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:
Blizzard said it will choose players who have active subscriptions to the regular game based on a variety of factors to help them test the beta. It could be based on your PC, your commitment to the game, or just your luck. If you get in, you’ll likely receive an email, but if not, you can check your launcher. And remember: as with any beta, your progress will not be saved for when the game launches later this year.
To actually get access to the beta, which has already started and continue to add more players, you need to sign up via your Blizzard account management page. Under Games & Subscriptions, scroll down to Beta Access and visit the Beta Profile Settings page. Once there, you’ll see a grid of available betas you can opt into. Once you’ve checked WoW Classic, hit Update Preferences and you’re set.
All of this is keeping with the spirit of vanilla, which I think is more important than that a specific number be 11 instead of 12. And it would help to "resize the swing" by making the game harder to the more experienced community, and forcing people to re-discover the game rather than simply looking up whatever they want to know on a spreadsheet somewhere.
FYI: If you’re returning to WoW after an extended absence prior to patch 5.0.1, it’s possible that you’ll have more than the maximum pet limit and/or more than 3 of a kind. However, this will be the only time that you’re allowed to surpass these limits. You will have to pare down your collection, eliminating your duplicates, in order to add new pets.
“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 original World of Warcraft was released in 2004, and World of Warcraft Classic aims to recreate the state of the MMORPG before its first expansion, The Burning Crusade, was rolled out in January 2007. Previously, players looking for a “vanilla” version of the game were only able to experience it on custom servers such as Nostalrius, which Blizzard shut down in 2016 to protect its intellectual property.
The vanilla WoW Horde leveling guide you see on this site was originally made back in 2006 by Joana (AKA Mancow, or FuriousPaul). The guides have been tweaked many times over the years to make things "faster". The leveling guides were made because of all the messages I got from people asking me how I was able to level up so quickly on new realms. I was first to level 60 on 7 different realms (3 with Mancow and 4 with Joana), even winning Blizzard's "First to Level 50" contest they held back in 2006.
Beginning May 15, select WoW players will be invited to participate in a small-scale, focused closed beta test. Players will also get a chance to help put our servers and technology through their paces in a series of stress tests running from May through July—you can opt in now through Account Management and select the WoW Classic beta. Subsequent stress tests will extend the opportunity to even more players. Level caps will also be in place to ensure we’re emphasizing the “stress” in “stress test”
When it comes to Classic, Blizzard's goal is to provide an authentic Vanilla experience, but they also needed to come up with technology to handle many players at launch, which is similar to sharding. While the use of this technology will be limited to the first month following launch, many players are questioning this decision and wouldn't like to see layering in the game at all.
It was the experience of the game that brought pleasure and joy, and that's what a lot of us want again. Not the numbers. When I play Classic I want to go through the deadmines with people I like and overcome a challenge together and see myself become stronger as a result. I don't want to play Classic so I can say "booyah! That number is exactly the same as it was 13 years ago!"
Keep in mind that these quests are optional, and are not necessary to continue leveling and capturing companions. They are also account-wide, so if you complete the quest chain on one character, you will not be able to complete it again on another. However, any progress that you've made will be saved and you can pick up where you left off in the quest chain on another character. The dailies that you've unlocked will also be accessible by all your toons.