Greedy Goblin

Monday, November 7, 2016

There won't be legacy WoW server. Ever!

Blizzard politely said "lol nope" to the demand of Nostalrius to announce legacy servers on Blizzcon.

It happened despite there were negotiations and 50K players pledged to be paying customer on an official legacy server. I wasn't among them, but if such server would come online, I'd probably return to WoW. Which is exactly what Blizzard doesn't want. They don't want people like me on their servers and they especially don't want existing players move to those servers. Why?

Please understand that Vanilla servers would be a competing title to WoW: Legion. Ironically, this "new" game would be the one that the industry has been looking for a decade: a WoW-killer game. If it would go online, it would be very successful, even up to 2 M paying players. Every game dev would love such game. But Blizzard doesn't, because it would kill their current 5.5M game WoW: Legion.

The demand for "nostalgia" servers have nothing to do with nostalgia. No one says that Blackfathom Deeps were prettier or had more interesting bosses than Iron Docks (sorry, Draenor is my latest WoW, I haven't played Legion and not planning to). No one is saying that original Onyxia is better boss than Twin Ogrons. No one says that grinding the same monsters again for levels were better than the current "wherever you quest the monsters are tuned to you".

People want the Vanilla ruleset back, not Vanilla content. The times when epic gear signaled epic performance instead of baseline and Legendary was available only for the top 0.01%, not the LFR trash. When even leveling to max shown basic competency. Where finishing an instance proved that people could CC, focus-DPS, interrupt and not just faceroll. This wasn't "lost", it was forcibly taken from the gamers in order to house the drooling M&S who weren't content with playing casually for casual rewards, they expected top rewards for bottom play.

Would the Vanilla servers go up, Blizzard would bank on the first month from 1M returning players. But then another 1M would migrate from Legion and not some "random 1M", but the best players. After their departure, there wouldn't be people to boost the M&S. While Blizzard could nerf instances to the level of 5x M&S teams, it would not satisfy the M&S since it wouldn't come with social acceptance. Legion would be "short bus" and everyone "cool" would be on the Vanilla server. So M&S would move to Vanilla too, break to red trying to take the candle of the kobolds in the starter zone and quit WoW all together.


21 comments:

Andru said...

I am not convinced.

I have a very good reason for that, too. Wow:Cataclysm, and you should know, because you played it. Right at the start, the dungeons were brutal, and received several rounds of nerfs because of the horrible, HORRIBLE whining, especially right after what was TBC.

Remember, Stonecore? Not one, but two PuG breakers, with Corborous and Ozruk. Remember Blackrock Deeps? another 2 pug breakers, Corla and the fire elemental thingy. What about heroic Deadmines, the first run I had there took us 4 hours(!).

Clearly, that didn't work, the tears and whining were utterly ridiculous, and Blizzard caved. They probably caved because the numbers started to slump right after the peak of WOTLK.

Leveling? Come on, that was back in vanilla, and it signified nothing remotely interesting(difficulty was either travelling a lot due to stuff being all over the damn place, and/or a few sore spots that required grinding), especially since the current "quest hub" paradigm introduced in TBC which was, at the time, almost universally praised as an improvement.

Bosses and epixx were epic? Go on every boss tactic website and compare the dance of vanilla bosses with the dance of current bosses. It's ridiculous. What I DO agree with is that on the easiesr of raiding difficulties, the current raiding dance can be outright ignored which is a shameful thing, you couldn't even do that in Molten Core. Speaking of that, have you played its revival 2 years ago? It was difficult-ish, even for a raid filled with LFR randoms, it was, however an exercise in drudgery. The M&S did not hurt too bad, since they could be carried, which was, I hear the same thing that happened in vanilla MC, due to having to fill every spot with anyone warm-bodied enough to move a mouse.

Finally, I ran a guild in TBC, it was hopelessly horrible the amount of social bullshit I had to put up with because of the way content was designed. Atunements meant that good players would skip up to better guilds, leading me with the horrible task of constantly filling the roster, even with M&S, because there was no flex. People that were getting geared up would leave for the same reason, the only ones who remained would be socials because they believed in 'us' as a guild. This was an universal guild problem at the time.

