An expansion considered by many (including myself) as the golden age of World of Warcraft may well return in the future, if this recent Q&A session with Blizzard is anything to go from.
The massive AMA session hosted on reddit saw Blizzard thumb through various topics, focusing on server stability at launch, player "layering," classic's idiosyncrasies, and much more. Blizzard hopes to bring up extra servers to handle the load on launch day, which could see some realms with queues several-hours long.
Additionally (and tantalizingly), players asked what Blizzard might do once it finishes rolling out Classic's content phases, which will finish with the inclusion of the Naxxramas 40-player raid.
WoW Classic has a much different feel from the modern game, where match-making features and cross-realm play skewered the sense of community. As such, fans of the vanilla experience began running private servers to recreate it, only to get issued take-down requests from Activision. In response, Blizzard reached out and decided to revive the classic experience for themselves, and it all launches on next week on August 27, 2019.
The big question is, what comes after Classic? Will Blizzard take WoW in a different direction from the retail expansions? Start re-releasing the older expansions into the game? In the AMA, Blizzard said that it'll ultimately be up to the community.
What are the plans after Phase 6? More content for classic or moving to TBC (The Burning Crusade)?
A: We've done most of the hard work by bringing back 1.12 so progressing to Burning Crusade would be a lot easier for us. Our plan is to identify everything we need to do should we ever decide to go this route. We want to be sensitive to the desires of our players. Some may want BC and some may not. We'll be following the Classic community closely to help determine what our next steps should be.
Q: Considering the nature of WoW classic and why people love it, would other tweaks to things that the vanilla community dislike be on the table? Examples: No LFG in Wrath, undoing some blatant, unneeded homogenization in patches, or possibly an ilvl squish in TBC and Wrath so that old content is not marginalized?
A: We're looking into what would be required to support BC and WotLK (Wrath of the Lich King expansion) should we decide to go that route. The guiding principle for WoW Classic was staying faithful to the original game.
It's less clear what our direction should be with BC and WotLK. As you point out, it is likely that some features of these expansions will not be universally embraced by the Classic community. We'll be following player progression and sentiment to help guide us in our next steps.
MMO-Champion has a good compilation of the full AMA questions and answers right over here.
Wrath of the Lich King was WoW's third expansion, and it was the expansion where Blizzard began introducing matchmaking features like "LFD," which reduced the need to communicate and co-ordinate directly with players. The fact Blizzard recognizes that these features will prove unpopular with the Classic community bodes well if they opt to bring those expansions back. There's a real opportunity here for Blizzard to effectively recreate the game, offering a pure experience that undoes some of the more damaging things it did in later expansions.
Today, Blizzard also released a charming trailer that got together some of the game's original creators for a WoW Classic play-session.
WoW Classic launches on August 27, 2019, and is playable with the same $15 subscription used to play regular WoW as an added bonus.
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