Todays surprise announcement at Blizzcon of the early stages of development into a World of Warcraft Classic Server is something I didn’t expect would happen.
There’s a few reasons. One I suspect it’s technically quite hard. It’s not just a case of reverting the source code to an earlier version. But I also didn’t think there was enough motivation to spend all that effort on a game that is still doing extremely well after all these years.
Sure, World of Warcraft has lost a lot of subscribers over the years. While Blizzard has stopped issuing numbers, there have been estimates of 3 to 4 million, 5.5 million, even up to 10 million. Even at the lower numbers, that’s still a decent subscriber base in what is essentially now a free to play market, after all these years.
I last resubscribed to WoW about a year ago after a gap of maybe five years. I’d downloaded and created a free account to try out the Worgen, Goblins, and Pandas a year or two earlier, but that didn’t really stick once I got to the max on my Worgen. Level 20 I think.
I loaded up Stropp, my Orc hunter, and found myself in Burning Crusadeville. (I did say it had been a long time.) I’d missed a whole bunch of expansions. Cataclysm, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria, and Warlords of Draenor. Legion was just about to be released at the time
Anyway, I began completing quests that were already in my log and just continued on from there. I finished up Outland. Moved on to Northrend. Got a little way in, perhaps a dozen or so quests including the volcano crater, and stopped.
I think the problem was that it was way to easy. It almost felt like I could fall asleep with my face on the keyboard and beat the mobs I was fighting. Years ago, unless I felt adventurous I avoided elite mobs. Now I was downing them with two or three shots.
I also like ‘building’ a character. The talent trees as I knew them are gone, replaced by a simple system that gives no real choice in how I develop my character. I know it’s an overused term, but dumbed down describes how I feel about the game.
So I cancelled my subscription. I thought, for the last time.
Then today. The announcement. World of Warcraft Classic Servers.
That might bring me back to Azeroth. At least for a little while. A World of Warcraft Classic Server would return to pre Burning Crusade, but nothing else. I’ll subscribe for the nostalgia at least, if Blizzard can pull it off. I still have my doubts if this will really happen.
But what I’d really like to see is the entire game from A to Legion and beyond using the classic server ruleset. Undumbed.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.