I propose an idea that maybe you'd like. Epics only from Heroic+ raids, everything under should be of the colour white, or green. Meaning they would have the same stats, so whoever is goal-driven can use them as a catch-up, but would hurt the intended target of your ire, M&S and socials the most, due to the loss of 'prestige'.

Smokeman said...

"The times when epic gear signaled epic performance instead of baseline and Legendary was available only for the top 0.01%"

Except that's just not true. Even I had epic gear back then. Hell, my first raid was at level 59, went straight to Ragnaros' lair. I was just minding my own business, trying to get to level 60 (You ground a LOT OF MOBS to get those last few levels back in the day. And as a Priest, IT WAS A BITCH.) Anyway, I got a whisper from the guild leader: "We need you In Molten Core." So I put my healing pants on (Props to Myndflame.) And went in there. We were crushed like bugs, as you would expect... we had a level 59 healer!

Eventually, I did get level 60, and kept raiding with the Keepers (That was the guild I was in) through MC and into BWL.

The issue wasn't skill. These fights were just not really hard, all they required was a good leader. And that's why so few people raided. Very very very few people can pull a 40 man team together and keep it together. If you got lucky and got on a team, all you had to do was not totally suck, show up on time, and follow instructions. And of course, shut the hell up when the drama train hit, which was often.

The Legendaries? Those were a joke! Sure, you wanted one, assuming you were a class that could even use it. What class got a Legendary in Molten Core? Paladins! And DPS Paladins specifically. NO ONE let Paladins DPS in there. They were buff bitches and healers on the side. Chances were? If someone got a legendary in your guild, they turned into an even BIGGER prima donna then they were before. The drama never stopped. Priests? We didn't get legendaries. We just had to put up with the drama.

Huntard said...

Which part of the ruleset was so great in Vanilla WoW?

My memories of that time are pretty much restricted to Hunter, but having your DPS depend more on the speed of the weapon rather than the damage due to running 3 second multi-shot rotations was pretty stupid in my opinion. Also the fact that the Alterac Valley quest reward was the best bow you could get before a drop in Blackwing Lair, meant you could spend months waiting for a weapon upgrade. Also from memory didn't the tier 1 hunter set have int and spirit on it, but none of the hunter abilities scaled off that?

Talking about tier sets, Paladins were basically shoehorned into healing. But the tier set also had strength on it, so Paladins ended up just wearing healing offset gear intended for other classes?

Gevlon said...

No one questions that Vanilla was ridden with bugs and problems. But the core idea was good:
- you must perform actions to get rewards
- rewards are not devalued, the other guy must have performed the action you did
- you must complete Tier N to get to Tier N+1

Now:
- rewards are showered for logging in
- today's best item is worse than LFR trash reward next patch
- today's raid will be obsolete and skippable next patch

Huntard said...

Wasn't loot primarily distributed by DKP, which admittedly isn't loot for logging in, but was essentially loot for being present each week. I don't think many guilds added any performance based criteria for extra DKP?

Caldazar said...

Personally I think the reason they do not do it is because they do not want to get slammed with criticism for the mess vanilla would be, and do not want to put in the resources to make it up to expected quality. That said, your reason about competition might be equally valid. I certainly agree people want the ruleset/idea behind vanilla back, without wanting to give up all the quality of life/quality of game improvements that happened.

That said, my main disagreement comes with what you say will happen if vanilla opens up. I do not think the best players will migrate. The things that are commonly listed as challenging are by no means challenging for good players, let alone the best. Current raid content is by all metrics more challenging and interesting on an individual level than vanilla + the world first race will not happen on the vanilla server.

Giannis said...

Ffxiv players dont bother with ffxi and its players.. Eq2 players dont bother with eq1 and its players.

Legion players cry on forums that blizzard should not allow legacy servers.. They curse and hate nostalrius for what is done and they begun study laws to put arguments on internet why they must go to jail..

