The first free and all streamed BlizzCon featured the usual set of new game announcements, deep dives, Q&As, and community creations. You can check out all of the WoW (Shadowlands and Classic) videos on the official WoW YouTube page. For those interested in TBC Classic BlizzConline brought the official announcement and the first bits of details on how Blizzard is planning to re-implement the 14-year-old game. Here’s everything we learned about TBC Classic during BlizzConline. With more information expected between now, beta, and launch.
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic
What we commonly refer to as TBC Classic is being called World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic by Blizzard.
- Released sometime in 2021
- Requires a WoW subscription
- Game itself will be free
- Netherwhelp pet will be available for TBC Collector’s Edition owners
- You can opt-in for the beta now (US | EU)
Progression Realms vs Era Realms
On patch day players can choose whether to take their WoW Classic characters into Outland or to permanently remain in the current WoW Classic. The decision is made for each character. For those who can’t decide there will be a paid option to do both.
- All current WoW Classic realms will become Progressive realms. They will continue to TBC Classic, and in theory, would continue to future (unannounced) Classic expansions.
- No gold cap or other restrictions. Everything you have goes with you.
Classic Era Realms
- New Classic Era realms will be created. Each character will be able to choose whether to transfer to an Era realm for free.
- Era realms will be set in WoW Classic Phase 6, where we are today.
- A new game client in the Battle.net app will be used to access Classic Era realms.
- No gold cap or other restrictions. Everything you have just before pre-patch goes with you.
- Era realm transferred characters will maintain their realm name and friends list. Any guildmates/friends from your current realm who also transfer to an Era realm will be on the same Era realm with you.
Character Clone Service
- Blizzard will have a new paid service available which clones your WoW Classic character, allowing it to go into both a Progression and Era realm.
- No pricing details available at this time.
- You may purchase the service once per character.
- The Clone is based on a snapshot taken shortly before the TBC Classic pre-patch. You can opt to clone a character after the launch of TBC, but new progress will not appear on the Era realm copy.
No Fresh Servers At Launch
- There are no plans to have fresh WoW Classic or TBC Classic servers at the launch of TBC Classic.
- Blizzard is open to the idea of fresh servers (in which era is unclear), but they feel they have enough on their plate for TBC Classic’s launch already. So any fresh servers will be after launch and Progression and Era servers are stable.
- Blizzard may open new realms at TBC Classic launch, depending on queue times. But they are more inclined to offer free transfers to current, low population realms first.
Patch 2.4.3 At Launch
TBC Classic will be based on the final patch of the original TBC: Patch 2.4.3. It is being used as a baseline, with content and other changes starting from that point. Similar to how WoW Classic used the 1.12 patch at the start. The developers consider it the best iteration of TBC.
- Class tuning based on 2.4.3, with little to no further tuning expected
- Raid bosses will be pre-nerf, but with their bug fixes and some tweaks
- Azeroth world buffs will only work up to level 63
- XP nerf and Azeroth questing changes expected to be in place at launch
- First mount available at level 30, down from level 40
- Heroic dungeon and raid attunements will be in place at launch, with some attunements on earlier content being lessened or removed in later phases (similar to original TBC)
Other changes from various TBC patches, such as Guild Banks, will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Likely we’ll see some at launch that weren’t there originally, while others are tied to a particular phase.
The software infrastructure will be based on the Shadowlands client. When WoW Classic launched it was under the Legion client, but has since been upgraded to the Shadowlands client.
TBC Classic Content Phases
TBC Classic will feature five content phases, similar to what was done with WoW Classic. These phases will mostly time-gate content to resemble content patches during the original TBC. Though with some changes.
- Original Dungeons (all except Magister’s Terrace)
- Gruul’s Lair
- Magtheridon’s Lair
- Arena Season 1
- Serpent Shrine Cavern
- Tempest Keep
- Arena Season 2
- Battle for Mount Hyjal
- Black Temple
- Arena Season 3
Ethereum Prisons, Ogri’la, Nether Drakes, and Skettis were all added with Black Temple. So we may see them added in Phase 3 as well, but so far unconfirmed.
