World of Warcraft was first released back in 2004. Though additional content, in the form of Raids and Dungeons, may have been released in the game over the years as part of various patch updates; it wasn’t until the release of the first expansion The Burning Crusade in 2007, that the game began to truly change and evolve, becoming what it is today.
Why Are People So Excited About Legacy Servers
With the addition of each new additional expansion
- The Burning Crusade
- Wrath of the Lich King
- Mists of Pandaria
- Warloads of Draenor
- Battle for Azeroth
More and more changes were made that drastically changed the game’s mechanics, content and lore. Some of the changes were greatly appreciated, others turned players away.
I myself must admit that following WotLK, I was turned off the game. BC allowed me to work hard at turning my Moonkin into a Panzerkin (aka moonkin tank) it was hard work, and every fight was a challenge but I loved it. WotLK took that away from me and as such, I lost interest in the game for awhile.
This is why I can understand that there are so many people out there that miss the vanilla WoW experience, and why there have been several “illegal” private servers that have popped up over the years. There is no getting around the fact that in the early days, WoW had a lot of problems of its own, and veteran players aren’t blind to this. In fact, the nostalgia comes more from the experiences we had with player interactions, trying to build a reputation for yourself in the community. This could be challenging with just how much hard work it took to make yourself stronger.
Today we are spoilt in the game. Back then, there was no dungeon finder, and specs were locked to your current selection. In fact, abilities weren’t even automatically granted when you leveled up, you actually had to go and find a class trainer in order to learn new abilities. Even classes like the druid required you to complete various quests in order to be able to unlock set abilities as well.
Another thing with the current game today, is that gear is virtually meaningless while we level. We level up so fast in the current version, yes even in BFA, that there’s virtually no urgency in seeking out bigger and better gear until we have level capped. Classic WoW on the other hand involved leveling your character in two ways, physically with exp, and gear wise. Yes this was a slow and tedious grind, but the thrill of finally being able to get into the next instance or raid, is was what drove us on.
What Do We Hope to Get Out of Legacy Servers
Legacy servers will hopefully bring back that sense of achievement that has been taken out of the game over the years. I know it’s been said a dozen times in the past, but older games were more difficult. Games today are more user friendly making them much easier, less technical, and less social. Hopefully legacy servers will allow new players that never got to experience vanilla WoW, the opportunity to take part in something new… I mean old… you know what i mean.
Even if the game is not for them, they will at least get to see just how much the game has changed over the past 15 years. So here are a few of the things we are looking forward to from the Legacy Servers.
Making the Game More Social Again
For the veteran players like myself, we are looking forward to a more socially driven game. Back then if you wanted to take part in an instance or a raid, you needed to know people that were doing it. This meant building rapport with people and truly becoming part of a guild and helping to build communities.
I was primarily a solo player, and geared and spec’ed for it, but even then I was part of a guild. The guild I was part of was not large enough to run raids on our own, so we developed relationships with other guilds and cross networked. We helping one another out, and suggesting members for various jobs. If someone needed a hand, you’d help them out simply because they could be good enough to be worth poaching, or at the least it could get you an invite at a later date.
Today, we just don’t see this sort of interaction on that level anymore. Thanks to the Dungeon Finder system that was first implemented in WotLK, long gone is the need to find someone that would fit in within your group. Now players from other realms can simply join a queue and wait for a group to be formed. This one simple feature has made WoW more isolated then ever before, removing the need for many players to join a guild or form lasting friendships.
Preparation and Foresight Being Important
The two biggest differences between Classic WoW and Modern WoW, has a lot to do with skills and abilities. As we mentioned before, gaining better skills requires you to visit a class trainer to learn your new abilities. What you may not realize, is that this isn’t just limited to class specific abilities such as spells and attacks. This also applied to weapons.
Starting out, each class has a base level proficiency with set weapon types. As you earn money, you can approach weapon masters who can train your character in using different weapons that matches their classes fighting style.
Each weapon proficiency starts off as level 1. The more you use a weapon the better you will get at it. If you never use a weapon your character will not be familiar with it. What this means is that should you favor the mace over the sword or an axe, and if one of your higher level weapon drops just happens to be a weapon you are not proficient with and had better stats, then you would miss most of your hits if you tried using it.
To help counter this, you needed to keep swapping out your weapons as you leveled. If you chose not to do this, then you would have to return to a lower level area in order to train with your new weapon.
The same thing goes for raids and dungeons, if you do not spec you character correctly, or if the team is missing vital abilities such as buffs, debuffs, and crowd control, you could find these runs to be much harder then they need to be.
Lets not forget about the need for reagents. Many class abilities required reagents in order to be able to perform the desired task. From shards and crystals, to roots and vials of poison, there were many abilities that could not be done without these vital components. This made venturing into the unknown very risky should you not go in prepared with the a healthy stockpile of reagents.
