WoW: Championship season starts soon - all info1. Player retention through seasons2. In 10 months to Naxxramas3. No power to the boosters4. Hardcore mode "light"5. Molten Core 2.06. Clothes make heroes7. Small, but fine adjustments8. Our first conclusion to the SdM9. What about Wrath of the Lich King Classic?
Blizzard is working hard to create classic nostalgia content for World of Warcraft that could appeal to almost every type of player in some way. We have the WoW Classic era realms, which are forever stuck in Phase 6 and are as exciting as a cold cup of coffee from the day before.
Then, of course, there's Burning Crusade Classic, for which Phase 3 with the Black Temple and the Battle for Hyjal Peak should be released in the foreseeable future. A Wrath of the Lich King Classic is as certain as the dwarf in the tavern, even without an official announcement. And starting on November 17, those interested will romp through the first season of the championship, which will once again whip us through all the vanilla content next year, numerous changes included.
Player loyalty through seasonsThis
article, as the headline has already revealed, will focus on the season that is about to start. WoW (buy now €14.99), once the pioneer of an entire genre, is now following in the footsteps of other online games that have shown in recent years how to retain players over a very long period of time with comparatively little effort. We're thinking of successful titles like Fortnite or the Diablo 3 seasons.
Fortnite has been proving for years how to successfully retain players for years with seasons. Source: Epic Games
Instead of completely new content, fans are presented with familiar challenges that have been slightly tweaked and given a foreseeable end date to create a sense of urgency. You don't want to miss anything. It also gives you a starting point for the next season. Daily greets the groundhog!
In 10 Months to Naxxramas
But how exactly is the first season of the WoW Classic championship going to work? Well, in principle, we can expect the six phases that we already know from WoW Classic, just with some adjustments and a much faster release pace. In concrete terms, the Blizzard developers want to release a new phase every two months, so that we'll be back in Naxxramas in just under ten months and the Nostalgia Drop 2.0 will have been sucked after a year.
The developers are making important adjustments so that players without a 24/7 free pass won't be left behind after the first few meters when sprinting towards phase 6. At the top of the list: You will receive 40 percent more experience points via quests in the championship season. And for dungeon and elite quests, even more bonus XP awaits you. So if you already liked the pimped leveling phase up to level 60 in Burning Crusade Classic, buckle up. The level ups just fly around your ears!
In about ten months, we're supposed to enter Naxxramas in the championship season and challenge Kel'Thuzad. Source: Blizzard
No power to the boosters
So as efficient as questing is in Championship season, dungeon boosters from the WoW Classic era won't have much fun with their mages. Briefly for classification: in WoW Classic, many players at some point switched to having new twinks boosted by high-level mages. Simply park the budding Azeroth hero at the entrance of a dungeon and let the mage do the work. He then pulls together as many enemies as possible, bombs them away, and the dungeon can be reset. New round, even more experience. In no time at all, players could pull several characters up to level 60 this way. Many mages earned themselves silly from their boosting service and dropping loot.
In the championship season, Blizzard wants to stop this kind of leveling and gold farming. The goal is clear: characters should level in the open world and visit the various level dungeons with "peers". Also, mages should no longer have it quite so easy to farm solo in certain dungeons.
- Action #1: Killed monsters in dungeons no longer provide almost no experience points once a high-level character is present.
- Action #2: Enemies in Maraudon and Stratholme now have protection effects from Root and Slow effects that become active after some time.
- Action #3: Zombie trolls in Zul'Farrak are now noticeably less likely to drop valuable loot. The loot has been distributed among the other enemies in the dungeon, which cannot be farmed as efficiently.
Speaking of unwanted farming methods, another problem with WoW Classic was the numerous rogue bots that did nothing but empty the pockets of dwarves from the Blackrock Depths all day. The big plus of this gold farm strategy: the pockets of the pilfered replenish themselves quite automatically after a while, so the bot users don't have to reset the instance at any time. The latter was worth its weight in gold after Blizzard introduced a dungeon limit for WoW Classic to - we have to laugh for a moment - make it more difficult for bots to farm for gold in dungeons.
