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: 

Hey folks! I’ve got a small update here to help quell some of the rumors and let you know where we are at for WoW Classic. We recently began a phase of internal employee alpha testing. The new build data that many of you have been discussing over the last few days is simply part of this process. Phases like this allow us to test out the game content along with other functionality that will be used in the live game, like logging in through the Blizzard Battle.net 175 App.

Occasionally it's also been proposed to re-randomize all the gear. We didn't have best in slot lists back then. People weren't starting out as a fresh level 1 character with a complete list of which dungeons to run at 60 in order to gear as quickly and efficiently as possible. Now, all that data is available. If gear were re-randomized then all of those lists would become useless and thing would be close to how they were. Which is a more important part of the "vanilla experience?" the fact that item X from boss Y has exactly Z stats on it, or the voyage of discovery? Personally I think that voyage is way more important. Do you remember how many points of which stat on the ring or whatever that Darkmaster Gandling drops? I don't. Would it kill your experience if the BiS for every class were in a different dungeon so people had to actually play to figure it out rather than simply consult a spreadsheet? I don't think it would. For that matter, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to handle it intelligently so that the better gear is in later dungeons. I remember there because some weird cases where level 40ish gear was better than anything that dropped in level 60 dungeons.
I made some route changes to the Horde levels 43-44 sections.  I have swapped 44 Dustwallow Marsh with 44 Desolace (the entire sections). This allowed me to do Deadmire (at lvl 43 instead of 38) and then go stop at TB to turn in Deadmire + The Black Shield at the same time, then fly quickly to do the Desolace stuff.  Doing 44 Desolace is now mandatory because I think its faster with the new routes. This will also make the level 53 grind much shorter.  I think these were great changes.
2. the only gear that was easily attainable sort of was the old level 60 pvp sets. if the classic servers stay locked in progression of any expansions then grinding the PvP gear for both pvp and raiding would be the top choice in casual play. "IF" they implement the LFG and LFR tools for the 16-40 man raids, heh it would be very interesting, otherwise get use to Trade chat being filled with PuG raid groups looking for people, because that was the norm back in the day.
I am currently working full time on my Vanilla WoW leveling guides.  Soon there will be a 1-60 speed leveling guide for Alliance, along with in-game guide versions available for my members area.  As of right now, there is no members area, but if you would like to show support for my efforts into this project, you can simply donate to me via Patreon if you like (you will get some cool rewards in return).  Or you can donate directly with PayPal if you like.  All donations are highly appreciated and they will only motivate me more to continue making the best vanilla WoW leveling guides on the web.
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