Content of the article: "Now that we’re at the end of Classic, what are your thoughts on Classic+?"
Hey r/ClassicWow, Now that we're near the end of Classic, what are your thoughts on Classic+? I've written out a few of mine below, but I'd love to hear what you think. Let me know!
I would absolutely love Classic+ for a few reasons, but it all really comes down to loving the classic end game and raiding experience (40 people, massive dungeons and raids, etc), and wanting new content in that style.
BRD is my all-time favorite dungeon (unpopular opinion?) because at times it has taken me over 4 hours to clear; gnomeregon is another, for similar reasons–so is Sunken Temple. There are epic quests chains taking me all over the world, ultimately leading me deep into a dungeon that takes real effort to complete, and it feels awesome! There's just nothing else out there like it anymore. These dungeons felt like real places, like I was really pushing deeper into Blackrock Mountain, and that deep inside that dungeon was an even deeper raid.
TBC and Wrath did away with a lot of this design philosophy, which I believe was the start of a slippery slope that led to the state of heroic and regular dungeons in retail (que in LFG, mass pull and skip as many trash packs as possible, 5 bosses max, done in 25 minutes). Blizz has tacitly acknowledged this by creating Mythic+, which requires you to build you own group, actually get to the dungeon entrance (just like in Classic/TBC and most of Wrath), and have a scaling difficulty so that there is always a challenge.
I want that Classic philosophy back, but with new content. They could even fit it into existing lore (e.g. many heroes left to fight in Outlands, but what about those that stayed behind?). Maybe there is an epic furbog dungeon in Winterspring, a sprawling raid below the Sunken Temple, or a scourge plot in the sewers of Stratholme. Sure, some of the concepts teased in classic were later fleshed out (Tol Barad, Ulum, Hyjal, etc) in Cata, but what was going on there before the cataclysm allowed us full access?
Ultimately, this is why OSRS has been so successful. They took the classic design philosophy that people loved and created new content within that framework. They worked hand-in-hand with the community that loved that philosophy to identify the content that people would be most excited to see and then made it happen. Blizz could easily do this. They have a whole team that has been devoted to classic. They know the design philosophy just as well as the original developers. They have an active player base that is passionate and engaged. They have everything they need!
That said, it seems like they are headed down the path of least resistance/lowest cost–rereleasing old content with nothing new added. When you game it out this only ends one way, with a rerelease of Wrath of the Lich King (which I played and loved), but what then? If you recall, at the of Wrath people were clamoring for classic-style content. Everyone complained that dungeons were too easy (they were, especially in full T10 gear), and LFG was just released, making it easier to find groups but also making groups feel less important and special. The ease of getting into a dungeon group made it easier to justify dropping group after a wipe, or not getting the piece of loot you wanted. This continues to this day in retail with LFG/LFR, but has rarely been a problem I've experienced in classic. There is a reason that Cataclysm was next; why it's dungeons were much harder, why the vanilla map was fleshed out… it's why you can't initially fly in most recent expansion, and why M+ exists as it does today (side note: remember when they tried making scaling dungeons in MoP but got reward structure wrong?).
So what happens without Classic+?
IMO, We end up with 3 sets of classic servers (Vanilla, TBC, and Wrath) that roll through their patch cycles and reset at infinitum. It's fine, people who love vanilla stay there, people that love Wrath or TBC stay there, but because there is nothing new there is nothing to bring in new players. The player base being split across 3 games doesn't help, and over time the populations of these servers dwindles and dies. Eventually the servers are shut down, and Classic (whether vanilla, TBC, or Wrath) dies. This isn't very far off either. At the rate classic content is being released we'd likely only have 3-4 years until ICC is rereleased and classic begins its death spiral. As someone who loves the classic design philosophy that makes me sad.
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