World of Warcraft: Classic
World of Warcraft Classic will be released on August 27, 2019 for PC and MAC.
What do you need to play Vanilla?
First things first: all players with a Battlenet account and an active WoW-subscription can play World of Warcraft Classic! Of course, this is also to attract new players, because you can play without buying the game and its expansions.
So are you a new player and do you want to experience what it was like to play World of Warcraft during its heyday? First, you need to create a Blizzard account, buy a WoW-subscription and download the Blizzard Battle.net Desktop App. Once everything is installed, you can create your first character and start exploring the world.
Will it really be like old times?
For the returning players among us: YES! It will be like the original game as much as possible, on Blizzard's current servers. At Blizzcon last year, Ion Hazzikostas (Game Director of World of Warcraft) gave an extensive presentation (of 45 minutes!) about the journey the development team had to make to collect all the original data, make it compatible with their current technology, and what else players can expect from World of Warcraft Classic.
The content of Classic will be released in phases. Below you can see what content will be released in which phase:
- Phase 1 (Classic Launch): Molten Core, Onyxia, Maraudon
- Phase 2: Dire Maul, Azuregos, Kazzak
- Phase 3: Blackwing Lair, Darkmoon Faire, Darkmoon deck drops begin
- Phase 4: Zul'Gurub, Green Dragons
- Phase 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)
- Phase 6: Naxxramas, Scourge Invasion
Dungeons and raids. You are going to be running around a lot if you are used to using the Dungeon Finder! At least, I remember I was always lost and running around before that feature came along! Players can now use the Looking For Group feature in the ‘normal’ version of World of Warcraft to find a group and teleport directly to the instance. In the original WoW this function was not present at all. So get ready for a lot more social interaction, because if you want to enter Ahn'Qiraj you'll have to look for other players who want to help you with this raid. The only way to get teleported to a dungeon is when 2 players are already present at the Summoning Stone (also known as the Meeting Stone). Are you the first one to get to the instance? Then you need to travel to the location by yourself. Good luck!
Levels. In the current WoW game you only need to glance at your map to know what you have to do for your active quests. In the good old days, there was no such help! No Quest Tracking, but good old-fashioned reading (or just use Thottbot, in my case). An advantage of this, is that you get sucked into the storyline way more because of more background information. Be honest, who of the new players know exactly what is going on with Sylvanas? What’s her beef? And what do Old Gods have to do with her actions? And who remembers all the original starter questions of the Trolls? Why they needed to left their original home?
A tip to get the real nostalgia going while questing: go to wowhead.com and select “Thottbot Theme” to make the website look like the classic Thottbot database! More info about that here.
The old Talent Tree will back in Classic (*inside squeal*)! Now you can go out all the way and choose your own specialisation. Druid is more versatile again, Hunter has his endless spells and abilities back on his bars, and Priest can easily switch between Shadow/Holy/Discipline spells again. Pro tip: Don't forget to go to your Class Trainer every 2 levels!
Area. Since the last expansions, a lot has changed in Azeroth with new areas and worlds being added. In WoW Classic, everything is brought back to Azeroth as it once was. Thousand Needles is a complete wasteland again and it's as if the World Tree of the Night Elves has never been burned down by Sylvanas (admit it, you also had to shed a tear during this scene!).
Graphics. The graphics you see now in BFA (Battle For Azeroth) are of course different than in the time of WoW Vanilla. You have the option to go for the full Vanilla experience, including the graphic settings.There will also be the option to set the graph settings to MAX, so it all looks a bit more smooth. But honestly, we want the whole-package-deal, right?
How does the community feel about Classic now?
During the beta, the dev team noticed how passionate people really are when it comes to WoW Vanilla. Brian Birmingham (Lead Software Engineer at Blizzard Entertainment) and Omar Gonzalez (Sr. Software Engineer) noticed that there were so many people who tested the beta extensively and gave targeted feedback. "Our expectation for betas is generally that we'll get a lot of people come in, try things for a little bit, and then they'll say, 'OK, I'm going to wait until release now - I've helped you guys test and now I'm finished.’ We were really thrilled and blown away by just how much people wanted to play."
Players are especially excited to be part of the community that once was. The community has changed over the years, because (among other reasons) there was no cross-server feature. In Vanilla, you played on one server, so you got to know every player. It became a close-knit group, with serious Horde vs. Alliance battles if you were on a PvP server. Stormwind raid, anyone?
A point of criticism among the players is that you have to be more committed to this game, as you have to spend more time in it. You're not going to beat Ragnaros at once, of course. On the other hand, because you need to put more energy and time into achieving certain achievements, the results are so much more satisfying.
Personally, I can keep talking about WoW Classic and how much I look forward to experiencing the old community again that was in Vanilla. For now, it looks very positive: people are enthusiastic, both new players and returning players will play, and everything has been remade to be as authentic as possible. I personally have the feeling that Blizzard has really listened to her fans. Brian Birmingham: "We started this whole project as a love-letter to the fans - they've been demanding this from us. We wanted to respond and give them what they've been asking us for. We will continue to listen to community feedback, and we want to know what people think and want to see next."
It sounds so nice in theory, but in the end the players are the one who determine whether Classic will be a success or a fantasy too good to be true.
What is your opinion? Are you looking forward to Classic or would you rather continue with the story in Battle For Azeroth? We'd love to hear your opinion!
Source: World of Warcraft