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So I just watched this little snippet from Mark Kern's (previous developer from Vanilla WoW) stream, talking about how Blizzard can proceed with the development of Classic WoW without ruining it.



What do you think the design pillars of Classic WoW are? What are the some overlying rules that Blizzard should never cross when (yes when, not if) they start making new content?


I think world cohesion is a big one. Being able to introduce new zones and continents without detracting from the old zones is something the 1-60 experience excels at. I wouldn't mind the level cap being altered 2 years down the road to be completely frank, but I don't like how Outland made Azeroth useless.

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They could build upon the foundation that has been laid out in front of them. But given Blizavision's track record, they would probably ruin it.

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Don't add flying, don't add new continents. I know that makes it hard, but if you do either of these things - it destroys the world (of warcraft)! They tried to make Azeroth new and exciting again in Cata in a last ditch attempt, look how that went!

   Candletaker
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I think he touches on it a bit in the second clip. Immersion in the game world should be prioritised over gameplay and convenience.
In other words, they should strive to make the experience meaningful, with a sense of community, and not reduce the game to a simple dopamine dispenser, as they have done with retail.

Bumlebi wrote:
3 weeks ago
I think world cohesion is a big one. Being able to introduce new zones and continents without detracting from the old zones is something the 1-60 experience excels at. I wouldn't mind the level cap being altered 2 years down the road to be completely frank, but I don't like how Outland made Azeroth useless.
This is also an important point. I think Blizzard got themselves trapped in a corner with they way they chose to do expansions.
Instead of the expanions expanding upon the already existing world, they made the world obsolete. It also introduced some pretty bad power creep, not just in the ever-increasing level-cap, but in the story too. Like, how do you top Illidan and Arthas? You don't.
I think they should have stuck with the more diffuse kind of story they had in vanilla: there's no big bad over-arching villain, instead there's a plethora of unique, self-contained encounters.

   Shellzor
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My design pillar would be: Any change that serves to create a barrier between players or that could lead to a reduction of player interaction, should be avoided.

My suggestion would be that they spend less time guiding player interaction than they do incentivizing it. Create a rule set, a world and a challenge and then spend time incentivizing players to explore and conquer that world by interacting with one another in a meaningful way. Interaction is the key difference between Classic and retail. In retail, interaction is optional, in Classic, it is not. You could be a solo player in Classic and you will still be forced to interact with other players, especially if you choose to play PvP, which in my eyes is the way the game was intended to be played. The game began to lose my attention when interaction was reduced or interaction became optional. Some of the key changes that initially pushed me from the game were:

-BC Flight. Flight reduced player interaction in the world. We weren't bottleknecked through areas and forced into confrontation or collaboration.
-Sanctuary zones in BC like Shatt. Literal safe spaces.
-Getting gear without leaving cities (BC arenas) I was part of the problem on this one. I had alts that simply logged in, played 10 games per week and logged out. *Unpopular opinion ahead...This was as casual if not MORE casual than warlords mission tables. A noteworthy mention would also be the implementation of badge gear to allow players to get welfare gear without participating in large scale content.
-Wrath phasing with quest hubs changing the landscape (the birthplace of sharding).

These changes were the first notable changes to the world that reduced player interaction or allowed players to avoid interacting with others in a meaningful way while still collecting rewards. You dont need to guide players by creating arbitrary point systems, achievements, novelty rewards... Just spend your time creating valuable rewards that require player interaction while placing an emphasis on avoiding ANY modifications that would limit or reduce player interaction.

If you need to tell a player that they have achieved something, they probably haven't. I don't understand why Blizzard spends so much time trying to direct the way players will interact and guide them through the game. "Complete these 4 arbitrary tasks to earn the achievement Quest Wizard!!! And earn 25 fun points towards your achievement fun point score! Hey, look at you, you've achieved something! Woohoo!" The players themselves create limitless content. Dont direct the way they engage, simply incentivize engagement and allow them to create endless content for themselves by interacting with one another.

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Lots of good sense in this thread. I'll add: don't homogenize the classes. The unique strengths of each class were interesting and contributed to the sense of permanence and identity vanilla players had.

Likewise keep the factions distinct — no horde paladins, no alliance shamans.

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Awesome points already mentioned above. I would add one more pillar.

Meaningful, memorable and epic journey from zero to hero.
Vanilla delivered exactly that. You start as a chum that dies when accidentally pulling 2 murlocs. You are damn proud when you solo your first elite, even if it is a measly bear. And when you finally ding that 60 and label yourself as endgame you realize that the journey just started. That was just epic.

