An old nemesis has risen in World Of Warcraft to claim his former throne as the scourge of Elwynn Forest. You mission, if you dare accept, is simple: kill Hogger. Blizzard’s MMORPG jumped back 13 years last night with the launch of World Of Warcraft Classic, an official vintage version undoing over years of changes, overhauls, and expansions. If you miss the days when WoW was more rugged and less friendly, this is for you. And unlike unsanctioned pirate servers which kept interest in vintage WoW alive over the years, Blizzard’s lawyers won’t try to shut this down.
In classic WoW style, the Classic launch has been a bit wonky with a fair few “World Server Down” errors. Blizzard also have a list of known bugs as well as a “Not A Bug” List of issues that might seem wonky to some but are officially just how WoW worked. Yes, it’s intentional that quest objectives are not marked on your map.
WoW Classic casts the MMORPG back to 2006, based on the Drums Of War update (v1.12.0). This is back before even the first expansion, though Drums Of War was almost two years after WoW first launched so Blizzard had ironed out plenty of wrinkles.
Access to WoW Classic is included with a regular WoW subscription. You’ll be starting fresh with new Classic characters, while modern characters continue to live on in the modern version. Blizzard have written a wee guide for new players.
Blizzard won’t faithfully recreate the original patching progress, but they do plan to give the sense of the game unlocking and growing over time by adding ‘new’ content in phases across several months.
They explain, “Among the host of features and activities set to be introduced to the game across six phases are iconic raids like Blackwing Lair, Zul’Gurub, and Naxxramas; player-versus-player battlegrounds like Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and the classic version of Alterac Valley; and time-limited server-wide events like the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort, and the Scourge Invasion.”
It’ll be interesting to see the kind of schedule they keep, and how/if they handle rolling out expansions. I do note that one in-game event they mention, the Scourge Invasion, originally came during the Burning Crusade as a lead-in to the second expansion, Wrath Of The Lich King. But that might just be for funsies, tripping across nostalgic touchstones without making permanent changes.
All that’s for the future. For now, get out there and kill Hogger.