They try to compare the 2 games to prove their version is much better and so the other version must not exist..

And so on...

Tithian said...

Anonymous Andru said...
I am not convinced.

I have a very good reason for that, too. Wow:Cataclysm, and you should know, because you played it. Right at the start, the dungeons were brutal, and received several rounds of nerfs because of the horrible, HORRIBLE whining, especially right after what was TBC.


My guild loved those instances. LOVED them. Cata heroics at launch were amazing. The people that were responsible for the "horrible, HORRIBLE whining" were exactly the people that in vanilla would not make it to level 30 before quiting. You are actually reinforcing Gevlon's point.

Which part of the ruleset was so great in Vanilla WoW?

My memories of that time are pretty much restricted to Hunter......


You seem to have confused game mechanics with rulesets. Game mechanics were indeed not stellar in vanilla, but people played despite though due to the superior ruleset.

S Riojas said...

When I played WoW, it was a year after it released and I played it for quite some time before deciding to not play it (City of Heroes took up my time back then, WoW was on the side). I've tried wow a couple times over the years with their big releases wondering if it would be fun to play, but each time the game became less and less of a fun game - a boring trudge.

A vanilla server? Yeah, I would likely spend money and play again to see if it caught my interest again. Likely it would, because the current iterations (have not bothered to touch legion) bore the daylights out of me.

Maybe all the good players should stop playing for a few months to see if Blizzard changes their minds regarding a vanilla server. 1-2 million subscriptions would pose a confident dent.

dobablo said...

Considering the panning that the suggestion of pristine servers got with their slow leveling, deactivated buffs and deactivated group-finder, I would suggest that vanilla hard-mode mechanics are a long way from being the only desired feature.

Anonymous said...

I think what Blizzard fears most, is that after first several successful weeks (months), filled with nostalgia and joy, people would realize that WoW Vanilla is not THAT good how they remembered it back in the days and numbers would plummet to fraction of initial subscribers.
Not to mention content (and all regarding the game and how to min-max) would be already known and steam-rolled by the current playerbase in very short time. This would leave the server with very few die-hard players to which you don't want to dedicate resources.

Tithian said...

"I think what Blizzard fears most, is that after first several successful weeks (months), filled with nostalgia and joy, people would realize that WoW Vanilla is not THAT good how they remembered it back in the days and numbers would plummet to fraction of initial subscribers."

I think they actually fear that the newer product will not hold up against the version from 2006 (which is the version a vanilla server would have, i.e. 1.12). The people that developed the game in the early days are long gone from Blizzard (mostly), and no one wants to admit that the old guard could possible do things better. You see this all the time in corporate culture; the moment someone leaves the company everybody starts badmouthing him, in a "good riddance" kinda way.

"Not to mention content (and all regarding the game and how to min-max) would be already known and steam-rolled by the current playerbase in very short time. This would leave the server with very few die-hard players to which you don't want to dedicate resources."

Honestly, vanilla has enough content for 2 years, even for the hard core people. No one would be able to clear BWL with level 60 blues from dungeons the first week they hit level 60, not because they lack skill, but because the math of the encounter will say "nope".

It took us 2 months of farming to get the Fire Resist gear to get the raid past Gheddon. And then another month of so to get even more FR to not have the tanks obliterated by Ragnaros. The full raid needed the Onyxia cloaks to not get 1-shot by Nefarian's AoE; that is at least 25-30 kills for Onyxia, and to get her down you needed moderate gear from Molten Core at the very least.

AQ40 had some extreme requirements (full T2) and you needed Nature Resists on top of that. And then for Naxx, you had full raids in T2 - T2.5 that could not DPS down the gardoyles that would regen their health.

I'm willing to bet that with Naxx included, Vanilla had at least 3 years of hardcore progression, which only got shortened due to TBC launching before Naxx could get fully exploited by the community.

maxim said...

