Blizzard Announces Burning Crusade WoW Classic Servers

Blizzard has just announced the follow up to its lauded and applauded WoW Classic with, unsurprisingly, Burning Crusade Classic. But even if this next step seems obvious we can’t deny the moment of pause it gives even those excited about the prospects.

            The launch of the Classic World of Warcraft coincided with the 15th anniversary of the most prolific MMORPG that has ever existed (and we say that without any hesitation). The fifteen years of continuous updates and play leaves the modern iteration of WoW a distant cousin from its launch and WoW classic is a bit rare of an acknowledgment from the producers that the newest iteration doesn’t have to be the preferred one. In fact, Classic proved to be extremely popular and likely brought many people back to the game. A follow-up to a massively successful move should surprise no one.

            Burning Crusade Classic is shaping up to mirror its original counterpart in the same ways the original classic did. Add all the new features the original expansion did without the initial balance and bugging issues. Gone is the anticipation of seasonal events, as they are all scheduled and well known at this point. In its place is the opportunity for players to do things with hindsight, which it’s hard not to see the appeal of that. BCC promises all the fun that your nostalgia remembers without all the drawbacks that you might have chosen to forget.

            Maybe your memory is even shakier in that. No one can blame you there, that expansion came out over a decade ago. So what will be new to WoW classic and what will be new to WoW in general with Burning Crusade Classic? Well, there are the additions of new lands and rich stories to relive, or experience if you never had the chance the first time. That exciting in of itself. But we know a majority of the players are looking towards more character-oriented changes. The two new races that came with BC, the blood elves and the Draenei, will be available once again. Additionally, the two new classes, paladin and shaman, will also be added to their respective factions.

            The rivaling factions aren’t the only aspects of the game that BC will be drastically impacting. With the introduction of this classic expansion also comes the reintroduction of Jewelcrafting and the ability of players to craft socketable jewels for equipment. Burning Crusade Classic also signals the return of flying mounts, perhaps a welcome relief to players who like the classic gameplay but miss the faster form of locomotion.

            Burning Crusade Classic will also bring some iconic raids back. And while the raids will feature fixes for the sake of functionality, they will not be as nerfed as they became in later patches. M’uru in the Sunwell, for instance, will still have a much bigger health pool than later versions.

            That isn’t to say that corrections haven’t been made for the sake of balancing the Burning Crusade Classic. Certain abilities that are noticeably more powerful with their faction, such as the paladin seals, will be available for both factions once you hit the level cap of 70. So abilities that were held by the Horde or Alliance will be available to max-level characters in both factions.

            Burning Crusade Classic will also make changes to allow for better mechanical fixes. The arena, for instance, will allow a larger roster for your team so you can play even when one of your team members isn’t available. More good news for fans of the arena, every season will be seeing periodic releases, so no matter which one was your favorite, you’ll get your chance to run it again.

            While a lot of stuff about Burning Crusade Classic is exciting, as exciting as it was when the initial burning crusade was announced, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its critics. People criticizing the choices of a game developer? Unheard of, we know. Still, we think some of these concerns are valid and worth addressing.

            While many players have widespread concerns and preferred implementations to the classic servers, we think that one concern is worth pointing out in particular. We the announce of BBC comes the view of the Ship of Theseus on the horizon. For those unaware, the ship is a philosophical argument where you take a piece of a ship each time it is repaired or replaced then eventually you will be able to reconstruct the whole ship. Are they the same ship? Which one is the original? The continued development of classic opens up the same questions.

            The developers have already demonstrated that Classic is not a perfect imitation of the release of the original WoW. Fixes, changes, and improvements made it a better experience overall and this is a trend that will continue with Burning Crusade Classic. But what happens when classic expansions continue to release? Will the classic eventually catch up with the original? Will they become two entirely separate games as the gameplay for both continues to evolve? At what point is it no longer appropriate to call “Classic” classic?

             Are these dire philosophical questions? Not particularly, but important when it comes to a product we as players pay for as a subscription service. What exactly are we paying for? Are we being “persuaded” to pay for the same product all over again? If not then should these changes be implemented when we were playing the first time around?

             All that being said, if you are excited about the announcement of the Burning Crusade Classic, we completely get it. The nostalgia of getting to experience the first WoW expansion all over again is tantalizing and hard to pass up, and the more power to you to get the fun you want out of it.  Many players will likely opt to buy level 60 WoW Classic accounts rather than grinding up from the start and we totally get it.  Maybe consider which ship you are standing on while you are doing it. Seems to be worth sparing it a thought now rather than when you realize that it was never the boat you meant to get on. 

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