Blizzard Was Blown Away by How Much People Played WoW Classic Beta; Content Rollout Will Be in Six Phases
WoW Classic is less than a month away from its highly anticipated release. For years, unofficial 'vanilla' servers went rampant (before getting shut down) as plenty of World of Warcraft fans wanted something that could capture that unique flavor of the original game. Now, with WoW Classic, they'll be able to do it on Blizzard's official servers.
Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, Lead Software Engineer Brian Birmingham said the developers were positively impressed by how much people played the WoW Classic beta while it was active.
One thing I noticed was just how passionate people were about the beta. Our expectation for betas is generally we'll get a lot of people come in, try things for a little bit, and then they'll say, 'OK, I'm going to wait until release now - I've helped you guys test and now I'm finished.' We were really thrilled and blown away by just how much people wanted to play, night after night, even though they know these characters are going to get wiped out before we release. It really blew us away how dedicated people were.
Later in the interview, Birmingham revealed the original content rollout plan got changed.
That has changed - I'm glad you asked. It is no longer four phases, it is six.
Phase one is the WoW Classic launch phase, and Ragnaros and Onyxia are going to be available. Phase two, we're going to unlock Dire Maul and the PvP Honour system - you'll be able to kill people in the world during phase one but there won't be an Honour system tracking it. Phase three is going to be the first two Battlegrounds, Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch, alongside Blackwing Lair. In Phase four, we release Arathi Basin alongside Zul'Gurub and the green dragons. Phase five is Ahn'Qiraj and then, finally, phase six is Naxxramas.
Part of the reason we changed that is we had a lot of feedback from the community four [phases] was too few, and there were distinct periods of time they wanted to recapture - where certain content wasn't available or certain rewards. It would trivialise the content of WoW Classic. For example, people were concerned if you got [Battleground reputation rewards] too early, it would make it trivial to go through Molten Core and Onyxia - and they're right.