The question is simple, what changes or differences would you guys need to see from how classic wow was handled the first time around in order for you to be willing to play it all over again on fresh realms. If you wouldn’t want them to change anything, then express that view point as well. Come into this topic with the mindset that classic fresh realms are being released after the hype for TBC has truly died down and perhaps the content is running out.
Also, what changes would you like to see in TBC, whether it be changes to TBC or just a difference in approach from how they did classic wow?
This is what I would personally like to see (there is a TLDR at the bottom):
- World buffs disabled inside raids, dungeons & battlegrounds
As said by one of the original developers for classic wow, world buffs were never intended to be this meta changing series of super powers that enable players to clear the end game content. They were intended to be fun RPG bonuses for completing quests that quest designers thought would be cool on a whim. A lack of oversight on these additions meant that series of uncoordinated decisions led to a vast array of buffs being put in the game that made players overpowered for the content. Players back in 2004-2006 were too stupid to know about them but players today know better and now, world buffs have almost become mandatory for any average to top end guild. They force players to raid log and make the content even easier than it already is. By making them work only in the open world, they still fulfil their original intended purpose of being a fun RPG buff whilst not changing the end game meta for the worst. Removing them will make running the raids progressively more fun at the cost of ruining speed running. Imo, a worthy trade.
- Progressive talents & class balancing
One of the exciting aspects of a new update to WoW (in any expansion) are changes to classes and specialisations. What were previously OP are now average or terrible and what was once terrible are now viable or amazing. Things shifting and changing keeps the game fresh and exciting. Although classic is an old game where everything is already discovered, changes in class balance and talents would still have the previously mentioned positive effects. The biggest downside that 1.12.2 talents and class balance had was it made all content pre-naxx even easier than it already is because these changes that were introduced throughout vanilla, ultimately improved classes, not only in their utility and rotation, but also in raw healing, threat and damage output.
- Progressive AV
No one can deny that the honour farm meta at the start of classic was one of the most degenerate and unfun content loops ever conceived. Queuing into the same Battleground where both teams would proceed to NOT PVP in a PVP SYSTEM, and rush to the end to see who can kill an elite NPC the quickest and then rinse and repeat. Before the launch of classic, when people fantasised about vanilla AV, the image they had in their minds were the original iterations of AV. The version that lasted for days or weeks on end, with too many NPCs and mines in the way for people to be able to rush to the final boss. Some people may dread the idea of having to farm honour in this version of AV. However, they should not be afraid as if this version of AV had released, then AV would not have been the super honour efficient powerhouse that it was. Therefore, more streamlined BGs such as WSG become the meta and AV can be enjoyed in it’s superior form by AV enthusiasts.
- Progressive itemisation
Imagine an expansion like Legion releasing with Argus content already available at launch minus the raid and dungeon. It would destroy the intended progression path of the expansion. Thus why blizzard time gate and lock this progression behind patches. Well, the same philosophy applies to classic. Certain items were buffed in later patches as a form of catch up or nerfs to content. But they were intended for a LATER phase in the game’s life cycle. Not at the initial launch. Examples include PvP items being equivalent to AQ loot and people going into MC with 200+ spell power. This combined with 1.12.2 raid nerfs, 1.12.2 talents and class balance AND world buffs made any content pre naxx utterly laughable. Not just easy, laughably easy.
- Unnecessary changes reverted
Were extra bag slots for using an authenticator necessary? Did adding a daily instance cap to dungeons stop the instance botting problem? Did breaking AV premades fix the faction imbalance in terms of win rate or did it just switch which faction was dominating and which one was being dominated? The answer to all these questions is no, they didn’t fix or improve the game. Some changes did, like loot trading or stopping people escaping the starting locations in BGs before the match started but I would argue, that the majority of these retroactive changes did more harm than good and that going into fresh realms, we could see blizzard acknowledge these failures, and refuse to repeat them.
- No free transfers for the minority faction on PvP and Rpvp servers
This one is short and simple. Giving the oppressed minority faction on a PVP server access to a free plane ticket out of that nightmare and into a safe haven where their faction dominates spells disaster. Because of course the vast majority of the minority faction took that option and fled, leaving many servers with 90%/10% faction ratios. If we go fresh, only offer these free transfers to the majority faction in the hopes that some of them take it and leave for servers with less horde.
- Smaller server population caps & the removal of layering
No one can deny that the classic servers were overstuffed to save on resources (money) and blizzard used the band aid fix of layering to ‘solve’ this problem. Classic’s world was designed around a certain amount of players, 2500 to be exact, and so if you put more than that in the world, then that larger amount of people are going to be competing over resources designed to be spread across 2500 people. The consequences are obvious. Inflated prices and not enough resources for everyone, so many will go without. What blizzard should do for fresh, which they won’t because they’re either greedy, lazy or both, is have more servers with a 2500 player cap and no layering (unless the servers can’t even handle 2500 people). If this causes servers to die long term, then merge them later when server populations begin to die off. Merging isn’t ideal, but it is better than overfilling servers imo.
Layering also had a negative impact on the economy as the system was abused extensively by cunning and conniving players in the early phases to accumulate an unnatural amount of materials which they could sell later on for an incredible profit. The impacts this had on the economy can still be felt even now in phase 6. Some players made so much gold in the early days of classic due to layering that they could fund themselves well into TBC and even early WotLK. The recent Gbid of a naxx sword for near gold cap should be evidence enough. This is not even to mention how unclassic like layering is, completely destroying immersion and the idea of a singular world and the people on your server being the same people you will always see day in and day out. I don’t think fresh realms will be as popular as the original wave of classic servers so layering may not be necessary.
