Let's Talk Content Buckets

Classic Discussion
I'm glad Blizzard is going with a somewhat progressive release with Vanilla, but I feel like there should be a few more content buckets. For reference, their release plans are as follows:
Stage 1: Molten Core, Onyxia, Dire Maul, Kazzak, Azurgos
Stage 2: Blackwing Lair, Battlegrounds and PvP rewards, Zul’Gurub
Stage 3: Ahn’Qiraj (including opening event), Tier 0.5, Silithus content, Green Dragons
Stage 4: Naxxramas Raid, Scourge Invasion
This is a good start, but it could do with a bit of unpacking. My proposed buckets look something like this:
Stage 1: Unarmoured Epic Mounts, Molten Core and Onyxia
Stage 2: Item Update, Honour System, Priest/Hunter Epic Quests, Dire Maul, Kazzak, and Azuregos
Stage 3: Unarmoured Epic Mounts removed, PVP rewards, Blackwing Lair, Searing Gorge, Hinterlands, Warsong Gulch, and Alterac Valley
Stage 4: Debuff limit increased from 8 to 16, Item Update, Zul'Gurub, and Arathi Basin
Stage 5: Ahn’Qiraj (including opening event), Tier 0.5, Silithus content, Green Dragons
Stage 6: Naxxramas Raid, Scourge Invasion
This should create a more authentic and fulfilling experience than what Blizzard proposed at BlizzCon. Firstly, Onyxia and Molten Core are very easy raids, and doing them with 1.12 items, as well as access to world boss and DM gear would further trivialize them. I think there were 2-3 major waves of item updates, which included huge buffs to tier sets and quest rewards (many green quest rewards were made blue). Further, powerful quest items like Rune of the Guard Captain and Woven Ivy Necklace made it a lot easier to gear up. Doing this would add another layer of difficulty while tier 1 was the pinnacle of content.

Having a period where there's an Honour system, but no BGs, will let us relive the insane Hillsbrad PVP, which was basically the BG before BGs were introduced. Also, having the original unarmoured epic mounts in place for the first few buckets gives early and hardcore players something awesome to work toward.

Next, which I feel is the most important distinction, is to have BWL and ZG as separate releases. One reason BWL was difficult early on was because casters did not have access to the Bloodvine sets from ZG, and the debuff limit was still 8. Having this stuff immediately available would mean huge nerfs to BWL before it even opens.

There are other things to consider, such as the absence of cloth quartermasters early on, Thorium Brotherhood rep being harder (you could only get Dark Iron Ore from BRD/MC at first, and Dark Iron Residue didn't drop from Searing Gorge mobs), and so on. These changes shouldn't be implemented until their corresponding content bucket drops.

Since I highly doubt Blizzard will mess with raid tuning, the Vanilla content will be pretty easy, and not appropriately pacing the content and item changes will only make it easier. Having 1.12 talent trees and spells is already a huge change (Taunt was weaker early on, Tranq Air didn't exist for quite a while, etc). Heck, raid target icons will be usable from the get go, and they weren't added until much later in the game, which is basically a massive nerf to Garr.

Thoughts?
I can't be the only one with opinions on this subject.
I don't even remember what the content schedule was back then, tbh, but my thought on pretty much anything Classic related is just "make it how it was in Vanilla." I know some things will be different, and that's okay, but my preference would be for a carbon copy.
Not really important I think. Not for me, at least, most likely they'll have full content out before I start raiding anyway.
11/07/2018 05:15 PMPosted by Bevvil
I don't even remember what the content schedule was back then, tbh, but my thought on pretty much anything Classic related is just "make it how it was in Vanilla." I know some things will be different, and that's okay, but my preference would be for a carbon copy.
Vanilla had 12 patches, so fewer content buckets = more condensation of these. For instance, mara didn't come out until 1.2, and Dire maul was 1.3. Honour didn't exist until 1.4, and BGs were 1.5.
Would love to see ZG introduced a bit after BWL but I don’t want to see item upgrades or that progressive itemization bs.
11/07/2018 05:27 PMPosted by Justweight
Vanilla had 12 patches, so fewer content buckets = more condensation of these. For instance, mara didn't come out until 1.2, and Dire maul was 1.3. Honour didn't exist until 1.4, and BGs were 1.5.


