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.