As WoW: Classic reaches its end, there is a lot to reflect on in this largely experimental game. Despite being effectively a copy of a fifteen-year old game, WoW: Classic and the original are hardly the same game. It is due to considerable developments in communications and better recording of information that WoW: Classic turned out so different from the original. Here are some of the ways that the two are different despite almost identical code.
WoW’s main attraction are their raids, immensely difficult challenges that can only be overcome with a large number of players. WoW’s first ever raid, Molten Core, took players 5 months and 3 days for the world first clear, though in the recent iteration of the game, it took just 1 week, and that is including the time it took to level up to 60 and get attuned to the raid. While the stats of the bosses are no different between the two, better internet connections make things far easier. There is no reason to worry that one of your raiders may get disconnected because a relative picked up a phone on their dial up connection. Better internet connection means smoother voice communication and better transmission of information – all vital for a successful raid. Also, players have had fifteen years to study the raid! New raid mechanics are no longer a surprise to players – they know everything that is going to happen and exactly when it will happen.
World Buff Meta
Start off in Yojamba Island to get the Heart of the Zandalar buff, take a summon to Dire Maul to snag a few buffs for just 10 gold, then hearth back to your home city for the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer buff, then risk a summon to Felwood to try and get the Songflower buff in heavily contested territory. It’s a big list, it’s a hassle, and a lot can go wrong – so why bother?
With much easier raids, players don’t get the same thrill of completion as they once did, so instead they try to push their DPS to the roof. Some raid groups are specifically formed with the intent to push a single player’s DPS sky high just to claim the number one spot. And, as you could guess, these buffs are pivotal to helping achieve this. These buffs are so powerful that they can potentially half the time taken to complete a raid – but to a player fifteen years ago, they weren’t worth going out of your way. Definitely not interesting enough to spend an hour trying to acquire them all, especially when they would disappear with a single death.
Soon enough, raiding with world buffs became the norm, and players would simply stop playing until raid time to secure the safety of their buffs.
In the old game, players would run dungeons for experience points and useful pieces of equipment. Nowadays, they spend gold for someone else to do it for them. For just a few gold pieces, any player can pay for a mage to run through the dungeon and use their powerful AOE spells to clear hundreds of enemies within a matter of minutes, meaning they can level up their character without lifting a finger. This reliance on boosts means that very few players run through dungeons for their original purpose and instead rely on mages abusing certain mechanics to do it all for them. This is especially detrimental to a game that once prided itself on the need to form groups through social interaction, and a solid 90-95% of dungeon groups formed are just for boosting.