The World (of Warcraft) is your oyster, but you need the quest for it first. The warhorns have well and truly sounded with World of Warcraft Classic, the servers have been live for less than a week and the realms are buzzing. Every element of this title is a recreation of the previous release back in 2004, which paved the way for widespread interest in the MMO genre.
World of Warcraft Classic gives players a look at how the game existed pre-Cataclysm. Cataclysm was the fourth expansion for the game which altered the map in such a way some areas and elements of World of Warcraft became changed beyond recognition.
The player is treated to a multitude of choices including which race to choose from the many races of the Warcraft world. I chose to play an Orc on the Horde side for something different having previously played a Night Elf on the Alliance side.
World of Warcraft Classic Review
Players are required to choose a class which is standard fare in a role-playing game. These range from mighty warriors to druids and shamans and your token priestly healers. Each class has unique abilities and it’s this spread of roles that aid in meaningful progression within the game.
World of Warcraft has always been geared to be a social game. Players are generally required to interact with each other to help with quests and the various dungeons are lethal to players unless they are part of a well-organised group.
That’s a bit of a white lie. Rarely is anything organised and most runs are chaos but this is where the fun lies.
World of Warcraft Classic also includes a classic staple in MMORPG’s; the professions system. These are optional extras in the game that allow players to gather materials from around the world and craft things like armour, weapons, potions and summon enchantments to boost characters’ equipment.
They aren’t necessary but they do play an important part of the game, not only for the social aspect of barter and trade for coin, but for the ability to give players equipment not easily found in the world at large. Sure, the vendors sell pretty much anything basic you need and other things come from monster drops.
However, there is something to be said about crafting your own suit of armour and having other players interested in obtaining your crafted goods. This helps a lot with obtaining in-game currency which helps in all aspects of the game.
The WORLD of Warcraft
The world is rich and vibrant with many different areas to explore and nooks and crannies to raid and loot. From lush jungles to barren wastes, dilapidated haunted cities and rolling plains each with their own breed of critters and quests.
There really is something for everyone in World of Warcraft Classic. If you like the grinding aspect of levelling and loot, you are not going to be disappointed. If you like the high-pressure environment of multiplayer raiding it’s there and if you like the thrill of smashing your enemies and see them driven before you…that’s coming.
The PVP element of World of Warcraft was mostly an afterthought for the general population, but I am very much looking forward to it.
Currently, the game allows world PvP in contested zones. Provided you are playing on a PVP server, you are auto flagged for engagements when entering these areas. PvP provides a certain thrill and danger whilst questing, don’t worry if you are on a PVE server and wish to engage you have the option to flag yourself.
Fight Amongst Yourselves
Currently, there are no rewards or reason to do so apart from bragging rights, but the content rollout proposed will see players rewarded for honourable kills (engaging players within your level) and punished for dishonourable kills (ganking low-level players or camping the corpse of a newly resurrected player).
These will take the form of cosmetics and later, kitted out armour sets that broadcast your prowess to any who look upon you, it’s a good feeling.
With the phased rollout of content for World of Warcraft Classic, Blizzard is ensuring that content will not get stale, currently, there are two initial end game content areas available to players.
These are Molten Core, a 40 player raid dungeon under the Blackrock mountains and Onyxia a massive black dragon lurking within her lair, which will test the mettle of any budding hero and their 39 other friends. With other classic dungeons and raids on the horizon, the content progression will keep players interested and playing for a long while yet.
This all being said World of Warcraft Classic is not without its issues.
In the initial teething stage of release, players experienced massive server queue times and frequent server lag and disconnections. The bugs are being smoothed out on a daily basis and the game is becoming much more stable.
Those expecting a smooth AAA playstyle will be in for a bit of a shock as Blizzard tries to recreate the authentic experience. The graphics aren’t groundbreaking by any means and the content is often confusing at times.
They are what they are though, and the majority of the player base loves it. The game didn’t even look that great on release in 2004 and still maintains the same aesthetic with the retail version of the game; currently battle for Azeroth.
It certainly won’t be for everyone in these respects, the initial hype may wear off from some of the community, but those that choose to stay will be in for a very rewarding title that they will play for years to come.
So sharpen your weapons, prepare you spells and gather your party. And may the quest item drop rate be ever in your favour!
FOR THE HORDE!
World of Warcraft Classic was reviewed on PC using a digital time code provided by Blizzard.
- Classic WoW gameplay you remember and love - 9.5/109.5/10
- Classic WoW bugs and server issues - 5/105/10
- Great to go back again - 8.5/108.5/10
- Pretty ugly by today's standards - 6/106/10