BlizzConline 2021: Why WoW Burning Crusade Classic won’t have the dungeon-finder

    
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While not a surprise, confirmation that Burning Crusade Classic is coming this year has lit a fire underneath the classic community. Blizzard was out in force at BlizzConline to talk about it, but the developers didn’t stop there. They swung by YouTuber MrGM to spend an additional half-hour answering questions about the expansion’s implementation and other various topics. Blizzard’s John Hight and Brian Birmingham address everything from the base patch and collector’s edition to precisely what kinds of changes from vanilla TBC the studio is willing to make.

“We don’t feel like it would be important to include the group finder, especially not like that dungeon finder with the auto-teleport,” Birmingham says. “We feel like that is antithetical to Classic – even though it’s really cool to have that option in modern WoW. […] We want to make sure there’s a distinction between those offerings, where if you want that social friction, you can find that in Classic. We definitely want to keep the broad authentic character of Classic while still making targeted fixes for things that are real problems.”

This might not be as massive a revelation as the big talking points shared at BlizzConline, but it’s still worth watching for interesting tidbits — and to fuel the fires of your hype. Check it out below!

And for fun, here’s a very, very old video of a very, very young Jeff Kaplan talking about The Burning Crusade prior to its original launch:

Source: YouTube
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Jacquotte Fox Kline

Disappointed. This is the #1 thing I wanted, or was hoping for with BC. The ‘destroys community’ people are silly. The vast majority of people I’ve grouped with I never see again anyway, unless they are in my guild. And making a big stink and blackballing people because of community and name recognition – is an even MORE toxic system.

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James Balmer

I couldn’t disagree more. LFG helped kill the server community of WoW, it’s pretty well documented at this point as one of the leading causes. Classic WoW has much more of a community than retail, for example.

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Rndomuser

That’s perfectly understandable that they want to preserve authentic experience even if it was inconvenient for some people. I am still amused by delusional people who think that any kind of “dungeon queue” system “destroys the community”, especially in games which were designed from ground up to be a “dungeon grinder with a lobby” (with a little bit of very deficient PvP which was always an afterthought) where you group up with others out of necessity to use them as a disposable necessary asset which you discard after completing your goal of finishing the dungeon and getting whatever loot you wanted in it.

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James Balmer

I think you have to experience it to realise that dungeon finder did damage the community. Classic WoW doesn’t have one and people speak in groups, seek to make friends with other good players, speak in world chat, etc. While in retail I can go groups and groups without seeing a single message.

fallwind
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fallwind

I did experience it, and I agree with Rndomuser. When they added lfd in Wrath, it didn’t really change much how you interacted with random pugs at all (other than more people actually did interact with random pugs now because it wasn’t an absolute PITA to form one)… you had your guild, and then there was everyone else.

What it did do was take 30-45 min of sitting in Shat (or later Dal) trying to get a group together (2-4 times that if your class was off-meta at the time), and change it to 1-30 min of being able to do something else while the queue did its thing. Prior to LFD, unless you had a dedicated guild group, you might do 1, maybe 2 dungeons a day if you were lucky, afterwards you could do that many per hour.

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

For anyone knee-jerk reacting to why this would even come up when talking about TBC:
http://web.archive.org/web/20090807221227/http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/townhall/lookingforgroup.html

Before the “Dungeon Finder” tool introduced in WotLK, TBC gave us a “Looking for Group Interface”. It was handy, but nobody used it. Even today people prefer to just spam trade chat when they aren’t using the automated dungeon finder.

And no TBC isn’t “hard” just as Classic wasn’t. You just need gear and crowd control.

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Bruno Brito

Yes, there was a tool, but it was pretty precarious and no one used as you said. RDF itself came with Wrath.

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Dug From The Earth

I dont even think modern WoW needs a dungeon finder.

A tool to find/put together a group was all that was ever needed/helpful. Just so you didnt have to spam chat with “2 LFM for Hellfire – Need Healer and DPS”

Players should be in control of who they invite and how the group gets put together. Something to just make it easy to “browse” through players looking to take part is fine.

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

The dev quote mentions an auto-teleport, but the LFG tool that this is actually about, I assume, is the interface in my post above. This was pretty much what you described here, but nobody used it.

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Dug From The Earth

Im curious to see the data of “nobody used it”

I use tools like that in any game that offers them

Perhaps the tool they created wasnt well designed or lacked in the UI/UX department.

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

That was my ancient anecdotal experience with it. I feel like this type of tool has always been underused in many games like LOTRO and EverQuest 2. I found it somewhat useful in EQ1 last time I played seriously because of how picky parties can be in that game, but again that was only because other people actually seemed to be using it. We still had to /who and whisper the whole server for specific levels/classes regularly.

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Danny Smith

Christ could you imagine some of those endgame BC heroics with a group of randos? Most of the modern WoW audience go into meltdown and drop group after a single wipe. How can you expect that to last through Botanica or hellfire citadel?

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Songs for Children

Heroic Shattered Halls was a nightmare.

