The Grim Reality

Classic Discussion
The purpose of this post is to give an accurate and informed review of the content of the demo and to make a reasonable conclusion based on it and the recent feedback from Blizzard themselves.

Who am I?


For context, not self glorification or bragging rights, I would like to mention that I played World of Warcraft in Vanilla. I had almost a dozen level 60's, raided some, and ranked in PVP to rank 11. I played TBC, WoTLK, Cata (quit), WoD, Legion, and BFA. I also have played Elysium, Lights Hope, K3, and Northdale. I am not ignorant when it comes to the game. Not an expert, but not ignorant.

Is the Outcry Justified?

Shortly after the release of the demo the internet was bombarded by negative reports. For those watching they couldn't help but ask the question over and over... "Is it really that bad?" or "What does it feel like."

As someone who has played the demo I would like to go in depth a little on what has merely been touched upon in short rants or clips on twitch/YouTube.

Sharding

It didn't take long for players to realize that they were being sharded. Having played at the launch of both retail WoW servers and private servers I am well familiar with what "lively" zones feel like. The barrens felt absolutely DEAD on the demo.

I didn't lose a tag to a single person. I didn't have to fight for a single mob. I didn't have to group for a single named or quest mob. I didn't see a single person at the Quilboar camp to do "Kreenig". I am not joking. I played for 3 hours by the way --- immediately following the release of the demo, it wasn't "off peak".

Why didn't I see anybody? Sharding. The game was working against the experience I was seeking. Some of the newer players don't even realize what they are missing and seem to not see the reason for concer. A recent video clip by "monkeynews" reveals one good reason. The player can be seen approaching a copper mine only to have it vanish in front of his eyes. Another streamer "Preach" can be seen accepting a group invite inside a cave, only to have everyone around him vanish.

Sharding radically alters the gameplay experience in a negative manner. It annihilates the Vanilla "feel" and ruins immersion and community.

Summoning Stones

"Here you go jumping the gun. It is a DEMO." It is a demo. It is demonstrating what the developers want to show us. Am I to believe that after over a year of development time and thousands of posts on forums that the Blizzard developers didn't know that people didn't want summoning to dungeons?

Is it really that difficult to disable summoning stones in literally 2 locations on the demo? While the white knights may want to come out in defense of Blizzard on this one and spin it in its most favorable light, there is no real way to do so. There are only two options: Either Blizzard is incredibly inept and horrible at their job as developers to the extent that such a glaring change slipped past them into the demo for the Classic fan base to see OR they actually wanted it to be in the demo to show us what they were thinking.

Which is it? Are they inept or are they THAT disconnected from the community? Perhaps I give them too much credit, I don't think they are that inept. By the way, in case someone is wondering, summoning DOES work. I summoned myself 5 times, you must be level 17 to summon someone else who is level 17 and have 2 players at the stone. This is a MAJOR change to Vanilla and something that DID NOT EVER exist in Vanilla WoW.

Items

The data mining revealed updated items and the videos from "Tips" and others came out talking about the need for progressive itemization. Yet again, we are forced to make an educated guess as to whether or not Blizzard is inept or disconnected. Do they really not understand why players want progressive itemization?

Worse yet, upon killing a few plainstriders in the Barrens I looted my first "1 agi 1 crit rating" sword. What in the actually HELL IS THIS! The first item I can remember that contained crit value in Vanilla wow is the berserker helm in Scarlet Monastery at level 37ish (not looking it up at the moment). Now they have introduced crit rating at LEVEL 5!

"That is just left over from back porting the game from WoTLK." Well, they obviously did such a thing, but we are again forced into the twofold dilemma. Is Blizzard inept and allowed these radically different non-Vanilla items into the demo or are they that disconnected from what the Vanilla community expects and wants? I later saw a "1 block rating" shield drop on "Alexensual's stream". This is perhaps one of the most epic fails I have ever seen in gaming.

Graphic Changes

"Those who desire the game to look like it did will have a Classic Graphic option." Oh yea? There is foliage added that did not exist and many spell animations are radically different and unrecognizable (looking at you Warrior charge). The look and feel of the game is radically different.

"Different than your stupid private server experience." Yes. Also different from my retail Vanilla experience. This is why I mentioned my experience previously in the post. I am not some random loser who only played for free on a bootleg private server and is now whining that Blizzard's polished REAL version is off. I am a Blizzard WoW fan who KNOWS what to expect AND THIS IS WAY OFF.

Gameplay

The character walks differently. The animations look and feel different. My hunters arcane shot was castable while on cooldown, interrupting my auto shot timer and feeling awful. Pet pathing is worse than on private servers. My pet seemed to have a 1 second response delay to attack. My pet seemed to turn slowly to attack a mob slightly to the left or right. It FEELS BAD.

