Junker Queen - Hero Preview and Gameplay Trailer

Developer Update: A Look at What’s Ahead for Wrath of the Lich King Classic
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Wrath of the Lich King Classic provides new opportunities to make a few changes that will improve the gameplay experience in the next chapter of Classic WoW. In this Developer Update, the World of Warcraft Classic Team takes you through some of those changes and what they can mean for the future of Wrath Classic.

#SomeChanges
When World of Warcraft Classic first launched, it followed a very strict design pillar: #NoChanges. At Blizzard, we faithfully recreated World of Warcraft as it existed in 2006, with as few changes as possible, while still making it able to run in the more modern environment of 2019. But World of Warcraft didn’t stop in 2006. It continued to evolve and change over the years. So, we re-released the Burning Crusade expansion last year in 2021, and plans are underway to re-release the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

However, as we re-release these expansions, we find the design pillar #NoChanges isn’t sufficient anymore. With World of Warcraft’s expansions came design changes to the game, and some of those changes were not consistent with the way Classic World of Warcraft felt. It’s undeniable that the latest 2021 modern expansion, Shadowlands, feels very different than the original launching game in 2004. Where should the evolution of the game stop, if we want to retain that Classic feel even while releasing new content? Many players today choose to play Classic WoW because they love that feel, and don’t want it to be lost. The World of Warcraft Classic team has given this a lot of thought, and we would like to share with you today our design pillars for what we call #SomeChanges.

Nurture and Protect Social Experiences
The first and most important design pillar is: Nurture and Protect Social Experiences. The compelling social experiences within World of Warcraft are why many of us first fell in love with the game. To retain these experiences, we want to help players build friendships and deepen their relationships within parties, raid teams, guilds, and server communities. Online social experiences are a complex phenomenon and can be very easy to damage. Positive relationships build community, reduce toxicity, and forge friendships that have kept players coming back to our game for many years. We need to nurture and protect these relationships. One very big key to this is providing “Social Proximity” in our game, or what some cognitive scientists call “Repeat serendipitous interactions”. Put a little more simply, you need multiple interactions over time with the same people in a way that feels happy or beneficial. Classic WoW provided this in abundance, where you would often meet the same people from day to day while running through the Stranglethorn Jungle, on your way to a Scarlet Monastery run, or heading into Blackrock Mountain for a raid. As we roll out new expansions for WoW Classic, the pillar of protecting this Social Proximity helps inform our decisions about features like dungeons, raids, quests, phasing, and tools for finding party and raid members. When we make changes to Wrath of the Lich King Classic, we will make changes that help maintain Social Proximity, and in so doing, nurture and protect social experiences.

Approachable and Familiar
Another important design value for us is: Approachable and Familiar. We want you to feel like you are coming home to a place you know well. Classic’s combat pacing is more deliberate. Class designs are more familiar, with fewer changes from patch to patch. Classic often tells simpler stories about a particular place and time. We love to see players with intrinsic motivations founded on exploration, experimentation, and wonder, in addition to pursuing more powerful items and epic storylines. Classic WoW provides players with a sense of agency over their character’s destiny, telling their own player story about how they explored and interacted with the world. Dungeons and raids in Classic are most often defeated through careful preparation: collecting consumables, perfecting gear sets, mastering class skills, and memorizing encounter details. We want to maintain that approachability and familiarity.

This pillar works to limit the changes we make, as that familiarity can be easily damaged. But it also encourages us to make changes when an excessively complex system can be reworked into something more elegant and easier to understand. A good example of this can be found in the Emblem system from Wrath of the Lich King, which became needlessly complex and confusing by the time we defeated Arthas. We’re planning for each raid tier of Emblems to work the same, with one Emblem dropped by the latest raids and used to purchase gear equivalent to those raids, plus a second Emblem dropped by dungeons and older raids and used to purchase less powerful items. We’re hoping a few small changes there can make the system more approachable for everyone, but still fill the cherished role it served in the original Wrath of the Lich King.

