World of Warcraft fans didn’t get a release date for the upcoming vintage expansion, The Burning Crusade Classic, during BlizzConline this year. But the developer did disclose some information about what to expect in terms of a content calendar once it does drop later this year.
Similar to Classic, TBC raids and PvP content will be released in phases that complement one another.
Here’s what the content releases look like at a glance:
- Phase One: Karazhan, Gruul’s lair, Magtheridon’s Lair
- Phase Two: Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye in Tempest Keep
- Phase Three: Mount Hyjal, the Black Temple, and Arena season two
- Phase Four: Arena season three and the 10-man raid Zul’Aman
- Phase Five: Sunwell Plateau and Arena season four
The three raids released right when TBC comes out will represent all of the sources you need to load up on tier-four gear. They were all available when TBC was originally released and they’ll certainly give players a lot to digest right when Classic TBC goes live.
“We found in Classic that people really enjoy that gear progression, and that’s where all the tier four gear is, with those raids,” WoW Classic lead software engineer Brian Birmingham said.
Blizzard didn’t announce when Arena season one will start. But based on when the PvP content started in original TBC, it’s highly likely that we’ll see season one start shortly following the release of Classic TBC.
TBC’s original release date of Jan. 17, 2007 was followed closely by the start of season one on Jan. 30. The season then ended just under six months later on June 19.
When TBC was originally released in 2007, Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye at Tempest Keep were available, but they were locked behind long attunement questlines.
In Classic TBC, Blizzard will release these two raids together sometime after the expansion comes out. There’s no set amount of time post-release at which these raids are scheduled to come out, but using deductive reasoning, we can make an educated guess.
Arena season two, which releases in Phase Three, originally came out about six months after TBC was launched.
If these Phase Two raids are meant to be a mid-point between Arena seasons one and two, we could expect to see them come around three to four months after TBC is released.
As previously mentioned, we might expect to see this content come out around six months after TBC Classic is released because of when Arena season two originally released relative to TBC in 2007.
Meanwhile, this phase will include a slight change from the way TBC originally launched with the delay of Mount Hyjal’s release. Technically players could get into Mount Hyjal, but attunement requirements made it difficult.
“The reason that’s a change is, of course, Hyjal was originally available from the launch of Burning Crusade, but nobody could really get in there because of the way the attunements worked,” Birmingham said.
For Classic TBC, the attunement process will still exist but it won’t be nearly as difficult, according to Birmingham. To allow the game to flow naturally, the raid will be released in a separate phase from the game’s opening.
As of right now, Arena season three will release at the same time as 10-man raid Zul’Aman, which is filled with catch-up gear.
In the original version of TBC, season three came 23 weeks after season two’s start at the end of November 2007. Zul’Aman was released around the same general time, just a couple of weeks prior during Patch 2.3.0 on Nov. 13.
The final content phase for TBC Classic will include Arena season four and Sunwell Plateau. Sunwell was originally released on April 8, 2008 and Arena season four started in June 2008.
That indicates that we’ll likely get about five months of Phase Four before we take on the final raid of the expansion, but that’s not something we should treat as a certainty.
Birmingham indicated in a press conference today that the team is trying to remain open-minded about adjusting the release time of certain content to accommodate the WoW Classic player base’s needs.
While the developers have veered toward making releasing content on the same schedule as it originally came out, they’re not opposed to moving things up or back based on how the player base progresses through the expansion.