Hey everyone, Quissy here and March has been an incredibly exciting month for Classic WoW news. In this video, I want to sum everything up that’s happened and give my thoughts on the current state of what’s going on. So let’s get right into it.
Over the month of March, we received 6 big updates to Classic WoW from our buddy Kaivax and for the most part, everyone appears to be really happy with what’s been going on so far. It feels like we have a voice. It feels like we have a say. And it feels like the devs are actually listening and taking our feedback into consideration. And in turn, it makes us feel like we are a living, breathing part of the development of Classic WoW. I can’t tell you guys how exciting this has been for me personally and I’m sure for many of you as well.
March 1st, 2019
Classic WoW Update: Bugfixes Since the Classic Demo
The first update we received was on the first of the month and it was titled: CLASSIC UPDATE.
In the post, Kaivax went on to address many of the feedback and concerns that Blizzard received from the Classic Demo. In short, they let us know that many bug issues have been addressed such as incorrect health regeneration rates, spell critical hit multiplier, rogue energy rates, slow fall damage, pushback from ranged attacks, and dodge, parry and miss rates. At the end of the post, Kaivax made sure to let us know that they’ve been prioritizing core game systems, combat and content and that their primary focus is on gameplay. Foreshadowing of other updates perhaps?
He also said we’re following all of your discussions and loving your enthusiasm and that more info will be posted soon, not soon ™. Thank you and get ready for a Classic Summer.
This post gave me chills and in my opinion, really started off the month on a bright note!
March 6th, 2019
How Blizzard Verified the Summoning Demon Behavior for Classic WoW
The next Classic update we heard, 5 days later, wasn’t as major as the bug fix post, but rather a clarification post as to how they verified the correct summon demon behavior that was in question. They essentially just double checked in the original 1.12 version of WoW how demon summoning worked and as stated, as soon as you began summoning a new demon, your existed demon disappeared and therefore, the demo did indeed match how the original 1.12 gameplay was. Some people had perhaps thought that a debuff called Summoning Disorientation should’ve taken place, but that spell was not implemented into the game until version 2.0.1. Summoning Disorientation was a debuff that automatically applied to your current pet, stunning it, as the warlock summoned another pet. However, in Patch 1.12, the demon simply disappears.
March 11th, 2019
CLASSIC CONTENT PLAN
The next update, 5 days later, was a really big one. And in my opinion, caused a ripple of huge excitement throughout the entire community. In a nutshell, Kaivax summarizes it best in the first sentence: at BlizzCon, they originally planned for four content phases for Classic WoW, but they’ve decided to extend it to six based on feedback and their own deliberations.
“…we’re also aiming to capture what it felt like to play in a realm community in original WoW. To do that, we’re planning to mirror the approach taken by original WoW, with patches paired together. We’ll launch Classic with content from original WoW through patch 1.2.x, then the second update will include content that was in original WoW 1.3 and 1.4, the third Classic update will have 1.5 and 1.6 content, and so on.”
Kaivax then goes on to clarify that progressive itemization will also take place – for example, certain items, armor, gear will only become available once the content phases pertaining to that item unlock – and will not appear in the game immediately at launch. The example he gave was Titanic Leggings, from Patch 1.10.
They have not yet determined when the Phases will take place and for how long, and PvP is still undecided, but here’s the listing of the plan so far:
Phase 1 (Classic Launch)
Darkmoon deck drops begin
Ahn’Qiraj War Effort begins
Ahn’Qiraj raids open when the war effort dictates
Dungeon loot reconfiguration: Tier 0.5 Dungeon gear, Relics, drop rates and location changes
So the fact that they added something like Dire Maul to Phase 2 to not be immediately available during Classic launch speaks volumes to replicating that authentic vanilla experience. There is so much gear, gold farming and more from Dire Maul that can certainly give players an edge, especially in end game progression. By not having DM available at launch mirrors how original WoW’s content was released. Same reason why Kazzak and Azuregos are pushed into Phase 2.
The same thing goes with ZG releasing after BWL. The gear and enchants from ZG would give guilds an edge on their end game raiding progression in BWL, so it made sense to the team to not have ZG unlocked for early progress.
As for the Emerald Dragons, they felt it necessary to release them before AQ as players can begin to farm them for Nature resist gear in preparation.
All in all, I was thrilled with these content updates and truly think this is the correct flow of how things should be released to mirror an authentic vanilla experience.
March 19th, 2019
ALTERAC VALLEY IN CLASSIC
The next update we received was a little over a week later and pertained to Alterac Valley. This was our first major update regarding PvP in Classic WoW. Because AV has seen many changes over the course of WoW’s history, Kaivax clarified that they do intend to use the 1.12 version of Alterac Valley in Classic WoW.
It gives us several early improvements to the BG that we’re glad to have in place. Early on in AV, there were too many NPCs and they were too hard to kill. By 1.12, many had been removed and NPC health was brought down to a reasonable level. Turning in armor scraps is an encouraged, supportive activity by this point. Many capture points (mostly graveyards) had been moved away from their initial placements to gain better balance across the map. Korak the Bloodrager was removed, and killing opposing players no longer drops items like Dwarf Spines, Orc Teeth, or Human Bone Chips. Gross.
In our content plan update, we mentioned that we’re still working out exactly how and when PvP elements of Classic will roll out. We’ll update you on that here very soon.
So after receiving a lot of positive feedback from previous updates, this was the first one that really seemed to be divided in terms of opinions from the community.
Considering Classic is based off of Patch 1.12, this makes sense. If they started earlier with 1.5, they’d have to keep updating AV in order to get to the 1.12 point. It would’ve been nice to experience old AV as we remember it. Waiting in queue for an hour, once you get in, you realize the game has already been going on for 6 hours, going to school, coming home, seeing the same game.
