The game is much much, more "fun", "easy", and accessible to us casual players. That is an obviously beneficial business choice.
I too have been playing WoW, off and on, for quite some time (a few weeks after or before BC release maybe), though I never found myself being awe-inspired enough to want to "be better than the Naxx geared guy".
I totally understand the sentiment though.
I remember my first character, a Human Paladin. I remember the PvP realm I started on. I remember Stranglethorn Jungle, and the absolute gankfest it was. I remember ragequitting for a while.
I re-started, and this time played on a Normal realm. I picked up the great class quests for class-items or spells (Westfall, old Sunken Temple, and the Paladin-only level 20 hammer). I got to level 40, and somehow had saved up enough gold for my Paladin-only mount and training. Then I got to 60, and was faced with the daunting task of forking over a few hundred gold for materials, desperately looking for helpful players to down Rattlegore, and to venture into the once never-played and sprawling Dire Maul. All for my "vanity", "epic", "I put in tons of effort and gold for this", "revel in my glory, charlatans" class-specific sparkle pony;.
All of that is gone, and it is a little sad. The epic feeling of the game has been diluted by contrived, superficial content.
I think Erikson would have loved using the OP as an application model for his theory.
Fantastic story, indeed. Makes me realize how MMOs are an incredibly terrible environment to operate in during identity development.
However, people having that other view lack basic economic, financial and social knowledge that prevents them from understanding why their view of the game (that is, roughly speaking, a huge time sink that reserves itself to only a handful of percent of the total population) is no longer acceptable and will not come back again on widely accessible products such as WoW. It is okay to have a different view but if contradicts basic social and economy laws, then the whole discussion is moot.
Anyway, anyone who really played Classic knows that most of the stuff that worked then wouldn't work now. The gaming community has changed, and it can't go back. Even if Blizz made a classic server, while gear progression, raids, and everything mechanically would be the same, the people aren't, and that was a huge part of Classic and TBC.
Knowing you like A more than B isn't nostalgia, but thinking WoW should go back to classic is. Blizz has had to adapt to what makes them the most money, and while they lose a lot of people in the process(cancelled my account last month for the 1st time since launch), they probably keep more people playing and paying in the long run. I had more fun in Classic and TBC than ever after, but that WoW is gone. You either adapt or move on, holding onto it like a clingy ex-gf doesn't really do much for you.
While I want to glare at Blizz for 'totally killing the game I love', I know really...it was the gaming community. I can't really blame them for doing what's going to make them the most money.
If a Classic server would open up, people will change once again, and adapt to it, Humans (most of them) aren't stupid, and will change, and adapt to survive, aka change so they are able to have a good time.
Statistics never lie, but liars use statistics.
The kinds of people who game has changed, the way they game has changed. Sure, if people want to play on a classic server they will have to accept the shit things then are going to be shit now. There will be no lfd, flying mounts, and the list of hundreds of other things that have been added, but that's not what I'm talking about. Attitudes have changed, how players treat each other has changed, how guilds interact, how people interact, all the social aspects that made classic awesome aren't coming back. There is no way to turn that part of WoW back into what it was, no special server will do that.
While playing on a classic server would be fun just to play the way the game used to be, people who think it's going to really be like old WoW are fooling themselves. It's just going to be new WoW with a reverted patch. It's not going to really be anything like Classic.
I don't want vanilla back, but I do want what made it so great back. Server communities, a massive non-linear world, mobs that could 3 shot you. A sense of progression. I was a casual player back then and I had no problem doing ZG or AQ20 while others were doing AQ40, because the world was just so damn huge.
But we live in an age where everyone wants everything for no effort so it's not coming back. If only reality worked that way, eh?
i hat this vanilla talking so much !
hwo cares about the vanilla time ITS OVER and THIS IS IT !
that means no one got the time or want to spend 20h a day in WoW to get something !
imho - the only real thing about Vanilla that was awesome was that WoW was new. It's old now. There is aboslutely nothing Blizz (or anyone) can do to bring that feeling back.
It's funny how you can say “Uh, hardcore raiders did not leave after Classic” and then can say about how no hardcore player saying that “ 'epics being easy' was something I absolutely never heard or read from a hardcore's mouth.” When I just said so? But because you did not know me or any of my hardcore friends you have the power to say I'm wrong? Funny...
It was much easier getting good gear in TBC seeing as you had Dungeons and especially proffesions giving out epics right from the start. Some of the hardcore players did not like this because it was to easy getting epics than they were used too.
You talked about LFD; LFD was introduced in WotlK if I'm not mistaken, having LFD would have made TBC gearing harder I believe, seeing the chance of getting a "bad group" being to high.
I only played with people I knew where good, and since they were hardcore as me they played a lot and therefore I had such an easy time getting geared fast. Having people searching in trade for members to their dungeon was a good thing, made the server more “alive” and players being forced to interact with other players from the same server. All these tools that blizzard have introduced to make the overall experience of the game “better” having instead hurted the games community in one way. LFD was the final blow in killing the realm community and nowdays I hardly know anyone on my server unless they are in my guild or Arena team.
Sure the overall class balance for PvE and PvP was bad if you compare it to TBC however you didn't know anything else than the Vanilla class balance so you just excepted the fact it was like that.
However the overall tools for everything else could work if you look aside the 40man raids.
It would not be the same WoW as we see now, it would be a less casual friendly WoWish game. You can't change the current wow back to a vanilla version.
Vanilla started with gamers who wanted to have a chance at being an epic player and understood the basic requirements of that quest to be a bad-ass.
It's finishing with those that feel LFR is bad as enough for them and Blizzard gave them the tools to fool themselves.