The World is the Main Character
The third and final design pillar of the Classic WoW team is: The World is the Main Character. We want you to maintain the feeling of being immersed in a living world (of Warcraft). We love your exploration and your player-driven stories and want to make sure you have a reason to visit various locations in the world over and over again. Gathering and crafting professions are important to that sense of world, and of its economy, where you are interacting with thousands of other players in a vibrant player community. This pillar means we need to preserve the world we have created from excessive changes. You should be able to collect the lost pages of the Green Hills of Stranglethorn, to rescue the town of Darkshire from Stitches, or to return to Tempest Keep and face off against Prince Kael’thas one more time (and hope for rare mount drop). You should be able to tell your personally unique stories about your exploits, even as you follow along the epic stories of Azeroth’s most famous personalities.

Wrath of the Lich King Itemization Changes
Those pillars can come across feeling very abstract. So, we want to give you a concrete example of how we are applying them to changes for Wrath of the Lich King Classic (WotLK). We’re taking a hard look at itemization in that expansion and have decided to make some changes we think will help improve the experience. Taking our pillars and applying them to itemization, we’ve come up with four goals for making changes to WotLK itemization:

  • Foster a vibrant player ecosystem engaging in all WotLK instanced content.
    • Serves: Nurture and Protect Social Experiences
  • Maintain a healthy density of players enjoying Heroic dungeons throughout the entire expansion.
    • Serves: Nurture and Protect Social Experiences and Approachable and Familiar
  • Preserve nostalgic itemization elements.
    • Serves: Approachable and Familiar and The World is the Main Character
  • Provide a consistent itemization scheme across all expansion phases.
    • Serves: Approachable and Familiar

That first goal is all about nurturing our WoW communities. We know players in Burning Crusade Classic have experienced a great environment with raiding. Players are active in multiple raids at all four raid tiers, participating in both 10-player and 25-player raids, and raiding with their alts and in pickup groups at all tiers. We want to make sure that continues in WotLK. To further this, we've been exploring a lot of ideas that we've decided not to implement at this time, such as 10-player and 25-player raids dropping the same items, Heroic dungeons getting improved drops, or increasing the starting difficulty of Heroic dungeons. One change we have decided to make, is to increase the health and damage of monsters in Naxxramas. Our 2008 design intention was for it to be a little easier than the 2006 original, but we missed the mark and it ended up much easier than we intended. Bringing up the difficulty a bit will make for a more fun and interesting challenge while awaiting the opening of Ulduar.

The second goal is about making sure Heroic dungeons stay attractive throughout the entire expansion. The Emblems and items they drop should always be valuable, even late in the expansion. They should also remain an interesting challenge throughout the entire expansion, rather than becoming excessively easy as your gear improves. We are exploring plans to add challenges to Heroic dungeons as the expansion proceeds, which would also provide more valuable rewards.

We also want to preserve nostalgic itemization. No matter what changes we make, we will ensure all WotLK raid and dungeon items can still be acquired, as well as their unique art.

Finally, the itemization and raid lock systems for Wrath of the Lich King evolved several times during the expansion. Rather than changing per phase, we want to make it more consistent. This means that Emblems should drop and work in the same way every tier, set pieces should be acquired the same way every tier, and ideally raid lockouts should function the same way every tier. To support this, both 10-player raids and 25-player raids will drop Emblems of Valor at launch, while dungeons will drop Emblems of Heroism, matching the design pattern for Emblems that was used in Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel.

#SomeChanges
We hope that this glimpse of the in-progress itemization design helps you better understand how we plan to adhere to these pillars as we move forward. Each time we consider a change to the Wrath of the Lich King experience, we will keep these pillars in mind: Nurture and Protect Social Experiences, Approachable and Familiar, and The World is the Main Character. If the change doesn’t serve them, then we won’t make it. But, if the change can strengthen those pillars, we will carefully consider it. As always, our goal is to deliver the best possible World of Warcraft Classic experience to you, our dedicated players.

