Blizzard today confirmed a change to “Drums of Battle,” an item made by the Leatherworking profession and that was originally released in World of Warcraft’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade.
While drums were known for being so important that everyone used Leatherworking as one of their professions, Blizzard said during BlizzConline it didn’t want to make players feel that way in during Classic TBC.
The change announced today doesn’t necessarily nerf the affect of drums, however. It will only hinder its radius at the beginning of the game.
In a post to its forums, Blizzard said there will be two types of drums in Classic TBC. The first, which will be available on release, will only give party members within a five-yard radius the Bloodlust/Heroism buff that drums are known for.
This will emulate the way that drums operated during the first few patches of TBC when it originally released. The improved version of Drums will be a separate item “Greater Drums of Battle.”
The recipe for it will drop off enemies in Zul’Aman, an instance that will be available during Phase Four of TBC. Blizzard earlier announced a timeline for TBC content that included five phases.
Alhough this comes as a “change,” in original TBC, the notoriously powerful drums were weak when the game launched. This caused Blizzard to buff them resulting in the meta-shaping profession of the expansion.
“While it’s true that we’re generally planning to implement items (and spells and maps and everything else) in their patch 2.4.3 state, this one stood out as something we should make an exception for,” Blizzard community manager Kaivax said. “We don’t want to change the behavior of items from patch to patch, so we think the right thing to do is to introduce the greater drums as a new item, so that the behavior of the original items doesn’t have to change.”
The change announced today is by no means final. Blizzard is still in the beta phase of testing Classic TBC.
While Blizzard is attempting to make drums feel less “mandatory,” this fix likely won’t do much to persuade high level players and raids. The item, and therefore the profession, will more than likely be a necessity in top-end raiding.