The Future of Warcraft Announcements -- Wrath Classic

I don’t play Classic, and I try my best not to comment on things I don’t participate in, but this was brought to my attention on General Discussion and honestly, I wanted to say something about it:

The entire point of Classic was to let players go back and play the expansion they liked the most. This was the core reason Classic was created, by Blizzard’s own admission.

So what about players who, for them, Burning Crusade is the pinnacle of WoW? Are they just supposed to accept that they won’t get to play what they want anymore, with the promise they MIGHT add season of mastery stuff later?

On top of this, why should any Classic Player play Wrath of the Lich King Classic, with the knowledge that Cataclysm Classic will just replace those servers later on, rendering all of their hard work moot again?

People play Classic because it doesn’t change. That hard work has a payoff because their characters won’t suddenly become irrelevant by new content. And yes, a lot of players will get bored and move on, and that’s when they move to the next expac, but not all.


The Classic Devs are usually good at responding to their community, but there’s a very clear disconnect with the Wrath announcement. First the dungeon finder being removed, which, just one look at the classic forums and reddit will tell you the majority are not happy with the decision, and now the knowledge that TBC servers won’t exist.


To add to this - selling the Digital Deluxe version of BCC for $70 was very deceptive marketing, if the plan was for BCC classic to cease to exist only a little over a year after it was released. (It’s been 11 months since release, and wrath classic is slatted for 2022)

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Not exactly. J Allen Brack’s statement on this was that CLASSIC servers would always be available. And they are, in Classic Era, with no one playing on them. At no point has Blizzard said “you can play TBC forever” or “you can play Wrath forever”. You are extrapolating what J Allen said at Blizzcon in 2018.

You are excused for not knowing the power of F R E S H, but I want to emphasize here that people in this community play on servers knowing their progress will be wiped all the time. People are playing SoM right now knowing full well Naxxramas is the end of that line.

Also, Modern WoW renders your hard work moot every expansion and people continue to play it. So it is clearly not a deal breaker.

The great irony of the museum argument is that classic players have reset their progress more frequently than modern players. You can argue the game deserves to be preserved in some state and that is probably noble - but it is divorced from the players themselves.

Who does? I don’t. You don’t. Everyone who progressed from Classic to TBCC disagrees.

Case in point, Progressive Classic servers is something no one has ever played before and TBCC Classic is currently more popular than Classic Era by far. No one plays on Classic Era. Hypothetical TBC Era servers would be even less popular than Classic Era.

Honestly, just take a moment and recognize you don’t play on Classic servers and are advocating for a variant you don’t intend to play either. For whom?

Regarding the LFD discussion, it bears mentioning that going without LFD disproportionately affects low population servers and content. Specifically:

  • LFD would be helpful to lowpop servers where forming groups manually means not being able to run at all (“sorry guys too long gotta go”).
  • LFD would be helpful to older content (1-60) where - even on higher pop servers - there are few people leveling, especially in light of paid boosts (“lf4m WC”)

Personally, I like the Classic devs tackling progressively more and larger aspects of the game that they feel will make for a ‘better’ Classic. I like the idea of a ‘Classic mantra,’ as Sixx put it. And I don’t think these above problems (which are real problems) are insurmountable with server merges and free transfers. So I am ‘for’ no dungeon finder. Even on a smaller server where I will realistically either run a dungeon with guildmates or not at all. I don’t feel there is a lack of content in general, so running fewer dungeons is fine when the ones that I do run are of generally higher quality. And there is no FOMO on either side of the ‘didnt run 10 LFD on each alt today’ nor ‘running LFD instead of premade’ treadmill. In short, I think the game is a better version without LFD.

Anyways enough of my personal feelings.

This has been a divisive point among the community. Clearly. As with most things, the ‘against’ crowd is loud (really, why would a ‘for’ crowd ever be loud about things they have no need to change?). I’m not even sure where the majority comes down on this. And while I generally don’t like the idea of compromising with players in game development, I think the first time thru Wrath classic is at least the right time to try it a couple of different ways.

Brian has already said Blizz is working on an updated LFG tool for Wrath launch. Don’t scrap that. The original Dungeon Finder tool wasn’t added to Wrath of the Lich King until patch 3.3, with Icecrown Citadel! The compromise seems to me to be to launch without LFD, see how it goes, and add it to WLKC at a later phase. It’s true to the timeline (#nochanges (: ), both sides get their preferred state for a period of time, and Blizzard gets to sell boosts to the 1-60 crowd in the meantime.

