In an article published just now, Blizzard talks about the changes coming with Wrath of the Lich King Classic compared to the original version of the extension. Among the main points, the maintenance of social interactions, accessibility, and immersion, all leading to certain modifications, in particular concerning raids, dungeons and objects. Find all the details below.
Wrath of the Lich King Classic presents new opportunities to modify and improve the gaming experience in the next chapter of Classic WoW. In this message from the developers, the World of Warcraft Classic team will walk you through some of these changes and how they will impact the expansion.
Some Changes (#SomeChanges)
At the launch of world of warcraft classic, our golden rule was to make no changes, a rule better known by the hashtag: #NoChanges. We thus recreated World of Warcraft as it existed in 2006, changing as few things as possible, and making sure it was compatible with the 2019 environment. But World of Warcraft didn’t stop in 2006. It continued to evolve and change over the years. Thus, we have re-released the extension Burning Crusade last year, in 2021, and we plan to do the same with Wrath of the Lich King.
However, as we re-release these extensions, we realize that the principle of #NoChanges is no longer appropriate. Each extension of World of Warcraft brought with it its share of changes, and some of these changes were not consistent with the experience offered by world of warcraft classic. It is undeniable that the last expansion released in 2021, shadowlands, is very different from the original game from 2004. The question therefore arises of where should the evolution of the game stop if we want to preserve the experience of the original game while offering new content. Many players today choose Classic WoW because they love the gaming experience it provides and don’t want to lose it. The team of Classic WoW has thought a lot about this subject, and today wishes to present to you the changes to which it aspires, and whose hashtag is #SomeChanges.
Promote and maintain social interactions
Our first and most important guideline is to promote and maintain social interactions. It is for this aspect that many of us appreciate World of Warcraft. To keep this experience intact, we want to help our players build friendships and bonds with their groups, raids, guild, and server community. The online social experience is a complex phenomenon that can very quickly be degraded. Constructive relationships strengthen community bonds, reduce toxicity, and foster friendships, and it’s those relationships that have kept many people on the game loyal for years. We must promote and maintain these relationships. For this, it is essential to allow a “social proximity” in World of Warcraft, or what cognitive scientists call “random repeated interactions.” To put it more simply, the goal is to have several interactions with the same people in a positive and beneficial setting. Classic WoW offered that kind of interaction, as you often ran into the same people day in and day out while roaming the jungles of Stranglethorn, heading to the Scarlet Monastery, or raiding Blackrock Mountain. As we roll out new extensions for Classic WoW, it is with this social aspect in mind that we make decisions for dungeons, raids, quests, phases, and group or raid search tools. When we make changes to Wrath of the Lich Kingwe will do so in a way that preserves social closeness and, in doing so, nurtures and preserves social experiences.
An accessible and familiar game
Another important value for us and that the game is both approachable and familiar. We want you to feel like you’ve come back to a place you know well. The battle rhythm of Classic WoW is more posed. Classes are more familiar, with fewer changes from update to update. Stories are simpler, centered on a specific place and time. We love seeing players fire up for exploration, experimentation, and wonder, in addition to the quest for powerful items and epic stories. Classic WoW offers them the feeling of acting on the destiny of their character, and allows them to tell their own story according to their discoveries and their interactions with the world. Dungeons and raids require careful preparation: collecting consumables, optimizing equipment, mastering class skills, and memorizing the peculiarities of encounters. We want to keep this look.
We keep this in mind to limit the changes we make to the game and not alter this familiarity. But it also encourages us to make changes when an extremely complicated system can be reworked into something more accessible and easy to understand. For example, the emblem system in Wrath of the Lich King became unnecessarily complex and confusing from the moment Arthas was defeated. We plan to make the emblems of each raid level follow the same pattern: one emblem collected from the last raids that can be used to buy equipment of the same level, and a second to buy less powerful items. We hope that these few changes will make the game more accessible to everyone, without taking away the much appreciated aspect of the players who played in its original version.
