indispensable part of one's character. The criticisms are summed up: You want to get back to literally conquering epic items instead of collecting numbers, and getting a feel for the world instead of teleporting from one loot cave to another.

Nothing new under the sun

"I played through Classic and now my life makes no sense. New content updates appear too fast! And they appear too slowly too!" Here we have what's called a good old "double bind" situation for developers. Blizzard needs to keep its players happy, because they're the ones who make their games what they are in the first place: profitable. To do that, the developers should ideally listen to their community, which they did with the release of Classic (after what feels like an eternity). But now what? On the one hand, if they burn through their content updates at a high rate, players will fear that nothing new is coming anytime soon - unless "Classic Plus" gets back into the discussion. On the other hand, many passionate Classic fans are worried that there will soon be nothing left of Classic this way: Once The Burning Crusade lands on the servers, that's it for Classic WoW as we know it. If you switch camps, however, you'll hear completely different discussions. Here it is said that the updates of Classic can not be released fast enough, because otherwise there is simply nothing left to do. After all, Classic is much simpler than retail WoW and doesn't even offer hunting for battle pets or transmog items. Content above all! So how do you Blizzard decide on the right course of action? The answer: not at all. In a double bind situation, the recipient has to deal with two opposing statements that are usually mutually exclusive. Sure, this situation has existed, as far as WoW is concerned, for fifteen years. But in terms of the "purity dilemma" or the "content crisis," it's more pronounced again than it's been in a long time. Yet the situation is only half as bad! Blood Elves do not exist in WoW Classic so far - for one or the other opponent of the race even an extra reason to play Classic. the release of TBC would change that. Source: Buffed At this point, we've only seen half of the planned content. We still have the entire Ahn'Qiraj campaign, Naxxramas, and the Scourge Invasions to come. All of that is still a part of Classic and doesn't spoil the experience at all - no, not even the Scourge attacks. If you're a little confused right now, the zombie invasion that preceded Wrath of the Lich King is a completely different event. Factor in the fact that we probably won't be in Naxxramas until early next year at the earliest, and there's no reason to wave the pitchfork just yet. Updates come quickly, everything stays the same, and we get new toys every few months. Do we have a silver bullet? Nope. If nothing happens after that, we'll gladly join the general panic and hand out flares and rocks. But until that happens, we suggest both camps just enjoy the ride. Because it's going to go on for quite a while.

Old is better, new is superior

The Most Beautiful Secondary Thing in the World We mean the leveling phase of Classic WoW, of course, what did you think? After seven expansions, leveling in Retail became a footnote - and that desperately needs to change. Shadowlands' new concept shows that Blizzard's devs agree.If we leave personal attacks and fears of content lull aside, and turn solely to raw gameplay and its mechanics, the debate engines on both sides really rev up. We'll take a shot in the dark: a conversation you start in the public forums about the pros and cons of a particular WoW version and its basic gameplay is usually bombed to bits with the words "Why don't you go back to Retail/Classic!". If reading this is already making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you're also thoroughly fed up with discussions of this nature, then we advise you to take a deep breath. We don't want to offend anyone or ridicule their opinion. On the contrary! We think that a friendly conversation about this topic can only do both games good. An example of this is the Maw in Shadowlands, which will be similar in concept to the Eastern Plaguelands in Classic, except that the Jailer has turned the dial to full: little to no fast travel options, a grim atmosphere, and enemy density that will make you sweat. You're not perfectly equipped? Then stay away from the elite enemies. You're actually perfectly equipped? The world bosses will still crush you. The whole thing is meant to bring back the feeling of an expedition in a dangerous environment - a mood that Classic WoW currently captures better. And the good thing about discussions on the topic is that they result in just that: two versions of WoW that not only fans but also exchange ideas, so that both communities end up with a better game. And before it tears up our comment column, of course Classic WoW keeps everything the same in terms of gameplay and mechanics, otherwise it wouldn't be Classic anymore. A lot of players return to Retail WoW months later and stare sadly into their beers. Both versions of WoW have their pros and cons. Source: buffed

Other mechanics are also popularly used as a test of character: In Classic, for example, there is no way to boost your character - definitely an advantage, because you have to earn the maximum level and can not buy it. Anyone who disagrees is a cash cow for Blizzard to milk. In Retail, there is a character boost that comes with the new expansion. Anyone who objects as a Classic player doesn't value their own time enough and is letting Blizzard put them in a boring treadmill instead of going straight for the cool stuff at max level. The fact that it's simply an opportunity to make your point in room volume and in a polite manner is readily ignored. Also a popular way to assess the value of one's counterpart: the opinion on transmog. Every day, hundreds of players stare with incomprehension at verbal trench warfare. The positions to be defended are, for one, that "Trashmog" is the devil and separates a character's appearance from their accomplishments - if you no longer have a way to tell your opponent's skill by their clothes, the world is doomed. How then is one to judge another's character? By talking to him?! That would be even nicer, after all, you've earned the WoW equivalent of your Supreme hoodie through hard work, so let all the peasants see who's in charge too! Entrenched in the other position are the transmog fanatics, who see anything to do with the nature-given appearance of one's character as a lazy excuse for a lack of taste. If Classic armor looks like an armless sumo wrestler spread finger paint on a pile of vomit, that's one thing. However, the moment "authenticity" and "gameplay" take precedence over aesthetics, you might as well give up and stare at an exel spreadsheet instead of playing the game. Both of which are ridiculous? Correct. We like to repeat ourselves: tone makes the music. We, too, find it highly interesting to discuss stronger character/world connections and the best transmog combinations. But does every word have to be nailed into the keyboard with such force that the other side can't help but take a deep breath and yell back?

Enthusiastic players are welcome!

We summarize: There's still a lot to do in Classic WoW, even if the future is uncertain. Instead, look forward to an adventure and join us in sailing beyond the edge of the Classic world - who knows what's to come? As for the emerging bitterness towards Classic players, we recommend a "live and let live" policy.

It sounds dangerously like "go back to Classic then", but it doesn't carry the aggressive undertone. Words matter. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And who knows, maybe instead of "Retail stinks" we'll see "I like Classic because ..." in the future. Get excited about your favorite game instead of talking down other things, and all of a sudden Classic WoW and its players won't seem so bad anymore. We see in the game: It doesn't matter if you're at max level 60 or 120 - the main thing is to have fun together!

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