In Part I of our World of Warcraft Classic review, I focused more on the nostalgia train and my initial experience with Classic’s launch. This week, I’ll be diving into how it is holding up almost three weeks after launch and give you a few recommendations based on what I’ve learned so far. This is Part II of our World of Warcraft: Classic review.
Note: This is Part II of a three-part review. Stay tuned during the upcoming weeks for my final review!
Path of the Forsaken
Let me introduce you to my lovely, rotting, Forsaken rogue, Rhowena! This past week I focused mainly on immersing myself in the Horde experience, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The latter half of my retail career was spent playing for the Horde, so I was interested in seeing how each community transferred over from Retail. A few weeks after launch, I’m here to tell you that there are extremely helpful folks on both sides of the war. Even on a PvP server. Choosing to go Forsaken, meant I was choosing to dive into a storyline that I wasn’t entirely familiar with. So, I decided instead of trying to rush and level her, I would take my time to be aware of the quest text and what was causing me to move from one area to the next.
An Old, New World
For those of us that played during Cataclysm, the world was forever changed. Many quests went away, and zones had to be entirely reworked to compensate for broken storylines. If you hadn’t played the quests before then, it is entirely possible that you just may not have noticed any changes. This was the case when I exclaimed to my friends in Discord that I didn’t realize Lillian Voss hadn’t always been a character in the Forsaken storyline. I vaguely remember going through the starter zone in Burning Crusade and noticing that something felt different later on, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. One of my favorite things about Classic right now is experiencing those quests as they were initially implemented in the game. Something always feels slightly off though. It’s a surreal experience, knowing what the future holds for the NPCs you interact with.
Choosing to use addons during Classic is an entirely personal choice. Some players would rather go into Classic from a purist perspective. Others have already suffered the grind, and want to make the experience as painless as possible. I mean, who is actually going to know on the other side of the screen if you use them or not? You do you. If you do decide to enable add-ons, these are a few that I would suggest.
First of all, TradeSkillMaster. Also known as TSM, this addon can help you navigate through the auction house, create groups to sell your inventory quickly for profit, understand your worth as a crafter, and recognize an item’s value. These are just a handful of the features TSM provides to its user base. What I use it for is determining the worth of the items I pick up. I have a bank alt stashed in ThunderBluff that I can hop on to manually scan the auction house. Doing this scan updates the values across your account.
If I pick up an item on Rhowena that is worth selling rather than vendoring (which I can tell from the tooltip from TSM), I will send those items to my bank alt for her to either stash in the bank or sell for some quick gold (via the helpful operations and groups in TSM). It can be intimidating at first, but there are so many amazing guides available to watch on Youtube that help you through the setup. If you are struggling to pay your repair bill and don’t see any possible way that you’ll be able to afford your mount in the near future: you need this addon.
Secondly, Questie. Though it is still in development, Questie is a quest helper that adds quest icons to your map for the quests in your log. If you’re a completionist like me, then you may also be interested in completing every quest you come across. Questie also places markers on the map for quests that you are eligible to pick up, so you won’t miss that extra bit of silver. Again, if you’re interested in saving up money for your mount, questing is one of the best ways to earn gold.
Third, you should experience every Classic dungeon at least once before deciding you want to choose one to grind for a while. It’s all part of the experience! But, if you get to a point where you need a gear upgrade or want to farm a dungeon for a specific skin or item, look no further than AtlasLoot. AtlassLoot allows you to browse the loot tables for bosses and raids within the game. This can help you pinpoint which ones you want to specifically spend more time in.
I put these here just in case someone wasn’t aware of their existence and because a couple might be too specific. There is always the tried and true Deadly Boss Mobs, that lets you know when a boss is about to stomp your face in. I put this one in honorable mentions because I don’t feel that it is entirely necessary for the classic raids and dungeons. In my opinion, the old content just isn’t as complicated as that in Retail. But, DBM is great if you work long days like me and your brain is fried after work. GTFO is also a personal favorite because I am a garbage player who forgets to look down at her feet and notice she’s standing in fire from time to time.
