Blizzard Polls People About Classic Burning Crusade

So Blizzard accidentally made it official that they are already working on a classic version of Burning Crusade by sending out a survey to players asking how they'd want it to work (and pleading with them to please not spill the beans about this on social media - how quaint). This is great news for me, considering that I've said before that BC is my favourite version of WoW and I'd be over on a Burning Crusade Classic server in a heartbeat! I also said in my "What Will Come After Classic?" post from before launch that I considered a continuation into Burning Crusade the most likely option, so I'm pleased to see my suspicions confirmed..

Now, the specific question that players were asked concerned the matter of how characters should arrive on Burning Crusade Classic servers, with the following options provided:

1) Continue playing my current Classic character on my existing server as it progresses to the Burning Crusade expansion, with the option to transfer to a Classic server that will never progress past level 60.

2) Continue playing my current Classic character on my existing server that will never progress past level 60, with the option to transfer to a Burning Crusade server.

3) Start a brand new character from level 58 on a new Burning Crusade server.

4) Start a brand new character from level 1 on a new Burning Crusade server.

5) None of the above.

One thing this does confirm is that the current version of WoW Classic isn't going anywhere. You'd think that shouldn't surprise anyone considering how the project was pitched originally, but I saw at least one YouTuber be very vocal recently about how "obviously" all classic servers would have to progress into Burning Crusade because you can't just "split the community".

He's not wrong that this will further split the community, but I can't say that I consider this a large problem. People used the same argument to make the case against having classic servers to begin with, and yet here we are. I suppose if you've genuinely never played an MMORPG other than WoW you might not know this, but you don't need ten million people playing the exact same version of the game as you to have fun; all it takes is enough of them to keep a couple of servers buzzing and you're golden.

Anyway, accepting that there will be another community split with this doesn't mean that it's not going to be important to consider how this occurs. The first two options in the survey are interesting that way because I hadn't really considered what a difference it would make to put the onus of transferring on either the people wanting to progress to BC or the ones wanting to remain in Classic. Basically whoever gets picked to be the default gets to retain their server community, guild structures etc. while those transferring off under this model would have to rebuild from scratch - they might even get thrown in with people from several different origin servers. (I saw someone comment on Reddit that they thought this would be a great opportunity for Blizzard to fix faction imbalances during the transfer process, which is another interesting consideration.)

The two options talking about brand new servers initially surprised me because they immediately seemed off to me - how can you have an authentic Burning Crusade launch experience without people having the option to take their existing characters to Outland? And while I get that some people hate levelling, why would anyone choose a fresh level 58 character over taking what they already have? Is there a large community of people who hate levelling, haven't touched Classic but would jump into Burning Crusade to go straight to Outland? It just seems weird to me.

That said, I thought it was notable that WoWcrendor pointed out that even if these options are unpopular, there isn't really much of a reason to not have at least one or two completely fresh servers for the people who like the idea, as it wouldn't conflict with allowing everyone else to transfer to other servers. It would certainly be an interesting experiment, probably creating a slightly different economy and more importantly, an environment where new blood elves and draenei would be on equal footing with everyone else.

The notable thing missing from the survey options is any talk about copying characters instead of transferring them, which would be my preferred way of handling the matter. While most people are unlikely to have the time to seriously play multiple versions of the game simultaneously, it would be nice to have the option to play either version of WoW Classic without having to completely start over. Plus, forcing people to choose between one or the other is simply going to be an uncomfortable decision, and it seems inevitable that there would be those who would later regret their choice. Why make things hard for players and risk making them unhappy if it's not needed?

The one risk I've seen people mention in regards to character copy is that someone could load up a character with lots of gold and valuables before transferring and that this would then imbalance the economy on the destination server. That's a fair point but one I'm sure could be worked around with restrictions if needed. Though my favourite suggestion in the linked Reddit thread was to simply copy the entire server wholesale once Burning Crusade is ready to launch, so that things like guilds are preserved, there are no economy shenanigans, and players can easily jump on one or the other without having to worry about keeping or losing characters.

Since it's still early days one can hope that Blizzard will consider something like this when we actually get there.