The reason vanilla was great was not because of mechanics. Or rather, it was not because the mechanics were particularily good, but rather because they were (and are) bad, but still better than the horrible mechanics of the rest of the genre at the time.

There were two major factors.

Firstly, the lore was new, fresh and people were invested in it to the point where they would be willing to waste their time on crap mechanics in order to see more of it.

It is no coincidence that WoW numbers started plummeting immediately after they ran out of lore (mid-WotLK). The WoD sub spike is also explained by Blizzard successfully faking the intention of giving a proper representation to major pieces of lore that were missing (cocerning the origins of orcs).

Secondly, WoW really broke new ground in terms of Internet socialisation. When WoW appeared, there was no Twitter yet and Facebook has only just started. It was THE original social network experience for a great deal of people. It also had a special advantage modern social networks don't have - the WoW realm really felt like something you could call your own and have your own personal stories in. And yes, hard-to-acquire legendaries and obscure storylines were a big and important part of it.

I guess it is this second aspect that most vanilla server supporters miss.

Blizzard's stance on "we know better than you that it sucked" will continually prevent them from getting that part of WoW experience right. Whether this will be enough to actually kill WoW is anyone's guess and depends largely on the extent of support for the game from the people who made WoW a part of their social life.

Zyrus said...

Eh, I'm not so sure, the last MMORPG with a hardcore cater was Wildstar, and we all know where that ended up. If you don't know what Wildstar is, this is exactly my point.

It had the ridiculous grind, the epic means epic and sequential raids required, no skipping. Had being the operating word here.

Anonymous said...

Wildstar does that. interrupt armor is a simple yet effective way to help players to play well. also it helps designing challenging content. I didn't look into wildstar after some months at release, maybe stuff has changed. Back then their raid content seemed brutal and dungeons needed communication, dancing and strategy.
It seems that they go f2p now.

No one questions that Vanilla was ridden with bugs and problems. But the core idea was good:
Same for Starwars galaxies and pre-new-game-enhancement and pre-combat-upgrade patches. Somehow they build in 2,5 years a sandbox with a shitton of bugs but released it anyway. the base idea and concept was breathtakingly good until they gutted it.
The Rise and Fall of Star Wars Galaxies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtDxzKHY8Mc

Same for Aion. the west released 1.5, but even 1.5 was still better as what ever it is now. They added "master servers" in korea around patch 4.5 or 4.8. With a more hardcore ruleset and basically 1.0 or 1.5 game. Well it is a p2w moneygrab. but besides that it was a solid game.

Samus said...

I have to agree with Huntard, Smokeman, and Caldazar. Vanilla WoW was not what you think it was. Every retard who wanted to got to raid because it was so hard to fill 40 spots, and as Huntard said nearly every guild gave those retards the same DKP as the top DPS. But it didn't matter if you brought retards, because raiding back then just wasn't that hard. I would peg it somewhere around Normal raiding, with Heroic and Mythic being much harder. Later Vanilla raids were only hard because all the bosses were huge gear checks (not skill), and it was hard to find 40 players with good enough gear.

Meanwhile, you complain about M&S getting epics and legendaries in Legion? Gevlon the social strikes again! Who cares if the 840 items he gets are colored purple? They don't remotely compare to the higher level items actual raiders are getting. Blizzard is not gifting epics to M&S, they are giving them greens and blues that are colored purple. It is a brilliant solution that you should have thought of yourself! And the LFR Legendaries? They can only equip one of those, which is not much better than the top gear. The M&S see their awesome item and get excited, the top players see that it is only 1/20 slots and will make no difference.

Higher skill is more rewarded in Legion than it was in Vanilla.

What you want is Burning Crusade. THAT was the time in WoW where skill was most demanded. You couldn't bring retards to raids. Hell, you couldn't bring retards to Heroic dungeons.

Asparagus32 said...

