PHASED CONTENT ROLLOUT – Following its launch, World of Warcraft Classic’s content will be released over the course of multiple phases reflecting the game’s original order. Re-experience WoW history unfolding as heroes gear up for Blackwing Lair; players battle for PvP Honor and Rank rewards; and entire realms band together to open the gates of Ahn’Qiraj.
I wanted to talk more about Classic here and my experience with it, especially relating to my Vanilla days, but somehow I kept writing about this rift that's forming in the WoW community. I can't seem to shake it, and for all the many, MANY times WoW was diagnosed as "dying" (and never did/never will), this one actually worries me. Some people have worried that Classic servers will split the community because BfA and Classic can't play together and few people will have the time to play both, but I'm worried it will REALLY split the community on a more philosophical level. At the moment WoW is back to being the most watched game on Twitch, beating out Fortnite and the rest, so shouldn't this be a happy moment for all of us that care about the game? Regardless of whether you enjoy BfA, or are holding on for the next expansion to fix things, or can't wait for Classic, can we at least TRY to keep things civil? We can disagree all day long, and I'm the first to put my opinions out there, but just don't accuse people of being... whatever it is you think they are. Argue facts, discuss calmly (or well, at least try to), and if you see the other person isn't doing the same, just politely stop talking to them. It's that simple.
Plenty of gameplay things have changed -- more on that in a minute -- but one thing almost immediately transformed the game for me. I was killing my fourth Kobold Vermin (sorry guys, I'm taking those candles) by auto-attacking it and waiting impatiently for my lone ability to light up, when it struck me: This was going to be slow. Really, really slow. And, after another minute, I realized that was okay.
"To fill our pool of beta and stress test participants, we’ll be choosing dedicated players who meet select criteria from both the WoW Classic beta opt-in and the standard Warcraft beta opt-in. Participants will also need to have an active subscription or active game time on their Battle.net Account. While opting-in to the beta is the primary way to make sure you’re in the running to join the test it doesn’t guarantee an invitation to the closed beta test. We may also consider additional factors such as how long a player has been subscribed to the game so that we have the right mix of players to ensure great feedback toward making WoW Classic the very best experience for the community."
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.”
Players will be selected for beta based on a range of criteria, including having an active WoW subscription. Opting into beta via the WoW Account Management page is the primary way to register, but other factors, like how long you’ve played the game, may also be taken into account. There will be three stress test periods: May 22-23, June 19-20, and July 18-19. Players will be able to reserve character names beginning on August 13 (or slightly ahead of that time, if you live in the Americas) with up to three reservations per WoW account.
There’s the reason why some players used to call the game World of Roguecraft. Rogue was one of the most popular classes in classic WoW and there’s a good reason for it. During vanilla, Rogues topped DPS meters in raids and dungeons, but their main strength was world PvP. Rogues could stealth through enemies avoiding unwanted engagements with the opposing faction. Additionally, a huge variety of crowd control abilities and high burst damage made them the worst nightmare for the cloth-wearing classes. However, Rogues were in a bit of disadvantage regarding end-game gearing since most of their gear pieces were useful to other in-game classes as well.
We’ve already covered Blizzard’s plans for introducing content over time, but the basics are this: Initially, the game will roll out just like it did at server launch. Over time, content will be added, including events that played out in vanilla like the opening of Ahn’Quiraj. The company’s plan for introducing content over time looks to be a solid one and will allow new Classic players to experience the game the way we did back in 2004. There are still a lot of things we don’t know about Classic, but what we do know is genuinely interesting.