One hour from World of WarCraft Classic

November 11 2018

I clearly remember that day in 2004, when I finally collected a new computer for myself, setting it aside for several months. All for the sake of playing World of Warcraft. I spent the whole evening looking at the installation screen and inserting the next disk into the drive exactly at the moment the corresponding window appeared. But it took too much time, and I only have half an hour of free time.: Cut:

I began my journey in Dun Morogh, a dwarf named Durian (I didn’t know yet that there was a fruit with that name), and then my mother sent me to sleep. Despite all her attempts to spoil this evening, for me it was a great moment. For these monstrously short half an hour I managed to catch a glimpse of the huge unimaginable world.

World of Warcraft Classic did not return to me these magical sensations. After those 60 minutes spent in the game, I can say with confidence only one thing: I was quite bored. When I appeared in the Western Territory, incomprehensible mechanics, which had long been removed from the game, became a real shock for me. Normal attacks by pressing? Talent trees? Need to really read assignment texts?

This World of Warcraft almost with scrupulous accuracy reproduces the brainchild of Blizzard from distant 2004, long before some qualitative changes turned it into the WoW that we know and see now. World of Warcraft Classic will not bring you back at a time when killing 15 hogs seemed like a thrilling experience. Just as when I shook dust off discs with old games in the hope of experiencing the same sensations as before. Classic also did not cope with this task, but this does not mean that I did not like the game. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite.


Walk in the past

World of Warcraft Classic – this is an extremely reliable re-creation of the game, which will scare away most of the players. As soon as the sense of novelty from that very Classic began to disappear, I was forced to remember how fierce this game was.

In the Western Edge, my dwarf hunter took on the task of killing the bandits of the Fellowship of Justice, who were entrenched in a nearby village with the strange name Lunorechye. I’m not used to fighting the crowd of enemies alone. It would seem that all you need is to elegantly press a certain sequence of abilities in order to easily destroy this very crowd. But in the days of the Classic, an attempt to kill even two monsters at a time was a fatal mistake. I, by the way, repeated it again and again – and after each death I was awaited by a monstrously long journey from the cemetery to my lifeless body.

It was annoying, but that’s what I love most about the World of Warcraft Classic. Although it is worth noting that the graphics and interface are nevertheless closer to the modern version of the game, there is a whole mountain of nuances, due to which modern and retro games feel like two completely different.

Battle for Azeroth has finally polished the cycle of rewards in such a way that even a player with 20 minutes of free time can achieve something tangible. For comparison, in the old WoW, I spent 20 minutes trying to find the wife of one orc for a task for which an offensively insignificant amount of experience was given. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Each class had in its arsenal a skill or two, which, maybe on paper and looked cool, was in practice absolutely useless. Hunters, for example, could see the world through the eyes of their pet for a short time. The fight seemed slower, and most of the time you performed monotonous tasks that required killing another crowd of identical monsters.


During my second 60-minute acquaintance with the demo, I created a rogue undead and went on a mission to gather mushrooms from a nearby oasis, which was guarded by centaurs. These aggressive monsters were located so tightly that to hook no more than two at the same time seemed an almost impossible task. And it was precisely this tension that, when performing a simple task, fascinated. I had to carefully count how and behind which palm tree I should hide in order to go further.

Despite the fact that the fight here is much slower, I liked it. The emphasis is significantly shifted towards each second confrontation face to face with the enemy. When my abilities and attacks often miss or are blocked at all, I don’t feel like a killer of the gods. It is difficult to call yourself a hero when two raptors tear you into pieces, like a Tuziki warmer. And comparing the years that I spent, being the champion of Azeroth, this feeling is just great.

All these unprepossessing unpleasant for the player “sharp corners” and individuality – those things that we rarely see in modern MMO. Classic was a very strange game, and did not care at all how many abilities were on your socket or how well they are balanced. At the beginning of the second millennium, the IMO could be strange and ugly, because then no one tried to follow the example of Warcraft.

I especially love how these features help in recreating the sense of immersion. Any player can complain that flying vehicles and other easily accessible methods of quick movement have killed the sense of the magnitude of the world, but this is just a change of priorities in game design. World of Warcraft was once extremely slow, bored. And such an unhurried pace of the game left no choice but to learn to enjoy the little things, like greeting the random traveler, by whom you ran. The joy of the old school of WoW is not what you could achieve in one evening, but simply in what you have been here.


It’s charm

When Blizzard just announced the classic server, I met this idea without much admiration, but now I begin to see the temptation of this idea. The demo version helped me to understand that there was nothing wrong with how the old WoW was played. But the developers still had to change it. For one simple reason – MMOs should always change. This endless need to develop and constantly change its shape led us to WoW, as we know it now. No matter how much time you spend in the game, everyone will receive according to the possibilities. Classic, on the contrary, is revealed in a slow journey, which can take months. These are two completely different versions of the game, and they both like me.

If at one point you suddenly stop admiring Azeroth, I’m not sure that Classic will make you love it again. This is not a magical artifact that will breathe life into my passing nostalgia for those wonderful years of the nascent Internet. Now I understand how stupid it was to hope for it. World of Warcraft Classic with its existence successfully demonstrates that the new is not always better than the old, because even the most ugly and controversial creation has its charm.

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