Casually Classic: Three things I’m anticipating (and three I’m dreading) for WoW’s Burning Crusade Classic

    
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With the Burning Crusade Classic beta underway, it’s hard not to be dwelling on the near future of WoW Classic. Everyone’s maneuvering their accounts, leveling up characters, and mentally preparing to take the next step (back) into Outland.

As I have no interest in the beta (seriously, unless you’re a streamer looking for easy views, what’s the point?) and am working hard at bringing my Warlock down the home stretch to 60, all I’m left with is thinking about what I’m looking forward to — and what I’m not — when the expansion arrives. A lot of this is based on my prior experience “back in the day” tempered with several recent refreshers from the community.

Anticipating: Launch day excitement

There’s always something so heady and thrilling about a good ol’ fashioned MMO launch, and considering that Blizzard doesn’t seem to have anything else up its sleeve for this year, Burning Crusade Classic is going to be the big feast for the WoW community. Considering how amazingly fun (and chaotic) WoW Classic’s launch was two years ago, I’m all for seeing droves of players return and a lot of renewed interest in this retro edition of the game.

Personally, it gives me something to anticipate this year, and that does a lot to keep my interest fixed and my involvement regular. It’s always nice to have something that gets you pumped up for the coming months.

Dreading: The launch day crush

Everyone is a prognosticator, because everyone knows already that Burning Crusade Classic’s launch day is going to be a total mess. It was poor design back in 2007 to funnel everyone in through a single entry point to a single leveling zone, and it’s probably going to be even worse in 2021. The crowds are going to be immense, and if you can even get into Outland, I can’t see questing actually happening unless Blizzard really cranks up the layers (and even then).

Some people are planning on bypassing questing and jumping straight into dungeons for leveling, but for me, I’m going to avoid Outland entirely for a week or two while working on some other projects. I have no interest in experiencing frustration as everyone squabbles over quest mobs and resources.

Anticipating: The pre-patch

Honestly, I’m probably MORE excited for the pre-patch than I am the actual expansion. At least right now — ask me again in a couple of months. The reason for this is that the pre-patch is bringing in my favorite race (the Draenei), letting me roll up a Shaman on Alliance (which no one else will do, I’m sure), and adjusting the leveling curve to something more approaching sanity. Getting that mount at level 30 is a sweet deal, not to mention cheaper epic mounts. So yeah, bring on the pre-patch and let’s ditch the slow-as-molasses grind to 60 that we currently have!

Dreading: The gold grind

Maybe you are sitting on a grand Scrooge McDuck-sized fortune in WoW Classic, but I’ve had to scrabble for every gold I’ve earned, and I am not looking forward to some of the big money sinks of Burning Crusade.

The biggest ones, of course, involve flying. Normal flying will set me back 900 gold, while epic flying is going to bankrupt me at 6,000 gold. Sure, we’ll have a lot of time to save up and chase these desired options, but it’s still a massive currency mountain to climb. I’m not looking forward to it.

Anticipating: Better casual questing

Honestly, I’m just done with WoW Classic’s style of questing, which quickly devolved into world-hopping chores after level 20 or so. There are some memorable missions, to be sure, but so many of them are seemingly designed to make you travel to the moon and back for 20 silver and 1,400 XP. The sooner I can ditch that style, the better.

That’s why I can’t wait to get into Burning Crusade, if only to enjoy questing without absurd travel times. Sure, there are too many quests that deal with poop for some reason, but at least the rewards are better and the flow enjoyable. Also, I look forward to hearing raiders whine about how good green gear is, because that was a hoot the first time around.

Dreading: The meta shift

One thing that WoW Classic can’t — and could never — replicate was how the community was back in the original run of the game. Today, we’re bringing a modern, MMORPG-trained community back into these worlds, and at times it feels like certain swaths of players are determined to suck the joy and fun out of it by min/maxing everything and coming up with new strategies that everyone will feel pressured to do. I’m looking at you, world buffs and Mage boosting.

Even if I’m aware of it, I can choose not to play their game that way. That’s the beauty of MMOs, that we have options — even when those options aren’t optimal. This casual is going to enjoy the expansion on his own terms, not someone else’s.

