Burning Crusade Classic has been officially announced and Blizzard has confirmed it will use Patch 2.4.3 as its baseline. There will be changes put in place compared to the original TBC experience. Here we’ll go over what we expect to see at Burning Crusade Classic’s pre-patch, launch, and later content phases given the use of Patch 2.4.3.
Burning Crusade Classic Pre-Patch
The Burning Crusade Classic pre-patch has been announced for May 18, 2021, and will run for two weeks before TBC Classic launches. The pre-patch will include all Patch 2.4.3 changes that affect players level 60 or under and Azeroth content.
What Is Expected With Pre-Patch
- Draenei and Blood Elves added – See my Draenei Shaman Preparation guide
- Leveling changes for levels 1-60
- New class tuning based on Patch 2.4.3, including updated talent trees (and maybe a free talent reset)
- Free talent reset
- Percent based stats changed to new rating system
- Weapon Skill replaced with Expertise
- Mail with gold/items is instant between your own characters (same account)
- New Battle/Guardian elixirs, limiting raid consumables
- Epic ground mounts are now cheaper
- PvP Honor system revamp, with honor becoming a currency to buy items without a rank requirement
- PvP Arenas available without ranking (Season 1 starts at TBC launch)
- Jewelcrafted added
- Disenchanting items now requires higher skill, based on item’s level
- Cooldown removed from Arcanite Bar and Mooncloth
- Other professional cooldowns reduced by four hours
- Updated vendor discount system
- Updated bank bag slots
- Looking for Group tool, which may use elements of Retail’s Group Finder (currently missing from beta and PTR)
As a bonus Blizzard is making the new Blood Elf and Draenei characters available during pre-patch. This is a change from how TBC was originally when the new races were available only after the new expansion fully launched.
We don’t know if Jewelcrafting will be available in pre-patch or not. If it is available you will be limited to 300 in skill. The trainer needed to go higher is in Outland.
Burning Crusade Classic Launch
The launch of Burning Crusade Classic is scheduled for June 1, 2021, for North American servers. You can find specific launch times worldwide here. The launch opens the Dark Portal and makes Outland accessible.
What Is Expected With TBC Classic Launch
- Dark Portal opens, must be level 58+ to pass through (lower levels should be summonable)
- Eye of the Storm battleground (technically it is in pre-patch, but not available at level 60)
- Highest PvP rank and Scarab Lord titles available
- New and updated holiday events
- Blacksmithing and Leatherworking can now change specializations (may appear in pre-patch)
- Badge of Justice currency and vendor available, but newer items likely tied to content phase release
- Crusader and other weapon enchants lose potency for players over level 60
- Azeroth world buffs no longer work for players level 63+
- Guild banks, but not at launch
To date, I have not seen confirmation that the druid swift flight form will be available at the start of TBC Classic. In the original TBC the quest series was released in that will be Phase 3.
What To Expect In TBC Classic Content Phases
Not all content will be available on the first day, as TBC Classic is following a phased content plan similar to WoW Classic.
- Outland Dungeons (all except Magister’s Terrace)
- Gruul’s Lair
- Magtheridon’s Lair
- Arena Season 1
- Serpent Shrine Cavern
- Tempest Keep (The Eye)
- Arena Season 2
- Battle for Mount Hyjal
- Black Temple
- Nether Drakes, Ogri’la, and Skettis content is unconfirmed, but goes along with other content in this phase
- Arena Season 3
- Isle of Quel’Danas
- Magister’s Terrace
- Arena Season 4
In the original TBC, attunement requirements were lessened over time. We may see the same in TBC Classic with future phases.
Leveling Changes for 1-60 in Burning Crusade Classic
In Patch 2.3.0 several changes were made to reduce leveling time from 1-60. When asked about this during BlizzConline 2021, the developers didn’t remember the specifics but expected these changes would be in place at launch. They were for speeding up the leveling process to get to Outland.
- Experience required for levels 20-60 reduced
- Experience from quests for levels 1-60 increased
- Ground mount available at level 30, down from level 40
- New quest hubs and flight points added to Azeroth, most notably Mudsprocket in Dustwallow Marsh
- Many vanilla open-world elites made non-elite
These changes back in 2007 were expected to reduce the time to level up for Outland by 30% if you quested. If you opt for dungeon boosting you should see closer to a 15% reduction in leveling time.
