For our Burning Crusade Classic players, we’re excited to let you know that the first major content update, Overlords of Outland, will be going live soon. Starting September 15, you’ll be able to take on Prince Kael’thas and Lady Vashj in a pair of iconic raids, engage in a new season of Arena combat, and more. We’re also working on something for WoW Classic players who’ve told us they’d like a chance at a fresh start, and will be sharing more on our plans soon.
Creating World of Warcraft is truly a collaborative effort between the people on our team, across Blizzard, and all of you—and as we build, iterate on, and talk about what’s next, we hope we can demonstrate our commitment to making Azeroth the best place it can be for everyone.
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who played Battlegrounds last week and sent us thoughtful and informed feedback on same-faction play. While we don’t plan to re-enable it again over the next few days, we’re analyzing the data we collected, and we’re planning to test more soon.
Here are some of our initial findings that will inform our next test:
Before this test, most players who joined the queue were unable to get a match, sometimes after waiting for over an hour and/or dropping out of the queue altogether. This was particularly unfortunate at some times of day or in some regions. During the test, BG queue times became short and reliable for both factions.
Prior to the first test, we wondered if the queue was having an effect on PvP in the outdoor world, and we now have data showing that when same-faction Battlegrounds were available, PvP deaths in the outdoor world were very close to 50/50 between the factions.
Similarly, win-rates for the two factions when facing the other faction in Battlegrounds were close to 50/50.
We’ll let you know as soon as we’ve completed our analysis, have decided on any further tweaks to the system, and are ready to test it again.
As soon as we saw Battleground queue times go way up a few weeks ago, we got to work on our options for addressing the situation. They’ve all been discussed here and elsewhere, as you know, and in addition to following your discussions closely, we looked at game history and data. What was most evident from all of your feedback was: players want to continue to play on their chosen side of the faction conflict, players don’t want to wait in long queues for BGs, and players don’t want a highly convoluted mechanism for getting into a BG.
To solve those issues as best we can, we’ve been internally testing a configuration where the War Games system is used to bring about Horde vs. Horde or Alliance vs. Alliance Battlegrounds from the regular queue, and we’re ready to test it in the live game. Here’s the plan:
Starting tomorrow (Friday, July 2), we’re going to enable same-faction Battlegrounds.
You’ll queue for BGs as usual, and the matchmaker will first try to make an opposite-faction match for you.
If an opposite-faction match cannot be quickly made, you’ll be matched against a team from your faction.
Rewards such as Honor and Reputation will be assigned as usual.
We’ve been thinking of these like military training exercises, and to help get that feeling across in-game, we’re testing putting masks and tabards on the team playing out of the enemy faction’s base.
Please note that same-faction play won’t be available for Alterac Valley, which was never hooked up for War Games and would be particularly awkward for the team that found themselves fighting alongside a great number of enemy NPCs.
We’ll follow the action closely throughout the weekend, and with scheduled maintenance next week (July 6 in this region), we’re going to return the matchmaker to its regular configuration and analyze what happened.
When same-faction play goes live tomorrow, we’ll open a new feedback thread in this forum. After you’ve played some BGs, please come to that new thread and let us know how it went.
Blizzard just sent out a new survey to random players. This survey is asking for feedback on the possibility of fresh Classic realms and possible updates to Classic. These range from summoning stones to a possible introduction of the barber shop…
Along with these changes, Blizzard seems to be eyeing possible fresh servers on a cycle. Some would call these seasonal servers. This image was provided by user liljoey300 via Reddit.
To go with the season timing, Blizzard sent out another survey asking about things such as faster gold and/or exp rates and many other “seasonal” changes.
Hopefully, this means we should be getting fresh seasonal servers for Classic soon. I think this would be a great update!
Yesterday, we opened up region-wide PvP matchmaking for Oceanic players, to ensure that all players in this region who compete for rewards actually play against one another. Following that update, however, we heard loud and clear from players who know how it feels to play on distant servers. High latency is not worth the upsides of potentially smoother matchmaking.
With weekly maintenance on Tuesday, June 1 (10:00 p.m. AWST, Midnight AEST, 2:00 a.m. June 2 NZDT), we will revert this change.
We’re committed to providing a responsive, enjoyable game to players in every part of the world, and we will pay careful attention to PvP on Oceanic realms over the first few weeks of the first season of Arena play. We’re looking for ways to improve matchmaking and players’ ability to rank up without introducing unbearable lag.
We don’t want to permanently implement a region-wide rewards system where some of the players never play against the others. We’ll have an update on that for you in the weeks to come.
The daily limit was a setting that we chose with great care last year, as we measured that it would impact an extremely low number of legitimate accounts, while giving us a helpful means to limit the impact of exploitative accounts before we could detect them and close them.
Now, with The Burning Crusade Classic pre-patch upon us, we understand that players are about to play WoW in a different way as they level up their Blood Elves and Draenei and then go through the Dark Portal and level some more. Over the next few weeks, the impact of the daily limit is more difficult to know, so we’re going to remove the daily limit on all Burning Crusade realms, effective with the launch of pre-patch.
As before, we will carefully observe player activity so that we can decide what daily limit, if any, is appropriate to enact after Outland leveling activities have peaked.
In order to prepare our game service to be ready for both the upgrade to The Burning Crusade Classic and the availability of Classic Era realms on May 18, we will close the Auction Houses on all WoW Classic realms at 10:00 a.m. PDT (1:00 p.m. EDT) on Friday, May 14.
We expect Auction Houses to become available again when the game service resumes following maintenance on May 18.
We advise WoW Classic players to refrain from posting new auctions shortly before the closure, as it will not be possible for other players to access the AH thereafter, and deposit fees cannot be refunded.
Salutations, WoW Classic players! We’d like to inform you about a course correction we’re making.
When you log in to WoW Classic after the patch next week, each of your Classic characters will choose between staying in Classic Era (version 1.13) and progressing to Burning Crusade Classic (version 2.5). For those who want to play a character in both versions, we’re offering a service to purchase a character clone in the other version of the game.
This service – providing a player with a second copy of a character in a different game – is new for us. Our original concept of the value of this service was largely based on how we price other optional items and services. We want players who choose Classic Era realms to feel as though their choice comes with the possibility that they’ll be able to build relationships and guilds with other players they can count on.
However, over the last week or so, we’ve gotten a very large amount of feedback from the community, and we’ve decided to lower the price. A lower price will likely still accomplish our goals with the new service, while allowing many more players to explore the option of playing characters on both Classic Era and Burning Crusade Classic realms.
After careful consideration, we’ve decided to lower the price of a cloned character in WoW Classic to €15 (£12). You’ll see the lower price in-game when the service becomes available next week.
As always, we deeply appreciate the passion and thoughtfulness of the WoW community. We play WoW alongside you, and we can’t wait to join you next week on Classic Era realms, in the Burning Crusade Classic pre-patch, and as we step through the Dark Portal with you in June.