I managed to get in game and created my characters as planned.
Night Elf Hunter
I watched all of the cinematics for each class and race, and found them to be good at scene-setting. They give a feel for the history and culture of your character. This is further enhanced by the beginning quests, which also make you feel part of a story. I had seen people talking about scrolling quest text, but didn’t know what they meant. It’s interesting! There is a scratching noise as if someone has taken a quill to paper and is writing the text as it appears line by line. This slows things down, and has you reading it as it appears. I actually liked it, and feel it makes you a character in a story.
The Hunter, whom I recall from the days of needing bows and arrows and gun ammo, was a little confusing for a moment. They have two melee skills that are first on the toolbar, and then just an a picture of an arrow, which when pressed launches your arrow at a mob. As happens, the mob immediately closes the distance between you and it, and the melee options kick in. Although I did regret when my Hunter melee weapons were taken away in the live game, it seemed disconcerting here, though briefly. When you draw your bow, there is a big creaking wood sound, as if you were really stretching that bow to shoot.
I spent a fair bit of time just admiring my little Gnome, with her cream colored pigtails and small blue eyes, which fit her small face perfectly, rather than seeing the current awful dinner plate sized eyes.
Gnomes and Dwarves share the same starting area, so it was very difficult to get any of the quest mobs.
When you create a character in Classic, you’re given a wealth of information about your race, class and your place in the world. It’s very immersive, and so old school RPG that I loved it.
The Coldridge Pass is OPEN! I didn’t take my character through, because level 1, oops. Still, I really loved making my way through that tunnel back in the day, it did seem like a rite of passage for my characters. I hated it when they closed it off.
The Human and Undead beginning areas were the most crowded. I never found a single mob for my Rogue to try killing. Even so, again, my character’s human features were the ones I loved, not the current ruination. Did that opening cinematic say the land was ruled by “child King” Anduin Wyrnn? What?
Again, the character creation here returns dwarves who look like happy adventurers, not sad sacks. The Paladin has Auto Attack, Seal of Righteousness and Holy Light to begin adventuring. Yikes.
My plan was also to try some Horde characters. I watched all of the opening cinematics here too. They really made each of the races sound distinct and interesting. I liked these enough so that I killed off some characters on Live (it is so odd everyone’s calling it “retail”) and made four Horde characters of the same races and classes. The opening cinematics for Live talk about Garrosh Hellscream running the Horde? They don’t seem to have been updated since Wrath. That’s odd.
My overall impression of Classic, which I never experienced Live–coming in somewhere after Burning Crusade and before Wrath–is that the original game was very close to it’s RPG roots, and has an immersive story and world that I’m now sorry I missed. I will be ready August 26th to get on the classic servers and start an all new adventure.