Stepping back into the MMO time machine of WoW Classic, Justin Olivetti offers up observations and ground-level analysis as a Gnome with a view. Casually Classic is a more laid-back look at this legacy ruleset for those of us who’ve never stepped into a raid or seen more than 200 gold to our names.
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CommanderZoom

Dreading: the return of the Outland Clown Suit (aka Rainbow Pimp Gear).

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Neurotic

I remember the BC launch day crush as being particularly excruciating over on Shadowsong EU. Half of our guild got in okay, the other half were set back by most of a week. Eventually, I got my main to Zangarmarsh anyway, but I really wasn’t (and still don’t) vibe with BC, so I left him there for a few years while I levelled up alts in subsequent expansions.

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KoboldWhite

By the time BC launches, I will probably be still getting my belf up to 60, so I think the launch day horrors will escape me.

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Giggilybits

I wonder if this is when the Ret Pally dominated. Not sure if it was pre-patch before BC or BC at launch.

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KoboldWhite

the ridiculously OP ret pally came with the Sunwell patch.

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cursedseishi

Ret paladins didn’t really get a big boost til near the end of Burning Crusade’s lifecycle with the introduction of the Sunwell raid. Burning Crusade definitely made any paladin spec that wasn’t Holy viable, but Retribution was still a joke to people even late in the expansions lifecycle. Tankadins got the most love off the bat, but it took a while for Blizzard to catch Retribution up to par.

Then they got really busted with the Wrath of Lich King pre-patch and early on in that expansion before they were toned down some.

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Phubarrh

The good news about launch day is that you won’t be camped out overnight in front of GameStop waiting to buy it.

The bad news is I won’t see the deals a couple months down the line with CompUSA dumping the collector’s edition for 15 bucks.

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Sorenthaz

Honestly the gold grind wasn’t too bad in later stages of BC from what I remember. On my BElf Paladin for example I was able to both buy someone else’s epic mount training and then got it for myself within a few weeks IIRC, and I mostly made money by doing daily quests and selling ore. Unlike later incarnations of WoW, mining and herbalism were pretty lucrative, even moreso with mining in TBC because jewelcrafting needed lots of raw ore (to where I actually got someone who talked me off of selling on the AH and selling directly to him at a fixed price). Obviously with slowroll content releases it means that the daily quests won’t really open up until later, but the gold grind still wasn’t that bad from what I remember in comparison to Vanilla.

I am dreading the stupid min/max wannabe elitists though that plagued Classic, acting as if there’s only a few actual classes/builds in the game and everything else is suboptimal. Classic though seemed to particularly carry over a ton of Vanilla private server elitists, so maybe it won’t be as bad in TBC, but I won’t get my hopes up.

If I do dig into TBC Classic though I’m not going to make the mistake I made with Classic and will just look for an RP/PvE server where I can be a filthy casual and seek out a likeminded guild.

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Loopy

Bloodsail Buccaneers is the perfect place for chill gaming in a casual RP/PVE environment. It’s heavily skewed towards alliance, but from what i understand the horde is doing just fine.

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maydrock .

Have 60’s on both sides. Ally is definitely bigger, but Horde is just fine. There’s plenty of non-min/max competent players on both sides that can clear content just fine without every advantage possible.

I’ve raided ally with holy pally and both sides as feral dps, a class “D” spec. Guess what? Bosses dropped, peeps got purps, and everyone enjoyed their time.

Come join us, play what you want, see everything, and have some fun. Don’t pay attention to the doom and gloom negative energy feeders.

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aYates

I just can’t decide on a class…have a level 15 hunter, 10 mage, 13 rouge lol …I don’t give a bleep about end-game. I just like that I can breathe n stretch my legs in Classic/BC …my end-game is farming rare pets and picking up flowers to make n sell flasks to raiders.

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notReginald VelJohnson

Is it really that hard to ignore the meta and play the game how you want to play it? I know people say guilds, etc. won’t accept you because you’re not the right spec, etc., but frankly those people are assholes and you’re better off without them anyway.

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Dug From The Earth

as long as you are fine with not having anything to do once you hit max level, sure.

