What are "smart changes"?

Classic Discussion
I've seen a couple posters claim that the only changes that should be made to Classic are "smart changes". I'd like to know what "smart changes" they're referring to, and what is the distinction between a smart change and a bad change in their eyes?

Personally, I don't think Classic should feature any changes, at least not ones that weren't implemented some time between 2004-2006. There are two reasons why I don't want to see Classic changed beyond minor additions like B.net integration and accessibility options for the impaired.

1. Authenticity. As an avid collector of old media, the preservation of old games that have been abandoned or rendered unplayable due to a lack of official support (Warhammer Online, CoH, etc) or have been altered beyond recognition is very important to me. I want Classic to be rebuilt to be as close to the original thing as possible whilst functioning the best it ever has. I know not everyone feels this way about Classic and not everyone thinks that it should be treated like a museum piece, but I personally do.

2. The arguments that I've seen made for the vast majority of changes aren't very compelling. I'll use something I said in another thread to elaborate on why I don't find most of these arguments sound...

03/17/2018 09:48 AMPosted by Iconöclast
Every other change that's been suggested has been argued for rather poorly, which is why you'll usually see the same points regurgitated between these suggestions regardless of their validity. Notice how the people asking for transmog, void storage, or additional loot drops will often preface their suggestions with a statement along the lines of "this wouldn't really alter the gameplay at all" or something to that effect? It's not only demonstrably false in all of these cases, but it's also an admission that these are meant to be vanity changes - they wouldn't even exist to "fix" any perceived problems with how the game actually plays, they'd just be around to fulfill the personal desires of the individual asking for the change.


Now I'm not gonna act like I haven't seen some very good points made in favor of a change I still don't really agree with - namely the implementation of guild banks with slot limitations based on how many active members there are in your guild, which isn't a totally meritless idea based on what I've read so far. I'd consider that a smart suggestion (alot smarter than void storage, at least), though that doesn't necessarily make it a change that I'd want to see featured in the game.

However, the vast majority of the changes being asked for don't seem smart to me, at least not in comparison to the guild banks suggestion. Infact, the disingenuous way that some people like to go about championing these changes -- like claiming that a certain feature wouldn't effect the gameplay even though it obviously would -- makes the change sound stupid and makes the people asking for these changes seem intellectually dishonest.

Tl;dr - which changes do the pro changes crowd think are actual "smart changes" and why? How little/how much would your "smart change" effect the gameplay of Classic?
OK, let's use a small example:

There was an inconsistent UI issue in vanilla. If you right-click and item to trade, put in your bank, or put in your guild bank, the item is moved as intended.

If you right-click the item to add into a mail item, the item is consumed.

IMO fixing that inconsistency is a "smart change".
Overall I fit mostly under #nochanges rather than #prochanges, but for me, changes I think could or should be in are:

- A relatively static patch taking “the best versions of things” of Vanilla, with content gated by time rather than continuous patch rollouts.

- Appropriate retuning of content to account for whichever Frankenpatch version they use, so the experience feels more like Vanilla even if technically it’s different. (For example, some content will be too easy with 1.11 items and 1.12 talents, compared to when you experienced that content without those)

- Addon restrictions to prevent addons that dramatically change the way you played Vanilla. (We didn’t have arrows pointing us to quest objectives, for example. This may be tough to solve completely)

- Improved graphical options that only affect the user and provide no advantage. (No increased model draw distance, for example)

- Fixing of bugs and exploits.
03/18/2018 01:07 AMPosted by Starman
OK, let's use a small example:

There was an inconsistent UI issue in vanilla. If you right-click and item to trade, put in your bank, or put in your guild bank, the item is moved as intended.

If you right-click the item to add into a mail item, the item is consumed.

IMO fixing that inconsistency is a "smart change".


That seems like a good example to me, I'll agree that it is a smart change when compared to what is typically asked for on this subforum.

The devs wouldn't have to make crippling concessions to the gameplay to accommodate it and I don't think anyone will miss accidentally consuming an item when they meant to put it in the mail slot as a result of inconsistent programming. I'd put it on the same level as Guild Banks, though obviously for different reasons. It has merit.

