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.


I made some route changes to the Horde levels 43-44 sections.  I have swapped 44 Dustwallow Marsh with 44 Desolace (the entire sections). This allowed me to do Deadmire (at lvl 43 instead of 38) and then go stop at TB to turn in Deadmire + The Black Shield at the same time, then fly quickly to do the Desolace stuff.  Doing 44 Desolace is now mandatory because I think its faster with the new routes. This will also make the level 53 grind much shorter.  I think these were great changes.
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?
All of this is keeping with the spirit of vanilla, which I think is more important than that a specific number be 11 instead of 12. And it would help to "resize the swing" by making the game harder to the more experienced community, and forcing people to re-discover the game rather than simply looking up whatever they want to know on a spreadsheet somewhere.
“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.”
I made some route changes to the Horde levels 43-44 sections.  I have swapped 44 Dustwallow Marsh with 44 Desolace (the entire sections). This allowed me to do Deadmire (at lvl 43 instead of 38) and then go stop at TB to turn in Deadmire + The Black Shield at the same time, then fly quickly to do the Desolace stuff.  Doing 44 Desolace is now mandatory because I think its faster with the new routes. This will also make the level 53 grind much shorter.  I think these were great changes.
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?
All of this is keeping with the spirit of vanilla, which I think is more important than that a specific number be 11 instead of 12. And it would help to "resize the swing" by making the game harder to the more experienced community, and forcing people to re-discover the game rather than simply looking up whatever they want to know on a spreadsheet somewhere.
That's not to say that everyone has an unrealistic vision of what vanilla WoW was like. There were already plenty of people on the WoW Classic forums pointing out that perceived bugs are just recreations of the original game. And as noted before, a flaw to one player is a key component of the original positive experience to another. WoW Classic will surely please plenty of purists in spades. But this goes to show that it won't be for everyone who has fond memories of the game circa 2006.
So committed, in fact, that modern WoW players are trying the beta and reporting what seem like bugs today but what were actually intended functionality 13 years ago. This became such a common occurrence that Blizzard publicly posted a list of known non-issues called the "WoW Classic 'Not a Bug' List." For example, hitboxes for the Tauren player race are much larger than those of other races. In a modern game, this would be seen as a serious balance issue (see: Apex Legends). But it's what vanilla WoW was like, so it has been faithfully reproduced.
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?
Most people who have spent years playing massively multiplayer online games will tell you that there's something special about the first one you played, too—and WoW was the first for many people. You can become so swept up in the uniqueness of your first experience that you overlook many flaws. It's likely many look at WoW Classic with rose-colored glasses, just as many simply forgot which features were added when. And some of today's WoW players may be too young to have even played vanilla WoW as it once was.

Some players have been surprised by these apparent flaws—even players who have been eagerly awaiting WoW Classic's release based on fond memories of vanilla WoW. In truth, it has been so long since WoW first released, players' memories may not always be accurate. Some details might be fresh, but others might be lost in time, and it's those lost details that could surprise players revisiting the original experience in WoW Classic.
The most important thing you should note is that there are no official beta keys. Blizzard opens the gates to their betas by granting access to your account — not sending you a beta key. If you’re in the beta, you’ll be able to download and play the WoW Classic client from your Battle.net launcher. If not, you aren’t in the beta. It’s easy to be tricked into thinking you’ll get a beta key from an email that looks like it’s from an official Blizzard address, but don’t believe their lies — they’re all fake.
Blizzard said it will choose players who have active subscriptions to the regular game based on a variety of factors to help them test the beta. It could be based on your PC, your commitment to the game, or just your luck. If you get in, you’ll likely receive an email, but if not, you can check your launcher. And remember: as with any beta, your progress will not be saved for when the game launches later this year.
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?
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.
 ":"  -  Any time a step ends in a ":" instead of a "." means that the next step is part of the current step you are on.  This generally means the next step should be done while working on the current step.  This means every "start working on" or "continue working on" will end in a ":".  But this is used with other occasions as well, so keep this in mind.
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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 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.”

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