World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic is due out before the end of the year, and while fans already knew that Blizzard would be making some changes to the beloved expansion, an official blog post provides new details and the reasoning behind them.
In the blog post, Blizzard outlines a couple of core design pillars that have informed how the company approaches the relaunch. The first pillar is “nurturing and protecting social experiences.” The social nature of WoW Classic has become one of its defining characteristics, and Blizzard seeks to preserve it in both Wrath of the Lich King Classic and future WoW Classic releases. As such, features like the automated party finder, which was added late during the original life of Wrath of the Lich King, will not be found in Wrath of the Lich King Classic.
Aside from the social aspect, another key pillar of WoW Classic for Blizzard is keeping the game accessible and familiar. Too many changes can easily destroy the familiarity and accessibility that many veteran players have for classic expansions. On the other hand, the goal of keeping things accessible means that Blizzard isn’t afraid to tinker with systems that, by today’s standards, might seem confusing. Blizzard uses the Wrath of the Lich King’s Emblem system as an example, calling the original system “unnecessarily complex and confusing”. The new system used in Wrath of the Lich King Classic will see players earn two types of emblems: one type from the most current raid content that is used to purchase the latest gear, and another type from older raids and dungeons that are used to buy less powerful items.
The final defining pillar of Blizzard is the idea of the world of Azeroth being the main protagonist of WoW Classic, with the goal of immersing players in World of Warcraft. That means Blizzard won’t be making excessive changes to the world itself. An example of that philosophy in action is the previously announced decision not to include more detailed quest tracking features showing players that they were supposed to go to their map, a feature added later in the original Wrath of the Lich King.
As for other changes coming to Wrath of the Lich King Classic, Blizzard writes that they will increase the difficulty of the expansion’s Naxxramas raid, and also look to keep the heroic dungeons both relevant and challenging throughout the expansion.
In a separate forum post, Blizzard also announced a 50% XP boost event called “Joyous Journeys” coming to the Burning Crusade Classic servers before the release of Wrath of the Lich King Classic, which should help players Players looking to level up new characters prior to the release of the expansion. Blizzard doesn’t have an exact duration or start date for the XP boost yet, but expects the event to last roughly 6-8 weeks until the release of Wrath of the Lich King Classic. The XP boost will initially be present on the new Wrath of the Lich King Classic servers during the pre-game patch.
Blizzard recently announced that WoW’s next new expansion, Dragonflight, will be released before the end of 2022.
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