WoW Classic seeks to recreate the "vanilla WoW" experience—that is, WoW as it existed before a series of seven game-altering major expansion packs from 2007's The Burning Crusade to 2018's Battle for Azeroth. To achieve this, Blizzard has rebuilt the game based on archived data from back in 2005 and 2006 (patch 1.12 is the goalpost—the current game is on patch 8.1.5). The company has committed to meticulously presenting the experience exactly as it was back then—warts and all—with only a small number of unavoidable or critical changes.
I consider myself a purist in that I would prefer classic to be released as close as possible to the original. Where that is on the spectrum of patch content will be up to blizz. I'm also not vane enough to believe that any single state of the game is the "Ideal" location we should be aiming for. There is common ground that we can agree on, and I would welcome more than a few changes as long as they are made in the spirit of keeping classic on the vanilla rails.
To actually get access to the beta, which has already started and continue to add more players, you need to sign up via your Blizzard account management page. Under Games & Subscriptions, scroll down to Beta Access and visit the Beta Profile Settings page. Once there, you’ll see a grid of available betas you can opt into. Once you’ve checked WoW Classic, hit Update Preferences and you’re set.
“To fill our pool of beta and stress test participants, we’ll be choosing dedicated players who meet select criteria from both the WoW Classic beta opt-in and the standard Warcraft beta opt-in. Participants will also need to have an active subscription or active game time on their Battle.net Account. While opting-in to the beta is the primary way to make sure you’re in the running to join the test it doesn’t guarantee an invitation to the closed beta test. We may also consider additional factors such as how long a player has been subscribed to the game so that we have the right mix of players to ensure great feedback toward making WoW Classic the very best experience for the community.”
The Horde levels 50-60 guide has been rewritten and revamped. My 1-60 Horde leveling guide is now completely updated for the 1.12 Drums of War patch. As you can see it is about 15% larger than the 40-50 guide (single largest guide page yet). There is also a lot of route changes. I moved the entire Silithus section from level 55 to level 58, which allowed me to include a lot more quests for that zone. There is also a lot of other improvement to the route, including adding a lot more quests into the guide, mostly from Moonglade, Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands. This will make the final level 59 grind much shorter.
Analogy: think back on riding the swings in kindergarten. Was it fun? Now, imagine going back to those swings exactly as they were, and sitting in them now, as an adult. They're too small. They don't fit. Your feet drag on the ground because they're so low to the ground. The bar over your head is low enough that you can reach out and touch it, and even at the highest the swing will go, it's only about chest high when you're standing up. It's exactly the same swing, but riding on it now is a very different experience, yes?
Within the context of Classic, the method most frequently proposed is to re-tune bosses to make them harder. Rather than copying the numbers, re-create the relative difficulty. Kind of like, when you first start working out, you use small weights. When you get stronger, you lift bigger weights. The WoW community is more knowledgeable, more experienced, has better hardware, etc. We're "stronger." So give us tougher bosses. There are a lot of forms that could take. Bosses were constantly re-tuned during vanilla anyway, so if Ragnaros does 10% more damage or something, is that really a problem? I don't think it is. What about resistance gear? back in the day, collecting resist gear was a thing people did. But the numbers and strategies are so well known today that only the tank really needs it anymore. Bosses could be re-tuned with more resistible elemental damage so that's important for entire raids to gear appropriately. That would be entirely keeping with the spirit of vanilla even if the actually numbers sitting in a database somewhere were different than they were ~13 years ago. If you want to go a little farther, a few people have proposed adding new abilities to old bosses, adjusting their timing, etc.
Some quests in my guide are marked as "SKIP" and colored in red. These quests are simply either too hard to solo or not worth the XP/time and are skipped. My guide will only list SKIPPED quests if the quest is a direct follow up after completing a quest, not one that you have to click the NPC again to get it. If you hover over the skipped quests, it will give info on why it is skipped in the guide (unless that info is already listed directly in the guide text).
Step-by-step class guides are on the way! The 1-12 Mulgore Guide is the first guide to get all the individual class steps. At the top of the guide, simply select which class you are playing and the page will dynamically update all the steps in the guide for that class (both text and images). The rest of the guides will be slowly updated overtime to include all the class steps, but you can see how it's going to work with the 1-12 Mulgore. I want to thank crazyK and his Placeholderguild for helping me out with the individual class content. They are allowing me to get the 1-60 Alliance guide done while also getting all the class steps done at the same time, so everything can be ready for Classic launch (hopefully).
The Horde 12-20 (Barrens + Stonetalon Mountains) guide has been rewritten and revamped. In addition, there has been numerous tweaks to the speedrun route to make things faster and easier to follow. Also, in case you haven't noticed I am now adding about 40% more info per step and redoing all the images. Unlike with my previous vanilla guides, I am now giving a brief explanation of where to go and what to do with each step along with any other helpful tips.
But how do you proportionally resize the swing? Even if you did, it wouldn’t give you the same type of joy as when you were a kid, because you have grown up and changed. Even if that wasn’t the case for you, you have to consider that the swing has become a place that is sacred for many other adults. When they visit, they aren’t visiting to try out the new adult-swing. They want to try the old swing. The one that brings back the joyful memories of distant past. They know that the experience isn’t the same, but if they close their eyes ... even for a brief moment ... they just might get that nostalgic thrill that brings them back to a time where things seemed so much simpler.
Along with revealing the WoW Classic release date, Blizzard also listed plans for both a beta and stress test of the game. Players who opt-in for the testing on their account manager page and have an active subscription will be randomly selected for the beta starting May 15. Then the developer will have three stress tests where players can log in to play the game for a short period of time on the following dates: