The biggest draw of World of Warcraft Classic is that it’s stuck in the past – in a good way. There is, however, a recent development that has been getting mixed reception: the Burning Crusade arriving in a game version that a lot of players thought was supposed to be forever vanilla. Maybe you’re excited to experience the launch of WoW’s first expansion for the first time or the first time again. Or maybe you’re afraid of the potential implications of an expansion in Classic, be it in character building, WoW Classic gold gathering, or raiding. Either way, the devil is in the details, so here are a few things to consider before having or even expressing your opinion about it.
A Groundbreaking First Time
Aside from Burning Crusade being the iconic, historical, and influential MMO’s first expansions, it’s also one of the most important and beloved expansions as well. It’s what brought Horde-aligned Blood Elf and Alliance-allied Draenei into the game, and it is only through these classes that it is possible to play a faction-specific class with the Blood Elf Paladin and the Draenei Shaman. While these classes were limited to these races, it gave an entire faction access to abilities and talents that would’ve otherwise been impossible to have before. At the same time, Blood Elf Paladins have an ability Alliance Paladins don’t, and the same goes for Draenei Shaman and those from the Horde.
The Many Other Changes
It also increased the level cap from 60 to 70, and added five to six new spells as well. Also, because Shaman and Paladin both stopped being faction-exclusive, they received new abilities. There are also new zones and new dungeons: four in Azeroth, and a whopping seven in Outworld – the planet where Orcs used to live before the events that led them into Azeroth and into a bitter, seemingly never-ending war with the Alliance, especially the humans. Burning Crusade is also the first time adventurers had the chance to go to places outside Azeroth, which in turn further expanded players’ perceived scope of the game’s world.
Oh, and most importantly, this also introduced flying mounts into WoW, changing the game forever. There are many other changes brought about by Burning Crusade, and to list them here would take both the writer and the readers a day, so it should be enough to say that Burning Crusade changed the game forever and for the better. Unlike other expansions that simply gave players more things to do, this one changed certain dynamics for both factions and combat mechanics.
Split Into Two
But are those enough reasons to bring what would be the end of the original WoW Vanilla experience? Well, there are sound arguments for not wanting to have Burning Crusade in Classic, as well as equally sound arguments that support its arrival without compromising what WoW Classic is all about.
We’ll begin with the former. The biggest argument in support of WoW Classic would be the fact that WoW Classic and Burning Crusade Classic would be two separate versions. This is to ensure that those enjoying their WoW Classic experience and WoW Classic items will be able to keep playing vanilla and not be subject to the changes Burning Crusade will bring about. By launch, players will be asked if they want to move onto the Burning Crusade, or stay in Classic. For those that either can’t make up their minds or want to experience the best of both worlds, they can have their characters duplicated – for a fee, of course.
Plus, Burning Crusade Classic is something those looking for a challenge areis definitely going to love, as the dungeons are going to be their more difficult pre-nerf versions, as Blizzard noted that WoW Classic players are actually pretty good at raiding. Probably because they’re veterans, or something.
The counterargument to this is the question in everyone’s minds: at what expansion will this end? What would be the perfect place for Blizzard to draw the line? After all, it would be pretty weird and funny to see the many “Classic” versions of the game in the long run. And what if it comes full circle? Will it? Are we going to have a WoW Classic: Shadowlands two to three years from now? Plus, this could split the player base and thereby having fewer and fewer players in each version.
Like that in the retail version, the Burning Crusade is going to change WoW Classic, even if it’s going to be an entirely different server from the Classic one. It wouldn’t even be surprising if it changed World of Warcraft as a whole. Will it be for the better or for the worse? Only the future knows.