It was announced at BlizzCon 2017 that Blizzard would be bringing back the long-awaited and long-requested official classic servers for World of Warcraft. Even alongside the reveal of a brand new expansion, Battle for Azeroth, the announcement of the classic servers ultimately won the show, but there are some things that players should keep in mind about the vanilla experience, and who better to school us than Blizzard veteran and icon, Jeff Kaplan.
Before he climbed the ranks at Blizzard to become the current game director (and babysitter) for Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan served as a lead designer for World of Warcraft in the early years. He was responsible for a majority of the quests featured in the base game, up till the Wrath of the Lich King expansion pack in 2008.
In light of the big news for World of Warcraft, Kaplan participated in an interview on Reddit where he answered all kinds of questions from the moderators over at r/Overwatch, but one thing that he touched on a little more on than other things was the forthcoming edition of the classic servers to World of Warcraft. When simply asked what his thoughts are regarding the servers, here’s what Kaplan had to say:
“I think classic is a great idea. I have great nostalgia for what the game was. I think people need to be careful about what they think the magic was versus what it actually was. I don’t think what made the classic servers great was the shitty quests. I’m allowed to say that because I wrote all of them.”
Even though Jeff was (mostly) joking with his interviewers, he did elaborate a little further as to what he wants players to know, and what they can possibly expect, or not expect) with the addition of the classic servers:
“I think it’s less about black and white or what’s right or wrong, people mostly just think about what they’re gaining, but the thing players really need to think about is what asking for certain changes forces them to give up.”
The classic or “vanilla” World of Warcraft experience generally refers to the content and gameplay prior to the Burning Crusade expansion pack. This was when the game was typically harder and very different from what it has evolved into over multiple expansion packs and patches. In fact, the Cataclysm expansion pack from 2010 removed pretty much all the remaining vanilla elements from the game.
There is no word on when the official classic servers will go live but based on what Blizzard has revealed so far, it’s going to be quite some time.