World of Warcraft (WoW) became everyone's gaming addiction upon its release in 2004. As a result, WoW developed a steady fanbase that never really died out.
Blizzard recently resurrected the old-school version of WoW, a game suitably called WoW Classic. Even after 15 long years, fans are flocking to play this "new" game. What is WoW Classic, and is it worth the hype?
Where Does WoW Classic Leave Off?
Since the years of the original WoW's release, Blizzard has been stacking on tons expansion packs on to the point where the original game has been lost. Instead of creating another expansion pack, Blizzard decided to turn back the clock.
WoW Classic takes place before any expansion packs. If you've been yearning to go back to the good ol' days, you can finally experience Azeroth as you initially remember it.
However, it doesn't start at the complete beginning—WoW Classic resumes in its 2006 version, right before the first expansion pack. More specifically, it starts during Patch 1.12: Drums of War.
WoW Classic Gameplay
Unlike the retail version of WoW, WoW Classic encourages teamwork. Without the help of other players, you might not be able to complete certain quests. Make sure you haven't gotten too accustomed to the current Dungeon Finder system—in Wow Classic, you'll actually have to talk with other players in order to get through dungeons. You can forget about conveniently teleporting to dungeons too, as WoW Classic forces you to go on foot.
WoW Classic is also significantly more grindy than the current WoW. In other words, you should expect to die a number of times as you level up. It's a slow-paced experience that'll definitely remind you of your early WoW days.
The highest level you can reach in WoW Classic is 60, which is a pretty big difference from the 120 level cap in the latest Battle of Azeroth expansion pack. The lower level cap goes back to WoW's roots—if you remember, the level cap was originally set at 60.
WoW Classic even features the game's original art style and character design, but that doesn't mean the graphics are completely scaled back. You can still play the game in 4K, or you can stick to 480p if you really want to go back in time.
The Presence of "Bugs"
WoW Classic suffers from a number of obvious bugs that players have been complaining about. However, Blizzard has stated that these "bugs" aren't really bugs—they're actually intentional. Since WoW Classic operates on the game's original engine, it comes with all those lovely glitches that plagued the original game.
Some of these "bugs" include:
- The Tauren race has larger hitboxes and melee reach.
- Maps and minimaps don't track points of interest or quest objectives.
- The respawn rates for creatures are significantly slower than the current WoW.
This game will really bring you back to the vanilla WoW, bugs and all. For the full list of "bugs," check out Blizzard's "Not a Bug" forum post.
If you've been paying attention to any WoW Classic news, you've probably heard about the overcrowded servers. Wait times to actually get into the game have been up to three hours.
When you login, you'll see the population of each server. Servers that read "High" or "Full" will have login queues, while those that have a population of "Medium" or "Low" won't make you wait.
Blizzard actually increased the population cap on the servers, so you'll encounter a larger number of people as you play. This still doesn't eliminate wait times completely—instead of waiting to login, you'll have to wait in line to complete quests.
Will You Play WoW Classic?
For veteran WoW players, the vanilla version is a refreshing trip down memory lane. Other players might not like the slow-pace, but it's worth a shot, whether you're a veteran or not.
If you already have a subscription for WoW, you won't have to pay any additional fees as the base subscription covers access to both WoW and WoW Classic. As of this writing, the subscription costs $14.99/mo (down to $12.99/mo if you pay for six months at a time).