With World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic fast approaching, some of the features (and their costs) are being made known to players to continue their journey into Outland. During the initial announcement on Thursday, Blizzard also detailed the cost for some of its convenience services, including a $35 fee to clone your character across both Classic and TBCC servers.
The Burning Crusade Classic will launch officially on June 1st, bringing WoW's first expansion to Classic. Pre-patch begins on May 18th, where players will be able to start creating their very own Blood Elf or Dranaei characters and start the process of getting into TBCC when it goes live a few weeks later.
However, one point of the announcement is causing some consternation among the community. As PC Gamer noted, the $35 fee to clone your character across both Vanilla Classic and TBCC servers is rubbing many players the wrong way.
For context, here is the description from the official announcement by Blizzard:
"Beginning May 18 with the launch of the Burning Crusade Classic pre-expansion patch, WoW Classic players will choose whether to progress each of their characters to Burning Crusade Classic with the rest of their realm, or continue playing the original WoW Classic content on brand-new Classic Era realms also launching that day. Players who wish to experience the best of both worlds will be able to use the optional character cloning service (available May 18, $35 per character), which will allow them to continue playing a copy of an existing character on a Classic Era realm while also advancing into Burning Crusade Classic."
One of the features touted by Blizzard since The Burning Crusade Classic's reveal back at BlizzCon in February was the ability for players to choose to stay on Vanilla servers or continue the journey into Outland. One of the caveats to this is that this will be a permanent choice to stay behind or move their character forward.
As such, in order for players who want to experience both Vanilla WoW as it was billed when Classic released in 2019 or take part in the extra content, features and more that comes with Burning Crusade, you'll need to shell out $35 to make that happen.
It's important to remember too, World of Warcraft Classic doesn't cost anything extra to play other than your normal World of Warcraft subscription. If you're paying a sub to play Modern WoW, you get access to Classic as a value-add. However, there are definitely those people who are only playing Classic, and the $35 on top of that just to clone a character seems like a slap in the face for some.
One Redditor on the official Classic WoW subreddit accused Blizzard of seeking to "profit off of people['s] attachement to their character" and their memories of WoW Classic. Other Redditors are pointing out that they don't mind paying a fee for the convenience, but that $35 is just too much.
"Yep, it's really gonna cost Classic only players unfortunately. Most of the people I knew were on the fence on whether they were going to clone at all, and probably would have for $10 just because. They certainly won't do it at $35."
Others have pointed out that in addition to the $35 clone fee for a game bundled with the basic subscription, the price of the Deluxe Edition also announced Thursday is absurd, especially for what is on offer.
The Deluxe Edition of The Burning Crusade Classic will give players access to a host of cosmetic items, as well as a new Hearthstone that comes complete with a new animation. Additionally, the Deluxe Edition will give players the Dark Portal Pass, which is a character boost bringing a toon up to level 58 and ready to start on their way towards the Dark Portal. The character boost itself is $39.99 on its own, which is an insane amount of money for again, a conveniece service. Players are blasting the Deluxe Edition for being more than even some AAA titles, while not having the content to back up the price because, again, access to The Burning Crusade Classic itself is part of your regular WoW sub and not actually sold in the package here.
On the flip side, some players on Reddit are defending Blizzard's choice here, stating that like every company, they are in the business of making money. And since WoW Classic is included in the sub -the same sub that would also give access to modern, retail WoW, they have to supplement that operating cost somehow. Blizzard, for their part, actually saw an increase in revenue this last quarter, despite losing players at a rate of 29% over the last three years.
It'll be interesting to see if Blizzard takes the feedback at face value and adjusts ahead of May 18th, as well as how this will impact Blizzard's decisions with future expansions to its Classic experience.