Playing a chunk on two different characters (dwarf Paladin and night elf Hunter), I was reminded how much more visible the RPG elements of World of Warcraft used to be.
This ‘crunch’ aspect appeals to me quite a lot. Whether it is the need to upgrade existing and learn new spells, the more free-form feel of the character customisation or the plethora of proficiency skills (notably weapons); it adds up to a more satisfactory levelling experience I feel than the modern game’s anaemic offering.
It would be easy to compare the game to other MMORPGs and declare much of this as skin-deep though, for example unlike in Everquest 2, in WoW Classic you know languages or do not (as opposed to a well developed system for learning new languages like in EQ2). Nevertheless it is more than we “WoW Live” players are used to: cue nostalgia or novelty.
I’m most interested in re-experiencing the more unique and complex class specific systems at this point. I want to get a Paladin high enough to have multiple seals to judge with in sequence. I’d also like to properly explore the old Hunter pet system including keeping pets fed and having a choice of ammo, all lost to the mists of time – until now. I’ve never been an optimiser in my gameplay habits, so this level of detail is catnip to me – regardless of how ‘real’ the choices are, they still matter to me.
Some game system/UI throwbacks are less welcome. The lack of usefulness of the basic quest tracker for instance means opening the quest log a lot. The mini-map is also barely functional by modern standards. The stark reality of tapped creatures and slow spawning/individual quest ‘click-items’ is a relic of a long-ago time where we had more free-time than sense. Queuing to click an item may be civilised I suppose, but I’d rather be playing a modern game than stand in a virtual queue.
Still, I hope I’ll be able to persevere through the less than optimal quest delivery and the over-crowding to enjoy it for a while longer!