Rumor: The Burning Crusade expansion is arriving to WoW Classic in early May, beta in mid-February

    
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We should really have prepared.

Got your grains of salt at the ready? Tinfoil tricorns fashionably formed and atop your heads? Very good, then let’s hop into the rumor mill: World of Warcraft: Classic is apparently going to be seeing The Burning Crusade at the beginning of May, with a beta at some point in mid-February.

This rumor comes by way of YouTuber Staysafe, who cites a “leak” posted on a WoW fan forum as well as in DMs sent to him that were then run by “a very trusted source.” The post mentions that TBC beta is being eyeballed for mid-February, a TBC 2.0 pre-patch is earmarked for April 13th or 14th, and a global release is set for May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. EST. There’s also suggestions that the expansion’s arrival will be announced at the upcoming Blizz Conline.

This rumor appears to be corroborated by former Nostalrus team member Nano, who sent out a couple of cryptic tweets suggesting that fans will be having something to talk about in the coming year.

These rumored dates are further fuel to the expectation fire of TBC’s arrival to WoW Classic, which readers will recall was also pushed forward thanks to surveys sent by Blizzard to players about Classic’s next steps and the expansion. So once more, it all sounds like a question of when and not whether; we’re just all seeing darts land on a bunch of different months.

sources: YouTube and Twitter via WCCFTech, thanks to Wilhelm for the tip
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Loopy

To be honest, i’m more excited about fresh servers than TBC. While i appreciate what TBC brought to the game and the proper balancing of classes and specs that followed, i’m gonna put my purist hat on and say that spirit of Warcraft belongs in vanilla. I actually enjoy the imbalanced nature of the game, it gives it a certain charm.

Anyways, hope folks enjoy their trip back to TBC, however i’ll be sticking around on Azeroth for the foreseeable future.

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kjempff

Too far into the future. Alert me again a few months before its actual launch, and I need details on whether it is going to be fresh servers, restart, expansion locked etc.

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Feyd Darkholme

They should have servers that ONLY have classic, no TBC, and free transfers for people that want to preserve the Classic experience. Also they shouldn’t do any expansions on those servers past TBC.

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Sorenthaz

Hope they do what I suggested by having a mix of fresh start servers and transfer servers while leaving some Classic servers behind for folks who want to experience Vanilla in an official fashion still.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

May sounds like a way too early target. When has Blizz ever gone from announce to beta to release on anything as fast as this timeline would require? When was the last time Blizz managed that cycle in under a year? They can’t even start talking about beta until they have a big presentation announcement at BlizConline in February.

Now, if we start talking about an August release, two years after WoW Classic and far enough out from the Shadowlands launch that subscriptions will start seeing a dip, then I could be convinced that maybe Blizz could manage that, though it would still be a warp speed operation for them. Autumn seems more likely.

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Ironwu

Have to remember that they are not really developing anything new here. Just taking a snapshot backup (probably some time after initial release of BC for all the bug fixes), integrating it into the new engine, and good to go.

WoW Classic took relatively no time at all after they decided to do it considering how large the original game is. I suspect that they have actually been working on BC Classic since shortly after it became apparent that Classic was a real deal hit. :)

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NecroFox4

It’s definitely not that simple, though it’s not quite as complicated as developing from scratch.

There have been massive database architecture changes since TBC was live. These changes mean they cannot simply copy/paste from a backup. The data needs to be manipulated to fit into the new DB schema. This was one of the biggest challenges when Classic was cooking. Luckily, most of that ground work was done with the Classic dev.

I think the timeline is likely feasible.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Blizz is a very conservative company when it comes to releases. You can be flippant about how easy something may or may not be, but you cannot ignore their culture. The timeline here suggest a radical departure from past behavior. WoW Classic was in beta for a lot longer than the gap between announce and launch than this timeline allows. They did the first “invite everybody” load test in May, months after beta started, and did not launch until August.

And this would not be the first time somebody misread Blizz internal messaging and turned it into an aggressive launch date estimate. I’ll stick with August as my guess.

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NecroFox4

Without the specific context of this kind of rollout, I would tend to agree. But given that this is more of a content update than rolling out a new game entirely, the “leaked” timeline may be more accurate than we think.

I don’t pretend to know, but I don’t think it is unreasonable.

The load testing and long beta tests we saw with Classic were necessary, but may not be so for a TBC update. They may simply be able to take the lessons learned and associated data from the Classic launch, and it’s continued service since launch, and apply them to TBC, allowing for a more aggressive timeline.

Then again, maybe not.

Fact is, we simply do not know how complicated, or simple, such a rollout is for Blizzard at this point. We do not know what kind of timeline is realistic for them to meet. All we can do is speculate, and hope. ;)

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Danny Smith

I wonder what the drop off rate will be this time. Like i enjoy dropping into classic like once every 3 months or so but all the “Bros….home…” people saying it was the best thing ever and a “return to the hardcore” dropped it after two months and never went back. Its no doubt going to be profitable given how they said classic was like 50% of subs or something crazy but going beyond the original 1-60 raises a lot of interesting questions about further dividing an audience, space goats and blood elves being a bigger deal than questing in outland and the difficulty and ability changes and so on.

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warroth weill

I’m on one of the servers they added after release since all servers got full instantly. It’s still very healthy, outside every raid entrance, farm spot, main city, etc has tons of people. Several 40man pugs are run each day, many guilds are still progressing Naxx.. It wont be a “drop off”, a large number of players will just come back to continue into TBC. And Blizzard will most likely release a few classic fresh servers. The majority wants to move on, they are mirroring the original releases of the updates. Its not 100% accurate but for the most parts it is.

For sure there has been a decline in population, also because Shadowlands just released. But Classic is still going strong, and people will come back to it once they are tired of Shadowlands. I’m already back in classic now after a few weeks of SL.

I also think people forget that wow was more populated in TBC and even more populated in WOTLK.. Just look at the private server audience, classic didn’t kill private WOTLK/TBC servers… Once they get officially released a huge number of players will flock back to classic TBC/WOTLK. Vanilla pservers always had the smallest populations. There are millions of players playing on TBC/WOTLK private servers.

And don’t forget the PVP audience, they will also jump on board on TBC thanks to Arenas and a much better PVP system.

It’s hard for most mmo players to accept a 16 year old game Is way more popular than any other running MMO except retail wow.

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2Ton Gamer

Our server is still quite busy, even with Naxx being out a few weeks and Shadowlands. Sure there has been a drop-off but it’s been very healthy and healthier than some current MMO’s servers I’ve played on.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

Well, I dropped it due to a hefty downward shift in financials, which was then further hit by Covid. I’d love to be back in Classic, as the short stint that I was lucky enough to play when it re-launched was quite refreshing and enjoyable. Perhaps some day I’ll be able to return.