World of Warcraft Classic is a server option for the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Running alongside the main version of the game, Classic recreates the game in the state it was in before the release of the first expansion, The Burning Crusade. It was announced at BlizzCon 2017 and was released globally and simultaneously at 3pm PDT on August 26, 2019.

Gameplay

After it’s first release, World of Warcraft classic will get, according to the developers, 6 different patches in a span of two to three years, called Tiers, that will update the content of the game only, like adding Battlegrounds or Raids that were released later as well back in 2004. This game is basically the ancestor of the massive RPG that we know today. It only features 8 races (Orcs, Trolls, Taurens, Undeads, Humans, Gnomes, Dwarves and Night Elves) and 9 classes (Warrior, Paladin, Shaman, Hunter, Druid, Rogue, Priest, Mage, Warlock) to choose from. Be aware that Paladin/Shaman is an Alliance/Horde only class respectively.

The maximum level in this WoW version is 60 and the leveling progression’s difficulty increases exponentially when compared to latest expansions. If you are a casual player it can take you more than two months to reach the max level. In addition, quests don’t have indicators and you must read the text multiple times in order to understand where you should go. Dungeon-ing is also hard due to the lack of summoning stones and the automatic LFG (Looking For Group) tool that is added in later expansions.

The latest creation of Blizzard is not meant for people with anger management issues. If the enemy monster is higher level than you, you will probably die. If you pull more than one enemy at the time, you will probably die. If you don’t drink and eat between fights, you will probably die. If you don’t use your skills rotation efficient, you will probably die. Thankfully, dieing will not cost you any experience, but it will cost you countless hours of running as a ghost in order to reach your corpse, because the amount of Spirit Healers throughout the world is limited.

If by any luck you manage to reach the end-game, this is where the real fun begins right? Forty man raids, with different strategies, complex mechanics and days of preparing with your guild? Guess what! The answer is no. Back in the day, raids in vanilla WoW were indeed hard because most gamers were playing casually, info about the game was not spread all around the internet and there were no convenient add-ons or professional teams. Nowadays, even a mediocre guild can clear every raid in Classic impressively fast and without any wipe.

The most disappointing fact about WoW Classic in my opinion though, is it’s future. What will happen after all six tiers are released? People will progress super-fast into the end-game, they will get their best-in-slot items, they will kill every boss and clear every raid. Then what? It feels like a huge struggle without a reason other than to experience a painful grind. Even if they release a WoW Burning Crusade server, nothing will change. The game will just repeat itself into and endless loop of expansions and nostalgia. I loved Vanilla WoW, like many of you did, but this specific game has no room for improvement at least in my eyes.

To summarize, despite the drawbacks World of Warcraft Classic has, it still is an amazing game within a huge world, with endless options for character customization. The “Dark Souls” elements that the original WoW had, and were removed in future expansions, create a unique experience for any RPG player. Finally, social drama and toxicity hardly exist, people know their roles, are always helpful and the community in general is impressive.

Online Features/ Graphics/ Sound

Classic servers are an exact copy of the servers of World of Warcraft back in 2004, with no revamps or quality of life improvements. Therefore, graphics have the same cartoon-ish style that they had back then, without the improved race models, weapons swings animations and special effects. Same goes for the sound that consists of the old-school nostalgic vanilla soundtrack.

Pros

  • Unique nostalgic atmosphere

  • Hardcore old-school RPG experience

  • Amazing community

  • Vanilla Naxxramas

Cons

  • You can’t expect future content

  • There are no quality of life improvements

  • Mechanics in raids are trivial for a game in 2019

Primary Version Tested: PC

Foivos Karkanis

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