While LFD is definitely a very convenient feature and makes grouping up for a quick dungeon so much easier, I also personally agree that it isn’t in the spirit of Classic that Blizzard is trying to maintain. The struggle of forming a group is part of Classic, and the game tries to push you into more social situations where that struggle becomes easier (finding a guild, making friends, anything that makes grouping up easier).

With that said, the people that don’t have access to a guild, or friends that will happily help out in any dungeon they need, will have a much more difficult time on the other hand. Forming a random group in the current state of the game is pretty painful, spamming Trade Chat and LookingForGroup for half an hour just to fill that last spot with a tank is not a very nice experience, so many would welcome an automated system like LFD. The current LFM tool we have in TBC is pretty barebones, and I’m sure a lot of people aren’t even using it.

The Retail LFM tool where you can create groups for different categories like Dungeons, Raids, or Custom, would be much more welcome, and I think (as long as it’s properly moderated against WTS spam) would be a welcome addition by the majority of the playerbase over what we currently have.

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My thought on LFD which some others seem to agree. Since we’ve already tried with it in the past. If it doesn’t seem like a good change then release it. Also vice versa seems like a fine idea as well, release it, and if we don’t care for it, get rid of it. I think we should be more open to trying things out here and there. After all its the second go around, why not try it differently. I would agree that LFD did eventually lead to things that caused large issues in the social aspect of the game. I don’t think LFD was a problem on its own. I don’t like LFR, raids are not dungeons, and a quick 5-man group is a just a nice time/spam save. I think a great addition to the LFD tool would be an option to select the type of environment you want to play in. Like Casual Laid Back, Normal/Average, or Hardcore/Speed Clear, or Any Group and then the system would match you with like players if applicable that may become more lenient as time in que gets longer. my two cents anyways

Cheers ~ solo

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I’ll repost here what I posted in that thread with some wording changes.

It’s great news and I personally support this, however,

This is the one thing I have issues with.
The moment those 90 days are over, people will transfer their other characters with their bags and bank full of items bought from the auction house on their server using the gold they collected from the rampant gold selling in TBCC to this new fresh server and effectively inject millions worth of gold in materials and items into the economy and ruin that server economy.

I can only see two ways to deal with this:

  1. Never allowing character transfers to that server.
  2. Somehow fixing the inflated gold on every other servers before WotLK arrives.
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I certainly don’t see anything wrong with making fresh servers if there is interest.

Hopefully we can take some lessons learned from Classic, Classic Era, and SoM to try and keep these servers healthier for longer.

Allowing transfers of old characters (especially fairly early) seems to me that it runs against why people would want to start over on a fresh server in the first place.
Part of it is just the levelling experience, which would be mostly over after 90 days.
A lot of it however is having everyone start from the same point, as well as having a less inflated economy.

I don’t think allowing any transfers to these servers from old servers works well with that in mind. Especially not within such a short time. I think the minimum time on restrictions should be significantly longer, if not permanent.
Note: Transfers between different fresh servers should be fine, as well as transferring from fresh to old servers.

I think it is already unclear how many people are going to join these servers, and if the sentiment is that the servers will be the same as any other after 90 days the incentive to start over is severely limited.
This could significantly reduce how many people are willing to commit to the server in the first place.

I also don’t think that restrictions to what items or gold amounts can be transferred will do enough to mitigate the economy issue, and it will not prevent old characters or the use of boosts.

If faction balance is desirable, I believe it will require more direct action from Blizzard than hope. I personally would much prefer to play on a balanced server, but servers generally don’t become balanced on their own. And they especially don’t stay that way.

This is of course not an easy problem to solve by any means, but I do think that new servers bring some more options to enforce faction balance compared to established ones. For example, restricting creation on one faction if balance starts shifting.
Theoretically balance could start being enforced before the servers even go live, by signing up for a server & faction in some way similar to the name reservation system.

If you want to be really strict with faction balance you could lock factions passing something like 55%, and make new players queue to create characters on the majority faction until the factions balance out more.

Regarding server count and population

I would suggest leaning significantly toward fewer servers over more. Players seem to prefer bigger servers in general, and from previous launches smaller servers seem to start dying off rather quickly.

If there ends up being multiple fresh servers of the same type I would ask to please deal with servers with low/dropping populations earlier. Don’t wait until servers die with opening transfers away, or merges/connections/whatever.