Is the player run speed increased? No. The FOV is different. Are mana regen and health regen rates off? Hell yes. I didn't have to eat or drink a single time. My pet also seemed to not need nearly as much food after tamed. Mobs did seem to die rather easy, but this COULD be explained by the fact that Blizzard felt it necessary to start players out level 15 halfway to 16 with REST XP. Most of the mobs you kill are 2-3 levels lower and therefore, I cannot say definitely that mob values are that far off.

I can say that crits, specifically magic damage, seems really high. I saw someone crit for 130 or so. I don't think that is Vanilla like, I could be wrong, but this seemed really far off.

In conclusion on this section, walking around feels different. Looking around feels different. Fighting mobs feels different. There is different spell animations and even the sounds are weird at times. Perhaps because the game is backported from WotLK...

Various concerns that have been reported...

- Some have reported that rogue energy regen is WAY off. Others reported front backstab not working, that is fine with me, that is a bug and clearly even in the name NOT intended.

- It seems as if the keyring has not yet been impliemented. I looted a kolkar booty chest key and it went in my bags, did not appear on the key ring in Ui. This could also be something they add later.

- The group finder from retail is able to be accessed. This is no doubt and already confirmed to be merely "carry over" from backporting the game.

- The combat text is radically different. The numbers above mob heads are way smaller. No doubt, white knights will chime in and tell me to download an addon.

- The font on vendors is updated and different.

- Druids have been able to entangling root mobs indoors in the Westfall Inn.

- Warrior bloodrage does NOT place you in combat. Some have speculated "this was how it was". Uh, hell no it was not like that. Bloodrage was one way you could avoid getting sapped for the 10 or so seconds it was on you.

- Hovering over an item in your bag and holding "shift" allows you to preview the stat differences in comparison to your currently equipped gear. This did not exist in Vanilla.

In conclusion on this section, I could really continue listing small differences that people have found or theorized. What is clear is that this game is NOT the same as Vanilla. It is WotLK with vanilla numbers and limitations applied. Updated graphics, fonts, animations, abilities, gameplay, and even itemizations seem to be confirmed.

Disconnect or...?

Having played the demo, one is left wondering if Blizzard is really that far disconnected from the Vanilla WoW community. Reports of phasing and summoning stones was extremely disheartening (I would like to note I am the one who found the summoning stone thing out :D...but then again...it makes me sad and angry...so... :(** )

IN COMES LORE TO THE RESCUE! Right! Err...no...

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20769548630?page=1

In a thread that reached max posting within a few hours alone, Blizzard essentially told us that sharding WAS in the demo.

There were already white knights out for Blizzard saying that sharding was not in the demo and we were all just confused. Here Blizzard not only confirmed it, but also defended it. While they do say that they don't necessarily intend to impliment PHASING or CROSS-REALM ZONES, the sharding has some use.

Many people are misunderstanding this statement, so let me please help you understand what is being said. Blizzard is saying that completion of quests will not forever alter your experience in that zone. In cata, they released this technology which allowed for the zone to change forever once you did a quest. You would complete the quest and then could stand in the same location as someone who had not completed the quest and NOT see each other. Mines and herbs could be in the OTHER phase of the zone/game. It is awful.

That won't be in, neither will be "cross realm zones". This means that players from another server won't be found frolicking along STV with their friends. What they seem to be perfectly FINE with, however, is a realm being sharded.

If your realm is sharded, then players on your very own server may be invisible to you and impossible to interact with even if you are standing in the same location. Blizzard says they realize people want to see each other in "capital cities" and whatnot. Yet they see some merit in implementing such technology to handle periods of extreme load.

Interpretation

Having now removed the possibility of ineptitude from Blizzard we are left to deal with the Grim reality of the situation. Blizzard is not disconnected from the fan base of WoW Vanilla. I REPEAT, THEY ARE NOT DISCONNECTED.

They are FULLY aware. They know full well what you want. They know that you want to have to run to dungeons. They know you don't want sharding. They know you want the original gameplay experience.

In all these things, however, they know better. You think you do...but you don't is alive and well. Blizzard is not disconnected or inept...they are CONDESCENDING.

You think you want to walk to dungeons? Oh, that is cute! You can walk...but only a few of you. There you go! Some people get to walk if they want and the others can get summoned.

You think you don't want sharding? Oh, that is cute! We know you want to show off gear in capital cities. So we will shard the hell out of you elsewhere so we don't have to pay for better servers, but when you go into a city we will tweak things to make it work for you.

You think you want the original gameplay? Oh, that is cute! We know it sucked though. So we are putting in different items, updated items, and tweaking animations and mechanics slightly. We know better now and it looked and felt awful then.

They know what we want. They just don't care. That is LITERALLY the only other possibility. They are either inept or condescendingly disconnected from the community. The reason they seem to make decisions that are so out of touch with the community is that they do not feel the community knows what they need or want.