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Loopy

Plenty of guilds in Classic run off-meta raiding groups and just play for fun. Not being part of meta doesn’t really exclude you from participating in endgame – it just makes it a lot slower.

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Bruno Brito

Bear in mind, a LOT slower. The problem with TBC stems from it’s highly demanding trail to acquire attunes and gear and rep for raiding.

So, people will want to be optimal because it’s not easy.

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styopa

That’s not true at all. There are tons of guilds that run raids and endgame instances for fun and loot, and happily let anyone play who wants to.
In fact, TBC sort of embraced this – sure it reduced raid sizes from 40 to 20 but there are a LOT of “end” instances in TBC compared to Vanilla.

There’s a lot to do at endgame even if you’re not a l33t cutting edge raider.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah and Heroics were a real game changer back then. I loved them back in TBC because they felt like a healthy balance between the soul-crushing tedium of Vanilla’s higher end dungeons and the easy 30ish minute jaunts of the normal BC dungeons. It felt like a sweet spot to me compared to WotLK starting to trivialize stuff and Cataclysm jerking back too hard in the other direction afterwards. They were also the primary way to grind up rep with multiple factions and they also were the first type of endgame content you could repeat in order to start getting a few Epics.

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Bruno Brito

Dreading: The meta shift

Oh, i can’t wait for Rogues and Warriors to cry foul when they realize that the years of optimization in Pservers made TBC a complete ranged xpac.

You enjoyed vanilla boys, now SUFFER.

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Dug From The Earth

at times it feels like certain swaths of players are determined to suck the joy and fun out of it by min/maxing everything and coming up with new strategies that everyone will feel pressured to do.

This is why it was an unattainable pipe dream to expect classic to give someone that identical experience they once had back when they first played it.

The people you are around now, creating new experiences, are vastly different than those you were with before. And even IF you managed to wrangle up your old friends and jump back in… none of you are the same as you were back then. You cant unlearn things, and approaching something that is no longer “new” is always going to be different than when it was actually new.

It wasnt about the game. It was about the people IN the game that you created experiences with. Unless you can replicate that, reliving those experiences simply wasnt going to happen, especially not in the way one remembered it being like.

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styopa

“unattainable pipe dream to expect classic to give someone that identical experience”
Seems like a strawman to me.

While I understand and to a small degree agree with your point that you can’t ever go back, I suspect there’s a large segment of people that a) aren’t trying to or b) didn’t ever do vanilla personally and are playing it for the first time.

I’ll tell you precisely the moment it dawned on me that it wasn’t just that I was bored after 7 years of WoW, but that the (then) retail version really HAD changed and wasn’t giving me the game I wanted to play. Understand, I loved retail WoW. I think at that point I had 6 or 7 level capped and well equipped toons. I’d played the hell out of that game. I’d come back for the each of the free weeks or two at Pandaria, WoD, maybe even Legion by then. Zipped a character or two to cap, got bored out of my mind, didn’t buy in to extend past the free time.

Then I was trying a private vanilla server. Frostmane cave, SW corner of Dun Morogh. I was playing a warrior, I think I was level 8.
There was more excitement, more adrenaline, more actual risk, more FUN in that lvl 8 cave than I’d had in all of Pandaria or WoD.

I don’t play classic because I am trying to find nostalgia or old friends. You are absolutely correct: those are rather stupid reasons. I play because leveling is harder. Choices matter. Risk exists.
Is it Dark Souls hard? No, of course not. But it’s multiple times more interesting than retail. I remember that level 8 fight in a crappy little cave for nothing-loot more than I do the entire span of 70-120 on a handful of other characters.

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kjempff

In my experience with playing a lot of Everquest progression servers, there are two kinds of appraches (that determine how you enjoy the game and how long you stay).
1. Trying to re-live the past. This will fail on some level (because you changed), and succeed on some level, atleast for awhile.
2. Accept that it may be close to the same game mechanically, but everything about the game has changed (your taste, the players, the meta, the pioneering feeling). If you embrace what the game is to you now, accepting the changes (you can’t change anything anyways), AND try to find new details to the game – Because you may have actually changed more than you think, and wierd things you didn’t think of might have become strangely fun (sometimes far from the meta, but who cares you already did the race.. Or maybe you didn’t and want to this time).