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The Future of Classic WoW (Super Speculation)

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centurion
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We don't even have a release date yet and I'm already thinking about the future of Classic WoW. The thing is, I'm really looking forward to classic, and I am not a huge fan of Blizzard's overall choices regarding most other things lately. I worry about what will happen down the road, years after Classic's release. It's a pretty common idea that the playerbase will spike on launch then lose a percent of players as the population steadies, but like any game I'm sure the numbers will slowly creep down again over a couple more years after launch. However I really don't think it will go down that much after the initial stabilization.

Fortunately, Classic will be included in normal WoW's subscription. This means that there won't be some separate financial data for them to panic about if less people play, but I'm sure someone will worry about how many people are playing Classic. But knowing how Blizzard and other companies are nowadays, I worry that they'll start to want to either add to Classic or find some way to keep it relevant, regardless of what the players say. This is incredible speculation of course (something I enjoy doing), but I can't help wonder what sort of things Blizzard will try years after the final phase releases. So my question to my fellow WoW enthusiasts is: What do you think, if anything, Blizzard will do with Classic years down the line? And: What do you personally want to happen with Classic? Would you rather it remain the same always? I personally hope Classic sticks around like it is permanently. While I would probably play a BC expansion I wouldn't want Classic replaced by it. The tinfoil hat dreamer part of me would love to see an entirely new WoW world / expansion direction where the core mechanics we all love stay, and the story lines are new, cleaned up, and don't do odd and annoying things like suddenly make Kael'Thas evil (or like all of WoD). At the very least, I want Classic to just remain as it is, like a picture in time of better days, but I'll always wonder what might be around the corner.

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Raydon
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I was very hesitant to trust blizzard at first (I still really don't) but they have been moving in the right direction lately and I'm glad. I really hope they do this right and if they do I would want TBC down the line. On the other hand if they don't capture vanilla correctly I would want them to just run the project til its dead. I don't want the legacy of vanilla and TBC tarnished.

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s1atan
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It all depends how much money classic makes. If it is profitable and people start cancelling subscription after 2 years or after Naxx, Im sure they will announce classic TBC. If it makes just a few more than it costs they will maybe just stick to classic vanilla.

I personally would love classic TBC and it would be final destination for me in wow. It is also much likely to happen than new content for vanilla. Just take a look how much work needs to be done to "simple" transfer old game to the new standards. Working on completely new content which would have to fit into vanilla theme would cost great sum of money. It is Blizzard so the new content might happen, but if there will be any classic expansion, it will be TBC.

If it will be TBC, after all, I would love that they will keep open classic vanilla server and classic TBC server. Also there should be possibility (even paid service) to copy your character from Classic to Classic TBC. But not the other way around. Like that you can play on both and keep communities on both.

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centurion
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It all depends how much money classic makes. If it is profitable and people start cancelling subscription after 2 years or after Naxx, Im sure they will announce classic TBC. If it makes just a few more than it costs they maybe just stick to classic vanilla.

I personally would love classic TBC and it would be final destination for me in wow. It is also much likely to happen than new content for vanilla. Just take a look how much work needs to be done to "simple" transfer old game to the new standards. Working on completely new content which would have to fit into vanilla theme would cost great sum of money. It is Blizzard so the new content might happen, but if there will be any classic expansion, it will be TBC.

If it will be TBC, after all, I would love that they will keep open classic vanilla server and classic TBC server. Also there should be possibility (even paid service) to copy your character from Classic to Classic TBC. But not the other way around. Like that you can play on both and keep communities on both.

I like the idea of copying your character over from Classic to TBC as a separate entity. Definitely wouldn't be upset if they did that, nor would anyone else I imagine. Would be pretty cool.

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edoslawsky
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Well it kinda depends on how many realms will be open in the beginning. Do we have any info on this?

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Xazrael
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I honestly would like them to take it the direction that Old School Runescape took. Play out the original classic WoW, then start to build off Classic WoW, to make it it's own game. Keep microtransactions out of it, and just keep adding content. It doesn't even have to be much content. Maybe eventually implement the mythic+ technology into dungeons for end game 3+ year after classic releases? I don't know. Hell, it could be a single new world boss or something.

