Which spot official vanilla servers takes on this list?

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Official vanilla servers

I fear that, for Blizzard, the battle over whether to release official vanilla servers is a losing one. There was a time where it could live in ignorance and pretend that there wasn’t an audience for vanilla servers, but the Nostalrius private server changed that—bringing legacy servers to the front of nearly every Warcraft players mind. With Nostalrius returning on December 17, there will be another huge surge of players choosing to relive the glory days of World of Warcraft rather than play Legion. Would you like to get app, device and game reviews?

Part of the popularity of servers like Nostalrius is undoubtedly because they are free, but you don’t have to look very far to see a large demand to relive the glory days of WoW. After the Cataclysm expansion forever changed the face of Azeroth, World of Warcraft essentially became a different game than the one I first fell in love with.

Video games are universally terrible at preserving their own history, but Blizzard has an important opportunity to do just that. With official legacy servers, we would not only get a chance to remember where World of Warcraft came from, but to see how far it’s come.

Expand the variety of Mythic+ to all dungeons

One of the things I despise about traditional MMO dungeons is that, while they might be exciting at first, they quickly devolve into a tired routine. Each dungeon is designed to be run dozens—if not hundreds—of times. But Warcraft’s Mythic+ dungeons have the potential to set a whole new gold standard for the genre.

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Right now, Mythic+ dungeons are used as a long term challenge for players by mixing in a few ideas from Diablo 3, like enemies with randomized extra abilities called affixes that require switching up tactics to survive. But what Mythic+ really does is keep dungeons fresh and challenging, and Blizzard should take that potential and make it central to every dungeon across all difficulty levels. Affixes shouldn’t just be used to increase the difficulty, but tuned to make each run of a dungeon feel different than the last.

Assault on Violet Hold is one dungeon that has a similar idea at its heart. Each fight randomly draws from a pool of enemies, forcing you to adapt on the fly depending on what monsters you face. In that same vein, the first two boss fights are randomly chosen from a pool of six potential bosses. I had to run Violet Hold almost a dozen times before I fought each boss. That’s a wonderful feeling. Blizzard should mix that concept with Mythic+ going forward to make all of its new dungeons as versatile.

Update that old-as-hell user interface

I have never been more ambivalent about a user interface than I have with World of Warcraft’s. On the one hand, it’s the most moddable interface in the genre, allowing for a wealth of add-ons to tailor my experience exactly as I see fit. On the other hand, the unmodded version is awful and desperately lacking in basic features. It’s a shame that the first piece of advice I have to give to new players is to waste an hour or two modding the user interface just to avoid using that nightmare.

While the modding community around World of Warcraft should never be swept aside, it’s time for Blizzard to update the UI so that some mods aren’t such a necessity. Add-ons like DPS and aggro meters should remain optional, but there’s dozens of basic features the UI is sorely needing. Better inventory management, an improved auction house, more detailed health bars—the list goes on. The fact that I even need a mod just to resize basic elements of the interface is frustrating. Games are always made better by mods, but that doesn’t mean that developers should lean on them like a crutch to fix their problems.

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