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.
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.
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:
War Mode: War Mode can be turned on at level 30 through your talent window, and will give you 10% bonus XP. You will, however, be attackable by players of the opposing faction, but changes have been made so that all players have a fair shot in a fight and even low-level players can kill much higher level players, and at least not get ganked and one shotted. Note: As of patch 8.1, you can get an additional call to arms bonus with war mode on if your faction is underepresented.
Even if you don’t have flying in WoD be sure to get the WoD handy notes. If you have flying simply fly and pick up all the treasures that you can and do bonus objectives. Not every single piece of treasure will be worth it though as some are hidden in caves or are just hard to get. So if you find yourself spending more than a few minutes finding a treasure, just skip it and move on, there is plenty of treasure to go around.
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.
Some dungeons are also much better than other. Some take a long time to finish and some are quick. Some have few quests and others have many. The ideal dungeons have a lot of quests and are quick to finish. If you are sent to a long dungeon that you have already completed, you can leave but you won’t be able to enter a new dungeon in 30 minutes. Dungeons like the Stockade are super quick, so it will still be good XP if you are sent here more than once.
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?
You can earn a decent amount of XP by doing Herbalism or mining. Any zone works but I prefer Sholazar Basin as a lot of the mobs are not aggressive and the mobs are spread out so you will find a lot of herbs and ore that you don’t have to fight for. It is possible to make about a level every hour by doing this, or a level every 30-40 minutes with rest XP.
Darkmoon Faire: The Darkmoon Faire comes around once a month and provides two ways of bonus XP. You can ride the carousel to get the “Whee!” buff (10% bonus XP for one hour). You can also get the Darkmoon Top Hat by playing a few games, which gives you 10% bonus XP but only works during the Darkmoon Faire. Both of these are generally not worth it for the most part, as you spend more time running to get the buff than you gain in XP when leveling.
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.
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