If you’re into MMORPG games, you’ve probably heard that World of Warcraft is preparing to release a classic version of the game this summer. However, not many people have played in the real Classic and current in-game classes might seem completely unrecognizable to some. In the early days of World of Warcraft, the class choice was very important – leveling was super slow, which meant that you could get stuck with your character for months.
This past BlizzCon, Blizzard announced thatWoW Classic would be coming out in the Summer of 2019. Along with it came a demo of the early leveling zones and several panels worth of information that assured the eager public that Classic would indeed be as faithful and ‘blizzlike’ as possible. Having played through the entire demo I can agree that the game is almost exactly as I remember Vanilla being 14 years ago. The only difference in design being the implementation of ‘sharding’, a process which splits up the player base in different instances of the same zone to alleviate some of the overcrowding in early zones. Blizzard has also gone on the record to say that sharding would only be in the game for the first couple weeks after the launch of Classic and that they would then disable it once the player base had spread out more. However, sharding isn’t the only thing thatVanilla players might find different about their experience. In this article, I am going to go through each of the aspects that will most likely change inClassic WoW, whether Blizzard likes it or not.
You will have to talk with flight masters in most towns or cities you visit in order to gain access to that settlement's flight path. Flight masters who have a stop you have not yet unlocked will have a green displayed above their head (and on the mini map), much like a NPC with a quest. Unlocking flight paths as you progress through various zones will allow you to pay for a quick ride to a destination you have previously visited. This method of travel is significantly faster than walking or riding a mount.

The company has provided a list of the most commonly reported gameplay elements that Classic players are reporting as bugs, including warrior health regeneration rates, the lack of quick objectives and POI tracking on the map/minimap, the presence of a dot as the marker for completed quests on the minimap, fast running NPCs, and slow creature respawn rates (full list below).
Escort quests can take awhile to do.  I have thoroughly tested all the escort quests in the game for time/xp.  Most are worth doing, but as long as you are able to actually do them without failing.  Most require you to pay special attention to the escortee as most are fragile and will die easily, so do your best to keep mobs off of the escortee during escort quests.  The longest one in the game is the Tanaris chicken escort.  The chicken escorts are only worth doing if you were able to do all 3 of them, as if you do, you will be able to turn in an additional easy quick XP turn in quest at BB, which makes them worth it.
Some players choose to take a slightly alternative approach to their gold farming. This approach can take an extensive amount of time and dedication. Many people choose to train a ton of alts, solely for the purpose of making money and multi-tasking. In World of Warcraft Classic, professions are usually paired together. For example, if you’re training alchemy, you will need herbs to create consumables (e.g. flasks) that are used for raiding. An intelligent and observant player could seize this knowledge by creating one alchemy alt and one herbalism alt, swapping items as needed between each other. This fully mitigates the fees by the Auction House, which means your profit is maximised. Another complimentary combination you can use is skinning and tailoring, or cooking and fishing.
In-game mail between guildmates now is instant, but in the past, it had a 1-hour delay, just like mail between strangers. The change to instant mail made things more convenient, but removed the social interaction of having to meet up with someone to make a transaction if you wanted something sooner. So we’ve reintroduced that delay for that reason. Other conveniences such as auto-completion of names or quickly clearing a mailbox have been left in. This seemed an easy enough call given that someone could create an add-on to do the very same thing, and we felt those sorts of conveniences didn’t impact the fundamental “classic” experience.
This was a good start, but there were issues with how the developers used to handle updates to the database data. Unlike the source code, for which Blizzard had archives for multiple branches of the game that could be worked on and developed as separate pieces, early database data was overwritten with each commensurate update. Thankfully, that problem was fixed very quickly after launch, and when we looked, we found data going back to version 1.12—and even earlier.
The currently closed-beta World of Warcraft Classic game offers a mostly vanilla WoW experience, enabling players to enjoy the game as it existed more than a decade ago. The World of Warcraft that actually existed in 2006 is different than the game some players remember having played, though, and it included elements that many fans now view as bugs.
Some class systems from the original game simply don’t have a modern equivalent. The class probably most affected by this is the hunter. The pet happiness and loyalty systems were removed a long time ago, as well as pet training and the ability to use both a ranged weapon and a melee weapon. In these cases, converting the old data to the new system wouldn’t work, simply because there is no new system to match. In this instance, we had to bring back the old code—and we did. Fortunately, the restoration went smoothly, though the reality of having to buy arrows or feed their pets again took a few people in our internal tests by surprise.

