":" - 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.
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.
It was the experience of the game that brought pleasure and joy, and that's what a lot of us want again. Not the numbers. When I play Classic I want to go through the deadmines with people I like and overcome a challenge together and see myself become stronger as a result. I don't want to play Classic so I can say "booyah! That number is exactly the same as it was 13 years ago!"
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?
Swim Speed Potions (used especially at lvl 37 for Faldir's Cove in Arathi Highlands and lvl 57 in WPL). Try to get multiple stacks of these. I also recommend keeping a stack of these always in your bags. You will frequently pass rivers and lakes and can use these potions to pass them faster through out the guide. Please note that these potions do not stack with Druid's Aquatic Form and Glyph of Aquatic Form.