I also like the idea of cross-region or international servers. Especially instead of dying or low population servers.

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Overall, I’m really happy that fresh Wrath servers are going to be implemented.

This is definitely concerning. Isn’t the whole appeal of a fresh server the fact that you start on a level playing field with everyone? Gold is very inflated in TBCC at the moment, so anyone transferring from an old server to a fresh server will have a massive advantage in terms of buying power relative to other players.

Personally, I’d like to see an argument as to how there could ever be a need to allow transfers from old realms to fresh realms. If there’s a dying fresh realm, what problem do old → fresh transfers solve that fresh → fresh, fresh → old or old → old transfers don’t? For this to be a good idea, the benefit of allowing old → fresh transfers needs to outweigh the negative of long-time players getting the option to transfer from old to fresh and gaining a massive economic advantage on that server.

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All for F R E S H. Smart on Blizzard to try to capture new and returning players with the popularity of Wrath. I think people doubting Wrath Classic don’t know how large its diehard fanbase is. If you’re thinking, “this is dumb why would anyone play this?” I can guarantee you’re not the target audience.

My first thought here is: What does a Fresh server look like after 90 days?

On the progressive servers, Ulduar / Phase 2 could realistically be getting released on or around 90 days. This would be a much faster P1 than 2008 Wrath, but:

  • TBCC was also expediated (each phase was about 1 month faster than historical, give or take),
  • People hate Naxx25 (the developer rationale for a long P1 in 2008 was too few got the chance to do Naxx40 in 2006; that’s not the case in WLKC), and
  • Everyone loves Ulduar (even Brian said he’s looking forward to it)

On fresh servers, you probably want another month (give or take) to let people level. Which is a whole other conversation around whether Fresh and Progressive should have separate timelines… but I digress.

Let’s say transfers allowed at Phase 2 / Ulduar. Is this enough time to not care about players from Progressive (old) coming into Fresh (new)? The issues here are (a) economy and (b) player progression.

(a) Economy is ironically not as big of an issue as players are making out if the bots have already ruined (“inflated”) the fresh servers after 90 days. Which they probably will. That is a whole other issue that needs to be prioritized.

If the economy is a concern, though, change the transfer rules for Classic. They’re right here btw https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/000034787 click on Burning Crusade Classic tab.

You fix the economy concern by limiting what people can transfer. Lower the gold maximums and zero (or severely limit) tradeable items. TBH I’m not sure this is actually a significant concern though - Blizzard would have a better idea how much RMT gold is being moved cross server. My guess is less than you think. I could be naive about this. But my guess is after 90 days it’s already a mess. So have at it.

(b) Player progression is harder. Notsomuch ‘player power’, per se, but for example do you want to allow people to have Tier 3 on a server that has no way to acquire Tier 3? Corrupted Ashbringer? Atiesh? Amani War Bear? Scarab Lord? Do you want things like Ashes of Al’ar, Warglaives, Thunderfury, etc. 90 days into a server where these take significantly longer than that on average to farm?

On a server where the point is everyone starts on the same footing, ‘same footing’ is being pigeonholed pretty hard to mean ‘power level’ once you open up transfers.

So I’m going to agree with my peers here. No to transfers from Progressive to Fresh :no_entry_sign:

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You don’t think people will have enough time to level? I think they will. As it stands, players on fresh servers will have 4-8 weeks (depending on pre-patch length) to raid t7 content before missing out on a raid lockout.

Ah yeah I missed this part. It was hidden there right in the first sentence :rofl:

Thank you for responding to the community Aggrend, this is what I’d like to see more of, communication regarding hot topics.
It’s good to know that feedback is being listened to, makes people more willing to share their feedback.

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RE: Fresh Lich King Realms and transfer restrictions

I think Aggrend beat me to the punch on this in another thread, but yes, we intend to monitor these realms as they approach the 90 day mark and see if it makes sense to extend the restrictions. For at least 90 days (meaning that it could be longer), all 3 things (boosts, transfers, and DKs without a 55) will be restricted. After 90 days we’ll consider which of those restrictions should be extended, and for how much longer. It might make sense to keep all of them, or maybe only some of them.

As a hypothetical example, we might get to 90 days and see that there are so many max-level Death Knights that it no longer makes sense to require a level 55 to make a Death Knight on these realms, and make them eligible for your first Death Knight without a level 55, while still preventing incoming transfers. Or maybe we’ll want to do the exact opposite. Our intent is to communicate that we realize allowing transfers, boosts, and DKs too early defeats the point of these realms, and that we’ll only introduce them when we feel it makes sense.

