The past days have been tumultuous in the WoW Classic / Vanilla world. People have been concerned and critical of the (previously decided) four content release patches Blizzard has planned to phase out during the lifetime of WoW Classic. They have now changed their mind.
In the blue post below, you will be able to see their recent communication on this issue and why they decided for 6 phases instead of 4 – something avid WoW vanilla gamers world around (along with private server players) have been highly supportive of.
Our first phase primarily focuses on launching Classic with Onyxia and Molten Core, but we’ve decided to hold off on Dire Maul for a while. Maraudon is still in the first phase, because it was originally released on December 18, 2004, just two weeks after the first player hit level 60, but we recognize that Dire Maul is in a different category. Some of the loot that’s attainable from Dire Maul is so good that it would affect progression through those early raids. We’re also planning to hold off on releasing Kazzak and Azuregos at launch as well, for the same reasons.
The next change we’re targeting addresses two concerns. First, Zul’Gurub and Blackwing Lair unlocking at the same time would differ from how they originally came out, and it makes sense to not have gear and enchants from Zul’Gurub available during early progress into Blackwing Lair. Secondly, the Emerald Dragons should be available earlier than the opening of Ahn’Qiraj, as they give us a way to start preparing nature resist gear for some of the encounters in AQ.
Along the way, we’ve taken a close look at items that provide the biggest power gains, many of which were introduced in 1.10 as part of a sweeping dungeon itemization pass. That patch was when Tier 0.5 gear was introduced, and Relics were added to the drop tables of many bosses. It also adjusted drop rates and drop locations of a lot of gear (to make room for the Relics). We’ve gone back and reconstructed many of the most heavily affected drop tables as they existed prior to the 1.10 patch, and we’re planning to update the drop tables alongside the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort. Prior to the Ahn’Qiraj unlock, most of the drop rates and locations will look as they did in the patches prior to 1.10, with exceptions—there are lots of little changes made in earlier patches that don’t have a big effect on player power, and in those cases, we’re planning to use the 1.12 drop rates and locations.
One example of the many items we’re planning for is: Titanic Leggings, which is a world drop that first appeared in 1.10. We can confirm that it will be controlled by the same content unlock that restricts the other 1.10 loot changes.
Phase 1 (Classic Launch)
-Darkmoon deck drops begin
-Ahn’Qiraj War Effort begins
-Ahn’Qiraj raids open when the war effort dictates
-Dungeon loot reconfiguration: Tier 0.5 Dungeon gear, Relics, drop rates and location changes
In the same post, we also got some insight into what they have in mind for PvP – but it seems like it’s still undecided and therefore slated for a future date.
“We haven’t yet determined exactly when phases 2-6 will occur, and PvP content is notably missing from the list above”, Blizzard writes at the end of the post. “That’s because we’re still evaluating our options regarding PvP rewards, as they also changed over time (both in power and in terms of which PvP reward items were available).”
WoW Classic is set for release summer 2019. There is no exact date as of yet, but Blizzard has been consistent in saying that it will arrive at this specific period in time several time. They also made a joke about “Soon™”, and that they “really mean it this time”. The joke originates in the Blizzard fandom where community managers have used the word “soon”, which in their understanding of the word could mean anywhere between tomorrow and the end of the universe. The fact that they are so frank about this and joking around with it highly implies that they have most of the infrastructure for the game completed and are just in a polishing phase.
We expect a beta version to arrive sometime before this date, so keep updated for more as the dates come out.
Thank you for reading!
The WoWClassicGold team.