World Of Warcraft Classic will be throwing players back to the halcyon days of 2004 come August, reverting the MMO back to its original state. But it seems that some have been looking back through rose-coloured glasses, or at least gotten so used to the 15 years of quality of life improvements that they’re confused by some of the game’s original details. As such, Blizzard have released a very lovely list of things to please stop telling them are bugs.
You can find the full list on the WOW Classic forums, but here are some highlights. First, there are the annoyances. Blizzard never said that reverting to the game’s earliest stages wouldn’t bring with it some things they’ve improved upon since, after all. “Quests, objectives, and points of interests are not tracked on the map or minimap,” for example. Time to get out there and explore.
Then, there are the…well, these are bugs, actually. Blizzard’s going to go ahead and call them “inconsistencies,” though. NPCs who want to give you more than one quest could show up as either a dot or an exclamation mark on your quest list, and that was “inconsistent in [patch] 1.12, and we’ve reproduced the exact inconsistency they had back then.” I love the idea of deliberately reproducing an issue for the sake of authenticity.
Dustin Bailey recently interviewed senior producer Calia Schie and game director Ion Hazzikostas for PCGamesN about recreating this kind of environment, and it includes some equally wonderful lines, like Hazzikostas saying “It was surreal almost to see our art director [Chris Robinson], who is one of the best artists I’ve ever met, and someone who pushes for perfection and refinement in everything that we do, advocating for actively working to make things look worse.”
Then there are the sentences that are just excellent out of context. “Feared players and NPCs run fast,” reads the list, with no elaboration. I haven’t played WOW but I deduce that what this means is that if you put the effect “Fear” on someone they sprint away. How it reads, on the other hand, is that if you are scared of someone they will come barrelling towards you at top speed and good luck getting out of there before they catch you. It’s a fun image. Reminds me of The Strange Log, a lovely Twitter account that pulls lines from patch notes like “You can't eat a pile of salt anymore,” and “Ghosts no longer have a vote in elections.”
Mickey taking aside, the creation of WOW Classic is a genuinely fascinating thing. How much of the old version do you reproduce, even when it’s essentially objectively worse? I think going all-in was Blizzard’s best option, giving nostalgic old-timers exactly what they had and newcomers the chance to see just how much has changed.