Saw you at blizzcon
Just leave it the way blizzard have it planned. Nothing will ever suit everybody.
It sounds like you want a more authentic experience. I'm with you, but I'm not yet convinced that Blizzard is. Don't get me wrong though, I appreciate their work on it all.
As someone who did not raid in vanilla but plans to in Classic, I would love for the content to not be trivialized by differences between when it was originally released and patch 1.12. I'm not sure what the best strategy is to do this; maybe it is a similar content rollout strategy as OP, maybe it is retuning some of the content, maybe it is a different patch rollout strategy (if that is feasible). I hope the dev team is planning to address this in some way.
11/07/2018 06:19 PMPosted by Thundathys
Just leave it the way blizzard have it planned. Nothing will ever suit everybody.


It's still relatively early in the development process. I think we can at least hold Blizzard to the same level as what was provided free of charge with regard to content stages.

You can't please everyone, but I think most would prefer a more granular approach then the 4 that are currently proposed.
I would prefer everything at once personally.

But Blizz has decided to do staged content release and I can live with that. Lets not go overboard though.
I would prefer a release schedule more like this over the one presented at BlizzCon.

Thanks for sharing.

I believe these are the main points that will provide a more authentic experience:
    • DM and early world bosses after MC and Onyxia
    • ZG and 16 debuff slots after BWL
    • Green Dragons before AQ
I don't see any major problems with the buckets as is, but I'd do a slightly different approach and put a 1-2 month grace period before raids start.

Why? To stretch the dungeon content bit more because for the first couple of weeks it would be the end game content.

After a bit, I'd push MC/World Bosses/BGs (where you can get rep, but not buy rep gear)

Maybe a month after that, I'd push Diremaul and some of the stronger late vanilla items that where put into the game.

At the 3ish month mark post MC release, I'd do ZG

6 month mark post MC release I'd do BWL

AQ Event gathering starts 1 year post RELEASE, anticipated to do the opening 6 months post BWL on average.

Naxx is 1 year after BWL

1 Year post naxx release as the content epilogue

Wipe/Start over the server after a roughly 3 year period. People are given a full extra year within which to progress compared to OG vanilla as a means of a compromise against people dumb enough to think that perpetual characters/servers stuck at naxx level are a good idea.
11/07/2018 06:15 PMPosted by Script
11/07/2018 05:27 PMPosted by Justweight
Vanilla had 12 patches, so fewer content buckets = more condensation of these. For instance, mara didn't come out until 1.2, and Dire maul was 1.3. Honour didn't exist until 1.4, and BGs were 1.5.


Saw you at blizzcon
That's me! =D

11/07/2018 06:38 PMPosted by Åpocalypse
I don't see any major problems with the buckets as is, but I'd do a slightly different approach and put a 1-2 month grace period before raids start.
I think my major concern centres around BWL/ZG being in the same bucket. I also wanted to more clearly define other features (what BGs we get when, for example).

11/07/2018 06:38 PMPosted by Åpocalypse
Wipe/Start over the server after a roughly 3 year period. People are given a full extra year within which to progress compared to OG vanilla as a means of a compromise against people dumb enough to think that perpetual characters/servers stuck at naxx level are a good idea.
I'm definitely on board with new servers every 2-3 years for people wanting a fresh start. They can also merge some of the 3-year-old servers that have really low pop.
My initial thoughts are that we definitely need more buckets. Theirs will make for a very crowed cadence of content. I like your buckets, OP. The biggest thing that stood out to me out about theirs is that Dire Maul can't be in on release and BWL and ZG have to have separate buckets.

Early DM trivializes MC to a large degree, and BWL shouldn't be competing with ZG on the same tier because it will cause a divided player base and leave too big a drought in its wake. Splitting it up gives players more stuff to look forward to.

And yeah, progressive itemization would be a god send as well as a delayed 16 debuff slots. That would help offset 1.12 talents vs early raids. But, if they just get the big stuff right like content roll out; I'll be happy.

Also, BGs need to be delayed a bit so we can relive tarren mill vs southshore.

I think we’ve gotten a little too bogged down with the sharding and loot trading discussion here lately and have paid very little attention to other potential issues.
they are bringing the modern ethos of content patch release to vanilla which feels stale, part of why i hate retail is this kind of schedule
I feel like any kind of progressive itemization is wishful thinking, they will stick to whatever 1.12 had.
But why are they in buckets?

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