So you don’t want to play WoW Classic
You’re not alone. A lot of us don’t, and some of us — myself included — prefer the modern game with all of its changes and updates to the old game. If you don’t feel that way, that’s fine — WoW Classic exists now, and it’s there for you to go play. But if you share my desire to keep playing the new game and leave the old game to people who love it, you may be feeling kind of left out of the hype train.
That’s understandable. WoW Classic is, paradoxically, the new hotness. I say paradoxically because it’s a thirteen year old version of the game — Patch 1.12.0 came out in August of 2006, so thirteen years ago as of this month. There are a lot of people who wanted to go back and experience the pre-Cataclysm game, see Azeroth the way it was before dragons destroyed zones and Warchiefs burned down giant trees. It can feel a little like everyone is expecting you to join in and if you don’t they’re disappointed in you.
You should be free to like whatever you choose
Consider this me officially giving you permission not to care about WoW Classic.
Don’t make other people feel bad for liking it — that’s terrible and you should never do that. But don’t let them make you feel bad for not wanting to play it, whatever your reasons are. If they whip out that you secretly want to play and try and goad or cajole you into it, take this much to heart — you know what you like and what you want to do better than anyone else ever will. If you like things like Group Finder, LFR, World Quests, not needing ammo and not having the dead zone on your Hunter, flying mounts, playing any of the classes that came out after vanilla WoW, being able to tank on non-Warriors and more innovations, improvements and changes that came into the game after the old days (like, say, Transmog) then don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choice.
This is not me bagging on WoW Classic, because I did a lot of beta, and I enjoyed the game. There’s a heady, intoxicating aroma of distilled nostalgia and warm familiarity to it, and I think for people who never played it when it was current there’s a real sense of wonder here. It was fun back when I first played it in 2004 and it’s fun now. I am glad people are enjoying it.
But if you don’t want to, or didn’t enjoy it when you tried it? That’s okay. That’s just fine. Battle for Azeroth has a lot of things to offer and if that’s the game you prefer, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’m going to list a few of my favorite things that I can get in the modern game that WoW Classic doesn’t have.
The Wardrobe and Transmogrification
Seriously, this is absolutely my favorite part of World of Warcraft and we didn’t even get the most rudimentary version of it until late Cataclysm, and it wasn’t until Legion that we had the Wardrobe system. I simply can’t go back to playing a game that doesn’t have this. Even single player RPG’s have it now, but you want me to play a game that doesn’t? I am so utterly not interested.
I can spend literal hours just running around farming up transmog gear. It’s sincerely something I love to do. Just by having this feature when WoW Classic lacks it, I’m far more invested in Battle for Azeroth. It’s just the best.
Seven Expansions Full of Content
Look, seriously, I played the game from 2004 to today. I played it throughout The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion and I’m still playing it in Battle for Azeroth. And I’ve never even once thought to myself that what I really wanted from the game was less to do.
That doesn’t mean other people are wrong for wanting that, but it also doesn’t mean you’re wrong, if you decide that you like being able to run Black Temple or Icecrown Citadel whenever you want. WoW Classic is a lot of things, but one thing it absolutely is not — categorically and completely, it is not any of the expansions we’ve ever hard. Now, perhaps in a couple of years they’ll make The Burning Crusade Classic and follow that up with Wrath Classic and if they do, I’m sure a lot of players will be very happy with the non-item squished, original flavor versions of those expansions. But for myself?
I’ve seen it. I’ve done it. I like being able to go back on my terms, not to a version where I need a group just to run Ulduar. Heck, if I want that, there’s always Timewalking! That’s another thing WoW Classic won’t have, by the way.
I like Flying Mounts.
My favorite additions to the game all came after Patch 1.12
This isn’t me trying to be a buzzkill, but again, a list of just some things you can’t do in WoW Classic that I prefer to what you can do in it is a pretty huge one. Troll, Worgen, Zandalari and Kul Tiran Druids. Allied Races. Draenei. Alliance getting Shaman and Horde getting Paladins. Blood Elves. Demon Hunters. Pandaren. Monks. Playable Goblins and Worgen. Death Knights. Titan’s Grip, for the love of all that’s good and pure.
None of this existed before or by Patch 1.12.0 and thus doesn’t exist in WoW Classic. Yes, I enjoy all of those things, and frankly World of Warcraft without Draenei Warriors dual-wielding giant glowing swords just isn’t as much fun for me.
Look, I leveled to 60 several times back in vanilla and I even raided on a Server First guild that killed Nefarian and C’Thun before anyone on our server did. I know exactly how much time it took, how much I was playing WoW back in those days, and frankly I love that I don’t have to invest that much time in it anymore. I’m not going back to that, not now, not ever. Especially not while playing a Human. I mean, seriously.
It took a significant time investment to get to max level, get the gold needed for a mount, and then an epic mount — a lot of time and effort to progress in raiding, to do well in PVP, everything had a pretty savage opportunity cost and it’s not one I can afford to pay at this point in my life. If that’s you, too, then know that you’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Life moves on, we change and grow and what we want from our gaming changes, too.
Play whichever you like
If nothing else I say matters here, then at least keep this close — these are games. If WoW Classic is fun for you? Great, play it to your heart’s content. If it’s a fun nostalgia bump, if it’s your favorite version of WoW, whatever you like. But if you don’t want to play it, whatever your reasons are? You’re not alone, and you’re not wrong to want a game with group tap so you don’t have to actually form lines to click on quest items and mobs.
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