I've been playing the Classic beta a little (and I do mean a little, the new Diablo season has me in its grips hard) and I can't see what the big fuss is about. It's Vanilla. That's what it is, that's what it was, that's what was expected and that's what we're getting. Sure there are bugs, upgrades some people didn't want and upgrades other people did want but didn't get, but in the greater scheme of things that's such a small part of the whole, it's barely worth talking about. So why are some people so insanely intent on ruining others' fun?
You will see a resurgence of power leveling services, item trade services, and gold farming. Classic will have a fresh economy meaning for your average gold farmer time spent in classic is way more efficient. It will probably be worse than it was back in the day. Just look at the blizzard group finder on retail, littered with advertisements for m+ boosting websites. Disgusting. There will be so many gold farmers blizz probably won't be able to keep up. And this is what I truly fear because if the gold farmers start to win activision will step in and introduce wow token. And classic will die.
With the Classic beta now out it seems every related article somehow manages to spark the eternal war of "Vanilla was the best WoW sucks now" and "lol nostalgia goggles, Vanilla sucked, enjoy your two weeks of Classic". I have to say, even though I understand the principles behind the battle and the reasons people behave and talk this way... I actually REALLY don't get it on a deeper level.
The leveling guides on my site are essentially speed leveling guides. My leveling guides are the same guides I use myself to speedrun to 60 on new servers to get 60 server first. I list many occasions where I tell the player to "die on purpose" to go faster. I tell the player to skip certain quests, because some quests are just not worth the time/XP. I list tricks and shortcuts to go faster so you can reach level 60 much quicker. I am still constantly going through them over and over again perfecting the guides to make them faster and easier to follow. For the most part, the guide can be followed without the need from other player's help, as the whole guide was made from a solo run anyways. Although I do list quests that can optionally be done if you have a group.
Occasionally it's also been proposed to re-randomize all the gear. We didn't have best in slot lists back then. People weren't starting out as a fresh level 1 character with a complete list of which dungeons to run at 60 in order to gear as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now, all that data is available. If gear were re-randomized then all of those lists would become useless and thing would be close to how they were. Which is a more important part of the "vanilla experience?" the fact that item X from boss Y has exactly Z stats on it, or the voyage of discovery? Personally I think that voyage is way more important. Do you remember how many points of which stat on the ring or whatever that Darkmaster Gandling drops? I don't. Would it kill your experience if the BiS for every class were in a different dungeon so people had to actually play to figure it out rather than simply consult a spreadsheet? I don't think it would. For that matter, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to handle it intelligently so that the better gear is in later dungeons. I remember there because some weird cases where level 40ish gear was better than anything that dropped in level 60 dungeons.
I wanted to talk more about Classic here and my experience with it, especially relating to my Vanilla days, but somehow I kept writing about this rift that's forming in the WoW community. I can't seem to shake it, and for all the many, MANY times WoW was diagnosed as "dying" (and never did/never will), this one actually worries me. Some people have worried that Classic servers will split the community because BfA and Classic can't play together and few people will have the time to play both, but I'm worried it will REALLY split the community on a more philosophical level. At the moment WoW is back to being the most watched game on Twitch, beating out Fortnite and the rest, so shouldn't this be a happy moment for all of us that care about the game? Regardless of whether you enjoy BfA, or are holding on for the next expansion to fix things, or can't wait for Classic, can we at least TRY to keep things civil? We can disagree all day long, and I'm the first to put my opinions out there, but just don't accuse people of being... whatever it is you think they are. Argue facts, discuss calmly (or well, at least try to), and if you see the other person isn't doing the same, just politely stop talking to them. It's that simple.
I think that the token is a nice solution for the problem. Back in the days, blizzard tryed to ban gold sellers, but it was a lost cause. Instead, the token seems to have resolved the problem, letting workers that want to raid with consumables and stuffs to have the golds to do it. Personally, I don't find the gold buying really fair, but I understand that for many people is a necessity and I prefer to leave the economy and the farming spots to the player instead to the gold sellers.
Even though the guide was developed with a hunter, the guide can be followed by any class. Except you have to do your class's quests which aren't a whole lot. I do have full intention to make my guide friendly with all classes in the future by listing all of their steps as well. There will be a toggle that allows you to show which class's steps you want to see in the guide. But this is coming later.
If the end game feels miles away, and min-maxing is difficult because frankly, you're gonna take what you get and like it, then the focus of the game changes completely. Suddenly it's about the experience of leveling again, and hanging out with friends, and chatting with people in Goldshire (well, for purely innocent reasons anyway -- the Moon Guard server's Goldshire crew still does plenty of chatting).
Things like Tauren melee reach being bigger, which is something I experienced going away live during Black Temple Illidan progression (at least for that particular encounter), is confusing to players as it's a significant advantage over other races in some instances. No quest tracking is another apparently confusing issue, as many Mankirk's WIfe seekers well know, and there's a whole lot more where that came from:
The original WoW was painful. Mobs took forever to die; one additional enemy in a fight was a pain, two probably meant death. There was a ton of running. Most buffs lasted two minutes, many took reagents, abilities were trained and often out of reach if you lacked the necessary gold. Warlocks had to farm shards, hunters had to carry ammo -- even my warrior did, since in vanilla WoW she can carry a bow and fire arrows herself.