I Played a Private Vanilla WoW Server over the Weekend

AV

Gold Member
May 31, 2018
1,205
1,565
350
#1
  • AV

    AV

... and it was fantastic. Not that this is new to anyone, just wanted to get this out. I'd remembered that WoW classic is coming out later this year and got a bit of a bug to play. I played retail fairly solidly from 2005-2010 when Cataclysm launched, didn't like it much and fell off for a few years and then returned to raid in WoD (ugh) and then Legion, so it's been a long time since I touched the original game.

Boy, this was a blast. One of the many problems in modern WoW, as I'm sure most players will tell you, is that the majority of the game has been casualised and streamlined to the point of being completely braindead. Leveling these days consists of any class of almost any spec being able to pull huge groups of mobs together and nuke them down with very little thought or consequence. You'll finish maybe one third of the quests in a zone before you've outleveled the rest, and then move on using a flight path given to you. Skills are available instantly for free and there's barely any reason to visit a city. Dungeons are done with groups of strangers being lead by a tank in full artifact gear and zero communication is necessary.

Contrast that with the experience I had at the weekend. Mobs took significantly longer to kill and I actually had to rest every so often. Pulling two mobs was usually manageable at full health but any more was dangerous, and death was always around the corner. I'd sometimes have to tactically pull groups, wait until some of them started running back and then pick off the straggler. Icons were minimal and I had to actually explore areas. Skills were learned at trainers and cost precious silver, and after a while you'd have to travel back to the city where you might also do some other errands. First aid and even cooking were viable skills that were well worth learning. The economy actually made sense and level 6 items in the AH weren't 100 gold. Traversing the world actually felt like you were on a journey and not just zipping between a hundred flight paths. I'd do every quest I could find in a zone and still be underleveled, having to brave some higher level ones early or, god forbid, grind a little. I didn't get a piece of blue gear until I was in my 20s. Talent trees were a thing and I actually had to use my brain and plan ahead on what would be worth doing.

But most importantly, I had to communicate with people. Even regular quests could be a total pain if the enemies were bunched up in groups. Elite quests were straight up impossible to solo. People would randomly assist me with mobs even though there was no benefit to them, and I'd do the same. Everyone would buff each other at every turn. Level 60s would randomly hand out low level gear they'd found and boosting was a thing. People would communicate in general chat about the location of quest spawns and the opposite faction.

I greatly miss what this game was and it's been really wild going back and looking at it again, rough edges be damned. I really, really hope Blizzard don't screw classic up somehow, because I'll certainly be going back if it turns out okay.
 

JORMBO

Darkness no more
Mar 5, 2009
5,537
1,904
1,000
#9
Attunements, elemental resistances to farm, spamming LFG for hours in Ironforge... no thanks.
I used to love all this stuff back in the day. Working towards something and then finally killing a boss with 40 people created some of my best gaming memories. I would never want to devote the time to a game again that Vanilla required though for high end raiding.
 
Jun 8, 2009
3,399
1,630
775
Cagliari, Italy
#10
  • Fuz

    Fuz

I used to love all this stuff back in the day. Working towards something and then finally killing a boss with 40 people created some of my best gaming memories. I would never want to devote the time to a game again that Vanilla required though for high end raiding.
No, 40-men raids were fun.

The useless time sinks, were not.
 
Aug 30, 2018
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98
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#12
I've played a few private servers of various MMOs in my time; classic WoW loses it's luster at the end game and you're sitting there thinking "Oh right, this is like a second job..." and hop into another game.

I can't believe that pirate servers are still a thing though. Hopefully Wow Classic resolves this need from players.
Private servers will always be a thing; either because of free play or just modding the original game for your niches. Such as cutting down time of doing things to raid prep and not have to play a game like a second job >.>

Kind of kills the point of an untouched classic version of an MMO though.
 
Sep 25, 2015
4,682
1,634
320
Somewhere in space
#13
That sounds pretty rad compared to your description of modern WoW, OP.
I don't have any experience with WoW to speak of, having been a MapleStory / Flyff / Guild Wars 2 lad back when I had the inclination to play MMOs, but I remember that feeling of community well from those games.
People helping eachother out and becoming friends, it was just like my japanese animes :messenger_peace:

It's a shame that casualization and a ceaseless hunger for bigger ROI has gradually pushed games in a much less fun direction.

I hope that I won't have to explain the joke.
Please explain the joke for this poor context-less peasant.

I assume it's based on a dumb thing some industry bigwig said, but you never know when you've missed a legendary thread stealthily spawning a low-key GAF meme.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2, 2015
295
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#16
Please explain the joke for this poor context-less peasant.

