It’s time for another installment of Unpopular Opinions with your host, Fussypants! Today, we tackle an exceedingly controversial issue and manage to agree with absolutely no one else! You guessed it, we’re talking about LEGACY SERVERS!
I am not a fan!
First of all, I believe the current iteration, of private servers run by random interwebs programmers, is deplorable. To take someone elses work, make a few tweaks, and start handing it out for free (or even worse, charging for it) it just plain terrible. It’s theft, it’s infringement, and its just plain wrong.
And I’m sorry, no amount of ‘large and vibrant community’ is going to make me think otherwise. Because you know what else can have a large and vibrant community? Black markets. Cartels. Gangs. While their crimes are not nearly as severe, I still consider those who create and those who populate legacy servers to be no better than criminals. Wrong is wrong, no ifs, ands, or buts.
However, there seems to be a lot of talk about Blizzard hosting their own legacy servers, which would be an entirely different ballpark. No longer is there an ethical question about the servers, it would be run by those who created the game in the first place. However, even without the criminal element, I still dislike legacy servers as a concept.
The world is a constantly changing place. Ideas are born, technology is invented, countries rise and fall, and times change. I can’t think of a single institution that has remained constant throughout history. But change also can mean growth whereas stagnation always leads to decay. Everything evolves.
Change is such a big part of our lives and naturally, is a part of our entertainment. Even video games like Warcraft must change to continue to compete. Just about everything aside from the very basic controls have changed in Warcraft- the endgame, the class mechanics, the grouping mechanisms, everything. Heck, every couple of weeks, we have hotfixes to change something else. Warcraft is a living entity and thus it continually evolves.
And in a game like Warcraft, change is not only a part to the whole, it’s a vital part. In order to maintain it’s playerbase, new content and quality of life changes must be constantly added. If they were not, the game would stagnate and people would slowly get bored and leave. We see the effect of stagnation already- every expansion doldrums the subscriber numbers dip as many people take a break. Warcraft needs change.
So I just cannot fathom why people would want to go back and play in a static, stagnate, outdated iteration of the game. Why would you want to purposefully return to a version of the game that will never improve, never progress, never evolve? It’s like saying ‘oh, I want to go back to the rotary phone because those were the good ole days!’. It just isn’t logical.
I believe we are blinded by our rose-tinted glasses. We remember those old expansions not for how they were but rather for who we played with. We don’t remember all the annoying grindy parts, we just remember the sense of wonder in exploring the world. We look back fondly onto the people we used to know. Like a friend of mine astutely put it, you might miss your high school years, but do you really want to go back to that building? Or do you want to go back and meet all the people again? And generally, the people are the pull.
Would it be fun to poke around in a vanilla version of the game? Probably, but only for a little while. Eventually, you are bound to get bored of something that never changes. It’s human nature. There’s only so long you can listen to that one song before you get sick of it. Even if it did used to be your favorite song.
Legacy servers, in my opinion, are simply not worth the coding they are made of. With change being such an essential part of life, purposely going backwards and then stagnating there is counter productive. And I know I’m not alone on this, if this would mean that Blizzard’s limited resources would then get split between developing new content and maintaining the ancient, I would be rather peeved. Some whiner complaining about legacy servers so much, got their way, and are now slowing down the progress of my game? No way! Warcraft should be moving forwards, not backwards!
Living in the past accomplishes nothing. The only possible way towards the future is through continual adaption and change.