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Downtime in Classic as an intentional social mechanic

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teebling
(@teebling)
Noble Member

Just read an interesting post on MMOchamp - It quotes an original developer on the vanilla team as having implemented ‘eating and drinking’ (to regain mana and health) in order to also allow people time to chat to other players.

This never occurred to me but it makes sense - that downtime is not only providing a break from the action and a time to soak in the surroundings and music, but also to interact with guildmates and strangers alike.

Think about it - the pace of legion is so intense that people never really take a break to like, talk to eachother, especially whilst dungeoning.

It’s so cool to see that back then Blizz were really thinking carefully about how they would make their game ‘massively multiplayer online’, offering players the opportunity to socialise through mechanics like this.

Thoughts?

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Topic starter Posted : 15/10/2018 6:11 pm
Razor
(@razor)
Trusted Member

Amazing. Close to fifteen years with the game and it never occurred to me. Of course, when your druid types "mana break" usual thing which follows is - "so, where are you from?"

I just hope Vanilla is going back to it's slow-pace aspect. Especially with this amazing background music the zones have.

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Posted : 17/10/2018 2:37 am
teebling
(@teebling)
Noble Member

Sick post.
I just hope Vanilla is going back to it's slow-pace aspect. Especially with this amazing background music the zones have.

If the latest leak is anything to go by then there’s going to be no changes other than some high res textures so it’s looking good buddy!

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Topic starter Posted : 17/10/2018 4:34 am
Faendor
(@faendor)
Reputable Member

Well, I don't think those things were intentional at all. If you look at what the other mmos before wow looked like you would realize that wow was a far more action based then its predecessors in comparison. Wow was considered to be very fast paced at that time. On the contrary, they were trying to make the game faster and more action paced. Of course if you compare it to the contemporary titles, you definitely see it the other way round Smile

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Posted : 19/10/2018 5:25 am
teebling
(@teebling)
Noble Member

Well, I don't think those things were intentional at all. If you look at what the other mmos before wow looked like you would realize that wow was a far more action based then its predecessors in comparison. Wow was considered to be very fast paced at that time. On the contrary, they were trying to make the game faster and more action paced. Of course if you compare it to the contemporary titles, you definitely see it the other way round Smile

A fair point this - wow was my first MMO so I hadn't had any experience with the slower titles you mention!

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Topic starter Posted : 19/10/2018 5:30 am
Faendor
(@faendor)
Reputable Member

Watch this

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Posted : 19/10/2018 5:37 am
teebling
(@teebling)
Noble Member

Whether or not this was an intentional side effect of eating and drinking - I have to admit that the times I did it were actually some of the most memorable in the game.

I was one of those idiots who rolled a NE and went down the barrow too early - eating and drinking in between their pull ranges was freaky.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/10/2018 2:42 am
Doomsnout
(@doomsnout)
Eminent Member

This is also true of waiting for your crew to arrive at a BG or dungeon entrance, or reading quest text.

Movie directors are masters of pacing, interspersing rapid action sequences with periods of calm. Something I think modern WoW really lacks with its constant pushing of dailies, artefacts, reputation and more to keep you buzzing around 100% of the time.

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Posted : 26/10/2018 9:27 pm
Anonymous
(@anonymous_1607109007)
Honorable Member

Just read an interesting post on MMOchamp - It quotes an original developer on the vanilla team as having implemented ‘eating and drinking’ (to regain mana and health) in order to also allow people time to chat to other players.
Thoughts?

I never actually thought about it that way. Also, I do not think that all that many players at all perceived it as such.
I guess most people just see it as an interruption to their leveling, keeping their exp/min down; which is probably why that idea that blizzard had intended for us never really took off. Also, semi-forcing people to slow down and stop doing what they are doing does not seem like an idea that is likely to get much approval;/

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Posted : 14/03/2019 7:58 am
edoslawsky
(@edoslawsky)
Eminent Member

It just hit me,

back then the chat box was never empty while resting. That was a great move by Blizz. Never thought about it this way.

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Posted : 14/03/2019 8:35 am
Jpy
 Jpy
(@jpy)
Reputable Member

Downtime is for managing bag slots and referencing notes, if I want to tell my friend he sucks I’ll do it via discord LOL

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Posted : 14/03/2019 10:27 am
solidlobster
(@solidlobster)
Trusted Member

Downtime is for managing bag slots and referencing notes, if I want to tell my friend he sucks I’ll do it via discord LOL

Or the in game postal service.

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Posted : 14/03/2019 2:16 pm
Selexin
(@selexin)
Prominent Member

I have actually seen it in a couple of interviews with the original WoW developers (John Staats springs to mind) where they did indeed intend for there to be forced downtime so that people would be social, talk, have a break etc. It is very interesting and is completely different to what we experience in current WoW and most other MMORPGs out there. I love the downtime, the social aspects - it's what sets classic WoW apart from a lot of other games.

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Posted : 14/03/2019 3:09 pm
SweaterMonster
(@sweatermonster)
Trusted Member

It is very interesting and is completely different to what we experience in current WoW and most other MMORPGs out there. I love the downtime, the social aspects - it's what sets classic WoW apart from a lot of other games.

Yeah, I never even thought about how we use that downtime to talk to others. Obviously it happens but I never thought of it as a social time, rather than something to add to the RPG aspect. Although I'm sure they may have meant it as both.

I'm glad to go back to that time, since now in retail everything is go go go and no slowing down. I think it's nice to slow down and have to take these breaks, not even just to talk, but to also experience these dungeons like how they were designed to be a challenge.

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Posted : 14/03/2019 3:13 pm
William
(@william)
Estimable Member

Regardless of whether this is accurate or not, it's certainly resulted this way in practice.

When people are having their mana break, and when players are marking targets and discussing strategies, especially during dungeons, they talk.

What else is there to do, right? It's great. I still have 2 people on my phone that I met back during early WoW days.

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Posted : 14/03/2019 11:48 pm
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