Next week we’re gonna party up like it’s 2006 with the launch of World Of Warcraft Classic. The official vintage version of Blizzard’s MMORPG (as opposed to the unofficial pirate servers which for years have sustained interest in vintage WoW) will roll the game back to shortly before the launch of its first expansion, inviting old people to jack in and briefly pretend they haven’t gained too many responsibilities over the past 13 years. In a new video, a number of Blizzard’s own old people sit down to play WoW Classic and reminisce about making the dang game in the first place. It’s quite nice.
These five folks from the original WoW team are game designers Alex Afrasiabi, Jeff Kaplan, Pat Nagle, and Tom Chilton, and 3D artist Aaron Keller. Some remember more about their time on the game than others, bless ’em.
“The way that we went about it was interesting and very naive, because we didn’t know what we were really making then,” Kaplan said in one development anecdote. “We had an idea of what we wanted to make but the reality would become clear as we got into alpha.”
And then they made the template for the next decade of MMORPGs. (I’d maybe say DayZ displaced it? Or Minecraft? While neither direct replaced it, the legacy of both cut into MMO space and shaped the future in different ways.)
WoW Classic will launch at midnight CEST on Tuesday the 27th, which will be 11pm on Monday the 26th for us. Access to WoW Classic is included with a subscription to regular WoW. You can now reserve character names, and Blizzard have set up forums to help people find folks from their old servers too.
Are you headed back, gang? I played a few months of vanilla way back when, then returned for a short while after the launch of Cataclysm. I did miss some of old WoW’s mystery and disliked levelling through the world at breakneck pace but Cataclysm was probably more the sort of thing I was interested in. These days, ah, Destiny 2 is MMO enough for me. I’ll stay away.