If you’re a role player, you definitely need TRP3 in your arsenal! TRP3 allows you to create your own character sheets and to view sheets others have created. Last but not least, ElvUI. I’ve used ElvUI for years now and prefer it to most other UI addons. ElvUI is basically a user-friendly user interface addon with some pretty amazing customization tools. If you like a minimalist look and feel to your UI, I would highly suggest giving it a try. Like the other addons on this list, there are a plethora of Youtube videos available to help you get set up!
Grouping for Content
Honestly, finding groups to complete content isn’t even that bad. The world is still so congested at this point that there are always a few people around you or in your area that are completing the same quest as you. Not only that, but ‘LFG’ advertisements in the trade chat of the capital cities are impressively frequent. I know many folks are still having a hard time coming to terms with the lack of group finder, but I still prefer it this way. It feels more rewarding to have to manually forge your group to take on challenges and still keeps you rooted in the world when you have to make a run to a dungeon.
Joining a Community
As much as I am enjoying the game right now, so far I have stayed far away from guilds or group chats. One interesting feature that we have in Classic, is the Battlenet launcher function Communities. You now have the option to join a kind of chat channel of like-minded people. Has anyone made one of these for ‘Looking for Group’? Now that I think about it, I’ll have to look into that for my own server. If I don’t find it, I’ll create one and report back on my findings in the final review! I digress. Though in my last review I rejoiced that World of Warcraft felt like a social game again, I’ve gone into cocoon-mode and shied away from guilds.
While I have some wonderful memories of my guilds, I am just at a different place in my life where I don’t have the time or energy to entertain any kind of group hysterics. Maybe it’s the shared stress from remembering DKP or entire communities falling apart because of some strange internal drama. Either way, I just haven’t found myself wanting for a guild, especially with no real benefits for joining one like there are in Retail. And that’s okay! If this is your first time trying out Vanilla/Classic or WoW in general, I would heavily suggest that you join a guild! Find your people, find a group of folks to PvP and do content with. Developing long-lasting friendships and amazing memories are what the original WoW experience was about. Who knows, maybe by my next update I will have had a change of heart and found my own tribe.
As a rogue, it is probably expected that you go skinning and leatherworking. Or, if you PvP, mining, and engineering. Hundreds of forum posts and videos have been debated on the topic. What professions would be best for certain combinations of crafting? Honestly, and you should be able to detect a common theme here, it is up to your personal preference. Do you prefer to stick to a certain theme? Do you want to maximize your money-making? Would you rather just craft all your gear so you don’t have to buy it later?
Choose what you want. I was pressured into taking herbalism and alchemy because they were supposed to be the best moneymakers long term. Everyone got that memo, too. So right now, lower level alchemy and herbs aren’t worth a whole lot because of the market saturation. Where skinning and leatherworking were expected to fail initially, those profession holders are actually doing extremely well right now.
I wanted a profession that would sustain me, at the least. Though I may not be making any money currently, I am getting a lot of use out of the potions and flasks that I create while leveling. Soloing content as a rogue is kind of hard-especially if you’re not used to it. And I don’t mean solo’ing just for the sake of solo’ing. I’m talking about doing quests in general. Quests that should be simple enough to complete but still give you a run for your money. Quests that remind you every time you step outside of an inn that you’ve come to the wrong neighborhood. Did I mention in the last article that I liked the challenge? Still, do. It’s just so refreshing to get some use out of my professions instead of constantly out leveling what I can create.
The Journey Continues
So far, I can safely say that I’m still thoroughly enjoying my World of Warcraft Classic experience. We will see how that pans out in my final review and we’ll recollect together on whether or not we want to continue our subscription. My review may be slightly off because I currently play on a high population server, but I chose it for that specific reason. Once folks determine whether or not they want to remain in the Classic environment, the numbers will start to dwindle.
The hype will eventually die down, and I wanted a stable player-base that would remain active and keep the world feeling alive for as long as possible. With our world being limited to two continents, players have to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground, and that makes for our world remaining lively and populated. Thanks for sticking with me so far, and I hope you found something within this article that might benefit your game or help you decide whether or not to take the leap with me. In my final article, I will wrap up my journey and focus mainly on the pros and cons and whether or not I would recommend Classic to new and returning players. Happy hunting!