World of Warcraft

There’s More to Learn from Classic than Code Behaviors

wow10 - There's More to Learn from Classic than Code Behaviors

Ion, in an interview with xDlate, where Ion said the following in response to what they could take away from classic:

Ion Hazzikostas: One example that I can think of–let's take a look at how our code evolved. We removed the ability called "Eye of the Beast" from hunters and, as a result of several code changes, it was actually impossible to us to reinstate it in modern WoW– it would be a tremendous amount of work. Well, to make Classic happen, we had to do most of that work. There are still some bugs to fix, but we actually think in the modern game, thanks to the work we've done to make "Eyes of the Beast" work again, there's no reason we can't give hunters that ability back in Battle for Azeroth, and that's like a small example of something.

Now, that's exciting on its own, don't get me wrong. I think those little fluff spells helped the game just feel a little bit bigger. But as I've been playing the classic beta, I've sort of wondered if those kinds of things are the only things worth looking at as a positive in classic.

Before I open this discussion properly, I want to get something out of the way: I was pretty much a "you think you do, but you don't" type of person. I thought maybe classic would be interesting as a historical archive, a nostalgia tank, and other than that appeal to a small, but dedicated and content following. I'm not 12 anymore, I don't have the time I had back in middle school to grind things out. How could I possibly enjoy it taking 4 hours to get to level 10, or barely affording to train my abilities — or even train my abilities for that matter?


It was today that it hit me — I really do enjoy playing Shaman more on classic than I do on live. Even only at level 30, I enjoy playing my shaman more. It's more satisfying. It's slower, there's no doubt about that — but there's more depth, more nuance, and I just feel more shaman-y. Yeah, I'm not spamming stormstrike — but why is live Enhancement shaman just a zappy fury warrior? It actually made sense filling the space between my autoattacks with totems and shocks. Yup, there's eventually points where I don't need to drop totems AND my shocks are on cooldown. Those moments are slower, but they're also less projected. When I'm staring at my mana bar waiting for an MP5 tick to get that last clutch spell off, I'm not really annoyed that I'm in a downtime window.

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I don't bring this up to just gloat about classic but it did get me thinking — is there more in classic, even in terms of broad design choices, that could be applied to live and improve the game? Is it really such a bad thing to have to talk to people and group for questing? Is it bad that you can die while just questing?

Is it even bad for the game if gaining a couple levels feels like a legitimate achievement on some level?

This is a discussion post. I don't have answers. While I do have a clean "I enjoyed shaman better in vanilla" stance, I am not saying (or trying to imply) that one design paradigm is objectively better than the other.

I am wondering, however, that if there's more to learn from Classic than the code base.

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