Since heading into 2006-style Azeroth just a little over a month ago, World of Warcraft Classic players have been getting their teeth into all the game’s first phase has to offer. Less than a week after launch, WoW Classic guild APES achieved two world first kills, taking out the mighty phase one raid bosses Ragnaros and Onyxia. Many of the game’s other dedicated players have been following suit, and are no doubt wondering when the next phase will arrive. Now, it looks like we have an idea – before the end of 2019.
WoW Classic game director Ion Hazzikostas has talked to PC Gamer about when players can expect to see phase two arrive: “I think it’s a matter of later this year, I think we can say definitively.” However, he added “Within that timeframe? It’s going to depend on a few factors.”
It sounds like one of these factors could link to ‘layering’ in the game – a technology introduced for WoW Classic’s launch which essentially helps prevent realm servers overloading with players by splitting areas of the continent up and layering them.
Hazzikostas said “Without layering, we simply would not have been able to accommodate anywhere close to the number of players we have on our servers.” He added that, because of layering, the game has had servers that were “effectively massively overpopulated even with login queues, during the first couple of weeks” but that these have now largely stabilised, leaving “healthy populations that can endure for the months and years to come.”
However, it looks like layering will need to go for phase two – the big world bosses on the way, Kazzak and Azuregos, will only have one copy live in the game at a time. The game director said “When Kazzak is up, we only want one Kazzak. That’s kind of a central dynamic of how that needs to play out in the outdoor world.” It appears that continuing layering will only make it easier for players to just farm them over and over again for loot.
According to WoW Classic community manager Kaivax on the game forums, Blizzard is making headway in paring the layering down, with some realms already locked in to single-layer states. Once this is completed across servers, phase 2 should hopefully follow not too long afterwards.
Developer Blizzard previously announced a schedule giving players an idea of what the game’s six phases will bring, but not when they’ll arrive. So, this should be exciting news for WoW Classic players itching to take on the mighty Kazzak and Azuregos.