World of Warcraft Classic is nearly a month old now, which means the most hardcore players are already itching for the next challenge. After racing to world firsts for hitting level 60 and completing all of the game's currently available Raid content, some guilds are already starting to speculate about when the next wave of content will arrive.
Most fans are probably aware that WoW Classic is rolling out in a series of planned phases. The first phase is officially live and phase two aims to deliver the groundwork for Classic Battlegrounds and the next batch of endgame content. Although some players are already anxiously awaiting that content, the vast majority of players are still slowly working through the game's many zones and quests as they reach max level at a more reasonable pace.
From the start, it has sounded like Blizzard plans to base the WoW Classic phase release schedule around how quickly the average players are progressing through the game. Obviously the devs don't want the most hardcore players to feel too bored in the endgame, but there's some balance that needs to take place. The average player should not feel like Molten Core is pointless by the time they hit 60. That certainly wasn't the original vanilla experience, so it shouldn't be this time around either.
Ion had the following to say in a recent discussion about the length of each phase and how the release schedule would work...
"Try to keep it a bit flexible. If you were to ask me to ballpark a random number, I’d say for the first couple: probably around a couple of months. Part of it is that we don’t want people to feel ridiculously pressured to powerlevel if they want to participate in the next steps. But it’s something where we don’t want to lay out a rigid schedule ahead of time because we want to remain flexible looking at how the community is advancing. If people are still working their way through Blackwing Lair and Zul’Gurub and only a handful of guilds feel like they’ve defeated Nefarion, and even then they still have tons and tons of gear that they want we don’t want to rush Ahn’Qiraj out and kind of undercut that experience if most players aren’t ready for it. So I think I would say Phase 1 to 2 would probably be one of the faster progressions because we would want to get Dire Maul out there, the beginnings of the PvP system, a couple of world bosses. And then beyond that it’s just going to be watching how players are dealing with the content."
With that in mind, it would make sense for there to be a decent amount of time between each phase. Phase one to phase two are likely to be the quickest leap, since players are clamoring for the first PvP Battlegrounds to arrive. It seems likely that phase two will roll out sometime late this fall or in early winter. We would put our money on the December 2019 - January 2020 timeframe for phase two.
As for the subsequent phases, it seems likely that there will be a bit longer between each of those so that players can progress through the new content at a reasonable pace. Phase three arriving over summer 2020 seems like a fair bet, even though the most hardcore players are sure to feel like that is way too far away. Keep in mind that the devs are much more concerned with the average rate of progression and the world first guilds will not be setting the pace for these releases.
All of this is mostly speculation at this point, based on what Ion has shared, so be sure to watch out for more official announcements and dates as the game grows and ages. The initial burst of active players has been very exciting, so we look forward to seeing how long WoW Classic can keep that community hooked.
Be sure to check back for more WoW Classic strategy guides, news, and updates in the coming days. Until then, For The Horde!
World of Warcraft Classic is available now on PC. World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is available now on PC.