I am absolutely in love with Blizzard’s re-release of the original World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft Classic. It has been my one and only game ever since the release, and I still play more than I probably should.
However, I cannot deny some obvious issues that the game had back then. Issues that have become even more apparent with its re-release.
This is why I’m so excited about the upcoming The Burning Crusade Classic servers that are all but confirmed at this point. I feel like The Burning Crusade was the highpoint of World of Warcraft as it fixed most of the original games’ problems and improved on almost all aspects.
In this article, I want to go over why you should be excited about The Burning Crusade(TBC) and why I think it will be even better than World of Warcraft Classic(Wow Classic).
1. No World Buffs(Almost)
World Buffs is perhaps one of the most controversial parts of World of Warcraft Classic. There are a ton of them, and if you manage to get them all, you will most likely increase the power of your character by more than 100%, which is absurd and makes you feel worthless when you lose them. It is a huge time sink. It opens up for a lot of griefing through dispels, and worst of all makes the raids even easier than they already are.
While it is fun to have all of your world buffs, and it feels great to do these ridiculous amounts of damage, it does not make up for all of the negatives, in my opinion.
Luckily, Blizzard changed World Buffs in The Burning Crusade to no longer count for max level players, and your parses will now come down to your rotation, gear, and consumables instead of world buffs.
I know I am not alone when I say that I cannot wait to raid without world buffs and the notion that one wipe is not the end of the world.
The Burning Crusade does have two niche world buff, which is given to players in Outland when someone turns in the head of Kael’Thas and one from turning in the quest for the Alcatraz key. The A’dal’s Song of Battle is a 5% flat damage increase, but it only works in Netherstorm dungeons and raids. It is worse than basically any of the Wow Classic World Buffs and only works in one raid, so it likely won’t be a huge deal when you lose it. It also seems to apply even if you are inside a dungeon or raid when it happens, so no need to go out of your way to get it. The Blessing of A’dal is also a significant buff, providing 200 attack power and 115 spell damage, but it comes from turning in a quest that is necessary for completing the Karazhan attunement so it will be very rare to see after the first month or so.
2. Complete Class Kits & More Viable Options
World of Warcraft Classic is not exactly renowned for its class balance, and a lot of specialization and classes are left entirely by the wayside. This is why you see the more tryhard guilds filling their roster to the brim with rogues and warriors; they are simply better. Is your main a hunter? Too bad, you will not see yourself on the damage meter, is your main a paladin? Sorry, you will have to heal or be considered dead weight by your raid.
The Burning Crusade is where Blizzard finally started to understand their classes and make each class more complete. I am not just talking about a buff to underperforming classes. I am talking about such a drastic improvement in each specialization kit that basically every talent tree is viable.
Retribution and Protection paladins, Shadow priests, feral druids, elemental, and Enhancement shamans will no longer be dead weight but a valuable part of the raid. And it is not only the ”underpowered” specialization that receives massive improvements. Every class gets new exciting spells, improved talent trees, and more viable options.
3. Ranked PvP
I love player-versus-player combat in World of Warcraft Classic. It’s bursty, weird, and requires a lot of game knowledge to excel at. The only issue is that the current ‘Vanilla’ PvP military-style rank system rewards effort over skill to such a degree that it’s not even close.
A skilled player whos playing with a Premade group of experienced players will have an easier time climbing the ranks and gain honor more quickly, but reaching the highest rank(Grand Marshal or High Warlord) is an indication of dedication, not skill. Thus the ”prestige” of obtaining these ranks is not really there.
The Burning Crusade introduced Arenas, a small scale deathmatch type skirmish complete with a ranked point system, and for the first time ever, World of Warcraft players had a ranked ladder to climb. This gives players something to strive for and a reason to improve and perfect their PvP gameplay as some of the rewards are locked behind specific ranked ratings that few players would reach(Introduced in season 3). It even had unique titles and mounts for the top percentile of players such as Gladiator and Dualist.
The ranked arena system of The Burning Crusade is in no way perfect and suffered from balance issues. Some specializations and combinations of classes were much better than others, and some classes will have a tough time climbing the ranks if they don’t adhere to the ”Meta”.
Even with these issues in mind, I think The Burning Crusade did a much better job at rewarding player skill in PvP and some of these titles and mounts will be extremely prestigious.
4. Better Casual PvP System
It is not only for the hardcore and top-end players that the PvP system improves in TBC, but it is also for the casual player. First of all, there are epic rewards for anyone who steps foot into the arena and not just the top percentile. Although the better you are, the faster you will gain points, there is still a reason for everyone to do their weekly arena matches.
But the significant improvement for the casual players is not the arena but the overhaul in how Honor works. Instead of climbing an ever more demanding ladder of ranks that decay weekly and require immense time investments, you now get rewarded with honor points from Battlegrounds that you can spend on PvP gear of your choosing. While this gear is suboptimal to the epic arena gear, it is something you do want to grind out if you are interested in PvP, and it rewards people for Battlegrounds without having to keep grinding each week or risk losing their rank.
