An MMORPG based on the classic WoW has recently become available. We could not pass by and decided to find out if it looks so much like the old Vanilla. Let’s play it again, Blizzard?
WoW Classic: Blizzard Returns to the Past
Blizzard made a lot of noise with the announcement of WoW Classic. It was a rather unexpected move: the developer threw away many years of innovation and improvement from the world of computer games, inviting players to play an online role-playing game of 2007. On August 27, 2019, it finally happened, and the so-called Classic servers are now open.
And what we see: Hundreds of thousands of WoW fans are storming the servers, creating hours-long login queues and filling the original starting locations of Durotar, Elwynn Forest, and Teldrassil. Despite the new Layering technique, which creates many parallel and identical game worlds, reducing the pressure on the starting zones, players lack quest opponents, items to collect, and space for their character.
Although WoW Classic is very different from Battle for Azeroth, the current expansion, many of the gameplay details in the game have remained unchanged. In the beginning, we create a character for ourselves, choosing from peoples and classes. Blood elves, Worgen, death knights, demon hunters, and all the other seven expansions are not available. Also, shamans can only play as Horde, and paladins can only play as Alliance. The game itself is quite unhurried, quests take much longer than in new additions, and “comfort features” – for example, notifications with mini-cards – are completely absent.
In the classic game, you need to carefully study the quests’ texts to know where to go. And even then, the player will have to search for enemies or objects for a long time. But it also means that we have a chance to get to know the world around us much better.
Playing WoW Classic Hard Challenge
The basic combat and quest systems in the classic game became more difficult than in Battle for Azeroth. In new versions, we rarely find ourselves in difficult, dangerous situations, and even alone, we go through the elegantly crafted content of the level without much difficulty. In Classic, on the contrary, any incorrect character positioning or inaccurate pooling can lead to virtual death.
A perfect example from the earlier WoW Classic beta is the journey quest from the central Horde camp of the Crossroads to the Alliance-held Northwatch Hold. There, our shaman Tauren must collect 10 medallions and finish off three leaders of the Alliance. With countless survival mechanics, escape options, and powerful attacks, such a mission in Battle for Azeroth would have taken 15 minutes. And in Classic, this becomes a challenge.
The inside of the Alliance fort is full of enemies, who often attack in two or three. At the same time, we are quite limited in terms of vitality and mana, each battle against two enemies is cruel and can, depending on the level of the NPC, be easily lost. Eating and drinking after each fight to regenerate life and mana is part of the standard repertoire. This would be completely unthinkable in the retail version, where we rarely find ourselves out of mana.
The additional quest that we had to go through in the already mentioned Alliance fortress became even more difficult. Here we must help the captive blood elf escape so that he does not get hurt. But since he does not give us a minute of respite, besides, he tends to go to another world quickly Several times. We could not cope with this task: we did not have enough time to restore life and mana. And this led to the fact that the ward (or our character) stretched his legs along the way. After numerous attempts, we finally found a suitable solution: even before receiving the assignment, we quickly clear the camp, organize an escape in advance, and hope that the respawn timer will slow the pace of time a little.
It would be much more convenient to go through such a quest with other players because Classic was created just for this. While World of Warcraft is becoming a game for solo gamers over time (at least in the level phase), then the original version is more about interaction. It is much easier for two to complete quests, as we could see at a later stage of beta testing.
True, playing alone, the completion of any quest seems like a tremendous success. For example, to free an elf, it took us a full hour and a half of playing time, including very time-consuming runs from the graveyard to the body. But for many, this is precisely the coolness of Classic compared to the retail version: the world of Azeroth is a dangerous path full of adventure and great opportunities to become a hero, and not just completing routine quests necessary to reach the maximum level and open PvP mode.
WoW Classic is, of course, not quite a 2005-2007 one-on-one Vanilla copy. Specific features such as Battle.net integration, new social features, and (optionally) improved graphics and more modern resolution options are the most striking differences.
Add to this the so-called Layering function, which creates a certain number of copies of the entire game world and distributes the players across them. Unlike sharding, which is used on regular servers and is designed to ensure players’ ideal distribution to the same zones to avoid overpopulation or underpopulation, Layering is designed to prevent massive overcrowding of the starting zones. In short, it provides “hiding” huge masses of players.
