A Defense for Patience

General Discussion
So Nostalrius is back in the news again, this time releasing the source code to the world due to Blizzard not talking about Legacy servers during Blizzcon. So for a moment allow me to play Blizzards Advocate concerning the situation given so many people have decided to do the same for Nostalrius.

For Blizzards part I can get why they didn't want to talk about Legacy servers. In any game community I've found communication to be walking a very small very precarious tightrope that you are never allowed to get off of.

Share too little, your playerbase and fans will lose interest, or you might lose out on valuable feedback that could have fixed a problem that might never have been otherwise. Share too much however you end up spoiling a fun surprise, or risk disappointing the playerbase if what you've told them ends up not being in the final product for a myriad of reasons that happen every single day in the office.

And a disappointed playerbase is not one anyone wants to have, not just because you want your players to be as happy with your product as possible, but because (Unfortunately) some players can get far too invested and begin sending death threats to you and your coworkers doors. It is never an easy rope to walk, and more often than not companies fall out of balance far more than they'd like.

Why is this relevant to Legacy servers? Well right now Blizzard is walking that rope. And while I firmly believe Blizzard is working on Legacy servers, I also believe that they don't want to divulge any details that have not been firmly chiseled in. And there are a lot of details to work on.

For some people I think that they think opening a legacy server is just as simple as flipping a switch. This is wrong on multiple levels, and not just because Classic WoW isn't just sitting on a server waiting to be turned on. To really dig into the problem I want to pose a question.

What is your idea of a Legacy Server?

Go on, take your time with this answer. Got your idea down? Good.

I can guarantee most all of you answered with something different.

At last count there were 5.5 Million of us, and 5.5 Million of us can't agree on whether or not a class needs a buff or a debuff. We aren't going to 100% agree on what a Classic Server will look like.

Here's a few differences of opinion you might run into:

  • What Patch should the server be on
  • Should it just be 1.0? 1.2? 1.3?
  • Should it start at 1.0 and progress to current content
  • Should it stay at whatever patch it's on?
  • Should the game keep all the old bugs future patches fix? Even if they're gamebreaking (Blood Plague) to preserve the integrity of the patch?
  • If Legacy has progression, should it be faster than it originally was? The same pace?
  • Should the game keep the various quality of life improvements (Mog Closet, Account Wide Mounts, Dungeon Finder, Hunters not having to feed pets/use mana

These are just a few things that Blizzard needs to have ironed out to put out a finished product. And they need to have it polished because if they do want to do Legacy Servers they're going to have to charge for them and you don't charge money for an unfinished product if you aim to keep your playerbase.

Blizz is a big company, and Legacy servers will still be a huge investment for them to make, no matter how many people pinky-swear to pay and play on them. I applaud Blizzard for making sure all the kinks are ironed out before they put out a product.

We will have Legacy servers eventually. The only thing we need right now is patience. I'm sure the devs appreciate it.

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