5. Better & Harder Raids
Even if we end up with the highly tuned-down version of The Burning Crusade raids of patch 2.4.3, there is no getting around the fact that they are more complicated than what we have in Wow Classic. Not only are they more difficult, but they are also a lot more interesting, and the developer’s experience and understanding of the game had clearly improved a lot at this point. No longer will most of the bosses in raids have one or two mechanics, and it is hard to see that the same developers that made Ragnaros made bosses like Lady Vashj or Kael’Thas.
Although the hardest raid of Wow Classic is yet to come out, I think it is safe to say that, in general, raids will be harder and more engaging for the general player base – even if Naxxramas turns out to be on par with, or harder than some of The Burning Crusade raids.
Hopefully, Blizzard has learned a valuable lesson with Wow Classic. You cannot release the final patch with extremely nerfed versions of the raids from the get-go and expect people to find them very engaging. The amount of nerfs that raids and heroic dungeons got throughout The Burning Crusade is staggering, and I hope we get a taste of the hardest versions with TBC Classic.
It still won’t be as hard as it was back then or even close to, but this would allow a lot of guilds to experience the thrill of progressing on a boss and getting a kill you worked hard for.
6. 10 & 25 Man Raids
40-man raids are awesome and terrible at the same time. Seeing 40 people work together to defeat a boss is beautiful and feels a bit more epic than 25 or 20-man ever could. However, having to maintain a consistent 40-man roster and perhaps even multiple rosters is quite the nightmare for any officer or guild master in Wow Classic, and you often end up carrying ten or more questionable individuals through the content.
Getting 40 people, together with the same goal and mindset, is nigh impossible. You will always have people who spend gold on consumables, get world buffs, and use the correct specialization who end up carrying the people who don’t care. Now add that together with incredibly scarce loot, and you likely have a lot of drama on your hands. Despite the epicness of 40-man raiding, there is no getting around the fact that fewer people means less drama and fewer headaches for the people in charge.
Having smaller rosters also means that Blizzard could design more engaging encounters as they no longer had to account for the administrative nightmare of 40-man raiding.
7. Heroic Dungeons
World of Warcraft Classic has some incredible dungeons such as Blackrock Depths, Stratholme, and Scholomance. However, they are all fairly easy, and after people got just a little bit of gear, they have become complete pushovers, which makes them less engaging. There is also very little reason to rerun them once you get your equipment unless you are going for something niche like the Baron Rivendare mount.
The Burning Crusade introduces Heroic Dungeons. This is a far harder version of the standard dungeon with more mechanics, harsh scaling, and better rewards. On top of being engaging and dropping great loot, they also provide much-needed reputation that everyone will certainly want. So I would expect dungeons will stay relevant for much longer in The Burning Crusade Classic than they did in Wow Classic. Furthermore, The Burning Crusade has a staggering 15 dungeons right out the gates, which means a lot more variation than max level players get right now.
8. Better Reputations
The original World of Warcraft had some interesting reputations to farm out with some very cool rewards such as the Winterspring Trainers for the mount or Timbermaw Hold for the trinket. However, most of them lack a real reason to farm them, and most are very barebones in terms of rewards.
However, with the Burning Crusade, they introduced almost 20 brand new reputations, and almost all of them had interesting and useful rewards such as mounts, gear, and tabards.
They managed to strike a perfect middle-ground and have enough useful reputations for giving the ordinary player something to farm out while still maintaining some of these ”prestige” reputations such as the Netherwing.
9. Jewelcrafting & Better Professions in General
The Burning Crusade introduced Jewelcrafting. A profession that gives you additional customization options with your gear on the same level as Enchanting and the profession is overall exceptionally well done and fits in perfectly with the rest.
TBC also saw the rebalance of professions in general and no longer is engineering the only correct choice for people that want to perform. Every profession gains new and exciting stuff and bonuses, and The Burning Crusade has arguably the best version of the World of Warcraft professions system.
This is not to say the profession system is not great in Wow Classic. It just improved in The Burning Crusade.
10. Tier Sets for All Specializations
In World of Warcraft Classic, the Tier sets and raiding gear, in general, is tailor-made for one role. If you are a fury warrior, you are not going to be wearing your Tier set. The same goes for Shadow Priests, Balance Druids, and other ”niche” specializations.
I main a fury warrior, and the amount of gear I wear from raids can be counted on one hand. To be fair, I have ranked, which gives me an advantage over most warriors, but the point stands. In general, the best gear for raids and PvE content should come from raids, so people feel motivated and don’t burn out from raiding.
In The Burning Crusade, Blizard introduced the ‘Tier Token’ system, which is an item you trade-in for your Tier Sets at a vendor. It allows you to choose which specialization you want it for, which means that classes that fill several roles such as Druids and Shamans get a Tier Set for each different role.
Legacy of The Burning Crusade
If you are still not convinced, Preach Gaming made an excellent video that goes into depth about the greatness of TBC, and why its remembered so fondly.