BlizzConline 2021: WoW Classic and Chains of Domination panel recaps

Oh look,

Ain’t no rest for the Blizzard fans today, as BlizzConline 2021 rolls on with relentless intensity. World of Warcraft has more to share beyond the opening keynote, and now we’re getting to hear about it with two back-to-back panels, starting with the What’s Next panel and followed shortly thereafter with the Deep Dive. Since they’re adjacent in their timing, we’re combining both into a single liveblog just to aid with overall consolidation. It’s just more sensible.

While we have a pretty good idea of exactly what we’ll hear about in these panels due to the gigantic and egregious leak of press kit information yesterday, you can follow along down in the comments as we keep track, while the main post is updated with important information and screenshots as we go. Hopefully there’s something more than what was just in the press kits that has already been leaked, naturally. What could that be? Let’s find out together.

BlizzConline 2021
WoW Classic What’s Next panel
Waiting on the start now. While we wait, the trailers from the keynote:

The whole introduction here is the team is still talking about their early WoW experiences, but eventually they get around to why you came, diving into the changes tat are being changed, and it’ll sound familiar since it’s the same discussion the industry had with Classic: old data, modern code. There’s discussion about how modern improvements like the cloud avoid instance lag or problems – that there were warts back in the day is something that could be fixed now.

For example, spell batching – people wanted it back, but now players are finding it frustrating, so the team is removing it with Burning Crusade Classic. Same with bosses; people want more challenging bosses, not carbon copies of things we did at launch.

Other bits of note:

  • Both factions will have Seal of Blood and Seal of Vengeance on Paladin (Seal of the Martyr).
  • Devs are considering arena team limits as well as possible personal ratings.
  • Blood elf and draenei will also unlock early so you can level up before the dark portal opens.
  • First phase is Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, and Magtheridon’s Lair. Serpentshrine Cavern/Tempest Keep is next phase, then Black Temple/Hyjal for phase 3. Zul’aman comes next, and Sunwell in phase 5.
  • Classic live server will become progression servers – unlock any new progression content.
  • As for boosts now: People can purchase a level 58 boost. One per account, no blood elves or draenei, no professions, no high-level mount.
  • They’re launching Classic-era realms at the same time, and if you choose to move to classic era, those servers stay in that era forever.
    There will also be a paid service to make a character copy – you can create one Classic-era character and move a copy to Burning Crusade.
  • Looking at 2021, starting the TBC beta soon.
WoW Retail deep dive panel

Hazzikostas says there won’t be much system chat – “When we look at our systems, we aren’t seeing anything that needs to be overhauled” – Oh, World of Warcraft. Anyhow. Here’s the good stuff for 9.1:

  • All four covenants will be coming back together to take the fight to the Jailer, with new areas and new rewards. We’ll see the return to the Maw, “stopping the eye of the Jailer in its tracks.” There’s a new area called Korthia, a new section of the Maw that was long lost. New group called the First Ones. New maw hand mount and maw-themed skeletal horse.
  • Expect a new raid: Sanctum of Domination, a 10-boss raid. Kel’thuzad will be in there, as well. You’ll face the Tarragrue, Sylvanas, the actual Eye of the Jailer itself, some of the “worst of the worst” in terms of souls.
  • And you’ll be unlocking new floors of Torgahst, with new foes, traps, and powers.
  • Broker megadungeon is coming, just like Mechagon and Karazhan (8 bosses, Mythic only). Expect pets and mounts as unique rewards from the dungeon.
  • There will also be more conduit and soulbind expansion within your covenant.
  • Patch 9.1 brings flying. No rep grind – complete covenant story chapters and it’ll unlock. You can also unlock a specialized mount based on your specific covenant.
  • There’s another set of cosmetic armor, specifically cosmetic.
  • Patch 9.1 also brings item season 2 with it, of course.
  • And… that’s it! No previews of anything we hadn’t already heard about.
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