Overwatch game director Jeff "Dad" Kaplan sat down during a Reddit AMA to discuss a wide variety of topics concerning the worlds over at Blizzard. High on the heels from an incredibly BlizzCon this year, the Kap had a lot to say about the world of Overwatch and even about some of the exciting World of Warcraft announcements.
Interesting tid-bit for those that may not know: Before Kaplan rose in the ranks of Blizzard hierarchy, he was a quest designer for the early stages of WoW. That's why he can call them "shitty," as he does. Stepping away from some of the questions he answered about Mercy nerfing, the latest hero to hit Overwatch, and more - he went back to his roots a bit to discuss the unveiling of World of Warcraft Classic: the servers bringing back the "vanilla" WoW experience.
For those of us that remember the beginning stages, we remember the 20 hour raids, the insane grind to level, and yeah - some of the "shitty" side quests. Because of this, Kaplan mentioned he was a little worried that fans were romanticizing the humble beginnings of WoW and urges them to look forward to the throw back with an open and realistic mindset:
"I think classic is a great idea. I have great nostalgia for what the game was. I think people need to be careful about what they think the magic was versus what it actually was. I don’t think what made the classic servers great was the shitty quests. I’m allowed to say that because I wrote all of them.
I don't think it was my old crappy quests that made World of Warcraft great. What I think made old World of Warcraft great was the sense of community: that there wasn't dungeon finder. People don’t know this, but the server concurrency was a lot smaller than it is today, purely because of technology we couldn’t fit as many people on a server. When the game first launched, there were no server transfers, we didn't have server coalescing. There are a lot of systems in place now that I think actually make WoW a better game, that contributed to there being a small the community... people are going to be in shock at some things that were in classic WoW. Think about flying your griffin ... you had to go stop-by-stop, clicking each link. You couldn't go grab a beer while you flew across the world.
I think there’s actually a huge lesson here that applies to all games. All of game design is a tradeoff. Oftentimes, people look at design decisions in black and white; it’s right or wrong, you’re dumb for not doing this, and why aren't you listening to us, it should be this way. But it’s actually full of subtlety and nuance in every single design decision. I think it's less about black and white or what’s right or wrong, people mostly just think about what they’re gaining. But the thing players really need to think about is what asking for certain changes forces them to give up."
As of right now, there is no official word on when the official classic servers are set to go live - but they did mention during the BlizzCon showcase that there is still plenty to do before it's ready to go. To read more about what the Kap and team had to say about how things are in the Blizz-verse, check out the full AMA thread here.