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Why WoW Should Support Legacy Servers

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By raptorakDate: Jul 04 2017 Views:

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If there’s one thing that players often experience in a game, it’s the desire for the nostalgic feeling of playing what they once knew and loved. As MMORPGs expand, adding new content and changing the gameplay mechanics, some are happy and others want it to remain how it used to be. Some games have handled this by opening up their own retro servers, such as RuneScape with its RuneScape Classic and EverQuest with its own. But Blizzard has neglected to follow the same route.

WoW Legacy Servers

Bringing Back Lost Players

WoW has lost a lot of players to private servers not because they can’t afford the game or don’t even want to pay, but solely because it allows for playing on old versions of it. “Vanilla” WoW, the original, is often seen as being the greatest by a lot of players – before it became the user-friendly version it is now. With it becoming more and more dumbed down and easy to progress through, players have been turning away from the game with each new expansion. Blizzard could easily capitalize on this and bring back both players and revenue.

Using a Tiered Approach

For the greatest reach on retro servers, the best path is to go away from the EverQuest method. Instead, there should be servers for each expansion, with the ability to transfer to the next one up. So you could go from Vanilla to TBC to WOTLK, but not from WOTLK back to TBC. This would offer up the ability to progress as fast as you want AND give the ability to choose just how far you go. If you’d like to stop on Cata, you could do so. If you wanted to progress all the way to Legion, that’d work as well. It’s a great solution that allows a lot of customizability and would let each player get exactly the experience they want.

While a straight progression setup could work as well, players are arguably all over the fence when it comes to what their favorite expansion is. Some are Vanilla, some are WOTLK, etc. For example, I personally enjoy the style of Legion (which appears to be a rarity, but I wasn’t around in the very early days and that may explain the difference – Legion and just prior to it is pretty much what I’m accustomed to). That said, the simple fact is that options are needed, one way or another.

WoW Legacy Servers

The Lack of New Development Needed

To help give a strong benefit to doing all of this, the expansions are already completed. They were already solid after their release and would need minimal updates to get running again (in theory). As such, making this happen should not require a lot of man hours. It’s already pretty much ready to go, and just needs the mechanism added to allow it. What this means is that it wouldn’t have too much of an impact on the Legion (or future expansion) development. It would require support personnel to help with issues, but that is needed regardless.

Ridding a Lot of Private Servers

Blizzard has taken a strong stance against some private servers, sending C&D orders and shutting them down. It’s a battle that’s shown to be somewhat futile, but could largely be aided by adding in the classic servers. Most of them only have strong populations because players have nowhere else they can go. It’s essentially a question of either going to a private server for the experience they want or not getting it at all, and that ends up being a fairly easy decision for most players. In fact, most would jump ship back to retail just because it’s the only way to get a pretty much bug-free experience. While there are definitely some that would still play what’s “free,” the simple fact is that the vast majority would rather have a solid experience and not have to keep worrying about their characters being wiped, bugs in the game, etc.

WoW Legacy Servers

Blizzard’s Stance

Interestingly, Blizzard has not made any real statements on whether or not they are ever going to release classic servers. Despite being asked on a frequent basis for years, they have not stated that they will or will not. This leaves hope that they will, at some point, decide to make that move, but a lot of players have already given up and decided the chance is pretty much nil at this point. That said, with World of Warcraft fluctuating in player base and constantly being improved upon with new updates, I wouldn’t rule out anything yet. There’s no telling what the future is going to hold, and it’s entirely possible that they finally move ahead with giving one of the most requested changes to the game there have been in its history.

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