I played a lot more of WoW Classic yesterday than I thought I would. I first logged in as Bravetank a Human Priest but gave up after about 5 minutes when I couldn’t find any kobolds or wolves to kill. The starter zone was filled with corpses and tapped mobs and hundreds of over excited Azeroth heroes – I’ve not seen anything like that in WoW for a long time. It was amazing but frustrating (and I was lucky – I didn’t really encounter any queueing problems) so I bailed for a bit to rewatch Rocky (Creed II had got me all nostalgic – it was a day of it) .
An hour or so later I tried again on a lower population EU server and this time created Bravetank the Night Elf Hunter. It was a little better this time round. I was able to find and kill spiders and Grells and Timberlings – albeit slowly because there were still A LOT of people tapping all the mobs and because this is WoW Classic so everything feels so much slower – wonderfully so.
To start with I was a little disconcerted at not being told where to go to find and do things. I mean I had remembered there was no quest tracker but to actually see the map in all it’s plain uncharted and unhelpful goodness and to have to actually read quest text – well that was a shock to the system. But it’s a long overdue shock. I found myself actually looking around the area properly to find what I needed rather than running/riding/flying off on autopilot to kill everything signposted for me. It was great to have to “manually” doublecheck (i.e. read name then re-read quest) that the Gnarlpines I was killing were the right ones (Ambushers rather than Defenders or Shamans etc.) rather than just automatically checking the tooltip.
Progress is slow. I’m still only level 7 and I must have played for about 4 hours! I seem to be running from A to B and back again all the time (far more running than fighting – sort of like Rocky training montages now I think of it). I’ve still not left the area around Dolannar. In main WoW you level up so quickly these days that you’re in and out of the starter area without having a chance to properly look around. WoW Classic reminds me of what I loved in the game and what I can’t recapture in main WoW. It’s the fact you spend so much time in a zone, traversing the lengths and breadths again and again, searching every nook and cranny for everything you need, that when it’s time to leave you feel bereft for a time, the new zones are strangers and the old zone is home. And that’s what gave the game richness and depth. Real life memories were created in each zone, and through zone after zone these memories built on each other and created an experience and feeling I’ve never been able to recreate in any other game since, not even in WoW. I complete zones in main WoW but I don’t live and breathe them anymore. WoW Classic has reminded me of that.
Of course I like and will miss many of the quality of life extras we’ve gained over the years. But I’ve decided not to go the add-on route. Many of the things that have made life easier have made the game less immersive and I hadn’t realised that was happening. I was just enjoying all the new shinies. But WoW without them feels like a real world again and I’m glad to be in it. It started raining in the game yesterday and someone said in chat, “It’s so beautiful” – I couldn’t have agreed more. And that’s the other thing – the starter zone chat has been amazing. It’s clear people are excited about being back. For some people of course it’s their first time. Many were asking how to do such and such and experienced folk were being helpful in return – actually answering questions! At one point people started sharing their ages and it was noticeable how many were in their 40s like me – there was definitely an older demographic. People were friendly in game too – I was randomly buffed and healed countless times. It was how it used to be.
Other random observations –
- Having to remember to go to the trainer when I level, paying for new spells and abilities (the novelty of that will soon wear off!) and spell ranks.
- Not knowing the vendor value of all the stuff I’m having to delete because of course I have no space in my bags.
- The size of the client is so much smaller than main WoW so I can install and play on my space limited Mac – this means more chance of playing so yay!
It looks like this new old world will be my world of choice for some time now. It was a wonderful first few hours. I’m now looking forward to the talent tree and taming my first pet (I’ll need to remember to feed it). And of course I will be grinding for gold to be able to afford riding training when the time comes – just need to try and find space in my bag for my mount ….