Blizzard Entertainment announced that it was working on World of Warcraft: Classic back at BlizzCon 2017. But now that this highly anticipated expansion to the beloved PC game is right around the corner, what does this mean for recurring players and older players who want to go back to where it all began?
What is World of Warcraft: Classic?
WoW: Classic takes the open-world fantasy MMORPG back to the days before the expansions, so everything from The Burning Crusade to the Battle for Azeroth never happened. It won't be the Day 1 version necessarily, as the company is using Patch 1.12: Drums of War to build the game back up.
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WoW Classic Release Date: When is it coming out?
WoW: Classic is scheduled for a summer 2019 release. Recently, a Wowhead user, Anshlun, uncovered a new entry in Blizzard's CDN: WOW_CLASSIC_BETA. It updated from 7.3.5 to 8.01, which indicated that we would see a beta drop sometime in the coming weeks.
However, a community manager named Bornakk on the WoW forums revealed that Blizzard has begun the internal employee alpha testing, which explains why the previously discovered update data was there. They stated that Blizzard doesn't have any announcements to make at this time, but that more details will be coming soon.
How much will WoW Classic cost?
As for cost, Blizzard has said that this server option will be free as long as you have a subscription for the current game, which costs $15 a month.
What content will come to WoW Classic?
Despite using Patch 1.12, Blizzard wants to incorporate other vanilla World of Warcraft experiences, which will be released in waves. This is the current roadmap:
- Stage 1 (Classic Launch): Molten Core, Onyxia, Maraudon
- Stage 2: Dire Maul, Azuregos, Kazzak
- Stage 3: Blackwing Lair, Darkmoon Faire, Darkmoon deck drops begin
- Stage 4: Zul'Gurub, Green Dragons
- Stage 5: Ahn’Qiraj War Effort begins, Ahn’Qiraj raids open when the war effort dictates, Dungeon loot reconfiguration (Tier 0.5 Dungeon gear, Relics, drop rates and location changes)
- Stage 6: Naxxramas, Scourge Invasion
What's the PvP content going to look like?
Blizzard will also be rolling out the PvP content within the previously mentioned stages. This is the current roadmap:
- Stage 1 (Classic Launch): You can PvP one another in the world, but there is no tracking, and no formal rewards for doing so.
- Stage 2: Honor System (including Dishonorable Kills), PvP Rank Rewards
- Stage 3: Alterac Valley (version 1.12), Warsong Gulch
- Stage 4: Arathi Basin
- Stage 6: World PvP objectives in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands
What's Different, and Why You Should Be Excited (According to My Mom)
One of the obvious differences between WoW: Classic and the WoW now is the level cap, which will drop from 120 to 60. But, as someone who has grown detached to the series itself, I decided to consult a veteran who can discern some of the more important differences: my mother, Lucia Tabari.
What'll be the biggest change for you if you play WoW: Classic?
"Vanilla was so time-consuming. There won't be a Dungeon Finder (the game's current matchmaking system), so you have to socialize and be involved more with guilds in a community in order to run dungeons. We had to walk [to dungeons] until level 40, which was when I got my first mount, but even then it was still slow."
If it's so much more slow-paced, why would people want to go back to it?
"Mainly for the feels. But it was also more challenging. You had to be more careful about what you chose to level up in the talent system and learn more about what you need for your spec. Now, you can just keep switching specs at any place, but back then you had to go to a trainer to reset everything. You actually had to work to make progress."
For people who've played the original and even those who haven't, what would they be missing out on in the new game?
"The zones were more creative. We would roam freely in the old zones, [but] they were left in ruins [because] of the disasters of the [Cataclysm] expansion. Darkshore was the most memorable one for me. We used to take boats from Auberdine (a town in Darkshore) to travel to the Wetlands and Darnassus."
And what do you miss most about vanilla that you're excited to see in WoW: Classic?
"The lore. And Varian Wrynn was our king!"
Is there something specific you miss from the lore?
"Yeah, my king was alive."
Well, there you have it, folks. WoW: Classic is dropping sometime during summer 2019 in a server near you.