Last night’s WoW Classic AMA touched on moving into Burning Crusade and Wrath

    
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One of the, ahem, burning questions regarding World of Warcraft Classic is what Blizzard plans to do with and for those players past the full rollout of the base content. There’s tentative good news on this front, as the studio openly talked about possibly stepping into the next two expansions thanks to the ground work done with Classic.

“We’re looking into what would be required to support [The Burning Crusade] and [Wrath of the Lich King] should we decide to go that route,” said the studio in Tuesday’s Reddit AMA. “The guiding principle for WoW Classic was staying faithful to the original game. It’s less clear what our direction should be with BC and WotLK. As you point out, it is likely that some features of these expansions will not be universally embraced by the Classic community.”

Past this, the AMA was a fount of information and answers regarding many pressing subjects, including layering, launch day queues, raid loot tables, and the location of Mankrik’s wife. Both Wowhead and Icy Veins have organized transcripts of the AMA for your edification.

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peor togs

What I took away from this comment is that the Classic community has some strong caveats about Classic. What I think Blizzard is referencing is:
1. Flight ruins wow in many ways, both pve and pvp.
2. Segregation away from Azeroth really hurt open world pvp.

I think that Blizzard is hoping they can release TBC without flight, mainly. There are probably some other tweaks they would like to do, but I think flight is the biggest one.

I am really hoping for a Classic plus. I’d love to see some of the unfinished areas in Azeroth filled before considering a jump to TBC.

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Richard de Leon III

Personally I’m not fond of classic, there’s a reason i quit and didnt come back til lich king. Whatever time-locked or progression server they open up, it will have to have LFD/LFR for me to play long term. Without those features practically half the game was off-limits for me. If an WotLK server came up, thats probably the earliest in the wow timeline I would be able to enjoy myself.

Until then the live servers are good enough for me. If anything, I hope some parts of classic do come back with the live servers with classic getting such a rush of players, both returning and current. In particular are the character trees, I want WoW skill trees to be very complicated, not choose one talent per 15 levels. The classes feel too bland in main game. I want to be able to build my class, something like what the frostfire mage build then, take inspiration from 3e/5e DND or pathfinder.

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psytic

I would be down for this if you could sub independently to classic for around $8. Then I could playFFXIV for pve and play WoW when I need a pvp fix. I cant really get in to WoWs pve again retail or classic but for pvp on a pvp server it could be a lot of fun.

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G0dl355

If they follow the same expansion path as before what would be the point to all of this? The only way IMO to not ruin things on Classic is to release xpacks but keep vanilla systems like no LFG or BG in place.

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Nathan Aldana

because definitely battlegrounds are what ruined wow. definitely.

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psytic

So if I sub can I play Classic right now?

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Minimalistway

Not right now, just in few days, in 27 August.

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styopa

“We’re looking into what would be required to support [The Burning Crusade] and [Wrath of the Lich King] should we decide to go that route,”
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That was not expected.

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silverlock

I know right it’s like they are actually starting to listen to their players!

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Nathan Aldana

not really.

theyre listening to one subset of players, because not everyone gives a shit about classic.

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Marty Woods

The thing is to offer players choice . Which is what they are doing . The problem with the live game is they listened to a subset of players who were active in the forums and quite often they were the vocal minority . In doing this they alienated millions of players over the years and it looks like they might get those players back .

You sound a little annoyed about classic for some reason . Why is that ?

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Jim Bergevin Jr

I’m curious to know if Blizz has had any comment or input on those Pserver guilds who are trying to monopolize Classic servers and essentially turn them into de facto Pservers.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Hopefully Blizzard has been jolted out of their tunnel vision. As a studio they are not going to create another historically important game. They just aren’t. But they are already sitting on a gold mine, which they have been ignoring. An entire generation of gamers has entered the marketplace never having played Vanilla and an entire fanbase that wants Classic but not Retail.

If, as a studio, Blizzard lives out its days servicing the various WoW communities and slicing WoW’s expansions into niche servers, can’t say as I’d have a problem with that.

Not saying they’ll do this, just hoping they’ll finally put down their damn phones.

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James Balmer

“As a studio they are not going to create another historically important game. They just aren’t.”

You say that, but in the last 7 years they’ve given us Diablo 3, Hearthstone and Overwatch. Diablo 3 is now the best selling game in its franchise, and the 14th best selling game of ALL time, even if it didn’t hit the same critical heights as its predecessors. Hearthstone is a critical darling, played by millions, has made billions in revenue, and has reinvented card based video games. Overwatch on the other hand came out of nowhere, became a critical and commercial darling, a pop cultural phenomena and is still thriving to this day.

On the other hand in the same 7 years they have also given us Heroes of the Storm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor, Legion, and Battle for Azeroth. The first of which barely made a splash critically or commercially, and the later four all being badly received when compared to previous Warcraft expansions. We’ve also got Diablo Eternal which is set to join this list too.

