Right — first things first. If the slow unraveling of quest giver text is driving you nuts, there is a way to switch it to instant text. When I first saw the slow quest text last night it struck me as very out of place. Then, through the night I remembered. This was a thing I turned off in the past. Generally instantly upon logging in to a new character.

Esc -> Interface Options -> Display, turn on ‘Instant Quest Text’ and click ‘Okay’.

Secondly, I switched it up from Human to Orc. Originally I had planned on running through the Elwynn Forest chain — as it is the starting area I remember most fondly. But I’ve done a lot of alliance in my most recent retail WoW play and one of my longest persisting mains in the past was an Orc Warrior. So I thought it would be nice to change it up a bit, while still keeping a bit of that nostalgic feel for a place and thing I’d done before.

Plus, I also then remembered just how much I hate Westfall.

The Den (Orc & Troll Starting Camp)

I started the night full vanilla. That is to say — no mods of any kind. I thought that is how I’d keep things too, unless I started to raid (which I viewed as extremely unlikely).

For a starting character this was fine. There aren’t too many skills anyway, and bag management is simply around not picking up more unstackables than you’re willing to go back to sell for. And I have very little tolerance for going back to sell outside of aligning it to a round of quest hand-ins.

Beyond that, I was struck by a few things off the bat:

  • The kill / item required counts for quests were very high compared to retail.
  • There are no map indicators of any kind for quest locations out of the box.1
  • Actually reading the quest text is, as a result, far more important.

And I wonder if it is that last bullet that led the Blizzard devs of the time to default to the slow unraveling of quest text.

After the initial shock, from being so accustomed to not only MMORPGs, but all games now providing quest markers by default it took me a while to actually remember the experiences of doing this in the past.

I remember looking for Mankrik’s wife based on the description alone. I remember looking for items in the open-world dungeons by having to explore with hints alone.

I’m not convinced this is a better experience than having quest markers, but I’m also not convinced it isn’t. As I noted — it makes reading the quest information vital, and provides an aspect of puzzle solving otherwise absent. When I was heavily into Morrowind, I loved this aspect. I hated it when Oblivion brought in the quest and location markers. It felt as if a whole part of the game had been ripped out.

But then in the context of MMOs, I’m still, like it or not, a subscriber to the way of thought that the ‘real’ game starts at the end, and everything else is in-the-way-filler. I find it difficult to enjoy leveling for leveling’s sake.


And I understand that if WoW Classic is to have any future for me, that mindset will need to adjust. I will admit too, that I received a small spike of joy at working out where Sarkoth was hiding without any outside assistance. It wasn’t a quest I remembered at all until I spied the plateau referenced in the quest text, triggering a dim and foggy voice of memory to say, ‘go right to get up’ — so I did and there he was.

Less fun though?

The Burning Blade Coven’s Den

It appears that no matter how many times I do this place, and swear to myself that next time I’ll remember the path — I don’t. Also add on top that I somehow let my quest hand ins get out of sync, and I found myself here one or two times more than was necessary.

It was also here that I asked myself, ‘Can I run safely all the way out?’

Turns out — yes, yes I can. I didn’t get dazed which struck me as odd. I remember there being a defense and attack skill interaction here, but I wouldn’t have thought my little bitty warrior sufficiently over their attack skill to warrant not getting dazed at all.

Hmm. *Goes to look it up*

Oh OK. That might explain it. It has to be a melee attack, and mostly the enemies in here are fireball casting imps. I must have been at least a little lucky with the Felstalkers.

In any case, many slaughtered pigs, slapped peons and selected apples later, the quests in this area dried up. I’d made it to level 5 — almost 6 — and was being sent on my way to Sen’jin Village.

It was also here that I decided I would throw some mods in after all. Mostly those recommended by Belghast in a recent post. The knowledge that ElvUI existed for Classic — the base UI for my retail play — was enough to tip me over.

After installing and spending a little time configuring, I turned to run from The Den. It had been my home for the past little while, so I waved.

Sen’jin Village

I had planned on playing through this section today as well… But the energy just wasn’t there, as I’m still rather on the sick side of things. It wasn’t just energy in facing WoW Classic, I didn’t play anything else either.

I ran myself over though, and picked up the quests. Now — these ones I remember a lot more vividly.

This is a portion of a much longer Tweet thread, that is well worth a read. (It took me a while to find it again! I was desperately searching through recent blog posts, convinced it was Kaylriene who had written on the topic.)

I may not be able to remember the exact location of everything on the isles off the coast from Sen’jin Village but I sure as hell remember the pain of exploring them as a newb. Densely packed, team AI mobs. Even going through it with my brother didn’t make it much ‘better’ from a very functional, play efficiency point of view.

But it created shared stories. And emotions. Ones which in the moment might have been frustration, sure — but also ultimately ones which ended in triumph.

I don’t know if WoW Classic will recapture much of this for me now or not. WoW wasn’t my first MMO which I certainly think to be a large factor.

But we’ll see how it goes. While I still completely expect to be done with WoW Classic before the end of my first subscription period — that time isn’t here yet. I plan to play more as energy allows.


  1. Excepting already completed quests will put a gold dot on the minimap for the hand-in point.


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Bhagpuss · August 29, 2019 at 11:46 pm

Hehe. Most of that is happening for me, too, but my reaction is very different.

I’m finding I really like the unfurling quest text. I thought it would get annoying but just the opposite. Now I want it for all my MMORPGs, at least as an option.

I’m not only using no AddOns at all, I haven’t yet had to look up a single substantive piece of information online. Everything I need to know is there in game. I just have to take the time to find it. Far from feeling frustrating, it feels involving. I feel I’m part of something organic not artificial.

The default UI is fine but then I almost always use default UIs in every game. The map is pretty good. I found it far more efficient in cities to have the full screen map up and simply move using the little marker. That works pretty much seamlessly whereas it’s very easy to get lost or confused if you actually try and swap between map and character view.

For me, even today, MMORPGs *end* at the endgame, not start. In most MORPGs I play I never even get to max level and in the ones I do I usually spend more time making alts and leveling them than I do endgame stuff with my max levels. That has changed somewhat since MMOs started making solo endgame content but even so I still prefer low levels to high any day.

Consequently I am happy to spend days, weeks, months leveling up. I never got to the cap in WoW Live and I’m quite happy not to get there in Classic. I’d rather have four or five mid-levels than one high level any day. The good thing is, Classic completely accomodates that. I’m not sure WoW Live does any more.

    Naithin · August 30, 2019 at 12:36 am

    I think you would have really liked Asheron’s Call 1. There wasn’t really any practical max level, but it also didn’t matter as it was all just the game. From about 50-60+ you could with very little exception do whatever you wanted.

    Absolutely there were ‘higher level’ areas that might be difficult if you were soloing those levels, but with friends you could still go there and meaningfully participate at the very least.

    *wistful sigh*

    In any case, default UI is not bad for solo play I find. For party play — in particular as a healer — I really like having ElvUI or Grid or something similar available. But in WoW I could proooobably make do in a 5-man environment as long as the Blizzard UI recognised my heal mouse over target macros.

    …Not that I’m healing at the moment. But still. xD

    Right now I’d say there is nothing critical the UI addons I’ve brought in are doing, except MAYBE the ability to type /kb and then mouse over any action bar slot, and hit the button I want that slot to be triggered by.

    For the initial setup, so, so, so handy! :)

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