Skills and Talent Trees
Unlike modern WoW that allows you to change your spec whenever you are in a resting zone such as an inn or capital city, classic WoW locks you into your selected spec until you pay gold to have it reset. Each time you respeced within a 30 day period, the cost would increases by 5 gold up to a cap of 50 gold per respec (5g-50g).
This made experimenting with builds rather costly. Yet the open branches did allow for some cross specing. My Panzerkin Moonkin was classed as a hybrid with talents selected from both the Feral and Balanced branches. Cross specing a hybrid is not as easy as it sounds as you are sacrificing one talent for another, and in many cases this leaves your character performing rather poorly.
The cost involved with respecing, and the risks that come from cross specing your class, meant that planning your characters build was important from the get go. If you were a solo player, then survivability is what mattered most. If you knew that you will be part of a team for most of your adventures, then filling the role of either Tank, Dps, or Healer was vital in guaranteeing your team’s success.
All of this is sorely lacking in modern WoW. Outside of instances and raids, most if not all classes can survive on their own. Healers deal more damage then they did in classic, Dps are not as squishy as they once were. The challenge of simply trying to make it out of an area alive has been removed.
Mobs and Encounters
Getting cocky in vanilla WoW, was at times a stupid thing to do. All it would take to turn the tides when you were fighting mobs, would be the inclusion of just one more enemy to kill. That was it, just that one extra enemy would be enough to kill a solo player easily, or even wipe a team should the healer be the one to get jumped by it. Simply put, the mobs in modern WoW have been vastly nerfed compared to how they were back then.
This made pulling mobs of enemies far more difficult then what it is like in modern WoW. Not to mention that aggro was easily stolen off the tank should the healer be healing too much, or if the Dps was dishing out too much damage. This made finding that right balance of taking on what your team could handle, while pacing yourself to be efficient, yet maintaining an output that the tank could manage, both fun and frustrating at the same time.
Professions and Crafting
One thing that a lot of players are complaining about in the live version of WoW is that professions are pretty much pointless now. Back in the day, professions were vital in ensuring your guild’s and your own success. High end gear wasn’t just gained via loot drops in dungeons and raids, they were also crafted by the players. Some patterns were so rare that a player could make a fortune off of making these items. This put some guilds in a position of power, and allowed some players to function as their own traveling merchant of sorts.
Aside from the financial incentives, leveling up a profession was actually worth your time, as more often then not, you were able to craft something that was better then what you were currently using.
Over the years, many things were taken out of the game or changed. Hunters no longer need to worry about running out of ammunition, a Warlock no longer needs to dismiss their demon before they are able to summon a new one.
If you were to try playing classic WoW the same way you do now in modern WoW, you’re going to be in for a surprise and a half. Two Warriors that dashed at each other, would leave one another stunned. Mages could polymorph one another at the same time. Cooldowns, casting times, effect duration, all these mechanics have been tweaked over the years, for better or for worse. In either case the combat play style may not be what you are expecting if you’ve never played vanilla WoW.
This one is a mixed bag of opinions. We literally had to walk everywhere in classic WoW. Until you reached level 40, there were no mounts, and even then they were slower then what we have now, and you may not have even been able to afford one to begin with. Even flight paths had to be earned. In order to unlock every flight path you had to walk all the way to the flight master and speak with them. This even included having to travel through higher leveled zones, just to get to where you needed to be as part of your current quest line.
When you wanted to take part in an instance or raid, you had to travel there yourself. So if you were below level 40, and where you needed to go was no where near a flight path, you literally had to walk all the way there. This meant that someone would ended up using reagents and other items before they even started the event. Heck many people even died on the way simply because they got out numbered by mobs of enemies.
How much of this “authentic” experience will remain, we can not be sure about. What we’re thinking that is more then likely to happen, is that you’ll need to get your walking shoes ready.
When Will the Legacy Servers Go Live?
Today we have finally been given a global release date for Classic World of Warcraft. On August 27th 2019 (26th for the US and England) the Legacy servers will be going live. Before then a few lucky WoW players will be selected to take part on the betta testing beginning on May 15th and continuing though out July.
How Do I Sign Up for the Betta Test?
Simply follow this link Betta Application, sign in and keep your fingers crossed that you will be selected. Not everyone can take part in the betta test. The select few that will be chosen, are going to be helping to stress test the servers. Level caps will be in place to help ensure that the game is properly stress tested.
STRESS TEST SCHEDULE – Dates subject to change.