Any other examples?
03/18/2018 01:16 AMPosted by Faceroll
Overall I fit mostly under #nochanges rather than #prochanges, but for me, changes I think could or should be in are:

- A relatively static patch taking “the best versions of things” of Vanilla, with content gated by time rather than continuous patch rollouts.

- Appropriate retuning of content to account for whichever Frankenpatch version they use, so the experience feels more like Vanilla even if technically it’s different. (For example, some content will be too easy with 1.11 items and 1.12 talents, compared to when you experienced that content without those)

- Addon restrictions to prevent addons that dramatically change the way you played Vanilla. (We didn’t have arrows pointing us to quest objectives, for example. This may be tough to solve completely)

- Improved graphical options that only affect the user and provide no advantage. (No increased model draw distance, for example)

- Fixing of bugs and exploits.


All of these seem relatively harmless, though I'd appreciate it if you could expand on what you mean by improved graphical options. Are we talking straight up improvements, like having the textures scaled for higher resolutions and improved lighting effects? Or by improvements do you also mean the addition of the new models, textures, animations, and various other assets from Legion/BfA as togglable graphical options?

I'd say the latter runs contrary to the intent of Classic and veers more on "remake" territory, rather than a "remaster" or a "re-release", which is what Classic is seemingly being marketed as. It would also likely mean a longer development time. I wouldn't call that a smart change, personally.
The smartest way of making changes involves two main steps: changes that are positive and changes that do not ruin the game for people who are predominantly concerned with their museum piece like OP.

Step one involves changes that have absolutely no drawback. These things include colorblind mode, mailbox fixes AH fixes, bug fixes, draw distance excluding character models, incomplete quest chains finished. I have heard good arguments for, and personally support guild banks as described in the OP. I have a hard time believing that people who have a problem with these changes are arguing in good faith, provided that the changes stop there and not an inch further.

In comes step two. Assuming Classic is released as a frankenpatch with progressively released raids, we wait until the end of the raid cycle. After Naxx is out, there is an opportunity. People will want a fresh server experience, but some will want to stay on the server they are on with their character. After the server cycle, say two years, the characters will be moved to an identical server. The difference about that server is that all servers of that type (PvP, PvE, RPPvP, RPPvE) will be merged into it at the end of their server life cycle. Fresh servers can be made as often or rarely as Blizz likes, but they'll all end up in the same 4 pools per region.

This is actually where step two comes in. At the end of the server life cycle, characters will be given the choice whether to be transfered to a purist server, or a progressive 1.13 remastered server. The point of this server would be to continue vanilla with the same philosophies and with unlimited time to finish previously cut areas, raids, BGs, and features such as DHK outlaw status, rogue disguises, torches, the Ashbringer, and other changes based on community vote. This is what Old School Runescape does and it is very successful. OSRS is undeniably better now than it was in 2007 and it's more popular than RS3, the retail equivalent.
A smart change is one everyone agrees on. An example is color blind mode. Except that I don't agree with that. Color blind people got by in Vanilla WoW just fine, so I wouldn't want it changed.
03/18/2018 01:43 AMPosted by Missuspowpow
The smartest way of making changes involves two main steps: changes that are positive and changes that do not ruin the game for people who are predominantly concerned with their museum piece like OP.


Agreed. I don't want changes as they are inherently incompatible with my ideal vision for Classic, which is a 1-to-1 recreation of Vanilla and nothing more (a pipe dream considering b.net integration is all but guaranteed and they're probably not gonna do progressive patches from 1.1 to 1.12, but the point is that I want it to be as close to authentic as possible) but if changes had to be made for whatever reason, they should not alter or detract from the gameplay in a negative fashion.

03/18/2018 01:43 AMPosted by Missuspowpow
Step one involves changes that have absolutely no drawback.


Makes sense. The changes/fixes you mentioned match the intent of step one so all I can really say is that it makes sense, they're "smart changes" from what I can tell.

