I’m gonna be that guy. That guy that comes out and says, I’m not into WoW Classic. I tried, I really did. I put in some hours over the long weekend and most of the time I asked the question: “Am I having fun?”. That answer was no far more often than not and I’m trying to figure out why.
I managed to get an undead rouge to level 10 by the time I packed it in. At first, I liked the novelty of no quest markers on the mini-map. That ended fairly quickly when I had more than a couple active quests and couldn’t figure out where the NPC was for the turn in. Those quest markers have become such an integral part of games now it’s hard to imagine a game without them.
I tried a few characters. Before the undead rogue there was a dwarf priest who I got to level 9. I wasn’t enjoying having to wait for my health and mana to come back up after one or two rounds of combat. I rolled an Orc Rouge to check out their starting area. I stuck with that for a level or 2 until I had the idea that I really wanted to play an undead rogue.
I can see where everyone else is coming from. The sense of community in the game is great. General chat is full of people talking and sometimes even being helpful. There are roving groups, random invites, and even some conversations to be had while leveling. I joined a guild and had a good time chatting with the people there but that isn’t enough to hold my interest.
I know a lot of that is because I don’t have that nostalgia to get me into the game. I don’t have friends who want to play it with me either. I came in curious to see how it all began, what it was like 15 years ago. Turns out, games have come a long way in 15 years, I’m sure to no one’s surprise.
I would have loved this game in 2006. I was a freshman in high school, this was exactly the kind of game me and my friends would have loved playing. Many of us were playing Runescape the year before and I think most of them would have been playing World of Warcraft if they could have gotten a subscription. Classic is grindy in a way my highschool self would have loved. Grinding weapon proficiencies, joining groups to level, finding quests in a giant world, and working on professions. There’s a ton of time to be sunk here and that’s just something I don’t have as much of anymore.
And I think that’s what it’s really all about. I spent a good 10 or so hours playing to get to level 10. Unshared tags make it hard to get quests done. Grouping up is a way around that for sure but the quests still take a while because others are also doing the same quest that isn’t in your group. Everything feels slow and I just don’t like the pacing.
Right now, I can’t see myself putting a ton more hours into Classic. I may dabble a bit more in the coming weeks, I still have a full month subscription after all. Or maybe I’ll go try out retail again and see how that goes. In the meantime, I look forward to reading everyone else’s stories from their time in Classic. I’ve said this before, and it may just be true, I enjoy reading about WoW more than I like playing it.
WoW classic occupies a really interesting space for me.
I enjoy its style and how it makes even relatively small things actually matter. But the practical realities of it are far more awkward.
Like you, no RL / in timezone friends are interested, and while I joined Bel’s guild — the timezone shift makes it really awkward outside of weekends.
So my time personally playing may be quite short lived too. Will see, I guess!
“Turns out, games have come a long way in 15 years”. When it comes to MORPGs that’s entirely true. The problem is, most of the travel has been in the wrong direction.
It does depend a lot on what you;re used to and how you play, of course. I don’t find Classic particularly slow at all. Plenty of MMORPGs I play seem about the same or even slower. I don’t particularly notice the longer travel times because I spend lots of time wandering about aimlessly in other games. It’s only really noticeable when you take a whole lot of quests and have your route mapped out for you. I try not to do too many quests and have plenty of wandering timed inbetween them.
As for the downtime it’s trivial. Compared to plenty of MMORPGs, including some newer ones, the time spent glugging a bottle of water or eating a bowl of stew is a tiny fraction of the time wasted plowing through endless, aggressive mobs to get to anythign you actually want to kill. Mobs in WoW are widely spaced, easy to avoid and easy to escape from, which counteracts any time spent sitting down for ten seconds to recover.
It’s all a matter of preference, though. I like roaming around *not* killing things or doign quests as much as I like the opposite. I don’t see a difference in entertainment value between a ten minute run across the map and ten minutes chain-killing mobs. Okay, I do – the running is more fun. Other people feel the opposite and that’s fine. Otherwise we’d only need the one game and everyone in the world would play it!
It isn’t for everybody, but what game is? For some of us who aren’t feeling it for the current state of WoW Live, Classic is a nice refreshing taste of simplicity. And a chance to relive our relative youth I suppose.
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