Memory is a funny thing. It is entirely selective, and often based on an emotional trigger. A smell may be enough to have you dream about some baking with your grandparents, or a tree about some trip taken with an old fling. Few people dream of that time they went to the washroom, or read the newspaper. We filter out the mundane.
Experiences are meant to be had and then recalled, not chased again. Nothing will ever truly compare to that first kiss, or that game that you won through an amazing comeback. Chasing for that feeling again, rather than a new feeling, tends to lead to disappointment.
I played Ultima Online when it launched and for a few expansions. I made a decent amount of money selling characters on ebay (when that was a thing). Looking back, it was an overall positive experience. It was a truly social game, many complicated inter-woven mechanics, and the concept of people impacting the world. I went back a couple years ago, both the to current game, and then to a shard emulator from the original game.
The first was jarring as it was essentially a new game. The fundamentals were there, but most of the systems had changed and after a couple days I had enough. The emulated shard was a worse experience. For all the fun memories, there were some bad ones that I had simply pushed out. Lack of housing, massive PvP, griefers all over the place, a large difficulty curve, lack of regeants…I had spent years immunizing myself while playing – building large stocks to off-set the large character losses. I wasn’t prepared to spent the time/effort again to get back to that point.
I’m looking at Vanilla WoW and realizing it’s just not for me. While I spent a ridiculous amount of time there, and memories are generally positive, there are some items that just make me shudder. Classes and specs that have no value. An economy based on being present in only 2 locations. Resist gear. The insane grind from 30+. (side note, I made some decent cash selling guides to address this grind). Poor travel options. No grouping tools. The amount of farming needed.
My recollection of that time is more positive than not, but I was a different person back then. My expectations were different and the gaming market was substantially different. I have no need to chase that feeling or pretend that it was better than today. Just like people reminisce of a day without cell phones, but after 3 days go stir crazy without one.
There are certainly people who will enjoy it, and for a long period of time. I would still hazard to guess that quite a few more people looking back and applying selective memories, and will be in quite a shock once things get rolling. I’d rather just recollect.