Yesterday we saw the community Q&A with the developers of World of Warcraft! It was a little over an hour and made me think of some things. With the current state of the MMO-Champion community forums at war with themselves over Classic, as well as Ion hinting that we will see a form of some Classic Vanilla patch standing in as the static patch (minus bug fixes I would expect). With that it made me sit down and consider how things were back then as well as what I had myself gone through, and as such I’ll try to be doing this as a weekly spotlight on this site, a visit in history weekly. Today I’ll go over my personal experiences with the release of the game when it came out thirteen years ago when I was playing on a DSL connection!
World of Warcraft marked the end of my time playing Ragnarok Online! It meant I was moving over to a new MMO. It was the game I had lived for since Warcraft : Orcs and Humans had come out. Blizzard was making an MMO. Something I wouldn’t have even considered earlier in my life having been a fan and playing through Warcraft to Warcraft 2 and its expansion, playing through Diablo and Diablo 2 as well as both Starcraft games. Back then I didn’t understand why we weren’t getting a Warcraft 4, but given today and looking at the market structure of games I understand that Warcraft and Starcraft in many regards were their own competition, and as such one of them had to change, had to move into a new space and World of Warcraft was the perfect way to get the ball rolling on something new.
So the game came out in November of 2004, having two computers and having purchased two copies of the game, my spouse and I purchased our copies and got logged in. My first character I ever created was an Undead Warrior and she was an Undead Priest. The game was not as friendly as it is today. The talent tree was intimidating, and mobs were a lot harder. Looking back to that time, we didn’t get past level 20 on those characters before changing and moving over to Alliance anyway. We had communication issues as gathering and professions was a change from the previous game that we were in and we saw a few incidents where she would wander off to grab some random herb while I was already engaged in combat and dying. We had fun even with that, leveling was slow and arduous and walking between zones was near torture in some cases. Achievements didn’t exist and bag space was scarce. We quickly moved and changed what we were doing. She changed to a Night Elf Druid and I changed to a Human Paladin. We somehow both ended up as healers and went in separate directions. She found a very social RP guild where she was around level 50ish and helping other people leveling and having fun with the social interactions while I pursued hitting level cap! I drove to level 60. Dungeon groups were painful to find, but as a healer getting the group wasn’t the hard part, the hard part was that Paladins were more or less decurse and buff machines more than anything, but hitting level cap meant the start of getting attuned (something we don’t do anymore XD).
The attunement process started with getting Molten Core attuned as I joined my first Raiding guild called, Holy Hit Squad. I joined and partook in the struggle from Barron Geddon all the way up and through the defeat of Ragnaros. My computer at the time struggled to handle the mess of 40 people in an organized instance with graphics just flying all over the place. As such I had to zoom in and point the camera at the floor so that I couldn’t see most of what was going on during intense graphical phases of fights. At the time as I said I was an HPally so as such I was just looking at healing bars to begin with so I didn’t miss much, decursing and rebuffing. It was the accomplished feelings though of killing those massive bosses in those huge spaces and hallways, massive caverns and intimidating bosses that we didn’t stand up to the ankles of. We progressed, it was rough and brutal, but we cleared content, and it was fun, clearing Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and Zul’Gurub when it came out. Killing bosses was killing bosses, but as more content was being released I found an open group on my server (Scarlet Crusade) called the Conclave.
The Conclave was a WoW Forum based group that wasn’t necessarily affiliated with a guild. My guild had toned down their efforts as many were getting burned out and there was strange drama of people harassing each other out of the game as well as inside. As such I started to do AQ40 with the conclave, which got us as far as up to C’Thun. We never did kill him, though at the time that may be because we never tried beyond the first 30 attempts or so. Whether this was because C’Thun was unkillable due to bugs at the time, or if it was because it spanned through the killable patch is something I don’t even remember, mind you this was over a decade ago. But during this time I too had become slowly to a point where I backed off from raiding, taking a break as the Naxx patch came and waiting, there wasn’t much going on in regards to my realm with Naxx, mostly trash groups where groups would go in and get slaughtered.
But I’ll cover a bit more next time, for today I just thought I would graze over my history on Vanilla, and finally cover down into what part of this point in talking is, and that’s my concerns with Classic.
To start upfront I don’t have anyone that wants Classic or is going to play on it. I personally won’t but that’s just because I’ll be spending my time in Battle for Azeroth. My concerns hinge on what patch is Classic going to be as well as the state of balance in the game. What graphics will it ship on and in general just how is this going to be and look. I think interested parties will continue to hawk on and watch the argument closely as I have been from watching the MMO Champ wars. Either way I think that the war between users there won’t stop until Blizzard themselves step in and provide clearer details of what is going to be delivered, however at the moment I don’t think that even Blizzard knows for certain what’s going to be pushed out the door and I think we’re still extremely early in this process and the development queue on this one. I know we’re getting BfA before we get Classic, and I don’t think we will see Classic till either a major content drought in BfA, or what I feel is more likely, between BfA and the next expansion that follows it. I think that for Blizzard between BfA and the next expac to be the most likely as it would lessen the blow of an expansion drought that could potentially be a filler to fill the gap of 10-12 months and make it more 3-4 months instead by having a Classic launch frame in there to keep interested parties donating monthly to Blizzards coffers, as we know they love money, and that love of money causes even bigger projects to come and means bigger and better things for the future!