In a stirring example of “ask and you shall receive,” Blizzard Entertainment is launching World of Warcraft Classic on August 27 worldwide. It’s out a day earlier in the US, August 26, at 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern.
The launch will be preceded by a “small-scale, focused closed beta test” to help stress test the servers. Active WoW subscribers can opt into the closed beta via Blizzard account management. The closed beta will run from May 15 through July. Players will have a greater chance to join during the three stress test periods that run throughout the summer.
- Stress Test 1: Wed May 22–Thurs May 23
- Stress Test 2: Wed Jun 19– Thurs Jun 20
- Stress Test 3: Thurs Jul 18– Fri July 19
Opting into the closed beta does not guarantee a spot. Participants will be chosen based on different factors, including how long they’ve subscribed to World of Warcraft, with Blizzard seeking “the right mix of players.”
WoW Classic is a uniquely retro version of the behemoth MMO that brings the gameplay, world, and progression back to the year 2006, just before the launch of the Burning Crusade expansion. Also referred to as Vanilla WoW, fan-created emulated servers of the classic MMO had been previously shut down by Blizzard. After claiming that it was impossible to do, Blizzard has now reversed course due to fan demand.
Wow Classic servers will use the 1.12 patch, and gradually roll out new content and features similarly to the original schedule over a decade ago. This includes the gradual roll out of the PvP and Battlegrounds systems.
Active subscribers will be able to claim their character name in WoW Classic beginning on August 13, when character creation becomes available. WoW Classic will be freely included in regular World of Warcraft subscriptions, which remains $15/month.
Wow Classic will launch on August 26 on PC (Blizzard Launcher). It’s rated T for Teen.
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In Wizard101 players play as, you guessed it, wizards! Young wizards attending a school of magic, naturally. Learn spells, explore the fantasy world, and battle enemies using the collectible card game battle system. The aging MMO includes the usual assortment of social activities, including fishing, decorating, crafting, and pet training, as well as leaderboards and ranked tournaments for PvP.
The MMO is noteworthy for being kid-friendly. Parental control settings let parents set chat limitations to pre-selected phrases, and player names are selected from a pre-generated names list. You can read more about KingsIsle Entertainment’s parental controls and safety tips here.
Wizards101’s base game is free to play and supported with microtransactions (Crowns) as well as membership plans that open up more of the game and adds in-game benefits and goodies. Crowns let you pick and choose the content you want, while a monthly or annual membership grants everything.
Note that while Steam players play on the same servers as the original Wizard101 client, anyone playing through Steam will need to create a new account. None of the characters, Crowns, or memberships are transferable. The original client will still be available and you can even have both installed on your PC at the same time, since Steam uses its own folders for games.
Wizard101 is rated E10+.
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