There’s the reason why some players used to call the game World of Roguecraft. Rogue was one of the most popular classes in classic WoW and there’s a good reason for it. During vanilla, Rogues topped DPS meters in raids and dungeons, but their main strength was world PvP. Rogues could stealth through enemies avoiding unwanted engagements with the opposing faction. Additionally, a huge variety of crowd control abilities and high burst damage made them the worst nightmare for the cloth-wearing classes. However, Rogues were in a bit of disadvantage regarding end-game gearing since most of their gear pieces were useful to other in-game classes as well.
To fully understand the interplay, consider terrain. This includes the placement of hills and valleys, trees, buildings, and more. When hooking up the old terrain data files to the new modern game system we realized that the way the system looked at the shape of data was different. This resulted in the updated system and classic data not aligning, resulting in weird issues like Kolkar campfires underwater or burnt-out trees from the Cataclysm era appearing in the original world.

You're absolutely right! I've changed the opening—I hope it gives you and your list the credit you deserve. As for those other tools, I didn't include them originally because I didn't consider them to be class specific. I'll include the Base Stats Calculator here, plus add a message at the top directing people to your list if they want a more comprehensive index!


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Some quests in my guide are marked as "SKIP" and colored in red.  These quests are simply either too hard to solo or not worth the XP/time and are skipped.  My guide will only list SKIPPED quests if the quest is a direct follow up after completing a quest, not one that you have to click the NPC again to get it.  If you hover over the skipped quests, it will give info on why it is skipped in the guide (unless that info is already listed directly in the guide text).
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.
This is, in my opinion, the largest change that WoW Classic will have over Vanilla, and it’s something that simply can’t be undone. Back in Vanilla, guilds were very secretive over strategies of how to correctly defeat a boss. Videos of boss kills were virtually non-existent,and strategies on how to itemize and play various classes and specs were hard to come by, especially for newer players. This, in addition to the unforgiving raid requirements and difficult content, lead to a lot of the player base never really getting to see a lot of the endgame content. Those that did rarely ever did so efficiently, and it wasn’t uncommon for the best guild on any given server to take months to complete a raid tier. There is absolutely no way that this happens in Classic. The raids in Vanilla are very much a solved system by now. Every raid, and every boss and trash pack inside, has been thoroughly strategized and talked about to death over the last 14 years. Rest assured even if you and your friends never played Vanilla, someone in your raid party will know exactly what to do on every boss, exactly when the trash packs are going to respawn, and exactly what buffs and gear to get to prepare. That certainly doesn’t mean thatClassic raiding will be a cakewalk, but it will be different than how the majority of people stumbled through the content.
The quickest way to level up is to travel through the game's zones, completing all the quests you encounter along the way. Completing quests grants you Experience points, which will slowly fill in your experience bar with blue or purple. When the bar fills, you reach the next level. Alternatively, you could choose to run Dungeons or Battlegrounds, which are not covered in this beginner's guide.