Gonna leave this here: http://www.darklegacycomics.com/497

Personally I doubt that vanilla servers would be that much of a threat to more current expansions. Granted I stopped playing during MoP, so I don’t know how bad things have become. Right now I see three groups of people interested in vanilla servers:

1. People who quit the game because of changes in expansions but liked the game during vanilla and would like to experience that again.
2. Competing end-game raiders who see this as an opportunity to participate in the new race for clears.
3. Players who are still playing but are unsatisfied with the current state and have glorified impressions of the game during vanilla.

Group 1 would be new paying customers and might be the ones staying the longest before quitting again.

Group 2 would most likely try to participate both in the current and vanilla progression (providing increased income during that time) but would quit the vanilla server after completing progression (I know people mentioned how long it takes to gear up for different raid tiers, but with today’s knowledge I doubt it’d take more than a few months).

Group 3 would give it a try but might be repelled by the reality of vanilla (see the comic above) and quit vanilla servers sooner than later to go back to current WoW or quit the game completely. Might be some increased income here, but less than group 2.

So on the long run vanilla servers wold be mostly for group 1 which is an unknown to Blizzard since they quit the game long ago and probably aren’t that vocal on forums. Group 2 and 3 don’t promise a long time investment that would justify setting up servers, addressing old bugs again and providing customer support for all the issues 12 year old software would cause with nowadays hardware und OS.

So from Blizzard’s viewpoint, vanilla servers simply wouldn’t pay off long-term, thus they reject the idea.

Anonymous said...

group 1 which is an unknown to Blizzard since they quit the game long ago and probably aren’t that vocal on forums.
If your sub ends you can't post on blizzard forums. Maybe there is some wow hate in the overwatch forums? But I doubt people that unsub go that far.

Steel H. said...

Vanilla ticks all the boxes I want in an MMO:
- it was immersive. The world existed for it's own sake, and the player was an adventurer in it, playing by its rules. It wasn't revolving around the player, and the player wasn't the "chosen one". So... I'm the chosen one to wield Ashbringer, but xxArthasDkLoLxx is also the chosen one with Ashbringer? What?
- it was social. You had to join guilds, know people, form reputations, join communities. This is why I want to play an MMO, otherwise I'll play a sRPG or lobby shooter/MOBA. In a sRPG it's clear that I'm the chosen one, there isn't another xxSpaceJesusxx running around spamming anal chat, saving the same galaxy I'm saving.
- it wasn't twitchy/fpsy/arcadey. I'm too old for this sith, and so are a lot of people. And I mostly want those people in the mmo I'm playing, as they are older, wiser, with better social skills, more patience and delay gratification skills - instead of more twitchy, OCD, moba e-assholes. Combat should be slow, tactically simple, but strategically complex. Do less then my topmax DPS to do less thread and get a different tactical objective? Yes please!
- it wasn't a cashgrab. Any model other that flat sub fee introduces corrosive incentives for the devs. If you sell convenience, you will want to make the base game more inconvenient. If you sell vanity items, you'll make the base items more ugly, and all the cool stuff goes in the store. Sell PLEX, you'll have the incentive to sell more PLEX (we know where that leads). A flat fee has incentives too, to keep the players subbed and playing, but I like those incentives!

Would I play this, instead of boosting LFR retards? :takemymoney:

Steel H. said...

Also, since it was mentioned, Stonecore was my favorite. Especially Ozruk. As a hunter I couldn't reflect a DOT on me to get rid of his stun, nor could I rely on LFG people to cleanse. So I had to go into BRD (the level 55 dungeon), go to the bar, and buy stacks of Sulfuron Slammer, which put a small dot on when you drank it. During the fight, every time he said "break yourselves...", slam one down! Then do the final boss, with one-shot mechanics, in a total drunken haze! For all of cata I carried stacks of that stuff in my bags while queuing. That was my favorite thing in the whole expansion, and it never got old. Any mmo I'll be playing from now on needs to have dungeons with bars in them!

Anonymous said...

Vanilla was absolutely NOT about skill. It was about how much time you can waste grinding. Just look at original naxx videos of people afking during bossfight, maintanks not using shield block/shield slam and so on. Top guilds were full of people you would kick from a Legion mythic dungeon.