Pleading the Case for Vanilla WoW

If you’re reading this then you, much like myself, would also like to play the original World of Warcraft game again.  So let’s talk about why that is.  Much like the name of the private vanilla server that was recently shut down, Nostalrius, a lot of it is nostalgia.  Sure, of course it is.  For millions and millions of people that was a great and wonderful time in PC gaming.  It literally changed the world of online games, like, forever.  The problem is that World of Warcraft is an ever changing MMO, the one that set the standard that everyone else hopes to achieve and mimic.  There are only a few MMOs that I’ve played that don’t mimic it in many fashions.  It’s the gold standard.  But… it’s an ‘ever changing’ MMO.  Meaning that over the years it’s evolved into something new.  It has constant ‘new’ stuff coming out.  And that is really the problem.  The new stuff.  Because when the new stuff comes out, you might as well wash away ALL of the content that was made previously.  There is a reason you get a free Level 90 character right now (and why you’ll soon get a free Level 100), it’s because the old content is pretty much worthless when a new expansion comes out.  It’s true.  Nobody, except those looking for achievements, mounts, armor sets for transmogs, etc, are even worried about any of that ‘old crap’ anymore, and even if they were they’d blow through it in no time.  Heck, I still play, between Dungeon Finder and Heirloom Gear, you can get max level in just a few days.  And that is where you want to be if you want to play with people.  Heck, it’s where you have to be to even have anything resembling gameplay in an MMO.

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[Screenshot of Nostalrius players before going offline]

We, the discouraged, have always wanted to, and some through private servers have, treat the game like all the other games we love.  I’m a big Gears of War, and Legend of Zelda fan.  And anytime I want to play the first one of those games I pop the disc/cartridge in and play it exactly the way it was when I first played it.  And heck, even if I didn’t have the original game, there is a huge market to re-release old games in modern ways.  How many PS1, PS2, and PS3 games can I play on my PS4?  A bunch of em.  And I have.  Or heck, we as gamers like to buy HD remakes of our favorite old games so we can play them and have them not look like crap on modern screens.  It’s just something gamers buy.  And buy often.  But again, WoW is an ever-changing MMO.  Which is fine.  I still play.  Though I haven’t typed /played in a long time.  Knowing that I spent over 400 days actually logged in to my main character is more than I need to know ;p  But I would love… no, let me restate that.  I would LOVE to play through the original World of Warcraft again.  With level 60 being max, I’d have to find lots of other players to venture into Blackrock Spire, or bury the team for hours in the Molten Core.  Or, and this is where it really hits home, go to Ahn’Qiraj or Naxxramus (before it moved to Northrend).  It hits home on this whole topic because I never went to either of those places during original WoW.  They were only legends to me.  And by the time I had the gear and group to go to those places, The Burning Crusade was out, and nobody would ever ‘really’ go to those places ever again.  Heck one of them disappeared for two years in game.  Sure, I can run through (most)all the old places, but even the ‘Old God’ C’Thun falls in less than 20 seconds, so it’s not worth much except for transmogging stuff, and that’s really all it’s good for.  I want to play it like it was meant to be played.  And obviously, so do a lot of other people.  On another note, the latest Hearthstone release is all about the ‘Old Gods’, especially C’Thun, but who really knows who C’Thun is, or has ever heard him whisper sweet nightmares in their ears?  People could really get into this game again if they know more about it.  But Blizzard hasn’t really agreed with that, in a Q&A sesh, it was asked if they’d thought about doing so, and they replied that ” (we the players) wouldn’t want that.”  We do. We really, really do.  I get that it’s probably a nightmare to your dev team to even think about that, but it would probably be worth you’re financial attention.

Four days ago Blizz released a thing stating that they don’t know how to handle this, and suggested that they might make a Pristine Server, that would take away all the modern things in WoW, like Heirlooms, level boosts & bonuses, character transfers, and dungeon finder…  And somehow they actually think that is what we want.  It isn’t even close.  It’s still the same problem of only the newest content mattering.  We’re just gonna level (granted more slow) through all the old content to hit max level and start raiding new content.  This still makes all the old content obsolete and useless.  Again, we want to play this like every other video game we love.  And honestly, we don’t understand why Blizzard don’t get that?  I mean really, I play with people in a guild now that didn’t even know there was a time you actually had to ‘physically go to’ a dungeon or raid to get in it.  I also remember new players having no idea how to bring their corpse ghost back in an instance when dungeon finder was introduced because they had never actually been there.  I also have people asking in my guild about all these characters, like Thrall killing [character] in the current expansion Warlords of Draenor, and not knowing why it was important.  The story is gone in this game.  It’s basically down to ‘if you weren’t there then, then you missed it’.  And that’s a shame.  Any new players to the game have NO IDEA who any of these characters are, or why they are important.  Mostly because all the old content is worthless, and nobody has any real reason to go search it out or find out.  Heck, WoD is about to be meaningless in 4 months.

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Honestly Blizzard, why not make a Neapolitan Server? Vanilla WoW, Strawberry (TBC) WoW, and Chocolate (WoTLK) WoW.  Basically just a Wrath server that level locks you at 60 and 70 until you’ve beaten all the raid bosses for Vanilla, and Strawberry?  Plus it has the added bonus of not having the Cata re-do of the primary lands in the original game.  I don’t know what the exact answer is, but I know the fans, myself included, want an answer.  PS the ‘pristine server’ is NOT the answer.  We want the old content to be ‘viable’ again.  And really, you should to.  One of the chief complaints I hear all the time as to people quitting the game is that there is no content, and really, they are right.  I had been gone for 6 or so months after WoD, and when I came back, I was level 100 in 3 days, and had already cleared two raids in raid finder, maxed out my Garrison, and had nothing left to do but random dailies.  I was a little sad.  I remember when leveling took months.  But anyway, there isn’t a lot of content.  Or let me rephrase that, there isn’t any worthwhile content.  World of Warcraft actually has a TON of content.  But it doesn’t make you do any of it to progress.  You don’t have to go through any of the old story or areas.  But maybe we should?  If Blizz made it so characters (toons as they are often called) had to go through the old content to get to the new stuff, then the level of content might even seem overwhelming to a lot some folks.  But at least then nobody could possibly complain about a lack of content.

But hey, there is some hope in sight.  The Nostalrius Begins twitter (that big high population server that Blizzard shut down) has tweeted that some good news might be coming out of Blizzard soon.  They are literally meeting with Blizzard about it this weekend.  How about that!  I’m now kicking myself for not making a cool private Vanilla WoW server that got the attention of Blizzard enough that I  might get a job with them.  I mean really, how cool would it be to work for Blizzard running an original version of WoW?  Really cool.

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So, in conclusion.  We want progressive legacy servers.  We want your old content.  We want to play it again.  Because we love it.

PS   Yep, Warcraft is Blizzards and they can totes shut down any private pirate servers they want.  It’s theirs, they can do with it what they want.  No argument at all on that front at all.  But we would all totally flock to your game again if you made it an option 🙂

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Amber Neko

Amber is a podcaster, writer, reviewer, and super geek. She is a host of the Nerd Squadron podcast, and longtime host of Transition Transmission. She writes in her spare time, mostly science fiction, and cyberpunk. And tries her best to be good at it ;p