I would play retail but it’s an absolutely terrible game.
Sure it might have harder raid encounters, but it also has the garbage that is cross realm zones, time gated content, forced treadmills for daily log in metrics, pvp gearing, oh and retail ISN’T AN MMO, it’s a glorified lobby game where all you do is queue for things from a soulless capital where you don’t recognise a single person.
People like you don’t realise there is more to World of Warcraft then just “duh hard bosses”, when people aren’t raiding THEY WANT TO BE IN AN MMO UNIVERSE, RETAIL IS A TERRIBLE MMO UNIVERSE.
Sure, Classic raids might be “easier” but overall, when you take in the entire scope of the game, Classic is BY FAR, the superior MMO.
If retail could have the harder raid difficulty, AND capture the REAL MMO enviroment without all the garbage modern systems that ruined the game, I WOULD PLAY RETAIL IN A HEARTBEAT.
Unfortunately, (and I played shadowlands for 4 months and did 5/10 mythic CN) retail is massive pile of GARBAGE.
Raiding might be harder, but the overall game is crap, CRZ means I never meet the same person twice, The Maw is designed to force you to log on every day for Blizzards metrics, instead of allowing you to grind endlessly like a real MMO, Blizzard LITERALLY FORCES YOU OUT OF THE ZONE so that you have to come back again tomorrow to continue your “grind”, an actual joke of a game.
The world is completely redundant, world quest suck and are completely pointless everything outside of raiding in retail is basically redundant and the game is so chock full of pointless “features” that leaves the game just feeling like a soulless incoherent mess.
When I play Classic I feel like I’m playing in a living, breathing world, in Classic Azeroth comes alive, but in retail I am hyper aware of the fact I am living in a fake virtual video game world, people just want a REAL mmo with hard content but sadly retail is not the answer.
BT and SWP were considered challenging also, and as people learned the encounters they became scripted just like every Blizzard PVE encounter. This is actually one of the problems with Blizzard PVE design, its really cool but its easily memorized.
WOTLK was a good MMORPG, I want to play a good MMO that has difficulty end game content.
As it stand Retail has good end game content, BUT IT IS A TERRIBLE MMO.
The reason WOTLK had such a high sub count was because it was the best the MMO genre had even been, it was a modern MMO with good raid encounters before Blizzard went completely overboard with modern features and destroyed the MMO genre.