I really enjoyed having Korrak in the game. It added another layer of difficulty and strategy, and even extended the game seeing as we had to wait 2 hours for him to spawn. What would you guys think if they had done something like reduced the spawn time of Korrak? Or just had him already spawned when the game started?
But, at the end of the day, I think the 1.12 version of AV is the most streamlined, refined version of AV. If the original version of AV were to be put in the game, top tier PvPers may feel compelled to spam AV just because of the crazy honor gains you can get. But with the 1.12 AV, it’s on a more even playing field with WSG, AB, so there’s a bit more diversity in BGs for those looking to rank up.
March 22nd, 2019
Loot Trading in Classic
3 days later, we received yet another Classic WoW update. This one regarded the controversial loot trading issue. At BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard spoke about how they planned to put loot trading in Classic. They had good intentions with this. If loot was accidentally given to the wrong player, it could easily be traded to solve the mistake. In the past, if this happened in Vanilla, you’d have to get a GM involved to move the item to the intended recipient, which sometimes took days.
However, this was met with a lot of backlash seeing as players can abuse this feature in a few ways such as gear being funneled to one character, opening up the door to abuse PUGs who join a group of 4 premade members. Someone can win or even ninja a piece of gear, then offer to sell it to a player who really needs it.
So in this update, Blizzard decided to meet us halfway.
We’ve decided that the two-hour loot trading system in WoW Classic will only apply to soulbound gear that drops in raids. Soulbound loot that drops in five-person content will not be tradeable at any time. What we hope to do is to strike a balance between saving players time and minimizing the potential for abuse of the system. We think this approach better addresses the concerns we’ve heard from players on the subject.
I think this is a great compromise. They met us in the middle. I understand it lessens the workload on the GM side of things. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t want loot trading in at all, for many reasons. It gives the game a more authentic feel to as close as how Vanilla was back in the day. I remember playing Vanilla and when people received the wrong loot or didn’t win a roll for an item, it was TOUGH SHIT. You had to deal with it. In this day in age, I feel like we’re apart of a society where “everyone’s a winner”. “Everyone gets a trophy”. And I hate that mentality. I think by not getting what you want, in turn, makes you work harder for it. Makes you want it more. And when you finally get it, it makes it way more meaningful. In Vanillla with regards to loot, people had to deal with losing rolls, ninja looting, Master Looter selecting the wrong player and more. It was just a part of the game.
It also created sort of a notoriety among certain players. If someone ninja looted an item, people blacklisted that person from groups. Word spread throughout the server. People developed bad reputations. And I think that’s a good thing. The game allowed someone to create their own reputation. The game allowed a player to be a “ninja” looter if they so desired it. And I think having the ability for these reputations arise all contribute to that authentic Vanilla feel. It’s like real life – allow people to fuck up and either continue fucking up, or learn from it. It’s like law and order.
But at the end of the day, we do need to deal with modern times and compromise. As for this loot trading news, I’m really happy with how they compromised with us. Most raids are lead by a Master Looter anyway and comprise of guilds, so I don’t see a problem with loot trading being available in raids. But I am really happy that it was left out of 5 mans.
March 28th, 2019
Spell Batching in Classic
The final major piece of Classic news that we received during the month of March regarded Spell Batching. In a nutshell, Spell Batching is basically how the WoW servers process incoming data. Instead of trying to process everything at once, spell batching allows the servers to optimize how data is processed. This includes attacks, spells, buffs, debuffs and more. As a result, actions within the same batch can be processed simultaneously and therefore cancel eachother out. For example, two mages casting Polymorph at the same time and both turning into sheep.
As technology has improved over the years, the way servers process batches have changed, leaving little window for these simultaneous actions to occur seeing as, well, things just get processed faster.
As with many other areas of WoW Classic, authenticity is our primary concern. It used to be the norm that combat flow and PvP balance were defined and tuned in a game where spell messages were resolved less frequently. There was a single game loop that processed all messages sent and received every server tick. Nowadays, the game processes multiple loops for messages of differing priorities. Spell casts are high priority, and have been for a long time.
For WoW Classic, we’re moving spell casts to a low-priority loop that will cause them to be processed at the frequency that best fits how the game actually played in version 1.12. Two mages will be able to Polymorph each other somewhat reliably, resulting in two sheep nervously pacing around at range. Two warriors will be able to Charge one another, and the end result will be both warriors standing stunned in each other’s original location.
We think it’ll be fun to see those sorts of things happening again.
For me, personally, this is extremely meaningful. Not because I plan to do high end PvP content or attempt the grind for Rank 14 (hey you never know), but because this is more of a quality of life change that they made to the game. By ending the blue post with “We think it’ll be fun to see those sorts of things happening again” reiterates that the dev team is listening. That the dev team cares. That the dev team, also, wants an authentic Vanilla experience out of Classic WoW.
Will it be 100% identical? No. But the fact that they’re working with us on both technical and quality of life changes really makes it feel special to me. And I can’t wait to see simultaneous polymorphs from people dueling outside Stormwind and Orgrimmar again.
So, that’s all of the major Classic updates that we received during the month of March. As for what hasn’t been addressed, the big things for me are:
Right click reporting
Any sort of Beta or PTR?
What are the topics that haven’t been addressed that you guys are most looking forward to? What do you think of the updates so far? Are you happy with the way the devs have communicated with us and made changes based on feedback?
As always, thanks for watching. Now that it’s April, I’ll be pumping out more Classic videos as we get closer and closer to the Summer. I’m super excited and with every bit of news, I get more and more hyped to go home!
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