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WoW WotLK: Blizzard passes a dangerous milestone for the game

WoW WotLK: Blizzard passes a dangerous milestone for the game

Less than a week before World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King Classic rolls out, a never-before-seen feature has been revealed: Heroic Mode+ for dungeons. Only here, the players of this version of the game have not signed up for it, and the publisher is struggling to hear it.

WoW WotLK: Blizzard passes a dangerous milestone for the game

At the dawn of the deployment of the Wrath of the Lich King Classic extension of World of Warcraft, the players gather more and more day after day at the gates of Northrend. Yet, in the shadow of the general enthusiasm that the return of one of the most beloved expansions generates, serious problems lurk. And while they were originally only raised by players who were a little too attached to their favorite "old-fashioned" private server, they are now establishing themselves as real threats to the whole game and to his community.

WotLK Classic: A Revised Memory

If for many players Wrath of the Lich King does not evoke much because they had not yet set foot in Azeroth at the time, for others the imminent arrival of the Classic version of this extension brings back many memories, even many desires. There is however a crucial common point between these two types of players: that of (re) living an epic and finishing (or doing) what they had not had the chance to succeed at the time. And these objectives can be numerous: to discover a specific raid, to succeed in an achievement that was once difficult to obtain, sometimes even to (re)discover their favorite class as it once was, or simply to understand why some people worship (a little too much) this expansion.

In the minds of many players, Wrath of the Lich King Classic was the long-term goal when the "Classic project" landed in 2019. Vanilla and The Burning Crusade had little interest for them, really (especially the second actually). And here we are: September 2022, at the gates of the long-awaited sesame.

World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King: Classic

However, the picture has already been darkened for a few months. Some additions and removals were controversial from the first version of Classic, intentional additions on the part of the publisher who sought to camouflage the obvious flaws of the first versions of the game by tinkering with a few stratagems, theChronochance Displacer for example, or the impossibility to benefit from "World Buffs" beyond level 63. However, it remained nice until then...

Because yes, Blizzard has recently crossed a very dangerous line for both its game and its community. This Wednesday, September 21, I indeed discovered with amazement an article with the title which I refused to believe: " Loot Changes and Heroic Plus Dungeons Coming in Wrath Classic ". Eh ? Another article with a title that's a little too catchy? That's what I thought. However, it is very real: the developers are currently considering deploying a new difficulty mode from Phase 2, the one dedicated to Ulduar: Heroic Mode +. During a group interview in which I was able to participate this Thursday, September 22, 2022 at the start of the evening, Kris Zierhut explained to me how it works: concretely, when you enter a dungeon in Heroic Mode from Phase 2 , a pedestal will be at the entrance. If all 5 players in the group click on it, they unlock a new version that:

  • Increases hit points of creatures (including bosses) in the dungeon
  • Increases damage dealt by creatures (including bosses) in the dungeon
  • Adds a semblance of an affix, a "new technique", to all creatures in the dungeon
  • Allows bosses to drop loot directly from Naxxramas in 10 Player Mode

    This feature was obviously not available in the original version of Wrath of the Lich King. It is the direct descendant of Legion Mythic Mode+, the only difference being that there are no "keys" of different levels: it is a single difficulty Mythic Mode with an affix of some sort. And that's the whole problem: it's not the game I originally wanted. It's not Wrath of the Lich King. And when you touch on a system as crucial and central as the method of obtaining loot, what prevents Blizzard from tinkering with other goodies on the rest of the game?

    And to think that I was making an April Fool's joke just a year earlier...

World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King: Classic

But what are the people asking for ?

Of course, some will argue that Heroic Mode+ is a dedicated system for rerolls and casual players so that they don't get sick of the game if they lose track of the expansion, allowing them to quickly earn gold. gear suitable for interesting raid levels. That in truth, this "catch-up" mechanism will benefit everyone and will not penalize anyone, quite the contrary. And yes, they would be right.

But here it is: Who requested this feature? Who asked Blizzard to tweak some of the expansion's major features? When I chose to set up my guild on Sulfuron (Ardent Down is recruiting), I signed up to have to farm dungeons in Heroic Mode to equip myself, then go to Naxxramas 10, then Naxxramas 25, then Ulduar, etc. I signed up to relive that unpleasant experience that was the Oculus, or that of having to farm dungeons on a loop in Heroic Mode to obtain badges and equip myself before I could get my hands on the Crown Citadel ice on my secondary characters.

World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King: Classic

In fact, I chose to play Wrath of the Lich King Classic because I wanted to relive this expansion as it was, with its worst flaws and greatest qualities. I chose to play this version of the game as it was at the time, without the need to correct the worst aspects to arouse the desire of more and more players. I actually chose to play Wrath of the Lich King Classic, no one had to bait me with things that never existed in the original version.

Blizzard had however announced the color already in the first version of Classic by allowing itself to correct here and there certain defects, to improve the interface and the engine of the game, to make the game more "modern". But it never really crossed the threshold of very minor changes. Today, we are offered a new difficulty that would grant loot from the previous raid in 10-player Mode in dungeons in Heroic Mode. And what's next? Are the poles removed from the Arena of Valor because the average player can't master them? We allow the Vault of Archavon to be permanently accessible to both factions? We nerf the Death Knight because he's overpowered?

What I mean is that this change is really the door open to everything. And that's a real problem for the Classic version of the game, because while some infrastructure changes may be understandable, along with some bug fixes, the rest is irrelevant. whatever the arguments invoked (especially not that of the "community aspect"). And that also goes for all the changes that some would like to see appear in the game: the addition of transmogrifications (Cataclysm), the random dungeon finder (Patch 3.3.3), pet battles (Cataclysm), the added new character and creature models and so many more.

World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King: Classic

All of this has nothing to do with Wrath of the Lich King Classic, and to tolerate (or even demand) such changes is literally to allow Blizzard to tinker with the game's vital systems as they are about to do: drops, raids, PvP. Catch-up systems exist in the modern version (Shadowlands) of WoW because the game has evolved in this direction, and while they have become far too prescriptive in the minds of many players, they remain consistent in this one. Whoever starts WotLK Classic, he is not looking for that. And if he's looking for an easy "catch-up", then he's the one who got the wrong game, not me or the others in my case.

In fact, if I write this article it is not only so that the players know that such a system is envisaged by Blizzard, but also and especially so that Blizzard hears my voice and that of thousands of others: it is Wrath of the Lich King Classic we want, not Wrath of the Lich King Reforged. We are not asking for changes, no modifications, just the game that exists in your database. The rest is marketing, and we're not interested in that. Upgrade the game's infrastructure if the game horrifies you in the state it was in when you picked it up, but leave its heart in peace. Let players play the least retouched version of Wrath of the Lich King possible, even if it's unpleasant at times. This tendency to want to revise the game to make it "better" will scare away more than it will attract.

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Julien bxakid

Freelancer writer bringing news, waifus, and loads of coffee!

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