This is another one that will most likely be a boon rather than a bane to the player base, though time will tell just how 14years of experience will affect the economy of Classic WoW. There has been no concrete word on just how AddOns will work in Classic, but if the infrastructure of the game works the same as it does in retail, there is a good chance that most of the mods that work in retail will work in Classic. This means that quite a few people will be running around with a whole host of gathering, crafting, auctioning, and gold making mods. Now, those mods did exist back in Vanilla, but not in the same way they do now, and not as many people had them back then as will in Classic. This will drastically affect how effective the auction house will be, and hopefully will affect the economy as a whole in a positive way. Another thing that will most likely see a large increase in popularity is carry runs. These have steadily grown in popularity since Vanilla, and rest assured with the old 40 man raid size that there will be quite a few “Molten Core full carry master loot ON PST for prices GOLD ONLY” being spammed in trade chat. Whether tokens will be available in Classic has yet to be discussed, but if so it will have an enormous impact on the economy of Classic. This, in addition to the differences I will cover in the next section, will have a pretty large impact on the endgame of WoW Classic.
I hate to be the one to say this, but let’s face it: we’re not little kids any more. Even for those of us who played Vanilla when they were well into their adult years will have gotten 14 years older, 14 years wiser, and up to 14 years more experienced with video games. What does that mean for Classic WoW? Well for starters, the grand majority of people who are interested in Classic will now have full time jobs. Some might have families and kids they didn’t have before. Basically, WoW Classic won’t be a big of a chunk in people’s lives as it was back then. Considering how much time you will really need to put into Classic WoW to enjoy everything it has to offer, that might be an issue. Stringing together 40-odd people to storm Blackwing Lair might be significantly more difficult now than it was back then. However, due to the issues I talked about in the paragraph above, it might not need to be the long, arduous hours that many people put into Vanilla raiding. With the right preparation and knowledge, raids in Classic will most likely take considerably less time to complete than they did in Vanilla, which will hopefully counteract the fact that the majority of players will have less overall time and fewer long chunks of time to play. 6. Conclusion In essence, the game itself might not be changing from Vanilla to Classic WoW, but the knowledge and mindset of the players of the game will considerably change the way the game feels. Everyone probably figures that there won’t be that same sense of wonder that Vanilla WoW brought so long ago, and that’s true. Nostalgia can only carry Classic WoW so far. Thankfully, I believe that there is some truly solid game design inVanilla WoW, and the fact that Blizzard have doubled down on creating a verbatim experience for Classic WoW is something that people have been adamant about since the day they announced its release. Only time will tell if ClassicWoW truly is the thing people have been wanting, or whether the new CEO ofBlizzard Jay Allen Brack was right – we thought we wanted it, but we didn’t. 

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:


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Gold in World of Warcraft: Classic can be earned with a bit of luck too. By killing and looting mobs you might find some truly rare items. Some of them might be usable by you but others might not. Don’t just sell that piece of rare equipment to the nearest vendor as it can earn you quite a bit in the auction house. Especially if it’s an item for a level 50+ character.
A demo of the game was available at BlizzCon 2018, and was downloadable on home computers for anyone who purchased a BlizzCon ticket or virtual ticket. The servers became available when Opening Ceremony started at BlizzCon 2018 and was set to end on November 8, but was extended until November 12.[4] Players started at level 15, and the only available zones were Westfall and the Barrens.[5] It was based on patch 1.13.0, essentially patch 1.12.0 ported to a modern infrastructure. The first day of the demo, there was a playtime limit of a cumulative 60 minutes with a cooldown of 90 minutes, applied through the BlizzCon Exhaustion debuff.[6] The debuff was removed on the second day of BlizzCon 2018.[7]

The original animations have also been restored, but WoW’s animation system is tightly coupled with its gameplay code. We had to make changes to both data and code to get the animations back to the 1.12 look. We ran into a few bugs along the way, such as models that should appear prone instead appearing upright, but we were able to correct these with a few fixes.


After this past year of working on this project and forging our way through the various bugs and challenges, one consistent theme that’s emerged is that the difference between what we have and what we want is clearly visible. When we look at today’s World of Warcraft, we can see the differences between the modern game and the classic one. If we tried to update the reference client, we would have instead been tracking down a lot of “invisible” changes such as exploits waiting to be abused, crashes that don’t show up until you have millions of players online at once, and more. We chose to approach the problem in a way that makes our job clear and obvious instead of difficult and hard to see. 
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.
CLOSED BETA TEST & STRESS TESTS – Starting May 15, select WoW players will be invited to participate in a small-scale, focused closed beta test, helping ensure WoW Classic nails its goal of authenticity. Players will also get a chance to help put our servers and technology through the paces in a series of stress tests from May through July—opt in now at www.wowclassic.com!
I’m used to either wanting to play a game or not wanting to play a game. But WoW Classic… WoW Classic is different. Maybe I’m just falling victim to nostalgia. Maybe I’m conflating the people I played with in 2004-2006 with the game I played in 2004-2006. Nostalgia is a hugely powerful motivator, after all, and even us jaded reporters are susceptible to it. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about stepping back into a game that was genuinely slower, jankier, and less well-balanced than the WoW that exists today. I do know I’m looking forward to it more than any other launch I expect this year. Some friends of mine have already started planning for a return. I’m going to join them. It’s annoying to find myself pulled back to a game version I genuinely don’t think is as good, in many ways, as what exists today — and yet, here I am.
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