The problem is that the community is the one that will pay to play the game. The community is also the one who HAS been playing the game. This abomination of a hybrid between Vanilla an WotLK is going to alienate both retail players and Vanilla players. It is truly the worst thing they could have possibly done.

Conclusion


So why have they done this? Perhaps someone high up really does think they can radically alter the game and get more retail players to shift over to vanilla, while retaining enough original vanilla players to even out and perhaps gain some. Maybe they don't see some of the changes are a big deal, thinking to themselves that what they have seen on the internet is the rage of obscure weirdos who don't represent a sizeable majority.

They are wrong. Alexensual had 3,000 viewers yesterday on YouTube. ON YouTube! He maintained 2200-2800 or so viewers for 8 hours. That is probably about 10,000 different people coming in and out, perhaps more. Alexensual is immature, irrational, and outright annoying at times. He also represents the portion of the community who does not want changes to the game. Blizzard has severely underestimated how many people will go back to private servers over changes like phasing, summoning stones, and itemization changes.

What do we do?

Many people are saying the answer is to give feedback. Others are saying it is simply a work in progress. Calm down!

I don't agree with either.I don't think there is anything you can do. Blizzard has revealed to the community that they don't care what you think. They will do what makes them the most money and saves them the most money. They are no longer Blizzard. They are Activision with the Blizzard logo. They are no longer ran by gamers and people who love the games, but by people who want money.

Even if some of the folks in leadership love the game and desire it to be fun... They have out of touch Activision breathing down their necks expecting profits and results. This is a company, after all. There is no solution aside from $$$.

Will Blizzard see the backlash, realize they will not make as much $$$, and adopt a more "no changes" philosophy? Perhaps. Will they do so and STILL implement WoW Tokens which will break the game and economy? Probably, so either way it seems doomed.

I don't see this turning out good. I had high hopes. I tried not to be negative about the demo at first. I tried to see the good. It is still better than retail, I said. It is early on, I said. And then Blizzard made a post doubling down and affirming the use of sharding and the future willingness to use it on launch and after.

Let me explain this to some who are ignorant. If you shard the launch, you have to shard for weeks. Why? If you shard at launch then everyone gets their mobs and their quests done. Most people progress to Westfall at the same time. Now Westfall needs sharded. Then everyone does it there and moves on, now Redridge needs sharded. Once you begin doing this, it must be done for a long period of time.

Simply turning sharding off in Ironforge and Stormwind is condescending. It is them telling us it is cute that we want that and we can have it where gameplay doesn't matter. They think we are nostalgic and rose tinted glasses that makes us enjoy being around a lot of people in the real open world.

Sharding, summoning stones, non-progressive itemization and updated itemization (crit rating and block rating on lvl 5 items), and WoW Tokens all make Vanilla DOA. The things that Blizzard actively CHOSE to allow to make it to the demo leave me feeling absolutely defeated and pessimistic that they will do anything but totally ruin this chance to release a true Vanilla experience. The disconnect seems to be one bread out of condescension and not ignorance. That is perhaps the worst part of it all.
It sure sucks all these issues are set in stone and it releases the week after blizzcon..
a few other things to note that I saw in the demo
-Agro range is too short
-Fleeing enemies flee at a random angle
-Greens are popping up everywhere
-Updated effects for water/lighting
-Pet's don't attack when on defensive and you attack something
-NPCs wont pull other NPCs when fleeing (or the agro range for it is just really small)
-Hunter deadzone feels way too large
11/03/2018 04:41 AMPosted by Turdhammock
It sure sucks all these issues are set in stone and it releases the week after blizzcon..


What sucks more is you didn't read my post and commented in pure ignorance.
11/03/2018 04:41 AMPosted by Turdhammock
It sure sucks all these issues are set in stone and it releases the week after blizzcon..

That means it's time to give feedback, which is what a lot of people are doing.
for me the biggest worry is the green items dropping commonly. its the biggest sign that they are wanting to make the game easier. i can handle small changes here and there but to make it easier is a deal breaker. and sharding
bro even the tldr for this is too long. im gonna need you to tldr the tldr and ill be back in the evening
11/03/2018 04:53 AMPosted by Micro
bro even the tldr for this is too long. im gonna need you to tldr the tldr and ill be back in the evening


Unfortunately, my post is intentionally thought out and in depth.

TLDR is bolded at the bottom...but I really feel like my post summarizes the problems at the moment.
11/03/2018 04:48 AMPosted by Deathbonerz
for me the biggest worry is the green items dropping commonly. its the biggest sign that they are wanting to make the game easier. i can handle small changes here and there but to make it easier is a deal breaker. and sharding


If they make it easier, there is no point playing it tbh.

