“You think you do, but you don’t”
Those infamous words uttered by J. Allen Brack at Blizzcon 2013 would come back to haunt him. At the time he was answering a question regarding bringing back servers dedicated to previous expansions. Sitting in front of a huge banner for Warlords of Draenor, an expansion that presumably cost Blizzard millions to make, Brack – the then Production Director of the game - questioned why anyone would want to relive those arcane times.
“Remember when you had to spam cities and say ‘need a tank, need a tank, need a tank’? Well now you just press a button that says ‘Go to Dungeon’.”
Of course, Brack had a point. Who on earth would want to spend an hour scouring trade chat for a dungeon group, only to have to run all the way there with no guarantee of even completing it?
As it turned out, there were a bloody lot of us.
Around the same time as Brack was smugly dismissing the chance of classic servers ever making an appearance, Cyrus too was making a bit of an arse of things. Having made the move from Rift to World of Warcraft in 2012, it’s safe to say the guild missed the golden years of Blizzards seminal MMO. Spanning the period between the end of Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria’s mid-point, Cyrus spent most of their time in Rated Battlegrounds, achieving a good deal of success and a strong roster. Sadly, a combination of guild drama and the lack of World PvP spelt the end for Cyrus in World of Warcraft. It would be another four years before Cyrus would reappear in Azeroth, right around the time that J. Allen Brack delivered another announcement, this time at Blizzcon 2017.
“We hear you!”
After years of petitions, forum threads and private server lawsuits, Blizzard had finally caved. Brack, now Executive Producer of the game, walked on stage to announce World of Warcraft Classic, a server option for people who don’t like clicking a ‘Go to Dungeon’ button, instead opting for actual human interaction. Despite Brack’s dig that he preferred ‘cookies n cream to vanilla’ this announcement was what thousands of players had been waiting for. No ETA had been given for Classic, only a teaser video and the promise that ‘we are working hard on it’.
With no release in sight and the latest expansion Legion having been dumbed down to the point of handing you legendary weapons the minute you log in, Cyrus slipped into an MMO coma.
TWO YEARS LATER…
16th May, 2019. Asmongold, a popular World of Warcraft streamer and outspoken advocate for classic servers is currently playing the Classic WoW Beta. He has just entered the level 15 dungeon, Deadmines, under the promise that his group will not wipe. His viewer count? One hundred thousand. One hundred thousand people are watching a skinny, balding geek clear level 15 content from fifteen years ago. His group does not wipe.
And it is absolutely glorious.
I was one of those 100k viewers, cheering every boss. And at that point I made two decisions. One, to rebuild my PC for the sole purpose of playing Classic Wow, and two, to see if my old mates from Cyrus were up for the challenge.
So here I sit. In front of a hastily cobbled together eBay PC with a television for a monitor and a duct taped keyboard, counting down the days to release. And I am not alone. The guild are in full hype mode, making plans, talking viable builds and sharing loot tables. Tens of thousands more are preparing to abandon the Vanilla Private Servers come the 27th of August. And there’s at least one hundred thousand more all set to assault Deadmines.
“You think you do, but you don’t."
Nah. We do.