Whenever gamers are debating on the best World of Warcraft expansion of all time, one name always comes up at the top – The Burning Crusade. Initially released in early 2007, TBC took the successful formula of the original and improved it in pretty much every way. Given its massive success, it didn’t come as a big surprise when Blizzard announced the release of the Burning Crusade Classic. But is this new version of TBC identical to the original one? Almost, but not quite.
Blizzard decided to implement a number of changes to the expansion that were not present the first time around. Some of these changes are minor but others are quite important and worth keeping in mind before you start playing the expansion. With that in mind, we decided to make a short summary of the main differences between TBC Classic and the original TBC so you’ll know exactly what to expect regardless of whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran player.
One of the biggest differences between The Burning Crusade Classic and the original version is the way you can go about leveling up your character. Traditionally, you would need to play through the original content up to at least level 58 before being able to access Outland. That’s still a possibility, of course, but TBC Classic also introduces a character level boost service similar to the one found on retail servers. This service essentially allows you to skip past the vanilla content by instantly boosting one of your characters to level 58, thus allowing you to go directly to Outland.
As you might imagine, Blizzard’s decision to add a service like this has led to quite a few controversies. Veteran players, in particular, weren’t too happy with a service that will make the game easier for many. That said, you can already buy WoW Classic gold to make certain parts of the game easier and that hasn’t stopped people from continuing to play it. The addition of the level boost probably won’t either. Besides, Blizzard only allows the purchase of one character boost per account, which is a pretty big limitation.
Speaking of limitations, level boosts can’t be used on Blood Elf or Draenei characters, nor characters that aren’t transferring over to Burning Crusade Classic servers. As I’m sure most of you already know, Blizzard has decided to keep both WoW Classic and TBC Classic servers, giving players the chance to either transfer characters over to the expansion or letting them continue to play Classic. A very good move in our opinion and the fact that the level boost won’t work on WoW Classic characters makes a lot of sense. As far as the price is concerned, TBC Classic level boosts are expected to be cheaper than those found in Shadowlands, however, Blizzard has yet to reveal any clear figures.
Early Access to New Races
Blood Elf (Horde) and Draenei (Alliance) are the two new races introduced in TBC. Back in the day, the new races became available to play at the start of the expansion. This meant that for the first few weeks Blood Elf and Draenei characters had to play catch-up to other characters who were already level 60 prior to the expansion and simply continued their journey once TBC launched. Things work a bit differently this time around.
With Burning Crusade Classic Blizzard decided to make the new races playable starting with the pre-patch. This way, players would have plenty of time to get their characters to max before the opening of the Dark Portal. This is a very welcome change since, as mentioned earlier, Blood Elf and Draenei characters cannot benefit from the level boost service.
Content is Split Into Multiple Phases
Similar to how things worked in WoW Classic, TBC Classic’s content is also being split into multiple phases. A total of 5 phases to be more precise, or 6 if you also want to include the pre-patch. Blizzard has announced in advance what’s coming in each phase but keep in mind that this can change further down the line, just as it did in WoW Classic.
- Opening of the Dark Portal
- Arena S1
- Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, Maghteridon’s Lair
- Doomwalker and Doom Lord Kazzak world bosses
- All dungeons except Magister’s Terrace
- Serpenshire Cavern and The Eye
- Arena S2
- Battle for Mount Hyjal and Black Temple
- Arena S3
- Sunwell Plateau
- Magister’s Terrace
- Arena S4
This whole phase system is quite a big departure compared to the original TBC. Back in 2007 when the expansion originally launched, all the raids were actually available right off the bat. Progression was gated with things like attunements and gear checks, but they were technically all available. This isn’t the case with TBC Classic because each raid tier will only become accessible once the appropriate phase launches.
Pre-nerf Raid Bosses
This is another important change that a lot of TBC veterans will undoubtedly be happy about. Prior to the release of WoW Classic, many players were eager to face the challenges presented by the original vanilla raids. Only to be left disappointed once the raids actually dropped. Not because they were different compared to their first iterations but because they ended up being much easier than players remembered. In hindsight, this makes a lot of sense because the people playing Classic have had many years of experience with World of Warcraft, which of course wasn’t the case with vanilla.
In order to prevent players steamrolling raids once again, Blizzard decided to implement the pre-nerf versions of the bosses in TBC Classic instead. As you may or may not know already, raid bosses go through many iterations and lots of testing before being added to the live servers. Bosses usually start off much stronger than they should be and are gradually nerfed until a good balance is achieved.
Bosses were pretty well balanced in TBC even though now some players might remember them as being too difficult. In reality, they weren’t. The players were just not very good back then. With modern players being way more skilled and knowledgeable than players of the past, this time Blizzard decided to add pre-nerfed versions of bosses on live servers. For the first time ever in WoW’s history, I might add. This change may intimidate some of the newcomers, however, the vast majority of Burning Crusade Classic raiders are bound to be World of Warcraft veterans. Ultimately, this is a change meant to appease the majority.
This is somewhat of a minor change since it only affects Paladin players but we still wanted to mention it regardless. In the original version, each of the two factions had different seals for Paladins – Seal of Blood for Horde and Seal of Vengeance for Alliance. The initial intent was to make each faction’s Paladins feel a bit different but the actual result was that Seal of Blood ended up being significantly more powerful than Seal of Vengeance. To fix that imbalance, in Burning Crusade Classic Paladin players will be able to access both versions upon reaching level 70.
Arena Team Rosters
Another fairly minor change is related to Arena team rosters. Usually, the number of players you can have in your team roster is identical to the type of Arena matches you’re playing. 2v2 teams can only have 2 members, 3v3 can only have 3 members, and so on. In TBC Classic that number is doubled to allow for reserves. Instead of only having 2 players for 2v2 matches you can have 4, giving you some options in case one of the players decided to quit or is unable to play for one reason or another.
This is somewhat of an indirect change coming as a result of players rather than Blizzard themselves. Most people who played the original Burning Crusade weren’t particularly savvy when it comes to farming gold or playing the auction house, which meant the overall game economy was quite different. But things have changed a lot since then, as we have seen clearly in WoW Classic and continue to see in Shadowlands.
There are a number of reasons for this, including the prevalence of gold making guides and gold trading websites where you can straight-up buy all the gold you need without having to farm for it in-game. Granted, some of these websites can be questionable so if you want to partake in this type of service, make sure to only buy safe WoW gold from trusted sites.
But even if you don’t plan on buying goldyourself and decide to farm it the old fashion way, you will be impacted by these new and much more efficient methods of making gold regardless. Prices on the auction house fluctuate based on supply and demand, with players who own the most gold usually having all the power to dictate how much everything costs. Some players will get the short end of the stick because of these changes while others will greatly profit from them. Make sure you’re in the winning camp by investing in some gold if you can.