When World of Warcraft Classic was released, Blizzard promised it that it is going to be an attempt to recreate the original WoW Vanilla experience as faithfully as possible. As time went on, however, that seems to no longer be the case, and a recent item added into the game is reopening questions regarding WoW Classic’s identity in relation to Vanilla. Hold on to your WoW Classic bags – we’re going back in time. Again.
Before we get to the item in question, here’s a bit of WoW history. Back in the day, players would get all of these rare buffs such as Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer and many others. These buffs are not easy to obtain, so players wouldn’t want to waste them. To ensure that the entire time that they are active is put to good use, players would do the mundane stuff first such as buying items, performing gear maintenance, and other stuff before obtaining them. And once they’ve been buffed, the first thing they will do is to log out. This is to make sure that they do not accidentally keep playing and let the buff get used up for anything else other than the raid. They will then be logging back on once the raid begins, completely
Like in many other things, this is not what Blizzard intended players to do. However, because that’s how things worked, the players did a rather counterintuitive measure that dissuaded playing more rather than promote it. And because WoW Classic is simulating WoW Vanilla, buffs work the same way and players would still be doing the same thing they did more than ten years ago.
That is where the Chronoboon Displacer comes in. This item allows players to save up to four buffs onto it so that they can just apply it on themselves later. This way, players would no longer feel forced to log out just to preserve the buff they received.
Past Isn’t Perfect
With the inclusion of the Chronoboon Displacer essentially changing player behavior regarding buffs, it’s easy to see why the item reopened the discussion regarding WoW Classic’s identity crisis. Clearly, it’s no longer a 1:1 recreation of Vanilla. Then again, Blizzard didn’t promise that either. If it were the case, then WoW Classic has no business having updated graphics. For authenticity’s sake, Blizzard should’ve released a version of a re-released WoW Vanilla that looks exactly like what it used to 17 years ago. They might as well throw in the same bugs that used to plague it for good measure.
If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. Save maybe the ultra-purists that want a WoW Classic gold bug, nobody wants the same flaws and woes. That is why WoW Classic, for the most part, is doing a good job in bringing back the past while giving it the present-day treatment. After all, things are supposed to improve over time.
A Remaster but Not Quite
Think of the current WoW Classic as a remaster. A good comparison to it are games like Xenoblade Chronicles and Mass Effect. Significant graphical improvement? Check. Certain quality-of-life improvements without completely compromising the gameplay? Check.
At the same time, however, WoW Classic cannot be compared to them perfectly. Those are single-player story-driven games, not constantly updated massively multiplayer experiences. Xenoblade Chronicles and Mass Effect created an updated version of an older game that has pretty much stayed the same until it has been remastered. Plus, their original versions still exist. In the case of WoW Classic, the original no longer exists in an official capacity because of the many changes retail WoW has undergone.
Surely, Blizzard or has the data and the server capacity to create a carbon copy of it, but things have changed. But bringing a relic into the present day does not bring back the past. Gaming, both as an entertainment sphere and an industry, is no longer the same as it was. WoW Classic not following many of those trends is one of the ways it appealed to veterans, as well as the players curious as to how things were back in the day. On the other hand, WoW Classic having retail WoW’s current graphical detail also helped attract players, as well as its various tweaking out of the things that did not add to the authenticity of the experience.
Indeed, Blizzard managed to create a flawed and interesting time capsule with WoW Classic. Hopefully, it continues to do its own thing: a celebration of all the things that made the original WoW outing great.
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