OK, real talk time, people. Is there anyone out there that, knowing the zone design of Burning Crusade and Blizzard’s track record with launches, isn’t anticipating an unholy mother of a mess when TBC Classic releases? We’re talking about funneling thousands of primed characters through the Dark Portal and into a single zone. It’s going to be a disaster.
If the servers don’t crash (again) at this, then the best case scenario is an unavoidable bubble of players that will fight and scrabble for every single quest mob and objective in Hellfire Peninsula until the crowd starts to spread out. And honestly, that could take weeks to reasonably happen.
As excited as I am for Burning Crusade Classic, I am wary as all get out at the thought of joining that Day One mob into Outland. Fortunately, for wary players there are several alternative options to crowd surfing — and that’s what we’re going over today.
Alternative #1: Leap frog right into Zangarmarsh
You may not have considered it, but there’s no hard rule saying that you have to start your Outland journey in Hellfire Peninsula. In fact, that zone is designed to start at level 58, while neighboring Zangarmarsh expects incoming players to be around level 60. Hey! That’s probably your level right now!
So this strategy is to — somehow — get through the Dark Portal and race right through Hellfire into the blue mushroomy swamp beyond. There you can start questing and getting all of that sweet XP and gear while planning to go back to Hellfire at a later date. Say, 2022. There will probably be other players who rush to do this too, but it’ll be far less than the crowd behind you, that’s for sure.
Alternative #2: Keep leveling in old Azeroth
If getting the best XP and levels for your time is all you care about, then there’s a perfectly viable (if boring) option: Just stay in the old world. While everyone else is gnashing their teeth over a lack of boars in Hellfire, you’ll enjoy a wide-open old Azeroth with plenty of quests and dungeons to plunder.
And since the level cap will increase at this time, there’s nothing stopping you from knocking out a few more levels in these classic zones before you head up to Outland. Not only will this give you a leg up on Outland’s content, but it’s the most guaranteed way to avoid the crowds come Day One.
Alternative #3: Work on that Draenei or Blood Elf
We don’t yet know how long the pre-patch period will be for Burning Crusade Classic, but most assume that it’ll be a month minimum to perhaps two months. Even with the faster leveling speed and a longer pre-patch timeline, there’s probably going to be many of us still working on bringing our space goats or froofy elves (or Warlocks and Druids, if you are trying to catch up with the meta shift) up to level 58.
So… yeah, you can spend those first weeks of Burning Crusade Classic doing pretty much what you were doing all through the pre-patch, which is getting that Draenei or Blood Elf ready for Outland. Honestly, it’s probably what I’ll be doing, and I won’t regret a minute of missing out on the Day One mess.
Alternative #4: Endlessly run dungeons
One strategy that I’ve seen emerge from the Classic community is to avoid questing entirely and dive head-first into Outland’s instanced dungeons with a preset group. While continually re-running the same set of dungeons will probably get boring, there are several upsides to this tact: You won’t be competing with the masses, you’ll get levels, you’ll get started on several reputation farms needed for attunement (if you’re doing that), and you’ll get some good gear.
Of course, you do need to be a part of a guild or have a group of friends who are willing to do this with you, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find these days.
But if you look at these options and still feel the pull to go through the traditional questing path, I won’t blame you. I know there’s a powerful urge on release to experience what everyone else is, and it’s possible — but not probable — that Blizzard will activate so many layers so that questing is actually feasible.
Pick your path and game your game. Just have a good time doing whatever it is you want to do.