World of Warcraft is going back to its roots with Classic coming out in summer and only an active subscription will be required to play the game. We were invited to the Closed Beta and have a couple of first impressions to share with you.
The Main Principle
Blizzard’s goal with Classic is to recreate an authentic Vanilla experience, so it’s time to forget about all the conveniences that exist in the current version of the game. In Classic, there will be no Heirlooms, map tracking, flying mounts, quick leveling, or Dungeon Finder and you will get your first 60% ground mount at level 40. Quest objectives have a low drop chance and oftentimes you’ll have to kill 18 mobs for a single quest…
The Sense of Community
With the introduction of Dungeon Finder and other conveniences, the current game feels a lot less social to me. You don’t like a member in your party? Kick them out and that’s it. In Classic, you will think twice before kicking someone out of your group, because you’re looking at 30 minutes spent in town, looking for a new member.
It’s all about the little things in Classic! If you’re a Priest and buff nearby players with Power Word: Fortitude, expect a wholehearted thank you. A Mage may trade you conjured water to help you regain Mana in between pulls and buff you with Arcane Intellect, which brings me onto the subject of combat.
I’m Out of Mana!
You’re going to find yourself out of Mana more often than not, which is why you should always carry water with you. You can increase your Mana regeneration by sitting down out of combat. I believe Mana regeneration is increased for low level characters, but you’re going to have a bad time if you intend to pull more than one mob. As a Priest, you cast Shadow Word: Pain, 3 Smite, shield yourself with Power Word: Shield, and your Mana is GONE. Expect frequent breaks in between pulls.
There’s no map tracking in Classic, you actually need to read the quests or look them up to find the objective. Instead of a mark on your map, you must read the quest log and figure out the objective yourself. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
The Mills Overrun
To get to the Mills, follow the road west. After crossing the bridge, take the next fork north then keep going north. When you see windmills, the battle will begin.
You must pay close attention to your surroundings and visualize your current location and where you’re supposed to go, or look the quest up. If you want to track a quest, you must do it manually from within the Quest Log.
Questing: Now and Then
Questing is tedious in Classic, but that’s not generally a bad thing. Nowadays, if you accept a quest, you don’t even read the quest log, quickly kill multiple packs of mobs to proceed and that’s it, all due to an increasing numbers of levels and expansions. WoW is in dire need of a level squish to give levels meaning again.
Playing Classic for a few hours made me realize how oversimplified current WoW is and how I liked the old pacing, as opposed to the artificial content gating we had in Tides of Vengeance. The game might not catter to everyone, but that’s not a problem. At the end of the day, there’s retail and Classic is just a sweet added bonus.
Let us know what Classic content you’d like to see in the comments!
We were invited to Closed Beta and here are our initial thoughts on Classic.