Maraudon was one of the most popular dungeons in WoW Classic for twinks who wanted to boost and for mages who wanted to earn a lot of gold. Source: buffed
By the way, you can remove the debuff by virtually dying. But then you have to live with the almost three minutes runtime back to the dungeon entrance. A cycle of claw, get debuff, die, run back, revive takes about five minutes and yields about 20 silver pieces on average. This isn't exactly the stuff of gold dreams.02:56
WoW: Retro trailer - WoW Classic cinematic
Hardcore mode "light
In the course of the Classic era, a dedicated hardcore community developed around various streamers. The challenge of this game variant: to bring a character to level 60 in WoW Classic without dying even once. As soon as the ghost healer visit is due, the character is deleted. Sounds tough, but that's exactly why it makes for a completely new, ultra-exciting gameplay experience - especially when a quest takes you to a Murloc camp again. Aaaaugubugbugrguburgle!
Of course, Blizzard has also observed this trend and implemented a corresponding option in the championship season. Talk to the High Elf Guardians in Ironforge and Undercity who want to find those who are willing to carry the Soul of Iron. In the dialogue, you can then confirm that you want to follow this iron path, which will earn you a corresponding buff and a special emote.
However, the new hardcore mode for the championship season is not really hardcore. As soon as a character with the iron buff dies, his iron soul falls out of him. However, he can revive himself normally. In that case, he is only freed from said buff and branded with the Stained Soul debuff, which reduces all stats by 1 percent (not stackable by further deaths). With the guardian NPCs just mentioned, you can then even be freed from the burden and continue playing the character normally. Lame!
If you die with a hardcore buff, you lose your iron soul and get a brand. Source: buffed
Not lame at all: Some hardcore players not only want to level up to level 60 without visiting Spirit Healers, but also want to defeat Ragnaros in Molten Core. One stupid pull, one time not running out of fire, one time pulling aggro at the wrong moment and the character gets wiped. That's hardcore! Because:
Molten Core 2.0
One of the biggest adjustments of the championship season awaits us in the raid area. Generally speaking, the powerful Classic-era world buffs will have no effect in raid instances, plus you can now inflict as many debuff effects on enemies as possible (instead of 16). This should especially please Warlocks and Shadow Priests, but also all other specializations that would have loved to cast debuffs on their victims in Classic, but were not allowed to due to the restriction for the sake of raid DpS.
However, the Blizzard developers don't want to change anything about the class balancing, which is in great need of improvement, which should lead to the old problems due to the significantly longer fights. All raid bosses in the first phase have about twice as many health points as in the original WoW Classic. Since all characters also deal half the damage due to the lack of world buffs, the battles take almost four times as long on balance.
In Championship Season, Molten Core bosses have received new mechanics and a much larger health cushion. Be prepared for much longer and difficult fights. Source: Blizzard
On top of that, Blizzard has noticeably expanded the mechanics of the bosses. Lucifron and Gehennas, for example, are now accompanied by twice as many servants. With Garr, new Magmakin adds keep appearing, charging at a player and then exploding (the explosion hurls nearby players back). Garr's normal adds also cannot be banished once Garr has 50% of his health.
Baron Geddon now targets three players with his "You are the bomb!" attack instead of one. Each explosion and inferno leaves patches of fire (small and large) on the ground, so you'll have to keep pulling Geddon. This mutates Geddon into perhaps the toughest boss in Molten Core.
When Shazzrah teleports, the boss leaves behind a mirror image of himself that constantly casts Arcane Explosion.
Golemagg's adds are now constantly buffed, so they deal increased damage and hit faster. The earthquake shakes the ground throughout the fight. So your healers need to be on their toes.
The Sulfuron Herald now shares the health supply with all his servants. Servants and bosses can also inspire each other if they are too close, and the inspiration buff has been increased. So all servants and the boss must be refueled with enough distance to each other.
The fight against Onyxia has also been made more difficult. Source: buffed
Majordomo's elite flame guardians now have a fireball volley. After two dead servants, the priests are immune to control effects. All no problem, this fight is still quite easy. And Ragnaros definitely dives once he has 50% health. Another Sons phase then comes three minutes after the end of the first one. In addition, after this first phase, Sons will spawn at random positions throughout the battle to intervene in the fight.