- Isle of Quel’Danas
- Magister’s Terrace
- Arena Season 4
Arena seasons are still up in the air, but this is based on the last update Blizzard gave during BlizzConline.
Blood Elf and Draenei Available Early
The new Alliance and Horde races (including Alliance shaman and Horde paladins) will be available ahead of the Dark Portal being opened.
- Available during pre-patch, when TBC Classic systems are put in place and you have to choose between Progression and Era realms
- Create and start leveling new Draenei or Blood Elf characters
- Level up in Azeroth ahead of TBC Classic’s full launch
- May be able to hit 58-60 and go to Outland at launch, depending on pre-patch length
- You cannot level boost a Blood Elf or Draenei
Level 58 Boosts
Blizzard will sell a new player service to boost characters to level 58. This will help current players wishing to change classes and new players wishing to skip Azeroth and head straight into Outland.
- Paid service, pricing unknown at this time
- May be limited to one per account
- Cannot boost a Draenei or Blood Elf
- Cannot be used on Classic Era realms
- Will include a level 40 mount and some blue quality items
- Boosted characters can go right through the Dark Portal into Outland
Blizzard is opting for a “some changes” approach to TBC Classic, rather than a repeat of the “no changes” approach first tried with WoW Classic. They want to create as much of the same experience as possible, but with lessons learned from Classic.
- Spell batching to be removed (latency time greatly reduced)
- Layering is expected at the beginning, but they plan to remove it ASAP once players spread out
- Developers hope layering will be used less in Outland, as the population spreads out between Progression and Era realms
- Blizzard has been improving layering even while not in use, recently solving the cooldown between jumping layers
- Blizzard is prepared to adjust spawn rates of mobs and resources as needed, similar to what they did for Black Lotus in Classic.
- Upper limits on the number of dungeons a character can run may be increased
- Seal of Blood and Seal of the Martyr will be available to both factions at level 70
- Leatherworking drums are expected to be changed so it isn’t considered a requirement for raiders. Blizzard aims the change to keep them as a good boost for leatherworkers, but not beneficial to stack 4-5 per party.
- Looking for Group tool (first released with TBC) may include modern conveniences from retail WoW, but not automatic group making or queuing.
- Arena team rosters can be twice the size of their bracket, allowing you to have a bench
- Blizzard is considering team and personal ratings
- How many players will receive the highest arena titles is undecided at the time. Originally titles we per battle group (13 in NA), but TBC Classic arenas will be across the entire region. It will be a limited number, reflecting the hundreds of titles among millions of players back in the day.
Community Feedback Is Important For TBC Classic Development
Over and over Blizzard’s staff made it clear they are now and will continue to listen to community feedback and make adjustments to how TBC Classic will operate. The schedule of arena seasons literally changed from BlizzConline day 1 to day 2 based on feedback. This will continue throughout the beta testing process coming later.
The developers are open to a future Wrath of the Lich King Classic, but say it is up to the players whether that work begins or not. There are no plans for an “alternative story” (aka Classic+) development.
Everything We Learned About TBC Classic Sources
- Official WoW Classic site
- World of Warcraft: Classic and Burning Crusade Classic Characters and Realms
- BlizzConline 2021 – Opening Ceremony – World of Warcraft
- BlizzConline 2021 – World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic Deep Dive
- BlizzConline 2021 – World of Warcraft Q&A
- LFG Details
- BlizzardWatch Interview with Brian Birmingham and John Hight
- Buffed Interview with Brian Birmingham and John Hight (translation required)
- MrGM Interview with John Hight and Brian Birmingham
- PC Gamer Interview with Patrick Dawson and Holly Longdale
- WoWClassic.cz Interview with John Hight and Brian Birmingham (translation required)