The Queue: A Very Classic Queuemas
Welcome to The Queue, our daily column where you ask us Qs and we make somebody on staff supply the As. Unsurprisingly, with less than a week to go a vast majority of y’all are talking about WoW Classic. It reminds me a little of those one-off Christmas episodes of sitcoms, where it’s pretty much the same old wacky antics only this time the industrial wood chipper Urkel made sentient and is running amok has a bow on it. So basically, Winter Veil in Orgrimmar.
Q4tClassicQ: should the drop rates for quest items increase?
No, and not just from a “I had to do it so these dang millennials ought to do it too,” perspective.
The thing is, leveling in Classic takes forever — forever ever — and the curve isn’t tuned particularly well compared to Live. You straight up run out of doable quests in several stretches in the 40s especially, to the extent that it makes sense to travel halfway across the world to buy a mithril casing for Chasing A-Me 01.
Those crappy drop rates are intentionally crappy to make grinding mobs for XP seem less terrible, but at its core, that’s really what you’re doing — grinding mobs for XP. Quests are really just a mechanic to give you an additional goal so it seems incrementally less awful. In 2004 it didn’t feel too bad, especially since the competitors at the time had even steeper XP curves. Now the comparison is Battle for Azeroth, where there’s mathmatically no way to finish all the zones in Kul Tiras or Zandalar before you hit cap even if you have zero rested and skip all the bonus objectives. It was always kind of laughably terrible back in the day but now it feels even worse.
But if you want to give yourself a “quest” and spend some time at-level in the Badlands grinding for one of those dark whelplings, that… wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Q4tQ: BW Vanilla Stream? A little BWV? BWVC? BWCS?
I believe one of us will be streaming as the servers start going live on Monday evening. If nothing else I think it would be hilarious to do a stream just trying to log in on Herod — no commentary, music, or facecam, just a queue — but I may be overruled there. I do plan on doing a little Classic during my timeslot next week (Wednesday 9 CST). We don’t really have plans to do anything big as a group, though.
We have discussed adding in another full-on group leveling stream in general, but given all our various time constraints and responsibilities it’s really tough to schedule something on a consistent basis with more than one person, as our rotating D&D cast will attest. We’ve been considering a team stream as a stretch goal on Patreon, so keep your eyes peeled just in case.
Q4tQ: In Classic WoW will you be able to buy gold from Blizzard or items from the in game store to have in Classic?
The WoW Token won’t be sold in WoW Classic, so if you wanted to invest in a gold selling website now would be a good time to do it. It seems doubtful that regular store items will be offered, I do wonder whether they’ll be allowing people to purchase some of the old TCG loot or the refer-a-friend merch via some kind of in-game shopfront involving Landro Longshot.
What are some things you expect people to be surprised by when WoW Classic launches, besides the obvious ones?
The quality of life improvements made over the last 15 years for everything about quests was just astonishing to me. Even something as simple as hitting the M hotkey constantly to bring up both my quest text and map at the same time — and getting confused about it every time — was pretty eye-opening.
I found myself hovering over mobs and trying to read the tooltip to see whether they were the actual objective when things weren’t dropping. Even just checking the upper right corner for the blocked out objectives on the minimap, or turning away from a valid quest objective on the ground because it didn’t have the sparklies around it. Quests don’t auto-track. You can only track five of them when you remember to go into your log and track them.
Nah, we’re back to “go north-ish, it’s kinda by a rock or a tree maybe, good luck.” Cool.
Each one on its own is pretty useful, but having them all zoomed out of existence at once was a shocker.
Q4tQ: Any tips and tricks for those returning to Classic next week? I know Dire Maul isn’t launching until Phase 2, but I’m going to make a point to use the ghost ogres at the end to level up all my weapon skills asap.
Find a friend or two and do everything with them.
WoW as it is now is a fairly solo pursuit. Even quests marked as Elite can be dispatched easily by most players solo. Back in the day, every extra mob that ran off meant death. Mana was so much more precious, and self-heals were far less prevalent. Most of the classes I tried were a struggle, but even duos made things manageable, maybe even fun.
I’m not saying that Classic is only for people who want to play in groups, but personally I found it a very frustrating, lonely experience, even when I was streaming it with chat to talk to.
The loss of intangible community over time is less about having a roster of known ninja looters at your fingertips, and more about being forced into these kinds of situations. Sometimes you’d get a new friend out of it. And then sometimes you’d get that one dude who told you to get back in the kitchen and get him a sandwich, and so you stopped healing him for the rest of the run and blocked him so you wouldn’t get a whole bunch of DMs about how you suck as a healer. At least I don’t suck at life in general buddy.
Balance in all things, I guess.
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