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jealouspirate

As someone who is currently pugging their way to Keystone Master, this has not been my experience at all. Every now and then you get someone drop group after a wipe, but the vast majority of groups finish the dungeon even when it’s a rough run. And these dungeons are far, far harder than anything in TBC.

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Songs for Children

Heroic TBC dungeons have not been current content for nearly 13 years. Are you saying that you’re able to recall the difficulty of dungeons you ran in 2007-8, then compare that difficulty accurately to dungeons you’re currently running?

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jealouspirate

TBC private server communities have been thriving for years. Just go look at a current guide or youtube video on how to play any TBC class and a guide to a heroic dungeon in TBC. Then go do the same thing for a class and how to time a M+15 in Shadowlands. We both know which one is harder.

Anyway, everyone will see for themselves later this year when TBC is released.

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Songs for Children

So you’re saying you play on private TBC servers that accurately mimic the difficulty of the heroic dungeons, and you’re able to make that comparison?

I know that TBC private servers exist; my question was whether you personally are able to compare dungeon difficulties. Telling me that I know the answer is not the same as telling me the answer.

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jealouspirate

I’ve never been to the north pole but I’m pretty confident it’s cold there. Whether I have personally and recently ran these dungeons side by side is irrelevant – all the necessary information to make this conclusion is readily available.

Again, there’s no real reason for me to argue this since everyone will see for themselves when TBC launches this year. I’m not sure why it matters to you so much anyway. TBC can still be easier and fun at the same time, just like Classic was both easy and fun. I plan to play TBC, it’s just a different type of game.

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Songs for Children

I haven’t played the current expansion so I don’t actually know the answer or have an opinion.

You made a claim that the current dungeons are “far, far harder,” and I asked you if you could support that claim. You chose to instead attempt to invalidate the inquiry, which is really an implicit answer to the question.

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

Modern WoW dungeon design, particularly Mythic+ difficulties, are vastly more difficult than Classic or TBC. Old WoW content barely has any mechanical depth to it. Blizzard designed things to be artificially difficult with gear checks and punishing parties that didn’t bring the right classes.

I love classic EverQuest, but if you get a group that is competent and made up of the right classes you can sleep through “difficult” content in that style of game (which old WoW is).

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Bruno Brito

TBC isn’t hard. It’s just full of gearchecks and extremely timeconsuming.

fallwind
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fallwind

TBC wasn’t hard, people just sucked. It wasn’t our fault, there were no sims, no BIS lists, no wow-head or icy veins to tell you what build to use, or warcraftlogs to let you know which specs were poppin… it was word of mouth only.

Hell, it took several months for many to realize that paladin tanks were actually good, or that shadow priests could make your caster group into gods, or what destro locks were able to do.

TBC heroics are not hard. They were hard then because most of the playerbase didn’t know what an interupt was, or why it would be a good idea to use it on the mob casting fear.

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Bruno Brito

RDF came with Wrath last patches if i well recall. So, it won’t happen til there.

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Ironwu

Why would anyone expect the Dungeon Finder in BC? It did not exist until WotLK.

fallwind
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fallwind

there was a LFM/G interface in TBC, just almost no one used it (or even knew it was there)

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Dungeon_Finder#History

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Songs for Children

The dungeon finder showed up at the end of WotLK…I hope they leave it out of WotLK Classic. It destroyed community.

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Ironwu

I think it would be ok if it were restricted to the single server. No cross server, no connected realms. In WotLK, not BC.

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Songs for Children

I agree actually. When it first came out, I was hoping they’d add a button to click to keep it to my own server.

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Songs for Children

they moved to 1.13.x, which would mean when WoTLK Classic launches, it will have the Dungeon Finder from the start

How are these two things connected?

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Songs for Children

Why resort to being condescending? I’m asking you to fill in the gap between your premise and your conclusion. There’s a lot of missing information there.

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Bruno Brito

RDF was a good addiction. What destroyed community was crossrealm.

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Songs for Children

There’s an argument to be made for that, though an automatic teleport to anywhere does reduce immersion. And crossrealm was an inherent feature of the dungeon finder, unfortunately.

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Bruno Brito

It shouldn’t be. Lordaeron Warmane had RDF for years, it actually improves Wrath experience when it’s kept confined for ONE realm.

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Scott McCulloch

Any auto-group button destroys community. It makes your group mates a disposable asset, where you can just hit a button and get new ones.

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Bruno Brito

That’s a lie. When RDF is kept constrained towards one realm, it’s literally just a taxiride. You still have character reckognition because there’s no crossrealm to speak of.

I know because i PLAYED on one-realm RDF Wrath servers.

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Leiloni

I wouldn’t mind RDF single server as long as there’s no auto teleport. I think the auto teleport removes a lot of the feeling of living in a game world and creates the sense of it being a lobby queue game like modern WoW. It also reduces the amount of people and random interactions in the game world. But just a tool to automatically match groups for you isn’t a bad thing.

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Bruno Brito

Which was the interaction that Warmane went with when they finally allowed RDF: You wouldn’t teleport, you would travel. The only ease was the group being made and some of the rewards.

I find it the best of both worlds, altho on a early server, traveling on foot is a bit sketchy.