Azeroth is the main character
The third and final axis of development for the team of Classic WoW is the fact thatAzeroth is the main character. We want you to retain the feeling of being immersed in a living world. We love seeing you explore and create stories, and it’s important to us that you always have a reason to visit the different places in the world again and again. Gathering and crafting professions are important in perceiving the world and its economy, as you interact with thousands of other people in a vibrant community. Under this principle, we strive to preserve the world we have created from undue change. We want you to be able to collect the lost pages of the green hills of Stranglethorn, save Darkshire from Scarred, or return to Tempest Keep and face Prince Kael’thas again (hoping this time to get a mount rare). And we want your exploits to be told in a personal and unique way, even as you follow the epic stories of Azeroth’s most famous characters.
Wrath of the Lich King Item System Changes
These three courses of action may seem very abstract. So we want to give you a concrete example of how we are going to use them to Wrath of the Lich King Classic (WotLK). We took a closer look at the items in the expansion and decided to make a few changes that should improve the gameplay experience. Applying these three watchwords to the item system, we determined four goals for the changes:
- Promoting a vibrant ecosystem of gamers engaging with all of the instanced content of WotLK.
- At the service of the principle: Promote and maintain social interactions
- Maintain a solid density of players enjoying Heroic Dungeons for the duration of the expansion.
- At the service of the principles: Promote and maintain social interactions and An accessible and familiar game
- Preserve nostalgic elements of the item system.
- At the service of the principles: An accessible and familiar game and Azeroth is the main character
- Create a consistent item system for all phases of expansion.
- At the service of the principle: An accessible and familiar game
This primary objective is to grow our communities of World of Warcraft. We know that players of Burning Crusade Classic enjoyed the raid environment. Players are active in several raids at all levels, whether 10 or 25 person raids, in groups with their secondary characters or via group search. We want to keep this atmosphere in WotLK. To go further, we discussed several ideas that we ultimately chose not to implement, such as earning the same items after raids at 10 or 25, improved loot for heroic dungeons, or increased difficulty for heroic dungeons. However, we have decided to increase the hit points and damage of Naxxramas monsters. In 2008, we intended to make it a little easier than the 2006 original, but we fell short and it turned out to be much easier than expected. Raising the difficulty a bit will make the challenge more fun and interesting while waiting for Ulduar to open.
The second goal is to ensure that heroic dungeons remain attractive throughout the expansion. Emblems and items obtained there will still be valuable, even at the end of the expansion. These dungeons will also remain an interesting challenge over updates, rather than becoming overly easy as your gear improves. We are investigating the possibility of adding challenges to heroic dungeons during the expansion, which would also lead to better rewards.
We also want to retain the nostalgia of the item system. Whatever changes are made, we will ensure that all raid and dungeon items in the WotLK original can be obtained, and that they retain the same visuals.
The raid lock and item systems of Wrath of the Lich King evolved several times over the expansion. Rather than changing them at each phase, we wanted to ensure consistency. This means that at each level, emblems will drop and work the same way, pieces of gear will drop the same way, and ideally the raid lockout system will be the same. For this, both 10 and 25 person raids will drop Emblems of Valor at launch, while Dungeons will drop Emblems of Heroism, following the emblem scheme used in Trial of the Crusader and Crown Citadel of ice.
Some Changes (#SomeChanges)
We hope this overview of the item system we’re working on helps you better understand how we plan to adhere to these core principles in the future. Every time we consider changing an element of Wrath of the Lich Kingwe will keep these watchwords in mind: Promote and maintain social interactions, An accessible and familiar game and Azeroth is the main character. If the modification does not make it possible to go in this direction, we will not apply it. But if, on the contrary, it makes it possible to reinforce these values, we will consider it. As always, our goal is to create the best experience in Classic WoW possible for you, our dedicated community.
We look forward to your comments, see you soon in Northrend!