TBC could not deliver the same experience. Only distincition was that some people killed Illidan/Kil'jaeden, some did not.
In WTLK it got diluted to some people killed Lich King on heroic, the rest on normal.
Afterwards it was just downhill with multitutde ways to get leveled to max, get decked in epics, jump into raids... from zero to hero with a click of a button. Not memorable. Not epic.

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I think the 'zero-to-hero' is a very delicate journey. It's exactly what Blizzard has done to WoW today where you're leading continent scaled invasions from your own fortress and so on. In vanilla, TBC and partly Wrath, you remained this sort of unknown elite task force soldier that the actual heroes of Azeroth would send to deal with their enemies. Tyrion kills the Lich King, we don't IIRC.

It's true that at level 1 in vanilla you're close to a no one, but I would argue that that's also the case at 60. Yes you've made a few friends across Azeroth on your journey to 60, and the large factions recognize you as a seasoned soldier, but you're not really a hero still. Even when you're in a 40-man raid I would argue you're not a hero but a part of a small elite army more or less.

It's super cool to see your opinions! I feel they're all very grounded and reasoned. I just rewatched the WoW documentary "Looking for Group" and many of the things we frown at today were god damn awesome back then, flying, phasing, and sanctuaries included, which I think is interesting because it shows how wrong judgment can be be.

Would it actually be possible to expand on Classic without powercreeping player gear? Raising the level cap is going to nullify lots of the 60 gear/have similar complications. Sure new professions and similar could be added, but players need long-term goals (like clearing Naxx), and I think these types of goals might be very difficult to add without implications.

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Selexin wrote:
3 weeks ago
Don't add flying, don't add new continents. I know that makes it hard, but if you do either of these things - it destroys the world (of warcraft)! They tried to make Azeroth new and exciting again in Cata in a last ditch attempt, look how that went!

I agree with you on not adding flying. It trivializes travel and removes players from the zones as they beeline across them instead of traveling through them.

I disagree with no new continents however. I think new areas, like the Draenei and Blood Elf starting areas are good adds, and a case could be made for even Northrend and Pandaria adding value. Where I'd ask for it to be different is that when adding new areas, try not to make them for max level people only. Allow for something, if even just a couple of areas or hubs, that cater to a larger level range. This would help mitigate the player clumping effect of new high level areas.

To further that, new content should be added into old zones to encourage max level players to revisit and mix with leveling characters. The Scourge invasions leading up to the release of Naxxramus where a wonderful example of this. It had players of all levels working together to fight off a common enemy.

The natural progression and clumping of high level players in high level zones is hard to stop in a game like this. Perhaps and hopefully lessons have been learned over the last 15 years that will help make Classic the best it can be.

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Here are a few pillars of design that I think are important to keep in mind:

  • Movement Options
I think this is one of the few pillars that anyone can agree on. Movement options around the world is what defines the depth, intricacies, and cohesion of that world.

I feel I will have no arguments when it comes to flying being a very bad thing for classic as it shrinks the world, removes importance on traveling, and overall trivializes getting from point A to point B.

However, lets take it a step further and define this in a better scope: Any means of movement that doesn't hinge on community interaction of self-exploration (flight paths) are a step in the wrong direction. Movement options should rely on those around you. One of the things that I think begins to push the envelope that exists in vanilla are summoning stones. Summoning stones are a convenience that relies on the self-exploration of others to get you fr om A to B but still helps put forth that community interaction is required. This is not to say that new places should receive new movement options but they should remain in these forms.

Hypothetically, lets say Blizzard takes a step in a new direction where Ice Crown Citadel somehow is introduced (as example only, not saying it ever will) and we need some way to get there. We can either travel by foot, flight path, or even summoning stone. Blizzard makes the notion of flavor in regards to getting there and adds a new spell Paladins can use. Due to the presence of Uther Lightbringer they can learn a spell from him to teleport her or himself to his location.

Now this is just a hypothetical example and by no means am I a lore nut but keep in mind the key points. An ability to traverse is added, but is done in an exclusive manner that brings flavor to a specific class with good reason and gating it behind specific content it would help give a sense of adventure and feeling to it and still relies on the self-exploration aspect of the movement pillar of design.

  • Class Balance
With the game moving forward and design changes eventually being added after all is said and done. I believe a step forward is to balance classes eventually (because it makes little sense that warriors should be the only tanks but this is my opinion). I believe class balance should be done but no in the blanket sense. Looking at tanks as the easiest example as it is likely the most unbalanced aspect of classic.

