The End Of An Era… After All

It should come as little surprise that the series on Vanilla Preservation will be coming to a premature close. Given the timespan since the last post, this conclusion should be rather obvious. The purpose of today’s post is to wrap up loose ends, release remaining videos, and talk about findings as well as future projects.

How.. Who.. What.. When.. Where.. WHY?

There are 3 principle reasons, oddly enough time commitment not being one of them. Nor is interest, for that matter, but more on this later.

1./ Primarily, the integrity of the project became suspect. Due to announcing the project, I began to receive tells despite efforts to keep ‘Ahtchu’ on the dl. I began to have instance groups looking for me to come online. I even received offers of lowbie world epics that would have done anything but demonstrate a virgin vanilla experience. It’s all or nothing where the purpose of this series is concerned. (I must admit that some of the offers did tempt me, but am proud to report restraint was used!)

2./ Secondarily, the community needs work (which community doesn’t!). On alts, I helped built a guild that was wildly successful at addressing the concerns of a leveling populace, but due to a series of miscommunications and flaring tempers, community drama ensued. Ironically, drama is indeed part of the vanilla experience! Needless to say, the only winning solution to a shouting match involving namecalling is to refuse participation: which by definition extends to this blog series.

3./ Lastly, and this is just a pet peeve of mine but: I hate inconsistency. With a certain posting frequency comes a certain desire to maintain tempo. Obsession over details is something I admit to, it comes with the territory of seeking better, more efficient designs and by nature is a process I call on while seeking understanding or performing action. With the aforementioned blimps came delays in the schedule: unacceptable.

Why Now?

Timing. This project has received a decent amount of publicity of late, and I wanted to time the exit so as to produce the least amount of ripples to the proverbial lake. The blog series gained notoriety from the server’s owner, and out of professional courtesy I wanted to wait until my shout-out was no longer front-page to properly tie up loose ends.

Speaking of timing, there are others in the blogosphere today who are returning to the classic ways. With a rapid decline in retail WoW’s allure it would appear the spell affecting the masses is finally breaking. Now is just as good a time as any to witness what you missed out on if you never got the opportunity, or to find the gameplay you’ve been seeking after nearly a decade of the industry’s constant dumbing-down.

My torch is passed to two noteworthy community activists:

Joe drops his hunter project in favor of a lock. Our series are quite similar in nature and will be a great alternative to the series that I conducted here.

Carlton plays a human mage with emphasis on pure AoE grind leveling. Some good music and laid back chatter during his live sessions. He streams daily.

What Now?

There have been a good many learning points achieved from this project.

1./ This was the first project of online nature I’ve been engaged in outside of normal work or hobbies. Any future, subsequent MMORPG design projects will be done without publication until about 90% completion so as to preserve integrity. Projects also won’t be built with dependence on community.

2./ Raiding was hardly the defining characteristic, but was a large part of the identity of classic WoW. Many studies have gone into making raiding accessible, appealing and the numbers involved to raid.. The best discoveries are made while looking for something else: one red-flag that became apparent on a low pop realm was ‘What is the population number needed to organically sustain an activity asking for x people for y hours z days a week?’ An angle concerning ‘critical mass’ that I’ve not read about anywhere.

3./ Countless- countless– gameplay improvements were catalogued. Auto-follow breaks when the locomotive drops the train. A feature to re-engage auto-follow if the conductor realizes his/her train is no longer on follow? Talent trees… wildly- wildly– customizable trees but yet simple at the same time. So many notes to take from here. Classic WoW wasn’t without its blemishes, and the absolute disconnect in gameplay between leveling and ‘endgame’ is a problem without solution until this day. Possibilities for a solution can only be examined properly when you inspect the source of it all.

How Now?

Brown cow.

The Play Sessions

End Notes

More poking around the interwebz, yearning to gather more classic material has let me to another goldmine. I’m sure more are out there, perhaps this post can serve as a respository for responses containing other classic-era history with still-active links.


Series: Vanilla Preservation Project

About Ahtchu

Jock. Nerd. Holistic. Game theoretician. Can recite the alphabet backwards.
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