Classic News

Blizzard posted a "development update" yesterday, which is mostly about the next Shadowlands patch, but also contains some juicy news for Classic players.

First off, we've got confirmation that the next phase of Burning Crusade Classic will launch on the 15th of September, in a little less than three weeks. This will include the opening of Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye, which once again makes me glad that I stepped down from progression because I haven't bothered to continue working on my Eye attunement, and if I was still a core raider the raid's opening being imminent now would freak me the hell out.

I do wonder what the overall raid team's attunement status is... there's a channel to track this on Discord, and according to that not everyone's even attuned for SSC yet, and only ten people completed their Tempest Keep attunement. This might not be 100% up-to-date, but it does make you wonder whether people's efforts will suddenly kick into overdrive in the coming weeks... or whether the guild as an entity will actually have to start taking a more active role in helping raiders get attuned than it has been.

The thing I'm looking forward to with the new phase is the introduction of the TBC group finder - which was nothing like the dungeon finder introduced in Wrath, but simply a sort of bulletin board that allowed you to display your interest in different activities in a single place without having to repeat yourself in the LFG channel every couple of minutes. I used to love that tool and got a lot of great use out of it back in the day, even if a good chunk of the community at large seemed to find it too difficult to use for some reason. This is one case where I think the way people's attitudes have changed will actually be a net positive, as I wouldn't expect modern players to have any issues with using this feature - there are even addons for Classic that already try to simulate something similar by curating information from the LFG channel as it scrolls past, but obviously having it built into the default interface will be so much better.

Aside from the announcement of the next Burning Crusade phase, the other big piece of Classic news was that they're also "working on something for WoW Classic players who’ve told us they’d like a chance at a fresh start". There were already rumours about this flying around as the Classic PTR was recently updated to host OG Classic's phase one again, but with some of the quality of life changes that were added later, such as the Chronoboon.

The popularity of the subject of fresh Classic servers is something that still baffles me a little. I did expect Blizzard to release some eventually, but we're barely finishing up Burning Crusade's first phase at this point, and the state of original Classic is anaemic. Sure, there's something to be said for the excitement of everyone starting from scratch on a brand new server, but I struggle to imagine that this will draw in a significant number of players that aren't already subscribed for one of the existing Classic products or that it will retain a healthy population once the novelty has worn off. At best it might pull people off the existing Classic era servers and leave those even more dead than they already are.

Personally I can't see myself playing on such a "fresh" server at this point beyond maybe poking my head in at launch to satisfy my curiosity about how busy it is. It has taken me long enough to level any characters in Classic as it is, plus I've come to be very put off by any pressure to rush through content to keep up with the mob, so starting over from scratch while feeling hounded to level faster to keep up with the majority of the server's progression sounds like the opposite of fun to me right now.

1 comment:

  1. It feels weird to see them looking at fresh servers now. Unless the current player base on the BC Classic servers are mostly retail players wanting to live the 'glory that was Vanilla+BC+Wrath' it feels like they would just be splitting the Classic Era player base in two. Even being cynical and saying they wanted to pump up sub numbers doesn't make sense. Classic is still too close in the rear view mirror to launch yet another set of servers. Maybe post Wrath, but not now.

    I could see them updating the engine to the current version to make maintenance and/or cheat detection easier. Maybe better reporting tools, but that feels like a stretch.

    Maybe the idea is to bounce patches/phases between versions of the game so that there's always something new coming every few months, but that doesn't make sense as BC Classic is still really fresh. I could see this being tried years from now when the first Wrath servers are winding down post-Halion, but not pre-Phase 2 BC Classic.