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:
1 All expansion guides are written in the Battle for Azeroth beta in order to have them ready on launch day. It's important to note that betas can be buggy and unstable and may delay and even halt our progress on the guides. Furthermore, the time between the start of beta and the announced release of Battle for Azeroth is much shorter (by about 2-3 months) than past betas. As a result, our primary focus is to have the Leveling guides updated by the launch, and only if those are complete and time remains will we work on updating the remaining guides. All guides not finished in beta will be updated post launch. You can read more about this here.
With the Classic beta now out it seems every related article somehow manages to spark the eternal war of "Vanilla was the best WoW sucks now" and "lol nostalgia goggles, Vanilla sucked, enjoy your two weeks of Classic". I have to say, even though I understand the principles behind the battle and the reasons people behave and talk this way... I actually REALLY don't get it on a deeper level.

One of my favorite features is the Smart Injection System, which automatically determines the optimal place for your character to get started with the guides, based on your level and quest history. In other words, it doesn’t matter what level you are currently, you can jump right in and continue seamlessly with the guides. It also means that you don’t have to be a slave to the guides, they work perfectly even if you’re also leveling in instances, battlegrounds, using heirlooms or rested EXP. If your level ever gets ahead of the guide, just use the built-in feature to skip to the right place again. Very cool.
The argument for this is simple: what makes classic WoW great to one player might be different from what makes it great for another. And who are Blizzard's designers to say which old features were just good or bad design for each player? It's an approach that shows Blizzard believes (at least to some degree) that WoW doesn't just belong to its creators but to its fans. That struggle between authorial intent or game design orthodoxy and "the player is always right" is at the heart of many of gaming's big contemporary controversies. But so far, Blizzard seems committed to its plan with regard to WoW Classic.
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.
WoW Classic seeks to recreate the "vanilla WoW" experience—that is, WoW as it existed before a series of seven game-altering major expansion packs from 2007's The Burning Crusade to 2018's Battle for Azeroth. To achieve this, Blizzard has rebuilt the game based on archived data from back in 2005 and 2006 (patch 1.12 is the goalpost—the current game is on patch 8.1.5). The company has committed to meticulously presenting the experience exactly as it was back then—warts and all—with only a small number of unavoidable or critical changes.
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”
Different qualities aren't limited only to wild pets—many rare World drops and special non-wild companions have had their stats boosted. For example, the world-drop dragon whelps (Azure Whelpling, Crimson Whelpling, Dark Whelpling, and Emerald Whelpling) are of [rare] quality. Check your Pet Journal to see the color-coded rarity of your non-wild pets.
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.
Here comes the first stress test for the Classic beta, and Blizzard will be inviting a lot more people this time around. It's taking place this Wednesday, May 22nd and will last for 2 hours from 4-6pm PDT, but the realm itself will be available for a full day. All races and classes will be available, but the max level will be set to 5. Also, current beta testers will not be able to play their beta, but will have to join the new stress realm and make new characters if they want to play.
World of Warcraft Classic is currently in beta, which means some players are getting a chance to experience a much older version of the MMO ahead of its release. WoW Classic is based on how WoW played in August 2006, back around update 1.12. Back then, things were different. Tauren hitboxes were much larger, sitting could cause certain combat effects to not trigger and completed quests were marked with dots and not question marks. Strange days.
If a companion dies during the battle, it will need to be resurrected before it can participate in another encounter or be summoned as a traveling companion. Get that pet a medic! Or in this case, a Stable Master. Stable Master NPCs can heal and revive your pets for a small fee, and there is no cooldown on the Stable Master's heal. You’ll find Stable Masters in major towns and cities across Azeroth.
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© 2019 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 5/25/18) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 5/25/18) and Ars Technica Addendum (effective 8/21/2018). Ars may earn compensation on sales from links on this site. Read our affiliate link policy.
If you just want the short version of this review, Zygor Guides are the best WoW leveling guides. Period. They’ve been around since 2007, and are always kept up to date and improved, and they have tons of features that set them apart from the competition, not to mention a streamlined leveling path and slick user interface. It’s no wonder that they’re the #1 best-selling WoW guides, because they’re simply the highest quality. Updates are typically released in advance of major patches and expansions.
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.
“As we’ve discussed before, the nature of WoW Classic sometimes invokes different memories for different players, and this leads to certain misconceptions for some about what is or isn’t working as intended,” Blizzard wrote in its official forums. While the developer did not reveal the specific numbers, there seemed to be too many bug reports for things that were actually working as intended.
That's not to say that everyone has an unrealistic vision of what vanilla WoW was like. There were already plenty of people on the WoW Classic forums pointing out that perceived bugs are just recreations of the original game. And as noted before, a flaw to one player is a key component of the original positive experience to another. WoW Classic will surely please plenty of purists in spades. But this goes to show that it won't be for everyone who has fond memories of the game circa 2006.
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