Rather than just giving the other tanks a means of pushing crits and crushing blows off the table, they should instead reinforce their strength of not being able to do it. Paladins already have mechanics that show that their goal with redoubt was to take a crit and turn it into their favor. I think not homogenizing the classes themselves is a step in the right direction. Build on this aspect of Paladins making their goal of turning their negatives into positives. For druids maybe capitalize on their HP pools as their benefit? I can't say much as I have never been a big fan of druid.

My point is for class balance, there should be a strong nature of keeping the classes strengths and weaknesses as their most important aspects. I don't think talents really should change much at all but set bonuses or some redesign of talents might be up for discussion in the future after classic has gone its course.

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  • Itemization
From Start till Naxx every item you get feels great. It starts at lvl 1 when you find a white weapon goes to lvl 35 when you find a blue item in a chest and goes till you get your first epic in MC or AV (The unstoppable force was so cool)
Even if you was not into raiding you could gather the T0 from the Dungeons and it felt great (I never got the boots -_-). Today you just doing things because you have to beat some stupid numbers to get into something like HC Dungeons(LFG Tool) getting into Warfronts or Raids(PUGs LFG).
I really can not tell you any name of any Item one of my chars is wearing right now and there are only a few i can recognize since MoP but i can tell you my complete outfit i had at the end of Vanilla on my Pala and my Hunter (both ally lvl 60) and my undead Mage at 43).

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First for me is that whatever they add needs to be separate from Vanilla, similar to runescape. It's hard to imagine them doing it but I would love them to complete all the unfinshed areas and fill in gaps in the existing ones.

   Bumlebi
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The most important "pillar" can always only be preservation

preservation of all assets

of all music

of all models

all icons

all spells and effects

all zones, all shaders

preservation is the most important

did I mention preservation?

not respecting this pillar is why live is in this state, why so need behind classic is so powerful

you could tell that there's hardly any completionists at blizzard, a completionist would never allow this pillar to be ignored, as it ruins the efforts, it changes the game, it changes the purpose, it changes everything, making the player confused about his own life

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Hey all, first time caller here.

I would like to see them continue development (maybe on a separate server), but only if the following conditions are met:

* NO FLYING
* No on-rails questing. Quests should be scattered around similar to vanilla. If they send you back and forth between zones, awesome.
* No huge big bads. Vanilla had lots of smaller conflicts with no major overarching story. It allowed us to create our own stories.
* Don’t pack the world with a quest hub every ten feet. Give us room to breathe.
* Added zones should look as they did before the Cataclysm occurred. Instead of moving ahead in the story to “Wrath”, just open up “exploration” of areas like Northrend.
* Any added dungeons, make sure some are for 60 and some are for lower levels to spread the love.
* LFG, LFR, Achievements, pet battles, transmog, etc should all nixed.

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I've seen some streamers say that classic WoW has better looking armor cause it more simplisitic looking (but to me the teir 3 mage and paladin sets are ugly).. I think classic WoW game's mechanics should stay as they are, but make the armor and stuff look like BFA...

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Alliance_Hunter wrote:
2 weeks ago
I've seen some streamers say that classic WoW has better looking armor cause it more simplisitic looking (but to me the teir 3 mage and paladin sets are ugly).. I think classic WoW game's mechanics should stay as they are, but make the armor and stuff look like BFA...
please, think again. there is no such thing as "stay", without preservation. something changed doesn't feel the same.

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Guest wrote:
2 weeks ago
Alliance_Hunter wrote:
2 weeks ago
I've seen some streamers say that classic WoW has better looking armor cause it more simplisitic looking (but to me the teir 3 mage and paladin sets are ugly).. I think classic WoW game's mechanics should stay as they are, but make the armor and stuff look like BFA...
please, think again. there is no such thing as "stay", without preservation. something changed doesn't feel the same.
Every game in history has improved upon their art design, if there were ever to be a WoW Classic 2, it would have to look cooler than the previous WoW.. There's no reason though to change the core mechanics though that made WoW Classic great (such as organic player interaction due to the difficulty of the bosses)...

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More uniqueness to class fantasies.

I've always been fan of warlocks, for dwelling in dark twisting magic. Personally a destruction fan. And over the course of the game this fantasy really has faded. Same with race fantasy.

Also what many before me mentioned in the thread, more incentive for player interaction. Build a reputation. Become someone in a huge world of players.

I miss the feeling of admiration both ways.

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Also legendary weapons should be just that; "legend" wait for it... "dary"... Any geek off the street should not be able to easily obtain one... Which is what I hear it's like in BfA...

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