Stress Test 1: Wed May 22–Thurs May 23
Stress Test 2: Wed Jun 19– Thurs Jun 20
Stress Test 3: Thurs Jul 18– Fri July 19
What We Do Know About the Legacy Servers
The Legacy Servers are not going to be rolled back to the original day one version, bugs and all. What we will be getting is the 1.12 version: Drums of War, which was updated shortly before the Burning Crusade Expansion. The game will also be re-balanced so that higher leveled, more powerful items will be released later on in phase 5, rather then with the dungeons and raids themselves.
How Much Will the Legacy Server Cost?
There are no additional fees and charges involved with accessing the Legacy Server. As long as you have an active subscription, you will be able to play both the Modern and the Classic versions. Unlike the modern version which does allow for a subscription free “trail account”, there will be no such accounts available for the classic WoW, as only those with a subscription will be able to access the Legacy Servers.
What is the Level Cap Going to Be?
The max level cap will be rolled back to level 60. This doesn’t mean that you will be making out your chracters anytime soon. Unlike the reduced leveling requirements of modern WoW; classic WoW will be using the old system. Leveling in classic WoW was far more tedious and grindy, making it a much slower experience, which is why gear was far more important back then.
Will There Be a Dungeon Finder?
At this point in time, no there will not be. If they do implement one, it would be highly unlikely that it would be the random queuing system that they use now.
What is the Roadmap?
There have been a total of 6 phases announced for the game. Like we mentioned early, gear is being scaled to suit the current phase rather then what the original dungeon or raid rewarded.
The phases for the instances and raids are as follows:
- Phase 1: (Classic Launch): Molten Core, Onyxia, Maraudon
- Phase 2: Dire Maul, Azuregos, Kazzak
- Phase 3: Blackwing Lair, Darkmoon Faire, Darkmoon deck drops begin
- Phase 4: Zul’Gurub, Green Dragons
- Phase 5: Ahn’Qiraj War Effort begins, Ahn’Qiraj raids open when the war effort dictates
- Dungeon loot rewards will be reconfigured for Tier 0.5 Dungeon gear, Relics, drop rates and location changes.
- Phase 6: Naxxramas, Scourge Invasion
The phases for PvP content, are as follows:
- Phase 1: (Classic Launch): Open world PvP is available, but there will be no kill tracking, nor any formal rewards either.
- Phase 2: Honor System: this includes Dishonorable Kills, and PvP Rank Rewards
- Phase 3: Alterac Valley, Warsong Gulch Battlegrounds
- Phase 4: Arathi Basin Battleground
- Phase 6: World PvP objectives in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands
One thing to take note of, is that though we have the roadmap, we have yet to be given a time frame for when the phases will take place, after the servers go live.
What Races will be Available?
Only the vanilla races will be available, there will be no races or classes that were added during and expansion.
Will My Current Account Bound Items be Accessible in Classic WoW?
No. When you start a classic WoW account, it will be a new account completely separate from your existing account. This means that there will be no toys, mounts, pets, heirloom items, nor maps that unlock flight paths, that can be accessed in classic WoW. Nor will you be able to mail money or items between your classic and modern characters.
What Will Be the Maximum Number of Characters You Can Have?
As classic and modern WoW will be functioning independently from one another, characters on either account will not count towards each other’s account maximum. This means that should you wish, you could have 50 classic account toons, and 50 modern account toons. Each server will be limited to a cap of 10 toons each however.
What Sort of Content Will Not Be present?
Pretty much anything that was introduced in The Burning Crusade or later, this includes transmogs, achievements, battle pets, and cross realm interaction.
There has been no mention on the quality of life improvements that have been introduced. Some things would carry over as a result of improved technology but what exactly we do not know.
What Type of Servers Will There Be and How Many?
How many and where? We can not say, not even Blizzard knows these details as of yet. Safe to say that they will be basing this on player feed back and interest before committing to anything for sure.
As for what type? There will be the old PvP only, PvE, and Role-Playing servers. Each server was setup so that if you chose the PvP server you could not turn off PvP. PvE did allow for PvP if you opted to turn it on for yourself. Role-Playing servers are for those that which to role play their characters, not wanting to role play could result in you being removed from the server.
What Sort of Graphics Will There Be?
The models themselves will be based off of the original 2004 release, though one could be forgiven for expecting the game to run a lot more smoothly with some degree of upgrade.
We at LtK are looking forward to the release of the Legacy Servers. The prospect of playing classic WoW has us excited and we can’t wait to experience the nostalgia all over again.
As we do like to think that we are a realistic bunch, there are a few quality of life improvements that we would like to see carried over. Simple things such as mounts not being treated as a carriable item that takes up a precious bag or bank slot, and the improved user interface that has been upgraded over the years.
Either way, we hope to see you in Azeroth if not fighting by our side, then on the battlefield.
For the Nostalgia!!!! 😉