It’s uncanny how much World of Warcraft Classic continues to feel like a wormhole to a bygone era of gaming. I was certain that the magic of WoW Classic’s 2019 launch couldn’t be repeated, but I was wrong. After a few hours of grinding out quests, I joined a random group of strangers to take on one of the new dungeons available in Burning Crusade Classic. What should’ve been a 20-minute run ended up cascading into a four-hour marathon. When I finally slumped into bed at 3 am, I didn’t just have some sweet new loot for my undead Warlock, but a whole new guild of friends to play alongside.
Unlike WoW Classic’s launch, where most people sat staring at hours-long queues, I’ve been playing without interruption.
That’s the enduring black magic of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic. It’s a crucible of soul-crushing grinding and unforgiving combat that smashes players together like atoms, sparking chain reactions that forge new friendships with impressive regularity. But sustaining those ongoing reactions requires an unfathomable sacrifice of time and energy that makes my heart yearn for the years when I was a teenager with all the time in the world. Burning Crusade Classic is awesome, but you’ll have to give up a significant chunk of your life to experience all of it.
Burning Crusade Classic is at its best when you’re open to meeting new people and cooperating. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
Nowadays grinding has become a dirty word in games, but in Burning Crusade Classic it was a badge of honor. And even though I’ve had moments where I’ve felt frustrated or bored—even to the point of quitting—my patience is reset every time I have a cool encounter with another player. It’s not very often that I play an MMO where complete strangers routinely find a place on my friends list. Twice now I’ve sat with another player waiting for a quest objective to respawn and been drawn into a conversation that led to us joining forces for a few hours. These moments feel as special as they did over a decade ago.
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic is badass and uncompromising—more than WoW Classic ever was. Most of you can safely give this a pass and enjoy all the extra time you’ll have for other games, friends, family, and hobbies. But for WoW Classic’s large and devoted community, this is World of Warcraft beginning its transformation into the MMO that took over the world.