My point is – Blizzard is very capable of creating important landmark games, and most likely will continue to do so, but they’re released between a handful of ‘meh’ games.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Best-sellers may hit a list on Wikipedia, but the only historically important thing Diablo 3 did was make it clear that real money auction houses ruin gameplay. I’m a big fan of Diablo, but I would never compare D3’s importance in the historical landscape to that of Diablo 1 or 2. Perhaps you could say that D3’s most important contribution to gaming was creating a huge vacuum for Path of Exile to waltz into.

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MurderHobo

Blizzard was capable of refining other people’s ideas into something palatable for the mass market. They have never been that great at innovation or R&D, and after the past year the company might as well be considered to be restructuring — They are no longer the same team with the same direction.

Past behavior no longer applies to Blizzard. They’re no more likely to recapture the magic than Sony was with EQ Next.

I don’t believe any of their games outside of Classic WoW are sustainable unless they put them in maintenance mode.

I truly believe WoW classic is Blizzard’s last chance.

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Daniel Reasor

Diablo III’s sales numbers are and always have been artificially inflated by a deliberately deceptive practice of tracking the free copies that Blizzard gave away to WoW players as sales.

Hearthstone’s lead developer left the company for greener pastures because his career hit a wall and changing employers was the only way to keep advancing. He’ll never be back at Blizzard unless some senior member of the company’s good ol’ boy network retires.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

I paid a full one-year sub of WoW and played for 15 days, just to get the D3 copy. So, yeah, it’s a bit inflated in some sense, but it doesn’t detract from the financial success on the game.

Also, just pulled the info here, it was 1.2 million from the WoW annual pass, and that means a “mere” 28.8 million were actually sold by 2015 (meaning not a single Switch copy here). What a disaster! /s

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Marty Woods

The most interesting idea I’ve heard is the one that allows you to clone/copy your character at max level to the next expansion . That way those that want to stay in vanilla can do so .

I would also be for the alternative timeline idea offering new expansions based on Vanilla’s difficulty and complexity . ( the minute they offer group finders on pvp servers I would be out it killed world pvp the first time around and I am sure it would again ) .

Maybe they could offer the option “pristine”progression servers that keep vanilla’s ruleset intact and advance the game through the current set of expansions only radically reworking them again in terms of difficulty and complexity . ( it might be a good idea to skip Cataclysm because I recall it was always thought a mistake by lots of players to change the original base game continents ) .

If they handle this right then Blizzard might actually get a second chance with a lot of gamer’s but they need to realize classic means classic and everything that comes after it must be in the tradition of classic . Advanced World of Warcaft as it were .

But I think there should always be the option what ever happens to remain on a vanilla server .

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goobie-goo M

Absolutely the way to go, its the best of both worlds. If they just progress people who aren’t interested in that expansion have no reason to keep playing. If they add a way to voluntarily move over to a new expansion then you con progress if you like, stay behind if you like (or if it is a clone, both).

If they go with regular progression servers I won’t be interested personally.

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David Harrison

The single best thing that Blizzard could do (if WoW Classic is successful) is NOT follow the same expansion route as before, and instead create NEW expansions specifically for WoW Classic that continue the “classic” feel of original World of Warcraft.

There is no need for them to stop making expansions for the current WoW Live client as usual because there is a customer base that likes that style of MMORPG.

The thing is that there is ALSO a very large customer base that likes the original style of World of Warcraft, and if Blizzard was smart, they would branch World of Warcraft Classic off to its own development group as a SEPARATE GAME.

Continue developing content for both Live and Classic as two separate games (just like SoE did with EQ and EQ2). Separate the money and everything, so one does not feed on the other. Let either one succeed or fail independent of the other.

It would be a very interesting experiment to see which version of MMORPG the customers ACTUALLY prefer based on where they spend their money.

In the case of EverQuest/EverQuest 2, the customers overwhelmingly proved that EverQuest 1 was their preferred game of the two. The problem was that SoE failed to separate the two from each other in the way of funding. EQ2 feed off of the success of EQ (as well as other projects at the company), so the profit EQ was making was not fully being applied back to the game to fund its growth appropriately. I hope Blizzard does not make that same mistake.

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xpsync

To expand on the classic feel with new content, that would be legendary and would be totally on board.

“as a SEPARATE GAME” haha yea and title it, WoW 2.0

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Matthew Yetter

This would indeed be a really cool direction to take things, although it would be smart of them to keep a certain number of servers forever vanilla Classic. Maintaining such servers would cost next to nothing while ensuring that the people who don’t want expansions have a home with Blizzard — and Blizzard therefore keeps their money.

The catch with this kind of approach is that they would have to figure out exactly what the “secret sauce” was that made Classic preferable for so many players. Otherwise they’ll just end up developing the alternate version off into yet another “failure” with the people who prefer Classic.

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Michael18

What you describe is more or less what Jagex is doing with OldSchool Runescape and what I always hoped for with WoW Classic.

I think this approach has a lot of potenital. For example, they could experiment with smaller updates that do not add a set of self-contained zones but instead enrich the existing continents with new quests, new places in remote corners, or new mechanics, that are not specific only to a certain expansion but complement the mechanics and systems that are already in place.

Another cool thing would be sea content that lets you seamlessly travel in your own boat between the continents; then they could add islands over time.