WoW: Classic is scheduled for August 27 (technically August 26 if you're in the Americas). The soonest that you can play it is starting in May, during Blizzard's scheduled stress tests. To opt-in you must have an active subscription on your Battle.net account. If you do, go to Account Management and select the Wow Classic beta. Keep in mind, there will be level caps during the test. The schedule is as follows:
This is definitely why we do a beta test. We can also do things like reset the realm at a busy time like 4:30pm PDT to try and find the source of a certain issue where a crocolisk is losing it’s brain due to how multiple processes are interacting and mirroring code to form a cohesive world. There were similar types of issues like this back in 2004 but we wanted to try and resolve this one before the weekend for the folks who are testing. 

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Logging in for the first time, being welcomed by THAT login screen and THAT music... You can't not be taken back if you've played Vanilla, and especially if you've played 2 years of it non-stop all day every day. I probably stayed 10 minutes in character creation just because of the music alone (and trying to get my character looking exactly as it did back then - although I wasn't a shaman then). The whole intro experience was especially amazing for me since the Tauren starting zone was my first encounter with WoW in the EU beta, and a little bit of that spark did return. But is that all Classic has to offer? A trip back in time when we were wowed by the game for the very first time?

If you’re into MMORPG games, you’ve probably heard that World of Warcraft is preparing to release a classic version of the game this summer. However, not many people have played in the real Classic and current in-game classes might seem completely unrecognizable to some. In the early days of World of Warcraft, the class choice was very important – leveling was super slow, which meant that you could get stuck with your character for months.
Why Skinning? Skinning is incredibly easy to level up while you are leveling your character. The leather that you skin will almost always sell on the Auction House (albeit not for much, but hey– it’s free gold!). Even if you don’t want to take the effort to sell the skins on the Auction House, you can simply vendor them for a significant amount of extra gold.
Nov 15 Loot sharing. Fools How stupid is the community about loot sharing? You know there is master loot right? Stop being dumb guys like holy crap. You also know that if you're the guy setting up a group or joining a group you have a option not to run or you can pick player's of different armor types... If you're a cloth wearer you just don't run or set up a group with other cloth wearers. Like this is something so simple and the community can't graps anything. I feel bad for blizzard sometimes with having to deal with brain power of this community. The community: "Oh, I didn't think about that. Derp, I'm an idiot."Plewtoe23 Nov 15
Expected More That WoW Classic Will Resurrect That Hardcore Breed Of MMO That So Many Players Originally Fell In Love With. In World Of Warcraft Classic, It's Built Using Patch 1.12, Titled Drums Of War, Released On August 22, 2006, Equipment And Abilities Will Remain Stable In Order To Reflect The Minor Adjustment That Blizzard Made With Each Path While Dungeons, Raids, And PVP Features Will Constantly Change.
I wonder if they’ll execute this similar to Jagex does OSRS. Let the players vote and once all phases cleared and of articles have been introduced, vote new WoW Classic articles to be inserted. There are a couple large ones that I think should be changed, like warrior taunts being able to miss and certain classes only being plain unplayable. Changes could correct a number of the issues that are bigger, and eventually the player base will quit seeing these things and just become irritated and need them to be fixed. Give everyone a couple of buy classic wow gold months of nostalgia that is pure , then resolve a number of these things.
The system is automated, meaning that once slots are available, beta testers will be chosen, without any beta key to speak of. Kaivax then goes to stress the importance of your account security, stating that, “any third-party e-mail messages, websites, or in-game whispers that offer beta keys or access to the WoW Classic Beta should be considered illegitimate and ignored or reported.”
This is, in my opinion, the largest change that WoW Classic will have over Vanilla, and it’s something that simply can’t be undone. Back in Vanilla, guilds were very secretive over strategies of how to correctly defeat a boss. Videos of boss kills were virtually non-existent,and strategies on how to itemize and play various classes and specs were hard to come by, especially for newer players. This, in addition to the unforgiving raid requirements and difficult content, lead to a lot of the player base never really getting to see a lot of the endgame content. Those that did rarely ever did so efficiently, and it wasn’t uncommon for the best guild on any given server to take months to complete a raid tier. There is absolutely no way that this happens in Classic. The raids in Vanilla are very much a solved system by now. Every raid, and every boss and trash pack inside, has been thoroughly strategized and talked about to death over the last 14 years. Rest assured even if you and your friends never played Vanilla, someone in your raid party will know exactly what to do on every boss, exactly when the trash packs are going to respawn, and exactly what buffs and gear to get to prepare. That certainly doesn’t mean thatClassic raiding will be a cakewalk, but it will be different than how the majority of people stumbled through the content.
