One of the bigger nuances of Vanilla WoW involved loot. When you looted a soulbound item, whether by accident or intentionally, it quite literally meant the item was bound to you. In Retail WoW, nearly all loot items come with a 2 hours window during which you can trade the item to an eligible member of the party that helped you receive the loot.
Loot trading wasn’t a concept in Vanilla WoW, and when you made a looting mistake, you had to submit a help ticket and wait days for a response. Not every quality of life update Blizzard has implemented has been negative, and loot trading is surely something that benefited the game overall.
Blizzard realized the benefit of loot trading, and have decided to implement it with the release of WoW Classic. This inherently goes against the philosophy of keeping WoW Classic pure, but the loot trading system will be modified to only apply to gear received from raids. This will allow raid teams the flexibility of swapping loot to the appropriate recipient without having to wait days to do so.
Here is the official blue post from community manager Kaivax on the forums:
At BlizzCon 2018, we talked about how we plan to keep loot trading in World of Warcraft Classic. We added loot trading in Wrath of the Lich King to solve a common problem: a player could accidentally loot an item meant for another player or give it to the wrong person using Master Loot. They would then have to contact Blizzard to get the item moved to the intended recipient, which might take days. We wanted to keep loot trading in WoW Classic because the end result is the same – the correct person gets the item – and it’ll save everyone time.
But we heard your concerns about the potential for abuse of the loot trading system in parties of five. It’s possible that abusive play could take the form of a group of four players colluding to deny loot to a stranger who joined their party as a pick-up. Raid groups, being much larger, come with more understanding on the part of solo players that loot distribution can depend on the whims of the many players and raid leaders who know each other.
Taking that into consideration, we’ve decided that the two-hour loot trading system in WoW Classic will only apply to soulbound gear that drops in raids. Soulbound loot that drops in five-person content will not be tradeable at any time. What we hope to do is to strike a balance between saving players time and minimizing the potential for abuse of the system. We think this approach better addresses the concerns we’ve heard from players on the subject.
While some might not be thrilled that loot trading is coming to Classic, it’s a simple quality of life fix that won’t negatively impact anyone nor take away from the classic immersion experience of Vanilla.