To answer the question of why we’d ever want to allow transfers from old-to-fresh, consider that you might have a friend who didn’t roll fresh, and you might have a spot open on your roster that she could fill. Obviously, the point is to start on a level playing field, but gold inflates with each expansion, so its certainly conceivable that the economy on these servers may start to match the others, and if they did, I’m not sure continuing to restrict transfers would be the right call at that point. As others have pointed out, there are gold limits on transfers, though its also true that raw gold isn’t the only form of transferrable wealth.

In short, our intent is to keep the restrictions for as long as it feels like it makes sense, and for the time being we’re willing to commit to a 90-day minimum. I hope that helps alleviate some concerns.

I really appreciate all the thoughtful discussion in this thread!
:heart:

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Thanks for the response. It’s great to hear back from the devs.

In theory, this seems reasonable - if you’re not sure if an action is correct right now, then why commit yourself to it? The reason this line of thinking is wrong in my opinion, is because, based on action from Blizzard in Classic so far, a lot of players don’t trust them to properly manage server imbalance/population (or in this case, server economy). These players probably don’t trust Blizzard to wait long enough before it is appropriate to allow old → fresh transfers, which turns them off from playing on the fresh servers in the first place, or maybe the expansion at all if they weren’t playing TBC before.

An especially relevant fact here is that Blizzard would have a monetary incentive to allow transfers earlier than what is appropriate. Transferring from old to fresh will be more desirable the earlier it becomes available, because the advantage gained from doing so will be greater, hence more people doing it the earlier it becomes available, hence Blizzard making more money the earlier they open transfers. From what I’ve seen over the past 2 years, Blizzard’s decision-making flowchart primarily revolves around money more than player experience, so the situation I’ve outlined above becoming a reality would not surprise me that much.

This example is a valid one, however, I also think it’s sort of an edge case, and I think edge cases like these shouldn’t outweigh a large number of players being turned off from playing on these fresh servers in the first place. But if anyone has more examples of why allowing old → fresh transfers could be beneficial, I’d still like to hear them.

I think what these players who are not trusting of Blizzard are looking for is for Blizzard to fully commit to never (or at least, after much longer than 90 days) allowing old → fresh transfers and to publicly state their intent to do so, so that they can confidently commit to a server that they know will be safe from migrating giants for a long time to come.

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I guess I will be that guy and ask… What will be the status of the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj and Scarab Lord questlines on fresh wotlk realms?

I presume they would be open and unavailable, but this is just the first time we’ve had fresh, non-vanilla realms on Classic, so I should ask for the sake of people potentially getting their hopes up (Plus the question has come up in a couple places).

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Thanks for asking!

I suppose we could have been more explicit in the original announcement post, but the relevant line is this one:

That includes the gates of Ahn’Qiraj; they’ll be open. The war effort will be marked completed. The gong will already be rung. The Anubisath warriors will already be beaten back. The fresh Wrath of the Lich King realms will not mint any new Scarab Lords.

If you want to be a Scarab Lord, consider organizing the effort on a low-population Season of Mastery realm. Last I checked there were a few with their resources completed but their gongs unrung… :wink:

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A 90 day minimum restriction is a much better approach. I do see a problem with the ability to transfer large amounts of wealth through multiple transfers. Any chance of there being a limit to old → fresh transfers?

I’ve seen some people suggest that you should only be able to take soulbound items with you, and maybe the gold cap for transfers could be lowered even more.

It doesn’t have to be that drastic though, what could be considered is to blacklist certain items such as trade materials from transfers.

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Quite a whirlwind of posts the last couple days with the beta starting up and transfer restrictions coming off, among other things.

I just wanted to mention the development pillars update and how nice it is to see.

I can say without irony that this is the single best piece of communication from classic development to date. People often overlook things like vision-mission-value statements (VMV) but they can be very important and are often very useful. I have helped write VMV in my professional life and have helped write them for guilds in the past. Communicating what you are and what you want to be helps people figure out how to interact with you as well as builds a framework for decision making within. People in projects, for instance, can get bogged down trying to make stakeholders happy instead of just making the best decisions for the project. Sometimes you have to go back to principles and decide how (or whether) a move serves the larger goal.

Really really happy with this update and wanted to say thank you.

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