We look forward to your feedback and we’ll see you in Northrend!
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Update: A Look at What’s Ahead for Wrath of the Lich King Classic started by Stoy View original post
Comments 112 Comments
  1. Ragu4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ellieg View Post
    Ppl mad abt lfd which has nothing to do with the post. Ppl who don't understand how easy naxx is. Ppl who think speed running aoeing down a heroic in under 10 mins is top tier gameplay and mad that thei have to push more than 2 buttons.
    I still remember pulling all of spider wing trash between bosses in like 2 pulls. I honestly think that even with the pump up on numbers it'll still be a joke. It's still classic mechanics that they're just making bullet sponges as opposed to adding mechanics.
  1. Katchii's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NineSpine View Post
    These people do not exist. Nobody is playing wrath for a year straight with no LFD just because LFD is coming in the last phase. Stop being a clown.



    People also said nobody would ever play classic unless they added LFD in the beginning. Oops.
    Blizzard has outright said WotLK Classic will not have LFD at all, ever. They said it during the stream of the Dragonflight/WotLK Classic Launch.

    So it's not about waiting until Patch 3.3 comes out to get LFD in WotLK Classic, WotLK Classic will not get LFD, at all, period.
  1. ellieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ragu4 View Post
    I still remember pulling all of spider wing trash between bosses in like 2 pulls. I honestly think that even with the pump up on numbers it'll still be a joke. It's still classic mechanics that they're just making bullet sponges as opposed to adding mechanics.
    True but with added dmg you'll have to do it in 3 pulls now lol
  1. NineSpine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Katchii View Post
    Blizzard has outright said WotLK Classic will not have LFD at all, ever. They said it during the stream of the Dragonflight/WotLK Classic Launch.

    So it's not about waiting until Patch 3.3 comes out to get LFD in WotLK Classic, WotLK Classic will not get LFD, at all, period.
    Correct, but my point is that we have two arguments being made at once:

    1. "LFD was in Wrath so it should be here!"
    2. "I won't play without LFD!"

    These are contradictory, because if you genuinely believe 1 then you should be arguing for it in the 3.3 phase. But if its in the 3.3 phase you won't even have it until the tail end of the expansion so it can't be a dealbreaker.
  1. Vorkreist's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ellieg View Post
    Ppl mad abt lfd which has nothing to do with the post. Ppl who don't understand how easy naxx is. Ppl who think speed running aoeing down a heroic in under 10 mins is top tier gameplay and mad that thei have to push more than 2 buttons.
    Trolls that clearly didn't touch classic recently but like to tell us about the magical way superior experience of wasting 2 hours to sift through the 5 billion boost/gdkp spam to run a 10 min dungeon.
  1. Katchii's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NineSpine View Post
    Correct, but my point is that we have two arguments being made at once:

    1. "LFD was in Wrath so it should be here!"
    2. "I won't play without LFD!"

    These are contradictory, because if you genuinely believe 1 then you should be arguing for it in the 3.3 phase. But if its in the 3.3 phase you won't even have it until the tail end of the expansion so it can't be a dealbreaker.
    Ah, gotcha. I wasn't getting that in my read of the thread, it was kind of jumbled.

    I agree with you. I don't see how it would be a deal breaker given in WotlK original that it was only in at the tail end of the expansion. So if you wanted the authentic WotLK experience, then that experience was mostly without LFD.
  1. Kralljin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vorkreist View Post
    Trolls that clearly didn't touch classic recently but like to tell us about the magical way superior experience of wasting 2 hours to sift through the 5 billion boost/gdkp spam to run a 10 min dungeon.
    You're just proving the point he's making.

    No change they've announced in this post is about DF, yet people bemoan that nobody is going to play Wrath because DF.
    At least stick to the actual changes they're announcing in this post.
  1. NineSpine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Katchii View Post
    Ah, gotcha. I wasn't getting that in my read of the thread, it was kind of jumbled.

    I agree with you. I don't see how it would be a deal breaker given in WotlK original that it was only in at the tail end of the expansion. So if you wanted the authentic WotLK experience, then that experience was mostly without LFD.
    I think its perfectly reasonable to say either of the following:

    1. I want LFD from day 1 because I prefer having automated tools.
    2. I want LFD in 3.3 because it was there originally.