At level 60 your epic ground mount will be cheaper than in Classic. Before it was 900 gold with an Honored discount. Now it’ll be 630 with the same Honored rep level. And a bit less if you managed to hit Revered or Exalted with your mount faction.
New Class Tuning Based On Patch 2.4.3
All classes will receive updated talents and other changes when the pre-patch arrives. All based on changes made up to and including Patch 2.4.3.
If you use any BiS lists or DPS spreadsheets be sure they are balanced against Patch 2.4.3.
The amount of changes varies by class. In general, every player should feel more powerful at level 60 during pre-patch than they were the week before. Specs that were considered less than optimal during WoW Classic will see the biggest boosts. By level 70 there won’t be any real meme specs left, as everyone will offer something valuable to a raid team.
WoW Classic Nerfs
Many WoW Classic era buffs, enchants, and items got nerfed during TBC. We expect to see all of these changes during the pre-patch, meaning they will affect your last couple of runs into Naxxramas. Note some of these changes only affect characters higher than level 60.
- Weapon skill is replaced by Expertise
- Many items with weapon skill will offer Expertise instead, making them significantly less valuable
- Some items get a nice buff from this change, such as The Eye of Nerub
- Check Wowhead’s TBC Classic site for item changes
- Azeroth world buffs cannot be applied to characters level 63 or higher
- Reports that Songflower can be used by a level 70 if a lower level player does the cleansing
- Elixirs now have a Battle/Guardian system. Players may use 1 Battle Elixir and 1 Guardian Elixir. Or they may use 1 Flask. No more stacking flasks and elixirs.
- Jujus, Blasted Lands consumables, Yojamba Isle potions, and similar consumables are categorized as either Battle or Guardian elixirs.
- For your last few raids in WoW Classic plan to use only two elixirs (or a flask), a food buff, and a temporary weapon enhancement (oils, sharpening stones, poisons, etc).
- In TBC most players will use one of the new flasks, a food buff, and a temporary weapon enhancement when raiding.
- Crusader and other weapon enchants lose potency as you go from level 61-70
- Crusader remains a solid leveling enchant, and likely cheaper than TBC weapon enchants for a while
- Threat generated from Thunderfury’s proc substantially reduced
- Luffa cannot dispel bleed effects over level 60 (useless for Moroes)
- Idol of Brutality Swipe bonus reduced from 50 to 10
- Other Classic items were nerfed in Patch 2.0.10, but there aren’t good records of change, nor specifics mentioned in the patch notes
PvP Honor System Revamp
The ranked PvP system in WoW Classic goes away and is replaced by a currency system. Honor and battleground tokens can be exchanges for WoW Classic PvP gear without consideration of rank. So if a Rank 14 weapon is an upgrade for your level 60 you can run some battlegrounds and get one before heading to Outland.
At level 70 the new arena PvP system will be in place. Lower-level PvP gear will continue to be available for purchase with honor and battleground tokens. But the better PvP gear will require arena rankings. As arena seasons progress expect older arena rewards to become available for purchase without a required arena rating.
The new Jewelcrafting profession is available during pre-patch. You’ll need to travel to The Exodar or Silvermoon to find the training. You’ll only be able to skill up to 300.
Arcanite Bar and Mooncloth creation no longer have a cooldown. You can make as many as you like, whenever you like. Mooncloth does still require the use of a Moonwell.
Other professional cooldowns, including the Salt Shaker and elemental transmutes, are now 4 hours shorter.
- Salt Shaker = 2 days, 20 hours
- Undeath to Water transmute = 20 hours
This charge was originally made so you could more readily log on about the same time each time and complete your cooldown. The 4-hour reduction gives some wiggle room should you log on late one day.
In Patch 2.3.0 the vendor discount system was revamped. In WoW Classic you get a 10% discount once you reach Honored with the vendor’s faction. You can also get an additional 10% (20% total) if you maintain PvP Rank 3 or higher.
The PvP discount will be removed when the PvP Honor system is revamped during pre-patch. Vendors will then give varying discounts at any reputation level above Neutral:
- Friendly: 5% discount
- Honored: 10% discount
- Revered: 15% discount
- Exalted: 20% discount (equal to WoW Classic’s Honored + PvP Rank 3 discount)
Updated Bank Bag Slots
A 7th bank bag slot has been added for purchase, costing 25 gold.