  1. Out of curiosity, what was so good about Burning Crusade for you? When I played in WotLK era I loved the vanilla zones but loathed Outland the moment I set foot there. Ugly mobs, harsh environments, garish colors. By the time I'd forced my way through it to the first WotLK zone I was completely put off and quit before I ever got to see more than the first zone of the third expansion.

    Unless I find out there's something I missed, I'd skip BC altogether and wait until they do WotLK.

    1. Gameplay in terms of class design was much more balanced than in Vanilla (having played Classic for a while it feels painfully obvious to me that some classes/specs were plain unfinished), without becoming "over-balanced"/homogenised the way they were from WOTLK onwards.

      Unlike the winding level 60 dungeons (which I've said before I can appreciate on an intellectual level but don't find all that fun to re-run), BC endgame was actually fun to me.

      Questing also felt much better - the quests were still "vanilla-like" in terms of structure and objectives, but more densely placed, with less running around required.

      Zone design can be considered hit or miss I guess - I know many people hated the orange of Hellfire Peninsula (the first zone) but I actually found the broken landscape and alien skybox quite fascinating. Zangarmarsh and Nagrand are also beautiful. The other zones I'm mostly "eh" about, but it's not like I had to spend my time hanging out in places I didn't like.

    2. I think people's view of BC depends mostly on if they started in Vanilla, or not. BC was a huge step up in quality and (eventually) accessibility from Classic (flying, 'welfare epics', gold, etc.) that it felt night and day better than Vanilla. Karazhan as a raid, for example, was most folks first real raid. More people ran that raid than played Super Mario games.

      Now, if you went through BC right to Wrath, I agree BC feels lacking. This is because Wrath was another big jump forward for Wow in quality. Blizzard was on a roll and really didn't start making missteps until Cataclysm. At least, missteps to a chunk of their player base.

    3. Wrath was another big jump forward for Wow in quality

      Well... I can't agree with that one. :P The zones were gorgeous and there was some other cool stuff no doubt, but for others coming in from BC parts of Wrath felt off from the start.

    4. Definitely Wrath had its flaws, and I agree that for people that loved the Classic/BC design it could be jarring. My view was more that Blizzard seemed to hit the right notes to pull in so many players (their high water mark of 12 million subscribers). The effect on the rest of the industry is shown by how many MMOs got announced and launched because of how good Wrath was amongst the general PC gaming population.

      That said, I guess you could say that Wrath was the last expansion where Blizzard was able to appeal to the non-Wow player. From Cataclysm onwards a person could argue that they changed their focus to keeping their existing player base happy, instead.

  2. I suspect that unless Blizzard forced a one-to-one faction balance for character transfers the servers will always end up unbalanced. It's an intractable social issue that can't be fixed by technology. So many folks just tend to gravitate to a specific side on a server because of the 'more is always better' situation caused by individual servers.

    At least this time if I roll fresh on a BC server I won't be choosing PvP. I've learned my lesson. ^_^

  3. > And while I get that some people hate levelling, why would anyone choose a fresh level 58 character over taking what they already have?

    Thought about this a little, but let me elaborate.

    We started Classic as a group of 4-6 people to run dungeons together and level together. Long story short: it fell apart when we were ~44, and 2 people leveled alts to 60 meanwhile, the rest stopped playing completely, maybe pushed another alt to 4x, not 60. I'm one of those, my chars sit at 44 and 35 since early November.

    I logged in just this weekend but I've not really felt the draw to continue as long as we don't have the dungeon group.

    If there was a TBC server I might just start fresh at 58, or I would (maybe) actually continue leveling the Warrior because I enjoyed tanking in TBC, whereas it's not so much fun in Vanilla. But I could really skip those 14 levels and be happier.

  4. I missed out on the survey as when I saw it in my email inbox it had already reached the maximum number of replies.

    Still, I prefer copying as well. A Classic version of Az and a BC version would be interesting.

    I kind of hope this means that Blizz will stop at Wrath, which for me is the completion of the "original trilogy" of WoW at its peak.

  5. Unfortunately TBC was the worst addon for the servers, with everyone being in the same zone at the beginning, Vanilla has 6 zones.

