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:
To celebrate World of Warcraft’s 15th anniversary, Blizzard is planning to release an authentic recreation of its early days with WoW Classic. Players will be able to explore Azeroth as it originally was before the release of WoW’s many expansion sets. Initially it’ll feature encounters like Molten Core, Onyxia and Maraudon at launch and will see more content rolled out as the game goes on (such as Alterac Valley, the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort and Naxxramas). It’s not just the world that’s reverting to its classic form either – the combat mechanics, skill trees and character models will be as they were in the original too.
Other methods have been discussed. For example, mods could be crippled. DBM didn't exist back then, and the other boss that did that I don't remember the name of, didn't do as much back then as DBM does now. If our goal is to recreate the experience as it was, then obviously not having DBM would be a reasonable way to accomplish that. DBM simply existing, makes the game today easier than it was. So disallow it. Again, this is completely consistent with the spirit of vanilla. Remember one-button-decursing? That was nerfed. They crippled the capabilities of the modding API to disallow that because it made the game too easy. So what if they cripple it a little bit more to once again make the game less easy?
Things like Tauren melee reach being bigger, which is something I experienced going away live during Black Temple Illidan progression (at least for that particular encounter), is confusing to players as it's a significant advantage over other races in some instances. No quest tracking is another apparently confusing issue, as many Mankirk's WIfe seekers well know, and there's a whole lot more where that came from:

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.
The fact that Cookie's Tenderizer from the Deadmines had +3 instead of +2 strength. The fact that the Stormwind south bank had one instead of two mailboxes. The fact that Jaina's Proudmore's name was "Jaina Proudmore" instead of "Jaina Proudless." Stuff like this isn't what mattered. It was arbitrary. If Cookie had dropped a shield instead of a mace and Jaina had been named Susan, nobody would have cared. It wasn't specific details like these that caused us to enjoy the game.
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.
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.
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. 

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.
Analogy: think back on riding the swings in kindergarten. Was it fun? Now, imagine going back to those swings exactly as they were, and sitting in them now, as an adult. They're too small. They don't fit. Your feet drag on the ground because they're so low to the ground. The bar over your head is low enough that you can reach out and touch it, and even at the highest the swing will go, it's only about chest high when you're standing up. It's exactly the same swing, but riding on it now is a very different experience, yes?
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.
Kaivax, a WoW forum community manager, revealed that WoW Classic's class design, battleground mechanics and stats on existing items will be set to their 1.12 state, despite the game releasing content that expands beyond that. This removes "progressive itemization," so if the stats on a specific piece of equipment was changed during the original updates, that won't take effect in this version.
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.
Within the context of Classic, the method most frequently proposed is to re-tune bosses to make them harder. Rather than copying the numbers, re-create the relative difficulty. Kind of like, when you first start working out, you use small weights. When you get stronger, you lift bigger weights. The WoW community is more knowledgeable, more experienced, has better hardware, etc. We're "stronger." So give us tougher bosses. There are a lot of forms that could take. Bosses were constantly re-tuned during vanilla anyway, so if Ragnaros does 10% more damage or something, is that really a problem? I don't think it is. What about resistance gear? back in the day, collecting resist gear was a thing people did. But the numbers and strategies are so well known today that only the tank really needs it anymore. Bosses could be re-tuned with more resistible elemental damage so that's important for entire raids to gear appropriately. That would be entirely keeping with the spirit of vanilla even if the actually numbers sitting in a database somewhere were different than they were ~13 years ago. If you want to go a little farther, a few people have proposed adding new abilities to old bosses, adjusting their timing, etc.
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.
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