There is lots of talk going around as to why Classic seems to be drawing in more people than many thought, and the perception that something is different about it. I have a few thoughts as to why it is more of a draw to some than others.
I have read over the last few years people talking about Over Stimulation in games, where there is just so much going on that your brain stops acknowledging some of what you see. And I can see where our mind may reach a point where we are trying to force it to see it all, that it fights back. We develop anxiety doing certain tasks, we find ourselves finding reasons to not even log in, our mind telling us that it’s ok, we don’t need to work on those silly quests tonight, they will be there tomorrow, why not take a break and watch that Breaking Bad marathon. And when you hold up Classic compared to Current WoW, there is a world of difference between the two. One is a throwback to a much simpler time, when our objective was to run to this area, kill 15 of these things, collect 7 of something else, then run back to turn it in. We quest out a zone and get a breadcrumb quest to go to someplace else, rinse and repeat. It is fairly straight forward linear progression. Now compare that to current where we have 5 or 10 levels to get to max, then we work on zones until we complete them, then move to the next until all 4 or 5 are done, but everything scales up with us so it is always a fight, there aren’t times where we are a level or two higher than the mobs, they continue to increase in power along with us, we get stronger, they get stronger, it requires a great deal of concentration and focus, and even at the start of an expansion we need to use all the spells and abilities in our tool kit from day one. Once we have finished all the questing, and run the dungeons, we get to repeat it, over and over with quests, and dungeons and raids have multiple levels of difficulty, requiring greater focus and concentration, until we reach a point where our brains says, just stop.
Just my thought on that.
As for people being civil in game. The current game doesn’t so much encourage single player gaming, but it does not do much to encourage grouping up beyond clicking a button and finding a group. We all have mountains of gold, can acquire even more if we so choose to focus on it in our gaming choices, or just visiting the cash shop. I can round up a few hundred thousand and get a full heroic clear of the current raid, or maybe a bit more for a mythic clear. I don’t need to know the people I am running with, I just have to pay them money. We queue for everything and get lumped into random anonymous groups. There is no need to develop friendships or to talk to people. In Classic, we are all a part of one server, there is no group finder, we run to locations to quest and if it is a particularly difficult target we ask others if they would like to group up. We are encouraged to be social, and in so doing, our attitude changes. Now we are not just random priest player #1874, we are Marathal, that priest I’ve seen running about that has given me a Stamina buff a few times, or hey its that guy that was making 6 slot bags for everyone and selling them at cost so everyone could have one to make playing more fun, he/she is a good guy/girl. People don’t bash others beyond making a harmless joke because you don’t know if there might come a time where you need their help. We are more courteous and social because the game encourages it.
So I have to wonder, what will Blizzard take away from this experiment, will they change a lot of the way we have evolved in how we play to bring us back to a simpler time when your reputation mattered, where you needed to work harder for something, but it was not overwhelming to do so? I would love to be a fly on the wall during discussions on why this is working, why more people are finding they enjoy the 15 year old game more than the shiny new version.