Unlike the initial launch of World of Warcraft, interested players could log in at exactly midnight thanks to the client preloading. In 2005, players were distributed around the world quite naturally, first buying the game, and then installing it and adding patches.
Other old-school elements are likely to delight veterans of the game and fans of the original. For example, the so-called “skill trees” are back and the old talent system, in which we must first learn how to use certain types of weapons, and then get a skill. Also, we have access to all ranks of spells, and we will have to purchase upgrades for money from the class trainer.
Mounts are only available from level 40, and those with enough money can buy a riding animal from level 60 (or, like paladins and warlocks, get one by completing an endless questline). Flying mounts will initially not be available at all. This feature appeared only with the first expansion, The Burning Crusade.
Hunters must buy ammunition for a bow and gun and regularly feed their pet, and warlocks for many skills must first farm “Soul Shards,” which take up a lot of inventory space. Generally speaking, in-game currency is a real luxury. From around level 20, we only had five gold in the bag because the class’s skills, the profession, the cooler armor, and weapons for combat cost a lot of money. Here, any flight from Astranaar to Auberdine in the night elf regions is quite costly, even if it only requires a handful of silver. The cost of repairs after a senseless death can be frustrating.
WoW Classic: Future of the Past
WoW Classic was recently released, and we haven’t reached level 60 yet. But since our editor has played before, we still have some guesses about “what’s next.” High-end classic dungeons like Stratholme and Scholomance, as well as the depths of Blackrock, are likely to keep groups of 5 people luring them in with all sorts of loot, including great dungeon sets.
At a later stage, the Forgotten City is added to this with its three dungeons and all kinds of ogres. The mechanics are not incredibly complicated here – in fact, a lot more depends on how well the group is assembled. But even with the so-called “random” (that is, random) players we recruit through chat, dungeons are quickly becoming a part of your daily life. There are no heroic or mythical modes in the dungeons.
The situation with raids is somewhat different – the level of difficulty there is incomparably higher. We assume that both 20-player attacks (Zul’Gurub and Ahn’Qiraj), Onyxia, Ragnaros (in Molten Core), and even Nefarian (in Blackwing Lair) will be relatively easy for many guilds, as the mechanics of these raids are not that difficult. If you don’t sit still and are well equipped, and your squad is genuinely united, you will easily pass these raids.
The real challenges are likely to be C’Thun (AQ40) and Kel’Thuzad (Naxxramas). It will be complicated for those who undertake to lead the raid. From our experience, we can say that it is not easy to organize a quest for 40 people and maintain a fighting mood in the team. In WoW Classic, this gets even trickier because less patient players can return to retail at any time. Still, we are very excited about the return of Dragon Kill Points (DCT), the popular loot distribution system from long-forgotten days, to the retail version’s unique loot feature.
PVP and PVE
We cannot say anything significant about the PVP options in Classic. As with PVE, opportunities are deployed in phases. While the early game is dominated by player versus player, especially in open-world battles with honor systems, the famous battlegrounds are later added. By the way, arena battles appeared only with the first expansion and did not have much significance in Classic. But there is also the public Gurubashi Arena in Stranglethorn Vale, which can serve as a base for duels in the open game world.
How much is it?
World of Warcraft Classic is now available simply on the server. All you need to play is an active WoW subscription – no additional fees apply. Additionally, we recommend choosing an area as empty as possible (for example, at the time of this PvE-Lakeshire article) to avoid huge queues. However, this also poses the risk that the server could go empty after the initial hype has passed. However, we are confident that Blizzard will find a good solution for this scenario.
World of Warcraft Classic is for us a journey to the origins of modern online role-playing games and, at the same time, to our youth. Faced with outdated mechanics, retro graphics, and well-known content, we involuntarily ask ourselves: who will play this now? But the answer comes from the WoW community itself – with overcrowded servers and a huge array of entry-level characters, making World of Warcraft Classic the most striking MMO comeback of the year. And let’s face it: it won’t be as cool as in the days of classic toys. And to face off against your past, you see, is a courageous step for Blizzard.
|Retro||Lack of comfort features|
|More difficult tasks for single players||Servers are extremely crowded now|
|Feeling of success from completed quests||It’s not clear what will happen when the hype is over|
|Huge world to explore|
You Can Get World of Warcraft Classic For Free From This Link