The most important thing you should note is that there are no official beta keys. Blizzard opens the gates to their betas by granting access to your account — not sending you a beta key. If you’re in the beta, you’ll be able to download and play the WoW Classic client from your Battle.net launcher. If not, you aren’t in the beta. It’s easy to be tricked into thinking you’ll get a beta key from an email that looks like it’s from an official Blizzard address, but don’t believe their lies — they’re all fake.
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.
A demo of the game was available at BlizzCon 2018, and was downloadable on home computers for anyone who purchased a BlizzCon ticket or virtual ticket. The servers became available when Opening Ceremony started at BlizzCon 2018 and was set to end on November 8, but was extended until November 12. Players started at level 15, and the only available zones were Westfall and the Barrens. It was based on patch 1.13.0, essentially patch 1.12.0 ported to a modern infrastructure. The first day of the demo, there was a playtime limit of a cumulative 60 minutes with a cooldown of 90 minutes, applied through the BlizzCon Exhaustion debuff. The debuff was removed on the second day of BlizzCon 2018.
It was the first time in a decade that I wasn't gunning for the end game, pillaging the beta test to determine the fastest way to level and get to the "good stuff," and tweaking my add-ons to skip as much content as I could to get there. I even read a quest or two, though I admit to using the option (still available, even in vanilla) to turn off the line-by-line scrolling of quest text.
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:
After choosing a race, class and customizing the look of your character, you will spawn in your race's starting zone, usually within a small settlement. Typically, these beginning areas are designed to get you to around level 10 before you leave and move on to the next zone. Right away, you will notice that some NPCs have a yellow exclamation mark () over their head. These symbols will also display on the mini map in the top-right corner of the screen if you are close to them. Talking with these NPCs will allow you to read and accept a quest they have for you. The objectives and status of this quest can be checked at any time by opening the quest log (L). Once you have completed the objectives for said quest, you can return to the NPC (or possibly a different one) to turn in the quest. The NPC whom you need to turn a quest into will have a yellow question mark () over their head. As you complete quests and your character gains levels, always be on the lookout for new quests being offered by NPCs.
I’m used to either wanting to play a game or not wanting to play a game. But WoW Classic… WoW Classic is different. Maybe I’m just falling victim to nostalgia. Maybe I’m conflating the people I played with in 2004-2006 with the game I played in 2004-2006. Nostalgia is a hugely powerful motivator, after all, and even us jaded reporters are susceptible to it. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about stepping back into a game that was genuinely slower, jankier, and less well-balanced than the WoW that exists today. I do know I’m looking forward to it more than any other launch I expect this year. Some friends of mine have already started planning for a return. I’m going to join them. It’s annoying to find myself pulled back to a game version I genuinely don’t think is as good, in many ways, as what exists today — and yet, here I am.
Nov 15 Skeletons RIP Please allow skeletons of dead players to Rest In Peace. Witnessing the aftermath of a city / town raid and seeing a blanket of bones that told a story of how the battle went down, really helped add to the MMORPG feel. I did not play the “demo” but reports say that skeletons disappear fairly quick. #nochangesMakinb17CEDC26 Nov 15
So even though you can play a WoW Classic demo today, we’re not done quite yet. We have lots of capital city features to look at, such as banks and auction houses. We need to test our dungeons and raids to make sure the bosses’ abilities all still work correctly. We need to examine all of our PvP systems. But we’re committed to taking a close look at all of these and more as continue bring the classic game back to life.
For another example of lighting, we looked at Elwynn Forest. We had a period in Warcraft’s history where we changed all the lighting equations and as a result, our environment artists had to take a pass over all of the zones to improve the lighting and take advantage of the new equations. To recreate the original experience, we had to rewind those changes. The first thing we did was restore the old lighting data. This brought us much closer to the original lighting—and with a few more changes to the distance formula, fog formulas, and some changes to shadows, we were able to bring things even closer to the original lighting.
Nov 15 Thank you for the demo I just want to say thank you to Blizzard for the demo. I seriously had so much fun - so much more fun than I've had trying to play wow in YEARS. I know not everything was 100% accurate to classic, but it was just a demo so that doesn't worry me too much. I still had a million times more fun playing that demo than retail in any case. THE THINGS I LOVED: (1) I died so much. Like... SO MUCH, and that's alright! Once I finally finished whatever it was I was doing, it felt really rewarding! My group and I were actually laughing when we party wiped. No one insulted anyone or pointed blame, we just had fun. (2) Things took time. The journey mattered, it wasn't just about hitting end game asap. I felt accomplished at the end of all those time consuming things I did. (3) I had fun exploring! I spent so much time just running around, not knowing what the heck to do, but that was FUN. I had FUN getting lost and finding treasure chests. (4) Seeing the classic models again! Tbh, the races all look rubbery and stupid now... I honestly think the old racial looks are nicer. (5) Reading quests was necessary again, so the story mattered to me. No one booted me from the party for "taking too long" because I wanted to read. (6) The community! There were actually people doing RP stuff and talking in character. Everyone in the chat was just having fun. (7) All of the inconveniences - running out of mana, no mounts, running slowly on foot, little or no flightpaths... These things are fun because they're not just handed to me. I had to work hard and play the game to get things. (8) People constantly buffed other players, because that small boost could be the reason you didn't die when a roaming centaur attacked you from behind. THE THINGS I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT: (1) I've heard rumors about possible sharding... PLEASE DO NOT SHARD. PLEASE. I can understand if it's temporary just for the initial launch, and only for starting zones. I think that is a decent enough compromise for the inevitable problem of overpopulation for the first few weeks. But if we're talking about full scale realm sharding, PLEASE DO NOT! Cross-realm features and sharding are what ruined communities in wow, same with dungeon finder and other such things, and these features are very unwanted for a classic player like me. (2) The elite raptor I tamed as a hunter was not stronger than the non-elite raptor I tamed at the same level. In classic, elite animals had better stats as hunter pets once tamed, compared to the same non-elite version of that animal at the same level. (3) I think the mana and health regen rates were a bit too high? I'm not certain, but if they were I honestly want them to be genuine. It's okay if it's hard - challenges make games fun! Anyway, thank you again! I had a ton of fun, and as long as classic is true to classic with all of its pros AND cons, I feel certain that it will be a success.Sarai10 Nov 15