I’m resurrecting this thread because we felt it was important to swing back around to this issue after revisiting it internally. Coming with patch 1.13.6, we will be removing the data flag that prevents many items such as Nightfall, Hammer of the Northern Wind, and Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros from proccing while the bearer is on the Global Cooldown.
While we are still reasonably sure that this data flag was set on at least some of these items for a reason, we spent a lot of time discussing this as a team and also even speaking with a few developers who were around during the development of original WoW, and never really were able to pin down what exactly that reason was. Ultimately we landed on the idea that forcing a few specific items to obey the GCD (while many, many others in the game don’t) doesn’t seem to add much other than making these items feel bad to use, which seemed hard to justify considering that removing this flag isn’t likely to really make any of these items suddenly become so much stronger as to cause a dramatic impact on overall performance in max-level content.
So, not being able to say with 100% certainty why these items behaved the way they did, we made a call, and decided to err on the side of fun. We felt it was important that we let you know where we landed on this one and why in a post, rather than just having this show up as a single line in the patch notes with sparse explanation. Everyone on the dev team are players ourselves, and we spend a lot of time discussing how to handle things like this. At the end of the day we know that perfect authenticity is ultimately impossible, and at least we can do our best to keep Classic fun, in the “spirit” of the original game.
Thank you for all of the commentary on this and many other issues and thank you for being passionate about what makes WoW Classic cool and fun.