Go Back in Time with World of Warcraft Classic

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It’s been 15 years since World of Warcraft first launched, providing both a boost and eventual death knell to the then incredibly popular MMORPG genre. World of Warcraft has chanced in innumerable ways after so many years and half a dozen major expansion packs. But nostalgic veterans (and curious newcomers) can revisit the past with World of Warcraft Classic, available now for all subscribers.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re overjoyed to welcome our friends new and old to classic Azeroth,” said J. Allen Brack, president, Blizzard Entertainment. “The community’s excitement is infectious and deeply motivating — it’s clear they’re as thrilled as we are to relive the World of Warcraft Classic experience. We look forward to rediscovering its wonders and challenges together with them, starting today.”

WoW Classic resets the world back during the 2006 era, around the time of the Drums of War update. This predates any of the expansion packs, around the time full scale PvP warfare was being added.

Blizzard Entertainment plans on treating WoW Classic not as a frozen moment in time, but an evolving game just as it was back then. Six update phases are planned to roll out “new” content, such as infmous raids like Blackwing Lair and Naxxramas, PVP battlegrounds including Alterac Valley, and server-wide events such as the Scourge Invasion.

World of Warcraft Classic is available on PC, and included in a standard World of Warcraft subscription. It’s rated T for Teen.

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World of Warcraft Classic Out this Fall, Closed Beta Running Now

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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.