WoW WotLK Classic changes legendary PvP battle: “We are disappointed in ourselves”
The Battle of Wintergrasp has always been a highlight in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. But in Classic it will be very different.
When players think back to their WoW days in Wrath of the Lich King, many PvP veterans think of the Battle of Wintergrasp – often just called “Wintergrasp”. This was a massive open-world PvP extravaganza where one faction had to capture a stronghold held by the other faction. The winner got access to special vendors, special mobs with good loot, and even a small raid that could drop PvE and PvE gear.
But with Wrath of the Lich King Classic, that PvP experience is significantly distorted. The developers admit to themselves: We just can’t do it any better.
what was said In a long blog post, the developers of Wrath of the Lich King Classic explain that Battle for Wintergrasp will be very different from what veterans know from the “real” WotLK days. There are a number of reasons for this.
- For one thing, there are many more characters on a realm in WoW Classic than there were back in the days of WotLK – the realms have a much larger capacity.
- On the other hand, there is often a major imbalance between the factions, i.e. many times more Horde characters than Alliance heroes.
The result of this would be that many players would not be able to participate in the Battle of Wintergrasp and would never experience this content, or that the battles would be so crowded that there would be hundreds of players on one side against a dozen on the other. Neither are very rosy prospects.
What’s changing in Wintergrasp? Wintergrasp becomes an instanced battleground with WotLK Classic that is only available at certain times. Unlike Alteract Valley, for example, the match also starts if not enough players register for both sides. So it can happen that 40 players land on one side, while only 5 characters can be found on the other side.
However, Blizzard also wants to bring back the “tenacity” buff, which is intended to provide more balance and was an important element even then. If around 40 Horde players face off against just 5 Alliance players, the Alliance warriors get a powerful tenacity buff. This increases their values massively – depending on how strong the imbalance is. Thus, individual players can become small raid bosses and keep several players in check. That makes even unbalanced matches at least interesting.
If a character from your own faction wins the Battle of Wintergrasp, then all characters in that faction will get the Essence of Wintergrasp buff. The buff lasts until the start of the next battle period and grants access to the elemental enemies as well as the Stone Keeper’s Shard vendor and also the Archavon’s Vault raid.
Then how to join the battle? This can be done in several ways. The Battle of Wintergrasp is declared every 3 hours. Anyone in Dalaran during this time will see a zone-wide message. You can then go to a temporary NPC and sign up for the battle.
Players who are already in the Wintergrasp zone at this time will be immediately invited to join the queue. So you can wait for the battle “on site” – or in Dalaran – just like back then.
Blizzard is disappointed in itself
The developers are aware that the change will not please everyone. They also emphasize that while they themselves are frustrated that they didn’t find a better solution, it’s the best way to create a Wintergrasp that’s as close to the original as possible, while still meeting Classic’s requirements. You say:
When we weighed the various alternatives such as unacceptable performance, an experience with restricted access that would lock out the majority of players, instancing the experience, or a complete redesign of Wintergrasp, we found instancing to be the change to be implemented on the least “damaging” and allows access to the greatest number of players.
We would like to reiterate how sorry we are that we did not find a solution to bring the original version of Battle for Wintergrasp to WoW Classic as it originally worked. We were disappointed ourselves, but we feel it’s more important to offer an experience that’s as close as possible to the look and feel of the original Battle for Wintergrasp.
What do you think of these changes to Wintergrasp? Can you live with it or do you even like the changes? Or is that “simply not WotLK anymore”?
Something else will also change: Naxxramas will be significantly harder!