Nov 15 My only complain about Classic... ...Horde doesn't have any nice looking races. In my mind each class has best RPG based race for it. So, I like Gnomes because I feel them Mages. Night Elves - Hunters. Humans - Paladins. On Horde side: Undead - ugly. Trolls - ugly. Orcs... uhh fine as Warriors, but I don't play warriors. Tauren - Warriors or Shaman, again don't play those. Blood Elves! Give me Blood Elves!Vlasta36 Nov 15
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This is something that people really need to start to understand, not just for Classic or WoW but software developement in general. Fixing a bug isn't just flipping a switch or changing a single digit. You have a machine with literally hundreds of thousands of parts, designed by dozens of different people at different times over the course of 20 and more years. You change a single thing and it might break 50 other things in very subtle ways that might not even emerge until months later (i.e. the very high M+ keys some players got at the start of BfA).
Nov 15 You Absolutely Cannot Have Sharding This will not work well with a classic experience. Myself and the vast majority of my friends plan on coming back for classic. None of them want sharding. I know I don't speak for everyone but this mechanic will completely ruin the experience. Just voicing my opinion as I am incredibly excited about this project.Wurmknight82 Nov 15
Before we talk about layering, it's important to talk about the sharding technology used in modern-day World of Warcraft. When a zone in the game becomes overpopulated, players will be seamlessly moved onto a different shard, which is essentially another instance of the same zone. It is important to note that you will still be able to play with your friends, because you are moved to the same shard when you create a party.
To get back to Classic for a bit, this is what I think is happening. Players who prefer the old ways (and full disclosure, I'd count myself among them, but to a smaller degree than most) complain/talk about the negative sides of modern WoW and Battle for Azeroth in general. While they do this they also talk about how things were better before and often mention Vanilla as a reference point. People who enjoy BfA now feel attacked by this and so they retaliate. Hence, liking Classic means you either have nostalgia goggles on or have no idea what you're talking about and will hate the same things you say you want 2 weeks after you start playing it. It's an amazing thing, where literally each side is doing to the other what they feel is being (wrongly) done to them. I feel like writing this is the most redundant thing I've ever done, and yet I also feel that it needs to be said, because it seems some people just don't get what they're doing, or at least I hope they don't (some do and are doing it on purpose but there's trolls everywhere so there's no point in even discussing them).
Within the context of Classic, the method most frequently proposed is to re-tune bosses to make them harder. Rather than copying the numbers, re-create the relative difficulty. Kind of like, when you first start working out, you use small weights. When you get stronger, you lift bigger weights. The WoW community is more knowledgeable, more experienced, has better hardware, etc. We're "stronger." So give us tougher bosses. There are a lot of forms that could take. Bosses were constantly re-tuned during vanilla anyway, so if Ragnaros does 10% more damage or something, is that really a problem? I don't think it is. What about resistance gear? back in the day, collecting resist gear was a thing people did. But the numbers and strategies are so well known today that only the tank really needs it anymore. Bosses could be re-tuned with more resistible elemental damage so that's important for entire raids to gear appropriately. That would be entirely keeping with the spirit of vanilla even if the actually numbers sitting in a database somewhere were different than they were ~13 years ago. If you want to go a little farther, a few people have proposed adding new abilities to old bosses, adjusting their timing, etc.
One thing they told me when I dabbled into computer science back at university was that 80% of the bugs only take 20% of your time to fix. That's why sometimes you see issues persisting for very long times, not because the devs are lazy or incompetent, but because there is usually a priority list of problems, with the severe-but-easy-to-fix ones always taking precedent and the not-game-breaking-but-difficult-to-solve problems being last line.
Along with revealing the WoW Classic release date, Blizzard also listed plans for both a beta and stress test of the game. Players who opt-in for the testing on their account manager page and have an active subscription will be randomly selected for the beta starting May 15. Then the developer will have three stress tests where players can log in to play the game for a short period of time on the following dates:
One thing they told me when I dabbled into computer science back at university was that 80% of the bugs only take 20% of your time to fix. That's why sometimes you see issues persisting for very long times, not because the devs are lazy or incompetent, but because there is usually a priority list of problems, with the severe-but-easy-to-fix ones always taking precedent and the not-game-breaking-but-difficult-to-solve problems being last line. 
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