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Henhouse
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I’ve been unable to determine how I would feel about building new content. I think the idea sounds cool in theory, but I think it’s completely incompatible with a large portion (maybe even majority) of people who just want plain, old Classic. Could they do both? Yeah, maybe. But the people who craft WoW now are NOT the original vanilla team. The new content wouldn’t look or fit classic in my opinion. The styles would be different, the feel, the touch, etc. It’s easy to fantasize what could’ve been...

I do hope they progress onward to TBC and eventually WotLK to really please most of WoW’s fans from over the years. Whether they carbon copy the characters to the expansions, let you move them, or start fresh, I would find it very satisfying to be able to play Blizzard-run versions of the original trilogy. I hope they would focus that before trying to create new vanilla content.

Side note: many of the things they “left out” were implemented eventually like Uldum, Grim Batol, Hyjal, etc. and they were really disappointing. That’s canon now, and if blizzard took an entirely different approach to them, we’d have conflicticting worlds.

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SentientGypsy
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So let me tell you all a story about a game called Runescape, I've been an avid Runescape player (Alongside WoW) for many years and the game has changed many many times over the course of its life-span, it's still wildly popular in the form of Old School Runescape or OSRS. The team over at Jagex saw the popularity of private servers of the 2006-2007 era and decided that it would open a server for this sole purpose and people were skeptical because of Jagex's past decisions that drastically changed the game and ruined it for many people(much like wow).

The idea of adding content to OSRS was thrown around many times as content was being used and depleted, The purists were heavily against obviously because this was against the whole philosophy of playing the same game from 2007.

Jagex suggested that they add a poll in game, This poll would then suggest future Buff's/Nerf's/Brand new quests and raids. For the content to pass that specific piece of content would have to have a 75% approval rating for it to be implemented into the game. Not only does this protect the developers from rash decisions as well as the fact the only thing players can blame are themselves. I commend Jagex because they realized that this (much like Classic WoW) is an extraordinarily delicate project that needs to be handled with care.

I don't think Blizzard is against adding new content into the game, I really don't. I also don't think players are against new content in Classic. That content just needs to be based around the original Core mechanics, Original gameplay and Original balance. Players will run out of content, they will. There's no doubt about that. My personal solution is do what Jagex did, Implement a polling system that we would use to vote on potential new content.

This is what the poll looks like in game.
&f=1

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centurion
Posts: 224
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So let me tell you all a story about a game called Runescape, I've been an avid Runescape player (Alongside WoW) for many years and the game has changed many many times over the course of its life-span, it's still wildly popular in the form of Old School Runescape or OSRS. The team over at Jagex saw the popularity of private servers of the 2006-2007 era and decided that it would open a server for this sole purpose and people were skeptical because of Jagex's past decisions that drastically changed the game and ruined it for many people(much like wow).

The idea of adding content to OSRS was thrown around many times as content was being used and depleted, The purists were heavily against obviously because this was against the whole philosophy of playing the same game from 2007.

Jagex suggested that they add a poll in game, This poll would then suggest future Buff's/Nerf's/Brand new quests and raids. For the content to pass that specific piece of content would have to have a 75% approval rating for it to be implemented into the game. Not only does this protect the developers from rash decisions as well as the fact the only thing players can blame are themselves. I commend Jagex because they realized that this (much like Classic WoW) is an extraordinarily delicate project that needs to be handled with care.

I don't think Blizzard is against adding new content into the game, I really don't. I also don't think players are against new content in Classic. That content just needs to be based around the original Core mechanics, Original gameplay and Original balance. Players will run out of content, they will. There's no doubt about that. My personal solution is do what Jagex did, Implement a polling system that we would use to vote on potential new content.

I'm playing osrs as I write this. I'd love to see Blizzard try a poll once to see how people felt, as it seems to definitely work well with osrs (let's just hope they hide those active poll results someday LoL ). I just wonder if it'd work with WoW, but it wouldn't hurt to try once.

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Gensei
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I'm literally exhausted of speculating. I just want to play.

The game can just be vanilla on repeat, vanilla with new content at the end, or vanilla into BC. Regardless, I just want to know because it changes what class I pick.

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Quaria
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Another thing (which doesn’t necessarily solve the players running out of end game content problem) would be to take up some loose ends in the game, such as the rogue faction in Southshore, don’t remember the name but it’s just unfinished. There are probably similar things. As already mentioned there are Ulduar, Caverns of Time, Karazhan etc. but those are already developed later so that’s problematic (or easy depending how you see it). The question is - would players want content at lv1-60 or do they also want 60-70? I would guess 60.