I assume it's based on a dumb thing some industry bigwig said, but you never know when you've missed a legendary thread stealthily spawning a low-key GAF meme.
The main argument against Classic is that is it just nostalgia and "you will realise that Classic is actually garbage". When shown that you can still enjoy the game on private server, not to mention the demand it has and concurrent online, shitposters will say something on the line of "muh russians, muh chinese, muh no longer 14". You can actually see it in this very thread.
Also the idea that you would want to replay a MMO that is no longer available is somehow seen as weird and not normal, while replaying 25 year old game and shitposting how gaming currently is shit is not. It's not just GAF, it's everywhere.
I assume he's referencing this.
More or less.
 
Aug 30, 2018
148
98
195
#18
The main argument against Classic is that is it just nostalgia and "you will realise that Classic is actually garbage". When shown that you can still enjoy the game on private server, not to mention the demand it has and concurrent online, shitposters will say something on the line of "muh russians, muh chinese, muh no longer 14". You can actually see it in this very thread.
Also the idea that you would want to replay a MMO that is no longer available is somehow seen as weird and not normal, while replaying 25 year old game and shitposting how gaming currently is shit is not. It's not just GAF, it's everywhere.
Same thing is said about remakes and remasters, etc these days too.

In my experience where Vanilla WoW lost it's luster is that I had raided during that time and subsequent expansions.

For me, putting the time sink to replay that specific content isn't as appealing as doing it with multiple titles.

I just hope they do well with Classic as it could be fun to just hop into and play as a break from retail.
 
Jul 20, 2007
925
23
860
Newfoundland
#19
Oof, there's my dose of cringe for the afternoon.
The smugness of the Blizzard guy is off the charts man. You could always add a Dungeon Finder (tank finder) to original servers too. Nobody is forced to use it if they want to be pure in their experience. You still get all the great balanced and challenging game play, and the sense of being immersed in a world where cities matter and travel is dangerous.. just grouping for dungeons is made easier for players who want to use the DF. It doesn't make the content facerolly in any way. Don't presume tell me what I want or don't want and mock me for it.
 
Nov 20, 2013
525
36
335
#21
Overall, if they make it classic WoW not past a certain patch date and before Burning Crusade expansion I won’t be interested. My nastalgia was for the people I played with. In regards to 5-member group dungeons, Catalysm did it much better. When it comes to PvP just about any expansion afterward did it better.

I don’t expect them to not modify classic Wow. Too many broken systems and classes/specs. I think we’ll get a fusion of some kind.
 
Oct 14, 2012
1,477
8
515
Portland, OR
#22
Overall, if they make it classic WoW not past a certain patch date and before Burning Crusade expansion I won’t be interested. My nastalgia was for the people I played with. In regards to 5-member group dungeons, Catalysm did it much better. When it comes to PvP just about any expansion afterward did it better.

I don’t expect them to not modify classic Wow. Too many broken systems and classes/specs. I think we’ll get a fusion of some kind.
They'll learn, and then they will come back into the fold once they realize just how good they really had it.
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
Jun 8, 2004
4,215
256
1,505
#23
Yeah, Cataclysm is when I hung it up and stopped caring about WoW. I didn't like the changes to the old world and the general feel of the game wasn't doing anything for me by that point. It was really disappointing because until then I was enjoy the direction the game was going in, as Burning Crusade and Lich King were a lot of fun for me. I'm certainly curious to see what happens with the Classic servers. Not sure if I'll hop on board right away, as I'm currently quite content playing FFXIV and it has a new expansion in the summer, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on those WoW servers to see how true to the original they wind up being.
 

JORMBO

Darkness no more
Mar 5, 2009
5,537
1,904
1,000
#24
No, 40-men raids were fun.

The useless time sinks, were not.
Some of the time sinks added to the game. Spamming for groups in IF was how I ended up meeting most of the people I played with. You met actual people, added them to your friendlist and kept in touch. Group finders are really convienent, but no one talks and you never see anyone ever again.

I will agree some of the grinds were just crazy though. Having to gear 8 warriors with 4 peice T3 for the Four Horsemen was crazy, shadow pots for Loatheb, etc.
 
Likes: Helios
Nov 9, 2013
709
207
360
San Francisco, CA
#25
I played classic wow for a bit and hell no would I ever go back. The raid were amazing. The coordination of healers, tanks and dps were great. Other than that, everything falls short. Once you drained all of the quests in an area, you still had to hand around the dungeon entrances to get a group of folks together to run it. Don't get me started on classes. You have all these classes/builds, but there was only *one* correct way. Tankadin...PFFT. DPS Druid...go re-roll.