Onyxia also gets an upgrade: When you pull the dragon lady, two black dragons land in parallel, which you also have to take care of. And when Onyxia is in the air, she regularly casts her fireball on random players, but it now has a much longer range and disorients those hit. Doubly nasty when all players are trying to escape breathing ...
Clothes make heroes
In fact, the raid tests on the beta servers already showed that especially the new Molten Core is no walk in the park. However, the increased difficulty level could be diluted by further adjustments made by the developers. In phase 1, you have access to many powerful items that were not available so early in WoW Classic. For example, all of the loot from Bleak Quarry is available to you, and with it the corresponding recipes, class drink sets, and book bands.
Furthermore, you can earn Tier 0.5 class sets over a long quest chain, which are better for some classes (rogue!) than drops from Molten Core. In order to complete the quest chain at all, the Shadowhammer camp in Silithus is available to summon elemental Templars and Dukes. All other activities from Silithus in general and Cenarius Castle in particular that are related to Ahn'Qiraj will only be available with a later phase.
The Dungeon Set 2 even outperforms some of the loot from the Pitchwing Lair. Source: buffed
Also available from launch are class quests for level 50 characters. In dungeons, the adapted loot from phase 5 is valid, and with a few exceptions (gaiters of the titans!), the armorer offers and loot rates from patch 1.12 are valid. Add to that the fact that the honor system and all battlegrounds are available at launch (and thus also the corresponding reputation and rank items), you can equip your characters really well without even setting foot in a raid instance. And yes, even the miserable grind for rank 14 weapons should be quicker in view of the shorter duration of the stages.
Small, but fine adjustments
We have still misappropriated some adjustments for the championship season. Those who liked the original Alterac Valley with its numerous NPC guards should now get their money's worth. Access to valuable raw materials has also been adjusted. For example, you can get Black Lotus with a bit of luck via high-level herbs, similar to the Devil's Lotus in TBC. Elemental fire, elemental earth and elemental water should also have increased drop chances. In general, there should be more herb and ore deposits in the open world.
Various reputation traders in Azeroth will offer you their best goods already in phase 1 during the championship season. Source: PC Games MMORE
Blizzard continues to reduce the cost of learning riding skills as well as the level 40 mount. The Warrior Jewelry Diamond Vial is noticeably weakened. And the Gordok Tribute Chest from Bleak Quarry North can no longer be looted by players who were not present at the battle when King Gordok passed away. Lastly, you can use Gathering Stones to summon party members. Warlocks rejoice.
Our first conclusion on SdM
As much fun as we had in WoW Classic, the thought of replaying that era so soon doesn't turn us on. From our point of view, the championship season comes way too early. In addition, Blizzard simply changes too little from our point of view. The class balancing in particular remains a huge construction site. Due to the significantly longer fights, all the "meme specs" with mana problems now have an even smaller raison d'être. At the same time, warriors and rogues are likely to continue dominating any DpS stats even without world buff scaling. Boring!
We would have found it much more exciting to fight alongside Retribution Paladins, Elemental Shamans, and Balance Druids, who can actually keep up thanks to minor adjustments. With paladins and shamans for both Horde and Alliance. And with one or two completely new challenges for the endgame. With a package like that, we couldn't have said no.
What about Wrath of the Lich King Classic?
Blizzard won't miss Wrath of the Lich King Classic with the Lich King at the forefront. Source: Blizzard There is still no official announcement for Wrath of the Lich King Classic. But we are very sure that Blizzard will make this announcement in the next few months. Because they have always emphasized: If Classic is a success and people are up for more, then they are open for everything. And yes: Classic and TBC Classic are a success, and WotLK was the WoW expansion with the most paying customers (12+ million subscribers).
Blizzard won't miss out on this bandwagon with the Lich King at the forefront. Especially since they are now, after all, even fulfilling wishes of the Classic community that have been asked for much less frequently - like era realms for Classic enthusiasts or just the season of the championship, for all seasonal short workers.
How are things looking: Are you looking forward to the first season of the championship for WoW Classic? If so, what are your goals? Tell us in the comments!Support buffed - it only takes a minute. Thank you!
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