What distinguishes Classic WoW from most early MMOs is that it still holds up today. The same can not be said for many pre-WoW mmos. A lot of posters on this subreddit yearn for the "golden" years of MMORPGS before World of Warcraft, but the truth is that nowadays nobody really wants to play those games, and this isn't just because the graphics are outdated. Let me use Dark Age of Camelot as an example. It is often referred to as one of the best PvP MMORPGS. That might have been the case almost 20 years ago, but that is because it was a product of its time. Dark Age of Camelot is not a game that people wanna play in 2019, even if you have nostalgia for it. I was involved in a private server for Dark Age of Camelot, and was reminded of all the terrible aspects of the game. If they were bad 20 years ago, then imagine how players woul receive them nowadays? The PvE was an utterly boring grind. Nobody wants to level in Dark Age of Camelot. You basically walk around the zones killing mobs. The zones are lifeless. Players end up forming AE groups, where they just pull groups of mobs and AE them down. I remember on the server we had to change the XP rates, because of how boring the leveling process was. The playerbase wanted to PvP in the Frontiers and the tedious leveling experience was nothing but an obstacle. So in Dark Age of Camelot the PvP is open world. What ends up happening is that the elitist players just steamroll the casual and inexperienced players. It is so unrewarding if you aren't playing around the meta or with a pre-set group. This private server basically had to customize the entire game just to keep the population sustainable.
The same can be said for many other Pre-WoW MMOS. Try to play Star Wars Galaxies. You will immediately notice how dismal the UI is, and how stupid the combat is. Then you notice just how clunky everything is. Movement, animations, etc.. I can rattle off a lot more of these MMORPGS. Games like Shadowbane are nonsense if played today . The zones and economies are dominated by elite guilds who ruin the game for everyone else. These games were always irredeemably flawed. Everquest is the one MMORPG that is still relatively playable nowadays, particularly due to its RPG aspects. I know how unpopular Classic WoW is on this subreddit, but the game did improve the genre in some ways. Considering the current state of the genre, it does not surprise me there is such a high demand to play it again. It does hold up quite well.
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