For those people who enjoy it and have tons of time to play. Good on them.
 
Jun 8, 2009
3,399
1,630
775
Cagliari, Italy
#26
  • Fuz

    Fuz

Some of the time sinks added to the game. Spamming for groups in IF
No.
No.
No.
Just no.

I played rogue and it LITERALLY took hours to find a group for an UBRS run. Then when I found the group, I ran out of time to run the dungeon.

No.
No.
Fuck that shit.

ving to gear 8 warriors with 4 peice T3 for the Four Horsemen was crazy, shadow pots for Loatheb, etc.
I was thinking more fire resist for MC or nature for AQ.
 
Last edited:
Oct 4, 2007
2,507
19
930
Somewhere
#29
Downloaded one of the servers you can run local just do dick around with GM commands and BiS gear on characters. How boring and mindless the minute-to-minute gameplay is is going to hit a lot people hard in the nostalgia goggles if they've played any recent expansion. Most classes literally boil down to auto-attacking and pressing one or two buttons every 6 seconds.
 
Jun 13, 2018
1,296
1,864
300
#30
Downloaded one of the servers you can run local just do dick around with GM commands and BiS gear on characters. How boring and mindless the minute-to-minute gameplay is is going to hit a lot people hard in the nostalgia goggles if they've played any recent expansion. Most classes literally boil down to auto-attacking and pressing one or two buttons every 6 seconds.
I actually found leveling much more interesting on Vanilla rather than Retail, at least back when I used to play. On retail I press the join queue button, enter a dungeon, aoe spam everything, get loot, repeat. On vanilla, at least as a hunter I had multiple things to manage :my auto-shot counter, my mana, I had to keep track of me and my pet's aggro otherwise the mob might get into my deadzone etc. . Combine that with the fact that someone from the other faction could get the drop on me every second it actually made for a pretty interesting experience. Yeah, a lot of the classes have a very basic rotation but there are multiple things that you need to do outside of the rotation if you want to min-max everything (I.E. Hamstring kitting to trade 1 for 1 AA with mobs as a warrior).
 
Last edited:
Sep 6, 2015
732
47
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#31
... and it was fantastic. Not that this is new to anyone, just wanted to get this out. I'd remembered that WoW classic is coming out later this year and got a bit of a bug to play. I played retail fairly solidly from 2005-2010 when Cataclysm launched, didn't like it much and fell off for a few years and then returned to raid in WoD (ugh) and then Legion, so it's been a long time since I touched the original game.

Boy, this was a blast. One of the many problems in modern WoW, as I'm sure most players will tell you, is that the majority of the game has been casualised and streamlined to the point of being completely braindead. Leveling these days consists of any class of almost any spec being able to pull huge groups of mobs together and nuke them down with very little thought or consequence. You'll finish maybe one third of the quests in a zone before you've outleveled the rest, and then move on using a flight path given to you. Skills are available instantly for free and there's barely any reason to visit a city. Dungeons are done with groups of strangers being lead by a tank in full artifact gear and zero communication is necessary.

Contrast that with the experience I had at the weekend. Mobs took significantly longer to kill and I actually had to rest every so often. Pulling two mobs was usually manageable at full health but any more was dangerous, and death was always around the corner. I'd sometimes have to tactically pull groups, wait until some of them started running back and then pick off the straggler. Icons were minimal and I had to actually explore areas. Skills were learned at trainers and cost precious silver, and after a while you'd have to travel back to the city where you might also do some other errands. First aid and even cooking were viable skills that were well worth learning. The economy actually made sense and level 6 items in the AH weren't 100 gold. Traversing the world actually felt like you were on a journey and not just zipping between a hundred flight paths. I'd do every quest I could find in a zone and still be underleveled, having to brave some higher level ones early or, god forbid, grind a little. I didn't get a piece of blue gear until I was in my 20s. Talent trees were a thing and I actually had to use my brain and plan ahead on what would be worth doing.

But most importantly, I had to communicate with people. Even regular quests could be a total pain if the enemies were bunched up in groups. Elite quests were straight up impossible to solo. People would randomly assist me with mobs even though there was no benefit to them, and I'd do the same. Everyone would buff each other at every turn. Level 60s would randomly hand out low level gear they'd found and boosting was a thing. People would communicate in general chat about the location of quest spawns and the opposite faction.

I greatly miss what this game was and it's been really wild going back and looking at it again, rough edges be damned. I really, really hope Blizzard don't screw classic up somehow, because I'll certainly be going back if it turns out okay.
Leveling was actually hard. You can die to the basic mobs if you pull more than 2 for gods sake.
 
