6 Things You Need To Know Before Playing World of Warcraft's Newest Expansion

During the latest BlizzConline, Blizzard announced the newest expansion patch for World of Warcraft, and to be honest, who didn’t see that coming? It’s going to be titled ‘The Burning Crusade Classic’ with a release date that is yet to be announced.

In contrast to the approach that Blizzard took with WoW: Classic until now, with The Burning Crusade Classic, they plan on making some notable changes to the game along with the update, of which they plan on roping in players for a beta test as well.

But with a game that is 15 years old, having a player base that is very settled into its complex mechanics, how welcomed will the new changes be? From purchasable level boosts to an overhaul to spell batching, our team has uncovered the major changes that are going to be implemented in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic.

An update with phases

What this means, is that the update and its contents will not entirely be available to experience on the expansion’s release date; rather, The Burning Crusade Classic will update bit by bit, periodically, until the expansion will be playable in its entirety.

This is quite a common tactic that game developers use to hold their player base’s interest over a long period of time, making sure to create anticipation and not to let it fizzle out immediately. and from what Blizzard promises its players through this expansion, I don’t think people would take issue with periodic updates.

Character creation and level jumps

The coveted Draenei and Blood Elf characters will be available for players to create and raise to level 60 well before the official release of the expansion, something that was not seen in previous updates, making it less tedious for players wanting to play the aforementioned characters.

Another offer that Blizzard is including is a paid character boost (level 58) that can take place once per account. Anyone who did not play WoW: Classic can hop right into the new expansion instead of spending countless valuable hours grinding their levels up within the original game. This boost will not, however, be applicable to Draenei and Blood Elves.

I feel like making the level jumps a paid feature was a bit of a scummy move by Blizzard. There are various MMOs out there that give out level boosts, experience buffs and whatnot for free when a new update rolls out, as an added incentive to play. Come on, everybody likes free things.

Raid difficulty

Something that I personally detested was how easy the raid bosses in WoW: Classic had started becoming. This concern will be alleviated for players with similar feelings as it is reported that The Burning Crusade Classic will be having certain bosses’ difficulties equal to their pre-nerfed state.

Now, don’t expect this to last forever as balance patches and adjustments are always on the horizon after any update. But for a gamer who enjoys the challenge a game has to offer, being able to experience tougher raids, even if for a relatively short time, is something to look forward to.

Another notable change is the reduction of raid group members from 40 to 25. This can shake up the raiding meta in a large way as players are used to having the exact 40 members to raid with every single time, not to mention how class-stacking won’t be as effective of a strategy in the new expansion.

 Removal of spell batching

The game’s method of processing every in-game decision taken by players – that is basically what spell batching is. In WoW: Classic, the spell batching window was a large one that allowed various combinations of actions to be grouped together, allowing gameplay elements that would not be possible otherwise.

But this is, on the contrary, a mostly positive change. With the removal of spell batching, the time required for an action to take place on another unit is reduced drastically. For example, if you were to heal a different unit, the effect could take place up to 400ms later! Now, that time will receive a 40x reduction! This game-breaking change overrides any possible (tiny) con that could come along with the removal of spell batching.

Revamped consumables system

Another change coming to The Burning Crusade Classic expansion that has been long overdue and hence, well-received by the player base is the overhaul to the system in which consumables function

There will no longer be a need for spending innumerable classic wow gold on multiple consumable items that stack on top of each other. Essentially, the raid consumables for most of the classes will be drastically simplified into the most necessary: potions, food and flasks. Adding to the aforementioned essentials, classes can also bring items like Weapon Oils, which are Temporary Weapon Enchants or other items that share cooldowns with Healthstone, and so forth.

Quality-of-life changes make the game experience so much more fun. One must always keep in mind, something that is tedious =/= a challenging experience; hence, the old consumables system brought nothing to the table for any kind of player you would find playing the game.

PvP & Arena revamp

The Honor System has gone through a complete revamp; players can now spend honor points as currency, have non-unique PvP rewards, possess the ability to display their lifetime’s highest rank, and so on. Even the Marks of Honor that were awarded through battlegrounds no longer net you honor or reputation; instead, they now work in tandem with honor points for you to purchase more rewards.

Furthermore, there are two completely new arenas that are now accessible to players in three varied modes: 2v2, 3v3, as well as 5v5 matches. Just the sound of that excites me to try them all out.

PvP also has the potential to affect the PvE metagame. As we have seen in the past, there were instances when Arena seasons came along with new gear before the raid gear was launched, which meant that for quite a while, arena gear was what was sought out by players everywhere. Whether that will be the case this time as well, only time will tell.

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