Ladies and gentlemen welcome back to TinyBlueGames, my name is Csaw (Chris). Today, we are talking about World of Warcraft (WOW) Classic in 2019. In particular, we will be talking about whether or not it makes sense to play WOW Classic as a casual player. I should mention that I do also have a video about this subject (embedded below) if you are more in the mood to watch something as opposed to reading. This post does, however, go into some more depth if you have already watched the video. Either way, let’s get into it!
What Does “Casual Player” Really Mean?
So, if we are going to talk about casual players, the first thing we need to do is define what a casual player is. I say this as the term “casual player” means different things to different people, and can be very different from game to game. When it comes to Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), in this case specifically World of Warcraft, I think that a “casual player” means someone that enjoys the game but probably has a full-time job or is a full-time student. They might have an hour or so to play in the evenings during the week and maybe a bit more time to play during the weekend with their friends. They are interested in all types of content, but generally won’t be the best at any type of content. Ultimately, they are players with less time to invest in the game, but that still want to feel like they are progressing whenever they do log in.
Why Is WOW Classic Such A Different MMORPG?
Now that we have defined what makes a casual player so different, we need to ask what makes World of Warcraft Classic so different? Well, first and foremost WOW Classic is an old school MMORPG. In fact, WOW Classic launched about 15 years after the original World of Warcraft launched and since then a lot has changed in the game, and in the MMORPG genre in general. Specifically, a lot of MMORPGs have moved away from their original roots and introduced many modern systems aimed at making the game more efficient. “Efficient” sounds like it would be a good thing for casual players, but really these games have removed a lot of the basic things that gave players a sense of progression. This has been one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed trying WOW Classic in 2019, every little thing you do in-game feels like an accomplishment. Found some Peaceblossom? Hit level 8? Found a 6-slot bag? These all feel like small achievements in WOW classic! The best part of this is that you can achieve all of this just by logging in for a small amount of time. Every little play session can feel worthwhile.
Old School MMORPGs Are On The Rise
WOW Classic isn’t the first old school MMORPG to make a comeback. It’s become increasingly popular in the MMORPG industry to revive old games. From an outside perspective, the main reason it seems like these games would be popular is to prey on the nostalgia of old players, right? Well, that is certainly part of it. I’m sure a lot of players returning to WOW Classic will just login every so often to experience a bit of nostalgia, but as we discussed in the previous section, there is also a fair bit of content that these old MMORPGs offer that new games don’t seem to bring to the table anymore.
More About The Journey Than The Destination
Old School MMORPGs are more about the journey than the destination. This is something I have mentioned many times and one of the primary reasons I believe someone will either love or hate WOW classic. When I first started playing World of Warcraft during the Wrath of The Lich King expansion, one of the most common things people would tell new players is that the real game doesn’t begin until you hit max level. This promoted the idea that as a new player you should be rushing your way to max level in order to start playing the real game and progressing your character’s gear as soon as possible. The problem with this is that believing that the endgame content is the only content that matters in an MMORPG eliminates 90% of the playable content. It takes a huge world and shrinks it down to a few zones. This is still how a lot of players view Retail WOW today, and it isn’t just limited to World of Warcraft either. I’ve seen the same sentiment about Guild Wars 2, Rift, Wildstar, Final Fantasy 14 and many other MMORPGs.
Now you can definitely go into old school MMORPGs, such as WOW Classic, with the same mindset. Many players are rushing to max level in order to start progressing their characters as we speak. However, I feel like there is a larger portion of the WOW Classic community that is taking their time and really enjoying the journey to max level. There are a couple things that promote this in WOW Classic as well. Firstly, it isn’t as easy to get to max level. It takes a long time to level and to obtain enough gold to progress your character. Perhaps more importantly, there aren’t services such as level boosts, provided by the developers of the game, to promote a rushed playstyle. I believe one of the most damaging promotions for new players is when Blizzard gives away a free level boost when new players purchase the most recent expansion. Yes, it allows players to get to their friends’ level really quickly, but it removes so much content and the sense of accomplishment for completing it. It feels good in the short-term, but not the long-term.
Wait… You Need to Be Social in This MMORPG?
I think the idea of having to be social with other players is another difference that could scare casuals away from WOW Classic. It sounds odd, I know, aren’t MMORPGs all about being social with other players? Well, as time has gone on, certain changes that developers have made to MMORPGs have removed some of the social aspects from their games. What’s ironic about this is that these changes are often made to make the game more enjoyable for casual players. You can now find many of the groups you need for dungeons, quests, raids, and battlegrounds with the random group finder feature. You simply wait in queue and end up in your group, complete the piece of content, then you can get back to your business. Yes, there are some times when you need to reach out and find people, but there are a lot of alternatives. In WOW Classic there is no group finder, you have to reach out and talk to people. Scary right? Yes, it is kind of scary, but it will make each encounter and each dungeon group much more memorable. This makes logging in and playing more exciting and unique, as you don’t know which players you’ll interact with. More than that, you can also find friends that play at the same time as you and have the same interest as you. This makes guilds so much more relevant and promotes players creating bonds with other players.
Will I Enjoy WOW Classic as A Casual Player?
At the end of the day, you won’t know if you will enjoy WOW Classic as a casual player until you give it a try. I’ve really been enjoying my journey so far, and if you’ve seen any of my videos, you’d know that I certainly like taking my levelling very casually. The good news is tha if you already have a Retail WOW subscription you can try Classic without paying anything at all!
Thank you for reading, I will see you in the next post!