    The problem is people are presenting this really jumbled, contradictory amalgamation of arguments because they don't want to admit that their real argument is just #1 for some reason.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Vorkreist View Post
    Trolls that clearly didn't touch classic recently but like to tell us about the magical way superior experience of wasting 2 hours to sift through the 5 billion boost/gdkp spam to run a 10 min dungeon.
    Good thing they are nerfing boosts and improving the group finder!
  1. wushootaki's Avatar
    They could win a lot of faith back with the shaman community if they decided to not neuter the class and keep cleansing totems and poison/disease removal instead of swapping to Curse.

    But this won't happen despite it overnight destroying pvp matchups against 3 classes that were already 50/50s for the shaman (rogue, hunter, dk)
  1. Kralljin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by wushootaki View Post
    They could win a lot of faith back with the shaman community if they decided to not neuter the class and keep cleansing totems and poison/disease removal instead of swapping to Curse.

    But this won't happen despite it overnight destroying pvp matchups against 3 classes that were already 50/50s for the shaman (rogue, hunter, dk)
    That's a cata Change.

    In Wotlk you have a cleansing totem (doing poison and diseases) and curse dispel is a Resto Shaman only talent.
  1. oleander's Avatar
    Some freshly graduated project manager really had a hard go at this.
  1. Woods123's Avatar
    I hope they follow through the with “10 man gives same gear as 25 man” quickly.
  1. wushootaki's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kralljin View Post
    That's a cata Change.

    In Wotlk you have a cleansing totem (doing poison and diseases) and curse dispel is a Resto Shaman only talent.
    You are correct...I guess I am remembering pre-patch
  1. ellieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Woods123 View Post
    I hope they follow through the with “10 man gives same gear as 25 man” quickly.
    "To further this, we've been exploring a lot of ideas that we've decided not to implement at this time, such as 10-player and 25-player raids dropping the same items,"

    Seems like they looked at it and have decided not to. I enjoyed the hell out of 10 man raiding but it was definitely easier.
  1. Woods123's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ellieg View Post
    "To further this, we've been exploring a lot of ideas that we've decided not to implement at this time, such as 10-player and 25-player raids dropping the same items,"

    Seems like they looked at it and have decided not to. I enjoyed the hell out of 10 man raiding but it was definitely easier.
    I read it, I was just saying the “not at this time” means they are considering it and it gets added in wotlk.
  1. Warning's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Woods123 View Post
    I read it, I was just saying the “not at this time” means they are considering it and it gets added in wotlk.
    Yeah same, it's something they're considering but haven't done (yet) I think it'd be a good change as well having the 10 and 25 man item versions the same. In general I think looking at itemization is a good idea. From the PVP perspective S1 weapons should probably be ilvl 219 otherwise they get totally eclipsed by KT ones even though they'll require more skill to get. Similarly later on I'd prefer if they nerfed bauble and maybe a few other trinkets in arena.
  1. Vorkreist's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NineSpine View Post
    And again, the idea that Blizzard should consider your wants as someone who just said they won't play until the last phase anyway over the wants of the core audience for classic that has been playing for years and paying the bills is delusional.
    You are clearly lost. There is no classic "core". Most who are interested in classic wrath are against those braid dead changes like complete removal of LFD.
  1. ellieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Woods123 View Post
    I read it, I was just saying the “not at this time” means they are considering it and it gets added in wotlk.
    Ahh I took it more as we've looked into it and decided against it and are very unlikely to implement but dont want to give a 100% final answer
  1. NineSpine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vorkreist View Post
    You are clearly lost. There is no classic "core". Most who are interested in classic wrath are against those braid dead changes like complete removal of LFD.
    I'd love to see your numbers on that. Please, present them.
  1. Woods123's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ellieg View Post
    Ahh I took it more as we've looked into it and decided against it and are very unlikely to implement but dont want to give a 100% final answer
    I can see it that way, I just hoped it wasn’t

Site Navigation