03/18/2018 01:43 AMPosted by Missuspowpow
In comes step two. Assuming Classic is released as a frankenpatch with progressively released raids, we wait until the end of the raid cycle. After Naxx is out, there is an opportunity. People will want a fresh server experience, but some will want to stay on the server they are on with their character. After the server cycle, say two years, the characters will be moved to an identical server. The difference about that server is that all servers of that type (PvP, PvE, RPPvP, RPPvE) will be merged into it at the end of their server life cycle. Fresh servers can be made as often or rarely as Blizz likes, but they'll all end up in the same 4 pools per region.


Again, makes sense to me. I figured we were gonna get server cycles anyways and the only problems I can think of would be with the usual issues that crop up whenever servers merge, like the dissolution of the server's community after the merge. That's not too bad a trade off though, and I think the thing most people would be worried about is a forced name change, which is a problem retail has already solved I think.

03/18/2018 01:43 AMPosted by Missuspowpow
This is actually where step two comes in. At the end of the server life cycle, characters will be given the choice whether to be transfered to a purist server, or a progressive 1.13 remastered server. The point of this server would be to continue vanilla with the same philosophies and with unlimited time to finish previously cut areas, raids, BGs, and features such as DHK outlaw status, rogue disguises, torches, the Ashbringer, and other changes based on community vote. This is what Old School Runescape does and it is very successful. OSRS is undeniably better now than it was in 2007 and it's more popular than RS3, the retail equivalent.


Not my cup of tea but I know there's a pretty large audience that loves OSRS, so whatever. Don't know if I'd call it a smart change as it runs contrary to Blizz's intentions, but if you've got the choice to stick to a purist server I'm not gonna complain. This probably wouldn't effect the development time of Classic, at least pre-launch, so I wouldn't call it a dumb change either. If it's just an option and if there's an audience for it then I suppose it'd at least be a justified change.
03/18/2018 01:07 AMPosted by Starman
There was an inconsistent UI issue in vanilla. If you right-click and item to trade, put in your bank, or put in your guild bank, the item is moved as intended.

03/18/2018 01:07 AMPosted by Starman

vanilla. If you right-click and item to trade, put in your bank, or put in your guild bank, the item


vanilla. guild bank


Your tricks dont work here. f off


I didn't even notice this lmfao

Vanilla didn't have a guild bank, this is common knowledge. Could've been a mistype, but I'd appreciate it if everyone is on the level here.

This thread is supposed to discuss what can be considered a smart change and what couldn't. That distinction is an important one to make now if these changes that are being asked for are being considered at all by Blizz, because I'd rather not see stupid changes added if any changes have to be made at all.
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...
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Your tricks dont work here. f off


I didn't even notice this lmfao

Vanilla didn't have a guild bank, this is common knowledge. Could've been a mistype, but I'd appreciate it if everyone is on the level here.

This thread is supposed to discuss what can be considered a smart change and what couldn't. That distinction is an important one to make now if these changes that are being asked for are being considered at all by Blizz, because I'd rather not see stupid changes added if any changes have to be made at all.


the rats infest every thread. Starman gorges himself and !@#$s on everything.
I'd say the latter runs contrary to the intent of Classic and veers more on "remake" territory, rather than a "remaster" or a "re-release", which is what Classic is seemingly being marketed as. It would also likely mean a longer development time. I wouldn't call that a smart change, personally.
WoD assets would be a good place. This would be pretty standard fare as far as remasters go, so it’s a rather arbitrary place to say it suddenly goes against what a remaster would be at that point.
03/18/2018 02:56 AMPosted by Faceroll
WoD assets would be a good place. This would be pretty standard fare as far as remasters go, so it’s a rather arbitrary place to say it suddenly goes against what a remaster would be at that point.


That's not standard fare at all, at least not for remasters.