The entire point of classic for me is to have difficult MMORPG elements. BfA can be difficult but the hard parts are like action RPG/platformer mechanics.
OP, excellent post. Thank you
This is indeed sad/bad news! BAD NEWS Blizzard.

We are paying customers and need to have you pay attention to details.

Having faith in this company is becoming very hard to maintain and I think they may have finally shot themselves in the foot (feet?).

Why do they think the game has lasted this long given its current state of being rather boring? It is because of the original was the best! It's like buying a pair of jeans today. The fabric is now soft and wears out quickly. Original jeans were made of tough 14oz denim! They lasted and lasted. So people still buy the flimsy jeans hoping to get the wear out of them. NOT gonna happen.

If this company cannot figure out how to interpret what we have been trying to say to them I can only conclude that they don't care and/or they can't imagine what we are talking about. Which leaves us with realizing that we will NEVER get the vanilla experience back from this place. Perhaps somewhere else. But not here.

I have worked in big software companies and know that developers sit around and try to figure out how to please their customers. Seems to me that blizzard sits around and tries to figure out how to work around what their customers want. They seem incomprehensibly out of touch! wtf?

This makes me think that after 13+ years I may need to withdraw and just move on.
11/03/2018 04:40 AMPosted by Shocknyou
Do they really not understand why players want progressive itemization

not all players want it.

11/03/2018 04:40 AMPosted by Shocknyou
Now they have introduced crit rating at LEVEL 5

maybe wrong but believe vanilla wow didn't have crit rating as a stat, it was always "increases your chance to crit by x%" it was changed later for scaling in expansions.

11/03/2018 04:40 AMPosted by Shocknyou
" Oh yea? There is foliage added that did not exist

as far as I know It did, couldn't you always turn it on with a console command? I can't test but I am sure it worked sometime early in the games life, anyone know ?

11/03/2018 04:40 AMPosted by Shocknyou
seems as if the keyring has not yet been impliemented

to be expected since the keying didn't' exist in 7.x they probably have to rework it
Spot on, constructive critique.

I really hope Blizz can pull this off in an accurate way, but I won't be deleting my unofficial 1.12 Client any time soon.
I read it all and enjoyed it. Thanks for the effort! Great read imo
11/03/2018 04:58 AMPosted by Shocknyou
11/03/2018 04:53 AMPosted by Micro
bro even the tldr for this is too long. im gonna need you to tldr the tldr and ill be back in the evening


Unfortunately, my post is intentionally thought out and in depth.

TLDR is bolded at the bottom...but I really feel like my post summarizes the problems at the moment.


I read it all. I don't think your concern is misplaced.

For me, though, the biggest issue, the biggest disconnect between the playerbase and the company, is this sharding issue. Sharding literally destroys all pretense of the old-school sense of community that was still around even when I joined the game in Wrath (not as much as in vanilla, but still). All these other little things -- they can be argued and fixed or whatever, but the fact that these boneheads don't realize that the community aspect is paramount is, to me, the most troubling thing.
[Quote]Now they have introduced crit rating at LEVEL 5[/quote]

They did not have crit rating on gear at level 5 in vanilla.

C'mon man
11/03/2018 04:43 AMPosted by Nalal
-Fleeing enemies flee at a random angle
-Greens are popping up everywhere


I only saw one green item drop and it was from a rare mob, I played for about 6 or so hours now.

Enemies always fled at a random angle as far as I remembered, nothing was out of the ordinary there. Maybe I'm wrong, it's been a while, but that part of the demo did not feel out of place.
Thank you so much for this insightful and thoughtful post. I really think you have hit on the head the concerns I have. Blizzard has a bad track record in listening to its customers for years now. Look how shocked they were when Diablo fans were not elated to get a mobile game. Look how many bad changes and bugs got into BfA, despite massive amounts of community input. The only thing I want is for Blizzard to listen to us. I really hope they take all this feedback to heart.
11/03/2018 05:23 AMPosted by Pärker
Enemies always fled at a random angle as far as I remembered, nothing was out of the ordinary there. Maybe I'm wrong, it's been a while, but that part of the demo did not feel out of place.

I seem to recall the flee path being based on a small angle directly behind the mob

11/03/2018 05:23 AMPosted by Pärker
I only saw one green item drop and it was from a rare mob, I played for about 6 or so hours now.

Think that's just bad luck, I had 3 drop to my warrior in a single session.
I'm not going to nitpick stuff...I think animations and data can be fixed overtime and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt over the subs. (Though I don't expect them to fix the sharding. They will lie. They will double down.)

But for the love of Thrall, why the heck can a level 15 shaman use a 2 handed weapon? No. Just no. Shaman couldn't use 2 handed weapons until sometime in their 30s during vanilla. (It was approximately halfway up the tree)

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