Sunwell, and even BT/MH made classic raids laughable. The skill level increased dramatically in BC(for numerous reason, but it did). You never heard REAL hardcore players in BC whine about epics being easy, as in, top 50-20 guilds. You didn't lose the 'Wow, look at that guy' until Wrath when everyone easily accessed all the gear.
Not enjoying a game as much the next expansion doesn't mean their opinion on why was fact. Getting groups who could clear 60 5 mans was not hard...at all. Getting full sets of crafted gear wasn't hard....at all. It was farming. The hardest 5s/10 instances in classic were easily, easily puggable.
LFD killed the community I agree, but it also made heroics 100x easier to get into because they had to tweak the skill level of them to be puggable by people in that kind of gear level.
The hardcore community embraced BC. People quit every expac, but in general people talk about how hardcore raiding was at it's best in BC for a reason.
Now, I don't think you're biased like others. Some people like different things. Some people think Cata was their fave expac because of reasons more than gameplay. But, acting like hardcores left in masses in BC is just incorrect.
They left at the start of the expansion and BT was not launched in the start. The Hardcore players that I know of that quit, did it in the beginning of the expansion and therefore only experienced dungeons, Kharazan, Gruul and Magtheridon. Sure the content was harder comparing it to Scholo / UBRS but for an experienced raider it was still easy therefore they stopped playing.
Personally, i love these type sof threads, because i was one of those players who 'idolized' another player.
WoW was my first MMO, and Vanilla was literally the best the game has ever been for me. Sure there are more features, items, and lore that undoubtedly make the game that much more compelling, but what really, really, REALLY, made Vanilla so great was my community. Perenolde, for those who do not know, was an alliance lorde based near the shores of a lake in a mansion in Alterac mountains. He was the goal of a quest in the 40s range as i recall. He also just happens to be the NPC my home realm is named after.
Perenolde, or 'Perenoodle', or just 'the Noodle'. The forums was one of the funnest places to spend my time. There were maybe three guilds on the beginning that were hardcore into progression raiding back then. Alliance had the guild Fraternity, that is the one i really remember. I started alliance because my RL friends did, but i moved to horde when they quit (neither getting past lvl 45). But i remembered some of those guys just like the writer quoted in the OP. I would see this one human warrior (Phunbaba) and this other Dwarf warrior, whose name i have unfortunately forgotten standing on the mailboxes, or near the bank in Ironforge in their sick T1-T2 gear, or on their epic mounts and just stare.
When i moved to horde i got new, PvP idols. The first ever HWL on our server was a Tauren Shaman (again the name escapes me, but the first GM was a Gnome rogue named Streek, how cool is that?). There was a PvP guild too (Evil Empire, also the name of my favorite RATM album), who basically devoted themselves to grinding out HWLs and completely dominating AB, in fact they never lost an AB game. I remember most of them by looks only, and their shiney rank 10-13 sets. Wiskw, Sickboy, Placibus, Drdeath(this name may be wrong... it was Dr something), Nicodemous, Morrag, Toadead and her UD rogue husband, yet another name that escapes me... they werent all in EE, but all of them except Placibus hit HWL. A feat i was never prepared for.
To hear the PvPers tell it from horde side, they literally HAD to spend 14-16 hours everyday to keep ranking up past rank 12-13 because their were so few horde players compared to alliance that our ques were instant, compared to a 1-2hr wait time alliance side. Since we got so much more practice we won alot more often (unless you can across a Fraternity premade, whose overwhelming gear just toppled everything, but luckily between their 1.5hr average wait and penchant for pve, was rare) so honor gains could be huge. ALliance tell a completely different and almost opposite story of fewer games, even fewer wins, and strikingly less competition for HWL.
Your average joe alliance side had a chance at GM, whereas your average hord player did not, not because of the time commitment, but because there was a LIST. Thats right a list. Horde side pvpers banded together and helped each other out with grinding ranks, advancing one after another on the list. When someone broke that list and just pvp'd there ass off to get HWL without consent everyone on the list freaked out. Not to mention people wouldnt group with you if you were getting to much honor for your current spot on said list. Respect the list, and people respect you. Current HWLs would buy every weapon their class could use (many of them had to borrow the gold to do it) and then go out and farm DKs (not death knights, dishonorable kills) to drop their rank as fast as possible for the next HWL.
When i first heard about that i thought it was just about the coolest thing ever. I could never invest the kind of time that was needed, but if i could have, i WOULD have. To me having the HWL or GM tag is still one of the coolest things in the game, even if it really only took time, and not skill. Arena Masters and Battlemasters are probably second and third.
But that sense of community, the sense of competition between factions, the knowing of names/character appearances of the players on your own realm... seeing and playing with the people you idolized on your realm constantly, even when not grouping together specifically... those are the sorts of things i remember and miss. Unfortunately with xrealm capabilities they are gone, and they aren't coming back.
Shout out to any of the old school Noodlers! Ravenin says SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!!!!
Some of you are sharing old memories of a game and some random guy pops out from nowhere and feels the need to argue against you for reasons unknown. Quite hilarious if you ask me. Starting a discussion about taste over the internet is probably one of the dumbest things you could ever do. The fact that the discussion is focused on something as trivial as a game makes it even funnier.
I guess it is important for some to persuade others into thinking their way. After all, if someone is wrong on the internet you have to correct them.
Got halfway into the post before I noticed to many nostalgia tard warning signs. Might be he had something good to say but to me it sounded like another "vanilla had problems but everything I feel is still true" and as a proud wrath baby I cannot stand it
Wrath baby and proud of it