A remake =/= an enhanced port, which is what a remaster is. A remaster wouldn't use "new" assets or repurpose assets from a more recent title, that's getting into overhauling territory which is beyond the scope of a remaster. That's one of the main reasons why Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, a version of MGS1 featuring a significantly improved graphical engine and modern assets repurposed from MGS2, is considered a remake and not a remaster. A game like The Last of Us: Remastered, however, is considered a remaster because it's just The Last of Us with a native 1080p resolution, textures scaled to match the improved resolution, and an improved framerate. The art direction is untouched and no new assets are made to "improve" the visuals.

These terms are not interchangeable and the distinction isn't arbitrary, there's a pretty significant difference between improved visuals and entirely new visuals, especially when it comes to development. Do you realize how long it'd take Blizz to design an entire MMO with two entirely different graphical styles in mind without it completely collapsing in on itself with broken toggles? I mean the toggle on retail has always been broken and has only gotten worse with the addition of allied races, I don't see them managing to do implement a change like this without it impeding development time and becoming a detriment to the games identity.

Again, not a smart change, in my opinion.
03/18/2018 01:43 AMPosted by Missuspowpow
In comes step two. Assuming Classic is released as a frankenpatch with progressively released raids, we wait until the end of the raid cycle. After Naxx is out, there is an opportunity. People will want a fresh server experience, but some will want to stay on the server they are on with their character. After the server cycle, say two years, the characters will be moved to an identical server.
You started well enough, but you lost me here.

Every time "Server Cycles" is mentioned, my spidey-senses tingle. The people who make such suggestions clearly have no idea of the business morass such a process entails. You do realize, don't you, that what you are suggesting has never been done before (at least by Blizzard). Such a NEW wrinkle would take a year just to get off the drawing board. imo, it ain't gonna happen!

Blizzard is NOT making a new game, with new directions and new concepts. They will be sticking to the four corners of the original game. They will also (again imo) be pushing internally to get Classic released. Forget about seeing "Server Cycles" or "Staggered Server/Content Release" or any other new wrinkle!

As for a much ballyhooed Patch 1.13, NO! Blizzard will almost surely focus the implementation of new content into the current, Retail, version of WoW. Classic will be a fire-and-forget release, requiring only modest ongoing maintenance effort.
More thoughts:

I suppose, if Classic is a huge hit, bringing bazillions of subscription dollars into the coffers, then Blizzard might consider, eventually, releasing follow-on content (Patch 1.13?). But that possibility is as remote, right now, as a Classic project was 2 years ago, when Breck made his oft quoted, "You think you want it but you don't" statement.

Only the carefully staffed and modelled expectation that they can capture significant new revenue by doing so, will ever motivate Blizzard to redirect development assets away from their core product lines.
I think flying mounts good idea

Also boost char option
03/18/2018 04:24 AMPosted by Swaggedon
I think flying mounts good idea

Also boost char option


Guild name checks out.
03/18/2018 01:07 AMPosted by Starman
OK, let's use a small example:

There was an inconsistent UI issue in vanilla. If you right-click and item to trade, put in your bank, or put in your guild bank, the item is moved as intended.

If you right-click the item to add into a mail item, the item is consumed.

IMO fixing that inconsistency is a "smart change".


I have no argument against this. It makes sense. However, at what point does "changing things for consistency" become too much? Their is a line I'm sure, and the problem is some people argue that the instant you make that first change, you have opened the floodgates.

Personally? I could live with little things like what was mentioned above, however, I could also not. I'm sure after I drank 4-5 potions on accident I would just learn the proper way to mail things.
The ONLY smart change is NOCHANGE!

We have been down this road before, thats why so many people quit.
03/18/2018 05:06 AMPosted by Bigsly1DD123
The ONLY smart change is NOCHANGE!

We have been down this road before, thats why so many people quit.


Please don't derail this thread into a shouting match between purists and change advocates, at least not until someone from Blizz says there won't be any changes. We've already got like 3 other active threads on this subforum that exist for that very purpose.

Forum Mod Edit: This post has been edited by a moderator due to language. https://us.battle.net/forums/en/code-of-conduct/

Edit: thanks mod for making a useless edit and not even attempting to fill the gap you left, you're a very cool cat

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