Tag: character models

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Legacy WoW – Tweak it? Update it? Leave it the hell alone?

[Again, this is about legacy WoW, not about my tabletop game, Crixa. If the WoW posts and MMO posts get popular, I’ll separate them into a second tab on the front page so the posts can have their own section rather than be lumped in with my Tabletop posts.]

First up, petition updates:

We’re waiting.

Nostalrius is waiting on a definitive date for their meeting, and I’m waiting on my date to be booked with Mike. I sent Mike a followup e-mail last Friday and one again today. The last time it took about a week to hearĀ  back from Mike before he agreed to a meeting, so I’m being patient.

Okay, now onto the surveys. Last week’s survey’s were fairly controversial. The first question was about whether or not to update the character models in a legacy server to the new models:

 

Charaacter Models

Current WoW has new models for players and some have asked if these models could be included in Legacy WoW. People were VERY split. Comments indicated that many thought that new models would detract from the vanilla purity and point of having legacy servers. Many voted for new models, but it became clear that it was coming from a “nice to have” perspective with only one or two saying they would not play vanilla WoW if the models were not updated. Many were concerned that asking Blizzard for any additional work was just going to make it that much harder to get them to agree to hosting a legacy server.

This lead to a much more interesting question:

 

changewow

When asked if Blizzard should change vanilla/legacy WoW on a relaunch, the clear majority wanted little, if any changes. In followup comments there were a lot of reasons that people gave. They broke down into a few categories:

  • Keep it simple. It’s going to be hard enough to convince Blizzard to do legacy without asking for any additional work.
  • Don’t mess up a good thing. People want vanilla or TBC, etc, just as it is. It’s the old systems that made it what it is and what we want to play again.
  • Bug fixes are fine. Nearly everyone agreed with this. Old exploits, game breaking bugs and such should be addressed.
  • Convenience features are the devil. LFG/Dungeon Finder, LFR, and other systems were seen, nearly universally, as contributing to the decline of WoW gameplay over the expansions and should be avoided in any vanilla/legacy server.

Personally, I would tend to fall into the “leave it alone” camp. Legacy for me is as much about preserving history and a piece of gaming culture as it is about playing the version of the game that we loved. Any changes beyond bug fixes would hamper both those goals. More importantly, designers love to tinker, and once you open the floodgates to “just one more change” you’re down a slippery slope that can cascade into bigger and bigger “improvements.”

A thought about convenience features: these really are the devil. With modern MMO convenience features, your UI starts to become the game. Instead of interacting with the immersive world around you, you are stuck staring at flat UI screen and clicking buttons. This is very convenient and fast, but it also removes a lot of what made MMOs cool in the first place–like an immersive world that felt real and lived in, and a sense of wonder and exploration that made new zones exciting instead of just another item in a UI list box. Once your primary interaction with the game is it’s UI instead of moving around that world and talking to other players and NPCs, you might as well be playing a single player game…and in my opinion not even a very good single player game.

That’s just my opinion. As I said before, I’ll be presenting all options to Mike that we’ve discussed. Blizzard has far more resources than I do to make accurate surveys if they like. My own informal twitter surveys are just there to draw out all the possible topics to discuss.

As usual, post your thoughts below in the comments! I’ll be reading and answering them.