Can Classic Plus Reinvent World of Warcraft in 2023 and Beyond?
With BlizzCon 2023 just around the corner, expectations for the future of Classic WoW have never been higher. But for many, this crossroads of options feels like the perfect moment to do something entirely new, something that could change the course of WOW and reinvigorate this legendary game. What could that be? Classic Plus. In this article, we will delve into what Classic Plus could be and explore the essential features that can breathe new life into this legendary game.
- New Content
- Balancing Old and New Content
- Maintaining the Level Cap
- Profession Improvements
- Class Changes and Balancing
- Faction and Racial Diversity
- Gold Matters
As we approach the end of the first trio of games in Vanilla The Burning Crusade (TBC) and Wrath of the Lich King, many players argue that these three titles are the true classics, with subsequent expansions changing the game too drastically. On the other hand, we've seen an influx of players returning to Vanilla Realms, and there have been rumors of Blizzard planning another seasonal round.
Classic Plus has been a concept circulating in the WoW community for as long as Classic WoW has been around. The basic idea behind it is that instead of taking the game in a vertical direction with expansions, increased level caps, and rendering older content irrelevant, Classic Plus would focus on a more horizontal progression.
It would introduce new zones, alternative methods of acquiring items, and keep the game true to its spirit at level 60. However, defining what makes WoW Classic so appealing is a challenge, as different players have different reasons for embracing it. The diversity of opinions in the community makes any move by Blizzard to introduce Classic Plus a complex and scrutinized endeavor.
One of the critical distinctions between Classic Plus and seasonal servers is the long-term commitment. Classic Plus isn't meant to be a temporary, year-long server. It would be another version of World of Warcraft, one where players do not cross the Dark Portal, do not learn to fly, do not have transmogrification, or many of the countless updates made over the years. Despite the challenges, in this article, we'll explore the potential features that could fit into a Classic Plus experience.
↖ New Content
Adding new content is a no-brainer for Classic Plus. Active development of new areas, monsters, quests, NPCs, and more is essential to keep the game fresh and engaging. There are existing assets and unfinished parts of the game that can be expanded upon.
Several locations, like Grim Batol, Uldum, Deadwind Pass, Mount Hyjal, the Emerald Dream, the Dwarven Airfield above Dun Morogh, and many others could serve as the basis for new content. Additionally, raids and dungeons, such as Mount Hyjal, Karazhan, and Grim Batol, could be added to offer players fresh challenges.
↖ Balancing Old and New Content
Balancing old and new content is crucial. Older raids can offer unique class-specific items, upgrade abilities, provide special trinkets, or be part of quest chains to ensure that they remain relevant. The game world must feel meaningful to players, whether they're just starting their journey or reaching the level cap. Introducing new content should not overshadow the classic elements that players cherish.
↖ Maintaining the Level Cap
The level cap should not be changed in Classic Plus, as raising it would make newer items outscale the old ones. However, players can still engage in endgame content with new quests for profession items, achievements, and class-specific objectives, ensuring that progression continues beyond reaching level 60. Flying should not be allowed, as it was not designed for Vanilla WoW.
↖ Profession Improvements
Professions in Classic have some items that are subpar and not worth the effort. Classic Plus should address this issue by updating certain profession crafts to offer better value to players. While not every item from professions needs to be extraordinary, they should provide a reasonable return on investment.
Raiding in Classic is not about complex mechanics or progression; it's more about preparing and obtaining the necessary buffs and consumables. New raiding content in Classic Plus should keep this in mind and maintain a balance between challenge and accessibility. It doesn't need to be overly difficult; instead, it should focus on skillful preparation and execution.
↖ Class Changes and Balancing
Class balance is essential for Classic Plus. Warriors should not dominate in terms of DPS and tanking. Class rebalancing with each major content patch is necessary to address any classes that are overperforming or underperforming. However, Classic Plus should not wholesale import class design from later expansions. The goal should be to maintain class identity and diversity while addressing balancing issues.
↖ Faction and Racial Diversity
Faction and racial choices play a significant role in Classic. Classic Plus should continue to differentiate factions by maintaining class restrictions and enhancing faction-specific experiences. Faction choices should not be solely based on racials but should also consider thematic and gameplay differences to encourage players to explore both sides.
↖ Gold Matters
Gold is crucial in Vanilla WoW, and it should remain important in Classic Plus. While later expansions have made gold farming more efficient, Classic Plus should introduce new gold sinks in the game through new content. This ensures that WOW gold remains a relevant and valuable resource for players.
The idea of Classic Plus is an exciting prospect for the future of World of Warcraft. While challenges and complexities abound, if done right, it could breathe new life into this legendary game. Classic Plus offers an opportunity to honor the spirit of Vanilla WoW while introducing fresh content, addressing class balance, and maintaining the essential elements that make Classic WoW so beloved. As the community eagerly anticipates BlizzCon 2023, the possibilities for Classic Plus are limited only by the creativity and dedication of the development team.
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