Yesterday I logged into retail for the first time since Classic launched. It was a strange feeling. As in I felt a bit like a stranger. It really struck me how different the two games are. Which is a bit paradoxical as almost all of my chars been around since pre-cata (and done the old slow levelling), and two since vanilla. I do feel my druid Wisteria is the same “person” (more than a character or avatar), but at the same time she has of course developed, and world has changed. Still, retail felt foreign to me. I emptied mailboxes, and killed Galleon on about 7 diff chars. I did not even feel like doing a single battleground. And I think few people long for world quests. I even got the feeling that if I tire of Classic, I will not play retail either. I feel estranged. Thanks, Classic.
Classic/vanilla is a simpler game. Many of the difficulties are not in mechanics, but rather cheap, as in too many mobs, crappy gear, long distances, slow profession levelling, etc. It is also not nearly as fancy. Which I think adds to the fantasy. The player’s imagination has to work more. Especially back in the day when we had crappier computers 😉 And the characters’ legs and feet have to work, too.
Speaking of graphics, back in retail I happened to really look more carefully around me. My lock happened to have his voidie out, and I noticed details I had not seen before. Maybe I am not very observant or I have just focussed on “do x, and then y, and z…”. However, it did not say me anything, or made me more engaged.
One funny thing about vanilla is that, at least at lower levels, most chars of the same class and level bracket look all about the same.
Yesterday, I, as lvl 33, ran to Uther’s Tomb. I managed to avoid plagueland’s mobs. Then I paid Caer Darrow a visit and talked to the poor ghost. Then I ran up to Hinterlands through the back entrance (forgot the name of that trail). I managed to escape some angry wolves and got another flight path. I am not an efficient leveller, but it was a fun excursion.
One game is not better than the other, it just came home to me how different they are.
Furthermore, I consider black and white movies to be watchable.