All other bank bag slots have been reduced in their cost:
- 1st Bank Bat Slot = 10 silver
- 2nd Bank Bat Slot = 1 gold
- 3rd Bank Bat Slot = 10 gold
- 4th Bank Bat Slot = 25 gold
- 5th Bank Bat Slot = 25 gold (was 50 gold in Classic)
- 6th Bank Bat Slot = 25 gold (was 100 gold in Classic)
- 7th Bank Bat Slot = 25 gold
All bank bag slots now cost 111.1 gold total. That’s 75 gold less than buying all bank bag slots in Classic, with an extra slot as well.
Guild Banks weren’t added to TBC until Patch 2.3.0 (linked to Phase 4 content). Blizzard has stated they will NOT be available at the launch of TBC Classic. But they plan to implement them before Phase 4.
Your guild officers will be thankful for a shared banking system they can use. But you can also leverage this new system for personal use.
- Form a guild using a dedicated bank alt by buying a guild charter.
- You’ll need 9 other unguilded characters to sign the charger. You can either offer to pay people or organize a guild charter signing party with your guild.
- Once the guild is formed boot the other founding members and head to the bank to buy your guild bank tabs.
Guild bank tabs get expensive fast, but they offer a lot of slots and don’t require the use of bags. In the end, it is more expensive than using several bank alts, but much less time-consuming.
Tab costs, in order:
- 100 gold
- 250 gold
- 500 gold
- 1,000 gold
- 2,500 gold
- 5,000 gold
Each tab offers 98 slots. Buy what you need to start. Remember gold is more plentiful in Outland, so tabs 4-6 will be more accessible after you’ve been level 70 for a while.
Druid Swift Flight Form
The druid quests to attain swift flight form were added in Patch 2.1.0 (linked to Phase 3 content). The dungeons used for those quests will be available at the Burning Crusade Classic launch, so the swift flight form may be available at launch. But I haven’t seen any confirmation it is currently on the TBC Classic beta. Keep in mind paladins and warlocks had to wait until Dire Maul was released in WoW Classic to get their class epic ground mounts. So Blizzard may require druids to wait, too.
The druid swift flight form quest requires you to buy epic flying training (5,000 gold), any actual flying mounts at a relatively low cost. So worst case you can still buy epic flying training when you can and use mounts until the new form is put in the game.
With regular and swift flight forms expect the need to land to gather herbs. This was a change made during TBC and will likely be in effect at launch. You can still gather herbs without changing form, you’ll just need to land first.
Brewfest was added in Patch 2.2.0. Hallow’s End was also revamped, adding the Headless Horseman event in Scarlet Monastery and its sought-after drops. I would expect both to be available at the first opportunity after Burning Crusade Classic’s launch.
Attunement Changes Throughout TBC Classic
In original TBC attunement requirements were greater at the start of the expansion than at the end. As new content was released Blizzard made accessing older content easier for alts and new players catching up. If Blizzard follows that same path then this is when we may see attunement changes introduced in various content phases.
- Heroic dungeons are accessed with a key, requiring Revered reputation with the dungeon’s associated faction
- Karazhan requires The Master’s Key to unlock the door AND enter the instance
- Gruul’s Lair and Magtheridon’s Lair do not require any attunement
- Serpentshrine Cavern requires attunement quests to be completed, which have parts in Karazhan and Gruul’s Lair
- Tempest Keep (aka The Eye) requires attunement quests to be completed.
- Battle for Mount Hyjal requires attunement through a quest related to Serpentshrine Cavern
- Black Temple requires attunement through a quest series
- Attunement requirements may be removed for Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep (The Eye)
- Zul’Aman has no attunement requirements
- Heroic dungeon keys may be lowered to Honored reputation levels
- Sunwell Plateau had no attunement requirements, but bosses were time-gated:
- First gate was opened two weeks after the patch when live
- Second gate opened three weeks after that
- The third and final gate opened three weeks after that
- The full instance was available 2 months after the patch release
- Attunement may be removed for the Battle for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple
- Characters without a key may be able to enter Karazhan, provided someone opens the front gate for them
Badges of Justice
Badges of Justice are a new currency in TBC turned in for gear and other items. As TBC progressed the number of sources for BoJ increased. As did the number and level of the available rewards. While nothing was said about BoJ at BlizzConline we should expect a similar time gating of both receiving and spending BoJ.
- BoJ drop from heroic dungeon bosses and some 25-man raid bosses
- BoJ drops added to some 10-man raid bosses
- New rewards added to G’eras