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Blizzard Doesn’t Want to Manage Two MMOs

Blizzard Executive Producer J. Allen Brack and Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel were interviewed by Forbes and during the interview they were asked several questions about the complexities and decisions involved with bringing back a Classic World of Warcraft experience.

One of the questions brought about an interesting answer.


Newman: What are some of the other decision-making challenges you’re facing for the classic servers?
Brack: I think we want to make sure that it’s very maintainable. I think the challenge of us being able to resurrect classic WoW in its original form is—it has a certain amount of complexity. But that game was very difficult to manage. It would be effectively like us managing two MMOs, which is not something we want to do. The world has moved on. If you think about the infrastructure—if you think about anything, there’s a really good cooking analogy. There is no way to remove the oregano from the spaghetti sauce. You just put the oregano in, and now how do we deal with that?

They don't want to manage two MMOs. Interesting.

This might be twisting words a little bit -- okay, a lot. This could easily mean they don't want to manage two of the 'same' MMO here -- splitting their attention between two disparate versions of WoW -- or it could mean they don't want to have two MMOs active at a time.

I believe that if the money is there they would never scoff at managing two MMOs. 

The rest of the interview clearly shows, despite their obfuscation, that Blizzard knows this won't be a completely true "vanilla" experience. They're going to petition the community for feedback on just how far the community will allow them to blur the lines.

Whether it's 5-man UBRS only or high-res models, or even a modern UI, Classic WoW won't be truly classic. It'll never happen, and this interview all but confirms it.

  • Developing WoW Classic sounds like a nightmare. It is an incredibly complex & difficult job, and you have a large, passionate community who will be very vocal when displeased. To make matters worse you have lots of people with very strong opposing views of what WoW Classic should really be.

    I do not envy anyone on that team.

  • Vanilla can never be vanilla, cause the community doesn’t agree what vanilla is.
    In the end, to take UBRS as an example, it has been a 15 man, 10 man and 5 man dungeon. 15 and 10 both during vanilla. Whichever they pick, people will say it isn’t the real vanilla. There is no winning for blizzard in this one.

  • I think the cooking analogy is vague, but to take it further, an efficient pop up may try to offer different dishes using the same base ingredients for the sake of efficiency, so perhaps it is a nod to using a the current programming infrastructure to run the two WoW variants, which in turn might mean the vanilla might feel more like the current version than the original outside of stylistic differences?

    …just a guess.