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Selexin
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It's fun to speculate on stuff like this, pipe dreams and all that jazz. I think optional transfer to a TBC server would be great fun after Naxx has run its course, TBC was fantastic fun.

In regards to vanilla, I think if they could stick with existing lore/novels/unreleased content it could be added to vanilla without much issue. As long as they halt the power creep at Naxx, it would be ok. Add world events, world bosses, story based dungeons, in depth/challenging questlines. Imagine doing an elite group questline with your mates to go and rescue a dwarven explorer from some crypt, and follow his plans to some hidden treasure - guarded by an enemy that fits into the existing lore. Have some nice blue/purples of Tier 1 quality or something for the reward, or a trinket/weapon that's a bit different from the current items. You could have a few variants on this for multiple different lore/faction angles, it could be a really fun and engaging way to add content and gear without destroying the lore or feeling of Vanilla.

You could add some nice content without adding power creep, and without adding new lore, that could be a lot of fun/challenging and provide some alternative methods of gearing up.

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Anonymous
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I don't think Blizzard will add any new content - too much effort (= risk) for insufficient revenue.
Also, the community would probably have a hard time to agree on which content or changes would be suitable.

Instead Blizzard will most likely re-release TBC at some point if Classic turns out to be successful.

Would I personally like to see certain changes or new content?

I would probably be okay with fine-tuning certain specs (better mana regeneration for balance druids, taunt for protection paladins, etc.).
It would also be interesting to see content being implemented which was originally intended, but scrapped, for example a druid cat form quest (there's a cat spirit similar to the bear spirit in Moonglade), the continuation of certain quest chains with dead ends, the isles west of Stranglethorn Vale - maybe even Karazhan or heroic dungeons.

But I don't trust Blizzard to do it right - and they would be stupid to cannibalize (parts of) their own content like this if they plan to release a TBC server.

Also, when adding new (raid) content like Karazhan you need to add new (better) gear as well - and Naxxramas gear is already OP.

I would most likely play on a TBC server, because TBC to me felt like Vanilla+ - still true to Vanilla design philosophy, but with mostly reasonable changes (I think flying and the shift in focus on Outland was a mistake, though).

WoTLK? Not so much.
I know for many WoTLK is the the pinnacle of WoW - and while I like certain changes (mostly being able to 10 man all raid content) I despise a lot about this expansion: DKs, heirlooms, achievements, glyphs, the trivialization of content (AoE dungeons, ho!), the rehash of Naxxramas, etc.).

What I REALLY would like to see would be a completely new MMORPG by Blizzard made with the design philosophy of Vanilla / TBC in mind - maybe "World of Starcraft", but that's not gonna happen, because Blizzard today is no longer a creative powerhouse let alone willing to take money (= risks) to make a project like this happen.

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Henhouse
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What I REALLY would like to see would be a completely new MMORPG by Blizzard made with the design philosophy of Vanilla / TBC in mind - maybe "World of Starcraft", but that's not gonna happen, because Blizzard today is no longer a creative powerhouse let alone willing to take money (= risks) to make a project like this happen.

They also spent around 7 years attempting to do this with even some people from the original WoW team -- such as Jeff Kaplan who was game director of TBC and WotLK and a major content developer in vanilla. Yet, they were never able to make something they felt was good or fun, and the project was scrapped entirely. From its ashes emerged Overwatch.

It's also somewhat past the MMO genre's life. Classic WoW works because it was such a successful game many people will come back to play it again, or try it because they missed it. There's hardly any new MMOs coming out anymore, and many of the ones that did over the past 6 years or so were DOA. MOBAs were kind of the hot franchise for about the past 8 years, but even Blizzard's own MOBA got somewhat of the axe from Activision recently. Nowadays, the hype is BR and kill me if Blizzard makes a BR game.

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ReverendChris
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I'm literally exhausted of speculating. I just want to play.

The game can just be vanilla on repeat, vanilla with new content at the end, or vanilla into BC. Regardless, I just want to know because it changes what class I pick.

I completely agree, I would like to have a plan for the future. I just hope they will give players enough time to finish (or close) the Naxx content.

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