Sep 6, 2015
732
47
250
#32
Downloaded one of the servers you can run local just do dick around with GM commands and BiS gear on characters. How boring and mindless the minute-to-minute gameplay is is going to hit a lot people hard in the nostalgia goggles if they've played any recent expansion. Most classes literally boil down to auto-attacking and pressing one or two buttons every 6 seconds.
Nope.

Still play on some private servers, enjoy it more. Over-complicating combat doesn't automatically make it good.
 
Likes: Fuz
Sep 6, 2015
732
47
250
#34
It's not about being complex. WoW rotations were way more complex in WOTLK->MOP than they are now. It's about having some variety and not pressing Frostbolt and only Frostbolt for hours on end.
It depends what you want out of a game. I don't mind if being simple if it has purpose and is challenging.

Dark Souls isn't particularly complicated. Half the time you're pressing right bumper or circle.
 
Nov 3, 2013
3,387
933
415
32
#35
... and it was fantastic. Not that this is new to anyone, just wanted to get this out. I'd remembered that WoW classic is coming out later this year and got a bit of a bug to play. I played retail fairly solidly from 2005-2010 when Cataclysm launched, didn't like it much and fell off for a few years and then returned to raid in WoD (ugh) and then Legion, so it's been a long time since I touched the original game.

Boy, this was a blast. One of the many problems in modern WoW, as I'm sure most players will tell you, is that the majority of the game has been casualised and streamlined to the point of being completely braindead. Leveling these days consists of any class of almost any spec being able to pull huge groups of mobs together and nuke them down with very little thought or consequence. You'll finish maybe one third of the quests in a zone before you've outleveled the rest, and then move on using a flight path given to you. Skills are available instantly for free and there's barely any reason to visit a city. Dungeons are done with groups of strangers being lead by a tank in full artifact gear and zero communication is necessary.

Contrast that with the experience I had at the weekend. Mobs took significantly longer to kill and I actually had to rest every so often. Pulling two mobs was usually manageable at full health but any more was dangerous, and death was always around the corner. I'd sometimes have to tactically pull groups, wait until some of them started running back and then pick off the straggler. Icons were minimal and I had to actually explore areas. Skills were learned at trainers and cost precious silver, and after a while you'd have to travel back to the city where you might also do some other errands. First aid and even cooking were viable skills that were well worth learning. The economy actually made sense and level 6 items in the AH weren't 100 gold. Traversing the world actually felt like you were on a journey and not just zipping between a hundred flight paths. I'd do every quest I could find in a zone and still be underleveled, having to brave some higher level ones early or, god forbid, grind a little. I didn't get a piece of blue gear until I was in my 20s. Talent trees were a thing and I actually had to use my brain and plan ahead on what would be worth doing.

But most importantly, I had to communicate with people. Even regular quests could be a total pain if the enemies were bunched up in groups. Elite quests were straight up impossible to solo. People would randomly assist me with mobs even though there was no benefit to them, and I'd do the same. Everyone would buff each other at every turn. Level 60s would randomly hand out low level gear they'd found and boosting was a thing. People would communicate in general chat about the location of quest spawns and the opposite faction.

I greatly miss what this game was and it's been really wild going back and looking at it again, rough edges be damned. I really, really hope Blizzard don't screw classic up somehow, because I'll certainly be going back if it turns out okay.
You just described what FFXIV is today lol, don't have to go to an arcaic 12 years old version of an mmo.
 

ArchaeEnkidu

Vincit qui se vincit
Jan 30, 2018
2,830
4,485
485
#36
Played Vanilla WoW extensively to the point where I was in one of the few guilds that was able to run Naxx 40 (though we were unable to clear it in time for BC). As much as I loved the game then and still love some of the design choices - ultimately the game is better now than it ever was. There were multiple specs that were nigh unplayable, pacing issues where you had to ultimately grind on random mobs for hours in Winterspring just to reach the next level and the quests associated, long waits and grinds trying to get into dungeon groups or getting new raiders geared, waiting on/organizing 39 other people to do raids, waiting 20-40 seconds between every 1-2 pulls for mana/health, etc.

The game brought a huge, open world that was beyond anything I had played at the time with server communities that were fantastic, moments that have stuck with me for over a decade now - but it is ultimately a poor game in today's world. It is fun to replay for nostalgia - but if you want to experience the same thrills and joy that you experienced 14 years ago, you will be very, very disappointed.

Also most of what you stated that you enjoyed, OP, is what FFXIV currently does. I suggest you check it out.
 
Likes: Fuz