- Pre-nerf content
Although raid nerfs weren’t as drastic in vanilla as they were in TBC, they still existed, namely to MC, and they aren’t necessary with how good modern players are. Revert them and keep them that way throughout classic.
- Progressive bug fixes - sort of…
I don’t really want the game riddled with game-breaking bugs that I’m sure existed in the early patches but what I would like to see are the unintended quirks created through bugs that created cool and iconic events such as the hakkar blood plague and kazzak’s invasion of stormwind, just for a limited time. Hakkar’s blood plague could be a week tops and kazzak and black dragons being pulled to stormwind can just be for phase 2 or something.
- No Dishonourable Kills (DKs)
I would like to see DKs not introduced to the game as they killed world pvp because the risk of getting just 1 DK made any person who cared about their rank afraid to go anywhere near a town or city. DKs make sense in theory but in practice take more joy out of the game than they preserve, Single target ganking of low levels will occur regardless because DKs only really prevent AoE.
- Stronger anti-cheat and more regular ban waves for botting and gold buying/selling
Do a simple /who in any end game dungeon or ZG and you will see that Blizzard has failed to punish bots. And bots, more often then not, are used as a tool to generate gold which then goes on to be sold for real money. Blizzard MUST do a better job with this in both classic TBC and fresh realms. They have contributed to the inflation of the economy and completely stolen entire gold farming methods from legitimate players. If players are allowed to cheat, it delegitimises and cheapens any and all accomplishments made in the game.
- Nerfed dungeon & raid XP (baseline & when with higher level players)
This is 2 issues merged into 1. At classic launch, many looked forward to questing through the old world again and seeing thousands of players along the way. This included meta slaves who thought, based off private servers, that even they would be questing, just extremely quickly. However, it was soon realised on the beta that dungeon xp was far superior to questing and so the meta, for anyone who cares about playing competitively, was to farm dungeons in spell AOE farm or melee cleave groups. This goes completely against the spirit of vanilla, and although blizzard say it matches their reference client, I have doubts.
The second issue is the XP that players from dungeon mobs whilst in a group with a high level player. For example, a level 20 with a level 60. This should be nerfed significantly so XP boosts are almost entirely invalidated.
- Buff pre-60 dungeon difficulty
Another stark difference between blizzard’s classic wow and private servers was the significant drop in difficulty from private server values to classic wow values. Blizzard say their values match their reference client, I have doubts about the accuracy of their client. Either way, I’d like to see changes. Making levelling dungeons harder would also make them less viable for speed levelling.
- Reduced or removed spell batching
I like spell batching, I think it was something that contributed to the classic experience. However, Blizzard’s artificial batching in classic seems stronger then it ever felt on any private server. Imo, they should try halving it to 200.
- Longer phase cycle (more time in-between phases)
The time between AQ 40 and Naxx was especially short and resulted in Naxx being released at the same time as Shadowlands, which was bad for both retail and classic. If they do classic again, I would like to see longer gaps between phases.
- Safe zones in Phase 2 & a longer warning for phase 2 release date
Phase 2 caught many by suprise and consequently enraged many players. Knowing this now, Blizzard should provide players with at least a month’s notice on the release of phase 2 so that players can prepare. Additionally, some sort of honourless target buff or safe zones should be implemented near flight masters and boats to stop the relentless honour farm ganking at these locations. This could be done 3 ways. 1. Buff guard damage, health and spawn rate and how far away they can detect hostile actions 2. Give players a 5 minute buff when they land at a flight point that makes killing them give 0 honour and if they attack an enemy player, they lose the buff immediately 3. Disable pvp in quest hubs that have flight points like thorium point (even on pvp servers).
- Old epic mounts for phase 1?
Not really a big deal but I think it’d be a cool sign of who got their epic mount before phase 2. And it was in original classic. shrug
- Banning players who participate in multi-boxing & cross faction collusion
Mostly in reference to the AQ scarab gong event, the abuse of game mechanics there, especially on PVP servers was a level of degeneracy I have not seen in a game before. It was terrible in almost every way imaginable and should be punished the second time around. Multi-boxing software has being made against the ToS now for both retail and classic and cross-faction collusion can easily be considered either abuse of game mechanics or griefing.
- Separate premade and solo BG que
When premades come up against a full team of randoms, it essentially ceases to be PVP. It’s just one side farming training dummies for 10 minutes. Although ques will be longer if this was implemented, each game would be fairer and probably more fun. Also, having grand marshal would mean more this way because if they did it in premades, you know that they had to rank through playing against other competent teams and not just random scrubs.
World buffs disabled inside of raids, dungeons & battlegrounds
Progressive talents & class balancing
Unnecessary changes reverted
No free transfers for the minority faction on PvP and Rpvp servers
Smaller server population caps & the removal of layering
Progressive bug fixes (partially)
No Dishonourable kills
Stronger anti-cheat and more regular bans for botting and gold selling/buying
Nerfed dungeon & raid XP (baseline & when with higher level players)
Buffed pre-60 dungeon difficulty
Reduced or removed spell batching
Longer phase cycle (time between phases)
Safe zones in Phase 2 & a longer warning for the release of phase 2
Old epic mounts in phase 1 (not important)
Banning players who participate in multi-boxing & cross faction collusion
Separate premade and solo BG ques