While this might be a change for the better,leveling in Classic will most certainly be different than leveling in Vanilla. In addition to sharding making the beginner zones much more friendly to the hordes and hordes of players storming the gates when Classic comes out, theVanilla leveling process has been studied thoroughly since the game came out 14years ago. Since then, not only have players leveled multiple alts and characters through the beginning zones in Vanilla, but they have done so on a multitude of private servers intended to have the most ‘Blizzlike’ experience. So while leveling a character from 1 to 60 will still be a long, arduous process, it will no longer be marred by mistakes made by players going from zone to zone, continent to continent, searching desperately for a place to level. The zones and routes have been thoroughly mapped out by the Vanilla WoW community at large, and with the internet being much more robust in 2019, that information is just a google search away. Is that a bad thing? I would venture to say that it isn’t, as knowing where to go and what to do doesn’t make it any less challenging and time consuming. It does take away from that exploration aspect,however. You might not have those moments of wandering into Feralas for the first time, or running from Storm wind to Strangle thorn just for the hell of it,or getting lost trying to get to Iron forge from Darnassus on a fresh Night elf.No, those moments, just like many fond memories of Vanilla, are lost in time.
Once we had our starting point, we began taking stock of what we had in the source code and what we could make available, which included restoring the original development database from archival backups. After stitching various key pieces together, we had a locally rebuilt version of Patch 1.12 running internally. The team could create characters and do basic questing and leveling—and dying, which we did many times. For testing purposes. Obviously.
I wanted to talk more about Classic here and my experience with it, especially relating to my Vanilla days, but somehow I kept writing about this rift that's forming in the WoW community. I can't seem to shake it, and for all the many, MANY times WoW was diagnosed as "dying" (and never did/never will), this one actually worries me. Some people have worried that Classic servers will split the community because BfA and Classic can't play together and few people will have the time to play both, but I'm worried it will REALLY split the community on a more philosophical level. At the moment WoW is back to being the most watched game on Twitch, beating out Fortnite and the rest, so shouldn't this be a happy moment for all of us that care about the game? Regardless of whether you enjoy BfA, or are holding on for the next expansion to fix things, or can't wait for Classic, can we at least TRY to keep things civil? We can disagree all day long, and I'm the first to put my opinions out there, but just don't accuse people of being... whatever it is you think they are. Argue facts, discuss calmly (or well, at least try to), and if you see the other person isn't doing the same, just politely stop talking to them. It's that simple.