World of Warcraft (WoW) revolutionized the massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) on its release on November 23, 2004. Many people sunk not only hours, but days and even years into the game (including me). As the game went on and started releasing expansions adding content to the game, many players were frustrated with the direction of the game. They felt that Blizzard ignored the player base and made decisions without their input. As a result, private servers (usually fan-made and ran by fans who hosted servers of unauthorized WoW expansions) started popping up all over the place.
Blizzard sent their legal team after them, and banned players who participated on private
servers. However, that didn’t stop fans from yearning for nostalgia. One of the most popular private servers, Nostalrius, hosted 150,000 players from February 2015 to April 2016. The fan demand was too much for Blizzard to ignore, and a Change.org petition was made to bring back Vanilla WoW (the first game). At BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard announced WoW Classic would be coming, finally answering the fans’ demand for classic servers.
The game is based on Patch 1.12.1 (September 2006), which was the last patch before the first expansion, The Burning Crusade. The game world has been reverted to its original state. That means the Alliance can play as humans, dwarves, gnomes, and night elves, while the Horde can play as orcs, trolls, tauren, and Forsaken (undead). The nine original classes are playable: druid, hunter, mage, paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, warlock, and warrior. Like in the original game, paladins will be Alliance-specific, and shamans will be Horde-specific. Just like in WoW today, players will fill roles such as tank, heal, and DPS.
The maximum level of the game is level 60, and game content launched after November 23, 2004 will be released by a to-be-determined schedule according to Blizzard. They will not modify any core game mechanics such as character abilities, remaining faithful to Vanilla WoW and giving old fans a chance to experience the game as it was, and those who joined after to come back and have a new game experience.
While WoW Classic will try to maintain the feel of the 2004 original, Blizzard has hinted that they will allow character transfers which was not possible in the original launch, this means that to play with friends, you had to level all the way from level 1 again). They also hinted in a recent Reddit AMA that they might also bring back The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, which many fans believe were the best Blizzard expansions to date.
Playing WoW Classic is a very time-consuming experience much like it was in November 2004, but fans of the game should enjoy this reproduction of nostalgia. As Disney is trying to remake their classic films, we are seeing the same thing being done in the gaming world.
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Words by Jose Alvarez | Art by Jezeil Romero
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE September 2019 Issue