World of Warcraft Classic launched in August 2019 with many considering that participant numbers would drop off drastically as soon as the rose-tinted glasses got here off. But the unique World of Warcraft expertise continues to be an enormous success for Blizzard and has really doubled the variety of gamers subscribed to WoW since earlier than its launch final yr.
Modern World of Warcraft is anticipating its eighth growth, Shadowlands earlier than the top of the yr – thrilling stuff in the event you’ve saved up with WoW through the years. But in the event you’ve drifted away as the sport has undergone numerous – inevitable – modifications and also you’re in search of an MMO expertise that is slightly extra gritty, you might do so much worse than leaping into World of Warcraft Classic.
So what is the massive cope with WoW Classic?
World of Warcraft Classic turned a factor when Blizzard lastly gave in following years of gamers calling for a return to the ‘vanilla’ expertise of Warcraft. Players obtained their repair for years via numerous non-public ‘legacy’ servers however when Blizzard ordered Nostalrius, the biggest of those to shut its doorways again in 2016, followers as soon as once more referred to as for an official ‘vanilla’ server. Blizzard lastly relented and introduced World of Warcraft Classic in the course of the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2018.
But why all of the fuss?
When World of Warcraft initially launched method again in 2004, it drew in an enormous variety of gamers and quickly grew to have thousands and thousands of subscribers worldwide. Aside from the sheer scale of the sport, a big pressure behind the success of the MMO was the world during which it was set.
Azeroth has been round for the reason that unique Warcraft: Orcs and Humans launched in 1994 and the next Warcraft 2 video games additional constructed on the story and lore. Warcraft three was in all probability the most well-liked of those early video games and launched us to lots of the characters that might go on to play giant roles in World of Warcraft, together with Sylvanas Windrunner, Jaina Proudmore, and Arthas Menethil, amongst many others.
So when World of Warcraft launched in 2004, all the lore, background, and areas that had been specified by the sooner Warcraft video games have been dropped at life in Blizzard’s huge MMO.
Not for the faint-hearted
If you have solely obtained a couple of hours every week to dedicate to an MMO, Classic might not be the sport for you and chances are you’ll be higher off taking a look at fashionable Warcraft to fill that Azeroth-shaped gap. Having stated that, in the event you’re not significantly involved with endgame content material corresponding to raiding or max-level dungeons and simply need to discover Azeroth because it was in 2006 then by all means, keep it up. But if you wish to get pleasure from every thing that Classic has to supply, then you have to be ready to spend so much of time not solely levelling your character however finishing numerous Attunement quests and grinding popularity to entry a few of these late-game cases.
World of Warcraft Classic would not have these quality-of-life enhancements that you could be be accustomed to in fashionable Warcraft – or certainly many different present MMOs. For starters, the scaling of enemies is so much much less forgiving and you might end up changing into rapidly overwhelmed it you tackle greater than two enemies without delay with out preparation. Travelling from one place to a different in Classic Azeroth can also be much more time consuming – flight factors aren’t as plentiful as they’re as of late and with in-game gold not as simply come by, chances are you’ll end up struggling to avoid wasting as much as even buy your first Riding Skill and mount.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The elevated grind of Classic World of Warcraft pays off with a sense of actual development as you watch your character develop stronger as you acquire ranges, gear, and general expertise.
The advantages of beginning now
You could also be questioning if it is value beginning your journey via previous Azeroth now, nearly one yr after launch. The reply is a most particular ‘sure’.
For a begin, you will not need to cope with the queues to log into the game – or the queues to kill a single quest mob because of player saturation. Of course, busier servers on big patch days may still see the occasional login queue but they are generally less common these days.
Another benefit of starting now is that the game’s economy will have settled down. Depending on the population of the server you choose, materials for crafting should be more readily available on the Auction House and at much more reasonable prices. And if you want to dabble in selling stuff yourself – to help save up for your first mount perhaps – you should have a much more stable market to do so.
While undoubtedly there won’t be nearly as many players in the levelling areas to readily group up with as there were at launch, guilds have had a chance to establish themselves so you shouldn’t have any problem finding a one to suit your needs and offer help and advice as and when it’s required.
What content is available in WoW Classic?
World of Warcraft Classic has been receiving waves of content updates since launch last year, tying in with the content releases for the original game. It’s still unclear if the game will get any ‘new’ expansions such as The Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King. Blizzard has said it’s “not opposed” to adding expansions to the Classic experience but no decision has yet been made.
At the time of writing, WoW Classic is currently on Phase 5 of the PVE content schedule (see below) and the Ahn’Qiraj raid has been unlocked so, once you reach max level, you’ll have access to a number of raids and World Bosses to tackle.
PvE content schedule:
- Phase 1 (aka Vanilla launch): Molten Core, Onyxia, Maraudon
- Phase 2: Dire Maul, Azuregos, Kazzak
- Phase 3: Blackwing Lair, Darkmoon Faire, Darkmoon Deck
- Phase 4: Zul’Gurub, Green Dragons
- Phase 5: Ahn’Qiraj War Effort kicks off, Ahn’Qiraj raids start as per the progression of the war effort.
- Phase 6: Naxxramas, Scourge Invasion
PvP content schedule:
- Phase 1 (aka Vanilla launch): PvP will be available, but it wont feature any rewards or stat tracking for tacking part
- Phase 2: Honor System (including Dishonorable Kills) will be introduced, PvP Rank Rewards rolled out
- Phase 3: Alterac Valley (version 1.12), Warsong Gulch battleground introduced
- Phase 4: Arathi Basin
- Phase 6: World PvP objectives in Silithus and Eastern Plaguelands
How to play World of Warcraft Classic
If you think you’re ready to play World of Warcraft Classic, you’ll need a subscription to do so. Unlike modern Warcraft which lets you create as many characters as you like and play them up to level 20 without subscribing, if you’re after the vanilla experience, you’ll need to put your money where your mouth is. The good news is that once subscribed, you’ll have access to both Classic and modern Warcraft.
You can either pay a month at a time or you choose to subscribe for longer which will work out slightly cheaper.
- 1-month subscription: £9.99/€12.99/$14.99
- 3-month subscription: £28.17/€35.97/$41.97
- 6-month subscription: £52.14/€65.94/$77.94