    That means they will have to use 6 times more layering then they did with Classic. And layering, coupled with these way to big servers, is the reason I've already stopped playing. I've leveled 2 chars to 60 and a third to 55 but there isn't a single player I would have recognized again, neither from chat nor from seeing in the world.

    That's what I enjoyed in Vanilla the most, the "knowing" other players without having spoken to them a single time. Like the other commuter you see and recognize in the public transportation every morning. You don't know who they are or what they work but they are there, every morning, and somehow are a part of your live.


    For me TBC was the best game, Vanilla was the best world.

    I have fond memories about the heroics which, to me, was the best content WoW ever had. I would love to experience that again but I know that that won't happen.

    You would have to level up your character.
    Collect enough gear to survive in heroic mode.
    Gind the normal version of the dungeons forever to get enough reputation to buy the heroic keys.
    Then run the same dungeon again, just in heroic mode.

    That was fun back then because it was new and great. But with what I know today I don't think I will care for that again. You get much better gear a lot easier just by joining a raid. Been there, done that, didn't enjoy it.


    I'll be back for WotLK, if only to play dungeon finder with my DK tank. Tanking dungeon trash as DW frost DK was the most fun I ever had in WoW.

    And I will probably check out which ever addon it was that allowed warlocks to tank with the glyph and this time spend more time to make it work. I always skipped on that because I though they will finally fix it, instead they removed it with the next addon.

    1. Layering was removed months ago though. If it really bothered you that much while it was active, you could simply wait to jump into BC until it's been removed there as well?

      As for BC heroics, I know it won't be the same as back in the day, because unlike back then I don't have a close group of friends/guildies to play with. However, I imagine the pugging scene will be pretty active, and unlike with the level 60 dungeons where I'm always uncomfortably aware that I don't know them that well, I know the BC dungeons inside out and imagine it could be a lot of fun to re-run them repeatedly. Gear isn't really a major concern for me.

      I'm not sure I would play on a Wrath server myself. Maybe at launch for the novelty. But I have no desire whatsoever to repeat my dungeon finder days, even if I clearly enjoyed my time running those randoms to some extent back then.

    2. > Layering was removed months ago though.

      I know, but that doesn't change the fact that I didn't meet people while leveling. And the servers are still way to big, or were when I left after 6 month.

      It was also difficult to find a group as non-tank because on these big servers, tanks can be picky what they run. If the population would be much smaller even tanks would have to compromise.

      > you could simply wait to jump into BC until it's been removed there as well?

      Maybe I do that, most likely I'll play at launch. I did enjoy Classic and will probably play again at some point. But layering and huge servers did hurt my experience quite a bit.

      > But I have no desire whatsoever to repeat my dungeon finder days

      I'm very much against the dungeon finder and was so even before it was added. What Wrath added was the dual wield frost tank DK, which was then only time we had a real "tank ninja".

      It's just that the dungeon finder in wrath allows me to play a few dungeons with my DK, while in TBC I will most likely loose interest before even being attuned to heroic mode. Running normal mode until revered takes a lot of time.

  6. Out Classic guildmates are split on this. We'd welcome a Burning Crusade server as husband and I started just after that expansion launched. We'd love to see the zones and do all those magnificent dungeons again at (or close to) the original difficulty. In those days heroics were tough, they were 5 person end game in and of themselves. We did love Wrath too but the game really felt like it was shifting even by the end of that expansion.

    We did talk about what about having a TBC+Wrath server instead to save splitting the base even more. But then you don't see the end game properly. Same as why we never originally did any level 58+ vanilla dungeons - as soon as we were that high we were off to join our vanilla vet friends in the new zones. You can't easily go back to post levelling content in a game like WoW. Old cap stuff, that we normally grind for months on end waiting for a new expansion all gets invalidated much more completely than the levelling dungeons.

    What I will absolutely *not* do is relevel a new character on a BC server. It's transfer or bust for me, and if it's paid only transfers then I won't even try it. I did that in spades the first time. I've not enjoyed leveling a character on Classic. Yes the dungeon runs can be fun but it's all too familiar for me to want to redo it so soon...