World of Warcraft Classic was released pretty much exactly two weeks ago by now, Tuesday morning at one in the morning. The launch uptill pretty much the last few days actually went surprisingly poorly considering how well Blizzard handled both Legion and Battle for Azeroth, with the game being unplayable for most people due to the queues on the servers. Basically if you didn’t log in sometime before midday you probably weren’t getting in in a reasonable amount of time which at times proved problematic for me with the queue being longer than the time until the next raid. I was rather disappointed to see this, since Blizzard had specifically deviated from the way the original game was launched and introduced layering in order to avoid this very problem, but apparently they didn’t go far enough with this approach.

Beyond that pretty much utter failure on Blizzard’s part, Classic has actually been a ton of fun and it has been interesting to see how differently people approach the game now that everything is a bit more well known than it was at the start as well as how the different pace of modern games seems to influence it as well. I think the most notable example of this are the “bombing runs” of dungeons that seem to really start when Scarlet Monastery becomes available and then continues in Zul’Farrak and later in Blackrock Depths. It seems to basically boil down to the Legion-style of large AoE pulls of packs which then get nuked down in order to level up quickly, not really doing the dungeons for the loot but for the experience. It is quite an effective method, especially with the amount of players on the servers since all of the outdoor content is very heavily farmed, so having your own instance to farm is quite a bit more efficient. I’m sure some of the professional levelers have more efficient methods of leveling, but for the more normal player like me this has been a very effective and fun way of keeping up the pace.

Gear in Classic tends to be a bit of a mishmash, but I kind of like the idea of you just looking like an adventurer that has picked up the gear most fitting to the task.

Doing the dungeons, it has also been interesting to see how my approach to healing in them has changed or rather stayed the same. I’m still trying to get in as much of my healing as possible through Greater Heal only, in order to stay as manaefficient as possible—the big difference to back in the day is that due to how big the pulls are I still end up running out of mana with this strategy, while that only used to happen when we had a really bad pull back in the day. Actually kind of used to pride myself on being able to do dungeon runs without needing to sit and drink, but that just isn’t realistic when you pull several packs and the tank is in need of pretty much constant attention.

Something else that’s a bit different this time around is that I’m now assining spell damage and healing a somewhat higher value than before, since it does seem to be one of those stats that no one really realized was good back in the day. I still really like spirit, but it of course doesn’t help much when my primary task is spamhealing the tank though that is getting to not be as important as we have moved into Blackrock Depths since we can’t quite do the pulls we did in Zul’Farrak and we also kite the mobs a bit more than before. Still, my higher priorisation of spellpower probably means I will need to start thinking about downranking at some point, something I purposefully avoided back in the day since I didn’t feel like stepping into the five second rule more than necessary was a good idea hence trying to only use my most powerful and manaefficient spell but spellpower naturally changes the HPM calculation on all spells.

Personal experiences aside, I also have to say, overall with the implementation aside from the queues Blizzard has been fairly successful keeping most things as they were along with some small interface improvements like the new raidframes which I don’t really mind since basically everyone used an addon for those anyway. There is a small list of things I’ve found so far that they’ve missed though:

  • K was completely unbound instead of being bound to Skills like it used to be
  • T was also unbound instead of being bound to auto-attack
  • As introduced in Legion, you can’t buy partial stacks from vendors which at times is somewhat annyoing especially with water or the like
  • Warlock pets despawn too quickly, making me unable to ressurect them

Now, admittedly, all of these are very minor things and the first two are easily fixed by going into the keybindings, but they were still things that stood out to me as deviations from the original.

The final deviation is of course the integration and layering, but both of those were pretty much forseable so they’re not really worth mentioning—and layering is getting removed at some point in the future anyway so.

All of that summarised means I’ve actually been quite happy with Classic at the times I’ve gotten to play the game and this has lead me to putting in quite a significant chunk of time into the game which has been a rather welcome diversion from Azshara progression. Here’s hoping Blizzard sees this as a success as well and considers Burning Crusade servers since from the people I’ve spoken with quite a few of them would probably enjoy those even more it for many having been one of the best if not the best version of the game.